Ford Electric Miles, Volt Winter Test, Plug-In Hybrids In China, More VW Misery: The Week In Reverse

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2016 Chrysler 200

2016 Chrysler 200

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Which two cars are unexpectedly being killed off before their time?

And, why did we grumble about the 2016 Chevy Volt after a weekend test--even though we still love the car?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse--right here at Green Car Reports--for the week ending on Friday, January 29, 2016.

Friday, we published what we called a "Gas Mileage Review" of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid

Our long weekend with the car wasn't enough time to test actual fuel consumption over several tanks, so we had to rely on the car's trip computer.

We criticized the 2016 Volt for its default reporting, which is a "blended MPG" showing only gasoline consumed over distance, rather than a log of both kilowatt-hours and gallons used.

GM's Pam Fletcher and Josh Tavel accept Green Car Reports 2016 Best Car To Buy award for 2016 Volt

GM's Pam Fletcher and Josh Tavel accept Green Car Reports 2016 Best Car To Buy award for 2016 Volt

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Beyond that, however, we're still big fans of Chevy's second-generation Volt--which won Green Car Reports' 2016 Best Car To Buy award.

On Thursday, we covered the startling news that Fiat Chrysler is killing off its Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart sedans so it can build more SUVs and trucks.

Both cars had their flaws, but cheap gas, soaring SUV and truck sales, and limited capital means FCA has to invest where it can earn the most money.

It doesn't want to add plants or employees, so FCA killed a car that debuted less than two years ago (the 2015 Chrysler 200), plus the lackluster Dart, so it can use their factories for truck production.

How FCA can meet fuel-economy rules--despite upcoming diesel and hybrid Jeeps and a new Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivan with 30 miles of range--remains unclear.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

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Wednesday brought the news that the small numbers of 2017 Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid luxury sedans sold here will be imported to the U.S. from China.

As we explained the next day, that's because most plug-in hybrid models are more important for China's market--regardless of whether they're ever actually plugged in.

On Tuesday, we asked whether a main mission of the Chevy Bolt EV is to neutralize electric-car maker Tesla Motors. Much discussion ensued.

Tesla itself this week released a video depicting how the company says its Autopilot self-driving software will "revolutionize your commute."

Meanwhile, the company's Supercharger DC fast-charging network quietly grew by 50 percent last year, to the gratitude of Tesla Drivers everywhere.

2016 Ford C-Max Energi

2016 Ford C-Max Energi

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Monday, we commented on new Ford data showing that its Energi plug-in hybrid drivers covered more of their miles in electric mode.

But, we explained, not all of those miles used battery energy charged from the grid. Some--Ford couldn't say how many--were electric-only miles in hybrid mode.

And the week as a whole brought another slew of news stories on the continuing Volkswagen diesel emission scandal.

Over the weekend, we covered reports that the cheating software was an "open secret" within Volkswagen's engine department, sourced to a whistleblower in the company.

And based on a tip from our reader Joseph M, we asked how VW and Audi can still sell used TDI diesel vehicles if there's a "stop-sale" order in place. Turns out that order has some holes in it.

2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI Six-Month Road Test

2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI Six-Month Road Test

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We also discussed VW's pushback on the whistleblower accounts and its assertion that its software was perfectly legal in Europe--despite government reports to the contrary.

Many would argue this is more evidence that Volkswagen is deepening its woes with misguided legal and communications strategies.

Even BMW's engine chief admits that the VW scandal has damaged diesel engine sales, because regulators and customers no longer trust the technology.

Finally, have you ever wondered what a movie would be like if it were shot entirely on a Toyota Prius backup camera? Now, we know (tongue in cheek, as it turns out).

Those were our main stories this week; we'll see you again next week. Until then, this has been the Green Car Reports Week in Reverse update.

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