Tesla racing, $8,500 Leaf, 300K-mile Volt, Prius-ized Firebird: The Week In Reverse

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2015 Nissan Leaf, Denver, Colorado, Mar 2016  [photo: owner Andrew Ganz]

2015 Nissan Leaf, Denver, Colorado, Mar 2016 [photo: owner Andrew Ganz]

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Which luxury plug-in vehicle will soon have a plug-in version using parts from a minivan?

And, why is an unusual Toyota electric-car concept made of wood?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse--right here at Green Car Reports--for the week ending on Friday, March 11, 2016.

Friday, we wrote about a new electric-car concept vehicle, the Toyota Setsuna, the automaker that doesn't believe in battery-electric cars.

This one goes no more than 28 miles per hour, seats two, uses old-style lead-acid batteries ... and has a body made of wood. There is a reason, though.

Toyota Setsuna concept car, 2016 Milan Design Week

Toyota Setsuna concept car, 2016 Milan Design Week

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On Thursday, we wrote about a new electric-car racing series that'll launch next year--using Tesla Model S P85+ sedans.

The races will take place on racing circuits, and use modified production cars, rather than Formula E's open-wheeled single-seaters.

How much range does an 85-kwh Model S have when driven to its limits? We'll find out.

Wednesday, we noted that the new Maserati Levante luxury SUV will offer a plug-in hybrid version within a couple of years.

Its electrified powertrain, however, will be derived from one in a considerably more prosaic vehicle: the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan.

We're betting that doesn't get mentioned in the marketing.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

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On Tuesday, our writer Andrew Ganz explained how and why he was able to buy a new 2015 Nissan Leaf for a net price of about $8,500 after incentives.

He had to travel two hours from home to do it, and he lives in a state with a very generous electric-car purchase incentives. But still.

Monday, we wrote about one owner's project to make his old Pontiac Firebird more fuel-efficient by turning it into a hybrid.

This is no mere powertrain swap, however: The Firebird is being blended with the underpinnings of a Toyota Prius V wagon. It's worth the look.

Last weekend, we wrote about a Nissan video suggesting that your electric car may be a fuel station in the future.

And we closed the week on Friday with another video, this one made by a Tesla fan, that suggests that futurist Carl Sagan predicted Tesla's emergence in a speech he made way back in 1980.

2012 Chevrolet Volt crosses 300,000 miles, March 2016 [photo: owner Erick Belmer]

2012 Chevrolet Volt crosses 300,000 miles, March 2016 [photo: owner Erick Belmer]

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Finally, if potential buyers worry about the long-term durability of electric cars, they may be reassured by a 2012 Chevrolet Volt that just crossed 300,000 miles with no apparently battery degradation.

Driven by a GM millwright who has a very long commute, the range-extended electric car has done about one-third of its miles on grid power--and delivered the rated 37 miles per gallon running on gasoline as well.

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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