Photo of Tesla Model S battery swapping versus 'fastest gas pump in LA' tweeted by Elon Musk
Here we look back at some of the most significant stories we've published from the past week. We're pulling them into a single article, to catch up on the news of the past week, and use as a jumping point into your weekend reading.
And here's The Week In Reverse, for Friday, June 20:
This week, Acura killed off the ILX Hybrid. This compact luxury sedan offered a version of Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) mild-hybrid system, which has been upstaged by models with full-hybrid systems that are often better-performing, more fuel-efficient, and more 'electric.' ILX Hybrid models have comprised less than 3,000 of the 40,000 ILXs sold over about two years—and we hear there are plenty remaining at dealerships if you're interested. The model's departure leaves only two of what we would consider mild hybrids left in the U.S. market.
We also posted a video review of the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid. With a hybrid system that's just strong enough to get this vehicle moving, gently, from a standing start, we found the all-wheel-drive Crosstrek Hybrid to be a little disappointing in fuel-efficiency, yet up to the task in every other respect that outdoorsy, active types might want.
We considered some of the reasons why hybrid sales haven't kept pace with sales gains for the auto-industry as a whole. Hint: It probably all relates back to gas prices more than it does the allure of all-electric cars.
If you want a plug-in hybrid, as well as a crossover utility vehicle sized for the family, you don't have many choices today—just the Ford C-Max Energi and the California-only Toyota RAV4 EV. That's due to change soon, however, and we took a look at the estimated arrival time, and details, for upcoming plug-in crossover wagons from Mitsubishi, Volvo, and BMW. And let's not forget Tesla.
Speaking of Tesla, we looked at whether the California electric-car maker is still as bullish on battery swapping now that the financial incentives for offering it have gone away. And Elon Musk's invitation to open the patents at Tesla might already be having its intended, disruptive effect. We learned that Nissan, and BMW, have been talking charging standards with Tesla.
2014 BMW i3