Electric-car battery costs, Germans vs Tesla, more cheating probes: The Week in Reverse

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

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What kind of fuel would you expect to buy at a True Zero filling station?

And, which four carmakers will introduce new or updated all-electric cars for 2017?

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

Friday, we covered Tesla Motors' warranty costs, which are higher than the industry average and even higher than other luxury car makers.

2016 Tesla Model X

2016 Tesla Model X

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The electric-car maker is widely acknowledged to offer superior service and repairs, but the learning curve it's going through shows understanding how to make high-quality cars really is hard.

On Thursday, we looked at statements about cell and battery-pack costs at GM and Tesla, and the debate over how low they can go.

Prices for cells and full-pack costs have not only fallen faster than expected five years ago, but may be on a path to reach the magic $100 per kwh level at which electric cars are price-competitive with conventional models.

Wednesday, we noted that it appears German luxury makers are getting nervous about Tesla Motors and its plans to become a volume maker of electric cars only.

Shareholders at Daimler's annual meeting angrily demanded to know what that company was planning for its Mercedes-Benz brand that would compete with the Silicon Valley startup. Remarkable.

True Zero hydrogen fueling station

True Zero hydrogen fueling station

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On Tuesday, we covered hydrogen fuel provider First Element Fuel's plan to brand its hydrogen stations as True Zero, indicating its goal of all-renewable hydrogen at some point in the future.

(Two-thirds of its hydrogen today is made using natural gas as a feedstock, but with only a dozen or so stations, it's early days yet.)

Monday, we kicked off the week by running down what we know so far about four new (or updated) electric cars coming for 2017.

Two are all-new (the Chevy Bolt EV and the Hyundai Ioniq Electric) and two will be updated with new battery packs and more range (the BMW i3 and the Ford Focus Electric).

Over the weekend, we showed yet another electric sedan from a Chinese startup maker. The LeSee from LeEco has the same backers as U.S. maker Faraday Future, but it's not the same car. Confusing.

2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI SE

2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI SE

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Finally, the impact of the Volkswagen diesel scandal continues to spread.

New investigations into emissions and fuel-economy cheating are now underway in Japan, various European countries, and North America into not only VW but also Daimler, GM's Opel, Mitsubishi, and others.

But while VW doubles down publicly on its electric-car plans—20 new plug-in vehicles by 2020—it is also quietly supporting a European plan for biofuels that some suggest could undercut efforts toward zero-emission vehicles.

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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