Volvo batteries, California superhighways, more efficient motors: Today's Car News


Piech Mark Zero concept

Piech Mark Zero concept

Falling reliability costs the Tesla Model 3 its Consumer Reports recommendation. Could high-speed rail be replaced with high-speed highways? Volvo is pulling depleted batteries out of electric buses to use as energy storage for solar in a large apartment complex in Sweden. Argonne National Lab has developed a smaller, lighter, more efficient electric motor. All this and more on Green Car Reports.

In its latest survey, Consumer Reports found that the Tesla Model 3, while very satisfying, isn't very reliable.

As California's high-speed rail project devolves from budget and time-line overruns into political name-calling between Washington and Sacramento, a state senator has introduced a bill to replace the project with autobahn-like high-speed highway lanes through the state's central valley from San Francisco to LA. The lanes would have no speed limits, but they're unlikely to reduce global-warming emissions as the senator suggests.

Volvo is reusing batteries from its electric buses in Sweden to buffer power on a large new apartment complex with solar panels in Gothenberg.

Scientists at Argonne National Labs in Illinois have developed a new type of permanent-magnet electric motor that's lighter, cheaper, and more powerful, proving that it's not just battery technology that's improving for electric cars.

Mercedes-Benz plans a new electric SUV called the EQV to debut at the Geneva auto show next month. It is expected to be a follow-on to the company's EQC, which is scheduled to arrive later this year.

Finally, Anton Piech, the son of the famed Audi engineer and Porsche scion Ferdinand Piech, also plans to launch a new electric sports-car company with a stylish concept at the show.

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