Which U.S. carmaker announced it's working on the formation of a charging network?

Which two Chinese companies both aiming for the U.S. market entered a new joint venture in their home market?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending May 31, 2019.

On Friday we reported that support for electric vehicles isn’t nearly as politically polarizing as politicians themselves might lead you to believe. That same survey found that there’s also bipartisan support for the federal EV tax credit—although our own poll results from last week found that our readers prefer cash on the hood (point-of-sale rebates).

The EPA, in a move that appears to protect interests other than the environment, extended a waiver that will allow retailers to sell smog-prone E15 pump gasoline—containing more ethanol—in the summer months. Meanwhile the Canadian province of British Columbia passed a plan to ban most gas and diesel cars after 2040.

This week we reported on a consensus report on sea levels, concluding that levels could rise by double previous estimates. And coincidence or not, the Trump administration decided it wanted to cut climate change forecasts off at 2040.

2019 Nio ES6

2019 Nio ES6

In several ways, this was a week of new uncertainties. At the end of the week trade tariffs were threatened against Mexico, which could send the industry reeling. GAC and Nio looked a little less certain in their U.S. rollouts but entered a joint venture together at home in China. Meanwhile pressure built over what might happen if China used its control of rare-earth metal supplies, critical to some motor and electronics components, in a trade war. And with Samsung reportedly cutting back on its anticipated battery output, Volkswagen may be stretched to meet its production targets for affordable electric cars.

Playing “good cop, bad cop” about electric cars has been a strategy we’ve seen repeatedly over the years by oil companies, and some of the latest behavior from Chevron is a perfect example. While just last week we reported about the company’s push to install fast chargers at its gas stations, this week we brought news that it was recruiting retirees for an “astroturf” (read: fake grassroots) campaign against EV charging infrastructure.

BMW i3 electric car at EVgo DC fast-charging station

BMW i3 electric car at EVgo DC fast-charging station

After years of deflections and statements that it’s not yet ready to become more involved in charging infrastructure, GM finally took the plunge this week, confirming that it was in the early stages of putting together a fast-charging network with Bechtel. Fed by the wide range of comments received about our Audi E-tron road trip the week before, we asked you this: What matters most when fast-charging on a road trip?

Mid-week we mulled the latest ad for the Nissan Leaf—and contrasted it with the very different approach taken by Audi’s most recent E-tron ad, facing EV misconceptions head-on.

Also, a report, citing multiple sources within Tesla (still unconfirmed), pegged Model Y production next year at the company's Fremont plant—as well as more changes for the Model S due this fall. 

Tesla Motors production line for Tesla Model S, Fremont, California

Tesla Motors production line for Tesla Model S, Fremont, California

Early in the week, we took note of a deeper look inside Byton's prototype workshop, as it’s ramping up to start producing its M-Byte electric SUV in China later this year, with U.S. availability next year, the company maintains.

And last weekend, we looked at how a regional Puget Sound airline (Washington and British Columbia) is hoping to convert its aging seaplane fleet to all-electric.  

Some of last week’s biggest news started over the holiday weekend, when news emerged (and was confirmed) of a potential merger between FIat Chrysler Automobiles and Renault. Could it jump-start electric-vehicle development for both? A week later, we're still wondering where this is headed.


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