Where might the timeline be stepped up for new vehicles going nearly all plug-in?
Which company recalled its vehicles over fire concerns?
What did VW use for teasing some new ideas that might be headed into its upcoming Microbus revival?
This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending July 5, 2019.
We celebrated the July 4th weekend—the kickoff of peak road-trip season—with dual drives of one of the most versatile vehicles on the market. In separate tests we first skipped the charging stops and took the plug-in Pacifica Hybrid on a 1,640-mile journey across the American West, then plugged in obsessively and saw if the seven-passenger van stays true to its 32-mile EPA-rated electric range for the commute. It’s worth reading why the Pacifica Hybrid remains a standout relative to other plug-in hybrids.
2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
It was indeed a week of driving impressions for plug-in hybrids that are simply labeled “hybrid.” Mid-week, we brought you our first drive impressions of the Bentley Bentayga Hybrid. As Bentley’s first electrified vehicle, it doesn’t wow in terms of electric range or mileage, but going all-electric in something so posh felt like a perfect fit for cruising around Silicon Valley neighborhoods.
Tesla revealed some record-breaking delivery and production numbers for the second quarter of the year. While it surely didn’t run into the same kind of delivery snags that it had in the first quarter of the year, some questions remain about demand here in the U.S. as the company still hasn’t broken those numbers out by market.
Volkswagen revealed the Type 20 Microbus concept—itself an electric conversion of a 1962 Microbus—that teases future interface and materials technology.
Volkswagen Type 20 Microbus concept
Britain could be stepping up the timeline on its potential ban on gas and diesel vehicles that don’t plug in. And in the EU, a new law took effect at the start of the week that required electric cars to make pedestrian alert sounds that mimic those of cars with internal-combustion engines.
We gave a hat tip to Volkswagen for producing a quick, clear introduction yet to Europe’s WLTP emissions standards. And a respected analytics firm questioned some of the rationale behind going all-in on electric vehicles—making the point that with battery capacity limited, those precious energy cells might be put to better use for the environment in more hybrid vehicles rather than fewer all-electric cars.
Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active concept, 2016 Detroit Auto Show
The top executive for Hyundai’s Genesis luxury brand has suggested that it will release an electric sedan first, followed by an electric SUV—although both are on the way and built on the same platform.
And the Chinese electric-car maker Nio recalled nearly 5,000 of its ES8 SUVs in its home market due to an issue with its battery pack that has already led to fires.
The potential future Tesla rival Lucid Motors announced Monday that it had hired Tesla’s VP of manufacturing, Peter Hochholdinger—likely indicating that Lucid is starting to set up the Arizona production of its Air electric luxury sedan, anticipated next year. The Air has been developed under the direction of CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson, who was the chief engineer of the Tesla Model S.
Going into the start of this week, we provided a couple of updates on an issue that affects about 30 high-power DC fast chargers on the Electrify America network (and other networks elsewhere in the world). To the point, the chargers are going to be running at just 50 kw until a permanent retrofit is pushed out by the hardware maker, Efacec.
And last weekend we presented the futuristic sedan being developed by the Dutch startup Lightyear, with solar-supplemented charging and wheel-hub motors. With an anticipated price of at least $135,000, it’s set up for niche appeal—to the tune of just 500 examples.