Why would an automaker want to place explosives inside its battery packs?
Which eagerly anticipated electric car has been delayed a model year?
This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending October 18, 2019.
Probably the biggest piece of product news of the week was the reveal of the 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge. As Volvo’s first electric car, it’s aiming for a range of more than 200 miles and marks the debut of a new Android-based infotainment system stocked with a Google suite of apps. We also took an in-depth look at what makes the closely related Polestar 2 different than the XC40 recharge.
And to give its ramp-up of plug-in hybrids, which is sees as a bridge to electric cars, a boost, Volvo is also planning to pay drivers for all the electric driving they do.
2018 Volvo S90, V90, XC60 and XC90 T8 Twin Engine
This week, we posted more than the typical amount of news coming from Sweden, Volvo aside. Another Swedish company—this one a startup, called Uniti—plans to build a small, no-frills electric city car that costs less than $19,000. And when apps fail, you need a backup for finding vehicle chargers in unfamiliar places. A Swedish charging network is making us sorely aware of the lack of signage with a whimsical new campaign that basically uses everything around us.
Ford provided much more information about how it will help drivers charge its upcoming “Mustang-inspired” electric SUV—whether that’s at home or on the go. Hint: It involves an app.
And we pointed to a video look behind the scenes of Tesla’s crash-testing facility, giving us a better idea of how the company manages to produce vehicles with top-rated occupant safety.
The Kia Soul EV, which was already rated at 243 miles by the EPA for 2020 and originally slated for deliveries in the second quarter of this year, has now been delayed until the 2021 model year because of suspected battery supply issues.
Aptera announced that it will feature in-wheel motor technology in its rebooted three-wheeler with a claimed 1,000-mile range. Meanwhile a Bosch system borrows pyrotechnic tech from airbags to help isolate cells in a crash.
Morris JE commercial van
Another name might be coming back from the past, with a new twist. Morris Commercial borrows some of its J-type van heritage for a modern carbon-fiber electric commercial vehicle.
Toyota boosted its warranty covering batteries in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fuel-cell vehicles. And with all three of those vehicle types out at GM, we looked at the Bolt EV and its slight changes for 2020, including a few more miles of range. With a big reboot of electric vehicles on the horizon for GM, how does it and the long-anticipated Bolt-based SUV fit into the picture?
Meanwhile, as we write this, the GM-UAW negotiations still aren’t completely settled. Back at the start of the week we looked at the odd push-pull happening around EVs. GM wants to bring high-profile ones like the electric pickup project to Detroit, yet the UAW actually wants to keep gasoline car production in U.S. plants. Something tells us that strategy could backfire.
car2go - Portland, OR
Car-sharing is also going through a tough period, in which it still looks like the future, but maybe not in its present form. That’s led what’s left of Car2Go to actually pull out of some of its formerly strongest markets like Portland and Austin.
How have carbon emissions from vehicles and power generation changed in your metro area over the past decade? An interactive map had us clicking around for more than we’d probably want to admit, wondering why and how.
2020 Porsche Taycan 4S
At the beginning of the week Porsche announced the more affordable Taycan 4S—more affordable meaning around the $100,000 mark—that might actually offer a longer range than other versions announced so far. And then we asked you whether with $100,000 you’d get a Taycan 4S, a Model S, or two Model 3s. You can still vote through the weekend.