An automaker bearing what familiar design-savvy name garnered renewed attention this week?
Which automaker referred to the “diminishing returns” of heavy batteries to power big electric SUVs?
This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending July 10, 2020.
Far and away, our most popular stories of the week related to Toyota’s new plug-in hybrid crossover, the RAV4 Prime. As we reported on Thursday, production of the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid is being pinched due to a battery-supply issue. That was already amid reports of dealer markup; and the demand shouldn’t be all that surprising considering there’s no model on the market that quite matches up against the RAV4 Prime.
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime first drive. - July 2020
Last week we drove the Prime, which is rated at 42 electric miles and 38 mpg after that, and found it to live up to its billing.
We also late this week published a review of the 2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe—that’s the especially swoopy-styled version of the fastest SUV Porsche has ever made—and found it less a harmonious whole, more several personalities packed into one.
Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron concept
Audi made a lot of product news over the course of the week. On Tuesday it revealed the Model Y–sized Q4 E-Tron Sportback concept. With a swoopier roofline than the Q4 E-Tron SUV concept, the Sportback is aimed at a different kind of buyer that’s willing to sacrifice a little practicality for styling. Audi plans to produce them both.
Audi also this week confirmed the A7 plug-in hybrid fastback for a U.S. arrival this fall. And according to a report from Germany, the “highly efficient electric car” that the focused electric vehicle development team within Audi, called Artemis, plans to develop isn’t an urban EV but a big flagship model named the A9 E-Tron.
Lucid revealed that it will open 20 of its retail Studios by the end of 2021, including eight by the end of 2020, all in the interest of selling and supporting its upcoming Air electric car and whatever models will follow.
Canoo electric car on Jay Leno's Garage
Jay Leno got some time behind the wheel of Canoo’s electric van, which it plans to offer by subscription only.
Back at the beginning of the week, we brought you details for the upcoming Citroën ë-C4 electric car—a model that probably doesn’t tie over to the U.S., even though an ongoing merger with PSA will connect the brand Stateside more than before.
In other European news, the plant in France that was building Smart cars—and soon, with the addition of the Mercedes EQA electric car, likely to be an all-electric plant—might instead be bought by a Welsh company aiming to make gas and diesel SUVs. And the company behind the current version of the iconic London black cab is repurposing the vehicle into a range-extended electric cargo van that will be available on the Continent.
Uber and Lyft have the potential to make each electric car matter more for carbon reduction—more than if they were to be placed into personal use, a new study reasoned out.
Toyota expanded a large recall affecting the hybrid system’s inverter in some Prius and Prius V models ranging from the 2013 through 2017 model years.
2015 Toyota Prius Liftback
As recent tests have pointed out, tires and wheels can have a profound and significant effect on range and efficiency for electric cars.
Americans can save a lot by keeping one of today’s EVs for 15 years, a study last month concluded—but the level of savings will differ widely depending on the location, the model, and charging habits.
Volvo will be supplying the powertrain for the upcoming electric Rosenbauer fire truck, although it will still include a diesel-engine backup.
Leading into last weekend, Jaguar Land Rover clarified that its hydrogen fuel-cell project is more than tinkering; it sees fuel cells as a way of countering the “diminishing returns” of putting heavy batteries in large SUVs.
Fisker Ocean teaser
And looking ahead at what news might come next week, all eyes are on electric automaker hopeful Fisker Inc., as a reported bidding war over a plan that might take the company public could accelerate that company’s future. For now it announced a new $50 million round of funding—enough to carry the company forward but not do the vehicle-development heavy-lifting.