Which carmaker crammed seven motors into its electric SUV?
Which automaker said it no longer has plans for fuel-cell passenger vehicles?
This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending July 24, 2020.
The biggest series of stories of the week for the green-vehicle sector came out of Tesla’s periodic update Wednesday. Although it was news in itself that Tesla reported another profitable quarter, despite the challenges of the pandemic, CEO Elon Musk took the headline with the announcement that Tesla has chosen Austin, Texas, for a plant that will assemble the Cybertruck and Semi, plus Model Y and Model 3 for Eastern North America. Musk also confirmed Tesla’s use of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells in some Model 3 sedans built in China, which will help the company free up its more energy-dense cells for the Semi.
BYD Han EV
The BYD Han EV is the flagship model for the Chinese automaker 25% owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. As a battery expert as much as an EV car and truck maker, BYD hopes to sell its new safety-oriented Blade battery that debuts in the Han EV to other automakers, too—and likely encroach on Tesla’s market if not in the U.S., overseas.
Rivian started the pilot production line for its upcoming electric trucks, and that means they’ll be delayed about six months overall—to June 2021 for the R1T and August 2021 for the R1S.
Ford showed a new seven-motor, 1,400-horsepower version of the Mach-E electric SUV, called the Mach-E 1400. With plans to demonstrate the vehicle at a NASCAR event, the point is clearly getting those who might not have considered an EV to notice their performance potential.
There were several interesting pieces of news about plug-in hybrid products. And Jeep detailed two of its upcoming plug-in hybrid models—the Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe—for Europe, although the brand hasn’t yet said whether these models will be coming to the U.S. The 2021 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring plug-in hybrid hasn’t been rated by the EPA for miles or mpg, but this model that will arrive later this fall already has a price tag that, after credits and incentives, might make it more affordable than the non-hybrid. And the next-generation version of the Mitsubishi Outlander was spotted in California, but before that arrives there’s a mechanical upgrade—with more electric range—for the 2021 Outlander Plug-In Hybrid.
2021 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring
Battery origins have become an important part of our EV coverage. Sweden’s Northvolt will be supplying BMW with $2.3 billion in electric-car batteries. Although its contract comes after those inked with Samsung SDI and CATL, it’s the only one that’s headquartered in the EU. Meanwhile, Volkswagen and Ford voiced concern over a conflict between rival South Korean battery suppliers LG Chem and SK Innovation that could potentially get in the way of U.S. EV production.
Otherwise, Volkswagen confirmed that its ID.4 crossover is on-time for first U.S. deliveries in late 2020, with U.S. production in 2022.
VW ID.4 crossover
The Audi E-Tron SUV was the first electric vehicle to win the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating last year, and now the closely related E-Tron Sportback has done the same. Audi also revealed it’s been studying bi-directional charging functionality—both for vehicle-to-home (V2H) tech to help buffer solar or vehicle-to-grid (V2G) tech to help “balance” the grid. It could be a few years before it’s ready in a product, however.
General Motors confirmed that it’s no longer working on hydrogen fuel-cell passenger cars—although its fuel-cell development is pushing ahead with Honda and it aims to use the tech for military and fuel-cell vehicles.
UK-based Twisted Automotive will offer a limited number of Land Rover Defender 90 electric conversions for the U.S.
Twisted NAS-E electric Land Rover Defender
And last weekend we looked at the recently announced discontinuation of the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris and wondered if the age of the cheap, city-savvy, fuel-efficient small car is over.