What electric car started its ramp-up toward U.S. mass production next year?
Have sales of vehicles with tailpipes already peaked?
This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending August 21, 2021.
This week, we got an in-person look at the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV and found it just as eye-catching and finely detailed up close as in concept form and pictures. The GM luxury brand also confirmed that the model will debut in rear-wheel-drive form, with a 100-kwh battery pack.
2023 Cadillac Lyriq
GM on Friday expanded the recall of Chevrolet Bolt EV models over fire concerns, to include all 2019-2021 versions of the Bolt EV plus 2022 Chevy Bolt EUV models. Although the exact remedy hasn’t yet been detailed, it’s likely to replace all the battery modules in every Bolt EV ever sold in the U.S. and Canada, adding up to about 110,000 and 140,000 cars respectively.
We also drove the 2021 BMW 530e plug-in hybrid and found that while the sport sedan earns its hybrid halo and gets modestly better mileage, it fails to compute as a plug-in.
2021 BMW 530e plug-in hybrid
Hyundai’s Genesis luxury brand this week revealed its first dedicated electric vehicle, the GV60. And we have an exclusive: that it will be the first EV to include original-equipment wireless battery charging—although initially it will only be installed (or enabled) in South Korea, as part of a pilot program.
Audi revealed pricing for U.S.-spec versions of the three-motor 2022 E-Tron S models, in SUV and Sportback form. The lineup starts at $85,895 and earns an EPA-rated range of up to 212 miles.
2022 Audi E-Tron S SUV and Sportback
The Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid has been rated at 32 electric miles, and 34 mpg as a hybrid. That beats the ratings of its Hyundai Santa Fe cousin while adding a third-row seat. With pricing not yet out, we can’t discuss availability or see how it matches up in value versus the Toyota RAV4 Prime or Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. And the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid has been rated at 33 electric miles and 35 mpg. That slots the model between the RAV4 Prime and Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid, although pricing hasn’t been revealed for it either.
Hyundai has also reportedly delayed the upcoming Ioniq 6 electric sedan by a few months. The Ioniq 6, due to be based on the racy-looking Prophecy concept, was scheduled for a 2022 U.S. arrival.
Tesla revealed a robot that it sees as potentially replacing humans in dangerous, boring, and repetitive tasks. The company says that the Bot, which is apparently in the very early stages of development, is related to the AI that’s going into its cars’ self-driving system.
Automakers will soon be paying a higher price for gas-guzzling fleets that have exceeded federal CAFE standards for fleet fuel economy. Higher penalty amounts were set many years ago, but the Biden administration this past week announced plans to enforce them—perhaps even retroactively. And the U.S. government has opened up a formal safety probe into Tesla Autopilot, after it identified a pattern of Autopilot-equipped vehicles hitting emergency vehicles and first responders—yes, despite the road cones, flashing lights, and flares.
Volkswagen has made the first U.S.-built ID.4 electric car at its factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Although just a validation build, it’s an indication VW is looking on track to mass-produce the model there in about a year.
First 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 validation build completed at Chattanooga factory
Nissan showed a performance hatchback that offers a performance take on its e-Power series-hybrid system. Called the Aura Note Nismo, the model won’t be coming to the U.S., and Nissan now hints that any U.S. launch of the tech remains years away.
The battery maker Samsung SDI is, according to reports, focusing in on the area around Rivian’s Illinois plant for its own battery plant. It is thus far the sole supplier of 2170 cells for Rivian’s R1T and R1S trucks.
Public charging has a worrisome issue, according to a study on public charging out this week. It’s downtime, and the firm found that while complaints about chargers out of service were all too frequent, Tesla’s Supercharger network earned the best ratings.
The top-level reality about electric-car fires is that they’re less frequent than in gasoline vehicles. Although there’s some nuance to understand regarding why EV fires do get covered more often, and it’s not just the “novelty,” as Tesla put it recently.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, global sales levels of internal combustion vehicles have already peaked—in 2017 and 2018.
A hydrogen trade group in California wants to put 70,000 heavy-duty fuel-cell trucks on the road in the state by 2035—with 200 hydrogen stations to support them. Will that or the West Coast electric highway for commercial trucks emerge as more viable?
Colorado Teardrops Boulder EV camping trailer
And last weekend we took a look at the Boulder EV, a teardrop-style camper that packs 75 kwh of its own batteries and can deliver 60-kw DC fast-charging at roadside breaks—resulting in no loss of range when you tow it with your EV.