Which automaker recently confirmed an electric camper van for production?
Which automaker’s former CEO called its EV plan timid?
This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending December 17, 2021.
In a first drive of the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, we found this retro-futuristic EV to be something to get excited about in almost every respect—except availability, which could be limited to well below demand in the U.S. The Ioniq 5 was also priced earlier in the week for the U.S. Starting at just $40,925 with its smaller battery pack and ranging up to a fully loaded Limited dual-motor at $55,725, the entire model line costs less than a base-model Tesla Model Y. The whole lineup gets 800-volt fast-charging and bi-directional capability—although the latter requires an accessory in some versions.
We also continued to cover our 2022 Best Car To Buy finalists as we work toward announcing the winner January 3. With a range of up to 520 miles and the fastest-yet road-trip fast-charging rate, plus next-level propulsion components and a holistic reinterpretation of luxury and design, the Lucid Air is one of them. So is the Volkswagen ID.4, which carries the most ambition of any of our contenders for making a difference with real sales volume and affordability.
2021 Volkswagen ID.4
Toyota held a surprise event that dropped 15 new electric-vehicle concepts, as part of a plan to release 30 new battery electric models globally by 2030, and included a reveal of the Lexus RZ 450e electric crossover. Among the concepts, an electric FJ Cruiser and compact electric pickup looked like naturals to feed the current electric truck craze. However Toyota didn’t include any update ramping up U.S. EV plans.
The 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E is getting a range boost, to 312 or 314 miles in its dual-motor or single-motor California Route 1 versions thanks to a boost in usable capacity from the battery pack. Ford also announced earlier in the week that it plans to more than triple production of the Mustang Mach-E by 2023, with a ramp-up to that starting next year.
GMC Electric Sierra Denali teaser
An all-electric version of the GMC Sierra full-size pickup is due to be revealed in 2022 and produced in 2023, the GM truck brand confirmed on Wednesday. Unlike the closely related Chevy Silverado EV, which will focus on affordability and fleet use, the electric Sierra will launch in luxurious Denali trim.
Rivian this week confirmed plans for a second factory, to be built in Georgia starting next summer. The new $5 billion facility will start making vehicles in 2024 and ramp up to 400,000 annually—twice as many as its initial Normal, Illinois factory.
First customer Rivian R1T (from Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe via Twitter)
Mazda is starting to roll out a new generation of hybrids, some of which will reach the U.S. But in the first, for Europe, it’s using an unfortunate “full self-charging” marketing spin that’s close to what got Lexus in trouble with consumer groups.
Volkswagen recently confirmed that it will build an ID.California—yes, that’s an electric camper van—in Hanover, Germany, alongside other passenger and cargo versions of its upcoming ID.Buzz Bus revival. Will it be available in California?
The Build Back Better bill that contains the expanded EV tax credit could be delayed for months as it stalls in the Senate, according to recent reports. And in the meantime, the White House got specific about how it will establish a 500,000-charger national network for EVs—starting with a “more uniform approach” across all the different plug types, networks, and data policies.
Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan CEO and father of the Leaf, as he’s been called, now in refuge in Lebanon, called Nissan’s electric-vehicle plan timid.
And as we think about holiday weekends and icy road trips, keep in mind that cold weather affects the range of electric vehicles to varying degrees depending on the model, according to the battery analysis firm Recurrent, which took a look at data from a range of makes and models.