Which automaker entered the charging business?
How are Tesla Powerwall owners forming a “virtual power plant” to back up the grid?
This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending July 15, 2022.
Hyundai confirmed the U.S. arrival of its Ioniq 6 electric sedan for the first quarter of 2023, and it revealed a little more information about this stunner this week. We looked at how, despite the common platform and many common components, the Ioniq 6 makes a very different design statement than the Ioniq 5. And we outlined how the Ioniq 6 might go significantly better in efficiency and driving range, due to a series of engineering enhancements. It will be the first Hyundai with full over-the-air updates, too.
2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid Sport Touring
We still track the shift to hybrids because it allows every household, whether they have charging access or not, to reduce their oil dependence, and two important hybrid models were revealed this week. A new generation of the Honda CR-V is set to pack a new generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid system with more motor torque, the 2023 CR-V will emphasize the hybrid side more, aiming for half of the model line’s sales. And the Toyota Crown was also revealed as a “reimagined” sedan that raises the ride height and roofline a bit versus the Avalon it replaces, and adds some SUV cues. It’s the first vehicle to add Toyota’s Hybrid Max performance-hybrid system, which drives the wheels directly with motor torque in front and in back—perhaps with lower highway efficiency than the V-6 it replaces, though.
2023 Toyota Crown
GM and Pilot this week delivered some big charging news. They launched what might be the greatest open-network challenge to Electrify America: a coast-to-coast EV fast-charging network facilitated with EVgo and consisting entirely of 350-kw CCS hardware, at Pilot Flying J travel centers. It aims to install chargers every 50 miles—yes, with some money from the federal EV charging infrastructure buildout—and 500 stations in an initial stage installed from 2023 to 2025.
GMC Hummer EV at Pilot travel center
The EV startup Canoo, which recently questioned its own financial viability, was given a new jolt of life this week with an agreement from Walmart to buy 4,500 of its electric vans for last-mile delivery.
GM revealed more teaser photos for the Cadillac Celestiq electric flagship sedan, and it confirmed that the model will debut in show-car form July 22. New pictures confirmed throne-like seating for four, a fastback rear roofline, and screen real estate that covers the entire dash.
Cadillac Celestiq teaser
Panasonic selected the Kansas City, Kansas area for what it claims will be the largest battery plant in the world (confirmed by investment amount, and perhaps by GWh and area)—a “mega-factory” that will supply Tesla and other automakers with cylindrical cells. The battery maker also revealed it anticipates a 20% energy density boost for its EV batteries by 2030—perhaps helping downsize batteries, extend range, or both.
Some Tesla Powerwall owners, in a pilot program with California’s PG&E, will bank energy in their battery packs together as a “virtual power plant” to back up the grid. Given a financial incentive built into the program, it could be a win-win for all involved and, hopefully, a proof point for V2G.
Tesla Powerwall 2.0
The German supplier Mahle claims that it has a “wear-free” motor that can deliver 90% of its max output continuously, meeting higher standards of durability that might be good for towing or performance cars—thanks to a new kind of cooling system.
Redwood Materials is now the official recycler for all Volkswagen and Audi EV batteries in North America, the companies announced earlier this week. VW and Audi join Ford and Toyota, among companies aiming to recover a high rate of raw materials.
2021 Volkswagen ID.4
Will faster-charging battery cells allow smaller battery packs and, thus, lighter EVs with a reduced dependence on precious metals? That’s the premise behind a number of battery startups, and it might be the key to unlocking some lower-priced EVs for Americans.
A charging robot called Ziggy might provide a lot of convenience for venues and parking buildings that can’t easily dedicate a certain number of parking spots to EV charging. It delivers a charger cable and connector on wheels, plus a screen that can show advertising.
Ziggy EV charging robot kiosk
Hyundai is issuing a safety recall of 2017-2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid models over an issue that could lead to a backseat fire. The recall itself, to replace a power relay, is actually a do-over of one issued in 2018.
Automakers proposed the idea of offering flexible, user-selectable pedestrian alert sounds to satisfy EV “quiet car” rules, and this week the federal government said no.
A number of U.S. states are racing to submit electric vehicle charging-infrastructure plans ahead of a September 30 deadline to receive federal funds that are part of $5 billion set aside for a national network of stations. Concurrently, states are drawing out the Alternative Fuel Corridors needed for charging stations to qualify.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV
And while we’ve known that buyers prefer point-of-sale EV rebates to EV tax credits, a recent study takes that a step further: Buyers prefer them so much that they’d take a lesser amount of “cash on the hood”—thus saving the federal government and taxpayers. It’s more equitable, too, claim the authors of the study with these findings.