Which EV brand started including Tesla Superchargers in its interface?
Which state is running out of money for its EV rebates, partly because sales are so strong?
This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending March 24, 2023.
2023 Nissan Ariya e-4orce
You’ll find plenty of firsthand reviews here on how some of the latest EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids are to drive and how they fit into the market; but this week there was a fresh one nearly each day of the week. In a first drive of the 2023 Nissan Ariya e-4orce, we found that this dual-motor all-wheel-drive electric SUV serves much more than performance and traction needs. Thanks to some smart controls, it helps boost ride and comfort the rest of the time—without costing much driving range.
In a first drive and review of the 2024 Dodge Hornet R/T plug-in hybrid, we found this puzzling crossover SUV to emphasize performance over typical plug-in agenda items like range and efficiency—although it will likely be eligible for some impressive purchase and lease incentives.
2024 Dodge Hornet R/T
Genesis is now building its Electrified GV70 EV in Alabama. We took a look at why it’s important—including a few first drive impressions—and how it sets the stage for EV manufacturing in the U.S. on a much larger scale.
And a follow-up test drive of the 2023 Audi Q4 E-Tron electric SUV left our resident Audi fan underwhelmed and questioning whether it’s at all worth the vaunted badge or the $10,000 upsell versus the VW ID.4 on which it’s based.
Future Ford autonomous driving interface teased at truck event
At an event previewing Ford’s mammoth BlueOval City plant in Tennessee, which the automaker says will be capable of producing up to 500,000 electric trucks a year, it teased a little more info about the 2025 F-150 Lightning successor that will be built there. It’ll be the Millennium Falcon of trucks, according to CEO Jim Farley, with radically simplified manufacturing, more exportable power, and software that’s continuously improving the experience.
Kia revealed the smaller EV5 electric SUV, less than a week after first showing the production version of its flagship 2024 EV9 electric SUV. While the smaller EV5 is headed for China initially, its chunky design, solar roof, and swivel seats would definitely be noticed in the North American market.
Kia EV5 concept
An all-electric Ford Explorer was revealed this morning, but it isn’t quite what you might think. It’s the name given to an electric SUV for Europe only. Due to be built in Germany, with a starting price under $50,000, the model is one of at least two models built with VW MEB underpinnings.
The Chinese-developed Qiantu K50 sports car has a new chance of coming to the U.S.—as the Mullen GT and GTRS, with planned Indiana assembly and styling that will lead into Mullen’s planned Five EV due in 2024.
Qiantu K50 by Mullen
Rivian has added compatible Tesla Superchargers to both its in-vehicle navigation app and mobile app, allowing R1T and R1S owners to charge at them with the app’s filers and route guidance—but they’ll need the Tesla app, too.
In other charging news, Hyundai has revealed a working prototype version of its charging robot, which could be a key piece of technology for automated driving and for EV adoption among those with mobility challenges. In a video, the company shows the robot using AI smarts to plug into a Hyundai Ioniq 6 charge port. And according to an MIT study out this month, more attention to where EV chargers are located plus a greater focus on workplace charging could cut the need for more power plants—by taking advantage of increasingly abundant solar generating capacity during the day.
Hyundai charging robot
A funding crunch, brought on by unprecedented EV sales and, ironically, the federal government’s tax credits, have put Oregon EV and plug-in hybrid rebates on hold. Demand for the rebates is far exceeding the money allocated for the program, although the state legislature could potentially re-up funding.
A report from Reuters appears to suggest that insurance rates on EVs have the potential to soar. That’s because the companies have policies that emphasize battery pack replacement rather than repair—even for seemingly minor fender-benders—while a relative few allow the easy replacement of battery modules.
Protean in-wheel electric motor
China’s Dongfeng has launched what it’s calling the world’s first passenger car equipped with in-wheel motors. In its E70 sedan, one of two upcoming EVs using the tech, a conventional inboard motor is used for the front wheels while in-wheel motors power the rear wheels individually, providing torque-vectored all-wheel drive.
Mexico is increasingly building EVs for the U.S.—especially with the encouragement of Biden administration policies considering them essentially the same as U.S.-made. But EV adoption remains very low in Mexico. Jumping off a recent report, we took a look at why.