Which brand is dropping the most affordable $45,000 version of its upcoming EV?
And how is a $35,000 EV with a 275-mile range possible for Volvo?
This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending August 4, 2023.
Deliveries of the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV will start in August, GM confirmed Monday, with the lineup initially limited to Blazer EV RS AWD versions. It confirmed official EPA range ratings for those models at 279 miles. Then it became apparent that Chevy has also dropped plans for a $44,995 Blazer EV 1LT version, the company revealed to Green Car Reports in follow-ups Monday. Although with a base $30,000 Equinox EV still on the way next year, plus a revamped Bolt EV lineup due later, the company hailed a range of affordable EV options.
2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV LT
How is the Volvo EX30 EV, with its range of 275 miles, quick acceleration, and leading edge cabin and safety tech possible for the same starting price of $35,000 that gave Tesla employees anxiety? The answer is China, and federal funds provided through the EV leasing loophole will nearly offset tariffs applied to this China-built vehicle. Is it a new template for global automakers and affordable EVs?
With Subaru’s accelerated plans for EVs and hybrids announced Wednesday, it’s now looking like the most aggressive among Japanese automakers in terms of the proportion of EVs in its U.S. sales mix by the end of the decade. It’s aiming for 50% EVs by 2030, up from its previous 40%, and now plans for 8 distinct EV models, up from four, with U.S.-built EVs and hybrids part of the plan.
2024 Lexus RX 450h+
Lexus is making its top-selling RX crossover a plug-in for the first time, and it’s revealed arrival timing, pricing, and specs. Starting just over $70,000, the 2024 Lexus RX 450h+ plug-in hybrid will earn an EPA 35 miles of range, Lexus estimates, and return 35 mpg combined after running through the charge.
The iconic Toyota Land Cruiser is returning as a hybrid only—and with a boxier new retro style, a smaller size, and a lower price than the old Land Cruiser. It also appears to capture some of the cues of the especially well-received Compact Cruiser EV concept, stepped up a size.
2024 Toyota Land Cruiser
On the eve of a financial update that disclosed a slow production ramp of its Ocean EV, Fisker presented a vision of the brand’s EV product plan for the next several years, including three additional new model lines due by the end of 2025. The ambitious plan includes the $29,900 Pear EV, the $45,400 Alaska electric pickup, and the $385,000 Ronin convertible GT—a flagship “technology carrier” for the brand.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Friday issued a proposal that will raise the new-vehicle fleet to a 43.5-mpg real-world average. That’s with a 2% annual improvement for passenger cars and a 4% improvement for light trucks, due for model years 2027 through 2032. How well they meet up with strict new EPA rules suggesting 67% EV sales by 2032 depends on how the fleet calculation factors in EVs—yet to be determined.
2022 Mazda MX-30 EV
Mazda has confirmed that it’s canceling the MX-30 EV after the 2023 model year. Combined with the statement it made on shifting focus to larger plug-in hybrids for the U.S., it also killed any hope that the rotary-range-booster MX-30 R-EV will arrive in America. Mazda sold 66 MX-30s in the U.S. through June.
Ford announced as part of a quarterly financial update that it’s lowered its global EV production targets for this year. Its target of an annualized 600,000 EVs won’t happen at the end of 2023 as originally planned but instead sometime in 2024. Ford CEO Jim Farley pointed to shoppers’ price expectations as part of the issue.
Model S wireless charging pad
Earlier this year Tesla teased wireless charging for some of its vehicles. Will the acquisition of a German company specializing in the tech spur Tesla home wireless charging units, or is it oriented toward industrial applications or the Optimus Tesla robot?
In other Tesla news, the company also seeks nearly $100 million of federal money for a heavy-duty electric truck charging route that would run from the Texas-Mexico border (near where Tesla has a plant) up to Fremont, California, with eight 750-kw chargers along the way. Stations would include high-power NACS connectors for the Tesla Semi plus connectors compatible with other trucks—likely the MCS format formalized last summer. And the federal government has opened an investigation into loss of steering control in the 2023 Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, citing one crash associated with the alleged steering issue—which appears to be accompanied by warnings that steering assist is reduced or disabled.
A group of lawmakers in New York is rallying NYC’s transportation authority for EV discounts in Manhattan as part of pending congestion pricing. With urban charging already so limited and no additional charging funding built into the proposal, is it creating new issues?
2022 Audi RS E-Tron GT
The big-box retailer Costco is offering thousands of dollars off new Audi EVs—the most noteworthy being $5,000 off the E-Tron GT and RS E-Tron GT electric sedans, which are some of the fastest-charging EVs available. A $1,500 discount applies on Audi’s other EVs, and the brand’s Q5 plug-in hybrid gets $1,000 off—all with a certificate only available to Costco members.
And Tesla owners love the EVs but are souring on CEO Elon Musk, a Bloomberg survey out this week found, based on 5,000 responses from owners in the reboot of a 2019 survey. Musk’s choices to purchase Twitter and become more overtly political played a role in owners’ negative shift—although nearly 75% of Model 3 owners intending to get a new car in the next two years said that they were considering another Tesla.