Audi E-Tron GT and Hyundai Santa Fe reviews, Biden EV target, Leaf price cut: The Week in Reverse

Which upcoming EV is claimed to dominate the Tesla Model Y in fast-charging?

Which 40-mpg hybrid pickup might be in short supply for at least a few months?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending August 6, 2021.

In a first drive of the 2022 Audi E-Tron GT, we couldn’t resist comparing it to the Porsche Taycan, which shares its J1 platform. Although the GT offers up more grand-touring comfort, in more style than the Taycan, neither the GT nor RS GT provide as sharp of a driving experience. 

2022 Audi RS E-Tron GT

2022 Audi RS E-Tron GT

We also drove the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid and found this 32-mpg midsize SUV to occupy an ideal middle ground between the likes of the smaller Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and larger Highlander Hybrid. Although it doesn’t quite match those models in mileage, better drivability makes it more charming. 

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

There was some very good news about U.S. electric vehicle sales this year. A quarterly sales report from the advocacy group Veloz summed that U.S. EV sales have been record-breaking so far in 2021 in both California and the nation—despite the pandemic and supply chain issues. It’s also no longer largely a Tesla Model 3 market. 

President Biden, flanked by automakers and the UAW, announced on Thursday an executive order to make 50% of new vehicles zero-emission by 2030. Automakers separately announced a “shared aspiration” to make between 40% and 50% battery electric, plug-in hybrid, and hydrogen fuel-cell models by then—although Tesla was conspicuously absent from it all.

Meanwhile, the bipartisan infrastructure bill that’s heading for a Senate vote soon doesn’t entirely have the electric-vehicle and green-energy focus it was expected to earlier in the year. We reported on an earmarked $8 billion for the establishment of four regional hubs to produce “clean hydrogen” from various sources of power—including coal. Is this “clean diesel” all over again? And a separate bill separate from the infrastructure package and introduced to both houses of Congress aims to establish a $2,500 EV tax credit for used EVs. Could it ease EV adoption for those who can’t afford a new car?

2022 Nissan Leaf

2022 Nissan Leaf

The 2022 Nissan Leaf received a massive price cut of more than $4,000, making it the cheapest EV in the U.S. market—with an initial lease offering shaping up to be the lowest, too.

The 40-mpg Ford Maverick hybrid pickup will be in short supply for months, Ford recently admitted, although the Maverick will be offered more widely at first in non-hybrid forms. That said, the Escape Hybrid is now widely available, with other hybrids and plug-in hybrids on the way soon. 

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

Hyundai expects to dominate the Tesla Model Y and other rivals in DC fast-charging—specifically in maintaining peak charging rate over a wide state of charge, to recover as many miles as quickly as possible. 

In future product news and reports, Stellantis revealed more information about its electric transformation this week, including a Dodge plug-in hybrid coming in 2022, a Jeep EV in 2023, and the shift of Alfa Romeo from no-EV to all-EV by 2027. According to a report from the UK, a fully electric “baby Jeep” could be in the works, although it’s unclear whether this is the same vehicle. 

Hyundai revealed that it’s reviving a monthly subscription plan for electrified vehicles under its Mocean mobility brand in the UK and in other markets—but the upcoming U.S. subscription plan for the Ioniq 5 EV will arrive under a different name. 

BYD’s Blade batteries might be used in the affordable $25,000 Tesla that’s being led by a team in China, according to a report from that market earlier this week. 

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

With a potential settlement, Tesla will pay a small number of Model S owners $625 for using its over-the-air updates to limit the maximum state of charge and range amid a battery issue, as it worked to solve the problem. 

A project in Kansas City is aiming to help apartment-dwellers go electric with streetlight-based curbside chargers that will be installed throughout the city. 

SunPower home solar installation

SunPower home solar installation

And home solar and electric-car charging are showing signs of converging around smart-energy integration. One such example: an alliance between solar provider SunPower and charging equipment maker Wallbox.

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