Electric Jeeps, Volvo C40 Recharge up close, 50 mpg for under $30,000: The Week in Reverse
Which automaker advised owners of its popular EV to park it outside?
Which company thinks that CVTs are a good idea for electric cars?
This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending June 16, 2021.
We got an up-close look at the Volvo C40 Recharge electric vehicle and its rounded, coupe-like roofline.
2022 Volvo C40 Recharge
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid is the first plug-in SUV for the brand, and it’s due for first deliveries in August, with 31 miles of all-electric driving and a hybrid-mode rating of 33 mpg combined—and, perhaps, a rival to the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid announced last week.
Jeep says that it will have a set of fully electric SUVs for each segment by 2025—globally, that is.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
And if you own a 2017-2019 Chevy Bolt EV, this is important: GM has advised approximately 50,000 owners of these models to park their vehicles outside and avoid overnight charging—after the automaker is aware of at least two fires to parked Bolt EVs that had already received the recall remedy.
There were a couple of reported cancellations this week—although one has been partly debunked since then. The Ford F-150 diesel is being discontinued, and Ford suggested that the model, badged Power Stroke, has effectively been replaced by the PowerBoost hybrid version of the big, towing-savvy pickup. And reports from Japan, citing officials at the automaker, suggested that Mazda is again shelving the rotary engine. But Mazda in the U.S. insists that the rotary range-extended version of the MX-30 is still coming next year. We’ll just have to wait to sift through this one.
Infiniti QX Inspiration concept - 2019 Detroit auto show
In other unexpected about-faces: Nissan’s Infiniti luxury brand has dropped its U.S. plans to focus on series-hybrid technology as a way to shift to fully electric models over the next decade. What’s yet unclear is whether the distinctive new designs and dedicated electrified platforms are still coming soon.
Audi provided a first glimpse—if only in profile—of a trio of upcoming “Sphere” concept cars that preview its design direction away from internal combustion.
Audi Urban Sphere concept teaser
Audi Sky Sphere concept teaser
Audi Grand Sphere concept teaser
Electrify America announced an expansion that means more than doubling its charging infrastructure throughout the U.S. and Canada—including a charging route through the upper Midwest. It’s enabled by an increase in investment by the Volkswagen Group.
Volkswagen also at the start of the week revealed more about how it plans to achieve profitability with electric vehicles over the next decade. Features on demand, and autonomous-driving tech will all be integrated into a unified platform that could be the basis for up to 40 million EVs starting in 2026.
The European Union has proposed 2035 as the end date for internal combustion cars—plus a quicker phaseout of plug-in hybrids, a mandate for closely spaced charging stations, and a tighter emissions reduction by 2030.
GM is expanding its Ultium Charge 360 program—a unified charging approach—to fleet customers, with an effort that coordinates GM’s fleet experience with infrastructure partners, to help with charging logistics and fleet planning.
Fisker and Foxconn are zooming in on Wisconsin as the potential production location for Fisker’s upcoming $30,000 EV.
Nio considers battery swapping to be important even as charging infrastructure expands. It plans to keep building battery swapping, aiming for 4,000 of the stations globally by 2025.
It’s looking like Tesla will have plenty of options for sourcing the 4680-format battery cells it sees as necessary for the near future. Both Samsung and LG are reportedly getting ready to ramp up production as needed.
Electric vehicle makers—and advocates—often point to the lack of a transmission as a positive in EVs, as it reduces complexity and maintenance. But Bosch claims that introducing continuously variable automatic transmissions (CVT) to EVs could boost performance and range.
Ford is either mulling a novel approach in a patent application that appears to be a variation on the EV-towing stunt that most EV enthusiasts have either tried or mused about at some point.
2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid
And with the soaring price of gasoline expected to linger, we took a look at all the widely available new cars that top 50 mpg combined. All the better: They all start at less than $30,000.
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