Grand Cherokee 4xe review, 800V Tesla Cybertruck, Lexus RZ, electric pickups from Kia, VW: The Week in Reverse
Which electric vehicle revealed this week looks just like the gasoline version?
Which brand wants you to buy the vehicle but subscribe to the battery pack?
This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending April 22, 2022.
In a first test of the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe, we found this plug-in hybrid to provide a premium driving experience to go with the premium sticker price—including close to its EPA-rated 25 all-electric miles. Although we’re not as clear on the hybrid system’s worth for off-roading or towing.
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe
In the wake of Kia’s confirmation of its EV9 electric SUV for the U.S., the company told Green Car Reports that the Kia electric pickup being developed for global markets will be a premium vehicle if it’s offered in America, not an entry-level model.
Full details for the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV were released this week. With an air suspension, the full-dash Hyperscreen interface, and the same wheelbase as the Mercedes EQS hatchback, the EQS SUV shares much with its car counterpart—yet it’s 7.8 inches taller, boasts rear-wheel steering, and has three rows of seating.
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV
Lexus unveiled its first dedicated electric vehicle, the RZ 450e. Due to offer about 225 miles of range and all-wheel drive—with a more exciting driving experience than the related Toyota BZ4X and Subaru Solterra—the RZ is due to arrive at U.S. dealerships later this year.
The 2023 BMW i7 electric luxury sedan was revealed this week, with a bevy of specs and details. Although it’s a flagship model for BMW, it shares its architecture and traditional long-hood shape with gasoline hybrid models—and if you’ve glanced at the Lucid Air you might not pick out at first look that it’s fully electric.
2023 BMW i7
We got up close with a Lincoln EV concept called Star, that previews one of three fully electric models for the Ford luxury brand by 2025, with a fourth to follow in 2026. With no interior yet for the concept, the Lincoln EV is far off—and it doesn’t color in what happened with Lincoln EVs that were supposed to arrive before then.
Lincoln Star concept
The Audi Urban Sphere concept is futuristic and vanlike, and conceived for China’s big cities, with a lounge interior, seating for up to six, and the assumption that the future will include autonomous driving modes.
Back to the current lineup, Audi also confirmed model-year 2023 E-Tron GT and E-Tron SUV details. Both EV families carry over to 2023 with only some feature and appearance changes. Meanwhile, the Q4 E-Tron compact SUV and Sportback are due for U.S. deliveries this summer.
Vinfast VF 9
Vietnam’s Vinfast released updated pricing information for both of its forthcoming VF 9 and VF 9 electric SUVs at the recent New York auto show, including new details on its battery subscription program, which will be the first of its kind in the U.S.—and kind of resembles the smartphone service bundles we all used to navigate.
Hyundai confirmed that it will build two electrified vehicles in Alabama starting later this year. Santa Fe Hybrid production will start in October 2022, with the Genesis Electrified GV70 to follow in December
Tesla Semi (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)
In a Tesla quarterly update, CEO Elon Musk and CTO Drew Baglino explained why you might see a shift to an 800V architecture in the Cybertruck and Semi, but not on the Model Y, Model 3, or the upcoming Robotaxi. Benefits aren’t significant enough unless it’s a big vehicle with a big production volume, they argued.
Tesla vehicles that are leased can no longer be bought at the end of their lease. With the surge of used EV prices, and dramatic hikes on new Teslas over the past year, that erases a potential EV deal at a time when values are skyrocketing.
Planned enhancements to Volkswagen MEB platform from UBS Paris Electric Car Day, April 2022
Volkswagen is planning an enhanced version of its mass-market MEB electric-vehicle platform that underpins the ID.4 and upcoming ID.Buzz electric van, among others. With faster charging, quicker acceleration, and more range, it could yield millions of more competitive SUVs. Volkswagen also is actively considering an electric pickup for the U.S. market, its U.S. CEO confirmed recently—adding that it could be “a reset moment” for the brand and “the chance of a lifetime.”
In California, the U.S. DOE has formed a partnership with state entities, vehicle manufacturers, and other interests to spur the integration of bidirectional charging for EVs. The collaboration is aiming to accelerate the use of V2X tech and could shape future infrastructure plans.
2023 Nissan Leaf
And led by the Nissan Leaf, prices on used hybrids and EVs have soared in recent months, according to a new analysis of list/asking prices—with the average price for hybrids up more than 40% and EVs up more than 35%.