Model S Plaid, Ford Maverick hybrid pickup, Lexus NX plug-in hybrid, Aptera solar car: The Week in Reverse

Which EV startup sent out an SOS?

Which upcoming full-size pickup has the operating footprint of an 85 mpg gasoline vehicle? Hint: It just might be electric. 

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending June 12, 2021.

Last weekend Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed the cancellation of the Model S Plaid+. Yes, that’s the model that was due to be powered by Tesla’s new 4680-format battery cells and offer a range of 520 miles or more. Then on Thursday night, Tesla delivered the first 25 Model S Plaid cars to employees and fans—with a yoke setup instead of a steering wheel. CEO Elon Musk provided a walkthrough of how the Plaid elevates the experience and outperforms gasoline models—with Musk’s quoted 412 miles dropping to 405 miles on Tesla’s site just after the intro. 

2022 Lexus NX 350h

2022 Lexus NX 350h

Lexus rolled out fully redesigned NX compact crossovers. Included in the revamped lineup are an NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid expected to cover an all-electric range of 36 miles and an NX 350h that should return 36 mpg combined. 

Ford hasn’t quite resurrected the compact pickup, but it’s made the 40-mpg Maverick hybrid pickup—and with a starting price of $21,490 it’s one of the most efficient and intriguing new trucks in years, especially for those who can’t plug in. And for those who can: According to the latest calculations from the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Ford F-150 Lightning is equivalent to an 85-mpg gasoline vehicle in global-warming emissions. It’ll also keep getting cleaner and greener with the grid, of course. 

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

Ahead of the introduction of the Stinger-influenced EV6, Kia has carried over the Niro EV for a new model year—with just a few more standard features. 

The 2022 Jaguar I-Pace is soon arriving in the U.S. with the same set of changes we expected for the (skipped) 2021 I-Pace. Its faster charging, enhanced over-the-air upgrade capability, new infotainment, and better camera systems could add up to a much-improved product. 

2022 Jaguar I-Pace

2022 Jaguar I-Pace

The owner lifestyle surrounding Aptera’s upcoming solar-supplemented “never charge” EV was outlined this past week in a video released by the company. With a pop-up tent and room for a surfboard, this trike could be more than just a garage curiosity. 

The market for plug-in vehicles is showing strong signs of growth, and it’s not all Tesla. So far this year, Ford has produced more of its Mustang Mach-E electric SUVs than it has gasoline Mustang models. And Volvo this week reported some remarkable success with plug-in hybrids in the U.S. PHEVs are making up more than a fifth of its U.S. sales—and nearly half of its sales in California. 

Lordstown Endurance

Lordstown Endurance

Lordstown Motors filed an additional notice this week suggesting that it might not have enough money to ramp up production of its Endurance electric trucks. That paints the funding picture for the EV startup as more dire, as its CEO last month noted that a lack of new funding would make the ramp-up slower. 

General Motors this past week sketched out a revised policy position on electric cars—supporting California’s direction but asking for a “compliance pathway” from the federal government that includes charging infrastructure and coordinated policy. 

The Biden administration’s EV infrastructure plan doesn’t just aim to incentivize EVs and manufacturing; it’s also planning to make EV battery recycling part of a system less prone to supply issues. 

Electrify America DC fast-chargers - CCS and CHAdeMO

Electrify America DC fast-chargers - CCS and CHAdeMO

The CHAdeMO standard for fast-charging has reached the end of the road in France, as the nation recently dropped the requirement that new charging stations support it. And yet worldwide, the number of CHAdeMO connectors is on the rise: Is it the new standard for emerging markets?

Stellantis, the parent company of Jeep, is using the rugged brand’s Renegade and Compass models for a car-sharing comeback in Portland, as part of its Free2Move mobility brand originally set to bring Peugeot back to the U.S. 

A Rocky Mountain Institute analysis suggests that the lack of urban fast-charging stations might leave some of the communities that already need all-electric ride-hailing from Uber and Lyft out of the loop. 

The charging network Electrify America officially entered the wallbox and home-charging business this week with the launch of its HomeStation. 

Electrify America HomeStation

Electrify America HomeStation

Tesla reportedly plans to change the battery chemistry of the Model Y in China, with some versions adopting NCMA cells from LG Chem. That, with Tesla’s LFP choice for some Chinese Model 3s, should help free up more energy-dense cells.

And the Apple car news continues to simmer away in the background, with a couple of pieces this week. It’s reportedly shopping battery suppliers CATL and BYD for potentially American-made battery packs and cells, and it confirmed that it’s hired Ulrich Kranz, the former CEO of Canoo, CTO of Faraday future, and executive in charge of the BMW i3 and i8 programs. 

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