Tesla Supercharger expansion, 42-mpg hybrid pickup, Volvo C40 EV and XC60 PHEV reviewed: The Week in Reverse

Which automaker is keeping driving data in its cars for up to a year?

Which company revealed plans for three future EVs this past week?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending October 22, 2021.

The 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge is the first electric model from the Swedish automaker that has no gasoline counterpart; we drove it and considered how it will fit in vs. the Audi Q4, Mercedes EQB, and Genesis GV60. And we drove the 2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge plug-in hybrid, which will be the first Volvo PHEV to get a bigger battery promising more than 30 miles of electric range, plus a mode approximating one-pedal driving.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge

Tesla announced aims to triple the Supercharger network in two years, while it also hopes to get owners along faster through streamlined trip planners, better dynamic routing, and faster charging. It also confirmed plans to shift to LFP cells for Standard Range versions of the Model 3 and Model Y globally, not just in China—which will mean shifting some cell production to the U.S. and likely getting CATL or BYD on board. 

Tesla Supercharger station V3, Las Vegas

Tesla Supercharger station V3, Las Vegas

That fits in alongside news that a global nickel shortage could mean demand for the metal outstrips supply within the next few years, according to a new report from a Norwegian consultancy. That could put a pinch on the battery industry and hobble automakers—unless they switch away from nickel, as Tesla underscored in its Battery Day, to a greater reliance on other chemistries like lithium iron phosphatase (LFP) or sodium-ion. 

An organization in the Netherlands claims to have decrypted Tesla’s data-storage system in its vehicles, showing that the EV maker is only disclosing select fields to investigators for compliance, while leaving other pieces that might be useful. It’s also storing information for longer than previously reported—up to a year, allegedly. 

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

Ford revealed an EPA-estimated rating of 42 mpg city for its Maverick Hybrid pickup, which is due to start arriving at dealerships in January. But you’d better get in line soon if you want one, as Ford says its first model-year run is already almost sold out. 

On Monday, Toyota announced plans to invest $3.4 billion in U.S.-built batteries through 2030. It’s part of a $13.5 billion global battery development investment announced in September, but Toyota didn’t specify what portion of these batteries will be for hybrids and whether this means any greater commitment to EVs. The same day, Stellantis announced a joint venture for battery production with LG Energy Solution. Its timing, with a targeted start of early 2024, is in sync with the EVs due from Jeep, Dodge, and Ram about that time. 

Foxtron Model C

Foxtron Model C

Foxconn, best known as the contract maker of the iPhone, is now aiming to become a global EV maker. On Monday it revealed three “self-developed” electric vehicles, plus its own EV brand, called Foxtron. That’s in addition to its potential contract manufacture of the Lordstown Endurance electric pickup and Fisker’s affordable EV, both in Ohio.

The chemical company Ineos announced plans to produce green hydrogen at multiple plants—and it’s reportedly pushing ahead with a hydrogen fuel-cell version of its Grenadier SUV, to be made at the former Smart car factory in France. 

With an autonomous-tech-enabled skateboard EV platform and the potential for different themed pods to be mounted on top, the Citroën Skate EV concept if about anything you want it to be—with quirky the operative word. 

2022 Polestar 2 single-motor

2022 Polestar 2 single-motor

An over-the-air update for the Volvo XC40 Recharge, Volvo C40 Recharge, and Polestar 2 will soon help with efficiency and range, the companies announced Wednesday, by factoring in weather impact on range and helping precondition the battery for DC fast-charging stops. 

One of California’s electric vehicle incentives, the California Clean Fuel Reward for EVs and plug-in hybrids, will soon be cut in half to $750. If that matters, push for delivery by November 1.

Chinese automaker GAC Motor announced a hydrogen combustion engine project—although it’s not yet clear what the company plans to do with it. 

Porsche Cayenne plug-in hybrid with Chargeway Beacon - Porsche Chandler, Chandler AZ

Porsche Cayenne plug-in hybrid with Chargeway Beacon - Porsche Chandler, Chandler AZ

A partnership between the NADA and Chargeway might help dealerships become more of an asset to EV sales growth—by fostering a conversation about charging, and keeping it consistent across models, brands, and dealership groups.

And last weekend we reported on how Tesla has topped other EVs in a made-in-America survey. This one considers companies’ manufacturing footprint, R&D spending, and headquarters, among other aspects. 

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