Tesla’s battery push, Mach-E GT, Lightyear One, EV and PHEV deals: The Week in Reverse

Can the Lightyear One go 450 miles with a 60-kwh battery?

Will the Tesla Model Y be the world’s top-selling vehicle next year?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending April 30, 2021.

In Tesla’s quarterly update call with investors on Monday, CEO Elon Musk made a tall-sounding pronouncement: that the Tesla Model Y will become the world’s top-selling car or truck of any kind in 2022. Last year, the passenger-vehicle champ was the Toyota RAV4 family. Musk also said that he’s “quite optimistic” about ramping up volume production of Tesla 4680 battery cells next year. With so many products depending on them—including the Semi and Cybertruck—is there a backup plan?

2020 Tesla Model Y

2020 Tesla Model Y

Ford released pricing and a few more details for its 2021 Ford Mach-E GT and GT Performance, which appear to be strong rivals for the Tesla Model Y Performance on all but driving range. The automaker also announced it’s setting up a “center of excellence” for batteries, called Ion Park, and pointing the company down a path that involves manufacturing its own cells in the future. 

The Lightyear One solar-supplemented electric car is aiming to achieve 450 miles of range from just 60 kwh of battery cells, and it’s hoping to achieve this Tesla-bearing efficiency with world-best aerodynamics, a lightweight construction, and some special-purpose tires from Bridgestone. 

Lightyear One

Lightyear One

The 2022 Audi E-Tron SUV and Sportback enter their fourth model year with a Chronos Edition and some fresh wheel designs, as they’ll be joined by two more EV model lines—the Q4 E-Tron and the E-Tron GT. 

Honda revealed an 11th-generation version of its Civic compact car, in sedan form, and it included no mention of a hybrid version. But we speculated it’s on the way eventually in a Civic Hybrid hatchback.

Volkswagen officially introduced the dual-motor all-wheel-drive version of the Volkswagen ID.4, called the GTX in Europe. In the U.S. it will be called the ID.4 AWD Pro.  

2021 Nissan Leaf

2021 Nissan Leaf

Our edition of electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid deals for April went well beyond a mainstay, the Chevy Bolt EV, to strong lease deals on the Toyota Prius Prime and Hyundai Kona Electric, plus deep discounts and 0% financing on the Nissan Leaf. 

EV charging networks continue to vie for dashboard primacy, with trip-planning apps compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay so you can use them while you drive. But unified brand apps and network-agnostic ones are likely the fuss-free future. GM this week announced such a thing—or at least the intent to get to such a concept. Over 18 months, it plans to bring a full suite of charging and efficiency related utilities to its brand apps—including one-click access to at least seven charging networks. 

GM execs and upcoming Ultium EVs

GM execs and upcoming Ultium EVs

GM on Thursday also announced a $1 billion investment in its Ramoz Arizpe, Mexico, plant, to outfit it to produce electric vehicles starting in 2023 and propulsion systems for its Ultium EVs starting later this year. The announcement comes just as the Biden administration and Congress are considering spending that considers the EV supply chain key to jobs and part of our infrastructure. 

Jeep is the first vehicle maker to offer an off-road lift kit on a plug-in hybrid—or fully electric vehicle—with an off-road-boosting kit on its Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid. It’s one of many upgrades including tube doors, rock rails, and off-road lights. 

Jeep Performance Parts for 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe

Jeep Performance Parts for 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe

According to a report, the Department of Energy has set a new target of $60 per kilowatt-hour for EV cost parity with gasoline combustion-engine vehicles. 

The German supplier Bosch, probably the company most affected by the Volkswagen diesel scandal outside of VW, has lashed out against tighter European emissions proposals, calling the EU “fixated” on EVs. Meanwhile a report supported by the Swiss supplier ABB suggested that there aren’t enough battery factories in the works to support the global rise of EVs above gasoline vehicles by 2036. 

Audi e-tron, on the Golden Gate Bridge

Audi e-tron, on the Golden Gate Bridge

The EPA made a key move toward restoring California’s Clean Air Act waiver—although this time it’s playing by the rules and will hold a virtual public hearing and comment period first. 

And finally, a partnership between Hyzon Motors and Raven SR is attempting something of a virtuous circle, in the construction of 100 “hydrogen hubs” that will power fuel-cell garbage trucks with hydrogen produced from garbage. 

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