Toyota bZ4X tech preview, VW electric Bus prototype, EV tax credit expansion: The Week in Reverse

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Which brand announced the development of its urban electric van concept?

Which proprietary charging network made some of its chargers available to more EV drivers this week?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending November 5, 2021.

In one of our most popular pieces of the week, we took a look at the recent reveal of the 2022 Toyota bZ4X electric vehicle. From a steering yoke and radiant heat inside to a solar roof and bi-directional charging capability, does this model measure up to the technology preeminence of Tesla models—or Toyota’s Prius and Mirai?

As a House vote on the revised social spending and climate bill nears, we’re tracking the progress of a reconstituted EV tax credit that ups the qualifying MSRP to $80,000 for trucks, vans, and pickups—and holds firm on the controversial $4,500 bonus for union-made EVs.

2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge

2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge

While Volvo shifts to a fully electric lineup by the end of the decade, it’s making mild hybrids the new norm. We drove some of these B5 and B6 models and considered what they add in mpg and drivability. 

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Tesla provided a glimpse of how it might open up its vast Supercharger network to non-Tesla EVs

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. A pilot program in the Netherlands is already putting to test a lot of issues, like the location of charge ports. 

As Tesla demand surges and supply for everything remains tight, Tesla price changes have become increasingly frequent. This week the company changed them at least twice on some very price-dependent models—like the Tesla Model 3, which at the end of the week starts $8,000 higher than earlier in the year

Teaser for Hyundai Seven concept debuting November 17, 2021

Teaser for Hyundai Seven concept debuting November 17, 2021

Hyundai teased its Seven electric SUV concept for the LA auto show—which in turn previews a production Ioniq 7 SUV due in 2024. The electric SUV might have three rows of space for families, but expect it to build on the head-turning design of the Ioniq 5. 

Mini revealed that it’s developing an electric vehicle inspired by the Vision Urbanaut concept first shown in 2020. Although the city-focused brand gave no additional details on timing, a sustainability-focused Mini electric van could become one of the most direct rivals to the much-anticipated electric VW Bus revival, due in 2023 and teased this week in prototype guise. 

Volkswagen ID.Buzz teaser, at ID.5 introduction

Volkswagen ID.Buzz teaser, at ID.5 introduction

Fisker revealed that two different battery packs will be supplied by CATL for its upcoming Ocean electric SUV, which is due to go into production late next year and start at $37,499. Both the LFP “high-value” pack and the NMC “high-capacity” pack will offer DC fast-charging peaking at more than 250 kw. 

A top Panasonic battery executive confirmed this week to Nikkei Asia that the technology goals for Tesla’s 4680-format cells have been mostly achieved, although “mass producing them requires new techniques.”

Volkswagen Group of America is partnering with the U.S. DOE in joint research on wireless charging; they aim to charge the Porsche Taycan to 80% in 10 minutes, without bulky charge cords

Volkswagen ID.5

Volkswagen ID.5

Volkswagen also revealed the ID.5 EV. As a “crossover coupe” based on the ID.4 and based on the same MEB underpinnings, the ID.5 adds a swoopier roofline and a few more features than its SUV counterpart.

The U.S. confirmed that Tesla is recalling some models, including a relatively small subset of the 2019-2021 Model 3 and 2020-2021 Model Y, for potential front-suspension issues that track to fasteners not properly tightened at the factory. 

2019 Tesla Model 3

2019 Tesla Model 3

And drivers of the 2019 Audi E-Tron SUV might soon see more range. Audi plans to give these first EVs a software update bringing more miles and more efficient use of the dual-motor system; but it won’t be over-the-air.

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