VW ID.4 review, Aptera solar claims, Rivian charging network, Bollinger update: The Week in Reverse

Which battery startup hinted that its technology might be close to production-ready?

Which automaker’s CEO suggested that a timeline for a gasoline-vehicle ban might be better than a credit system?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending December 11, 2020.

This week we drove the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4, and although we only got an hour with this model, set to be delivered in the first quarter of 2021, we found that the ID.4 carries ahead with much of the e-Golf’s on-the-road charm.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4

2021 Volkswagen ID.4

As we work toward our choice of Best Car To Buy 2021, we outlined why the Volvo XC40 Recharge is one of our five finalists.

The 2021 Ford F-150 hybrid, badged PowerBoost, is shaping up to be the most fuel-efficient among big gasoline trucks—although diesel models beat it for highway mileage and the green-truck landscape is about to change dramatically with the arrival of electric models.

Bollinger B1 production intent

Bollinger B1 production intent

Bollinger Motors on Thursday surprised us with a new look for the B1 electric SUV and B2 electric pickup. The series of nips and tucks related to bringing the trucks to production might not have been dramatic departures individually, but they collectively give the trucks a new look.

Lordstown Motors took to the mud, ruts, snow, and water in a tease of how it’s testing the platform—and especially the wheel-hub motors—underpinning its upcoming Endurance electric pickup. 

FreeWire Boost Charger at convenience store

FreeWire Boost Charger at convenience store

Freewire and a charging unit of BP have allied to put hundreds of “boost” fast-chargers into use over the next several years in places not ideal for the electrical grid. 

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe gave TechCrunch a top-level view on the company’s two-tier charging strategy that will include some AC and DC fast charging, plus a patchwork of proprietary chargers and existing networks. 

Next-generation Mercedes-Benz eSprinter

Next-generation Mercedes-Benz eSprinter

Mercedes-Benz released more information about its next-generation eSprinter electric vans, which are U.S.-bound in 2023 and will cover a much wider range of configurations. 

Toyota started to deliver a set of 10 hydrogen fuel-cell semis in California, as it reported it’s already started work on a next-generation version capable of covering 300 miles (or more) with a full load. 

California-based QuantumScape, long supported by VW, released data suggesting that its solid-state battery technology might be close to production-ready—promising smaller battery packs and faster, more consistent charging. 

Canoo renderings for potential lineup

Canoo renderings for potential lineup

Canoo, another California EV startup aiming primarily to make its vehicles available by subscription, has announced that it will reveal an electric delivery van on December 17. 

Official efficiency and emissions ratings for plug-in hybrids might be dramatically underestimating how much these models are polluting, a study from the UK alleged. 

2020 Smart EQ Fortwo

2020 Smart EQ Fortwo

Daimler sold its Smart plant in France, which had built the urban minicars since they were a joint effort with Swatch. Instead of building next-generation Mercedes EQ vehicles, it will now build diesel, gasoline, and possibly fuel-cell versions of the Ineos Grenadier, a throwback SUV. 

Aptera has stepped up its claims about its hyper-efficiency electric car, now claiming that the model, which will start at $25,900, will be able to cover all daily-driving needs without plugging in. 

Design for new Aptera electric car, Aug 2019

Design for new Aptera electric car, Aug 2019

Toyota confirmed electric vehicles on the way for both the U.S. and Europe, although it’s unclear whether these are different or the same. 

The CEO of Volvo Cars recently said that setting a timeline for an all-out ban on gasoline vehicles makes more sense than the credit and incentive systems that spur EV adoption today. 

Nissan has announced that the Note hatchback, which was sold in its previous-generation form as the Versa Note in the U.S., is going hybrid-only. The company still hasn’t said anything about plans for the e-Power hybrid system in the U.S., however. 

Electric Avenue - Portland, OR

Electric Avenue - Portland, OR

It’s been nearly 10 years since the Electric Avenue project in Portland got started as a way of testing EV charging hardware. The effectiveness of that public proving ground for chargers has led to a new effort across town, involving Daimler Trucks. Called Electric Island, and aiming to test hardware for electric semis, delivery vehicles, and other commercial trucks. 

And last weekend, the first solar roadway in the U.S. to be activated in a city is now in use in Georgia. 

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