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Lucid Air charging, Volvo plug-in hybrid prices, diesels and blackouts: The Week in Reverse

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by Kivi

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08.22.2020


Which high-performance electric car will soon access optional features over the air?

Where is the world’s largest V2G site?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending August 21, 2020.

California’s Lucid continued to release more about the Air electric sedan, building up to the model’s full reveal September 9. This week it was a set of jaw-dropping charging details for its upcoming Air electric sedan.

Lucid Air prototype

Lucid Air prototype

The Air will be able to add 300 miles of fast-charging range in just 20 minutes, or regain up to 80 miles per hour on a Level 2 charger.

We noted that most of the 350-kw DC fast chargers that enable those peak Lucid rates are part of the Electrify America network. This week EA and Love’s Travel Stops announced a partnership for more road-trip fast-charging waypoints.

Electrify America charging stations at Love's Travel Stop

Electrify America charging stations at Love’s Travel Stop

Also, the Lucid SUV due in 2023, that CEO Peter Rawlinson had told us was part of the future product plan just last week, was already spotted last weekend.

Also in California, there was some unfortunate timing in the Golden State’s rolling blackouts, as while the state moved to push diesel trucks out of the state’s future, diesel generators remained a critical part of the power-grid backup plan. Might EVs or energy storage systems rise to the challenge in the near future?

Last weekend we looked at one such example of that. The world’s largest V2G site—at a site in London that helps stabilize the peaks and troughs of the electrical grid by tapping into the batteries of double-decker electric buses. 

BYD London double-decker bus

BYD London double-decker bus

Six automakers earlier this week committed to a deal with the California Air Resources Board, agreeing to comply with tougher emissions rules through 2026. And Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG—not one of the companies that made a deal with California yet—summed a total of $2.2 billion to settle a diesel-emissions cheating scandal in the U.S., in what’s effectively an extension of the Volkswagen scandal. 

Prior to the release of a Jeep Wrangler plug-in hybrid later this year, we drove the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited diesel—the one badged EcoDiesel—and found it to be something less than eco in price or in efficiency. 

2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon EcoDiesel - drive review

2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon EcoDiesel – drive review

As the new model year approaches—and already arrives, in some cases—automakers started to push out annual product updates. The 2021 Lexus ES 300h hybrid luxury sedan that likely carries over the 44-mpg EPA rating but yields a more compact lithium-ion battery pack that adds trunk space. Over-the-air features that you can add via subscription or purchase are part of what’s new in the 2021 Porsche Taycan electric car. So is Plug & Charge capability, for fewer card swipes, and some interface upgrades and new colors.

2021 Lexus ES 300h

2021 Lexus ES 300h

Volvo is aiming to ramp up the sales volume in the U.S. of its plug-in hybrid models, so it’s given them a big price drop for 2021

And the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 hasn’t been revealed yet, but it’s due for first U.S. deliveries by the end of the year. With a date now set for the official bow—September 23—we summed up everything we know ahead of it.

VW ID.4 crossover

VW ID.4 crossover

Purchase-related incentives for the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, and Jaguar I-Pace topped our monthly deals roundup for plug-in vehicles—and marked one of the first times in recent months in which buying was more attractive than leasing in some cases. 

Michigan-based Bollinger Motors has moved into a larger facility, as it readies its heavy-duty electric trucks for deliveries in 2021 and intends to double its workforce by the end of the year.

Bollinger's headquarters in Oak Park, Michigan

Bollinger’s headquarters in Oak Park, Michigan

The U.S. could save up to $70 billion annually if EVs replaced 75% of internal-combustion vehicles, paired with renewable energy, a Northwestern University study found. 

The EU has another major battery maker—France’s Verkor, which recently emerged from stealth mode and plans to supply European automakers as they ramp up EV production. 

In Germany, a team showed that the Hyundai Kona Electric can go 600 miles on a charge—if you keep your speed to about 20 mph through the whole charge. We’re not going to try to verify that one firsthand anytime soon.

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