Lucid Air frunk, Volkswagen ID.4 sales strategy, EV tipping points: The Week in Reverse


Which upcoming electric vehicle was the inspiration for a song?

Which automaker has big plans to lease the battery separately?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending August 28, 2020.

Lucid announced that its Air electric luxury car will have a 113-kwh battery pack, a “miniaturized” drivetrain affording more interior space, and the biggest frunk ever.

VW ID.4 crossover

VW ID.4 crossover

The Volkswagen ID.4 won’t be aiming directly at the Tesla crowd; instead VW is hoping the model will attract shoppers as an alternative to mass-market bestsellers like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Although it has looked at how to bring some of the Tesla customer experience to its dealership-based model.

General Motors has moved the team of engineers behind the Corvette under the umbrella of its group overseeing the development of its upcoming electric cars. Is this the sign of an electric Corvette, or some Corvette-level performance in other electric vehicles?

Musician Matthew Dear, with the Ford Mustang Mach-E

Musician Matthew Dear, with the Ford Mustang Mach-E

Ford had Detroit-based musician Matthew Dear give the noises made by the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV a spin in his latest single—and it might be the first song about an electric Mustang.

Jaguar Land Rover released a base-level Jaguar I-Pace EV320 model for Europe that promises a lower price in exchange for a performance tradeoff—although there’s no improvement in range. And Kia revealed specs and more regarding its Sorento Plug-In Hybrid SUV, due early in 2021, but it still hasn’t confirmed the model for the U.S.

Looking ahead to the middle of the decade, a very boxy, rugged-looking Volkswagen electric SUV built on VW’s affordability-focused MEB platform could capture some of the spirit of the Thing, according to a report. 

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 - Portland, OR

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 – Portland, OR

In driving the Mercedes-Benz GLB250, we found its styling and space top-notch but its drivability disappointing. What happened to the electric drivetrain offered in its predecessor?

In the tech and innovation area, Tesla CEO Elon Musk teased early in the week that an energy density of 400 Wh/kg is just 3-4 years away in volume battery cells—potentially creating a huge advantage for Tesla if the company has such cells as an exclusive technology. Nio plans to offer battery packs for lease separately from the vehicles that owners might buy or lease. The Chinese company says that it will knock more than $10,000 off the sticker price of its EVs. And India’s Mahindra has announced a partnership for commercial EVs with the Israeli startup REE Automotive, which offers a skateboard platform with some unusual tech twists.

Citroën ë-C4

Citroën ë-C4

There were also many pieces of news worth covering about EV adoption. Electric-car sales have surged in Europe, although there’s a continued trend in which the growth is mostly occurring in the wealthier nations within the EU. A study attempted to find the global tipping point for electric vehicles, across 8 countries, and presented a series of points for price, range, and charging at which that might happen. And the market research firm Wood Mackenzie anticipates that the battery industry will reach a cost target of $100/kwh for electric vehicles a year earlier than previously anticipated—in 2024—although the pandemic is delaying EV growth.

An issue potentially causing stalling is leading to the recall of 2014-2018 Ram 1500 and 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles with the turbodiesel V-6 engine, badged EcoDiesel.

And last weekend, we looked at a program in California that’s helping low-income households get free battery backup systems, in part to help remedy frequent blackouts.

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