LAPD BMW i3s, Lucid Air acceleration, Jeep plug-in hybrid details: The Week in Reverse

Which two automakers announced a possible alliance?

Which automaker has decided to hide away the exhaust pipes on its vehicles?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending September 5, 2020.

Lucid says that the upcoming Air electric car will be the world’s quickest production sedan, on a “consistent, repeatable basis.” Yes, that means quicker than anything by Tesla.

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe

Jeep revealed many details about its 2021 Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid. With a full set of trail-rated off-road credentials plus an estimated 25 miles of all-electric range, the Wrangler 4xe is a template for future electrified Jeeps on the way. 

Volvo is hiding its exhaust tips in some of its newest gasoline-powered cars—in the interest of sending a cleaner signal to customers and fitting in with the brand’s upcoming electric vehicles.

A coalition of groups, including Consumer Reports and the Sierra Club, have asked GM, Toyota, and FCA to stop their support of the Trump administration’s attempt to choke tighter California emissions standards. 

Cadillac Lyriq concept

Cadillac Lyriq concept

Honda and GM are considering an alliance that goes beyond EV and fuel-cell tech; it could lead to a new generation of vehicles with a shared supply chain and logistics.

There were more deals and surprises in the electric commercial vehicle sector this week. Amazon will buy more than 1,800 Mercedes-Benz electric vans in Europe. None of these electric-van models have been confirmed for the U.S., so as of yet it’s no threat to Amazon’s large-scale plans with Rivian. Meanwhile, Bollinger Motors revealed the Deliver-E electric delivery van, a vehicle that stands in stark contrast to the other retro-rugged models the startup has introduced so far.

Automakers are getting at least an extra six months to comply with federal regulations for low-speed pedestrian warning sounds.

Trojan Energy pop-up charging station

Trojan Energy pop-up charging station

California approved a $437 million program that will add 38,000 charging stations over five years; it’s claimed to be the largest public charging program ever. And in the UK, electric-car chargers from Trojan Energy, which allow Level 2 charging at up to 22 kw plus a flush sidewalk when they’re not in use, are being tested as part of a pilot program. 

And at home, two new pieces of hardware can help make 240V sockets a little more flexible for home charging—making the most of existing circuits without electrical upgrades.

In studies out this week, there was some good and some bad news about EV adoption. First, the good: A study pointed out a series of errors made by previous studies regarding calculations for the lifetime carbon emissions of electric cars. The takeaway: EVs are even cleaner than many calculations have suggested. As for the less-optimistic results: Electric vehicles could remain “significantly more expensive” to build, compared to gasoline models, for European automakers—even after battery prices drop—according to a Financial Times study compiled by Oliver Wyman.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E First Edition

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E First Edition

Based on comments reportedly made by a top Ford executive, the automaker might not plan to make EVs in higher volume anytime soon. It would need to make 100,000 to 150,000 EVs annually for its own battery factory to make sense. 

Hydrogen fuel-cell technology might be struggling to make it into many passenger vehicles here on Earth, but it’s going to the moon—in the form of the Toyota Lunar Cruiser.

The California solid-state battery tech firm QuantumScape, backed by Volkswagen and Bill Gates, among many others, is planning to go public.

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess reportedly met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in Germany on Thursday. In addition to another round of compliments from Diess, VW reportedly allowed Musk a test-drive in the ID.3 electric car and to see the ID.4 electric crossover that hasn’t yet been revealed.

And last weekend, a Los Angeles BMW dealership was offering a subset of the BMW i3 police cars that were used by a controversial LAPD program. According to reports, the dealership’s first batch is now already sold.


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