Prius Prime lease deal, Silverado EV range, Cayenne E-Hybrid review: The Week in Reverse

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by news@greencarreports.com (Bengt Halvorson)

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05.20.2023


Which popular pickup is going hybrid, but not electric quite yet?

Which U.S. city is offering robotic EV charging at its airport parking?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending May 19, 2023.

In a review of the 2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid, we looked at how this model essentially helps bridge the gap between the role of V-8 engines in this SUV family’s lineup and the fully electric Cayenne that’s expected in 2026. Will it serve up enough of an electric commute to make the decision worthwhile?

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV Work Truck

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV Work Truck

The 2024 Chevy Silverado EV has an official EPA rating of 450 miles, GM reports, with its larger battery pack. That battery pack size hasn’t yet been clarified, but the automaker says the paperwork is in. It’s on track to start deliveries in spring 2023 as scheduled—which sounds like right about now. 

The Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid costs less to lease than the Prius hybrid—even though the Prime has a higher sticker price. That’s because Toyota is applying federal tax credit funds for this made-in-Japan plug-in that apply to the lease but not to purchases. 

Mercedes-Benz is planning a U.S.-bound electric luxury van plus a range of van-based EVs including a camper van, delivery vehicles, and even purpose-built vehicles like ambulances. It’s all part of Mercedes’ Van.EA platform for electric vans outlined this week.

Van.EA - cargo and passenger

Van.EA – cargo and passenger

The hybrid models headline a 2024 Toyota Tacoma pickup lineup revealed Thursday night. But as with Toyota’s larger Tundra pickups, hybrid versions prioritize towing, hauling, and replacing larger engines more than they go for peak mpg. And despite the rumor mill and what Toyota’s concept vehicles might suggest, there’s no sign of a Tacoma EV yet.

Those who drive a Porsche Taycan now have a wider range of navigation choices. Apple Maps will tap into the Taycan’s energy use and state of charge and, like the EV’s built-in Charging Planner, recommend charging stops along the way. Shifting nav to the iPhone and CarPlay won’t get battery preconditioning ahead of the highest-power charging breaks, though. 

Apple Maps in Porsche Taycan

Apple Maps in Porsche Taycan

Dieselgate drags on in the courts, even with top-level CEOs. Former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler on Tuesday admitted guilt and agreed to pay a $1.2 million fine for continuing to sell vehicles with emissions-cheating software after the scandal broke. Stadler’s legacy isn’t entirely mired in diesel smoke though, as he pushed ahead with plans to electrify Audi that continue to this day. 

Two electric vehicle reveals that target Europe again had us wonder: Why not the U.S.? Honda revealed a mainstream compact electric SUV for Europe—one that will go up against the Hyundai Kona Electric and others. Then Ford showed the E-Tourneo Courier, a seriously small electric van that could be a go-against-the-grain game-changer for the U.S. market, versus the Hyundai Kona Electric or Kia Soul. 

Ford E-Tourneo Courier electric van for Europe

Ford E-Tourneo Courier electric van for Europe

Ford also announced what amounts to its most significant consideration of hydrogen fuel-cell tech in 15 years or more. With a three-year UK trial project, Ford is looking at fuel-cell E-Transit vans used in place of its heaviest commercial vans—of the sort that still might otherwise require diesel engines today.

Just this week, Honda made more hydrogen-related announcements, too. On one hand, it confirmed plans to demonstrate a fuel-cell heavy-duty truck with Isuzu next year, with a market launch due in 2027. On the other hand, it’s looking at the potential role of hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engines in small mobility, with Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha—even though these companies are also developing a battery-swapping scheme.

The big battery plant being built by the joint venture of Stellantis and LG in Ontario, Canada—and flanked by a nearby center for battery expertise—has been put on hold, according to Stellantis, because the Canadian government hasn’t delivered the incentives it originally agreed to. Will this affect the timeline for upcoming Stellantis EVs like its Ram 1500 REV electric truck?

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

As Rivian continues to ramp up production, it confirmed last week that the wait time on some versions of the R1T electric pickup is down to just 14 days in some cases. That’s no cause for a price cut, according to the company and its CEO, but there are lower-priced models on the way. 

The regional utility Rocky Mountain Power announced plans Wednesday for 80 fast-charging stations at 20 sites in Utah, with support from Electrify America. It’s seeking federal NEVI funding for the stations, which will help fill in charging corridors allowing EV drivers to cross the state.

Ziggy EV charging robot kiosk

Ziggy EV charging robot kiosk

And the Ziggy robotic charger will be tested soon in an airport parking lot, at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), as part of a pilot program looking at innovative charging solutions. Will it help boost parking flexibility and bypass “ICEing” drama?

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