October 16, 2021

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Lucid Air range, RAV4 Prime EV mode off-road, Rivian and Ford electric trucks: The Week in Reverse

Why did Tesla push back about an expansion of the federal EV tax credit?

Which company’s electric trucks are ready for delivery?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending September 17, 2021.

We tested the Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid off-road, and brought you our impressions on why many who take this multitasking pro away from the pavement will be happy to keep the gasoline engine off with EV Mode.

Lucid Air Dream Edition

Lucid Air Dream Edition

There’s a new range champ. EPA range and efficiency ratings were confirmed this week for the Lucid Air, including a top 520 miles for the Lucid Air Dream Edition Range—more than 100 miles better than the closest Tesla. Although we pointed out that it still hasn’t matched the (smaller, less luxurious) Model 3 for efficiency. 

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S

In other news about what seems to matter much for EV shoppers: Volkswagen revealed EPA range estimates for its dual-motor VW ID.4 AWD models. It claims that the models, which earn up to 259 miles of range, are the lowest-priced EVs with all-wheel drive in the U.S. market. The Volvo XC40 Recharge electric SUV earns higher EPA range and efficiency ratings for 2022, versus 2021—although it still doesn’t measure up to the range of the Tesla Model Y or Ford Mustang Mach-E. And the 2022 Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid, with 32 miles of plug-in range, has a starting price that’s about $5,000 more than a comparable non-hybrid Sorento—and a number of incentives could close the gap.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning pre-production

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning pre-production

There were a couple pieces of reassuring news about electric pickups. Rivian celebrated the start of production for its R1T electric trucks bound for customers. Although the company confirmed that it has the approval for deliveries in all 50 states, it hasn’t yet revealed how that will happen. And on Thursday, Ford reported that it’s already made some F-150 Lightning electric pickups—technically pre-production ones. Ford is running on-time, with deliveries of the Lightning due in spring 2022 and a recent larger investment allowing a production rate of 80,000 Lightning trucks a year by 2024. 

GM this week cautioned Chevrolet Bolt EV owners to park at least 50 feet from other vehicles. It’s the latest in a series of workarounds aimed to limit fire risk as the automaker scrambles for a recall fix. 

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid

While the steering yoke in the relaunched Tesla Model S has created plenty of buzz, there have been few calm, reasoned analyses of what it provides. That’s what Consumer Reports just provided—with various concerns including issues with tight maneuvers and emergency handling. 

2021 Xpeng P5

2021 Xpeng P5

China’s Xpeng revealed more details for the P5, its third electric car that’s headed for Europe, equipped with lidar-informed assisted driving, and starting at less than $25,000 in China.

California’s annual update on the progress of hydrogen infrastructure projected 100 retail hydrogen stations by the end of 2023. And the 176 it projects by 2026 will be enough to support about 250,000 fuel-cell vehicles. But it did point out the bad record for reality to deliver on expectations. And a California hydrogen production facility plans to use waste paper and landfill methane in a process that, it claims, will displace more CO2 than hydrogen made from renewable energy and electrolysis. 

Redwood Materials, started by Tesla co-founder JB Straubel, is doing more than just recycling. With more details that emerged as part of a profile, it’s planning to build a $1 billion factory to manufacture EV cathodes—helping deliver on the goal of more U.S.-built, U.S.-sourced EVs. 

Toyota BZ4X concept - 2021 Shanghai auto show

Toyota BZ4X concept – 2021 Shanghai auto show

Toyota, Honda, and Tesla were among the automakers who pushed back regarding a proposed expansion of the EV tax credit that would give an additional $4,500 credit toward vehicles that are union made. With two proposals that need to be reconciled, the proposal faces multiple 

Elio Motors is still at it, and the company is pivoting to an all-electric three-wheeled car called the Elio-E. The gasoline model, renamed Elio-G and nine years past its original due date, hasn’t been canceled. 

2022 Mazda MX-30

2022 Mazda MX-30

And last weekend we took a look at how you really don’t have to spend more than today’s roughly $40,000 average price to get a new EV. The five lowest-priced EVs in the U.S. are much less than that, even before tax credits and incentives. 

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