Ford Unveils EV Signs, Lucid Details Motor Tech, CR-V Hybrid Pricing, Jeep PHEVs: Inversion Week


Which EV is the most aerodynamic car in the world?

Which two-way charger is covered by the Leaf’s warranty?

This is our view from the opposite week – right here Green car reports—Week ending September 16, 2022.

One of the big stories of the week is a sea change in how one of America’s biggest automakers sells cars — starting with EVs. Ford is ending delivery and marking on EVs as new dealer rules, which come into force in January 2024, are announced this week. Sellers looking to sell EVs can choose from two tiers, but both require a non-negotiable price.

2023 Jeep Wrangler Willys 4x

Automakers say EVs are getting closer to the mainstream, but at the Detroit auto show, which used to be a hub for U.S. automakers’ announcements, there was no new EV reveal. However, Jeep has announced an expansion of its 4xe plug-in hybrid family — not yet with new models, but the rugged 2023 Jeep Wrangler Willys 4xe base model and the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x 30th Anniversary Special Edition. Both carry PHEV hardware, which in the Grand Cherokee, offers up to 25 all-electric miles, according to Jeep.

The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid will get 40 mpg, the automaker confirmed this week, with a front-wheel-drive hybrid version added. At the same time, in a pricing statement, the automaker said the hybrid would account for 50% of the CR-V’s sales as a premium version.

2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid

2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid

Will the $25,000 Tesla happen? Although comments from Tesla’s head of investor relations earlier this week seemed to dampen the possibility again, Tesla is looking for more affordable models in its lineup.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E EV and Lincoln Corsair plug-in hybrid are among the first vehicles to get the upgraded Ford Bluecruise driver assistance system—called Activeglide in Lincoln—with automated lane changes.

Volkswagen has revealed the rugged, off-road capable ID.4 concept. With more power, off-road wheels and the suggestion that there’s real potential beyond those rugged looks, VW may be evaluating a response to a production model — or perhaps already planning how the MEB platform will work for upcoming Scout EV models.

Volkswagen ID.Xtreme concept

Volkswagen ID.Xtreme concept

Nissan has approved a bi-directional charger that works with the Leaf while maintaining the factory warranty. The approved unit is the first to help feed power back into the grid, Nissan says, although Ford has hit Nissan with a system that can disconnect from the grid during a brownout and power the home. And the Nissan Leaf EV’s batteries are long-lasting, according to Automory, and this could lead to mass use and recycling of batteries in the future.

Nissan Leaf and Fermata Energy FE-15 two-way charger

Nissan Leaf and Fermata Energy FE-15 two-way charger

EV sales are disproportionately low in communities of color, even though they are often hardest hit by transportation-related air pollution. As new research shows, it’s not a lack of interest in EVs. Filling barriers, EV education and the way incentives are structured all play a role, he suggests.

Honda says it plans to introduce 10 electric motorcycle models globally by 2025, including several models for the U.S. and one for kids. Solid-state batteries and battery swapping may be part of the future.

Honda electric motorcycle T-shirt

Honda electric motorcycle T-shirt

The Biden administration announced Tuesday that 35 states have approved charging plans, leading to a $7.5 billion national EV charging network. Those states are good at installing stations that are part of a network that will eventually include 500,000 chargers.

The Lucid Air electric sedan has drivers that beat Tesla and Porsche in terms of engine power density. And in a tech talk with the CEO/CTO and VP of Powertrain last week, he explained how he’s achieved that: through efficiency and ease of production.

Lucid Rawlinson and Victory's wheel division

Lucid Rawlinson and Victory’s wheel division

Michigan-based battery company Our Next Energy (ONE) has revealed the cell technology behind a dual-chemistry battery pack that it claims will be the basis for 600-mile EVs, trucks and even SUVs. His Gemini setup combines anode-free and LFP cells.

Last weekend, Vietnam’s Vinfant VF8 presented the first 100 electric crossovers in its home market. The company said initial shipments to the U.S. will be completed in December, with purchase and battery leasing details coming up.

Vinfant VF 8 delivery event - Vietnam

Vinfant VF 8 delivery event – Vietnam

The passenger-vehicle tires of the future may be made of natural rubber from a desert bush in the American Southwest. It can help Bridgestone meet its sustainability goals by keeping microplastics out of tires.

And which production car has a lower aerodynamic drag coefficient than the Volkswagen XL1 or GM EV1? The Lightyear 0, with an official 0.175, is said to be the most aerodynamically efficient production car in the world.

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