Ford ends EV markups, Lucid details motor tech, CR-V Hybrid pricing, Jeep PHEVs: The Week in Reverse

Which EV was shown to be the most aerodynamic production car in the world?

Which bidirectional charger is approved under warranty for the Leaf?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending September 16, 2022.

One of the biggest stories of the week is a sea change for how one of the biggest U.S. automakers is selling cars—starting with EVs. With new rules for its dealers announced this week, to be put into practice in January 2024, Ford is ending haggling and markups on EVs

. Dealers who want to sell EVs can choose from two tiers, but both require non-negotiable pricing. 

2023 Jeep Wrangler Willys 4xe

2023 Jeep Wrangler Willys 4xe

Automakers say EVs are being pitched to the mainstream, and yet at the Detroit auto show, which used to be the epicenter of U.S. automaker announcements, there were no new EV reveals. Jeep did however announce an expansion of its 4xe plug-in hybrid family—not with new models quite yet, but with a rugged 2023 Jeep Wrangler Willys 4xe base model and a 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe 30th Anniversary special edition. Both carry over the PHEV hardware that, in the Grand Cherokee, offers up to 25 all-electric miles according to Jeep. 

The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid earns 40 mpg, the automaker confirmed this week, with the addition of a front-wheel-drive hybrid version. In pricing announced at the same time, the automaker outlined the Hybrid as a premium version it hopes will make up 50% of CR-V sales. 

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 put a damper on the possibility once again, they do suggest that Tesla needs 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 updated version of Ford’s Bluecruise driver-assist system—called Activeglide in the Lincoln—that performs automated lane changes

Volkswagen has revealed a rugged, off-road-capable ID.4 concept. With more power, off-road wheels, and the suggestion that there’s true capability beyond those rugged looks, VW might be gauging response for a production model—or, perhaps, planning ahead in how its MEB platform might work for upcoming Scout EV models. 

Volkswagen ID.Xtreme concept

Volkswagen ID.Xtreme concept

Nissan has approved a bidirectional charger that works with the Leaf—while preserving its factory warranty. The unit that’s approved is the first that can help supply power back to the grid, Nissan says, although Ford beat Nissan with a system that can disconnect from the grid during brownouts and power the home. And Nissan Leaf EV batteries are lasting a long time

, according to the automaker, and that’s potentially pushing the mass reuse and recycling of batteries further into the future. 

Nissan Leaf and Fermata Energy FE-15 bidirectional charger

Nissan Leaf and Fermata Energy FE-15 bidirectional charger

EV sales are disproportionately low in communities of color, even though they’re often the most harmed by transportation-related air pollution. According to a new study, it’s not due to a lack of interest in EVs

. Charging hurdles, EV education, and the way incentives are structured all play a role, it suggests. 

Honda said that it plans to launch 10 electric motorcycle models globally by 2025, with multiple models headed to the U.S. and even one for kids. Solid-state batteries and battery swapping might also be part of that future. 

Honda electric motorcycle teaser

Honda electric motorcycle teaser

The Biden administration announced on Tuesday that 35 states’ charging plans have been approved, toward the $7.5 billion national EV charging network. Those states are good to start installing stations that will be part of a network eventually including 500,000 chargers. 

The Lucid Air electric sedan features drive units that beat Tesla and Porsche in motor power density. And in a tech talk from its CEO/CTO and Powertrain VP this past week, it outlined how it has accomplished that—with efficiency and ease of manufacturing.

Lucid's Rawlinson and Dlala presenting drive unit

Lucid’s Rawlinson and Dlala presenting drive unit

Michigan-based battery firm Our Next Energy (ONE) has revealed the cell tech behind its dual-chemistry battery pack that it says will be the foundation for 600-mile EVs, even for trucks and SUVs. Its Gemini setup combines anode-free and LFP cells. 

Last weekend, Vietnam’s Vinfast made the first 100 deliveries of its VF 8 electric crossover in its home market. First deliveries for the U.S. are due in December, the company maintains, amid evolving purchase and battery leasing details. 

Vinfast VF 8 delivery event - Vietnam

Vinfast VF 8 delivery event – Vietnam

Future passenger-vehicle tires might be made of natural rubber from a desert shrub native to the American Southwest; it could help Bridgestone meet sustainability targets while keeping microplastics out of tires. 

And what production car has a lower coefficient of aerodynamic drag than the Volkswagen XL1 or GM EV1? The Lightyear 0, with an official 0.175, is claimed to be the most aerodynamically efficient production car

in the world. 

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