Subaru Solterra EV, Kia EV9, F-150 Lightning reservations, Leaf batteries for the grid: The Week in Reverse

Which brand just passed Mercedes-Benz in U.S. registrations—with only EVs? Which upcoming EV could be the basis for a future U.S. military vehicle? This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending November 12, 2021. Subaru revealed its first mass-production electric vehicle, the Solterra, in prototype […]

Which brand just passed Mercedes-Benz in U.S. registrations—with only EVs?

Which upcoming EV could be the basis for a future U.S. military vehicle?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending November 12, 2021.

Subaru revealed its first mass-production electric vehicle, the Solterra, in prototype form. The 2023 Subaru Solterra might achieve more than a 250-mile EPA range, based on early indications, and is likely to arrive only with dual-motor all-wheel drive. There’s no Tesla-style yoke in this one, as Toyota teased in its bZ4X cousin.

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV were back in production—for a short time, so it can get some new cars out as it also installs replacement battery packs for owners hobbled by the Bolt family’s battery recall. 

2022 Bolt EV assembly - battery marriage

2022 Bolt EV assembly – battery marriage

Several Kia and Hyundai hybrids are being recalled for an engine issue that could lead to a stall or fire. Some owners of the 2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and 2017-2018 Kia Optima Hybrid will get engine replacements, and Kia is extending its warranty on all affected models to 15 years/150,000 miles.

Kia teased its Concept EV9, a boxy, fully electric SUV that’s due to be revealed in full at the LA auto show this next week. It points to a production-bound follow-up to the EV6 that’s arriving soon. And the Genesis GV70 EV could be on deck to become the first EV from the Hyundai-Kia-Genesis family to be assembled in the U.S., according to a report from South Korea, citing labor-union presentations.

Kia Concept EV9 teaser

Kia Concept EV9 teaser

President Biden is still due to sign a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives just before last weekend. Although the expanded social-spending bill containing items like the EV tax credit expansion is now on a different trajectory and expected later in the month, the infrastructure package included $65 billion for the nation’s electric grid and $7.5 billion for nationwide EV charging station deployment.

Tesla continued to gain share of the luxury market and just last month passed Mercedes-Benz in the U.S., going by registrations. And yet it continues to lose share of the electric vehicle market itself. 

Farizon Auto Homtruck

Farizon Auto Homtruck

The Tesla Semi got another new potential rival. Volvo and Polestar parent Geely revealed a production-bound electric semi called the Homtruck—due starting in 2024, with Level 4 autonomous driving supposedly in the works.

Lordstown Motors has delayed its Endurance electric pickup to the third quarter of 2022, as Foxconn’s $230 million acquisition of its Ohio assembly plant helps give it the funds to keep going. Future joint-developed vehicles from the company, it revealed, might not include the in-wheel motors that it’s been touting all along, the company also suggested.

Lordstown Endurance

Lordstown Endurance

The original military Humvee was the basis for a GM brand—Hummer. Now with GM’s revival of Hummer, the GMC Hummer EV might be used as the basis for a U.S. military vehicle

A partnership between GM and EVgo prioritizes urban fast-charging, and it’s just been expanded to 3,250 fast-charging stalls, in 52 major-metro markets, by 2025. There’s also now a discount program for Uber ride-hailing drivers. 

Research from Ford and Purdue University points to phase-change cooling as a way of extracting more heat from charging cables to speed up DC fast-charging—without bulking up cables. 

BMW 5-Series plug-in hybrid wireless charging system

BMW 5-Series plug-in hybrid wireless charging system

Also relating to charging: Shoppers would be even more interested in electric vehicles if wireless charging technology were to be included—says a study commissioned by a company set to gain much from greater adoption of the tech. It would however help avoid the clunky cables and connectors that do sour some on the experience. 

A California company already claims to be making money by using retired Nissan Leaf battery packs for energy storage—as grid-connected power brokers that can help with peak demand times. 

Ford F-150 Lightning augmented-reality experience

Ford F-150 Lightning augmented-reality experience

Nearly 80% of the more than 160,000 people reserving the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup have never owned a battery electric vehicle before and 56% haven’t owned a Ford vehicle. That’s a vast field of newbies, and so Ford is turning to augmented reality to educate on features. 

And Volvo’s methodical carbon-footprint assessment for its C40 Recharge serves as a teachable moment that can apply to most EVs—that lifetime CO2 footprint for EVs will keep getting better with a greener energy mix. 

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