VW ID.4 range boost, wireless charging for Tesla, charging station of the future: The Week in Reverse

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Which automaker doesn’t make vehicles with tailpipes but settled with the EPA this week?

Which EV isn’t getting any price change from 2022 to 2023?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending February 25, 2022.

The Volkswagen ID.4 is getting higher EPA range ratings across its lineup for 2022, and this week VW confirmed details on a version-by-version basis. Rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro models get a 20-mile boost versus 2021, to 280 miles. Charging improvements are coming too via an over-the-air update. 

2022 Volkswagen ID.4

2022 Volkswagen ID.4

Toyota announced that its 2023 bZ4X electric SUV will include a year of unlimited EVgo fast-charging. The choice might be seen as a hint of Toyota’s priorities for this first widely available EV, as EVgo focuses mostly on metro areas rather than road-trip waypoints. 

We’ve heard a lot about price hikes and surcharges this year, but the sticker price of the 2023 Mini Cooper SE isn’t changing versus 2022. It wears the same $30,750 base price and 114-mile range, now with Apple CarPlay and a few new colors and trims.

Volkswagen revealed a few more photos and details regarding its ID.Buzz electric Microbus, which is due to debut in production form March 9. Although the electric van will very closely parallel the specs of the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 in its European version, a long-wheelbase U.S. version with a bigger battery is on the way. 

2022  Hyundai Ioniq 5

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2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 are two of the year’s most desirable new EVs, both built on the same global platform. And yet the EV6 is easier to get and available in all 50 states. We took a look at how this happened: Simply put, Kia put more into EV preparedness. 

Mazda is due to debut a plug-in hybrid CX60 SUV on March 8, and it hinted that this model, the first built on a new rear-wheel-drive platform, will also bow with a fresh interior theme for the brand. 

Mazda CX-60 teaser

Mazda CX-60 teaser

Ford is reportedly considering the spinoff of its EV business. Could that hasten the automaker’s shift to electric vehicles and appeal to shareholders?

Polestar has been seeking the help of suppliers in building the first truly climate-neutral car by 2030—no tree-planting workarounds—and it revealed the first set of collaborators this week for the so-called “Polestar 0 Project.”

The EPA announced a settlement with Tesla over paint-shop violations at the EV maker’s Fremont, California plant—with a fine that amounted to roughly the cost of four Model Ys. And Tesla reported that last month it reached a cumulative production of one million large-format 4680 battery cells, at its so-called pilot factory for them in California. While that might be enough for more than 1,000 Model Ys, it will need to make them at a far higher rate to ramp up vehicle production in Texas. 

Tesla Model 3 equipped with WiTricity wireless charging system

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Tesla Model 3 equipped with WiTricity wireless charging system

Tesla Model 3 owners might soon have the option of “cutting the cord” at home, with an aftermarket WiTricity inductive charging system arriving in beta later this year. A system for the Ford Mustang Mach-E is also in the works. 

In other Tesla news, the EV maker has again topped J.D. Power’s study looking at EV owner satisfaction with home charging. Its Level 2 permanently mounted Wall Charger—the category that Power has already found leads to the most satisfaction—took the top spot, while Clipper Creek took second place. 

Change Wind - Wind and Solar tower, for charging/grid buffering

Change Wind – Wind and Solar tower, for charging/grid buffering

Could unique, helical wind-and-solar towers help charge EVs and stabilize the grid where needed—at places like truck stops or remote charging stations? It’s an idea that’s made the rounds before, but with new relevance in the context of the charging infrastructure push. 

According to a longtime study following shoppers’ electric vehicle purchase intent, the latest surge of interest in EVs started in March 2020. Yes, it’s when the pandemic hit the U.S. and gas price concerns hit, but it’s neither of those: Credit the arrival of the Tesla Model Y, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and VW ID.4, among many others. 

Electric fueling station of the future -

Electric fueling station of the future –

And what will the charging station of the future look like? With a recent competition that engaged architects and designers, we got a glimpse at how larger road-trip charging stations could be calm, smartly planned travel plazas rather than thinly planned corners of blacktop parking lots. It’s worth clicking through some of the pictures to see that there really is an alternative.

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