Which company is rethinking minivans as electric vehicles?

Which much-anticipated electric pickup went into production this week?

Here’s our reverse weekly review of the week ending April 29, 2022 — right here in the Green Car Report.

In a preview drive of the 2023 Vinfast VF 8, the first of the Vietnamese brand’s two electric crossovers expected to hit the U.S. market by the end of 2022, we found that there’s still a lot of work to do to meet the tight schedule.

Vinfast VF8 prototype

General Motors has announced that it plans to install heat pumps in every one of its Ultium electric vehicles — starting with the GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq, of course, and including future mass-market models like the Chevrolet Trailblazer EV and Chevrolet Blazer EV. The company says the technology will provide meaningful real-world improvements in range, faster charging and faster acceleration.

GM also confirmed a long-rumored project: an all-electric Chevrolet Corvette sports car. The Corvette EV will introduce a hybrid Corvette next year.

Nissan Surf Concept

Nissan Surf Concept

Nissan co-developed batteries for the groundbreaking Leaf electric car; now, it’s using a similar concept for all-solid-state batteries, which it says is aimed at mass-producing EVs in 2028. According to Nissan, they could be “game-changers for the democratization of electric vehicles,” with the potential to double the energy density by weight, cut charging times by a third, and cost $75/kWh — all of which will change Calculations for large electric pickups and SUVs.

Ford this week confirmed the start of production of the 2022 F-150 Lightning electric pickup — although, oddly, the truck isn’t currently taking orders. Ford said it would expand annual production of the Lightning to 150,000 units in 2023, and CEO Jim Farley separately confirmed that the Tennessee-made mass-market electric truck scheduled to begin production in 2024 will not be the Lightning successor, but will be apart from that.

Subaru Solterra Prototype

Subaru Solterra Prototype

The Subaru Solterra EV has a higher starting price than its Toyota BZ4X cousin, Subaru confirmed in full information released earlier this week. Compared to the BZ4X, the Solterra is only available in all-wheel-drive form; but it will be available in all 50 states, and buyers will be able to receive the full $7,500 EV tax credit without fear of an imminent obsolescence.

The 2023 Polestar 2 lineup could get more driving range — including more real-world range with an improved heat pump — as well as upgraded cabin filters, a removable awning, and a new set of colors and wheel designs. Buyers will get a car with a lower carbon footprint than before, the company said.

2023 Polaris 2

2023 Polaris 2

The Saudi Arabian government has confirmed it will buy up to 100,000 Lucid electric vehicles over 10 years, with deliveries starting in the second quarter of 2023. The vehicles will initially come from Lucid’s factory in Arizona, but may later be sourced directly from its soon-to-be-built plant in Saudi Arabia.

In China, battery giant CATL has launched its own battery replacement service called Evogo. Focused on apartment dwellers without home charging, the service uses a proprietary modular system designed to provide speeds comparable (or comparable) to DC fast charging.

What will the electric age bring to Chrysler? Well, for starters, this is definitely rethinking the Chrysler minivan as an electric vehicle—perhaps a new interpretation of the flexible Stow ‘N Go seats.

Volta Zero 7.5 ton electric truck

Volta Zero 7.5 ton electric truck

The new line of electric commercial trucks revealed by Sweden’s Volta Trucks, which range in weight from 16,500 pounds to 35,000 pounds, are not designed for combustion engines at all. Perhaps most notably, the design provides an entirely different vantage point for drivers to keep their heads down on the street.

Would new EV incentives have a bigger impact if they were designed to get gasoline “power users” (especially low-income users) to switch to EVs? That’s what California is thinking about.

On Thursday, a coalition of state and environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service, claiming that a proper environmental and cost analysis was not actually done before signing the contract for the new generation of delivery vehicles — only 10 percent of which are fully electric. What’s more, these gasoline-powered replacement trucks are expected to be less fuel efficient when new than their 1990s-era predecessors.

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess and BP CEO Bernard Looney using Flexpole chargers

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess and BP CEO Bernard Looney using Flexpole chargers

A project between Volkswagen and oil giant BP will add up to 8,000 new charging points in Europe by 2024 – focusing on urban charging and including a “Flexpole” design that doesn’t require high-voltage hardware to provide DC fast charging .

Kia confirmed this week that the first-generation Kia Niro EV will continue as a special edition of the zero-emission taxi in its home market of South Korea. According to Kia, this is the first in a series of “dedicated” electric vehicles. To achieve this, the much-loved electric car has been stripped down in the seat and door trims and other package changes.

Chevrolet Silverado EV - Sopranos Super Bowl Ad, 2022

Chevrolet Silverado EV – Sopranos Super Bowl Ad, 2022

Did GM, BMW, Kia and others’ Big Game ad spending lead to a surge in Tesla orders this year? It seems so, and Tesla touts that it got a boost.


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