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Chevy Blazer EV, Ford battery plan, VW CEO to Scout, solid-state carbon footprint: The Week in Reverse

Chevy Blazer EV, Ford battery plan, VW CEO to Scout, solid-state carbon footprint: The Week in Reverse

Which brand teased an affordable electric convertible?

Which EVs outshined gasoline equivalents in a study of new-car owners’ first 90 days?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending July 22, 2022.

GM revealed the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV, which shares nothing except a name with the gasoline Blazer relaunched in 2018. The Blazer EV will be offered in four trim levels, three battery packs, and multiple drive configurations, with a range of up to 320 miles anticipated by the automaker. At the same time, GM confirmed that it’s working on “purpose-built” electric Police Pursuit Vehicle (PPV) models based on the Blazer EV SS performance version. If the top-pack Blazer offers more than 300 miles of range, its size larger than Mach-E or Model Y might put it in a sweet spot for patrols. 

Cadillac Celestiq concept

Cadillac Celestiq concept

After many weeks of teasers, GM’s Cadillac finally pulled the wraps off its Celestiq show car, which previews a hand-built electric luxury sedan.

Volkswagen confirmed that its U.S.-bound versions of the 2023 VW ID.4 will be U.S.-built at Chattanooga, Tennessee. The new model year also marks the introduction of a 62-kwh battery pack, with one version still expected to start close to $36,000.

Teaser for modern Scout electric SUV and pickup

Teaser for modern Scout electric SUV and pickup

VW also surprised with two high-profile executive changes this week. The German automaker shifted its U.S. CEO, Scott Keogh, over to lead the Scout electric truck and SUV brand—likely suggesting that it sees Scout as a big opportunity, not a niche effort. And on the global stage, CEO Herbert Diess is stepping down, to be replaced by Porsche CEO Oliver Blume. Diess oversaw Volkswagen’s most extreme business transition in generations, steering the entire VW Group toward electric vehicles in the wake of the diesel scandal. 

On Monday, Porsche revealed that it’s working on “a new luxury, all-electric SUV model”—hinting that this might be an electric SUV flagship, perhaps equivalent to the Cayenne. It’s already readying a fully electric version of its Macan compact SUV. Porsche also announced that it’s bringing a range and efficiency boost to the 2023 Taycan with a software update. Some earlier model years of the Taycan will also get thermal management and charging improvements, wireless Android Auto, Spotify, and an improved charging-station filter. 

2023 Porsche Taycan

2023 Porsche Taycan

Ford on Thursday added more detail about how it plans to have enough battery capacity to ramp up production for its in-demand EV models like the F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E. It plans to “localize” 40 GWh of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cell production and potentially put CATL’s cell-to-pack system to use. Ford also reported that a robotic charging solution it’s been testing in Germany is ready for use in the rest of the world—and what might first be a great solution for the disabled has long-term potential for autonomous vehicles or fleet charging. 

Vinfast Store

Vinfast Store

Vietnam’s Vinfast continues to move faster than other EV startups—and it’s quite different than most of them. The EV maker with some very big aims just opened its first six U.S. retail stores, in California, and announced $1.2 billion in North Carolina incentives for a planned factory there. 

The Polestar 3 electric SUV might start around $75,000, according to a recent hint from the company’s CEO Thomas Ingenlath. If it delivers on its performance emphasis at the base level, that could significantly undercut the BMW iX M60, Audi E-Tron S, and Tesla Model X. 

2023 Polestar 3

2023 Polestar 3

A top Hyundai executive in Europe confirmed that the company is working on an entry-level, $20,000 electric minicar for the Continent. With the cheapest Hyundai U.S. electric vehicle the $35,295 Kona EV and the sub-$20,000 Hyundai Accent recently discontinued, we wonder if such a product might also be welcome in the U.S.

Solid-state battery technology alone could cut the battery-related carbon footprint of EV batteries 24%, according to a new report from lifecycle analysts Minviro commissioned by Transport & Environment. Figuring in the use of sustainable materials, the reduction could jump to 39%. 

2021 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring plug-in hybrid

2021 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring plug-in hybrid

Ford is recalling more than 100,000 vehicles—including Hybrid versions of the Ford Maverick and Ford Escape, plus plug-in hybrid versions of the Lincoln Corsair—over engine-compartment fire concerns. The recall relates to the vehicles’ active grille shutters and lower shielding, but Ford spells out that the fire risk is specific to engine failure, but it isn’t clear on why the engine failures are happening in the first place. 

The USPS confirmed, in a surprise that upended an ongoing drama, that it’s now seeking to make 25,000 future postal vehicles fully electric. That’s half of its initial 50,000-vehicle purchase and several times what it originally announced. This follows many months of drama, including various levels of outrage and pushback from the White House, Congress, environmental groups, and the public. 

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS AMG

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS AMG

Hybrids and plug-in hybrids didn’t do as well as non-electrified gasoline models in J.D. Power’s annual customer-appeal study assessing the first 90 days of new-car ownership. Neither did EVs—but, it found, there were some EV exceptions, like the Kia EV6 and Mercedes EQS, which beat equivalent gasoline vehicles. 

Mini Cooper SE Convertible concept

Mini Cooper SE Convertible concept

There isn’t a single fully electric convertible on the U.S. market right now, but Mini could change that—and it’s openly suggesting how by teasing the possibility in a one-off Mini Cooper SE Convertible. Would you buy one?

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