Lexus RZ review, Kia EV9 debut, affordable VW EV, peak oil timeline: The Week in Reverse

Which big electric truck can give other EVs 20 miles or more of range per hour?

Why are EVs a traffic-safety threat, according to one of the major U.S. safety agencies? 

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending March 17, 2023.

In a first drive of the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e, we found the first U.S.-bound fully electric vehicle from the Toyota luxury brand to be a conservative entry that tests that waters with limited driving range but a lavish cabin. Steer-by-wire tech—and a yoke—are on the way eventually.

2023 Lexus RZ 450e

2023 Lexus RZ 450e

Kia provided a first look at its upcoming 2024 EV9 electric SUV, and it borrows extensively from the 2021 concept vehicle of the same name—including second-row seats that will pivot 90 degrees to the side for easier access or swivel around to face the third row. Full details on the luxurious EV9 are due later this month. 

The Biden administration on Tuesday officially opened the $2.5 billion program focused around community EV charging. Part of the $7.5 billion designated toward a national charging network under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in 2021, the program balances with the highway-focused NEVI program that provides funding at the state level and already has interest from Tesla, among others. 

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV V2V charger

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV V2V charger

The upcoming 2024 model year GMC Hummer EV can charge other EVs at 6 kw using an upcoming vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) 240-volt charging cord. That’s enough to send meaningful charge to a smaller EV—well over 20 miles of charge in an hour to a Chevy Bolt EV, for instance. 

Volkswagen has revealed the ID.2all concept car, previewing an affordable sub-$30,000 VW electric car—one of the several compact EVs the automaker is preparing for the European market and perhaps beyond.  

Volkswagen ID.2all concept

Volkswagen ID.2all concept

The convenience-store chain 7-Eleven has an ambitious EV charging network plan, the company revealed Thursday. It aims to be one of the largest charging networks in North America, with charging stations at many locations in the U.S. and eventually Canada, plus support for CHAdeMO and CCS charging—as well as Tesla with an adapter. 

Mitsubishi aims to make all of its models EVs, plug-in hybrids, or hybrids by 2035, and plans to launch nine electrified models over the next five years—including EVs enabled by an alliance with Renault and Nissan plus a Mitsubishi electric pickup

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

There are two large electric SUVs on the way for the Porsche: an electric version of the Cayenne, and another built on VW’s Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) and positioned above the Cayenne. Both are due to arrive after an electric 718 sports car and electric Macan compact SUV. 

Volkswagen’s PowerCo EV battery firm chose Canada for its first plant outside Europe. PowerCo, which represents VW’s aims for vertical integration, as it scales up EVs, could from this Ontario facility potentially supply factories for VW in the U.S. and Mexico later in the decade, as well as a South Carolina factory for the new Scout truck brand.

BMW i Vision Dee concept

BMW i Vision Dee concept

BMW has confirmed that its Neue Klasse family of EVs, due to arrive starting in 2025, will feature a much-simplified dash and full-windshield panoramic head-up display—like what the brand teased in its i Vision Dee concept earlier this year. 

Hertz is helping make the U.S. epicenter Big Oil a lot more electric, with the announcement that it plans to triple its EV fleet in Houston. The effort will add 2,100 EVs to the Houston fleet and an EV charging hub at the city’s Hobby airport. 

2022 Rivian R1T IIHS crash testing

2022 Rivian R1T IIHS crash testing

In looking at electric vehicle crash safety, crash tests and real-world incidents have already shown that battery fires aren’t a primary concern. The extra weight of EVs is a threat to the safety of everyone else on the road though, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety argued. 

Owners are suing Tesla and seeking class action status over an alleged violation of antitrust laws, in which the company limits competition and forces owners to use Tesla’s service centers and to source parts directly from the automaker. 

EV owners are less satisfied with their home charging experience than they were last year. Although there are a number of reasons to unravel in these latest results from survey giant J.D. Power, the 9% hike in the cost of residential electricity may be the most to blame—especially the 23% hike in costs for those in New England, year over year.

Tesla charging

Tesla charging

We took a look at the seven U.S. states that lead the nation in plug-in vehicles in 2022, each with more than 10 registered EVs per thousand people as recently summed by the DOE.

And according to a recent report, the worldwide market for internal-combustion vehicles is in “structural decline,” with ICE vehicle sales already down 20% from the 2017 peak. Peak oil demand for transportation is now shifted up to 2027—much sooner than what was predicted even a few years ago.

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