Lucid Air review update, dual-motor Rivian preview, EV tax credit leasing loophole: The Week In Reverse

Which automaker revealed one of the most aerodynamic SUVs in the world?

Which states recently joined California in banning gas-only vehicles by 2035?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending December 30, 2022.

Our biggest, albeit most confusing, piece of news this week came on Thursday, as the U.S. Treasury Department released another round of guidance. It confirms that buyers of some EVs will qualify for a full $7,500 EV tax credit starting January 1—although potentially only through March. And a new loophole may allow automakers with EVs made outside North America to wrap the credit into subsidized leases. 

2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring

2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring

The Lucid Air remains the technology leader among EVs based on its astonishing range, power, and efficiency. And we just checked in with Lucid’s user interface, which has been given an invisible overhaul via software and over-the-air upgrades. It continues to improve, sometimes by the day. 

Rivian this week previewed the drive modules for its dual-motor powertrain that it plans as the core of its R1T electric pickup and R1S electric SUV lineups—and, as of yet, the only way to get one of those models with the 180-kwh Max Pack battery. 

2023 Nio EC7

2023 Nio EC7

Nio revealed the EC7, a flagship “SUV coupe” that Nio claims has the lowest-ever coefficient of drag for a production SUV. At 0.23, it’s a factor that will certainly help maximize its range. But is it an SUV?

BMW announced last week that it has licensed solid-state battery tech and manufacturing processes from Colorado’s Solid Power. That will result in pilot production lines at BMW facilities in Germany, as it aims for a solid-state production model by 2030. 

2022 Audi Q4 Sportback E-Tron

2022 Audi Q4 Sportback E-Tron

Audi confirmed that it plans to make EVs at all of its global factories before 2030. It aims to phase out production of internal-combustion models by 2033—dependent on “local conditions”—but prior to that will make vehicles with the two technologies side-by-side. 

Washington and Oregon have recently enacted rules banning sales of gas-only cars by 2035, forming a West Coast EV bloc—perhaps to be joined by all of Canada, plus Vermont, New York, and other states following California rules. 

Winter testing of electric cars in Norway by the Norwegian EV Association (Norsk Elbilforening)

Winter testing of electric cars in Norway by the Norwegian EV Association (Norsk Elbilforening)

Even though long-range EVs can easily handle the demands of daily driving in cold weather, the winter months mean one simple change in habits, as seen in data from Recurrent: more time spent charging

An International Council On Clean Transportation (ICCT) study suggested that drivers of plug-in hybrids are plugging in far less than regulators assume. With future EPA and California vehicle rules hedging on the future of plug-in hybrids, the group emphasizes that more data is needed. 

2019 Tesla Model 3

2019 Tesla Model 3

And which models have been Green Car Reports Best Car To Buy past winners? We took a look at all 12, and noted that so far a charge port has been the common thread. See which one wins for 2023 this next Wednesday, Jan. 4.

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