Scout $40,000 electric SUV, Hyundai Kona Electric, F-150 Lightning winter test: The Week in Reverse

Which electric truck maker might stop production at 500 vehicles?

Why oh why are steering wheels falling off EVs?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending March 10, 2023.

Are EVs like the Ford F-150 Lightning useless in the extreme cold because they lose all their range? We took a look at F-150 Lightning range, charging, and everything in between in subzero weather to give you a more realistic view of what living with an EV might be like in the extreme cold

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning

Ford also on Friday confirmed a battery-related recall on the 2023 F-150 Lightning—to replace the packs on 18 Lightnings that made it to dealerships or customers with a battery cell manufacturing defect. 

Scout Motors, the new electric vehicle brand from Volkswagen, on Friday confirmed that its first model will be an SUV in the $40,000 range, built at a new $2 billion factory in South Carolina. That model won’t arrive until 2026, but it will be followed by a larger electric pickup truck.

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV

Mercedes-Benz has priced its U.S.-made EQE SUV, and at just below $80,000 to start, the fully electric SUV makes the EV tax credit cut. This luxurious model will land between the EQB and EQS SUV in its lineup, and against the likes of the BMW iX and Audi Q8 E-Tron. 

Tesla has once again cut prices on the Model S and Model X. With these cuts of $5,000 to $10,000, Tesla is now effectively bringing the Dual Motor Model S just below the price of the dual-motor Lucid Air Pure that beats the equivalent Model S in range. It’s also bringing Plaid versions of the Model S and Model X to their lowest prices yet—both to the same $111,380. 

2023 Tesla Model X - Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2023 Tesla Model X – Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

Hyundai this week provided a first look at the 2024 Kona Electric. On the way to the U.S. later this year, the Kona Electric will get a little more battery and range, more space inside, and V2L tech for backup power, as well as over-the-air updates and vastly upgraded interface and active-safety tech.

Nissan is looking to share more components between its EVs and e-Power hybrids, in an effort to cut powertrain costs for electrified vehicles by 30% in just a few years—with price parity for hybrids by 2026. E-power hybrid trucks might be part of this plan, according to a report. 

Lordstown Motors’ production of the Endurance electric truck remains stalled, as the company works through a recall issue with the high-voltage system on the trucks. Despite not seeing a clear financial path to build more than the initial 500 trucks, the company is looking to future models made with Foxconn. 

Fisker PEAR rendering

Fisker PEAR rendering

Fisker isn’t yet delivering its Ocean EV in the U.S., but as part of a company update last week it revealed a bit more about its second act, the Pear. In addition to a couple more renderings of the upcoming $29,900 Fisker urban EV, the company pointed to a truly revolutionary electronics architecture and so-called Blade Computer.

Mercedes-Benz has made efficiency and flexibility core focal points for the new generation of eSprinter electric vans recently revealed. With LFP battery packs, heat-pump tech, and modular propulsion systems, these vans will be ready for a range of upfits, if not the Vanlife quite yet. 

2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter

2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter

While air suspensions have in the past been a necessary compromise in some EVs to maintain comfort and performance, Hyundai’s technology supplier is boasting that in next-gen form they might help aid EV range and protect batteries

Just ahead of SXSW in Austin, starting now, a U.S. startup called Lightship announced it wants to become the Tesla of RV makers with the solar-supplemented, self-propelled L1, a 27-foot travel trailer that, the company claims, will preserve the towing EV’s range. And Airstream and the design firm that’s an extension of Porsche have worked together to come up with the first “garageable” Airstream travel trailer in the company’s 90-year history. The small-footprint concept is also the first Airstream optimized for towing with EVs.

Lightship L1 battery-powered travel trailer

Lightship L1 battery-powered travel trailer

One of the nation’s largest utilities, in Minnesota, wants to build a huge EV charging network funded partly by ratepayers. The proposal is controversial from the start, as it would raise utility rates across the board, whether customers own EVs or not. 

Whether it’s the price of fashion or practicality: SUVs are fueling global oil demand and fouling CO2 targets, while neither electric SUVs nor electric vehicles as a whole are doing enough to offset that, according to a new analysis from the International Energy Agency (IEA). Downsized vehicles with smaller batteries, battery swapping, and other tech advances might though. 

2023 Nissan Ariya

2023 Nissan Ariya

Nissan is recalling some 2023 Ariya EVs because steering wheels might detach. And if this sounds familiar, that’s because it appears to closely parallel several recent accounts made public on social media regarding the Tesla Model Y. Well, this morning NHTSA posted an open investigation into Model Y steering wheel detachment, based on two recent incidents 

And according to a wide-ranging study of owners and lessees of 2020-2022 model year vehicles from survey giant J.D. Power, EV owners are much less satisfied with their dealership than gasoline vehicle owners. All the recalls are a big part of it.  

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