BMW electric SUV, Tesla demands, VW batteries, maxi Mini: The Week in Reverse

Which notorious disaster site has been proposed as a hydrogen production site for fuel-cell vehicles?

And, what does electric-car maker Tesla Motors demand that its owners clubs must do?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending on Friday, June 3, 2016.

Cardboard 1959 Morris Mini Minor fits in Mini Countryman (Photo by 'Practical Classics')

Cardboard 1959 Morris Mini Minor fits in Mini Countryman (Photo by ‘Practical Classics’)

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Friday, we took a light-hearted look at just how maxi a new Mini Cooper has become.

Two Dutch enthusiasts built a 1:1 scale model of an original Mini—and managed to fit it entirely inside a modern Mini Cooper Countryman (with a couple of caveats).

On Thursday, we covered plans by Tesla Motors to charge buyers of its future Model 3 electric car for use of its Supercharger DC fast-charging network.

While not entirely unexpected, this was the first time Tesla CEO Elon Musk had explicitly said Supercharger use would come at a price for Model 3 owners.

Much debate ensued, but many commenters felt this was a reasonable response to the prospect of hundreds of thousands of Model 3 cars clogging future Supercharger sites.

Tesla Supercharger site in Newburgh, New York, up and running - June 2015

Tesla Supercharger site in Newburgh, New York, up and running – June 2015

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Tesla also requires its owners clubs to commit to lobbying on behalf of the company in exchange for its official approval, it turns out.

Wednesday, we looked at whether Volkswagen’s much-touted commitments to electric cars might include its own lithium-ion battery factory.

While some carmakers rely on outside cell suppliers to build the necessary production capacity, others—think Tesla with its “gigafactory”—are taking matters into their own hands.

July 29 will be the date for a gigafactory “grand opening celebration,” by the way, according to invitations sent to a subset of Tesla owners.

On Tuesday, we kicked off the week by rounding up the latest reports, rumors, and suppositions about BMW’s next electric car.

That’s what we think will be the 2019 BMW i5 small crossover SUV, which is expected to offer a 200-mile range and optional all-wheel drive.

Monday, we celebrated the U.S. Memorial Day holiday with a post on an iconic American brand.

Ford Motor Company will increase the rated electric range of its 2017 Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid sedan to 22 miles, a 10-percent boost, using only software refinements.

Over the weekend, we updated a story on a very high-mileage Nissan Leaf electric car that became famous for racking up 100,000 miles in less than two years.

Owner Steve Marsh reports that his 2011 Leaf has now crossed 150,000 miles, although it’s also lost almost half of its battery capacity.

Finally, we noted an uncomfortable irony: Japan wants the prefecture of Fukushiima to become a center for hydrogen production.

 

Globally, most people associated Fukushima with the notorious Tepco nuclear-plant disaster that followed the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan.

It was the accumulation of hydrogen gas from an overheated reactor that led to some of the problems suffered by that now-shuttered plant.

Those were our main stories this week; we’ll see you again next week. Until then, this has been the Green Car Reports Week in Reverse update.

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