Bolt EV availability, Rogue Hybrid, next Leaf, VW diesel crimes: The Week in Reverse

When can you buy a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car from your local Chevy dealer?

And what carmaker pleaded guilty to four felony charges and will pay more than $4 billion in fines for its criminal actions?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending on Inauguration Day, Friday, January  20, 2017.

Friday, we reviewed the new 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid, the only direct competitor to the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid compact crossover utility vehicle.

We liked it better than expected, but its gas mileage on our four-day test was only somewhat better than the regular Rogue’s—and lower than its ratings.

On Thursday, we took a deep dive into an Arthur D. Little study showing minimal emission gains from electric cars over comparable vehicles powered by gasoline.

BMW i3 and Volkswagen e-Golf electric cars using Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast charging

BMW i3 and Volkswagen e-Golf electric cars using Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast charging

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It’s all about the assumptions: turns out the analysis assumes all electric-car batteries must be replaced at the end of the warranty period. Every single one. And there’s more.

Wednesday, we noted a landmark decision in the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal: a court required a full purchase-price refund for a German owner.

U.S. owners of VW and Audi TDI diesel cars with “defeat device” software can have their cars bought back, but Germany has no equivalent to class-action suits, so its owners must sue individually—and this is the first such court decision.

In other VW diesel news, the company settled criminal charges with the Department of Justice, pleading guilty to four felony charges and agreeing to pay $4.3 billion in fines.

On Tuesday, we updated a three-year-old roundup of what we know about the next Nissan Leaf electric car, now presumed to be a 2018 model.

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn confirmed a 200-plus-mile version of the next Leaf at CES two weeks ago, and noted it would also have limited self-driving capability on highways.

Nissan Leaf 'Advanced R&D Electric Vehicle' shown at company annual meeting, Yokohama, Jun 2015

Nissan Leaf ‘Advanced R&D Electric Vehicle’ shown at company annual meeting, Yokohama, Jun 2015

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We kicked off the week on Monday with a piece that we hope clears up widespread confusion over when the Chevy Bolt EV will arrive at U.S. dealers, including a state-by-state schedule.

To help readers filter out local dealers who aren’t interested in electric-car buyers, we also offered instructions on how to figure out if a Chevy dealer sells the Bolt EV.

There’s almost always Tesla news each week too.

On Friday the NHTSA closed its investigation into a fatal Tesla Model S crash while the car was operating on Autopilot, though the agency will continue to monitor Autopilot incidents.

Earlier in the week, the company released Supercharger fast-charging prices (for cars bought after January 15) and made its P100D Model S even faster with a “Ludicrous Plus” mode.

Over the weekend, we noted that the Justice Department is probing Fiat Chrysler diesels in the EcoDiesel versions of the Ram 1500 pickup and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV.

Finally, 2016 was the hottest year on record for our planet—and the third annual new temperature high in a row.

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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