Hyundai Tucson PHEV and Kia EV6 reviews, Mach-E and Air recalls, Mercedes' G-Turn: The Week in Reverse

Which U.S. city is installing curbside chargers on request?

Is it possible that brake dust emissions are higher for EVs?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending May 27, 2022.

This week we presented a couple of drive reviews. In a review of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid, we saw this model’s two-hour charging, 33 electric miles, all-wheel drive, and striking design delivering a more appealing package than the Ford Escape PHEV, although it doesn’t measure up to the extra performance and range of the Toyota RAV4 Prime.  

2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid test drive, Nashville, TN

2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid test drive, Nashville, TN

We also did a follow-up review of the 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line and wrapped up some takeaways on real-world range, charging, and livability—including how it feels back-to-back with the Hyundai Ioniq 5. 

Two EV recalls illustrated when over-the-air updates handle it all, and when they still can’t substitute for eyes and hands. A small number of Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUVs are being recalled for a safety-related software issue. But by the time Ford mails out the traditional recall notices, many owners’ cars will already have the recall remedy, delivered over the air. And then the Lucid Air was recalled for something that requires a physical inspection—in its case a wiring harness assembly that, in a very small number of the 1,117 made up to May 4, could lead to the loss of instrument panel function. 

2021 Lucid Air

2021 Lucid Air

Automakers have been making a steady stream of joint-venture battery-making announcements. Next up was Stellantis, which on Tuesday announced an Indiana battery plant with Samsung SDI—to supply Stellantis’ upcoming EVs from Jeep, Ram, Dodge, Chrysler, and perhaps more. Separately, Polestar announced that it’s investing in the battery-tech firm StoreDot, which aims to mass-produce EV batteries capable of adding nearly 100 miles of range in five minutes of charging—by 2024. Polestar will test the silicon-based battery tech in “proof-of-concept cars,” with it headed to production models by 2026 at the earliest. 

In the U.S. and Europe, electric vehicle adoption has been helping ease the pinch created by sanctions stopping or throttling Russian oil exports, in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine. EVs have helped avoid 3% of global oil demand, with plug-in hybrids part of it. 

Lunaz upcycled recycling truck  -  based on Mercedes-Benz Econic garbage truck

Lunaz upcycled recycling truck – based on Mercedes-Benz Econic garbage truck

A recycling truck that’s been recycled into an electric one? That’s what the UK firm Lunaz, known for its stellar restorations of classic Jaguar, Rolls-Royce, and Bentley models has revealed. It claims that its electric garbage truck brings an 80% reduction in embedded carbon compared to a new trash truck. 

Mercedes-Benz released a video teasing its EQG electric SUV performing what it calls the G-Turn—using its four motors to perform what looks a lot like what Rivian calls the Tank Turn.

Mercedes-Benz EQG prototype

Mercedes-Benz EQG prototype

The EPA has laid out some of its qualifying details for the initial $500 million portion of its $5 billion electric school bus program. Although assistance will be prioritized toward “high-need” schools, other schools are eligible through a lottery, and the program will help subsidize charging and future bidirectional tech.

European Union regulators are reportedly aiming to include limits for brake dust emissions in upcoming Euro 7 standards. As at least one study suggests, that might actually be higher for EVs due to their additional battery weight—yes, despite brake regen and one-pedal driving.

2022 Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo

2022 Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo

The District of Columbia is considering a proposal intended to keep vehicles on its city streets smaller and lighter. It would hit heavy-duty trucks and other large internal combustion vehicles with a $500 annual registration fee, but allow some reduction for EVs. 

Volkswagen is reportedly shopping for U.S. factory sites for its upcoming Scout EV brand, which it’s now made clear will be independent of the Volkswagen brand in the U.S.—and thus, probably circumventing VW’s U.S. dealers. As executives recently revealed, it might also sell commercial vehicles. 

For those without off-street parking, there’s hope—if you live in Seattle. The Pacific Northwest city has a program through which you can request—after you work out the boundaries with the neighbors, perhaps—a Level 2 curbside charger installed at no cost, with a per-kwh flat fee for the energy. Will your city be next?

2022 Tesla lineup  (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

2022 Tesla lineup (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

General-market vehicle shoppers are more likely to trust established automakers over Tesla or newer EV startups like Rivian, found a leading consulting firm in its survey—although its responses also collectively suggest that the current crop of EV products falls short on expectations. 

While that might not be terribly useful, another study pointed to, potentially, one of the best things you can do this weekend if you’re an EV driver: show others your car and answer some questions. Study results from J.D. Power pointed to what we’ve known for a long time: that getting butts in seats sells people on EVs. Automakers aren’t doing particularly well in familiarizing consumers with EVs, with nearly a third of shoppers rejecting EVs simply out of a lack of information. 

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