Tesla safety, Prius Prime ratings, fuel-cell history, Model 3 electric range: The Week in Reverse

2017 Toyota Prius Prime test drive, Ojai, California, Sep 2016

2017 Toyota Prius Prime test drive, Ojai, California, Sep 2016

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Which U.S. carmaker is moving to capitalize on Volkswagen’s diesel woes in the U.S. market?

What did Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk challenge us to do? (And when we did it, what did we conclude?)

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending on Friday, October 14, 2016.

At the end of the week, we had several Tesla stories stacked up at the top of our traffic charts.

Friday, we summarized our own Twitter poll, which asked what the most surprising thing about the Tesla Model 3 would be, whenever it finally goes on sale.

Several alternatives got votes, but electric range seems to be the area where our followers expect the most innovation. (See all our poll results.)

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk at Tesla Store opening in Westfield Mall, London, Oct 2013

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk at Tesla Store opening in Westfield Mall, London, Oct 2013

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On Thursday, we accepted Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk’s invitation to “do the bloody math” on Tesla Autopilot safety.

Our Tesla-owning writer David Noland did just that, assembling data from several sources and delving into proper statistical methodology.

His article underscored the point that that Musk’s conclusions about safety weren’t warranted by sound statistical analysis.

Separately, we also looked at whether Tesla can get permits to build half a million cars at its assembly plant in Fremont, California.

Wednesday, we resurrected a half-century old video to note that the first fuel-cell vehicle turned 50 this month—though its maker, GM, has never put a hydrogen vehicle on sale.

Meanwhile, a provider of hydrogen fuel proposes, “Let’s clear the air” in a new marketing campaign that includes a hydrogen station finder app (for the 30 stations in the U.S.).

On Tuesday, the Chevrolet Cruze Diesel was confirmed, including a five-door hatchback version to launch for the 2018 model year.

Chevy hopes to capitalize on VW’s wholesale withdrawal from that segment, following a year and more of the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal.

We kicked off the week on Monday with new data: the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime was rated at 133 MPGe while running electrically, higher than Toyota’s previous estimate.

That means the plug-in hybrid Prius has the highest energy-efficiency rating of any car sold in the U.S. this year—besting the BMW i3, the previous efficiency champ.

Not sure what MPGe actually measures? We explained that for you too.

Over the weekend, we covered cruise ships powered by liquid natural gas (rather than the atrocious bunker fuel, which is pretty much liquid asphalt). They’ll enter service in 2019.

Finally, next Thursday, watch to see whether federal judge Charles Breyer signs the final VW diesel settlement, which will allow buyback offers to start.

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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