VW ID.4 reveal, California’s ICE ban, Battery Day tech and the $25,000 Tesla: The Week in Reverse

Which EV startup took its platform out for a drive without the rest of the car on top?

Which battery supplier is setting up two mammoth plants in Georgia?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending September 25, 2020.

The biggest single event of the week was, without a doubt, Tesla’s Battery Day. Although it might not have provided the instant gratification that some Tesla fans (or investors) were seeking—with an apparent effort from CEO Elon Musk to lower expectations beforehand—it presented a clear technology roadmap for the next decade. Among them, an ongoing effort for Tesla to manufacture its own new-format cells, aiming for greater control of materials and more vertical integration, with a goal of halving the cost of cells. That, Musk said, would enable a “compelling” $25,000 car with fully autonomous driving capability in 2023.

$25,000 Tesla teased for 2023 - Battery Day

$25,000 Tesla teased for 2023 – Battery Day

Separately, at the same event, there was some good and some bad about the much-anticipated Tesla Model S Plaid. While its specs have improved versus what was previously expected—to 520 miles of range, a sub-2.0-second 0-60 mph time, and a quarter-mile time under 9.0 seconds—Tesla announced that the Model S Plaid has been delayed to late 2021. 

2021 Volkswagen ID.4

2021 Volkswagen ID.4

One of the most important mass-market EVs of the decade made its debut this week—Volkswagen ID.4 electric crossover. The ID.4 Pro version that arrives early in 2021 was priced at $41,190. Special 1st Edition versions arriving late this year, with all the extras, cost $45,190, but at the time of writing they’re already spoken for. Green Car Reports got up close with the ID.4 earlier in the week and found the infotainment system to be a work in progress but felt positive about the package as a whole.

Earlier in the week, VW announced that ID.4 owners will get three years of unlimited DC fast charging on the Electrify America network.

Lucid Air range test video - Golden Gate Bridge

Lucid Air range test video – Golden Gate Bridge

Another one of this week’s biggest news stories: California governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order Wednesday suggesting the “bold action” of effectively banning the sale of gasoline passenger vehicles by 2035 in the state.

Battery supplier SKI Innovation has started one of its two plants in Georgia that will be capable of providing cells for up to 300,000 EVs a year by 2024.

2021 Kia Sorento

2021 Kia Sorento

The 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid offers an expected 37 mpg that would beat the Toyota Highlander as the highest-mileage three-row SUV. A plug-in hybrid Sorento could also return 30 miles of all-electric range in the U.S. cycle, Kia says.

Canoo, the California EV startup that wants to sell you a membership, not a car, has shown its bare platform and propulsion components, piloted by a professional driver, racing around a dusty lakebed. 

Lordstown Endurance

Lordstown Endurance

Lordstown Motors showed the clean and simple but tech-savvy interior layout of its Endurance electric truck 

Based on a labor agreement made this past week, Ford plans to build five fully electric models in Canada starting for the 2025 model year, with the last arriving in 2028. 

Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck concept

Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck concept

Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler revealed a long-haul hydrogen fuel-cell semi truck, called the GenH2. The move follows a pivot of its fuel-cell tech away from passenger vehicles earlier this year. 

The Cadillac brand is aiming to be mostly electric by the end of the decade, and the showcase brand for GM’s upcoming EVs; but GM is reportedly asking for dealerships to go in on that with a $200,000 spend on DC fast chargers. 

Consumer Reports released a whitepaper that included a surprise: that plug-in hybrids cost less to repair and maintain than gasoline models.

2021 Polestar 2

2021 Polestar 2

And last weekend, we looked at Polestar’s claim of “a disturbing lack of transparency” regarding EV carbon footprint—and its decision to disclose more about its own vehicles and how they’re made. 


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