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Toyota EV plans, Audi E-Tron GT debut, battery supply woes, past peak oil: The Week in Reverse

Which EV maker bought a whole lot of carbon-intensive bitcoin?

Which country became far better known as a hub for electric vehicles this past week?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending February 12, 2021.

Toyota on Wednesday announced a big change in its product strategy, as it confirmed two fully electric vehicles set to arrive in the U.S. this year, along with one more new Prime plug-in hybrid model. We followed the report with a summary of all we know about these two upcoming Toyota EVs—a crossover and what appears to be a sedan. 

Toyota U.S. electrified vehicles presentation – February 2021

Although it’s based on the Porsche Taycan, the 2022 Audi E-Tron GT and RS E-Tron GT have a very different look and driving experience, according to Audi. It also offers more range, at up to 238 miles.

The 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid, and Ioniq Electric are due to dealerships soon and get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity plus a small price hike, just before the debut of the Ioniq 5 later this month. 

2020 Polestar 1 first drive

2020 Polestar 1 first drive

The exclusive Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid coupe is entering its final year of production, before the arrival of more electric cars plus a future fully electric flagship model.

A ruling from the U.S. ITC has put the future of one of the largest factories for EV batteries in jeopardy. The Georgia SK Innovation plant is due to supply the Ford F-150 Electric and Volkswagen ID.4, among others. 

Teaser for battery-electric Jeep Wrangler concept

Teaser for battery-electric Jeep Wrangler concept

With a fully electric Jeep Wrangler concept due in March at Moab, Utah, Jeep plans to cater to its core off-road enthusiasts. 

Tesla vehicles might stand out for having an entire lineup of vehicles with no tailpipe emissions, but its recent investment in carbon-intensive Bitcoin has left even some fans and green investors puzzled. In other Tesla news: Electric vehicles are covering fewer daily miles than gasoline vehicles, point out U.S. researchers in a new paper, although Tesla models are traveling farther. Might Teslas be better ICE replacements?

On the other hand, an analysis from the Rocky Mountain Institute underscores that in addition to the U.S. shift to electric vehicles, we need people to drive less in order to achieve climate goals. 

Rivian R1T

Rivian R1T

Rivian has confirmed that one of the first showrooms for its lineup of electric trucks will be in an urban setting in Chicago; the first, the R1T pickup, is due for delivery this summer. 

Israel-based Chakratec aims to harness flywheel technology as an energy buffer for DC fast-charging. The tech was considered and abandoned in racing and hybrid systems last decade. Might it allow more charging stations where the grid wouldn’t otherwise permit it?

Chakratec flywheel-based Kinetic Energy Storage systems for EV charging, grid-balancing

Chakratec flywheel-based Kinetic Energy Storage systems for EV charging, grid-balancing

Shell has already been among several big oil companies aiming to repurpose themselves toward renewables and even charging companies. But to hear the company say we’re past peak oil is perhaps the strongest sign of the times. 

Freightliner is turning to its corporate cousin Detroit Diesel for the supply of core electric-truck components for its upcoming 250-mile semi and medium-duty commercial truck. 

Massachusetts is hoping to stabilize the very high demand charges that result from road-trip fast-charging. 

Green cars have been a bright spot in California and many other places during the pandemic; in the Golden State EVs added up to nearly 7% of the market in 2020.

2008 tesla roadster motorauthority 002

2008 tesla roadster motorauthority 002

Yes, Tesla did exist before Elon Musk. A 2019 CNBC interview just released earlier this week with co-founders Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning walks through how the two pitched Musk. 

And just in case you missed it, last weekend’s Super Bowl brought a challenge from GM to EV-savvy Norway, followed by a response from Audi in Norway, and its top-selling E-Tron. We also looked at how it’s probably no surprise that Norway is also near the top in the world in terms of per-capita electricity use.


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