Mercedes EQB and Vision EQXX reviews, police F-150 Lightning, US-made ID.4, EV tax credit: The Week in Reverse

How far weekly does Sono say its Sion solar EV might go without ever charging?

Which automaker launched a service aimed at answering questions about EVs?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending July 29, 2022.

This week, we drove the one-and-only efficiency-focused Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX concept, which covered nearly 750 miles on a charge in a real-world test run, and found this benchmark for electric vehicles to be as intriguing behind the wheel as it is to look at—and we noted how, at every step, escaping the EV weight spiral was a top priority. And in a first drive review of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQB, we found this electric adaptation of the GLB SUV to be refreshingly different, standing apart from the rest of the crossover EV crowd and their swoopier (and less practical) designs.

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX

The Mini Concept Aceman ushers in a new design era for the Mini brand, and specifically shows a fully electric “modern interpretation of a crossover model for the brand. Mini didn’t give any hints here in drive-system specs, but it presented a vision that doesn’t take over the dash with screens.

Mini Concept Aceman

Mini Concept Aceman

Ford revealed the F-150 Lightning Pro SSV this week, calling it America’s first electric police truck. With a choice of battery packs and equipment built on the affordable F-150 Lightning Pro fleet model, it should deliver a cost-competitive option for departments that want to electrify. The Mega Power Frunk can become an emergency command center, too.

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro SSV

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro SSV

The production version of the Sono Sion solar-supplemented EV was also revealed this week. Changes were subtle versus the earlier prototypes, although the interior has been reconfigured for more space. Its 54-kwh LFP battery pack provides 190 miles of range on its own, while its body full of solar panels will add 70 miles a week on average or up to 152 miles in ideal conditions.

Honda told some of the design backstory behind its upcoming Prologue EV, which is due to arrive in 2024. A California-led design team and virtual design process brought in some influences from the retro-styled Honda E and Honda’s other current SUVs but it doesn’t ‘t share its look with the Chevy Blazer EV with which it’s expected to share underpinnings.

Marco Tan, Honda VR and CG designer, with Honda Prologue clay model

Marco Tan, Honda VR and CG designer, with Honda Prologue clay model

The EV tax credit is back as a possibility in Congress, with a Senate proposal expected to pass as part of a new reconciliation bill. Included in it, the 200,000-vehicle cap would be lifted—bringing GM, Tesla, and Toyota back into full qualification—while vehicle-price and household-income caps would be applied. The credit would hold at $7,500, with $4,000 for used EVs, but it would be made a point-of-sale amount under a mechanism still not yet worked out.

The US Department of Energy has confirmed a conditional federal loan of $2.5 billion to Ultium Cells LLC, the GM-LG joint-venture battery-cell manufacturer, for plants in Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan that will make large-format NCMA pouch cells that will enable more US-built affordable EVs. Although there have been many applicants, the loan would be the first to be made under the DOE’s ATVM program in more than a decade.

Possible electric Chevrolet Camaro in GM Ultium teaser video

Possible electric Chevrolet Camaro in GM Ultium teaser video

GM also announced a couple of major US EV supply-chain deals that will shore up enough raw material to feed 1 million annual EVs for North America by 2025. That includes a deal for cathode active materials out to 2030 and covering 5 million EVs.

Volkswagen has started US assembly of its ID.4 electric car. With it, VW taps into a US EV supply chain—including batteries from an SK plant in Georgia—and it could accelerate sales to match the “millions, not millionaires” talking points it maintained leading up to the ID.4.

Volkswagen ID.4 built at Chattanooga

Volkswagen ID.4 built at Chattanooga

Faraday Future pointed out, in a new filing, that it will need more funding to produce its FF91 luxury EV yet this year as planned. As it pointed out in the most recent update, its trajectory has been one of perseverance.

Ahead of an expected stock market listing later this year, Porsche is aiming to be more profitable with EVs than with gasoline models. The EV strategy aims for 8 out of 10 models from the performance-car maker to be fully electric by the end of the decade.

BrightDrop EV410

BrightDrop EV410

A group of 17 states, DC, and Quebec have united on a plan to electrify 30% of new trucks and buses in their jurisdictions by 2030. It complements California rules that are already being challenged by a lawsuit from a trade group that includes several of the companies—like General Motors—that are simultaneously pushing for more electrified fleet trucks.

Siemens has signed on with Virginia-based ConnectDER to help provide the nearly half of US households that face costly panel upgrades an affordable solution for charging EVs: plugging directly into the utility-meter collar.

Siemens ConnectDER meter collar plugged

Siemens ConnectDER meter collar plugged

Relative to the number of registered EVs in Florida, the Sunshine State has been shorted on EV charging infrastructure. A push from a newcomer will soon change that though, with thousands of 80-amp Level 2 chargers set to be installed across the state over the next 18 months.

California leads the nation in home charger installation, according to a recent study, while New York City is in last place. While those might not be so surprising, it was unexpected to see a low rate of chargers in some places with relatively low-density housing, lots of garages and driveways, and reasonably high EV adoption—like Austin, Texas.

GM EV Live

GM EV Live

And GM really wants to answer your EV questions—and for that, the automaker launched a new service called EV Live. It’s set to complement what GM’s dealerships already provide and help answer the public’s questions on charging, the tech and the vehicles—and clarify misconceptions.

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