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Hyundai Ioniq 6 Excels in Range, Tesla Trims Supercharger Team, and Toyota Explores Hybrid Fuel-Cell Trucks: Green Car Reports’ Weekly Recap

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"Ioniq 6 evaluation; Reductions in Supercharger capacity; Toyota and Ram's hydrogen-powered trucks: A Recap of the Week

What prompted Tesla to market an entry-level Model Y equipped with an oversized battery?"

Why do rural areas view electric vehicle charging as less pertinent?

Here's our retrospective of the past week at Green Car Reports, covering all the updates until May 11, 2024.

During a subsequent review of the Hyundai Ioniq 6, Green Car Reports discovered that this electric sedan delivers impressive mileage at an affordable cost, outperforming the Tesla Model 3 in both real-world driving and official range estimates. However, the Ioniq 6 falls short in some aspects of its design.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Review

Kia has announced that its compact EV3 electric SUV will enter production and is set to be released next year. The company has not confirmed if this model will be available in the U.S., but this could be revealed following its debut on May 23. In a series of tightly framed teaser images, Kia revealed that the production version of the EV3 retains many of the distinctive design features and the unique Star Map lighting theme seen in the concept version.

Tesla has discontinued its most affordable Model Y variant and introduced a new rear-wheel-drive Model Y Long Range option that offers a 320-mile range for an additional $2,000. Furthermore, CEO Elon Musk indicated that the base Model Y vehicles that have been recently delivered may be able to access the full range or close to it through an upgrade, subject to regulatory clearances.

Hydrogen refueling at Toyota's Hydrogen Headquarters

Toyota is innovating in the world of emission-free truck electrification by blending the technologies of large batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, traditionally viewed as competing methods. The company's latest hydrogen fuel-cell semi-truck incorporates an oversized battery pack, yet it lacks plug-in functionality, enhancing the use of fuel-cell technology. This hybrid approach could also be applied to upcoming pickup models.

In an effort to expand its presence in the commercial vehicle market, Stellantis has announced its intention to develop a hydrogen fuel-cell Ram heavy-duty truck. Specifics have not been provided, but this move into the medium-duty truck segment using fuel cell technology follows a trend among other car manufacturers who are moving away from fuel-cell technology in passenger vehicles.

Last week, coinciding with the sixth anniversary of its initial installation of an electric vehicle (EV) fast charger— and the same week Tesla announced layoffs within its Supercharger division—Electrify America announced significant growth ambitions. The company plans to increase its current fast-charging stations by 25%, aiming to reach a total of 5,000 units by year's end, marking an approximate 20% rise from its present count.

Charging stations by Electrify America

In an unexpected development, BP is set to step in and support Tesla Supercharger stations that were affected by Tesla's recent and somewhat baffling move to scale back its Supercharger initiative. BP plans to allocate $1 billion by 2030 for this purpose, with half of the funds earmarked for use over the next two to three years. This investment will fund the installation of 3,000 charging stations across the U.S., including several major locations equipped with 12 or more charging units, which will be known as Gigahubs.

Rivian is adjusting the output capabilities of its factory in Normal, Illinois, to enable the production of up to 155,000 units per year of its budget-friendly R2 SUVs. This figure surpasses the total number of electric vehicles the company has distributed since it began delivering its R1 series to consumers roughly 2.5 years ago.

Rivian's R2 Model

A recent Reuters article cited analysis from Wood Mackenzie indicating that escalating electric vehicle (EV) purchases in the U.S. and China are poised to substantially reduce gasoline consumption in 2024. This anticipated decrease is attributed not simply to a surge in EV sales, but rather to the aggregate impact of the numerous EVs already operational.

Ex-President and now presidential hopeful Donald Trump is said to have sought $1 billion from leading oil industry figures at Mar-a-Lago, assuring them he would eliminate tougher EPA emissions standards expected to boost electric vehicle sales. Despite these companies now branding themselves as eco-friendly "energy companies," the potential increase in pollution could harm their new green image.

Electricity prices for homes across the United States have surged recently. At the same time, California aims to reduce the expenses associated with charging electric vehicles at home by introducing a set-price scheme. This plan offers a predetermined amount of energy for a consistent, lower price, and offers further discounts for households with lower incomes.

Is the use of flame retardant chemicals in car interiors harmful to our health? According to Consumer Reports, which references various studies and reports, there is a pressing need for the federal government to revisit and possibly revise the safety standards established in 1971, which have remained largely unchanged. Additionally, there are concerns that these chemicals, originally designed to suppress fires in gasoline-powered vehicles, may not be necessary in electric vehicles.

BMW Unveils Vision Neue Klasse X Prototype

BMW has commenced construction of a battery facility in Mexico, which will manufacture energy-rich cylindrical cells aimed at enhancing the range and charging speed of its upcoming Neue Klasse electric vehicles. Should the regulations under the Inflation Reduction Act persist, these products could potentially be eligible for the electric vehicle tax credit.

A new survey from the University of Michigan indicates a potential disparity between urban and rural areas regarding the relevance of electric vehicle (EV) charging, with rural communities seeing it as less pertinent than cities. Despite an increase in interest from local governments compared to the 2019 survey, cost remains a significant concern.

The latest report by the American Lung Association reveals that nearly four in ten Americans reside in areas where the air quality is deemed poor. Although new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency on emissions for passenger and commercial vehicles are set to reduce particulate matter, tackling ozone pollution continues to be difficult. Electric vehicles are seen as a significant part of the solution, alongside advances in reducing emissions from power generation facilities.

Eli Zero

If you're comfortable traveling at speeds no greater than 25 mph, the compact $11,990 Eli Zero EV could be perfect for city deliveries. In its version for the U.S. market, this two-seater hatchback minicar can cover up to 90 miles, and at such limited speeds, range anxiety should hardly be an issue.

Setting aside the issues with the Supercharger, there remains a question as to whether Tesla's NACS connector will enhance the reliability of electric vehicle charging. However, recent findings suggest that this is unlikely. The primary cause of charging problems in EVs isn't the connector itself, but rather the complex web of compatibility challenges that exist between automakers, equipment manufacturers, and charging networks.

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Earlier in the month, CEO Elon Musk dismissed almost all members of Tesla's Supercharger team, despite having previously described them as crucial to the company's future.

Trump is said to be considering the elimination of EPA emissions regulations that favor electric vehicles. BP is looking to save abandoned Supercharger stations following the collapse of Tesla’s charging strategy. Furthermore, is it practical to have a large battery without a charging port in hydrogen fuel-cell trucks and possibly even pickup trucks? Toyota believes it is. More on this…

Toyota proposes that by increasing battery capacity, hydrogen fuel-cell technology can be enhanced to meet the demands for greater range and towing capacity in their updated semi truck model.

It's understandable that the oil corporations were hesitant to accept Trump’s proposal right away, given that they have evolved into diversified global "energy companies," with gasoline now considered a traditional segment of their business.

According to reports, BP intends to invest $1 billion by 2030, allocating half of this sum in the coming two to three years, to set up more than 3,000 charging stations across the U.S.

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 presents a compelling option compared to the Tesla Model 3. California demonstrates ways to reduce the cost of home EV charging. Additionally, there are concerns about whether the interiors of EVs, and cars in general, could be detrimental to our health. More on these topics can be found here at Green Car Reports. During a subsequent test drive of the Hyundai Ioniq 6, Green Car…

The Ioniq 6 electric sedan is notable for its impressive range and comes at a highly competitive price.

Research indicates that car seats, particularly in more affordable vehicles, may contain dangerous chemicals, including substances identified as carcinogens.

California is contemplating the implementation of a standard fee on electric bills from its major utility companies, which would be offset by lower costs for charging electric vehicles.

Kia has announced that it will move forward with producing the EV3. Rivian is updating its Illinois facility to begin manufacturing the R2 model. Electric vehicles are significantly impacting fuel consumption. Additionally, what is the minimum size for an effective electric vehicle? We're covering these stories and more at Green Car Reports. Rivian is adjusting the manufacturing capabilities at its Normal plant…

Rivian's initial and sole manufacturing facility is set to be reconfigured to support the production of as many as 215,000 vehicles annually.

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