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Electric Innovations and Hybrid Expansions: A Week of Automotive Revelations

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Exploring Lucid Gravity, Acura ZDX, and Jeep's Hybrid Pickup: A Week in Review

Which car manufacturer is expanding its hybrid vehicle assembly within its exclusive U.S. electric vehicle facility?

What Lexus model is exclusively hybrid starting in 2025?

Here's our recap of the past week's highlights at Green Car Reports, covering all the major updates until May 3, 2024.

A short test drive of the Lucid Gravity prototype revealed that this forthcoming electric vehicle will provide a distinctive configuration and a driving experience unlike any other three-row electric SUV.

Prototype of the Lucid Gravity

The 2024 Acura ZDX EV has been unveiled as the fastest SUV ever produced by Honda's luxury division, and its design matches its performance credentials. In a recent evaluation, Green Car Reports examined if this inaugural electric vehicle from Acura retains the brand’s distinctive identity despite utilizing GM underpinnings.

The 2025 Lexus UX 300h is now exclusively available with hybrid technology, and the favored all-wheel drive variant has seen a significant increase in fuel efficiency. The combined gas mileage for the UX 300h AWD has risen to 43 mpg, with prices beginning at approximately $40,000.

2025 Lexus UX 300h

Last week, Hyundai announced that its Metaplant in Georgia, which was originally planned to exclusively produce electric vehicles, will now also start manufacturing several hybrid models in the U.S. This move is aimed at increasing the variety of hybrid options available within its lineup of gasoline vehicles.

Jeep revealed on Thursday that it plans to release a plug-in hybrid variant of its Wrangler-inspired Gladiator pickup truck "later next year." This announcement of the Jeep Gladiator 4xe PHEV comes shortly after speculation that the automaker might introduce a hybrid version of its Recon model, which is initially set to be an all-electric vehicle.

2024 Model of the Jeep

Cadillac, the luxury division of General Motors, may not fully transition to electric vehicles by 2030 as initially stated. The brand has indicated that although its electric vehicle launch plans remain on track, the phase-out of its internal combustion engine models could be delayed.

Is California experiencing a decline in electric vehicle sales? This week's quarterly report highlighted the intricacies of the ongoing EV market dynamics. While Tesla's declining sales contributed to a drop in overall EV deliveries, robust sales from other manufacturers like Hyundai helped balance the scales. Consequently, while the total number of EVs sold in California has increased compared to the last quarter, their market share has diminished in relation to the overall vehicle market.

On Friday, the Biden administration announced revisions to the EV tax credit regulations, which include a relaxation of the rules regarding the sourcing of critical minerals for the next two years. This adjustment is expected to increase the number of vehicles that qualify for the maximum $7,500 credit. However, provisions that exclude Chinese automakers and suppliers, labeling them as foreign entities of concern, will continue to be enforced.

Prototype of the Polestar 5

Polestar has announced that using StoreDot’s "silicon-dominant" battery cells, it has developed a prototype electric vehicle that can charge from 10% to 80% in just 10 minutes. While this technology may not be ready for mass production for several years, and the Polestar 5, which was used for the test, will debut with alternative batteries, this achievement serves as a significant validation of the technology.

The firm responsible for the Emily GT EV, which was designed by a group of ex-Saab engineers, is considering manufacturing it in Italy. This could be part of a larger plan to develop a family of electric vehicles that would include various models such as a wagon, coupe, and convertible.

NEVS Emily Grand Tourer

Toyota is initiating a plan to focus on domestic hydrogen fuel-cell technology across various sectors by establishing a Hydrogen Headquarters in California. The new H2HQ at Toyota will feature an adaptable microgrid and spearhead the use of fuel cells in various applications including trucks, stationary power sources, and beyond.

A new report from scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, part of the Department of Energy, suggests that adopting more adaptable control systems and a layout similar to traditional gas stations could significantly enhance the dependability of electric vehicle charging stations.

2024 Tesla Model Y – Image provided by Tesla, Inc.

CarMax, a leading retailer in the used-vehicle market, recently released its yearly report stating that the most sought-after used electric vehicles (EVs) are now available for up to $5,000 less than they were the previous year. The report highlights a continued preference for models like the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, and Nissan Leaf, all of which have seen notable price reductions. Additionally, this year's roster of best-selling EVs featured a smaller selection of luxury models not made by Tesla.

If you're in the market for a new electric vehicle (EV) at a competitive price, consider starting your search at Costco. The wholesale giant is currently providing a $1,000 discount on several models, including the Volvo XC40 Recharge, C40 Recharge, and EX40 EVs, as well as a selection of Volvo plug-in hybrids and three EVs from General Motors: the Cadillac Lyriq, Chevrolet Blazer EV, and Chevrolet Equinox EV. Additionally, a $2,000 discount is available on the Polestar 2.

Matchbox Mercedes-Benz G 580 featuring EQ Technology in high-quality die-cast metal

Last week saw the launch of the 2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 featuring EQ Technology, known simply as the electric G-wagen to many. This week, a more budget-friendly option is hitting the market. Mattel's Matchbox is introducing a luxury die-cast electric G-wagen constructed from recycled metal and eco-friendly plastic, with plans to release a widely available version later this autumn. For enthusiasts of electric off-road adventures, this offers a new avenue to express their passion.

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Next year, Jeep will expand its range to include a plug-in hybrid version of the Gladiator. Meanwhile, Cadillac is having second thoughts about its goal to phase out gasoline vehicles by 2030. In other news, changes implemented by Biden’s administration in the EV tax credit guidelines could increase the number of EVs that qualify for the maximum $7,500 credit. This update, which was announced last Friday, relaxes the rules on the sourcing of critical minerals for the next two years. However, stipulations regarding foreign entities of concern, particularly those involving China, remain in place. All this and more can be found here at Green Car Reports.

According to updates released by Biden's administration on Friday, an increased number of electric vehicles (EVs) are expected to be eligible for the maximum tax credit of $7,500 in 2025 and 2026. However, these changes will not simplify the process for Chinese manufacturers to qualify.

Jeep's leading executive in the U.S. has stated that the Gladiator plug-in hybrid is set to be released "later next year."

The transition from traditional internal combustion engines to electric vehicles may be progressing more gradually than anticipated, yet the strategies for EV adoption remain unaltered.

The ZDX serves as an introductory model for Acura's electric vehicles, despite being constructed by General Motors and utilizing GM's Ultium EV platform.

This decision may influence the manner and timing of additional Chinese electric vehicles entering the U.S. market.

Throughout July, the most recent vehicle promotions at Costco include electric vehicles from Polestar, Volvo, and Chevrolet, as well as plug-in hybrid models from Volvo.

Tesla's static sales impact electric vehicle expansion in California. Toyota establishes a hub for hydrogen-related activities. Additionally, a test drive of the Lucid Gravity reveals it expands on the foundation of the Lucid Air, offering additional features. All this and more, on Green Car Reports. A short test drive of the Lucid Gravity prototype provided enough insight to…

A brief test drive indicates that the Lucid Gravity will stand out from other three-row electric SUVs.

Tesla experienced a notable decline in sales, which resulted in modest quarterly revenue increases and a small decrease in its share of the electric vehicle market.

The hydrogen fuel-cell complex in California will encompass everything from research and development to sales, extending its impact beyond just Toyota's range of vehicles.

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