Which EVs got improvements to ride and handling delivered over the air this week?
Which automaker showed an electric scooter that folds up suitcase-sized?
This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending September 15, 2023.
Based on some brief first driving impressions of the 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric, we can verify that once again it’s the best-driving of the lineup, providing an experience that’s more refined in every way. Only with final pricing not yet disclosed for the U.S., we’ve yet to see how it factors in with respect to value—especially with the addition of a base-battery version.
2024 Kia EV9
The upcoming Kia EV9 is noteworthy for many reasons, and one of them is the way the EV9 will allow access to bidirectional charging from the start. With the Wallbox Quasar 2, owners of the EV9 will have an automaker-approved means of tapping into the electric SUV for both home power backup and easing the load on the grid. We recently saw firsthand how this works.
Lotus has rolled out another EV that’s anything but the small and light the brand has signaled in the past. The 2025 Lotus Emeya is a big hatchback, the size of a Porsche Taycan or Tesla Model S, with performance and handling expected to keep up with both of those. Actual range figures land closer to those of the Taycan though, from first indications.
Despite its relatively few EVs available now, Toyota has big plans to make several big developments in battery tech the core of its upcoming EVs. In an update this week, Toyota laid out the timeline for solid-state batteries, and emphasized that to maximize range and efficiency in future EVs, battery packs will be thinner.
Rivian’s latest software update brings improved ride and handling to the electric trucks, in every drive mode, the company says. It’s another testament to the continuous improvement that over-the-air updates can bring to EVs especially—and how the tuning of the vehicle doesn’t end at delivery.
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 and Genesis Electrified GV70 are among the latest EVs to achieve IIHS Top Safety Pick+ status—meaning they’ve earned top crash-test ratings and met other standards for headlights and active-safety systems. The Lexus RZ also made it on the list, echoing the top-tier crash-test performance of the Toyota bZ4X and earning the top spot with better headlights. And the 2024 Mazda CX-90 plug-in hybrid has been named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It’s one of the few PHEVs to make that list, even though critical details regarding this model, such as EPA range and mpg, haven’t yet been released.
The Honda Motocompacto folding electric scooter can go up 12 miles, weighs just over 40 pounds, and can pack up the size of a suitcase that would easily fit in a trunk or cargo area. The Honda-engineered design revival is looking like the ideal accessory for one of Honda’s upcoming EVs, like the Prologue EV.
Honda Motocompacto folding electric scooter
Mercedes is reportedly looking to use BYD’s Blade LFP batteries in Chinese-market versions of its upcoming EVs—perhaps even the next-generation, efficiency-focused EVs heralded by its Model 3–sized Concept CLA-Class. Might the same apply in the U.S. or Europe?
The Chinese battery maker Gotion is setting itself up to be a U.S. battery maker—with the addition of a $2 billion EV battery factory in Illinois. Set to start production in 2024, the huge facility will make LFP battery packs and cells—for customers not yet revealed, although it’s fair to mention that Gotion is a key partner of VW in Germany for its new PowerCo venture.
2024 Audi e-tron GT
Battery issues are prompting a recall of the 2023 Porsche Taycan and 2023 Audi E-Tron GT. No other model years are affected, the automakers underscore. A change to the sealant used for the packs for the 2023 model year could prove expensive, with some owners likely receiving new packs.
BMW, Ford, and Honda have allied for tech enabling EVs to support the grid. With a company called ChargeScape, the automakers hope to navigate all the details between hardware and electric utilities for “EV-enabled grid services,” so that EV owners can help support the grid and be rewarded in doing so.
2023 Lucid Air Touring
A recent owner study has found that Tesla loyalty remains very strong, while Rivian and Lucid are among the brands luring owners away. The Model Y also lacks a companion model to step up to, it found—although recent price cuts to the Model X and the pending arrival of the Cybertruck may change that.
California this week announced the opening of a $38 million program to subsidize EV fast-chargers for disadvantaged communities. This helps coordinate with the state’s moves to revamp EV incentives themselves toward low-income drivers.
And which U.S. states are falling short in supporting the growing EV fleet, and which are keeping up? The location-data company HERE, with SBD Automotive, investigated, looking at a few factors beyond the sheer number of chargers. It found some of the same top and bottom state performers as last week’s J.D. Power study suggesting U.S. EV adoption is becoming polarized based partly on policy.