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Chevy Blazer EV review, Kona Electric pricing, 48V Tesla and the tax credit: The Week in Reverse

Why is Ford cutting production of the F-150 Lightning in half?

Where is the federal government’s charging network already up and running?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending December 15, 2023.

The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV is the first mass-market SUV built on GM’s Ultium EV toolkit. As we found in a first drive this past week, it’s different than just about any other EV you might compare it to—and that’s mostly a good thing. 

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid

Following up on our annual Best Car To Buy finalists, announced earlier this month, we ran through why a number of other EVs and plug-in hybrids—like the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid and Hyundai Kona Electric—didn’t make the cut. 

We also started taking a closer look at each of the four finalists. The Hyundai Ioniq 6 electric sedan is one of our Green Car Reports Best Car To Buy 2024 finalists because it’s one of the most remarkable new EVs—in terms of design, efficiency, range, charging, and more. In many respects, it’s the first formidable rival to the Tesla Model 3. And with three rows, 300+ miles of range, bidirectional charging, towing and off-road capability, plus a non-luxury price tag, the Kia EV9 reaches a completely new area of the EV market. What took so long?

2024 Hyundai Kona Electric

2024 Hyundai Kona Electric

With a complete redesign, the 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric gets a lower starting price versus 2023, and in base form it loses some driving range but picks up more standard tech. The loss in driving range is because the base Kona Electric SE now has a smaller 48.6-kwh battery pack good for an estimated 200 miles. SEL and Limited models now get a 64.8-kwh pack, so if you buy for the longer range the cost has risen a few thousand dollars.

The Porsche Macan will refocus around a fully electric version about six months from now, and on Monday Porsche summed up how the Macan EV advances Taycan tech—but with a focus toward the mass market. From faster real-world charging to smaller, more efficient power electronics and revised motor designs, it’s showing how this electric Macan and its 800-volt PPE basis co-developed with Audi will deliver more performance, more efficiently.

2023 Porsche Macan

2023 Porsche Macan

GM’s Cadillac luxury brand has revealed first photos of the Vistiq electric SUV, due for the 2026 model year. The three-row Vistiq will slot between the Lyriq that’s already on sale and the upcoming three-row Escalade IQ. Cadillac didn’t yet confirm a production timeline or any other details, but it did hint previously that this is one of the models that might go into production later next year.

Tesla has already confirmed that the Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive and Model 3 Long Range versions won’t qualify for the $7,500 EV tax credit after Dec. 31. Now it’s added language suggesting that the Tesla Model Y “likely” won’t keep the full tax credit in 2024. And the EPA listed the two versions of the Tesla Cybertruck as eligible for a $7,500 EV tax credit amount in 2023—although the initial deliveries of Cybertruck All-Wheel Drive models were priced at more than $120,000 and the Cyberbeast isn’t due to start below the $80,000 price cap for the credit. In no other instance does the EPA list EVs that start well above the price caps. 

2025 Tesla Cybertruck - Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck – Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

The Tesla Cybertruck’s shift to a 48-volt system for accessories is one that’s long been talked about. With the recent hint from Ford’s CEO confirming that Tesla did actually school other automakers on how to accomplish it—and some confirmation that Ford is also working on the shift—we took a brief look at why it’s taken so long to purge 12-volt.

Last week the House of Representatives passed a bill attempting to block the EPA from enforcing stricter vehicle emissions rules for 2027-2032, under the misconception it’s an EV mandate. With the Senate unlikely to take up such a vote, it’s a show for the ill informed.

Rendering of Kia Purpose Built Vehicles

Rendering of Kia Purpose Built Vehicles

Kia has confirmed that its purpose-built vehicle (PBV), which will act as a flexible basis for specialized van-like EVs for ride-hailing and last-mile delivery, is due for a debut at CES in January. That includes tech details yet to be explained, such as “Easy Swap” and “Dynamic Hybrid modularization.”

Sales of the retro-cute Honda E electric minicar are at the end of the road in Europe and Japan, just ahead of Honda’s announcement that a new generation of Honda EVs will debut at CES in January. While the Honda E might once have come to U.S. big cities, Honda instead opted to focus on Europe, where sales have disappointed.

Ford is opting to slow F-150 Lightning production, the company revealed recently in a memo to suppliers and cited by an Automotive News report earlier this week. While the company cited “changing market demand” in this latest of several recent decisions to scale down the pace of an EV production ramp, pricing surely has a key role. 

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning

Ohio has announced that its first NEVI-funded EV fast-charger is up and running. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, NEVI will be funding sites along Interstate highways and other routes over five years, in multiple phases—and it includes dedicated funding toward making them more reliable.

And the DOE’s Charge X Consortium is aiming to fix public charging issues by starting with EV charger error reporting. With a report, the group recently recommended that networks and hardware makers consolidate a tangle of trouble codes down to just 26 common codes—helping better underscore what’s going wrong along the way.


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