Toyota BZ4X test drive, Kia Niro EV, Nissan Leaf, Civic Hybrid return, Wrangler PHEV sales: The week in reverse

What brand sparked two electric sports cars of the future?

What country plans to shape an electric car policy around those who use a lot of gasoline?

This is our look back at the opposite week – here at green car reports—For the week ending April 15, 2022.

In our first test drive review of the Toyota BZ4X 2023, we found it odd but charmingly offbeat, no performance leader but solid in efficiency. Simply put, it’s everything you might expect in an EV from the company that brought us the Prius — if only they planned to build enough of it.

2023 Kia Niro EV

2023 Kia Niro EV

At the New York Auto Show, Kia introduced its re-designed 2023 Niro lineup in the United States. Returning to hybrid, plug-in and hybrid versions, the lineup offers greater range, higher gallons, or both, depending on the version—plus a design that produces more interior space than the current version without bulking up the exterior. It also released pricing and EPA fuel economy ratings for the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid. With up to 43 mpg combined and a base price of $28,545, it has multiple advantages over hybrid versions of the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Hyundai Tucson.

The Nissan Leaf 2023, also revealed in New York, builds on the price cut and more affordable location given to last year’s electric hatchback, making way for the upcoming Ariya, and streamlining the lineup to just two models. It also gets some new design details to distinguish the new year’s model.

2023 Nissan Leaf

2023 Nissan Leaf

Honda has confirmed its plans to abandon the Insight hybrid soon — to make way for the return of the Civic Hybrid, as well as other new hybrids. It’s all part of a push to make hybrid cars the top percentage of the company’s US sales. And earlier in the week, it teased two electric sports cars, as well as a charged investment of more than $40 billion in research and development over the next 10 years, with 30 electric vehicles by 2030 and planned production of about two million annually by then.

Faster acceleration and off-road pedal driving mode are one of the various updates that have been made to the latest version of the Jeep Magneto electric Wrangler concept. And surprise! The best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle in the US market for the first quarter of 2022 was the Jeep Wrangler 4xe. It has sold in the thousands more Toyota RAV4 Prime, or all Volvo Recharge PHEVs combined.

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe

Mercedes-Benz plans to make electric trucks in the US soon — in a modified format for last-mile delivery in the US market — and we recently got a prototype for an eSprinter. Mercedes-Benz also announced this week that it has completed a 626-mile real-world road trip in its Vision EQXX concept — all on a single charge, with a battery under 100 kWh, about 15% left. Although the 3,850-pound results of this concept won’t necessarily extend to future compact models, it’s a good sign.

California has published its official Advanced Clean Cars II rules, which aim to increase sales of battery electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles, combined, to 35% of new light vehicle purchases by 2026 — on the way. to 100% of those types of vehicles by 2035.

Tesla V10 Smart Summon

Tesla V10 Smart Summon

Tesla’s Boombox feature is once again the subject of a federal safety recall campaign. A follow-up to a recent recall, a second treat is now sent through the overload update to ensure that when owners use a smart recall or recall, the vehicles emit federally mandatory pedestrian sounds.

Washington State plans to help guide its electric-vehicle policy by studying so-called “privileged users” of gasoline — roughly 10% of American drivers who use nearly a third of the gasoline used in light vehicles.

Giga Texas Opening - April 2022

Giga Texas Opening – April 2022

Finally, there’s something to think about: Despite supply chain issues and material concerns, the electric vehicle market has gained momentum, heading toward what some see as an accelerated period of great change. Will the expected rapid electric vehicle transition or 2025-2035 be the most transformational period in automotive history?

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