Electrified Airstream, all the EVs due in 2022, battery swapping big time: The Week in Reverse

Which automaker proposed powering EV fast-charging stations with fuel cells? 

Which big multinational company sees fast-charging profitable by later in the decade?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending January 21, 2022.

We rounded up all the EVs arriving in 2022, laying them out by expected U.S. delivery date, starting price, and range. Even after cutting out versions of models already revealed, it’s looking like quite the list of new EVs to look forward to.

2023 Fisker Ocean prototype

2023 Fisker Ocean prototype

A show in Florida this week underscored that the EV lifestyle is spreading soon to motorhomes, RVs, and trailers. The eStream, an electrified version of the classic Airstream travel trailer, promises to reduce the range loss of EV tow vehicles—or boost the mpg of gas or diesel tow vehicles—while capable of remotely maneuvering in and out of parking spaces. And two electric RVs also made a debut. Airstream’s parent Thor Industries showed a Vision Vehicle concept incorporating a solar roof and fuel cell—as well as a battery—and allowing 300 miles of range or a week of energy. And Winnebago showed a battery electric e-RV concept based on the Ford Transit, with propulsion by Lightning eMotors. 

Subaru hinted that it doesn’t intend to drop its performance variants in the electric age. It recently showed a roadgoing race car and a sporty Solterra STI—both fully electric. 

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

GM president Mark Reuss confirmed on Thursday that pre-production of the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV has started—at the same Spring Hill, Tennessee factory originally built for the Saturn brand. First customer deliveries of this first Ultium unibody model are due “in a few months.”

BMW has dropped its X3 plug-in hybrid for the U.S. market for the 2022 model year, the automaker confirmed. With the fully electric iX3 not due for the market and the departure of the PHEV, badged the X3 xDrive30e, BMW is lacking an electrified SUV the size of the Tesla Model Y, Audi Q4, or the upcoming Mercedes EQB. 

CATL Evogo battery swapping

CATL Evogo battery swapping

The world’s biggest battery supplier rolled out a one-minute battery swapping solution, as well as an entire business around it. If that’s not enough to call it an inflection point, consider this: The Evogo tech, from CATL, is compatible with 80% of global EVs now, it says, with all global entries accommodated in the next three years. Yes, we’re assuming that means Tesla.

In EV charging topics, our most popular piece of the week was this: Could fast-charging be profitable to a big multinational energy company by later in the decade? An executive at BP seems to think so, with EV fast-charging approaching gas-pump levels on a margin basis. Rivian is aiming for 10,000 of its Waypoint destination chargers by the end of 2023; and this week it announced it’s teaming with Under Canvas for Level 2 charging at glamping sites in Utah. And Blink announced that it will be supplying Level 2 charging stations to General Motors dealerships in the U.S. and Canada, that company announced Tuesday. The 19.2-kw output of the new hardware makes sense to support the latest Ultium EVs, including the Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV—although GM added that multiple companies will be supplying units. 

Under Canvas carbon-conscious camp with Rivian Waypoint chargers - Moab

Under Canvas carbon-conscious camp with Rivian Waypoint chargers – Moab

GM outlined the future it sees for its Hydrotec fuel-cell technology, with fuel-cell “power cubes” packaged into modular generators capable of powering DC fast-charging stations, events, or industrial uses—or potentially part of large-scale grid buffering. 

In 2021, EPA-rated driving range spanned higher than ever, to 405 miles in one case (the Tesla Model S). But, as a DOE roundup showed recently, because of the sheer number of mid-range EVs offered, the median electric range dropped. 

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid

The U.S. was once the top global source for lithium, and it has large reserves of it. So how did it end up so lacking in the processing and refining infrastructure for this important ingredient for EV batteries and electronics? It’s an interesting backstory about the global economy. 

Sales of battery electric models overtook sales of diesels in Europe—at least for the month of December. It’s an early sign that the annual lines have a chance of crossing in 2022, although progress in electrifying Europe’s fleet has been uneven across its countries. 

Meanwhile, the European CEO of Stellantis, which includes Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge, says that the rapid shift to battery electric vehicles in the EU, by 2035, is a political choice, and not the choice of industry or consumers. Further, he says that hybrids would be a cheaper and faster way of carbon reduction. Is this true for the U.S.?

Chrysler Airflow concept

Chrysler Airflow concept

And last weekend we took a look at GM’s 1987 Pontiac Pursuit prototype, as profiled by MotorWeek in a recently re-run review, and saw that this model got a lot of things right about the future—although the steering-wheel yoke today remains well short of the mainstream. 

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