EV SPAC roundup, Lightyear solar EV range, electric Dodge muscle car and Ram 1500 pickup: The Week in Reverse

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Which charging network is presenting air quality updates at its chargers?

Which EV startup teamed up with Pininfarina?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending July 9, 2021.

One by one, the legacy automakers are pivoting to focus more on EVs and less on internal combustion. This week, it was Stellantis, the new combined company formed by the merger of FCA and PSA earlier this year. It announced a $35 billion pivot to EVs across 14 global brands including a fully electric Dodge muscle car and electric Ram 1500 pickup. With four dedicated EV platforms and common components in between, it’s setting the bar high with up to a 500-mile range, 2.0-second 0-60 mph acceleration, and an efficiency of up to 4.3 mi/kwh. 

Dodge claims first BEV muscle car - 2021 Stellantis EV Day

Dodge claims first BEV muscle car – 2021 Stellantis EV Day

As part of the Stellantis event, Jeep revealed the 2022 Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid, and teased a 2030 vision that includes autonomous trail driving and paired drones—with Jeep EVs on the way. 

The Detroit-based startup Hercules has enlisted help from Italy’s Pininfarina for its Alpha electric pickup plus other future products. 

Rivian appears to be working on more maneuverability tricks for its quad-motor propulsion system other than just the glorious Tank Turn. A K-Turn Mode might help with tight spaces, without the need for the complexity of rear-wheel steering. 

Lightyear One validation prototype

Lightyear One validation prototype

Netherlands’ Lightyear showed some of the first real-world range testing for its One solar-supplemented car—on a track, at about 53 mph. But with a total range of more than 440 miles and an efficiency roughly 50% better than the Tesla Model 3, it’s already looking quite impressive.

The Biden administration called on the FTC this week to enact right-to-repair rules—potentially allowing lower-cost EV repairs and allowing a wider range of shops to work on them. 

The SPAC has quickly become a favorite of the 2020s for EV startups looking to accelerate their growth. Lucid is potentially the largest of these so far, as Bloomberg New Energy Finance rounded up the companies that have taken this path—including, increasingly, companies related to charging tech.

2018 Nissan Leaf with Greenlots fast charger by Dumpster at I-87 Modena travel plaza, Feb 2018

2018 Nissan Leaf with Greenlots fast charger by Dumpster at I-87 Modena travel plaza, Feb 2018

And this week there were several important news pieces about the business behind charging companies. The charging network Greenlots recently announced roaming agreements that will welcome drivers of the Canadian network FLO—although the flow of agreements users have to navigate remains a strong argument for a single system like the Tesla Supercharger network. Volkswagen is reportedly looking for a big co-investor in Electrify America—one willing to put $1 billion or more into the company, taking a stake. Could that help it become a closer tival to Tesla’s charging network?

Volta Charging, best known as the network that has big “commerce-centric” screens built into its charging experience, is providing a PSA of sorts: air quality updates at the charger.

Volta Charging - Air quality information

Volta Charging – Air quality information

The company that makes electric—er, range-extended—London taxi cabs is planning to make a plug-in camper van.

New York City is getting seven Mack garbage trucks, with a strong growth opportunity elsewhere in the country, especially with the exit of Nikola from the intended business. 

Mercedes-Benz eCitaro G electric bus

Mercedes-Benz eCitaro G electric bus

Solid-state battery cells are often seen as a future tech on automakers’ product roadmaps later in the decade; but Daimler Trucks is using solid-state cells today—in Mercedes-Benz eCitaro buses—and we checked in about what exactly that means. 

And how long will it take for the lighter carbon footprint of a new EV to offset its more carbon-intensive manufacturing? In most cases, underscored by a recent report, it’s down to a year or two. 


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