Wrangler 4xe winter drive, rotating Mazda details, GM small electric pickup truck: Upside Down Week

Which automaker revealed this week that some of its front-wheel drive electric vehicles will have rear-wheel drive?

Which charging network announced Shell purchase plans?

This is our backwards week look back, right here at Green Car Reports, for the week ending January 20, 2023.

The 2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is the king of plug-in hybrid SUVs for its practicality. And on a recent test drive, while we found it’s easy to rack up electric miles, it’s also hard to keep the gas engine off under a heavy load, in a blizzard.

Volvo has announced the return of rear-wheel drive, single-motor electric vehicles with improved range. The setup returns on the 2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge models, though details and US availability have yet to be established.

Mazda MX-30 R-VE

Mazda has revealed some technical details regarding its MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV extended-range twister, and it provides a bewildering array of mixed components and cues. It’s a vehicle Americans literally might not have.

GM is considering adding a $30,000 compact electric pickup truck to its lineup. The project is reportedly part of a design-based project to examine future affordable electric vehicles.

GM Electric Pickup Truck Silhouette: 2020 Ultium Platform Preview

GM Electric Pickup Truck Silhouette: 2020 Ultium Platform Preview

Shell announced this week that it will buy Volta, the network that offers free ad-supported charging of electric vehicles. Volta joins Greenlots and Ubitricity, among the oil giant’s recent EV charging acquisitions.

Could hydrogen fuel cell technology replace aircraft jet engines for cleaner passenger air travel? With cryogenic hydrogen storage and a “megawatt-class propulsion system,” Airbus is working on the possibility, and a flight test of the idea in the middle of this decade.

Airbus ZeroE platform

Airbus ZeroE platform

With the most polluting pre-2010 big diesel trucks now banned in California, the state is fining operators who still use them and denying registration. It is part of the regulations implemented more than a year ago.

In-wheel motor manufacturer Elaphe and McLaren Applied Technologies say a partnership will result in a new generation of coordinated in-wheel motors and inverters that could help maximize efficiency and make electric vehicles highly responsive.” .

Aptera–Elaphe Association

Aptera–Elaphe Association

Rental car giant Hertz plans to pipeline thousands of EVs to major US cities. Along with that, it aims to install supportive charging infrastructure in real neighborhoods, with Denver as the first city to implement.

Nikola has developed a trailer-mounted mobile hydrogen fueling platform for fuel cell trucks. The company will show it off at an event next week, and what could essentially be a large tank looks like a stopgap as Nikola delivers more trucks before the hydrogen stations arrive.

Toyota AE86 BEV and H2 Concepts

Toyota AE86 BEV and H2 Concepts

Toyota has built two zero-emissions versions of the tailpipe Corolla GT-S coupes of the 1980s, one with a battery-electric powertrain and the other with a hydrogen-combustion engine. The project aims to show that retrofitting of older cars is a possibility.

And while the shift from passenger cars to SUVs continues, few in the industry see the trend reversing in the future. One of them is the CEO of Citroën, who recently said that SUVs are “done” thanks to EVs, due to the cars’ better aerodynamics and the need to offer maximum range with minimum battery cost. Just tell that to Citroën’s successful SUV-focused corporate cousin, Jeep.


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