Blazer EV price cut, Dodge electric muscle, Rivian R2 and R3: The Week in Reverse


Blazer EV price cut, Dodge electric muscle, Rivian R2 and R3: The Week in Reverse

Which major battery supplier has 9-minute-charging solid-state cells and a 20-year EV battery in its sights?

Which affordable EV regained its EV tax credit eligibility this week?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending March 9, 2024.

Rivian on Thursday provided the most significant future-product preview since the debut of its R1 series trucks at the 2018 LA auto show. At its own theater in Laguna Beach, California, the company presented the expected Rivian R2 electric SUV, a smaller sibling to the R1S that will start at $45,000, deliver more than 300 miles of range in most of its forms, and be comparable to the Tesla Model Y in overall footprint. Then it surprised with two “one more thing” debuts—of the R3 and high-performance R3X, two true compact EVs could amount to an even stronger proposition for Europe. Rivian used the moment to pause (and delay) plans for its massive Georgia plant to get the R2 to production by early 2025. But in a look at these Rivian models’ shared design and manufacturing elements, if the company can get past its headwinds it has a lot of innovation yet to come.

There was another big EV debut of the week, although it was largely overshadowed by Rivian’s rollout. The 2024 Dodge Charger Daytona EV has been revealed gives a decidedly muscle-car spin to the brand’s EV future. Range and efficiency take the backstage to performance, and this EV’s gonna make a lot of noise—and maybe vibration. 

GM confirmed Friday a huge price cut for the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV, as it resumed deliveries on the model. The Blazer EV had been under a stop-sale as GM sorted out a string of software woes affecting drivability, usability, and sometimes charging. With the price cut, the Blazer EV will cost $50,195, or just $42,695 to households who can take advantage of the $7,500 tax credit. Blazer EVs already delivered will need to be brought back to the dealership for software upgrades that can’t be done over-the-air.

The Honda Prologue and Acura ZDX, both based on GM’s Ultium battery and propulsion platform and assembled by GM, will both qualify for the full $7,500 EV tax credit, the brands confirmed this week. That lowers the Prologue’s effective base price to $41,295 including destination. 

The 2024 Nissan Leaf is eligible for an EV tax credit of $3,750, the automaker confirmed mid-week. That effectively cuts the price of the Leaf, which is made in Tennessee with an American-assembled battery pack, to $25,485 for many households. Nissan also confirmed that the 2024 Ariya costs a lot less than the 2023 model. Price cuts of $3,600 for the base Engage version with the smaller 63-kwh battery pack and $6,000 for the longer-range versions with the 87-kwh pack tuck base versions close to the $40,000 mark, without the help of any EV tax credit. 

According to a report out just before the weekend Nissan might build the Fisker Alaska electric pickup, as well as an electric truck with its own Nissan name. Citing inside sources, the two companies are reportedly in “advanced talks” that may include major investment, manufacturing and, perhaps, a shared platform. 

Ford has given its 2024 E-Transit electric van lineup more range. Despite the average daily use for commercial vans around 74 miles, the new 89-kwh battery pack will yield 159 miles for the E-Transit, up from 126 miles.

A significant overhaul to the 2024 Audi Q4 E-Tron brings it faster charging, more range, and quicker acceleration, the automaker revealed this week, in a series of changes that previously weren’t expected until the 2025 model year. Audi has also retuned the ride and handling of these models, now badged Q4 44 E-Tron and Q4 55 E-Tron Sportback. 

Costco members can get Audi EV discounts—including up to $3,000 off the E-Tron GT and RS E-Tron GT. The recently revamped 2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron lineup also qualifies, with a $2,000 discount, and the Q4 E-Tron for $1,500. 

EV battery prices are due to drop dramatically this year and next, according to a new analysis from Goldman Sachs. Much of that 40% EV battery cost drop could carry over to pricing—leading to price parity with gasoline models sooner, without subsidies. 

A New York–based EV charging startup called Gravity claims to be rolling out the fastest EV chargers in the U.S. The new network claims greater charging power at the connector than Tesla Superchargers, and it says its DC hardware is bidirectional-charging-ready and takes up the space of a Level 2 AC charger. And its first location in Manhattan is managed so as not to require grid upgrades for the 24-stall installation. 

According to its latest update, the startup vehicle maker Aptera revealed it still needs additional capital to start production of its solar EV—even the Launch Edition model. That appears to contradict what the company said earlier in February, when it declared its latest crowdfunding run would assure enough to “fund the initial phases of production,” and it likely pushes the arrival date of the vehicle into 2025.

The battery supplier Samsung SDI presented an ambitious battery-development roadmap that includes a 20-year EV battery and 9-minute-charging solid-state cells, plus cell-to-pack battery tech that could cut weight by 20% and reduce complexity. Samsung SDI is a joint-venture battery partner of Stellantis and supplies BMW and Rivian, among others, with cells for some of their latest EVs. 

And according to recent survey results, the often-cited figure that 85% of EV drivers charge at home isn’t the whole story. Among those who have access to home charging, 60% still use public charging at least a few days a week—underscoring the complexity and necessity of widely available public chargers.


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