Civic Hybrid and Polestar 3 reviews, $25,000 Jeep EV, Tesla 4680 update: The Week in Reverse

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Civic Hybrid and Polestar 3 reviews, ,000 Jeep EV, Tesla 4680 update: The Week in Reverse


How are BMW and VW using AI in their EVs?

Why are lawmakers pushing back about how EVs figure into fleet efficiency standards?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending June 15, 2024.

This week Green Car Reports provided first impressions of two upcoming models that prioritize efficiency and driving fun. In a 2025 Honda Civic Hybrid review, we found this low-priced, high-mpg model to be a class above the Toyota Corolla Hybrid, with a quieter, punchier, and more pleasant driving experience than the non-hybrid Civic. It’s a great way to get nearly 50 mpg with no compromise. And in a 2025 Polestar 3 review, we found some of the best seats in the automotive universe, although the interface feels a little lost in pale, thin fonts and steering-wheel toggles. It seats five and stands out for ride and handling and overall build quality over the Tesla Model Y Performance, but at more than a $25,000 premium even before the Tesla’s tax credit, it should. 

2025 Polestar 3 Performance Pack, test drive, Madrid

A $25,000 electric Jeep is arriving in the U.S. very soon, according to a Stellantis investor presentation, in the form of a 2027 Jeep Renegade EV. And according to CEO Carlos Tavares, the model will use LFP battery cells to help achieve that targeted price.

Chevrolet has lowered the base price of existing Blazer EV LT and RS models for 2025, but there’s a catch. In both cases, features that were previously packaged in have been made optional in 2025 Chevy Blazer EV pricing. And with lower-priced front-wheel-drive LT versions and the high-performance SS still on the way, there will soon be more to the lineup. 

2025 Volkswagen ID.4

2025 Volkswagen ID.4

Volkswagen has confirmed that the 2025 VW ID.4 will carry over with all of its changes given for 2024—including more power, more driving range, and a vastly improved interface—while more of the brand’s other models will gain its ChatGPT-based digital voice assistant. 

A small number of Nissan Ariya EVs are being recalled due to something electric vehicles seldom have—an oil leak. In this case, a manufacturing issue can lead to oil leaks within the drive motors, potentially leading to excess wear. Nissan is replacing the entire drive-motor assembly in just 84 affected vehicles.

The Nissan Leaf has once again lost its $3,750 EV tax credit. While 2024 Nissan Leaf models at the dealership qualify for it, the 2025 Nissan Leaf that’s essentially carried over unchanged at face value does not. In what’s become a rollercoaster ride of eligibility, it’s not the only time this has happened, and Nissan says it’s working with its supplier AESC to recover the incentive on one of the market’s most affordable EVs.

2025 Nissan Leaf

2025 Nissan Leaf

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, at Thursday’s shareholder meeting approving a record pay package, teased three “amazing” EVs in the works, with affordability touted as essential and the Tesla Roadster appearing to be omitted. But he revealed that Tesla still hasn’t achieved the dramatic cost reductions it promised from its 4680 battery cell format that it touted at its 2020 Battery Day. It’s still cheaper for Tesla to buy suppliers’ cells.

Battery leasing has been seen as one solution for making EVs more affordable, but nobody has tried it at scale in the U.S. Honda on Thursday announced a new joint venture with Mitsubishi Corporation that it says will result in more affordable Honda EVs. For now it’s only for Japan, but could a similar scheme lead to an affordable U.S.-bound Honda EV?

Honda N-VAN e commercial EV

Honda N-VAN e commercial EV

Final fleet efficiency rules for 2027-2031 announced last week by the federal government go easier on mpg targets for trucks and SUVs. That means a projected real-world fleet average of about 38 mpg versus the original 43.5 mpg proposed in July 2023. A recent delay in reforming how EV efficiency is figured vs. gasoline models might also potentially give automakers a bigger boost while making fewer EVs. 

Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin also last week confirmed that the state will no longer follow the newest California emissions rules—meaning that it also won’t adopt California’s EV mandate and structure EV sales adoption targets. The ramp-up would put the state on a path requiring 35% of new-vehicle sales to be EVs by 2026, but the change allows more gas-guzzlers to flow to the state’s dealerships. 

New survey data suggests that the Tesla Supercharger network may be losing its edge—and that’s before the company’s across-the-board cuts to that operation. The Tesla Supercharger network hasn’t necessarily gotten any worse, according to the recent J.D. Power survey looking at satisfaction with public charging but, simply put, other networks are catching up. And just after Tesla Supercharging plans stalled, Ionna is rising. That’s the EV fast-charging network funded by seven automakers, and it anticipates opening its first U.S. charging stations in 2024, with eventual plans for 20,000 high-power urban and highway-adjacent fast-charging connectors. Ionna says it will support both the Tesla-derived NACS interface its funding automakers will soon adopt, as well as the CCS interface that most EVs are currently being delivered with.

Tesla Supercharger

Tesla Supercharger

Porsche has added thousands of ChargePoint EV chargers to its options for those driving its EVs and plug-in hybrids—meaning that the Porsche app now allows access to 75% of compatible U.S. chargers. The expansion, arriving just ahead of Porsche’s expansion of its EV lineup to include the Macan Electric as well as the Taycan, allows integrated payment through Porsche’s app. It includes Level 2 “destination” chargers as well as DC fast-charging connectors. 

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, EV buyers in recent months are overwhelmingly opting to claim their federal EV tax credit when they buy the vehicle. On Wednesday it revealed that 90% of eligible EV buyers in 2024 have opted to claim the credit at the point of sale—and 80% of eligible used EV buyers are claiming it that way. 

2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger

2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger

With the release of its annual EV sales outlook, Bloomberg New Energy Finance suggests that plug-in hybrids are a wild card for oil demand. With PHEVs making a comeback, and data suggesting they’ll only run 11-54% of their miles in electric mode, if PHEVs are bought instead of EVs, they’ll boost oil demand above current projections. And if they’re pushed into the market to satisfy regulators, will they be plugged in even that much?

A group of Republican Senators are pushing back versus stricter emissions standards expected to lead to more EV sales—by questioning the way EVs are figured into fleet efficiency calculations. Currently they’re given an inflated value that motivates automakers as each EV effectively enables the sale of many gas-guzzlers. So between that and softer future targets introduced last week by the Biden administration, would automakers even want to give those calculations up?

BMW Vision Neue Klasse X concept

BMW Vision Neue Klasse X concept

And BMW is using AI in its upcoming Neue Klasse EVs—to generate patterns and textures inside, and essentially as a mood board generator that still requires expert inputs from designers or engineers. At what point will some of those human factors drop out?

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