Kia EV9 wins, Fisker franchises, Tesla tops BYD, leather in EVs: The Week in Reverse

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Kia EV9 wins, Fisker franchises, Tesla tops BYD, leather in EVs: The Week in Reverse


Which EVs made the tax-credit shortlist in 2024?

Which company faced a $1.7 billion fine for diesel emissions cheating?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending January 5, 2024.

The Kia EV9 is Green Car Reports’ Best Car To Buy 2024. Among its many winning assets: It fits the form that American households seek in a family vehicle, without the luxury price tag, and it’s at the leading edge in all aspects of charging. 

2024 Rivian R1S

A preliminary list of 2024 EVs qualifying for the tax credit was released early this week by the EPA, and as expected there are very few models qualified for the full $7,500 amount. With tougher sourcing rules for battery components and critical minerals, plus a new “foreign entity of concern” clause—the China filter—some American-built EVs will earn a place back on the list later in the year but others may have a harder time of it. And some made-in-America EVs like those from Rivian lost half of their credit amount.

Fourth-quarter sales results released this past week showed that while Tesla led in 2023 global EV sales, the Chinese automaker BYD pulled ahead of Tesla toward the end of the year. 

2024 Ford F-150 Lightning Flash

2024 Ford F-150 Lightning Flash

Ford once again raised prices on some F-150 Lightning electric trucks, while lowering them on top-trim versions. It also dropped the extended range version of the XLT, meaning that the entry point for the larger battery pack and 320-mile range is the $75,590 Flash version.

While it might still be all-in on EVs for the long-term, GM struggled to make EVs in 2023. Despite a glut of hand-raisers for its EVs, the company delivered just over 75,000 EVs in 2023, of which only about 13,000 were its future-leaning Ultium EVs.

Fisker Ocean

Fisker Ocean

Fisker will add franchised dealerships alongside its own company-owned showrooms, marking a pivot away from the purely direct-sales model it’s used up until now. The plan will include up to 50 dealers in the U.S. and Canada, with no-haggle pricing “where permitted.”

With a partnership between Hyundai, Kia, and Samsung, the automakers plan to expand connectivity between vehicles and in-home devices—including allowing EV owners to “check the energy use of their home and vehicle and adjust the optimal charging times,” according to Hyundai. 

Hyundai and Kia announce Samsung SmartThings connectivity

Hyundai and Kia announce Samsung SmartThings connectivity

The truck-engine maker Cummins faces a $1.7 billion fine for emissions cheating, relating to 630,000 engines in 2013-2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups. 

Does choosing leather in an EV lower its carbon footprint? A group of leather suppliers recently made the case for real cow hides, claiming that it constitutes up-cycling of material from cattle reared for milk or meat that would otherwise be wasted. It’s nearly the opposite argument of some environmental groups and even automakers.

2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring

2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring

Despite a war in the Middle East, gas prices are due to drop in 2024. That’s going to be one of several complex factors vehicle shoppers will need to process, as EVs themselves plug into emissions-free sources that will for the first time add up to 40% of total electricity generation.

And in case you missed it, we took a look at the top EV stories of 2023. From the EV pricing roller coaster, to the shift to the Tesla charging connector and the ongoing mess around the EV tax credit, it was a year with many twists, turns, and tremors that will be felt for years. 

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