GM plug-in hybrids, Ford Supercharger adapter, Canoo USPS vans: The Week in Reverse


Which automaker CEO sees EV acceleration as a safety feature?

Which very exclusive luxury EV was recalled this week?

This and more, here at Green Car Reports. 

GM this week announced that it is ready to bring some plug-in hybrid models back to the North American market. It’s a shocker that may have many longtime EV fans doing a double take, as for years GM has resisted ideas of bringing back the tech it once championed with its vaunted Chevy Volt—saying among other things that it hurt its ability to vertically integrate its EV battery and propulsion plan. 

2024 BMW i5

2024 BMW i5

BMW added two more 5-Series plug-in variants for the 2025 model year. A 2025 BMW 550e plug-in hybrid may bring a big electric-range boost versus the previous generation, while the BMW i5 xDrive40 adds a mid-range all-wheel-drive model between the base, rear-wheel-drive i5 eDrive40 and high-performance i5 M60 xDrive. 

Ford will provide adapters allowing current and recent EV models including the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning to charge on the Tesla Supercharger network, the automaker revealed this week. And, as Ford underscored, they’ll be free, with coverage extending back to the 2021 model year. 

Ford EVs at Tesla Supercharger

Ford EVs at Tesla Supercharger

Recent study results from Deloitte suggest that driving range is no longer far and wide the issue holding shoppers back from EV ownership. In the U.S., EV cost and charging time were top concerns, at about the same level as range—although the study included about 27,000 consumer responses from 26 countries around the world, so it underscores that each market’s issues are a bit different. 

The U.S. Postal Service announced last week that it will buy six electric vans from the startup Canoo for its delivery fleet. The Canoo LDV 190 vans are due to be delivered to the USPS by the end of this quarter and will join Ford E-Transits already in use—part of 21,000 “commercial off-the-shelf” vehicles as the USPS waits until 2028 for a purpose-built EV that costs billions. 

USPS Canoo LDV 190 van

USPS Canoo LDV 190 van

Ford added fleet discounts for the Mustang Mach-E, as well as a program that allows dealers to use inventory as rental cars. It all appears to be in the interest of spurring sales amid faltering demand for the model—although Ford has announced a Mach-E Rally model and stronger-performing version of the GT on the way.

A very simple issue is prompting the recall of one of the most exclusive electric luxury cars—the 2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre. A straightforward inspection and fix of a potentially bad ground cable connection will remedy cars built in a particular window late last year—affecting less than 40 U.S. cars that had already been delivered and just 107 that had arrived in the U.S. Rolls-Royce is aiming to be all-EV by 2030.

2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre

2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre

According to a new survey from the industry journal Automotive News, dealers think Biden is moving too fast on EVs. The survey claims to have found that dealers are particularly concerned about proposed EPA emissions rules and surprisingly uninterested in even registering for the EV tax credit as a point-of-sale rebate. Based on its very small 208-dealership slice of the nearly 17,000 franchised new-car dealers, you might not want to take its shocking levels of pushback versus EVs as seriously as its percentages suggest. 

Volvo Cars is ending its funding of Polestar, with its parent company Geely likely to gain more direct control from the shift, as the startup EV brand struggles to meet delivery targets and roll out an ambitious lineup of performance EVs. The move might make Volvo easier to sell in the future, Reuters suggested. 

2024 Polestar 3 prototype

2024 Polestar 3 prototype

The three truckmakers that represent about 70% of medium-duty and heavy-duty truck sales in the U.S. have joined forces on big-rig charging infrastructure. Daimler Trucks North America, Navistar, and Volvo Group North America, though a coalition called PACT, aim to ease what they see as a bottleneck to widespread electric-truck adoption.

There’s been no slump in plug-in vehicle sales according to several EV sales forecasts and summaries out this week. S&P Global Mobility forecasts steady growth in EV market share over the next few months, with EVs set to reach 8.0% of the U.S. vehicle market this month. At the same time, U.S. plug-in hybrid sales hit a record high in 2023, with PHEVs making up about 20% of total plug-in vehicle sales.

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

And is very quick EV acceleration a safety feature? Last week the CEO of Stellantis, which recently affirmed powertrains capable of going from 0-60 mph in 2.0 seconds—made comments that appear to suggest he believes so. Whether that’s a positive for efficiency and range is another matter—as are some fundamentals about physics and whether risk-takers seek out faster cars.

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