Toyota Corolla Hybrid review, Rivian Max pack details, Kia EV9 range, Aptera update: The Week in Reverse


Which company revealed several upcoming affordable EVs?

For EV shoppers, why is leasing a more popular vs. buying than it was last year?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending October 13, 2023.

Kia has provided full pricing details for the upcoming 2024 EV9 three-row electric SUV. While the EV9 Light with an expected 225-mile range starts at $56,495, the 300-mile Light Long Range starts at $60,695 and the top-trim GT-Line model goes for $75,395. That means all of the versions will slot under the $80,000 ceiling of the U.S. EV tax credit, qualifying for some of it once U.S. EV9 production ramps up in 2024. And further, EPA driving range numbers for the 2024 Kia EV9 span up to 304 miles, the automaker confirmed later in the week. That’s particularly impressive, as it makes the EV9 the only non-Tesla three-row electric SUV to achieve 300 miles on less than 100 kwh. 

2024 Kia EV9

2024 Kia EV9

As part of its first EV Day, Kia also this week showed a suite of affordable EVs set to be priced at $35,000 to $50,000. Along with the EV3 and EV4 compact-car concepts, it also rolled out more specs and details for the recently revealed EV5 electric SUV. But none of these models, as of yet, could be confirmed as U.S.-bound. 

As the bestselling car of all time, the Toyota Corolla still has the market cornered. In a review of the Toyota Corolla Hybrid, we sampled what this models offers today and found it to be a delightfully capable miser—with all-wheel drive and a lot more than you might expect for $30,000.

2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid SE

2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid SE

The battery pack in Rivian R1S and R1T Max pack electric trucks is smaller than originally planned—and that’s a good thing. Rivian recently disclosed that this pack includes new cells with a higher energy density, allowing the R1S to go 400 miles while retaining its same third-row seating layout and getting more efficiency out of the whole package. 

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was enacted in August 2022, and it seems that the vehicle market, auto industry, and everything associated with plugging in are collectively still coming to terms with its far-reaching effects. A new analysis by S&P Global Mobility suggests that the IRA could more than double U.S. EV sales versus previous projections from the firm—to more than 4.6 million EVs annually by the end of the decade. 

That was just one of several pieces of news about this law and its widespread effects. IRA introduced more restrictions on the EV tax credit, emphasizing American-made and American-sourced, as well as price and income caps. But it also opened up a potential floodgate of federally subsidized EV leases with the “leasing loophole” written into the Commercial Clean Vehicle Credit. Has the “leasing loophole” driven more EV shoppers to lease vs. buy? Although it’s early and automakers across the board declined comment, the data is already suggesting: Definitely yes. And separately, the EV tax credit is shifting to an EV rebate at the dealership starting in 2024, and on Friday the U.S. Treasury Department and IRS released guidance on how buyers will be able to claim it and how soon retailers will get the money from the federal government. 

Nissan Hyper Adventure concept

Nissan Hyper Adventure concept

Intended to be shown alongside the Nissan Hyper Urban EV concept at the upcoming Tokyo auto show, the Nissan Hyper Adventure EV concept could preview a future off-road-savvy electric SUV that also makes a strong design statement. It boasts a version of Nissan’s e-4orce all-wheel drive system, along with thoughtful functions including a swiveling rear seat. And with V2X and V2G tech, it can power campsites or back up the home. 

Lexus provided a teaser of multiple electric-vehicle concepts due to bow at the upcoming Tokyo auto show. They’re part of the Toyota luxury brand’s transformation into a battery EV brand by 2035, it says.

Toyota teased a Baby Lunar Cruiser EV concept that meshes classic Land Cruiser cues with influences from the Lunar Cruiser being developed for an actual moon mission. Will aspects of this concept make it into an actual electric SUV?

Toyota Baby Lunar Cruiser concept

Toyota Baby Lunar Cruiser concept

Toyota is also looking ahead to production of solid-state EV batteries with a partnership with the Japanese oil company Idemitsu. The two companies will study “full-scale mass production and commercialization” of the fast-charging cells that Toyota has said are coming by 2027 or 2028.

A software issue could result in the loss of drive power in some 2023 Nissan Ariya models, and that’s led to a recall of nearly every Ariya delivered in the U.S. up to now. Although the Ariya is capable of full over-the-air updates, this is one that requires a trip back to the dealership. 

Aptera Sol alpha prototype

Aptera Sol alpha prototype

California’s Aptera has given an extensive update about its solar EV, as it moves through final validation stages and toward production—with especially time-consuming aspects like the carbon-fiber body shell “completed and commissioned.” But the company didn’t provide a firm timeline for first deliveries. 

And Tesla’s share of the U.S. EV market is down to 50% for the first time in years, according to new data through the third quarter released this week by Cox Automotive. Compared to last year at the same time average U.S. Tesla prices are down 25%.

_______________________________________

Follow Green Car Reports on Facebook and Twitter

Related post

    Leave a Comment