Battery supplies, Mercedes-Benz EQC review, CARB’s potential pushback: The Week in Reverse

Volkswagen California Ocean Red

What U.S. state wants to charge $1,000 per year for registering an electric vehicle?

Which vehicle brand said no to a future that retires the internal combustion engine?

And what might California’s regulatory agency be considering in response to upcoming Trump Administration moves?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending May 17, 2019.

We finished up the week wondering about California’s potentially extreme alternatives, if the federal government denies the state of its longtime Clean Air Act waiver. Might it toughen enforcement on refineries or eventually ban tailpipes?

The NTSB released a preliminary investigation about the Florida crash, this March, of a Tesla Model 3 with Autopilot engaged. It appears to have some common points with another one in Florida three years ago.

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 – first drive – Norway, May 2019

Mid-week we brought you our first drive review of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC. Simply put, it’s the comfort play of the current cohort of luxury electric vehicles. Mercedes-Benz also laid out its plan to make its entire fleet carbon-neutral by 2019—a feat, as the company was talking globally, not just for Europe, China, or the U.S.

Meanwhile, renewable energy growth faltered globally last year, due to fewer subsidies in China—although the U.S. helped soften the plunge. One case in point: EVgo committed to 100 percent renewable energy for its fast-charging network.

Polestar 2

Again there was some serious movement in Europe as the market continues to rapidly reposition toward electric vehicles. Honda named its upcoming electric city car the Honda e, Volvo named battery suppliers for its upcoming electric vehicles—including those under the Polestar name. Volkswagen plans a $1.1 billion battery partnership in Germany, and the Aston Martin Rapide E made its first public appearance at the Monaco e-Grand Prix, which runs on a shortened version of the Monaco Grand Prix track.

Earlier this month we learned that Bentley was sounding less bullish about electric vehicles. Now Maserati has also underscored that internal combustion is core to the brand. Is that smart business or the recipe for a hastier obsolescence?

Tesla Model Y

Panasonic, Tesla’s primary supplier, says that there won’t be enough batteries to support the production of Model Y. Tight supplies of battery materials could compound the logistical hurdles.

Last Sunday we brought you some background on an operation that rebuilds salvaged Teslas; it’s hoping to eventually build the company into a franchise.

Gas pump

Illinois is looking like the first state to make EV ownership punitive—with a $1,000 annual fee, which would definitely be more than existing motorists with typical or fuel-efficient cars pay via the gas pump and annual registration together. And it’s not too late to vote for our Twitter poll—asking how EV owners should pay for road maintenance.

At the beginning of the week we reported on a survey conducted by AAA, finding that Americans are more optimistic about self-driving vehicles coming soon than of EVs. But as you our readers are likely well aware, it’s shaping up to be quite the opposite.

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