Plug-in Subaru, Toyota hybrids, changes at the top: The Week in Reverse

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid – First Drive, Santa Barbara CA, Nov. 2019

Which electric automaker will get a new Chairman?

What new model gets the highest gas mileage of any SUV without a plug?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending November 23, 2018.

2019 Toyota RAV4

With the Thanksgiving holiday this was a short week, with only three days of full coverage from Green Car Reports. Nevertheless, it brought some significant developments, mainly in the form of two new-model introductions that are likely to prove popular with green-car buyers. 

First off, the new 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which uses a new configuration of more powerful motors to spend more time driving on electricity and less on gas. In the process it returns an EPA-rated 39 mpg in combined driving, the best of any SUV that doesn’t have a plug—a figure our test driver exceeded even on a spirited drive up and down some California grades.

Subaru also introduced its new 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid, which plugs in to achieve an all-electric range of 17 miles. The car borrows Toyota’s two-motor hybrid drive system, but it retains Subaru’s mechanical all-wheel drive.

Expansion of Tesla Supercharger site in Rocklin, California [photo: George Parrott]

With Tesla Model 3s beginning to flood America’s highways, a lot of electric-car fans now dismiss plug-in hybrids (especially in our comments.) Our editors take a look at why they’re still useful for a lot of buyers, and deserve more support than even their automakers seem to give them. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter that the company will double the number of Supercharging stations in the next year and begin to roll out faster Superchargers in the U.S.

EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler

Colorado formally joined the group of states that follow California’s stricter smog standards—though it won’t demand electric-car sales as California does, for now. Colorado, however, has the highest electric-car rebates in the country.

The EPA announced plans to clamp down on emissions from heavy trucks—though the agency said it won’t publish a formal proposal to do so until 2020.

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

Earlier in the week, a couple of personnel announcements dominated the news. First, President Trump announced he would formally nominate Acting Director Andrew Wheeler to run the EPA—which could be bad news for environmentalists.

And Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who saved the company from bankruptcy early in the century and was known as the father of the Nissan Leaf, was arrested in Japan for allegedly misusing company funds.

On this holiday week, don’t neglect to take our Twitter poll, asking our readers and followers to consider what green-car developments are worth giving thanks for this year.


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