Tesla Model 3 reliability, Bill Gates, California fast lanes: The Week in Reverse

2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance

Which electric car gets great satisfaction but subpar reliability ratings?

What did a bill in California propose instead of the high-speed rail project from San Francisco to LA?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending Feb. 22, 2019.

The biggest news this week came with new reliability ratings from Consumer Reports which showed that Tesla Model 3 owners remain highly satisfied with their cars, despite the fact that “they break,” as the magazine reported. At the same time, the magazine reported that hybrids are getting better than ever.

2019 Toyota Avalon

Following a new recall on Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids, Ford announced that it has launched an investigation into how it measures fuel economy following employee hotline reports.

As it transitions to building mainly electric cars, Volkswagen set up a new system to ensure that its suppliers go green in producing parts such as motors and batteries for those cars. Argonne National Lab has developed a lighter, more efficient electric motor for electric cars (and windmills), called HyMag, that’s proving it’s not just batteries that are getting lighter and cheaper.

Volkswagen ID Neo concept, 2016 Paris auto show

Volvo is testing using repurposed electric bus batteries for solar storage at a housing project in Sweden, in an effort to demonstrate that lithium-ion vehicle batteries can have a life beyond the road.

Volvo electric bus on Gothenburg, Sweden’s Route 55 [Credit: Volvo – via YouTube]

Bill Gates weighed in on the electric-car future, saying he sees a lot of great products in the pipeline, but that long-haul trucks may be slower in coming. Among those could be the Porsche Taycan, which spy photographers caught cold-weather testing in the frozen north last week. The car didn’t seem to have any trouble with its dual charge-port doors freezing.

GM, meanwhile, is taking a different, more traditional approach to solving the longstanding problem of how to get car-sharing and transit riders the last mile to their destinations. It rolled out two compact electric bikes in Europe this week, one that will fold to fit in a car’s trunk.

ARĪV eBike from General Motors

The Trump administration announced that it has quit speaking to California efforts to resolve their differences over fuel economy and emissions rules, which makes it more likely that the issue will have to be resolved by the courts. Meanwhile, a state legislator introduced a bill to replace the state’s defunct high-speed rail project with autobahn-like high-speed lanes on two highways that run through the state’s central valley.


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