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Electric Cars

The future of transportation is electric. Tesla proved with the Model S that customers would want to buy luxury vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries. Other EV startups like Faraday Future, Byton, Lucid Motors, and SF Motors are chasing after Elon Musk. And major automakers like Jaguar, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz have each released their own Tesla challengers. There are obstacles, such as the need for a more robust charging network. But battery-powered cars are here to stay.

Can an autonomous off-road Jeep provide “more fun, more adventure, more freedom?”

Jeep owner Stellantis is working on a system that adds autonomy to its iconic SUV — and we’re not talking about highway driving... this is for 4x4 adventures.

In a teaser video we see two Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe hybrids with camera-looking equipment. One moves sans a driver while the automaker’s head of AI holds an iPad like a real off-roader.

VW ID Buzz debuts three-row electric Microbus for the US with more power and space

We finally have details on the electric Microbus that’s coming to North America, and nearly all of it is positive news.

Vorsprung durch Technik.

That’s Audi’s German-language slogan meaning “advancement through technology.” Today, the automaker is living by these words remotely through its introduction of an in-car Cisco Webex meetings app designed for hybrid work.

Select 2024 Audi and future VW Group vehicles will have Webex available to download from the automaker’s in-car app store (or, you could tell your boss that they aren’t and have a peaceful commute), which includes TikTok as an option. The Cisco-Audi partnership comes after Webex became available on 2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Ford vehicles, plus in-car Zoom in a Tesla.

interior of Audi vehicle showing steering wheel, dash, and infotainment screen with man waving hand on the screen.
Cisco Webex meeting running natively in an Audi. Click here for a larger image.
Image: Audi
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PlugShare users have grown by a million in less than a year.

The EV charging guide app now has 3.5 million users according to EVgo, which acquired PlugShare in 2021. PlugShare’s been a boon to hundreds of early EV adopters looking for chargers. The interface is showing its age compared to Google Maps, but PlugShare users have logged over 6.5 million checkins worldwide and share useful tips on almost every charging station.

GM’s adorable electric SUV is just $11,000 in China.

Meet the Baojun Yep EV with a stated range of 303km (188 miles). It’s made by the GM joint venture SGMW for the Chinese market and features a “car watch” screen on the tailgate that can display different designs.

It’s proof that SUVs don’t, in fact, need to be giant child killers priced over $30k and powered by dinosaur juice.

The Baojun Yep EV has a “Car Watch” display on its tailgate.
The Baojun Yep EV has a “Car Watch” display on its tailgate.
Image: GM
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Jaguar’s I-PACE recall includes Waymo’s robotaxis.

The British automaker issued a recall for 6,400 electric I-PACE vehicles due to fire risks from an over-heated battery. Included in that recall is an undisclosed number of driverless Waymo vehicles. A spokesperson for the company said it was working with Jaguar on a software update that should fix the issue.

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EVs have dealers shook.

Car dealers are some of the richest, weirdest, most politically powerful, hard partying, and conservative people in the United States. They are also in complete denial about the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, according to this endlessly fascinating story in Slate. Case in point: over two-thirds of dealerships don’t have any EVs on the lot. Slate went to Texas for the annual dealership convention, NADA, which was suffuse with existential angst about battery-powered cars.

So there it was: Dealers stand between many electric cars and most American car buyers, but they aren’t just going to lay down and let some zero-emissions playthings roll them over. Some, I heard over and over, would rather not deal than deal with someone else’s dictates.

TiVo’s next stop is the new BMW 5 Series.

The once-meaningful TiVo brand (now owned by Xperi) wasn’t saved by launching its Android TV dongle, but it isn’t gone yet.

Dave Zatz points out that despite a delay in its plans for TiVo OS smart TVs, the company announced last week it scored a placement with BMW for in-car access to streaming and linear video content.

BMW’s implementation of the Powered by TiVo™ platform will include a variety of country-specific content, offering news, movies and access to media libraries. The video media platform is expected to roll out over-the-air in initial launch countries by the end of 2023 for customers of the all-new BMW 5 series and further models.

The new 5 Series sedans are first up, including the new all-electric version with almost 300 miles of range.

TiVo UI in a BMW
TiVo UI in a BMW
Image: Xperi


Verge Score

Living and working from an all-electric VW ID Buzz

Two humans and a beagle named Hank spent two weeks and 2,000 miles in Europe with a Ququq camping box to preview the future of #vanlife.

The long-wheelbase version of the Volkswagen ID.Buzz will debut June 2nd.

VW is teasing the three-row version of its electric Microbus ahead of its official reveal next week. This is the version that will go on sale in North America in 2024. (The two-row version is currently available in Europe — look out for Thomas Ricker’s review this weekend in The Verge!) And while there’s not much to look at here — just some headlights, really — the longer Buzz is sure to generate some, well, buzz, especially among #Vanlife aficionados and families. You can watch the livestream of the debut here on June 2nd.

VW will illuminate us with the new three-row ID.Buzz.
VW will illuminate us with the new three-row ID.Buzz.
Image: VW
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Another EV battery plant is coming to the US, thanks O’Biden.

Hyundai and LG Energy are investing $4.3 billion to produce EV battery cells in the US. Production will begin by the end 2025 in Georgia, with an annual capacity of 30GWh in support of 300,000 EVs. LG Energy now has seven battery plants currently operating or being constructed in the US, in compliance with President Joe Biden’s clean energy tax law.

Elon Musk is trying Twitter Spaces again, and this time it’s with Ford CEO Jim Farley.

The last Twitter Space Elon Musk attempted to host didn’t go so well, but he’s trying again anyway. Instead of a politician announcing a run for president, however, he’s logging on to talk with Ford CEO Jim Farley about “Accelerating EV adoption.”

With competition for electric cars heating up — are we about to see a new partnership for Tesla? The event is scheduled to start at 5:30PM ET.

The incredible Hyundai N Vision 74 might end up as a real car.

It’s one of the hottest concept cars in years, and now a report from Korea’s Money Today says a production version will hit on May 27th (via The Drive). Please be real!

Please please please please
Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images
EcoFlow partners with Winnebago for #eVanlife.

No actual products were announced, but I can soon imagine an all-electric Winnebago fitted with an EcoFlow Power Kit that can be expanded with EcoFlow solar panels, batteries, AC, heater, fridge, freezer, ice maker, and smart generator as owners venture further off the grid.

Days are numbered for diesel-powered white-plastic RVs and this is the kind of push the industry needs. Details coming in July.

Here’s a custom RV I reviewed from Origin Travelvans with a massive EcoFlow Power Kit (inside), an EcoFlow 400W folding solar panel (and more on the roof), and EcoFlow Smart Generator (on the ground) for unlimited off-grid adventuring.
Here’s a custom RV I reviewed from Origin Travelvans with a massive EcoFlow Power Kit (inside), an EcoFlow 400W folding solar panel (and more on the roof), and EcoFlow Smart Generator (on the ground) for unlimited off-grid adventuring.
Photo by Thomas Ricker / The Verge
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Norway, an EV success story.

The NYT documents Norway’s shift to EVs ahead of ICE sales ending in 2025. 80 percent of new cars already sold there are battery-powered resulting in cleaner air, quieter streets, and a power grid that hasn’t collapsed. EV owners still have to deal with unreliable chargers and long waits during periods of high demand, but the dire consequences predicted by some haven’t come to pass.

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The endless wait for a new EV is becoming a familiar rite of passage.

The latest customers to experience the “when will this EV that I ordered actually arrive” anxiety? Would-be Cadillac Lyriq owners. According to Bloomberg, folks are starting to get a little bit antsy!

It’s a frustrating stumble, and a customer service headache for GM. Cadillac message boards and Lyriq social media groups on Facebook are crackling with complaints about the wait and how communication among GM, its dealers and customers has either led to confusion or left them in the dark. Some buyers have abandoned their reservations, while others are waiting and grumbling.

See also Rivian, Ford, Lucid, and, of course, Tesla Cybertruck.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 review: a Tesla Model 3 fighter with art deco style

The Ioniq 6 looks more interesting than it drives. That’s not a bad thing.