Electrifying Developments: Volvo's RWD EV lineup, GM's budget-friendly electric pickup, and Shell's EV charging network growth

Electrifying Developments: Volvo’s RWD EV lineup, GM’s budget-friendly electric pickup, and Shell’s EV charging network growth

This week in the world of electric cars, carmaker Volvo revealed that it will be bringing back rear-wheel drive in its range-boosted single-motor EVs. The configuration is slated to appear in the 2024 XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge models, while specifications and availability for the U.S. market have yet to be released. This decision is noteworthy since it signifies a change from the industry norm of front-wheel drive EVs, which are more economical but sometimes lack the sporty driving qualities of rear-wheel drive cars.

In other developments, General Motors (GM) is allegedly mulling the inclusion of a $30,000 small electric truck to its portfolio. This move is a part of a design-based study to investigate potential inexpensive EVs, as the business tries to increase its electric car options. This comes after the company introduced its Ultium platform, which is anticipated to underlie the bulk of GM’s forthcoming electric cars.

Oil company Shell also made news this week, revealing intentions to buy Volta, a network that allows free ad-supported EV charging. This purchase is part of Shell’s attempts to increase its footprint in the EV charging industry, after its recent acquisitions of Greenlots and Ubitricity. With more and more electric cars on the road, the need for charging infrastructure is likely to expand, making this a prudent move for the corporation.

In the hydrogen fuel cell arena, Airbus revealed intentions to examine the feasibility of employing the technology to replace jet engines for greener passenger air travel. The business is working on a “megawatt-class propulsion system” and cryogenic hydrogen storage, with hopes for a flying test of the idea by the mid-decade. While the use of hydrogen fuel cells in the aviation sector is still in its early stages, the promise of zero-emission air travel is enticing.

On the policy front, California continues to take action against polluting automobiles. The state has prohibited pre-2010 diesel large rigs and is currently fining operators who are still operating them and rejecting registration. This is part of laws enacted over a year ago, as the state strives to minimise air pollution and reach its emission reduction objectives.

In the realm of in-wheel motors, Elaphe, a producer of in-wheel motors, and McLaren Applied Technologies have joined to create a new generation of in-wheel motors and coordinated inverters that might enhance efficiency and make EVs hyper-responsive. This alliance has the potential to alter the way EVs are constructed and might lead to more efficient and better-performing electric automobiles.

Rental vehicle firm Hertz also announced plans to deploy hundreds of EVs to crucial U.S. cities and to establish supporting charging infrastructure in communities. The business is beginning with Denver as the first rollout location, attempting to address the shortage of charging infrastructure in metropolitan regions.

Nikola, a firm working on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, has created a trailer-mounted portable hydrogen filling system for fuel-cell trucks. The business is planning to present it at an event next week, which might act as an interim solution while the company supplies additional trucks before hydrogen stations materialise.

Finally, Toyota has constructed two zero-tailpipe-emissions versions of 1980s Corolla GT-S coupes, one with a battery-electric powertrain and the other with a hydrogen combustion engine. The study hopes to prove that retrofitting older cars is viable, as the corporation strives to cut emissions from its older fleet.

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