Rivian is field testing dual-motor versions of the R1T and R1S

Electric vehicle maker Rivian is testing dual-motor versions of its R1T pickup and R1S SUV in the wild. The automaker is currently putting those models through their paces in the New Zealand winter, according to a tweet from CEO RJ Scaringe that InsideEVs spotted.

The company announced in March it would offer R1T and R1S variants that use its dual-motor Enduro powertrain. It said these models would be less expensive than their four-motor counterparts, starting at $67,500 for the R1T and $72,500 for the R1S. Not accounting for the destination fee, the four-motor R1T starts at $79,500 and the R1S at $84,500.

Rivian developed Enduro's motors in-house and the system is already in use — the electric van the company is making for Amazon has an Enduro drive unit. The company hopes the Enduro powertrain will help it to reduce costs and keep down the price of the R1S, R1T and upcoming R2 models. That's an important consideration for Rivian, given that the Inflation Reduction Act the Senate just passed seeks to bring in new federal EV tax credit rules. Electric SUVs, trucks and vans priced $80,000 and over won't be eligible for the $7,500 subsidy.

At the time Rivian announced the dual-motor R1T and R1S, it raised prices of the four-motor EVs by $12,000. After a backlash, it limited the price increases to new orders, though the automaker was swiftly slapped with a shareholder lawsuit over the issue.

Meanwhile, Rivian is attempting to increase production of the R1T and R1S. It expects to build around 25,000 vehicles this year, despite having a backlog of 71,000 as of early July. Late last month, it laid off six percent of its workforce in order to dedicate more resources to production.

MG’s new all-electric hatchback will cost just $31,400 when it arrives in the UK

Last month, MG revealed the all-electric MG4 hatchback with range of up to 281 miles (on the WLTP system). Now, we know it will be one of the least expensive EVs available in the UK with a starting price of £25,995 ($31,400). It's set to arrive in the UK in September this year.

As a reminder, China's SAIC Motors now owns the MG brand following the collapse of MG Rover in 2005. The vehicles are manufactured in China, but SAIC has a design studio in London. It also has joint venture partnerships with Volkswagen, GM and others to produce branded vehicles in China.

The MG4 first arrived as the Mulan in China, built on SAIC's MSP (Modular Scalable Platform) architecture that will be used on future MG EVs. It'll come in three versions in the UK. The starting SE Standard Range model is priced at £25,995 with a 51kWh battery delivering 218 miles of WLTP range, compared to £36,195 ($43,800) for the ID.3 with a 58kWh battery and 265 miles of range.

The £28,495 ($34,490) Long Range SE model uses a 64kWh battery to go 281 miles on a charge, which takes about 35 minutes to go from 10-80 percent thanks to the 135kW charging capacity. 

And finally, the EV Trophy costs £31,495 ($38,120) and offers 270 miles of range with the 64kWh battery. The extra cash gets you features like an upgraded version of the MG Pilot system (with lane-keeping, blind spot warnings, etc.), a leather interior and more.

As for performance, the highest-powered 201 bhp version with the 64kWh battery can go from 0-62 MPH in under eight seconds, with the top speed limited to 99 MPH. On all vehicles, MG is promising copious storage, an "Active Grille Shutter" that improves aerodynamics, a 10.25-inch infotainment screen, Car Play and Android Auto connectivity and more. However, the price will likely be the main draw, particularly as the UK recently eliminated its EV rebate incentive.

MG’s new all-electric hatchback will cost just $31,400 when it arrives in the UK

Last month, MG revealed the all-electric MG4 hatchback with range of up to 281 miles (on the WLTP system). Now, we know it will be one of the least expensive EVs available in the UK with a starting price of £25,995 ($31,400). It's set to arrive in the UK in September this year.

As a reminder, China's SAIC Motors now owns the MG brand following the collapse of MG Rover in 2005. The vehicles are manufactured in China, but SAIC has a design studio in London. It also has joint venture partnerships with Volkswagen, GM and others to produce branded vehicles in China.

The MG4 first arrived as the Mulan in China, built on SAIC's MSP (Modular Scalable Platform) architecture that will be used on future MG EVs. It'll come in three versions in the UK. The starting SE Standard Range model is priced at £25,995 with a 51kWh battery delivering 218 miles of WLTP range, compared to £36,195 ($43,800) for the ID.3 with a 58kWh battery and 265 miles of range.

The £28,495 ($34,490) Long Range SE model uses a 64kWh battery to go 281 miles on a charge, which takes about 35 minutes to go from 10-80 percent thanks to the 135kW charging capacity. 

And finally, the EV Trophy costs £31,495 ($38,120) and offers 270 miles of range with the 64kWh battery. The extra cash gets you features like an upgraded version of the MG Pilot system (with lane-keeping, blind spot warnings, etc.), a leather interior and more.

As for performance, the highest-powered 201 bhp version with the 64kWh battery can go from 0-62 MPH in under eight seconds, with the top speed limited to 99 MPH. On all vehicles, MG is promising copious storage, an "Active Grille Shutter" that improves aerodynamics, a 10.25-inch infotainment screen, Car Play and Android Auto connectivity and more. However, the price will likely be the main draw, particularly as the UK recently eliminated its EV rebate incentive.

California DMV accuses Tesla of falsely portraying its vehicles as fully autonomous

Tesla uses advertising language on its website for its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving products that's untrue and misleading to customers, the California DMV said. According to The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal, the agency has filed complaints with the California Office of Administrative Hearings, accusing the automaker of making statements "not based on facts" that make it seem like its vehicles are capable of full autonomous driving. The DMV pointed to the name of the products themselves in the complaints, as well as to other misleading language on Tesla's website. 

One example the DMV noted in its complaints is language Tesla used for its Full Self-Driving product, which says:

"All you will need to do is get in and tell your car where to go. If you don’t say anything, your car will look at your calendar and take you there as the assumed destination. Your Tesla will figure out the optimal route, navigating urban streets, complex intersections and freeways."

Tesla vehicles come with the hardware needed to activate Full Self-Driving, which customers can unlock for a payment of $12,000. The automaker's active Autopilot features include the ability to automatically change lanes and do parallel or perpendicular parking for the driver. There's also a smart summon feature that will have the vehicle navigating complex parking lots to find its owner. And those who pay for FSD, which is currently in beta, have access to a feature that identifies stop signs and traffic lights. The technology will then automatically slow their car down on approach. 

Neither technology, however, can drive a car without the need for a person behind the wheel. Tesla chief Elon Musk recently said that FSD would have that capability next year, but the executive is known for his aggressively optimistic timelines.

While Tesla already warns drivers not to take their hands off the wheel even while they're using Autopilot or FSD, the DMV says that disclaimer isn't enough. The worst result the company could get is for its licenses in the state to be suspended or revoked, but a DMV spokesperson told the publications that the agency isn't seeking to put the company out of business in California. It will merely ask Tesla to "better educate Tesla drivers about the capabilities of its ‘Autopilot’ and ‘Full Self-Driving’ features, including cautionary warnings regarding the limitations of the features, and for other actions as appropriate given the violations."

Back in 2016, Tesla also got in trouble with Germany's Federal Motor Authority, which told the automaker to stop using the term "autopilot" in its advertising out of concerns that people would misinterpret its capabilities. Last year, Senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the company over its "misleading advertising and marketing" of the Autopilot and Full Self-Driving technologies, as well.

California DMV accuses Tesla of falsely portraying its vehicles as fully autonomous

Tesla uses advertising language on its website for its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving products that's untrue and misleading to customers, the California DMV said. According to The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal, the agency has filed complaints with the California Office of Administrative Hearings, accusing the automaker of making statements "not based on facts" that make it seem like its vehicles are capable of full autonomous driving. The DMV pointed to the name of the products themselves in the complaints, as well as to other misleading language on Tesla's website. 

One example the DMV noted in its complaints is language Tesla used for its Full Self-Driving product, which says:

"All you will need to do is get in and tell your car where to go. If you don’t say anything, your car will look at your calendar and take you there as the assumed destination. Your Tesla will figure out the optimal route, navigating urban streets, complex intersections and freeways."

Tesla vehicles come with the hardware needed to activate Full Self-Driving, which customers can unlock for a payment of $12,000. The automaker's active Autopilot features include the ability to automatically change lanes and do parallel or perpendicular parking for the driver. There's also a smart summon feature that will have the vehicle navigating complex parking lots to find its owner. And those who pay for FSD, which is currently in beta, have access to a feature that identifies stop signs and traffic lights. The technology will then automatically slow their car down on approach. 

Neither technology, however, can drive a car without the need for a person behind the wheel. Tesla chief Elon Musk recently said that FSD would have that capability next year, but the executive is known for his aggressively optimistic timelines.

While Tesla already warns drivers not to take their hands off the wheel even while they're using Autopilot or FSD, the DMV says that disclaimer isn't enough. The worst result the company could get is for its licenses in the state to be suspended or revoked, but a DMV spokesperson told the publications that the agency isn't seeking to put the company out of business in California. It will merely ask Tesla to "better educate Tesla drivers about the capabilities of its ‘Autopilot’ and ‘Full Self-Driving’ features, including cautionary warnings regarding the limitations of the features, and for other actions as appropriate given the violations."

Back in 2016, Tesla also got in trouble with Germany's Federal Motor Authority, which told the automaker to stop using the term "autopilot" in its advertising out of concerns that people would misinterpret its capabilities. Last year, Senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the company over its "misleading advertising and marketing" of the Autopilot and Full Self-Driving technologies, as well.

Toyota will buy back your recalled bZ4X EV

Toyota recalled the bZ4X in June over concerns the electric crossover's wheels could fall off at speed, and now it's taking extra steps to satisfy upset customers and keep vehicles off the road. Electrek has learned (and Engadget has confirmed) that Toyota's US branch is offering to buy back the bZ4X. The terms will vary based on your state and "particular circumstances," according to a letter to customers.

The automaker outlined compensation for those who still want the EV. You can continue to drive a loaner at no cost, complete with free fuel for the temporary car and storage for the bZ4X. You'll also get $5,000 credit towards your loan, lease or full purchase price. There will also be extensions to your warranty and free EVgo charging time.

Toyota is offering the buybacks and other perks "until a remedy is available." The recall also covers pre-orders for Subaru's sibling model, the Solterra, although that SUV hasn't yet reached American buyers.

There's no mention of just when or how Toyota will fix the bZ4X wheel fault. That makes the situation difficult for owners. The buyback gives them a chance to purchase another vehicle rather than wait indefinitely for a fix, but auto industry supply shortages could leave them either waiting months for a replacement or settling for a less-than-ideal alternative.

Toyota will buy back your recalled bZ4X EV

Toyota recalled the bZ4X in June over concerns the electric crossover's wheels could fall off at speed, and now it's taking extra steps to satisfy upset customers and keep vehicles off the road. Electrek has learned (and Engadget has confirmed) that Toyota's US branch is offering to buy back the bZ4X. The terms will vary based on your state and "particular circumstances," according to a letter to customers.

The automaker outlined compensation for those who still want the EV. You can continue to drive a loaner at no cost, complete with free fuel for the temporary car and storage for the bZ4X. You'll also get $5,000 credit towards your loan, lease or full purchase price. There will also be extensions to your warranty and free EVgo charging time.

Toyota is offering the buybacks and other perks "until a remedy is available." The recall also covers pre-orders for Subaru's sibling model, the Solterra, although that SUV hasn't yet reached American buyers.

There's no mention of just when or how Toyota will fix the bZ4X wheel fault. That makes the situation difficult for owners. The buyback gives them a chance to purchase another vehicle rather than wait indefinitely for a fix, but auto industry supply shortages could leave them either waiting months for a replacement or settling for a less-than-ideal alternative.

Volkswagen’s US-made 2023 ID.4 EV will start at $37,495

VW might just buck the trend of ever-rising EV prices. The automaker has revealed that the 2023 ID.4 electric SUV will start at $37,495 before the destination fee ($1,295) and tax credits, or well under the $41,230 price of its predecessor. The trick, as you might guess, is a smaller battery. The base model (now called the ID.4 Standard) uses a new 62kWh battery that musters an estimated 208 miles of range. While that won't thrill anyone planning cross-country jaunts, it could make the EV a better value if you're just looking for a commuter car.

There are numerous technology upgrades, too. The ID.4 now comes standard with a previously optional 12-inch infotainment display, 45W USB-C, simpler Plug & Charge functionality and Intelligent Park Assist. All 2023 models now have driver-initiated lane changes in Travel Assist. You can also expect a posher interior with part-leatherette seats on the Standard model.

You'll still have strong incentives to buy higher-end configurations. The $42,495 ID.4 Pro upgrades to an 82kWh battery with an estimated 275-mile range and 170kW DC fast charging while throwing in perks like a heated windshield, a tow hitch and a variable compartment flow. An all-wheel drive variant of the Pro starts at $46,295. All of these models are available in an S trim that adds a panoramic roof, 12-way power seats, a power tailgate and more advanced lighting. The ID.4 S, Pro S and Pro AWD S respectively start at $42,495, $47,495 and $51,295.

At the high end, the $50,195 ID.4 Pro S Plus and $53,995 AWD Pro S Plus both offer 20-inch wheels, a speaker upgrade with subwoofer, an "Area View" camera system, three-zone climate control and power folding door mirrors. They replace last year's Gradient package.

The more affordable model arrives in the fall. It comes just as VW has started US production of the EV, and reflects the company's shifting strategy. It's betting that a lower price and equipment upgrades will help it undercut rivals in the $40,000 range, like Ford's Mustang Mach-E and Hyundai's Ioniq 5. While it won't be surprising if competitors offer similar options in the future, there's now a clearer reason to buy an ID.4 than before.

Lucid Motors has drastically reduced its production target, again

Luxury EV startup Lucid Motors changed its yearly production target again, lowering it to an expected output of between 6,000 and 7,000 vehicles, the company announced today. That’s only a fraction of the 20,000 cars that Lucid initially promised to deliver in 2022. The Tesla competitor has only produced 1,405 vehicles so far this year, giving it a mere four months to build thousands of new cars.

Supply chain woes and a shortage of parts and raw materials are to blame for the slow output, the company claims. In a call with investors, the California-based company’s CEO Peter Rawlinson said it is planning a number of structural changes to amp up production. "Our revised production guidance reflects the extraordinary supply chain and logistics challenges we encountered," said Rawlinson. "We've identified the primary bottlenecks, and we are taking appropriate measures – bringing our logistics operations in-house, adding key hires to the executive team, and restructuring our logistics and manufacturing organization."

On top of ongoing production struggles, this May the company was forced to recall all of its 2022 Air EVs due to wiring issues — a total of over 1,000 cars. Such challenges haven't appeared to impact demand for the luxury vehicles. So far, there have been 37,000 reservations for Lucid Motor’s all-electric sedan, the Lucid Air, the company disclosed in the call. On top of that, Lucid plans to sell over 100,000 cars to the government of Saudi Arabia — which poured over $1 billion into the company and owns a 62 percent stake.

Chevy Bolt owners must choose between rebates and battery defect lawsuits

Chevy offered rebates to Bolt EV owners who bought their cars just before a 2023 model price drop, but that discount comes with a large catch. Jalopnik and Autoblog note the rebate application requires that drivers "forever waive and release" their right to sue GM or LG over the Bolt's reported battery defect. You'd have to be content with the savings even if the car did serious damage, in other words. GM confirmed the agreement language with Engadget.

GM first recalled the Bolt in November 2020 after reports of battery fires between 2017 and 2019. The automaker tried addressing the issue with a software update in April 2021, but two subsequent fires and a second recall led the NHTSA to warn against parking indoors. That prompted a July 2021 recall where GM replaced the battery packs. The brand eventually recalled all manufactured Bolts, pledged an additional $1 billion for battery replacements and offered an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty on substitute batteries.

The company has since used financial incentives to regain trust. It slashed the price of the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV between $5,900 and $6,300, and offered comparable rebates to people who bought 2020, 2021 and 2022 models this year. The exact rebate amounts depend on the model year and trim level.

As Jalopnik explained, this isn't the first time GM has used legal agreements to protect its reputation. Cadillac Lyriq buyers were offered a $5,500 discount if they agreed not to talk about problems with the electric SUV, and purchasers of high-end cars like the Hummer EV void their warranties if they flip their vehicles within a year. However, this latest move could easily be the most concerning — the rebate amounts to a legal settlement rather than a kind offer.