As 2022 draws to a close and we look forward to seeing how much stranger things will happen in 2023, it’s only natural to reflect on the past year. In addition to compiling a list of the top 10 cars, trucks, and SUVs we drove in 2022, I’ve also decided to put together a roundup of our most-read auto articles and a few of my favorites that you may have missed.
The process of buying cars in the US is often terrible, especially since the pandemic and supply chain disruptions have led to reduced production capacity and inflated markups. This is especially acute if you’re in the market for a new electric vehicle, many of which are well out of reach for many, especially after the loss of the $7,500 federal tax credit.
At least one automaker has had enough of uncaring dealerships and their bad behavior, and it was our most read auto story of the year. In September, Ford Motor Company told its dealer community that it had eight weeks to agree to the new rules; the alternative is that it will no longer be possible to sell electric cars. Ford has restructured into new divisions – Ford Blue, which will make and sell fossil-powered vehicles, and Ford Model e, which is responsible for the battery-powered stuff (there’s also Ford Pro, for utility vehicles, some of which are EVs). .
Ford CEO Jim Farley told dealers that EV pricing must be transparent and that prices must be posted online and cannot be changed suddenly while the customer is at the dealership. These locations must also install at least one DC fast charger if they want to continue selling Ford Model e vehicles. The new rules will go into effect in 2024.
Number two in the traffic charts for 2022 concerns the topic of the reliability of electric car chargers, or the appalling lack thereof. A lot of money is being spent on building the infrastructure we need to support the transition from a liquid hydrocarbon based transportation system to one that just plugs into the grid. Some of this is for lower-powered AC chargers, but much of the investment is in high-speed DC chargers that can return an EV’s battery to 80 percent in half an hour or less (depending on the specific EV).
The only problem is that it’s common for EV drivers to come across a bank of chargers and find that one or more—sometimes most—are down and refusing to charge. Worse, the process is so completely opaque, with cryptic error messages that even automotive engineers can’t decipher every now and then. Almost every non-Tesla EV driver has a story, maybe more than one, of trips gone bad due to broken chargers, and if we ever want EVs to gain mass market acceptance, that needs to change.
Our first new EV on the list is the eye-catching Volkswagen ID. Buzz. We had to wait until the 1980s for a minivan, but Volkswagen has been making van-like vehicles for decades, starting with the Type 2 Transporter in 1949.
Over time, they’ve gotten a bit bigger and decidedly boxier, but VW’s air-cooled styling has many fans, and since 2001, the German automaker has teased us with concept after concept showing a modern version of the iconic VW. The latest of these debuted in 2017 and caused such a stir that VW’s bean counters greenlit it for production using the company’s new modular EV platform, which also underpins cars like the VW ID.4 crossover and the Audi Q4 e-tron.
US ID sales. The Buzz remains a few years away, as the longer-wheelbase version with three rows of seats won’t go on sale here until 2024. But Europeans can now buy the two-row, short-wheelbase version, and we tested it earlier this summer . Despite the high price, it’s quite a hit there, and in September VW announced it would double production and aim for a capacity of 100,000 deliveries a year by 2023.
#top #car #stories #year