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These were our favorite cars from the 2023 LA Auto Show

Let’s preface this by saying: No, this is not a news beat. No, this is not a grand compilation of every little reveal and every hunk of metal on display at the LA Auto Show. Take this as a more personal and me-engaging-the-audience-type feature where I, editor-in-chief and supreme (assistant) overlord to the site, and Gabe, founder and supreme supreme overlord, share our top cars from this year’s gathering.

Whether it be a new release, a kinda-sorta new car that may be making its first in-person appearance, or perhaps something that’s not new at all, these are our personal standouts in attendance that truly scratched my automotive itch. And hopefully, it scratches yours, too.

Ahem. And, if you’d like, please feel free to check out coverage of cars from this year’s auto show on our TikTok and Instagram

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Gabe: 2025 Lucid Gravity

In a market already saturated with three-row luxury SUVs, a lesser-known brand introducing its own would surely have its work cut out for it. Lucid Motors is a prime example. In the third quarter of 2023, Lucid lost $430,000 for every car it sold, according to InsideEVs. Four hundred and thirty thousand dollars

By no means is that indicative of Lucid’s standards, though, as its first EV – the Lucid Air – was met by reviewers with mostly positive marks. Everyone I’ve known who’s driven a Lucid Air came away a fan as well. In fact, when we offered test drives at one of our car and coffee meets in New York earlier this year, one of the most stubborn anti-EV people I know came away a fan. The premium interiors, consistent build quality, and aversion to oversimplification-for-the-sake-of-it distinguishes Lucid from its main competitor, Tesla, with which it shares common DNA.
Judging by its roughly identical $80,000 starting price, the Lucid Gravity is poised to compete with Tesla’s Model X – you know, the midsize family SUV with the dancing falcon wing doors. But unlike the Model X, the Gravity brings more cargo space, the option of a third row, and an estimated 440 miles of range, nearly 100 miles more than that of the Model X. For some reason it also has 880 horsepower, because in competing with the alarmingly quick Hummer EV, it’s not an electric SUV if it can’t push 0-60 in 3.5 seconds. The only obvious downside is that, at least according to our new best friend, it does have more than one button for the center stack, and the luxe woodgrain finish is an acquired taste, allegedly.

Jeric: 2025 Lotus Eletre

Did anyone forget about this thing? I surely did, even after much press and controversy that one of the most legendary sports and race car manufacturers is now making (gasp) an electric SUV! What has the world come to? But the Lotus Eletre certainly makes a compelling case for itself that should help give it the Cayenne complex it needs for Lotus to keep building Emiras. 

How does 603 to 905 horsepower and 310 to 373 miles of range from its 112-kWh battery and dual-motor all-wheel drive setup sound? Overkill? Sure, but a Lotus must perform, and if it can’t simplify and add lightness, then power is one way to sweeten the deal. Interior is wonderfully posh. The rear cargo area is cavernous. The exterior styling is interesting, although seeing it in person does it far more justice than any photo. Designed in the UK, engineered in Germany, and assembled by Geely in China, the Eletre also signals a remarkable international effort for the hallowed English brand. And while its occupation as an electric SUV for eclectic rich folks may sour some peoples’ opinions, its strides to be a financial success could be what the brand needs to send its last wave of gas sports cars out with a bang instead of a whisper.

Jeric: Honda Prelude Concept

The legend returns! Except, not really, because this is a Honda Prelude, and the Acura Legend is still dead as a doorknob. Unless you count the Acura RLX as its successor? Anyway, the Honda Prelude returns rocking a swagtastic new look evocative of the Honda Insight face meets Honda Accord tail affixed to a last-gen Honda Civic Coupe body. And for the first time in years, Honda may actually have another spunky, fast two-door sports coupe in their fleet since the S2000. No, Si owners, I said fast.

Being a concept, we know next to nothing about the forthcoming Prelude or if it’s even coming. But This model seems fairly production-ready, aside from eye-catching carbon accents and a carbon roof that’d definitely launch its price tag into oblivion. But the upscale wheel design wrapped in Continental SportContact 6 tires sheathing Brembo brakes and the familiar Civic Coupe profile scream production-ready. Perhaps most importantly, despite much speculation that it could be an EV, the new Prelude Concept is actually slated to be a hybrid. If I were to place my bets, the base variants might likely use the Accord hybrid or an electrified Civic Si motor, but top-shelf models could use an electrified variant of the K20 turbo-four from the Civic Type R and Integra Type S, probably pushing between 350 to 400 horsepower.

Just a guess. A fanboy can dream.

Jeric: 2025 Toyota Camry

10 years ago, the Toyota Camry was plain as can be. Even in its day, the top-shelf SE or XLE trims did little to incite lust in those it drove by. It was a fine car, and it did its intended job great! But so does white bread. However, the new 2025 Toyota Camry is a Camry masquerading as a Lexus, and it’s got the goods to match. Never thought I’d ever say this about a front-drive, hybrid family sedan, but I am hot and bothered. And you will be, too, after a few pictures. 

Look at it! I said look at it, you! Does that not scream upscale? The long, sleek bodywork combined with that statement of a grille, Prius-like headlights, and some fairly attractive wheel designs make for one heck of a looker, especially in the sportier SE and XSE forms. The interior remains simple yet usable, resembling an evolution of the previous-gen Camry but tweaked to better suit Toyota’s current design language of wide, high-mounted touchscreens and expansive, button-centric center consoles. Specs? Pretty darn good. And that’s the best you can say about a Camry. A hybrid powertrain pushing 225 horsepower and available all-wheel drive (which bumps power to 232), sure to match the old car’s 44 to 50-plus mpg, is a compelling buy.

Jeric & Gabe: 2024 Acura ZDX

Born from the unlikely partnership between GM and Acura, the new-generation 2024 Acura ZDX ditches its forbearer’s heinous Star Wars cargo freighter looks for a sleek, concept-car-like caricature of the Acura MDX SUV. Wide, low, and unapologetically bold without offending those with working eyeballs. This is actually quite the attractive centerpiece of Acura’s booth. And most interesting of all, it’s a full EV riding on GM’s Ultium platform, the same platform underpinning the Blazer EV and Silverado EV.

Much like the Prelude, not much is known about the nitty-gritty details of the ZDX, but Acura insists we should expect a starting price somewhere between $60,000 and $70,000 and a maximum range of up to 325 miles. Not bad! That lines it up with the upper echelon of the Blazer EV’s estimated range. Being marketed as a sporty and athletic Whole Foods hauler, the ZDX will launch with the sporty A-Spec and the SPORTY Type S models, with the latter aiming for over 500 horsepower, a 288-mile range, and sub-five-second zero-to-sixty. And if the ZDX can make good on blending Acura styling and luxury inside and out with GM’s handy EV know-how, Acura should be poised to have a real knockout winner on their hands.

Gabe: 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray

As I mentioned in our video preview at the LA Auto Show, with the Corvette E-Ray, Chevy hopes to prove that hybrids aren’t all about going green. In fact, the E-Ray lays claim to the same fuel economy as the standard C8 Stingray at 24 MPG highway and 19 MPG combined. Instead, the E-Ray has more in common with a McLaren Artura than a Prius XLE. That’s to say, the tiny 1.9 kWh lithium-ion battery in the transmission tunnel is there to bolster the performance of its already potent 6.2-liter V8. Of course, pairing hefty battery tech with a big block motor does increase its curb weight by a little over 300 pounds, but how much does that matter when you can zip from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds? After all, the E-Ray is the quickest Corvette in the American sports car’s rich history. 

But the distinctions between the E-Ray and the Stingray don’t stop there, because on top of being the first hybrid Corvette, it’s also the first all-wheel-drive model. Don’t worry, it’s still rear-biased, and if you’re skeptical, Chevy’s built-in E-Ray companion app shows its homework with real-time performance data – including a diagram laying out the power distribution between the front and rear wheels. While it sounds like an automotive tech nerd’s playground, this Corvette isn’t just for wonks and weekenders; it’s a grand tourer, lending itself to longer road trips and grocery-getting as much as it does track days. 

Jeric: 2024 Subaru BRZ tS

No, this is not news. But here this favorite of mine is in the flesh, so I’m gonna thrust it down your throat anyway. Behold! The Subaru BRZ tS. It’s like a regular BRZ. But tS. And by that, Subaru means “Tuned by STI.” And by that, they really mean they stole the black wheels off the Toyota GR86, threw on some Hitachi dampers, added a sweet set of Brembo brakes, and called it a day. Really, the 2024 BRZ receives the mildest of updates as it enters the new model year, but they’re still noteworthy enough on a car this basic to be worth sharing!

For 2024, the BRZ receives a tS trim, which, like the previous gen’s tS, functions as a comprehensive performance package sans that car’s goofy wing. Beyond the new brakes and dampers, the tS is built upon the BRZ Limited, which throws in luxury goods like suede and leather interior upholstery, heated seats, and an upgraded stereo, as well as an 18-inch wheel package wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer rubber, which is perhaps the most transformative performance upgrade on any BRZ, turning this diminutive sports car into a genuine Porsche Cayman fighter. Additionally, for 2024, EyeSight is now standard on all models, including manual transmission cars, which does increase the price by a couple of grand, pushing the BRZ in the low-$30,000 range. A tS will run you about $36,000, which is still a hell of a bargain compared to literally anything else on the market today, assuming you can snag one without that dastardly markup. 

Jeric & Gabe: 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

The surprise hit from Korea strikes another tally of its bucket list and enters the high-performance EV fray. After much coverage and polarizing the press, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N arrives on American shores to grace us with its matte blue goodness, and it’s here to prove that fast EVs don’t have to be mere straight-line missiles. They can soul, too. Or at least as much soul as you can pump into something that ditches pistons and gas for battery cells and electrons. 

The Ioniq 5 N remains in its early launch phase, without much information besides what was available at its debut. That means nothing much has changed from its claims of 641 horsepower from an 84-kWh battery with 350-kW fast charging. But no complaints there! We still expect its aggressive e-LSD, Drift N Optimizer, and N e-Shift’s simulated 8-speed manual shift mode to make it to our shores, as we do for the changeable fake exhaust noises that can imitate fake revs from a jet fighter, the Gran Turismo Vision concept, or a traditional gas engine. Gimmicky? Absolutely. Necessary? No, not at all. But at least someone out there is having fun with EV tech and is trying to bridge the gap between gassers and electric cars with something that can parody the best attributes of both worlds. Being based on an already well-received vehicle like the regular Ioniq 5 doesn’t hurt, either. 

Jeric: 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally

If Ken Block we here, I can totally see him sliding through the woods with his family in tow in one of these. The Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally is very real and is very much coming to dealers near you for the next model year. Because what says environmentalism and family-friendly more than something that gently nudges you to take that dirt fire road at triple-digit speeds while blasting “Kickstart My Heart?”

Based on the already formidable and definitely quick-enough Mach-E GT, the Mach-E Rally skews its priorities towards off-road hooliganism. New are 19-inch wheels stolen from the nearest ARA race and shod in skinnier Michelin CrossClimate2 all-seasons sporting a nice, meaty sidewall for all the potholes you’re going to smash on the Wal-Mart Rally. The fog lights, underbody protection, black plastic fender moldings, Focus RS-style rear hatch wing, and a hyper-aggressive RallySport drive mode add some extra WRC flair. The ride height has been jacked up by 20 millimeters and still utilizes the GT’s Magneride shocks but retuned for more off-road shenanigans, and the dual-motor powertrain still zaps out 480 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Its range is a still-okay-ish 250 miles, but I don’t expect many people to match that given its intended purpose. 

Jeric: Nissan Z Nismo & GT-R Nismo

Ah, yes. Even at a quintillion years old in car years, the Z and GT-R manage to tickle my fancy, now with matching gray-black-and-red paint jobs to boot! The new Nissan Z launched onto the scene with a lukewarm reception, with praise for its modernization and a newfound sense of speed but criticism for the softened edge it bears in order to expand its appeal. The Nissan GT-R is as big, tech-laden, and video-gamey as ever. Both are fine driver’s cars, but fanatics asking for more will find prayers answered in their respective Nismo track variants. 

The Z Nismo, already making rounds in media drives, impressed journos with real, genuine connectedness, inspiring confidence to attack curves on or off-track with a heavily revised suspension, RAYS wheels rocking the GT-R’s ultra-sticky Dunlop tires whose full name I refuse to type out, and a wicked body kit that vaguely reminds me of JDM Fairlady Z G-nose. The VR30 twin-turbo V6 has been massaged to 420 (aye, lmao) horsepower, yet the move to keep it nine-speed-only sparked much ire for what’s to be a purist track Z. Ye ole GT-R Nismo adapts much of the same formula to the geriatric R35 platform, with a new swan neck wing, 600 horsepower from its 3.8-liter VR38 V6, similar RAYS wheels and sticky Dunlops, and a drop-dead gorgeous suite of carbon goodies, from the ground effects to the hood. Also new for 2024 are faster-spooling turbos from the GT-R GT3 race car and a front LSD. Old and possibly overpriced? I guess, but don’t tell me you can’t look at it and giggle with excitement even a little bit. 

Jeric & Gabe: Aston Martin Cygnet

It’s hard to talk about the Alfa Romeo Tonale without mentioning the Dodge Hornet in the same breath. It’s impossible to talk about the Aston Martin Cygnet without bringing up the Scion iQ. Love it or hate it, the Cygnet is one of the most notorious examples of badge engineering from a major automaker. So notorious, in fact, that it’s recently cemented its place in car culture as a not-so-guilty pleasure for the irony-poisoned enthusiast. 

When the Aston Martin Cygnet first debuted in the U.K. in 2011, it came with a starting price of £30,995 – the equivalent of $49,595 in the States. For anyone familiar with Aston Martin as a prestigious luxury brand, that probably doesn’t sound like a lot. But what if I told you that the Aston Martin Cygnet was just a cheap Toyota city car in disguise? Well, sort of. It might’ve featured luxurious interior trappings like bespoke leather upholstery, wood trim, and in some configurations, a shitload of carbon fiber. 

Any mechanical differences between the Cygnet and the iQ were negligible. Both had 1.3-liter four-bangers, continuously variable transmissions (CVTs), and front-wheel-drive. Yet, for whatever reason, its presence at the LA Auto Show was magnetizing. Jeric and I stumbled into Alanis King of Doug Demuro’s Cars & Bids fame, who happened to be fawning over the Cygnet from the inside. It wasn’t long before we joined in. This little number in particular comes courtesy of Galpin Auto Sports as part of its Hall of Customs exhibit.

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2024 Lucid Gravity: A new electric SUV is coming to save Tesla’s fancier rival

Regardless of its financial outlook as a company, Lucid is one of the more remarkable names in the Californian new guard of automotive technology. Considering the star power it wields, the high-caliber design and performance of its first electric car should come as no surprise. The Lucid Air is the product of a collaboration between former Tesla Model S chief engineer Peter Rawlinson and the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 (aka the ND Miata) designer Derek Jenkins. Now, with the upcoming Lucid Gravity, the iconic duo is tapping into the SUV market.

Whereas the Lucid Air was a beefy sedan with a curb weight exceeding five tons, the Lucid Gravity will adopt many of the same design cues for what will presumably be an even heftier machine. Anticipated to arrive sometime in 2024 with similar performance, range, and pricing to the Air, the Lucid Gravity is little more than a concept ripped straight from a gallery at this stage, but if their shared otherworldly style is any indication, the EVs will have more than a few things in common.

2024 Lucid Gravity price and specs

Like its sedan equivalent, the Lucid Air Sapphire, the Gravity Sapphire is expected to push 800 horsepower while maintaining up to 440 miles of range on a single charge. So it makes sense it would cost as much as a house in the ‘burbs.

Estimated price:TBA; starting at approx. $80,000
Estimated range:TBA; over 440 miles
Estimated power:800 horsepower
Battery capacity:TBA; approx. between 88 kWh and 118 kWh
Seating capacity:7 passengers
Zero-to-60:TBA; <3.5 seconds
Drag coefficient: 0.24 cd

(Editor’s Note: Estimates, current as of 11/27/2023, pulled from Lucid Gravity release page and known stats of Lucid Air powertrains)

Unlike the Lucid Air, which came in both rear-wheel drive (RWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations, the Gravity SUV may come standard with the latter. Even as RWD remains the drivetrain of choice for sports car enthusiasts, modern luxury SUVs like the Alfa Romeo Tonale tend to forego the option altogether.

Even as an SUV, however, the Gravity will have the advantage of instant torque and mind-bending acceleration over its gas-powered rivals, giving it a zero to 60 time of under 3.5 seconds.

The Gravity will feature the same fast charging setup as the Air, meaning it should squeeze out 200 miles of range in just over 10 minutes. Lucid has said bi-directional charging is coming to its vehicles soon, so the Gravity may be able to provide power for a campsite or a home during a power outage and could potentially charge other EVs.

2024 Lucid Gravity
Image credit: Lucid Motors

Interior and tech

The Lucid Gravity is not reinventing the SUV playbook. Underneath and on the outside, it’s another electric SUV. Inside though, it’s perfection.

It’s not just the looming panoramic roof and windows that give it that spacious feeling. The interior panels, roof, and body pillars are angled outward to let light into the cabin. The windscreen stretches over your head when you’re sitting in the front. You can look up from the front passenger seat and see the real stars at night, which has never been done before.

Of course, the reclining leather seats and soft-touch panels are brilliant, but you expect that in an $80,000 luxury SUV. For some more innovation, Lucid added a funky frunk that can seat two people and if you don’t have bad friends, a couple of beer coolers and bodyboards. It’s flexible, washable, and opens up like a hatchback. Essentially, it’s exactly what you want from a useful front trunk!

Frunk friends Lucid Gravty
Image Credit: Lucid Motors

Lucid equips its vehicles with a load of impressive interior tech, including a massive 34-inch display. Unlike Tesla, it offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and buyers can upgrade with a premium audio system. Lucid includes physical steering wheel controls and a few elsewhere, but many of its vehicle functions and settings are housed in the touchscreen. 

Beyond that, the Gravity will receive Lucid’s suite of trick safety tech. Blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, lane centering, and collision avoidance will be the order of the day, as it is for many upscale family SUVs, electric or otherwise. Lucid’s DreamDrive driving assistance feature, which they’re lovably touting as more of a co-pilot than a full autopilot function, will also make an appearance in the Gravity.

Lucid EVs: 2024 Lucid Gravity vs Lucid Air

The Lucid Gravity shares much of its underlying engineering and structure with the Lucid Air sedan, so there will be many similarities in how they drive and perform in everyday situations. The Lucid Air is a striking performer that offers sub-two-second zero-to-60 mph times in its quickest configurations, and the Gravity will likely offer comparable performance when even higher-performance variants drop. Even so, less than 3.5 seconds in the Gravity is still plenty quick. Despite carrying the extra weight of an SUV, the low battery position will ensure smooth handling and stability.

The differences between the Lucid Gravity and Lucid Air will become more apparent when you take them off-road. Early concept images from Lucid showcase what appears to be a posh luxury SUV like you’d find at your local Whole Foods, if it’s anything like the Air, the Lucid Gravity’s looks may be deceiving. The exceptionally capable electric powertrain and increased ride height could allow for an adjustable suspension and other trail-friendly features.

Pre-production renderings and photos we’ve seen so far of the Lucid SUV reveal third-row seating with a spacious rear cabin akin to the Air. We don’t have interior details yet, but the vehicle’s greenhouse is almost completely made of glass for a bright, open-cabin feel. We know the Gravity will come standard as a five-seater, but buyers can upgrade to a three-row, seven-seat configuration. Lucid offers a range of leather options, including Nappa full-grain and synthetic. 

To live up to its price tag and stand out from the Air, the 2024 Lucid Gravity will have to offer ultra-high-end luxury finishes and even more advanced technology. Also, with so many competitive options available for a fraction of the price, the Gravity will need to be a transcendent option, in terms of range and performance, to get traction. The Air has done this with its performance and design, and Lucid could take a similar approach with the 2024 Gravity.

Lucid Studio The Westchester
Image source: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

Lucid Motors company news: volatile stock prices, job cuts – a reason for concern?

Lucid recently announced it’s cutting 18 percent of its workforce due to underwhelming demand for its vehicles. The company’s position in the market is precarious, as its vehicles are priced above and beyond most of its rivals, including the already-spendy Tesla Model S Plaid. Lucid’s pricing and positioning in the market also make its vehicles ineligible for federal tax incentives. Recent production forecasts show Lucid falling well short of expectations, and the company is only expected to build half of the 27,000 units analysts projected.

None of that is to say that Lucid is going out of business, but 2023 will be the company’s best shot at righting the ship. Company CFO Sherry House said Lucid had enough cash on hand to last through the first quarter of 2024, but lower demand and production volume won’t help extend that date. Additionally, Lucid stock has fallen in recent weeks as the company announced layoffs and insufficient sales.

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2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger

2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger: Everything we know about Ram’s epic new electric truck

These EV startups aren’t the only ones to have fun with the idea of an electric truck. Ram announced its electric pickup, the Ram 1500 REV, for release in late 2024, but the automaker had another trick up its sleeve. Using its new STLA body-on-frame electric platform, Ram employs a parts-bin 3.6-liter V6 engine only as a range extender, with the gas unit never delivering power to the wheels. The result is a truck with 663 horsepower and 615 pound-feet of torque that provides 14,000 pounds of towing and a range of almost 700 miles. Get that, nearly 700 miles from an EV! Though complex, the setup may be a smart move for Ram, as consumers aren’t warming to EVs as quickly as automakers and the government had hoped. 

The truck also brings advanced driver assistance systems not seen in Ram vehicles to date. It gets a Level 2-plus autonomous driver assist function that offers hands-off driving on highways and other approved roadways. It provides predictive speed control and driver monitoring and assists with autonomous parallel and perpendicular parking functions. Fairly standard affairs for a brand-new vehicle these days.

2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger release date and details

The Ram 1500 Ramcharger’s late 2024 release date means we don’t have pricing or trim level details yet! So there’s not much we can say, but we can take guesses based on Ram’s existing pickup line. As with the current gas trucks, we’ll see lower-level, work-ready Tradesman trims, followed by more luxurious and feature-rich mid-level Big Horn or Laramie trims. At the top end, the Limited variant will bring upscale leathers, genuine wood trim, and other features that make the truck a legitimate luxury ride. Ram trucks have long offered interiors that far outshine the competition, even from the most expensive Ford F-150 models, which bodes well for the Ramcharger’s accommodations.

Price:TBA: $70,000 to $100,000 est.
Engine:3.6-liter V6 range extender
Electric motors:250 kW front, 238 kW rear
Battery capacity:92 kWh (gross capacity), 70.8 kWh (usable capacity)
Electric range:145 miles (EV only), 690 miles (w/ range extender)
Drivetrain:dual-motor AWD
Power:663 horsepower
Torque:615 pound-feet
Weight:TBA; >6,400 pounds
Towing:14,000 pound
Payload:2,625 pounds
Zero-to-60 mph:TBA; 4.4 seconds est.
Fuel Capacity: TBA; approx. 26 gallons
2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger
Image credit: Ram

2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger interior and tech

The Ramcharger will feature a premium interior focusing on textures, colors, and materials quality. Ram said it would use carbon fiber, metal, and leather to create a luxurious cabin with great space and tech. A 12-inch screen comes standard, and a 14.5-inch touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster are available, which run Ram’s excellent Uconnect 5 infotainment system. The interface offers side-by-side app functionality, simple menu structures, and responsive navigation that make it less distracting to use while driving. 

2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger
Image credit: Ram

A 10.25-inch passenger screen, digital rearview mirror, a head-up display, and a Klipsch Reference Premiere audio system are available. Ram also redesigned the gear shifter with a new e-shifter unit, and the Ramcharger offers selectable regenerative braking settings. 

A new range-topping Tungsten trim brings unique interior colors like Indigo and Sea Salt. It gets a suede headliner, heated and ventilated seats with quilted leather, massaging front seats, and more. The center console features a Tungsten badge with the truck’s VIN, and the upgraded Klipsch stereo comes standard. It also brings a new dual-device wireless charging pad and metal pedals.

2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger interior
Image credit: Ram

2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger electric range and charging times

Ram promises a range of up to 690 miles from a liquid-cooled 92-kWh battery, a 130-kW onboard generator, and a 3.6-liter V6 engine whose only purpose in life is to charge the battery and extend the range. Think Fisker Karma, Chevrolet Volt, or BMW i3 Range Extender, but adapted to a big ol’ hunk of American utilitarianism. The driver can choose to charge the battery or preserve battery life, and there is no mechanical path from the engine to the wheels. That said, the truck still needs to be charged and can add up to 50 miles of range in ten minutes using a 400V DC fast charger with speeds of up to 145 kW. 

2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger engine and performance

Though the Ram’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 does nothing to drive the wheels like it does to pretty much every other Stellantis vehicle, its electric drivetrain components are plenty. The 250kW front motor and 238kW rear unit, the latter of which can be paired with an optional locking rear differential, combine for a whopping 663 horsepower and 615 pound-feet of torque. That’s good for a 4.4-second 0-60 mph time, a 14,000-pound tow rating, and a payload rating of 2,625 pounds.

Not a Rivian, no. But that’s plenty fast enough and sure to put the pressure on some Charger and Challenger fanatics. The Ramcharger can also free-wheel its front axles under certain conditions to further enhance efficiency and range.

2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger
Image credit: Ram

2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger design

Ram’s initial electric concept trucks featured wild, futuristic styling, but the automaker backed off the funkiness with the production models. That applies to both the Ram 1500 Ramcharger and the Ram 1500 REV, as both bear striking resemblances to the brand’s current gas trucks. A crew cab body, short bed, and clean front-end styling define the Ramcharger, and it features novel lighting elements with an illuminated Ram logo in the closed grille. The charging port is located on the driver’s side front fender, and Ram smoothed the exterior body lines for better aerodynamics. Ram also fits unique taillights for the Ramcharger with an LED lightbar across the tailgate. 

2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger
Image credit: Ram

2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger review to come

Ram trucks offer fantastic ride quality, solid capability, and modern styling. With Ram claiming standard multi-link rear suspension and four-corner air suspension, we expect much of the same dynamics and comfort from the new Ramcharger, albeit with the heft of a powerful electric drivetrain. The range-extender concept is one employed by BMW with the i3 years ago, but it’s not yet been a mainstream feature in electric vehicles, with many automakers committing to either full EVs or more conventional hybrids or plug-ins. Ram created an exceedingly complex system to charge the batteries with a gas engine, so it will be interesting to see how the components work together and if the gas engine adds any meaningful amount of noise to the driving experience. 

When it arrives, the Ramcharger will be the only electrified truck on sale with such a setup. The upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV are pure electrics, like the Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T. While all those trucks offer impressive range estimates and great tech features, their specs fall short of the Ram’s range and capability. Price may be the great equalizer here, as it’s hard to imagine the Ramcharger coming cheap. 

2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger rear quarter
Image credit: Ram

Additional FAQs

How much will the new Ramcharger cost?

We don’t have solid figures yet, but a reasonable guess would be between $70,000 and $100,000 with available add-ons and options. That should place it within the same ballpark as the F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T.

Does the Ramcharger use gas?

Yes, the Ramcharger uses gas to power a V6 range-extender engine, contributing to its incredible range. That said, the engine doesn’t drive the wheels, so fuel usage will be interesting to observe. 

Does towing impact EV range?

Yes, to a great degree. Towing a heavy load with an electric pickup can cut the range by 50 percent or more, depending on the temperature, road conditions, and driving style. It’s important to plan adequate charging stops if you’re looking at a longer towing trip.

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Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot dashboard

We tested a Level 3 self-driving Mercedes, and it’s better than expected

As I watch YouTube videos and catch up on my emails, traffic flows around me on the 10 freeway headed east toward Downtown Los Angeles. Eventually, I look up – yep, still bumper to bumper with no hope of respite. I send a few texts, then glance around at the drivers stuck next to me, most driving every bit as distracted as me. If a CHP officer passed, they’d be breaking the law. Not me, though, because I’m behind the wheel of an all-electric EQS equipped with Mercedes-Benz’s new Drive Pilot system.

Mercedes recently brought a fleet of cars out to LA hoping to show media the industry’s latest and greatest in the inevitable, yet sluggish, crawl toward self-driving vehicles on public roads. Benz also brought a team of engineers along to answer any questions we might come up with while testing the first and only Level 3 system approved for use in the United States — and yes, there were many questions worth asking and answering.

What’s the difference between Level 1, 2, and 3 autonomous driving?

Before I let a German robot pilot me around the universe’s main hub for rush-hour traffic, I spent some time giving myself a quick primer on what exactly the autonomous driving levels 1 through 5 actually mean. And the differences bear repeating to fully comprehend Mercedes-Benz’s achievement as the first automaker to earn official Level 3 approval (at least in California, but more on that later). 

Levels 1 and 2 are already commonplace: Level 1 is either adaptive cruise control or lane keep assist programs that still require a human driver’s hand on the wheel while Level 2 is able to take on multiple functions of steering, acceleration, and braking with a human’s oversight still present. Tesla’s Autopilot and GM’s Super Cruise, for example, qualify as Level 2 autonomy — though systems that can manage a lane change are now sometimes called Level 2+.

Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

Level 3 ups the ante into a realm much nearer to true autonomous driving, albeit bounded by very tightly defined scenarios. On paper, Mercedes-Benz calls Drive Pilot “SAE Level 3 conditionally automated driving” to satisfy the requisite legalese. In short, that means the system will only work on some roads, at some speeds, and within frameworks that clearly delineate risk management and liability for the system hardware, software, and programming.

To an extent, Level 4 remains somewhat theoretical, taking the onus off the driver entirely and letting the car intervene in every scenario. A human can still override in the case of emergency, though — think robotaxis and delivery shuttles undergoing tests across the planet for the past few years. Level 4 only exists currently in certain parking garages in Germany, which are very controlled environments, to say the least. 

Level 5, meanwhile, is the full dreamboat, with no driver required and possibly not even steering wheels or pedals in the vehicle. We’re talking full robotic overlords — a new world order that will likely require separate roads with no humans to throw off the synchronized dance too much.

To clarify, the technology to enable Level 5 autonomy already exists. While Tesla led the charge (pun fully intended) toward Level 2, Elon Musk’s vision was limited (literally) by using only video-based analysis of road conditions. Level 3 so far requires more detection hardware, in Mercedes-Benz’s case a combination of stereo multipurpose camera angles to simulate three-dimensional vision, along with long-range radar that scans the road and environment using electromagnetic waves, and long-range lidar that scans with swiveling laser beams at various heights. The combined radar, lidar, video, and even audio (to detect far-off emergency sirens) includes many hardware redundancies to prevent a single failure from bricking the system or causing potential gaps in analysis that might lead to an accident.

Which Mercedes-Benz models come equipped with Drive Pilot?

Benz’s backups and redundancies run the gamut, from two separate electric steering motors to double ECUs, a rear camera dedicated to emergency vehicle overtaking, microphones inside the cabin, a new antenna for satellite positioning accurate to one centimeter, maps that take into consideration continental shift over time, and even a road moisture sensor that detects the sound of water within the front wheel arches. Model year 2024 EQS and S-Class cars will be available with the suite beginning in early 2024 — surprisingly, at no additional cost upfront.

Actually using the hardware requires committing to a subscription of $2,500 per year, though, and only customers in California and Nevada get the option because Drive Pilot is only approved in those two states. To achieve that certification, Mercedes-Benz mapped out over 100,000 miles of testing in California within what engineers called Drive Pilot’s “operational design domain” (ODD), which means on freeways where stop-and-go traffic is common. Challenges included teaching the computer to recognize lane stripes versus reflective dots, mapping GPS locations for multi-level freeways, and sorting out the proper use of carpool lanes. 

The California Highway Patrol actually worked closely with Mercedes to develop the system and even requested a potentially novel turquoise light visible outside cars using Level 3 programs so that emergency responders can identify what they’re dealing with more easily. Nevada, on the other hand, only required self-certification (because of course, it’s Nevada).

Drive Pilot’s ODD requires speeds below 40 miles per hour, clear lane markings, not too much road curvature, clear weather and lighting conditions, and a high-definition map to be available in the system’s memory. Mercedes declined to confirm exactly how many miles within California and Nevada the system currently covers, though, presumably because the stat will pale in comparison to Autopilot or Super Cruise.

How to use Drive Pilot

Many fewer miles might sound less than ideal in headlines, but Drive Pilot theoretically delivers an entirely different level of capability. So how well does it work? I got assigned an EQS at random, with a quiet, knowledgeable engineer in the passenger seat. First, we watched a mandatory educational video on the large center console screen, which all customers will need to complete before being allowed to activate Drive Pilot. Then I purposefully drove us into rush-hour traffic headed towards Downtown LA from Santa Monica — exactly what I try to avoid on a Friday afternoon. As soon as we hopped on the 10, we hit a bumper-to-bumper jam. Perfect!

Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

The EQS immediately recognized the situation and blue lights above the two buttons on the steering wheel lit up. The gauge cluster also prompted the fact that Drive Pilot was now available. I touched the button and slowly felt the steering wheel begin to shift underhand. Hesitant, of course, I hovered for a few seconds to make sure everything stayed hunky-dory. Then I laughed.

After all, at this point, we’re not too far removed from the Level 2 systems I’m used to testing. But for those, I can usually count to only 10 seconds before the cars start dinging for me to give the steering wheel a nudge with my hand and fake like I’m paying attention. Not so here. Time to mess with robots, then.

Trusting the ghost in the machine

First, I picked up my iPhone to see exactly how distracted Mercedes believes is too distracted. No problem, until I essentially buried my face in the phone to the point that the infrared eye-tracking system could no longer detect my eyes for an extended period. Ding ding, time to take over driving again. After a few seconds with my hands on the wheel, the blue lights illuminated again and I ceded control back to the car again.

Next, I reclined the EQS’s sumptuous seat, which reps had earlier said would cue a warning. Not so, I found, until my eyes once again lost sight of the infrared camera’s viewing angle. Once more I straightened out with my hands on the wheel and activated Drive Pilot. This time around, I put on sunglasses — which the Lexus RX500h I tested earlier this year struggled with during even Level 2 driving. Not the case here.

Finally, I started fiddling with YouTube and pulled up some rally racing videos as a proper distraction. Not only did the Dolby Atmos sound system blast those banshee engines screaming past, but I could click around and fully absorb in finding good vids without Drive Pilot fretting. All the while, the EQS kept a comfortable following distance from the car ahead of me and I even noticed the car almost imperceptibly shifting over in the lane a few times when motorcycles came up from behind while lane-splitting — a uniquely Californian concern for autonomous driving software.

Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

I never pushed the limit much past 30 seconds of dinging, but Mercedes-Benz reps explained that should I have been completely derelict in my duties, videos playing on the center console would have frozen, a yellow message would have lit up, red lights and acoustic warnings would have increased, and then the seatbelt would have jerked for 10 seconds. In the off chance a driver still remains unresponsive, the car will then slow to a standstill while staying in its lane and, assuming a medical issue may be underway, turns the hazard lights on, calls emergency response automatically, and unlocks the doors.

Staying in the lane is a critical point here. But so is the top speed of 40 miles per hour (or 60 kilometers per hour in Germany, where Drive Pilot began customer sales earlier in 2023). If traffic clears up enough for the car to exceed that speed, Mercedes-Benz’s Level 2+ system can initiate, with lane keep and adaptive cruise activated and lane changes allowed up to 85 miles per hour.

Other than the physical hardware and computing power to analyze the data from all those sensors and cameras, Level 3 also requires human programmers to finetune the way Drive Pilot interacts with a human driver. And I found myself almost concerned by how quickly I developed confidence in the Level 3 system. Dropping back down to only Level 2, on the other hand, requires a bit of a mindset shift that needs to be very clearly delineated for the driver — and Benz nailed that transition, too. 

We’ve come a long way from Level 1 and 2 autonomy, largely because of the smoothness by which Drive Pilot steers and manages speed. No lurching or sudden braking, no ping-ponging off lines or cracks in the road, no random freakouts in my hour-plus of driving (or riding, I suppose, would be more accurate). I only drove the EQS, though, and no S-Class. Theoretically, an EV might be better for modulating speed and braking.

Theory in practice… and liability

You might have noticed my frequent use of the word “theoretically” to describe many of Drive Pilot’s capabilities. But this is the real world, and autonomous driving theory is now being enacted in real life. I went into this day of testing with Isaac Asimov on my mind, ready to apply the three rules of robotics to the best of my abilities. But Mercedes-Benz clearly designed Drive Pilot’s Level 3 ODD to reduce liability the best it could.

The Mercedes reps I spoke with declined to share any stats about how Drive Pilot’s debut in Germany has performed, other than to say that no major incidents have occurred so far. But we don’t even know how many customers shelled out that annual fee this year. Still, I brought up the classic conundrum: What if the Drive Pilot needs to make a split-second decision between hitting a pregnant mother or two children? 

Highly unlikely on the 10 freeway, was the answer, though I’ve seen stranger things — like when I was testing Super Cruise in a GMC Hummer EV and an E90 BMW came crawling across traffic at a full right angle. Super Cruise balked in that scenario and forced me to a full ABS stop in a 9,000-pound brick. Would Drive Pilot pick up the E90 on lidar or radar earlier and response quickly enough? I don’t know, but I do know that the EQS would not leave its lane to miss the BMW in that scenario. The ODD wouldn’t let it.

More realistically, imagine a motorcycle cuts into the lane without signaling and brakes hard. Driving 40 miles per hour, would Drive Pilot slam on the brakes and risk being hit by a hypothetical semi truck following too closely behind? Probably, because that would put liability on the semi-truck driver even if the resultant accident would be more damaging than swerving into the side of an SUV in the next lane while avoiding the motorcyclist.

But therein lies the big question: liability. Even if Drive Pilot was truly programmed with liability in mind, who exactly makes the final determination of liability in the case of an accident becomes a critical question. 

The liability question fits into the definitions of Level 2 and 3, to an extent: In Level 2, the driver is responsible but for Level 3, the vehicle is responsible. As long as the driver uses a Level 3 system as intended — which does require keeping the car well maintained so that all the hardware and software can operate as intended — then if the system fails, Benz is on the hook.

I asked whether Drive Pilot records the passenger compartment video to make sure that drivers didn’t cause problems. Apparently not. Next, I can’t help but wonder whether insurance companies will be happy sorting out the blame game when robots and massive multinational conglomerate legal teams get into the mix. Sure, California and Nevada (well, Nevada sort of) legally approved Level 3 in such strict scenarios, but we all know how these things play out when big money enters the picture.

For Benz, the next step for Drive Pilot will involve ramping up to 80 miles per hour in Level 3, exponentially increasing the following and stopping distances. Therefore video, radar, and lidar range are required. But then the system will work for real road-tripping, rather than requiring a step back down into Level 2+ (even if Level 2+ works quite well, too).

For me, the most important question only came to mind after the fact. I’m competitive with the robots that will one day take over my driving duties, so I need to know: In an EQS, does Drive Pilot improve EV range versus a smooth, conscientious human driver? Answering that question will require much more testing, but for now, the future of autonomous driving is here — in an admittedly limited, yet still very impressive, capacity.

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Matte Black Tesla CyberTruck driven by Chief Designer Franz Von Holzhausen

Matte black Tesla Cybertruck spotted in public, scares children and adults alike

Halloween isn’t over! Tesla’s chief designer was spotted arriving at a car show in a matte black Tesla Cybertruck. Breaking news: it was worse than anything a witch could conjure up. The Cybertruck will be released on November 30th, with the first customers receiving theirs at the Gigafactory in Austin, Texas. This truck adds to the absurd amount of Tesla vehicles either coming or already on the market.

Matte Black Tesla Cybertruck parked on a beach
Image Credit: Sawyer Merritt | X

This matte black Cybertruck, however, is nothing more than a silver model wrapped in PVC. Interestingly, it appears to be based upon the original reveal prototype rather than the current models that have been previously spotted on public roads, evident by the prototype wheels and tires, which we don’t anticipate will make it to production. And this isn’t the first elaborate marketing stunt Tesla has pulled for this monstrosity of a vehicle.

  • This same design lead flung a metal ball at a Cybertruck’s “armored window,” smashing it instantly.
  • The Cybertruck appeared in the “Gang Gang” music video performed by Travis Scott and his crew.
  •  It made an appearance at the 2023 U.S. Grand Prix in Austin.
  •  A camo-wrapped Tesla Cybertruck appeared in Palo Alto, California.
  • Tesla disguised it as an F-150.
Tesla Cybertruck fleet moving on outdoor articulation ramps
Image credit: Tesla

If anything, it’s been in our minds as Americans since its announcement. Luckily, the anti-brainwash serum has not worn off, as the matte black Cybertruck looks even uglier than the silver model. There is a chance that you will get your hands on this version, as Tesla did release Model 3 and Model Y colored wraps at $7,500 to $8,000.

Tesla Cybertruck in matte black
Image credit: Daniel Golson | X

Some added context for the skepticism surrounding the Cybertruck. In a recent interview with podcaster Joe Rogan, Elon Musk mentioned that Tesla aims to produce 200,000 units yearly. Tesla claimed in its Q3 2023 financial results that production will be around 125,000. So there is a bit of a gap between those two numbers. Additionally, the Tesla Cybertruck is the company’s first consumer 800-volt architecture vehicle, which makes them cheaper to produce and more efficient to drive. But the efficiency boost may be offset by the least complex model weighing around 8,000 pounds.

Naturally, we need to thank Daniel Golson on X for starting this storm and sharing this lunacy with the world.

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The Tesla Semi, Tesla Roadster 2.0, Tesla Model 2 and Tesla CyberTruck

Every new Tesla (supposedly) coming in 2024, 2025, and beyond

Tesla, the American automaker owned by electronic musician Grimes’ on-again-of-again “situationship” Elon Musk, continues to be one of the most popular and ubiquitous electric vehicles on the road. Despite the bad press surrounding the erstwhile richest man in the world’s stewardship over X (formerly known as Twitter), the enthusiasm for new (and used) Tesla electric vehicles remains high – and not just among Musk fanboys, as one might assume.

Elon Musk greets his fans at an event.
Elon Musk in happier times. Credit: AP/Andrej Sokolow

Since becoming one of the pioneering electric-only car companies, Tesla has had its fair share of controversies, blow-ups (both literal and figurative), and general bad vibes. The quintessential example of the adage “no such thing as bad press,” Tesla’s engineers are known for setting the pace within the industry (for better or worse) and the end result has been consistently impressive – with sales to match.

Chart credit: Statista

The Tesla landscape in 2023

If you’re thinking about going all-in on Mr. Musk’s latest mystery machines, some patience might pay off in the long run. Tesla continues to cut the MSRP for its cars, with further reductions expected following yet another earnings miss and waning investor confidence. Otherwise, you can find a used Tesla for less than the price of a base Nissan Altima, especially the Model 3.

For some bleak outsider comedy, the transcripts from the earnings call are out there – and they feature moments like this one that prove Elon totally knows what pennies are and also definitely watched Game of Thrones.

It’s like Game of Thrones but pennies. I mean, first approximation, if you’ve got a $40,000 car, and roughly 10,000 items in that car, that means each thing, on average, costs $4. So, in order to get the cost down, say, by 10%, you have to get $0.40 out of each part on average. It is a game of pennies.

Elon Musk – Tesla Q3 2023 Earnings Call

What’s next for Tesla in 2024 and beyond?

Now that we’ve got that all out of the way, let’s get to the fun stuff. As mentioned above, Tesla continues to innovate in the electric vehicle space. The American automaker’s upcoming roadmap includes a production fleet of Tesla Semi trucks, a refreshed Roadster 2.0, the diminutive Model 2 (or Baby), and of course the elephant-colored chunk of metal in the room – the Cybertruck.

Four of Tesla's upcoming electric vehicles, the Tesla Semi, The Tesla Roadster 2.0, the Tesla Model 2, and the Tesla Cybertruck.
Clockwise from top left: Tesla Semi, Tesla Roadster 2.0, Tesla Model 2, and Tesla Cybertruck (image: Acceleramota)

There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s start with the long-promised reboot of the electric car that put Tesla on the map: the Roadster.

Roadster 2.0

When the original Tesla Roadster was announced for production in 2008, the upstart carmaker’s first release boasted some eye-popping stats. The sleek, futuristic design felt right for the advanced electric motor hidden within that could accelerate from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds. Throughout its lifespan, the Roadster has seen MSRPs for competitive models balloon, making the 2009 edition’s $98,000 price tag seem quaint in comparison. The original run of Tesla Roadsters ended in 2012 despite the 2010 model being Elon’s daily driver of choice. Since getting blasted off into literal space on the back of a goddamn rocket, the O.G. Tesla hasn’t made many headlines, so a refresh shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Elon's red Tesla Roadster which was mounted to the Falcon Heavy Rocket and shot into outer space. You can see the earth placidly behind the car.
“Elon’s Roadster” mounted on the Falcon Heavy Rocket (Credit: Wikipedia)

While official details are hard to find, it’s clear that the new model of the Tesla Roadster will pick up where version one left off. It will be sleek, it will be stylish, it will be full of next-level tech, it will be fast, and you’d better believe your ass that it is going to be expensive. The Tesla Roadster is not an entry-level electric vehicle and we can’t wait to see how it compares to the original. Unfortunately, for now, all we can do is poke around the internet for some concept art and dream of yet another high-performance vehicle we simply cannot afford.

Concept art of the Tesla Roadster 2.0
Image credit: Tesla

Tesla Roadster 2.0 info:

  • Expected model year: 2026
  • Expected MSRP: $200,000 (Founder’s edition: $250,000)
  • Expected acceleration: 0 to 60 in 1.9s
  • Expected top speed: 250mph (403kmh)
  • Expected battery storage: 200kwh
  • Expected battery range: 620 mi (998km)


Let me start this section with an apology. If you follow me on Twitter or know me IRL, you’ve probably heard me make fun of the Cybertruck. Maybe you’ve seen me make fun of the way it looks, or the door panels don’t align, or how it couldn’t jump a small curb in “off road mode”, or how its basic design flaws were costing the company untold millions. You definitely would’ve seen me make fun of the time he revealed the Cybertruck to investors by smashing its supposedly unbreakable window with a rock.

So yeah, there’s been a lot to make fun of with the Telsa Cybertruck, but this past week Elon completely redeemed himself. Oh no, I’m still joking, all he did was shoot it with a danged Tommy Gun – surely this will make the Cybertruck the #1 choice of getaway vehicle for old-timey scofflaws, rascals, and ne’erdowells.

There isn’t really much else to say about the Tesla Cybertruck that hasn’t already been said. At the moment of writing, Tesla is claiming a production run that’ll start in 2024, but even long-time fans are starting to lose faith. As a recent post on r/RealTesla (the Subreddit for Tesla drivers who haven’t “drank the Elon-Ade”) calls out:

While I have little faith in humanity left, surely nobody is going to actually buy a CyberTruck, right?

I just can’t imagine the shame.

Can you imagine what it would be like to be “that guy”?

Would you confuse all the smirking attention for admiration? I can’t get my head around the mental gymnastics it would take to buy, own and drive one.

Additionally, can you imagine the type of person who would buy one? Like, just think about it for a second. It’s horrible!

u/St3fanz on r/RealTesla
Concept art of the stainless steel Tesla Cybertruck on a desert somewhere.
Image credit: Tesla

The long and short of it is, we don’t really know when the Cybertruck will be available. The prototypes are breaking down like crazy and the model year just got pushed, this time to 2025. It certainly doesn’t inspire much confidence that Elon Musk is saying things like “[Tesla] dug our own grave with the Cybertruck” on investor calls.

Tesla Cybertruck Info:

  • Expected model year: 2025
  • Expected MSRP: $60,000 (single motor) $70,000 (dual motor) $80,000 (triple motor)
  • Expected acceleration: 0 to 60 in 6.5s (single motor) 4.5s (dual motor) 2.9s (triple motor)
  • Expected top speed: 120mph (193kmh)
  • Expected towing: 7,500 lbs (single motor) 10,000 lbs (dual motor) 14,000 lbs (triple motor)
  • Expected battery storage: 250kwh
  • Expected battery range: 250 mi (single motor) 300 mi (dual rotor) 500 mi (triple motor)
  • Expected seating: 6 adults
  • Expected cargo bed: 6.4ft (100 cu ft of volume)

Tesla Model 2 (Q/C)

When it comes to more practical electric vehicles in the works from Tesla, the Model 2 absolutely has the Cybertruck beat – but basically every EV available has the Cybertruck beat. Sometimes referred to as the Model Q or the Model C by the Tesla nerds who hopefully won’t find this article and “punish” me by clicking on it angrily (and repeatedly), the Tesla Model 2 promises to be a smaller, more-futuristic-seeming hatchback.

Tesla Model 2 teaser rendering
Image credit: Tesla

Taking design cues from both the popular Model Y and (apparently) [sigh] The Cybertruck, the Model 2’s real headline will be its price. In early teases about the new model, it appears the automaker is targeting a $25,000 MSRP for the base-level edition. Very little is known about the Tesla Model 2/Q/C, but we’ll be sure to update this page as soon as more information becomes available.

Tesla Model 2/Q/C Specs

  • Expected model year: 2025
  • Expected MSRP: $25,000
  • Expected acceleration: 0 to 60 in 5s
  • Expected top speed: 120mph (193kmh)
  • Expected battery storage: 75kwh
  • Expected battery range: 279 mi (single motor)

Tesla Semi

Concept art of the "New Tesla Semi" semi truck.
Tesla Semi concept art (Credit: Tesla)

The Tesla Semi truck was called “badass” when the company announced it way back in 2017 and while the aggressively futuristic freight vehicle has impressed in the abstract, the rollout has been a bit of a mess. Musk’s notoriously dodgy PR is at least partially to blame for the confusion, according to my new favorite website Freight Waves,

Trucks in the United States are allowed to weigh a maximum of 80,000 pounds, including the tractor, the trailer and everything you’re fitting inside. Electric trucks, like the Semi, are allowed to weigh 82,000 pounds. Companies typically want to haul as much as they can in a single truck, so getting close to that 80,000-pound limit is ideal.

However, Tesla, which did not respond to a press inquiry, has not released information on how much the truck actually weighs.

That limits what the Semi is able to haul, and for how long. Right now, snack and beverage behemoth PepsiCo is the only company to have received its Tesla Semis. It has three dozen electric big rigs servicing two California warehouses.

From one base in Modesto, California, 15 Tesla Semis are hauling Frito-Lay products up to 425 miles, according to a 2022 Reuters article. That means potato chips and other snack foods — a (literally) low-lift task. From another base in Sacramento, California, 31 Tesla Semis are hauling loads of soda. It’s a much heavier load, but these trips are around 100 miles, per Reuters. 

That would make the Tesla Semi a less versatile truck than a traditional option, where you know what it weighs and how long a distance it can handle. When communicating to a commercial audience, it’s crucial to include those details.

Rachel Premack – Freight Waves

Most recently, the Tesla Semis that have been put into use had a major safety recall after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) discovered the electric trucks could “fail to move into the park position when the parking brake is activated,” which is kind of an important thing for a 30,000+ lb truck to be able to do.

New Tesla electric semi trucks parked at the Pepsi plant in Sacramento.
Image credit: PepsiCo
  • Expected model year: ??
  • Expected MSRP: $250,000+
  • Expected acceleration: 0 to 60 in 20s
  • Expected maximum gross combined weight: 82,000 lbs
  • Expected battery range: 300-500 mi


So, there we have it, every new vehicle Tesla claims will be released in the next few years. We’ll keep this page updated when more details come in, but candidly I would not be surprised if at least one of these models fails to materialize before 2030. Maybe I’m being a pessimist, but then I look at the Cybertruck and I know deep in my soul I am right.

When will Tesla release the Tesla Roadster 2.0?

The Second-Generation Tesla Roadster was teased in 2017, but hard details are difficult to find. At the time of publication, the Tesla Roadster 2.0 is rumored to be part of the 2026 model year.

When will Tesla release the Tesla Cybertruck?

Your guess is as good as ours. Right now it’s looking like the 2025 model year will be the first full production year for the Tesla Cybertruck, but we won’t hold our breaths.

When will Tesla release the Tesla Model 2/Q/C?

While Tesla has been teasing it for a while now, details about the hatchback Tesla Model 2 (also known as the Model Q or Model C) are scarce. This entry-level electric vehicle will have an MSRP of around $25,000 and could be part of the 2026 model year.

When will Tesla release the Tesla Semi Truck?

A fleet of Tesla Semi Trucks was delivered to PepsiCo in Sacramento, CA late last year, but the production model has not yet surfaced. Based on the relative lack of updates, we’re anticipating more information in 2024 and beyond.

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Toyota North Carolina Battery Plant construction site

Toyota goes all in with new $8 billion investment in North Carolina battery plant

Toyota is serious about EVs. It announced an $8 billion cash injection into the North Carolina battery plant. This comes after the 2021 $1.29 billion investment in the new Liberty plant, bringing the total investment to $13.9 billion. It will create around 5,000 new jobs and be an economic boost for the area. However, this timeline and location are not surprising at all.

On October 4th, Toyota announced its partnership with LG Energy Solution to supply EV batteries. This multi-pronged approach is motivated by material and skills shortages already brought to light by the Toyota Bz4x and Cadillac Lyriq production issues. Although, you could pick a legacy automaker from the hat, and you won’t find one without EV production issues. Toyota know it cannot afford to stumble in the transition to BEVs and PHEVs.

The plan is to add eight BEV/PHEV battery production lines to the two previously announced. Four of these will support hybrid battery production. Another two will support BEVs. The North Carolina battery plant will operate by 2025 (without delays) and will be Toyota’s first automotive battery plant globally.

This additional investment comes off the back of the Treasury Department’s Inflation Reduction Act announcement that the government will not give EV tax credits to vehicles manufactured outside of the U.S. 

The big bet on North Carolina

Toyota Bz4x side view on the road.
Image Credit: Toyota

Piedmont, which supplies Tesla with Australian lithium, will also provide LG Chem with Spodumene (raw lithium) for the next four years. Additionally, it will supply more processed lithium hydroxide from an under-construction North Carolina processing plant. It even plans to mine lithium from a Spodumene-tin deposit in the state.

So it’s almost as if Toyota did its research before even thinking about constructing the North Carolina battery plant!

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Japan Mobility Show Graphic

The Japan Mobility Show gives us hope for the future of the fun EV

The Japan Mobility Show is back! After a four-year hiatus in the wake of that dastardly pandemic, the show formerly known as the Tokyo Motor Show is now at the forefront of Japanese mobility, rather than purely focusing on automobiles.

But at Acceleramota, we are here for the car concepts. And even though there has been a steady stream of PHEVs in 2023, the Japan Mobility Show always brings funky concepts. There also seems to be a focus on driving pleasure from many companies this time around, which the South Korean boys across the pond seem to be focused on too, cough, cough Ioniq 5 N.

Obviously, the future of the automobile is electric. Almost every vehicle this time around includes some sort of EV powertrain and with the amount of EV tax credits being thrown around, they better be!

Nissan Hyper Force EV

Front right grill shot of the Nissan Hyper Force EV at the Japan Mobility Show
Image Credit: Nissan

Hyper Force! The name is straight out of No Game No Life into reality at the Japan Mobility Show. Nissan certainly brought its A-game with this all-electric, cyberpunk-esque sports car. Beneath the surface is a (theoretical) solid-state battery and an advanced form of Nissan’s e-4ORCE all-wheel control technology. And oh yeah, the Hyper Force has a high-strength carbon-fiber body and plasma-actuated active aero. So you can actually use the supposed 1,341 horsepower on track.

Nissan isn’t trying to hide that the Hyper Force EV is a successor to the GT-R. I mean, it used current GT-R badging (just for the Japan Mobility Show), and it has R and GT drive modes. Although it’s just a concept for now, most of the more tangible and conventional tech and design features will make it past the Japan Mobility Show.

If none of that piques your interest, Nissan brought the cockpit to life together with Polyphony Digital, the team behind Gran Turismo. When in R mode, you’ll see red ambient lighting and side screens with track data. GT mode gives you the iconic blue lighting, and Gran Turismo-inspired A/C and suspension settings graphics.

Mazda Iconic SP

Showroom shot of the Mazda Iconic SP at the Japan Mobility Show
Image Credit: Mazda

Rotary is back, baby! Under the core pursuit of the “Joy of Driving,” Mazda unveiled the Iconic SP at the Japan Mobility Show. 

It uses a two-rotor engine and an EV system powered by batteries. The two-rotor system can be powered by hydrogen or other carbon-neutral fuels, and the electric motors by a conventional EV battery. This center-mounted powertrain allows for a high power output combined with a near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution. Even Mazda’s proposed specs are quite impressive, as seen below.

Overall length x width x height164.5 × 72.8 × 45.3 in
Wheelbase 101.9 in
Power-weight ratio8.7 lbs/hp, 3.9 kg/hp
Horsepower364 hp
Weight3,196 lbs, 1,450 kg
Credit: Mazda

It’s a looker too! The Iconic SP is painted in a new vivid Mazda color, Viola Red, which is lighter and brighter than the current Mazda hallmark, Soul Red. Other exterior features include the usual sharp Mazda front headlights, a swooping Miata-like silhouette, and double crescent rear lights. Safe to say, Mazda killed it at the Japan Mobility Show.

Mitsubishi D:X Concept

Front side shot of the Mitsubishi D:X Concept
Image Credit: Mitsubishi

No, it’s not a new Yu-Gi-Oh! game, it’s Mitsubishi’s return to the Delica brand at the Japan Mobility Show. Dubbed the Delica of the future, the D:X is a futuristic electric crossover MPV. 

A design embodying “Maximum Space and Safety for Humans, Maximum Off-Roader for Boundaryless Adventure”

Mitsubishi Motors

For maximum spaciousness, it’s got a Delica-style side window and a front windshield that wraps around to the bottom, making the hood area see-through. A minimalist exterior design is not revolutionary. But some distinct Mitsubishi T-shaped front and rear laser lights give it some much-needed character in an ocean of boring EUVs. Front, side, and rear skid protection adds to the rugged feel and protects the copper paint when you’re out glamping.

Of course, the D:X also has a plug-in hybrid EV powertrain. You can use the hybrid mode for long trips and the EV mode when driving daily. A reinforced rib-bone monobox used in the Delica D:5 also makes its return.

Inside, the D:X has a minimalist tan leather accented cabin plus six old-school swivel fabric seats. A smaller addition is the 3D Yamaha sound system, which should make Oktoberfest trips a blast. Really, there’s a lot to like about Mitsubishi’s appearance at the Japan Mobility show and the future of the company.

Toyota Electric Land Cruiser Se

Side front shot of the Toyota Land cruiser Se
Image Credit: Toyota

Toyota’s full-size SUV is back in electric form. The Land Cruiser Se uses a monocoque body construction rather than the previous body-on-frame for a quieter BEV experience. It also improves on-road handling with a bit of sacrifice on the durability end.  Toyota also plans to manufacture the Land Cruiser Se along with other EVs in the U.S. with LG supplying the EV batteries.

The most radical changes are on the outside though with distinct Land Cruiser side vent graphics. It retains the square shape but the more minimalist lines seem to indicate a new Toyota era is on the way.

Toyota FT-Se

Rear View zoom shot of the Toyota Ft-Se
Image Credit Toyota

The FT-Se is Toyota’s version of a sports car future. Rumored to be the spiritual successor to the much-loved Celica and MR2, the FT-Se is an all-wheel drive EV and will be fueled by a “prismatic” battery. Although the two-seater format indicates it could be close to the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ. One of the most interesting features is a “manual mode” to simulate gear changes in the name of driving fun. Toyota president, Koji Sato, also noted that other future BEVs could have the feature as well.

The FT-Se shares major components with the FT-3e. Toyota set out to create a car that will grow with the driver through software updates.

Toyota is keeping its cards close with this one but announced at the Japan Mobility Show that it could see production in late 2027.

Toyota FT-3e

Image Credit: Toyota

If you’re thinking Toyota is slowing down anytime soon, the FT-3e has you already beaten. Rumors of this mid-size SUV started swirling in 2022. So, it’s almost guaranteed that Toyota will release a multitude of different vehicles on this future BEV platform. Its Lexus sister brand unveiled its LF-ZL, a more luxurious version with similar body proportions.

The focus of this SUV is sustainability. Toyota’s interpretation of this is adding an exterior upper door section display which shows the battery state of charge. Additionally, it shows the interior temperature, and air quality when the driver approaches the car.

Toyota EPU (electric pickup truck)

Side shot of the Toyota EPU in front of the beach
Image Credit: Toyota

You’re a truck guy. So you’ll probably be the first in line for Toyota’s pickup truck future. The EPU is a mid-size electric pickup truck based on the current Hilux. North America will likely receive an American-size version like the Tacoma, but details further than the concept itself are scarce, so there’s no guarantee. You can’t help but compare it to the Rivian R1T though, which may be a testament to how Toyota has fallen behind in the EV race and seems to be playing catch-up already.

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EVs Explained Tax Credits feature photo
EVs explainedFeatures

How does the EV federal tax credit work and which cars qualify now and in 2024?

Hello, and welcome back to your regular dose of EVs Explained! Many altruistic reasons exist to switch over from a gas guzzler to an electric vehicle, like keeping hush for the neighbors or allegedly doing your part to help God’s green earth and all. But today’s topic is a little more self-interested, and that’s okay. Here. Have some EV tax credits. On Uncle Sam. But what are they?

Well, hey. You know how Tesla has been raving on about how their Model 3s are now sub-30-grand cars? Well, technically, they are and they aren’t. They’re forty-grand cars that Tesla is advertising as less by factoring in potential gas savings plus a handy little pick-me-up from the feds just for opting for an electric vehicle over a baby seal-clubbing Sonata (to Tesla-stans and Hyundai fans, that’s a joke). That’s the oh-so-desirable tax credits, my friends.

That’s correct. Right now, you can get a cool chunk of cash when purchasing an EV. And in this explainer, we’ll be going over what an EV tax credit is, what you need to qualify, and how it will change looking forward. No tech lessons today. Right now, it’s all about the moolah!

Tesla Model 3 Highland Pair
Image: Tesla

Tax liability and the EV tax credit

Last summer, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 was passed into law by Congress. The bill includes revisions to the credit for qualified plug-in EVs and fuel cell electric vehicles purchased from 2023 to 2032. Purchasers of this type of vehicle may now be eligible for a tax credit of up to $7,500 for new EVs and up to $4,000 for used EVs (limited to 30% of the sale price). This would lower your tax liability for whatever you qualify for up to that amount. 

It is important to note this is a nonrefundable tax credit. You need to have enough tax liability if you want to capture the full amount that the vehicle you’re purchasing is qualifying for. In layman’s terms, what that means is that you have already exceeded your allowable. You will not see any overage as a refund during the approaching tax season and you cannot apply excess credit to the following tax year.

“Wait, stop. What exactly is tax liability?”

Simply put, it’s just the total amount of money owed at the end of the tax year. If you are a general W-2 employee, every paycheck you receive from your company already has taxes taken out automatically. That goes to your tax liability throughout the year. At the end of the year, when filing your tax return, this is the time when you add in any credits and deductions that you qualify for. Once applied, that number you’ve arrived at is now your adjusted tax liability. If you paid more if you’re W-2, you get a refund. If you didn’t pay enough to cover, well, you owe the IRS money. Tax liability is the total, not the difference between what was owed and what was paid.


Image credit: Joe Tilleli

“But Mister, can you use ‘tax credits’ in a sentence?”

So a qualifying vehicle such as a Chevy Bolt purchased today (assuming you qualify for the full amount) will let you realize $7,500 toward your tax liability come April of 2024 when you file your taxes. You will use Form 8936 when filing your federal income taxes. Conversely, if you started with a daily low tax liability and have already lowered it through other credits, such as claiming dependents, it’s possible that there isn’t enough liability left to receive the full $7,500. You only realize what you have remaining in your tax liability.

The bill allows for one credit per vehicle. You can claim a tax credit for every qualified vehicle you purchase. However, there are still income limits to be mindful of, and since your tax liability can only be so much, the tax credits you’d be eligible for will also only be so much.

Sorry. No infinite money glitch for flipping a bunch of EVs. You can’t Forza Auction House hack your way out of this one.

Chevrolet Bolt on the beach
Image: Chevrolet

What vehicles qualify?

Many new EVs are eligible for the full amount of  $7,500 though there are exceptions. It’s best to think of the tax credit in two different components — the battery requirement and the critical minerals requirement. Each is responsible for a partial credit of $3,750, each adding up to half of the new tax credit.

For the battery requirement, a certain percentage of the vehicle’s battery must be assembled or manufactured in North America. Over the next ten years when the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is in effect, the required percentage is going up for manufacturers. Those percentages are as follows:

  • 2023: 50%
  • 2024: 60%
  • 2025: 60%
  • 2026: 70%
  • 2027: 80%
  • 2028: 90%
  • 2029-2032: 100%
Lanzador at Pebble Beach
Image: Lamborghini

For the critical minerals requirement, we’re dealing with a similar story. A certain percentage (that will increase over the decade) of the minerals in the car’s battery must be extracted or processed within the United States or within a country that has a free-trade agreement with the U.S. Percentages are as follows:

  • 2023: 40%
  • 2024: 50%
  • 2025: 60%
  • 2026: 70%
  • 2027-2032: 80%

So while a vehicle like the Tesla Model 3 meets both the battery and critical minerals requirement (granting it eligibility for the full $7,500) a vehicle like the Nissan Leaf only meets the battery requirement. Thus, it is only eligible for $3,750.

A couple more stipulations exist as well such as restricting the sourcing of battery components or critical minerals from foreign countries of concern such as China. Those go into effect in 2024 and 2025, respectively. However, if you seek the tax credit amount for a specific EV vehicle, the most up-to-date information exists at fueleconomy.gov where you can look up eligible models and filter based on purchase scenario, model year, and vehicle type, among other stats like MPGe and total range.

How do you qualify?

Beyond the vehicle qualifications, you must also consider the personal qualifications. In order to qualify for the credit, the vehicle you are purchasing must be for your own use (not resale) and primarily driven in the United States.

Your tax filing status and modified adjusted gross income are also part of the picture. The following are the upper-income limits for each status:

  • $300,000 for married couples filing jointly 
  • $225,000 for heads of households
  • $150,000 for all other filers

2024 and onward

As stated in the earlier explanation, the tax credit is currently set up in which you claim the tax credit when filing your taxes. However, in 2024, a new option will allow a purchaser of a clean vehicle to transfer that credit to an eligible entity. What is an eligible entity? Well, the dealer that sold it to you.

Psst. It’s the car.

2024 Ford Lightning Platinum Black from rear angle view
Image source: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

This means you can fully realize the tax credit at the time of sale, turning it into an upfront discount applied toward your purchase. So if you were to purchase that Chevy Bolt in 2024, instead of paying the list price of $26,500, you could transfer that credit, getting the EV for $19,500 – provided you qualify. The option to transfer credit would be effective as of January 10, 2024.

The new system was announced Friday, October 6 , in a press release from the U.S. Department of Treasury. Within, the IRS expands on stipulations the dealer must follow (being registered with the IRS at time of sale, disclose to the taxpayer any other incentive available for the purchase of such vehicle, et cetera. et cetera.). You can find all the legal mumbo jumbo on the IRS website.

Last thoughts

With this tax credit in place, we expect to see a lot more EVs coming onto the road over the next decade. Sometimes, a little bonus is needed to push folks into going green. The tax credit is an excellent incentive for drivers to make the switch, but bear in mind that the process of qualifying and claiming said credit can be a bit overwhelming. Note that everything discussed above is meant to help demystify the EV tax credit and should not be interpreted as financial advice.

If you still have questions pertaining to your own situation, consider consulting a qualified tax professional. I’m just Joe.

This story was originally published by Joe Tilleli on 9/26/2022 and updated with new information on 10/26/2023.

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Ram 1500 REV being recharged

Stellantis teams up with Orano to recycle Fiat-Chrysler EVs

Sustainable mobility is an “ethical responsibility,” according to Stellantis, the multinational conglomerate you probably knew as Fiat-Chrysler before the UAW strikes began. Now the Italian-American automotive conglomerate Stellantis is turning those words into action, announcing a partnership with French nuclear fuel cycle company Orano for all future EV battery recycling plans. All in the name of the Stellantis “Dare Forward 2030” plan to reduce carbon in the atmosphere as a net-zero company by 2038.

The joint venture capitalizes on Orano’s innovative, low-carbon technology, which breaks with existing processes, allowing the recovery of all materials from lithium-ion batteries, and the manufacturing of new cathode materials. The joint venture will produce materials also known as “black mass” or “active mass.” This can be refined in Orano’s hydrometallurgical plant to be built in Dunkirk, France so that the materials could be re-used in batteries, thus closing the loop of a circular economy.

Stellantis and Orano Press Release

This deal means that Stellantis brands like North American brands like Fiat, Chrysler, and Dodge will have access to reclaimed battery materials. Orano claims an up to 90% metal recovery rate from lithium-ion batteries and can manufacture new battery cathode materials. This will be done at existing Stellantis facilities and is the first time a major automotive player has involved itself in the value chain in this way.

The sought-after material here is black mass. Black mass is the material that comes from dismantling and shredding an EV battery. Through chemical processes, high amounts of lithium, manganese, cobalt, and nickel metals can be recovered from dead batteries and reused for new ones.

Image Credit: AutoWeek

Are electric vehicle batteries recyclable today?

China is currently a major recycler of EV Battery materials – with the largest being Ganfeng Lithium. The country averages over 20,000 tons of waste lithium iron phosphate batteries and 14,000 tons of waste ternary lithium batteries per year. As of October 2022, China has 61 existing lithium-ion battery recycling plants. However, there are some serious competitors closer to home too:

  • Umicore: Belgian-French multinational materials battery recycling and materials company.
  • Ecobat LLC: U.S.-based company specializing in the collection, recycling, production, and distribution of energy storage solutions and other commodities.
  • Glencore plc: Swiss multinational trading and mining company.
  • Ganfeng Lithium Group: Chinese conglomerate with a focus on lithium recycling and raw material supply.

Reclamation of lithium and cobalt is especially important as the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that supply shortages could be a reality as early as 2025.

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