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    How many lives have electric cars saved from climate change? / ArsTechnica · Yesterday - 17:43 · 1 minute

A row of Tesla EVs charging at one of the company's Supercharger fast charging locations.

Enlarge / A row of Tesla EVs charging at one of the company's Supercharger fast charging locations. (credit: Don and Melinda Crawford/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

These days Tesla gets a lot of flak , but sometimes it does great things. In 2008, it launched the Tesla Roadster—the first-ever serial production lithium-ion battery car . Unlike previous electric cars , the Roadster was fast, sexy, and luxurious. Since its release, over 12 million electric cars have been sold worldwide, with Tesla contributing over 1 million to that number.

But what if Tesla never existed or never sparked the electric car revolution—would we have millions of electric cars on the road today? Of course, the electric car revolution would have happened eventually. But it was only two years before the Roadster’s release that the death of the electric car was being lamented in the infamous documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? If the big automakers really did kill the electric car, as the documentary suggests, then Tesla surely revived it.

That’s great news for Earth’s future inhabitants. Taking action to reduce the harms of climate change, by buying an electric car, for instance, is an urgent matter. Just last year, a study from Nature Communications estimated that "adding 4,434 metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2020—equivalent to the lifetime emissions of 3.5 average Americans—causes one excess death globally in expectation between 2020-2100."

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    Here’s what it’s like to drive the new Porsche 963 prototype / ArsTechnica · Yesterday - 17:33 · 1 minute

A Porsche 963 race car preparing to drive up the hill at Goodwood

Enlarge / The new Porsche 963 sports prototype made its world debut at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed in England. (credit: Porsche)

Last month, Porsche used the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK to formally debut its newest model. It's not another 911, nor a new SUV; it's a hybrid sports prototype designed to win on track here in the US and at Le Mans. You can tell the car has big shoes to fill just by looking at its name—Porsche is calling the new racing car the 963 because it's the spiritual successor to the legendary 962 that dominated sports car racing in the 1980s.

Unfortunately, Goodwood took place at the same time as my vacation at Watkins Glen in New York for IMSA's six-hour race, so Ars wasn't able to see the 963 run in person. But I was able to sit down with a pair of Porsche's factory racing drivers to find out a bit more about the new car.

Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell are currently contesting the IMSA WeatherTech championship in a GT car—a Porsche 911 GT3R that started life on the same production line as the road-going 911s. But next year, the pair will be among the Porsche factory drivers who have been chosen to campaign the faster, more complex 963 here in the US or in the World Endurance Championship (WEC).

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    Rivian’s R1S: An electric SUV for those with an adventurous lifestyle / ArsTechnica · Yesterday - 13:00 · 1 minute

A white Rivian R1S in the late afternoon sun

Enlarge / After building the R1T adventure truck, Rivian has followed up with the R1S SUV. (credit: Jonathan Gitlin)

Rivian provided flights from DC to Albany and back, plus two nights in a hotel so we could drive the R1S. Ars does not accept paid editorial content.

Last September, we drove one of Rivian's new electric trucks and found its R1 platform highly competent on and off the road, with an impressive level of engineering that made driving to the top of a mountain almost effortless . It's been a tough few months for the electric vehicle maker since then, with supply chain issues delaying deliveries , a former executive filing a discrimination lawsuit, and shareholders upset about a rather clumsy price hike .

But Rivian remains very well-funded, and its factory in Normal, Illinois, is finding its feet building electric trucks as well as delivery vans for Amazon . Now another R1-based EV is entering production—the R1S SUV.

Like its truck sibling, the R1S is a friendly-looking thing, particularly compared to the more aggressive SUVs coming out of Detroit. Partly that's down to the design of the lights, which should set off your pareidolia , and partly down to what now passes for a relatively low hood height, with curved edges finding favor over sharp creases at the corners.

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    Tesla deliveries drop by 18 percent in Q2 2022 / ArsTechnica · 2 days ago - 19:40

Tesla's new factories in Berlin and Texas are proving more costly to set up than its plant in Shanghai (pictured).

Enlarge / Tesla's new factories in Berlin and Texas are proving more costly to set up than its plant in Shanghai (pictured). (credit: Tesla)

After several quarters of impressive growth, Tesla is starting to feel the pinch. The US automaker announced on Saturday that, between April and June, it has produced only 258,580 electric vehicles and delivered only 254,695 cars.

By comparison, it was able to build 305,407 EVs and deliver 291,189 of them in the first three months of 2022. However, it claims that it produced more cars in June 2022 than any previous month in its history.

A detailed breakdown of this quarter's results is scheduled for July 20, which should shed light on CEO Elon Musk's claims that the company's new factories in Berlin and Texas are " gigantic money furnaces " costing Tesla billions.

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    The 2023 Polestar 2 Single Motor proves “basic” doesn’t mean “boring” / ArsTechnica · 7 days ago - 15:20 · 1 minute

A white polestar 2 parked in the shade of some evergreens. The sun has hit the camera lens and created a rainbow next to the car

Enlarge / You're unlikely to find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, but you might encounter a Polestar 2. (credit: Jonathan Gitlin)

Polestar is riding pretty high right now. Now listed on the NASDAQ exchange, the company is preparing to introduce three new electric vehicles over the next three years: a large SUV in 2023 , a smaller crossover in 2024, and a flagship (read: expensive) four-door coupe in 2025 . In March, the company introduced a new variant of the Polestar 2 fastback sedan, the $48,400 Polestar 2 Long Range Single motor.

And after a few days of driving one, I think it's another data point in favor of the argument that less power sometimes means more fun when it comes to EVs. But I must confess I'm scratching my head about the "long range" part, given the useable capacity of the battery pack and the EV's energy efficiency.

As the name suggests, the biggest mechanical change compared to the dual-motor version we drove in 2020 is the loss of the rear motor. Polestar has also made some changes to the way it sources and makes components like the aluminum alloy wheels and the battery case; the company says these changes reduce the carbon footprint of the car's manufacturing by just under 3,000 lbs (1,350 kg).

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    The rise and precarious reign of China’s battery king / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 29 June - 20:43 · 1 minute

Zeng Yuqun, chairman of Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL), poses for a photograph in Ningde, Fujian province, China, on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

Enlarge / Zeng Yuqun, chairman of Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL), poses for a photograph in Ningde, Fujian province, China, on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. (credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images )

The headquarters of battery giant CATL tower over the coastal Chinese city of Ningde. To the untrained eye, the building resembles a huge slide rising out of the urban sprawl. It is, in fact, a giant monument to the company’s raison d'être: the lithium-ion battery pack.

You may have never heard of CATL, but you’ve definitely heard of the brands that rely on its batteries. The company supplies more than 30 percent of the world’s EV batteries and counts Tesla, Kia and BMW amongst its clients. Its founder and chairman, 54-year-old Zeng Yuqun, also known as Robin Zeng, has rapidly emerged as the industry’s kingmaker. Insiders describe Zeng as savvy, direct, and even abrasive. Under his leadership, CATL’s valuation has ballooned to 1.2 trillion Chinese yuan ($179 billion), more than General Motors and Ford combined. Part of that fortune is built on owning stakes in mining projects in China , the Democratic Republic of Congo , and Indonesia , giving CATL a tighter grip on an already strained global battery supply chain.

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    Here’s Hyundai’s next electric vehicle, the Ioniq 6 sedan / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 28 June - 21:00 · 1 minute

A white Hyundai Ioniq 6 sedan in front of a 1930s airliner in a hangar.

Enlarge / Streamlined aircraft of the 1930s and 1940s were an inspiration for the Hyundai Ioniq 6. (credit: Hyundai)

Hyundai provided flights from DC to London and back, plus a night in a hotel so that we could see the Ioniq 6 in person. Ars does not accept paid editorial content.

The physical unveiling of the Hyundai Prophecy concept car was an early casualty of COVID, originally scheduled for the hastily canceled 2020 Geneva auto show . That didn't stop it from blowing my socks off once Hyundai sent some images over the Internet, however. At the time, I didn't think the Korean automaker would put the concept—which I described as the result of "a transporter accident involving a Mercedes CLS and a Tesla Model 3"—into production.

Obviously, I was being a fool because just as the Hyundai 45 concept morphed into the excellent Ioniq 5 crossover, the Prophecy has been translated into production as the Ioniq 6 sedan. Like the Ioniq 5, the Ioniq 6 uses Hyundai's new E-GMP platform for 800 V vehicles , but importantly, it's actually smaller (with a 2-inch/50-mm shorter wheelbase) and will be cheaper than the angular Ioniq 5. (Yes, this still confuses me, because 6 is more than 5, so one expects a bigger, more expensive car, plus the Ioniq 7 is going to be a large seven-seater electric SUV , due next year.)

The most notable change from the concept is the Ioniq 6's extra height, an unavoidable consequence of having to package a 6-inch (150 mm) slab of lithium-ion batteries under the cabin's floor. I asked Hyundai design chief Sangyup Lee if he had been tempted to stretch the production car's wheelbase to maintain the concept's proportions.

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    Not your grandpa’s ride—the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq, tested / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 28 June - 13:00 · 1 minute

A Cadillac Lyriq parked in front of some of Utah's scenery.

Enlarge / The Cadillac Lyriq is the first expression of the classic American luxury brand's future as an electric automaker. (credit: Jonathan Gitlin)

Cadillac provided flights from DC to Salt Lake City and back, plus a night in a hotel so we could drive the Lyriq. Ars does not accept paid editorial content.

PARK CITY, UTAH—They say—accurately, in my opinion—that nothing focuses the mind like a deadline. I'm not sure what the amplification factor is when that deadline suddenly shrinks by nine months, as was the case for Cadillac's new Lyriq, but the result is an extremely competent new battery-electric SUV.

As we've covered in the past , General Motors is at the start of an electrification plan that it hopes will mean no more tailpipe emissions from any of the group's vehicles by 2035. The key to that is a family of batteries and electric motors (named Ultium) to be used across everything from big body-on-frame trucks to small crossovers . We've actually sampled a couple of early Ultium-based BEVs already—the bombastic Hummer EV truck and BrightDrop Zevo 600 delivery van . Both of those are rather niche applications, but the Lyriq is much more mainstream, given America's love for the SUV.

At launch, the Lyriq is available in a single-motor, rear-wheel-drive configuration, with a twin-motor, all-wheel-drive version coming early in 2023. The RWD Lyriq uses a 340 hp (255 kW), 325 lb-ft (440 Nm) version of the Ultium Drive motor, which is powered by a 102 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

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