Electric Vehicle Recalls in 2022: The Latest Updates

Electric Vehicle Recalls in 2022: The Latest Updates

As drivers warm up to the idea of going electric, every electric vehicle recall is sure to turn heads, regardless of severity. 2022 is a huge year for automakers unveiling their next generation of electric vehicles. With over half a trillion dollars invested in EVs, there’s a lot riding on the success of these new arrivals. Several electric vehicle models have already been subjected to recalls. Fortunately, most of them do not directly involve electric powertrains. These are the EVs facing recalls in 2022. We’ll update this page as future recalls are inevitably announced.

Rivian Recalls

rivian recall

October 2022 – Rivian recalled every vehicle it has produced, including all R1T electric trucks, R1S electric SUVs, and EDVs produced for Amazon. The vehicles were recalled because of concerns that a bolt in steering assemblies wasn’t sufficiently tightened.

No accidents have been reported, but the recall is still causing massive headaches for the young automaker. The recall fix is already available, it’s as simple as tightening a (very important) screw. However, the challenge lies in the limited locations of Rivian Service Centers. For example, the state of Texas has one service center in Houston. There are just 5 Rivian service centers on the entire East Coast. Most locations are in California. See the full list of locations.

Fortunately, Rivian has mobile service technicians, but they’ll surely have their hands full. See additional details on the Rivian recall here.

Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra Recalls

June 23, 2022 – The Toyota bZ4x and Subaru Solterra are EV siblings co-developed by the two Japanese automakers. Just a month into deliveries, the two models have been recalled globally due to an issue with their wheel hub bolts that could in fact cause the wheels to fall off. Fortunately, the issue does not involve Toyota and Subaru’s brand-new electric powertrain. 

2023 Subaru Solterra 2023 first look
2023 Subaru Solterra

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall notice warns owners not to drive their vehicles until they are repaired. This isn’t a good look considering the significance of Toyota’s first all-electric vehicle. A bZ4X and Solterra recall remedy is currently under development according to the US NHTSA.

“The cause of the issue and the driving patterns under which this issue could occur are still under investigation,” the notice says.

The recall affects 2,700 bZ4x models and 2,600 Solterras globally. See if your Toyota bZ4X VIN number is subject to the recall at Toyota’s official recall page. You can check if your Subaru Solterra is impacted at Subaru’s official recall site.

Ford F-150 Lightning Recalls

June 27, 2022 – The electric F-150 Lightning is the most-anticipated new model making a debut this year. Ford Motor is recalling 2,906 F-150 Lightnings because of a software issue that could result in a failure to provide low tire pressure warnings. The 200,000 F-150 Lightning reservation holders are certainly relieved to find that this recall is not related to Ford’s all-new electric powertrain. 

In this particular recall, simple human error is at fault. Ford says that the recommended tire cold inflation pressure was incorrectly set to 35 psi instead of 42 psi. No accidents have resulted from this F-150 Lightning recall, but it’s the fix that’s noteworthy. The recall gives Ford a publicized opportunity to show the world that the F-150 Lightning is OTA capable. Over-the-air updates, first implemented on a large scale by Tesla, are no easy feat. Plenty of automakers can update navigation and infotainment via OTA update, but few are capable of firmware OTA updates that tinker with the powertrain. 

Learn more about how over-the-air updates are changing how cars get serviced.

F-150 Lightning Recall Fix: Those who wish to receive the recall fix immediately may head to a Ford dealership service center immediately. Otherwise, Ford says the over-the-air update will be available to download via home WiFi within a few weeks. Check to see if your F-150 Lighting VIN number is impacted by the recall at Ford’s official recall page.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6 Recalls

Hyundai IONIQ 5
Hyundai IONIQ 5

May 13, 2022 – As an IONIQ 5 owner myself, I was not thrilled to see the first manufacturer recall coming in one month into ownership. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Hyundai and Kia have announced a recall for select VIN numbers of the 2022 model year Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6.

The IONIQ 5 and EV6 share Hyundai Motor Group’s new e-GMP electric platform. The recall is for the potential for disruptions to the vehicle’s parking actuator system when the vehicle is off. Sudden voltage fluctuations may occur while the vehicle is off, potentially causing the parked vehicle to disengage from ‘Park’ momentarily. If this occurs while the vehicle is parked on uneven terrain, vehicle rollaway is possible. 

IONIQ 5 and EV6 recall fix: A fix is already available, but you’ll have to visit your Hyundai or Kia dealership service center. I just got the recall fix done at my local Hyundai dealer. They had never seen an IONIQ 5 before, and one employee asked if I was coming in for an oil change. Nevertheless, I was in and out of the dealership in about 30 minutes. 

Check to see if your Hyundai IONIQ 5 is involved in this recall at Hyundai’s official recall page. You can see if your Kia EV6 is impacted at Kia’s official recall page.

Learn more about the IONIQ 5 recall here. Unfazed by the recall and looking to buy an IONIQ 5? Here’s how I found a Limited AWD IONIQ 5 at MSRP. It wasn’t easy.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Recalls

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E
2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E

June 14, 2022 – Ford is recalling all 50,000 Mustang Mach-E electric crossovers because of the risk of power loss. The possible power loss could occur while the vehicle is in motion or parked. 

The recall is due to problems with the Mustang Mach-E’s battery contactor, which is a switch that determines which vehicle components the battery sends power to. Interestingly, the power loss is more likely to occur when putting the pedal to the metal for maximum acceleration, according to Ford. If power loss occurs, a powertrain malfunction warning light will illuminate on the dashboard, and the vehicle will display “Stop Safely Now’ in the gauge cluster behind the steering wheel. Clearly, it’s time to pull over immediately with a message like that. 

Ford Mustang Mach-E recall fix: Ford has pursued Tesla in more ways than one. In addition to ending EV lease buyouts and going for direct-to-consumer sales via Ford Model e, Ford has brought over-the-air updates to its lineup. Ford says that Mustang Mach-E owners will receive an over-the-air update sometime in July to install a software remedy for the recall. Until then, a stop-sale is in place. 

Learn more about the Ford Mustang Mach-E recall at Ford’s official recall page.

CarEdge’s Take

Several hundred automotive recalls happen every year across vehicle classes and powertrains. There will surely be more to come. What we’ll be keeping an eye on is how the latest electric powertrains are performing. Luckily, most of the EV recalls to date have been for components other than the electric powertrain. However, we all remember how the Chevrolet Bolt recall and fire hazard tarnished GM’s reputation. Check back for the latest updates!

These Electric Vehicles Come with Free Charging in 2022

These Electric Vehicles Come with Free Charging in 2022

Electrify America

Electric vehicles are far from cheap, but many 2022 EVs come with free charging incentives that sweeten the deal. If you travel America’s interstates often, you’ll want to check out these free charging incentives. It adds up quickly!

Audi e-tron Free Charging: Electrify America

The new Audi Q4 e-tron includes 250kWh of complimentary charging at Electrify America. Audi e-tron GT buyers get three years of free charging at Electrify America. With an EPA-rated range of 241 miles with a 77 kilowatt-hour battery pack, you’ll be good to go for plenty of charging stops. The Q4 e-tron will take about 40 minutes to charge from 10% to 80%. The much pricier e-tron GT can do the same in as little as 22 minutes. 

BMX i4 and iX Free Charging: Electrify America

The 2022 BMW iX SUV and i4 electric sedan will come with two years of 30-minute complimentary charging sessions at Electrify America charging stations. Depending on how much you travel, that could save you a few thousand dollars in public charging costs!

Chevrolet Bolt: Free Level 2 Charger Installation

This is a better deal than it sounds. Level 2 home charging is not cheap to install, unless you’re lucky enough to live where incentives abound. Chevrolet will cover standard installation of a Level 2 charging outlet for customers who purchase or lease a 2022 Bolt EUV or Bolt EV. Learn more here. Here’s our review of the 2022 Bolt and Bolt EUV.

Fisker Ocean Free Charging: Electrify America, Maybe?

The 2023 Fisker Ocean is looking like it will be a popular electric crossover once it arrives. Fisker has partnered with Electrify America, however it’s not been shared if there will be a complimentary charging incentive for Ocean drivers. Regardless, it’s an amazing vehicle (on paper for now). We’re big fans of the innovative Fisker Flexee lease program.

Ford F-150 Lightning Free Charging: Electrify America

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro

Yes, the truck we’ve all been waiting for does come with 250 kilowatt-hours of free charging at Electrify America. That’s equal to about two and a half fill-ups, or enough to drive about 700 to 800 miles in the F-150 Lightning. Once the incentive expires, expect a big charging session at Electrify America to cost about $25-35 in the F-150 Lightning. Learn more about the 2022 F-150 Lightning here

Wondering which EVs are available in 2022? Here’s the full list, with pricing and wait times updated regularly.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Free Charging: Electrify America

Just like the F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E drivers will get 250 kilowatt-hours of free charging at Electrify America. That’s enough to have about three or four free charging sessions on your first road trip. Here’s our review of the 2022 Mustang Mach-E, which by the way is one of the top-selling EVs in America (but still far behind Tesla).

Genesis GV60 Free Charging: Electrify America

The Genesis GV60 is the upscale sibling to my very own Hyundai IONIQ 5, but it comes with an even better charging incentive. Genesis GV60 buyers will get free 30-minute charging sessions for three years at Electrify America. 

Hyundai IONIQ 5: Electrify America

Hyundai IONIQ 5

Hyundai and Kia have raced towards the top of the EV sales charts since launching their twin electric crossovers (some would argue they’re oversized hatchbacks). The Hyundai IONIQ 5 comes with two years of unlimited 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America’s 800 stations nationwide. Electrify America is growing quickly, so it’s likely there are more than a few EA chargers along your most frequented routes. 

I recently bought an all-wheel drive IONIQ 5 Limited, and I love it. Here’s how I bought one at MSRP (no markup!), plus all you ever wanted to know about the vehicle in this CarEdge review

Kia EV6: Electrify America

Kia decided to do things differently when setting up their partnership with Electrify America. EV6 owners 1,000 kilowatt-hours of free charging at Electrify America stations. The EA incentive expires after three years. With the efficiency of the Kia EV6, 1,000 kWh of free charging is likely to be good for about 3,500 miles of driving. Full review of the Kia EV6

Lucid Air Free Charging: Electrify America

Lucid Air

Lucid has EXTENDED their free charging partnership with Electrify America. Now, all Lucid customers who place their vehicle order before June 30, 2022 will get three years of free charging at Electrify America. Better get that wallet out! The Lucid Air starts at $77,400, however prices for top-level trims exceed $170,000. See the details here

Nissan Leaf Free Charging: EVgo

America’s first mass-market electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf, is still a solid bargain in 2022.

(Check out the only cheap EVs available today

Drivers purchasing or leasing a new Nissan LEAF receive $250 EVgo charging credits, which could last you a while with the Leaf’s 150 to 226 mile range. Here are the details from EVgo. 

Nissan Ariya Free Charging: EVgo

The first 10,000 customers who reserved a 2023 Nissan Ariya by January 31, 2022 get a $500 credit for EVgo’s growing network of charging stations. If you’re just now thinking about buying an Ariya, it’s a bit too late. Still, the Ariya is looking to be one of the nicest Nissan’s ever. Is it worth the price tag? Here’s what we think.

EVgo charging network
EVgo charging locations and roaming partners

Polestar 2 Free Charging: Electrify America

The Polestar 2 has several advantages over its competitors: it’s available now, starts under 50 grand, and features a no-haggle direct-to-consumer price. Another benefit of the Polestar 2 is a free charging incentive. The Polestar 2 comes with two years of free 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America stations. That could save drivers thousands of dollars, depending on how many road trips you take. 

Rivian Free Charging: Rivian Adventure Network

Although it’s fantastic that Rivian is building its own charging network (like Tesla did), it’s a bit of a letdown for Rivian buyers who hoped to get a free charging incentive at Electrify America. The map below is where Rivian plans to have Adventure Network chargers, NOT where they currently are. All buyers of the Rivian R1T electric truck and R1S electric full-sized SUV will get one year of free charging on the Rivian Adventure Network. 

Note: This map reflects Rivian’s plans for the future of the Adventure Network.

The upside? This charging network will be specializing in rural destinations like National Parks, National Forests and the like. That will be transformative for charging in America. 

Subaru Solterra: No Charging Incentive Yet

Despite announcing a ‘partnership’ with America’s third-largest charging network EVgo, there’s no free charging incentive for now. As mentioned above, EVgo has 800 public fast-charging locations and 1,200 Level 2 charging stalls spanning 68 metropolitan areas and 35 states.

Although we’re a Subaru household (prior to taking ownership of our new IONIQ 5), the Solterra EV’s range, charging speed and price are a real bummer. Here’s our full review of the 2023 Subaru Solterra. 

Tesla Free Charging? Not Anymore

Back in the early days of the Model S, Tesla did offer insanely good free charging incentives on its young Supercharger network. From 2012 to 2018, some Tesla vehicles had free charging for life. If you’re looking for free charging or generous federal EV incentives, you’ll have to shop elsewhere. 

Toyota bZ4X Free Charging: EVgo

Toyota bZ4X

The all-new Toyota bZ4X electric crossover takes an hour to charge (at a ‘fast’ charger), has merely okay range, and isn’t all that affordable, but at least you get one year of free charging at EVgo’s network of chargers. EVgo has 800 public fast-charging locations and 1,200 Level 2 charging stalls in 35 states. Here’s why we aren’t fans of the bZ4X. Just buy a RAV4 Prime! That’s probably what Toyota wants you to do anyway. 

Volkswagen ID.4 Free Charging: Electrify America

The ID.4 has one of the best free charging incentives available today. Although the 2021 model year’s offer of three years of UNLIMITED free charging has ended, the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 includes three years of free 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America stations. With the 2022 model’s quicker charging rate and improved charging curve, this should be enough for most sessions to be free. Rarely will ID.4 drivers need to stay plugged in for more than 30 minutes at a DC fast charger. Full review of the VW ID.4

Volvo Free Charging: Electrify America

Buyers of the C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge get 250 kilowatt-hours of free charging at Electrify America. But that’s not all: Volvo is also enticing drivers with a year of free access to Electrify America’s Pass+ membership, which offers charging at a discounted rate. The Pass+ membership offers charging at about 30% lower rates than using the network as a guest, but membership normally costs $4 per month. 

CarEdge’s Take

Making the switch to an electric vehicle would be a no-brainer if they weren’t so darn expensive. It’s hard to find a cheap EV, but a few are out there. For many, free charging incentives are compelling enough to close the deal. Personally, I’ve saved a few hundred dollars in charging costs over the first few months of EV ownership by using my IONIQ 5’s Electrify America incentive. 

This begs the question: would you rather have faster charging times, or longer range? Does stopping for 15 minutes every 200 miles sound better than stopping for 45 minutes every 300? Let us know what you think the future of EV charging should look like. One thing is for sure, EVs are coming to roads near you.

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Electric Vehicle Savings: Here’s How Long It Takes to Break Even with $5 Gas Prices (Updated)

Electric Vehicle Savings: Here’s How Long It Takes to Break Even with $5 Gas Prices (Updated)

We hear it all the time: electric cars save you money. Electricity is cheaper than gas, EVs require less maintenance, and incentives abound. However, there’s no hiding the fact that electric vehicles are expensive, especially the models with the best range, performance and charge rates. To shed light on the reality of electric vehicle savings, we dug deep into the data. How long does it take to break even when buying an EV? We were surprised with what we found.

Five Examples of EVs Versus Combustion Competitors

Tesla Model Y Versus BMW X4

Tesla Model Y savings
The best-selling EV in America, the Tesla Model Y. Check out our full review.

The X4 is one of the most direct competitors to the 2022 Tesla Model Y, the best selling electric vehicle in America. Although Tesla models no longer qualify for the federal EV tax credit, the cost of the BMW X4 and high fuel consumption make this an interesting comparison.

ModelMSRPPrice DifferenceIncentivesFuel EconomyRangeTime to RefuelCost to Refuel ($5.00/gal or $0.14 per kWh)Annual Fuel Cost (15,000 miles)Average Annual Maintenance CostTime to Break Even
BMW X4 xDrive30i$51,800--24 MPG413 miles5 min$86.00$3123$228
Tesla Model Y Long Range$62,990+$11,190State and local only3.8 mi/kWh (125 MPGe)330 miles20 to 30 min$10.50$477$774 years

Ford F-150 Lightning Versus F-150 3.5 Liter 4WD

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning
F-150 Lightning electric truck (full review here)

Pickup trucks get the worst fuel economy. It’s just a matter of physics; the shape of a truck is not aerodynamic, and they’re often heavy. The F-150 Lightning weighs 35% more than the gas-powered F-150. So you would think that the time to break even would be shorter when buying an electric truck over the combustion equivalent.

This side-by-side comparison highlights the importance of price parity for EVs. When EVs are similarly priced to ICE vehicles, the cost of ownership savings are crystal clear. But what about when the electric version costs over $25,000 more out the door? Have a look for yourself. 

ModelMSRPPrice DifferenceIncentivesFuel EconomyRangeTime to RefuelCost to Refuel ($5.00/gal or $0.14 per kWh)Annual Fuel Cost (15,000 miles)Average Annual Maintenance CostTime to Break Even
Ford F-150 Platinum 4WD 3.5$62,070--20 MPG520 miles5 min$130.00$3750$228
Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum$90,874+$28,804Fed, state and local2.1 mi/kWh (70 MPGe)320 miles45 min$18.34$860$779.5 yrs (7 yrs with tax credit)

Toyota bZ4X Versus Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 

The 2023 Toyota bZ4X (full review here)

Toyota sells nearly half a million RAV4s every year. Will things change now that Toyota has launched its first fully-electric vehicle? The all-new bZ4X lacks the range and charging speed to compete with the best in 2022’s electric segment, but how does it stack up to the popular RAV4 hybrid? How long would it take to break even when paying a premium for the electric bZ4X?

ModelMSRPPrice DifferenceIncentivesFuel EconomyRangeTime to RefuelCost to Refuel ($5.00/gal or $0.14 per kWh)Annual Fuel Cost (15,000 miles)Average Annual Maintenance CostTime to Break Even
Toyota RAV4 XLE Hybrid$30,545--40 MPG580 miles5 min$72.50$1,875$228
Toyota bZ4X XLE FWD$42,000+$11,455Fed, state and local3.5 mi/kWh (119 MPGe)252 miles1 hour$10.19$606$778 years (2.7 yrs with tax credit)

Subaru Solterra Versus Subaru Forester

2023 Subaru Solterra
2023 Subaru Solterra EV (full review here)

Subaru’s first EV is built on the same electric platform as the new Toyota bZ4X. Subaru is known for being Earth-friendly, but is the new Solterra EV friendly to your wallet? With range and charging figures more akin to 2015’s standards than today’s best EVs, the Subaru Solterra is off-road capable, but a tough sell for those who truly venture off the beaten path. 

ModelMSRPPrice DifferenceIncentivesFuel EconomyRangeTime to RefuelCost to Refuel ($5.00/gal or $0.14 per kWh)Annual Fuel Cost (15,000 miles)Annual Maintenance CostTime to Break Even
Subaru Forester base$25,395--29 MPG481 miles5 min$83.00$2,588$228
Subaru Solterra Premium$46,220+$20,825Fed, state and local3.1 mi/kWh (104 MPGe)228 miles1 hour$9.97$677$7710 years (6.5 yrs with tax credit)

Hyundai IONIQ 5 Versus Hyundai Santa Fe

Charging 2022 IONIQ 5
2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 EV (full review here)

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 won big at the 2022 World Car Awards, but is it a winner for your wallet? It all depends on how much you drive, and how long you plan to keep the vehicle. The Hyundai Santa Fe just received a total makeover, and its price remains much lower than the IONIQ 5’s. Still, EVs are super efficient and electricity is cheap. Just how long would it take to break even when buying an IONIQ 5 EV instead of the more affordable Santa Fe crossover?

Disclaimer: I own a Hyundai IONIQ 5 Limited AWD, and it’s awesome.

ModelMSRPPrice DifferenceIncentivesFuel EconomyRangeTime to RefuelCost to Refuel ($5.00/gal or $0.14 per kWh)Annual Fuel Cost (15,000 miles)Average Annual Maintenance CostTime to Break Even
Hyundai Santa Fe SEL$27,875--26 MPG489 miles5 min$94.00$2,883$228
Hyundai IONIQ 5 SEL RWD$45,900+$18,005Fed, state and local3.4 mi/kWh (114 MPGe)303 miles20 to 30 min$10.15$502$777 years (4.2 yrs with tax credit)

Electric Vehicle Savings: Other Factors to Consider

Kia EV6 bidirectional charging
2022 Kia EV6

Incentives

In many states and localities, thousands of dollars of additional incentives are available. Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and California are just some of the states with very generous EV incentives. State and local incentives can reduce the time to break even considerably. For example, in Delaware, buyers of the Hyundai IONIQ 5 will break even versus the Santa Fe in just 3.5 years with the federal EV tax credit and state rebates factored in. 

Conversely, for car buyers who can’t take advantage of the federal EV tax credit or any state incentives, it will take many more years to reap the full savings of switching to an electric vehicle. In the case of the new Ford F-150 Lightning, it could take up to 8 years to break even without any incentives, assuming 15,000 miles per year of driving. 

Check this out >>> The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center’s DSIRE database is the BEST one-stop resource for all EV incentives. Plus, you’ll see what solar power incentives are available in your area too.

Miles Driven

The difference between driving 10,000 miles per year and 20,000 miles per year is massive when it comes to realizing the savings of driving an EV. The average American driver travels about 14,000 miles per year in their vehicle. Simply put, long-distance commuters, frequent travelers and fleet operators will see the greatest cost savings of going electric. 

With the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning, a driver who travels 15,000 miles per year and can take advantage of the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit should expect to break even versus a combustion F-150 in 7 years. However, if they drive 25,000 miles per year, the break even period narrows to just 4 years. After that, they will be saving roughly $4,000 every year in fuel and maintenance costs. Clearly, EVs make more sense as a long-term purchase. 

Maintenance

The maintenance figures included in this cost comparison is sourced from We Predict, a Michigan-based data analysis company. They dug deep into automotive maintenance data and found that during the first three years of vehicle ownership, the average annual maintenance for an electric vehicle is just $77. And based on personal experience, that’s likely for new tires (EVs are MUCH heavier). 

During the same period, combustion vehicles average $228 in annual maintenance, with most of the costs in the first few years going towards oil changes and the like. 

We may be underestimating the maintenance savings associated with going electric when comparing luxury brands. For example, BMW is notorious for costly maintenance. Opting for a Tesla Model Y over a BMW will likely result in even greater maintenance savings, and therefore a reduced break-even period. 

Gas Prices!

ev charging station

As of early June 2022, the average gas price in the United States is $4.87 per gallon. In California, it’s $6.34. Nevada, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and Illinois all have gas prices much higher than the national average. In these states, EV drivers will see even greater fuel savings. 

Let’s take a closer look at an example of someone purchasing a Hyundai IONIQ 5 in California. We’ll assume that the consumer qualifies for the full $7,500 EV tax credit and the $2,500 state rebate for a zero-emissions vehicle. They drive 15,000 miles per year. At gas prices of $6.34 per gallon, the break even point for the IONIQ 5 versus the Hyundai Santa Fe arrives in just 2.5 years, versus 4 years for the rest of the nation. That figure includes the 59% higher residential electricity rates in California. 

CarEdge’s Take

What can we learn from this EV cost of ownership comparison? The specifics of your situation matter. 

  • What combustion vehicle are you considering in addition to an EV? 
  • What’s the fuel economy for each option? 
  • Do you qualify for the full federal EV tax credit?
  • Are there local or state incentives in your area? 
  • How many miles do you drive each year?
  • How long do you plan to keep the vehicle?

These are the most important questions to ask when deciding whether or not it makes sense to buy an EV in 2022. Have questions? Let us know in the comments, or better yet join the CarEdge family at caredge.kinsta.cloud/community. You can also reach me at justin@CarEdge.com. We’d love to hear from you.

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The Toyota bZ4X Charges VERY Slow, Has Poor Range, and Faces Recalls. Can It Be Saved?

The Toyota bZ4X Charges VERY Slow, Has Poor Range, and Faces Recalls. Can It Be Saved?

Toyota bZ4X

November 2022 Update

Is this the beginning of a Toyota EV scandal?

Norwegian EV testers have found that the Toyota bZ4X does not get anywhere close to achieving the claimed range, efficiency and battery capacity shared by Toyota. The most we’ll known EV testers in Norway, Elbil24, tested the AWD Toyota bZ4x three times in 70-degree weather, and we’re shocked with the data they collected. 

Here’s a summary of what they found, but I recommend reading it for yourself at elbil24.no (using a translator). Elbil24 found that the AWD Toyota bz4x has a 62 kilowatt-hour usable battery, much lower than the 71 kWh Toyota claims. In standardized range testing with an outdoor temperature of 70 degrees F and with the climate control set to 73 F, the bZ4X drove just 190 miles on a full charge. Its efficiency is 25% worse than Toyota claims. Merely turning the climate control on dropped the range estimate by nearly 30%. 

This isn’t the first poor showing for the model. Toyota bZ4X charging tests are bad to the point that it’s almost scary. InsideEVs previously found that it takes 90 minutes (yes, 1.5 hours) to charge the AWD bZ4X from 0% to 90% (adding 205 miles of range). Trying to get the car to 100% was pointless. It took another few HOURS. Check out their experience here.

Needless to say, we can’t recommend the Toyota bZ4X or its platform sibling the Subaru Solterra with testing showing huge disappointments. We’ll update this page as we learn more.

Is Toyota’s First EV Worth It?

When Toyota unveiled the Prius hybrid in August of 2000, green tech and sustainability advocates jumped for joy, while the rest of the world pondered the reliability and durability of a hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain. Toyota proved to the world that it was on to something, and has since gone on to sell more than 15 million hybrid vehicles globally. Over 22 years later, Toyota has launched its first-ever fully-electric vehicle, the 2023 Toyota bZ4X. Has the bZ4X electric crossover been worth the wait? Well, it depends on your driving habits and budget. Here’s what we know.

bZ4X Pricing and Availability

For those who were anticipating an affordable EV from Toyota, I have some bad news. The 2023 bZ4X starts nearly $17,000 above the entry-level RAV4, and $12,000 over the RAV4 XLE Hybrid. The bZ4X is offered in two trims: XLE and Limited.  The front-wheel drive XLE starts at $43,215 with destination. Adding dual-motor all-wheel drive to either trim will tack on $2,080. The Toyota bZ4X Limited with all-wheel drive comes out to $49,995. Of course, these MSRPs are before any dealer markups.

bZ4X Incentives

Although the bZ4X is Toyota’s first fully-electric mass-market vehicle, America’s best-selling brand sold enough Prius and RAV4 plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) to approach the sales cap enshrined in the existing federal EV tax credit. In 2022, the federal EV tax credit is worth up to $7,500, depending on your tax liability. Tesla and General Motors electric vehicles no longer qualify for this incentive after the two automakers exceeded their 200,000 sale limit, and completed the phase-out period. 

Analysts (and even Toyota itself) estimate that the bZ4X will remain eligible for the full $7,500 EV tax credit through 2022. Soon after, they expect to hit the 200,000 sale limit, and the one-year phase out period will ensue until the credit disappears entirely. 

State incentives in the form of rebates, tax credits and tax exemptions promote EV adoption in a number of states around the country. Find out if your state offers generous incentives here

Free charging?

Toyota will offer bZ4X owners and lessees one year of free fast charging at EVgo stations.

EVgo is America’s third-largest public charging network behind Tesla and Electrify America. Over 800 DC fast chargers are located around the U.S., with most located on the coasts, Texas and Great Lakes region.

The Toyota bZ4X’s Charging and Range Are Already Outdated

2023 bZ4X rear

Before you get too excited about free charging at EVgo, let’s talk charging capabilities. Electric vehicle enthusiasts like myself are puzzled by the outdated charging speeds of the 2023 bZ4X. The front-wheel drive bZ4X is capable of charging at up to 150 kilowatt speeds, which isn’t bad (if the charging curve can sustain that). However, the more powerful and likely more popular all-wheel drive bZ4X is only capable of charging at 100 kilowatts. Why the difference? Battery supply shortages forced Toyota to source the batteries for these two powertrain variants from two different suppliers. And with these charging speeds, it almost seems like Toyota was scraping the bottom of the global battery barrel. 

The bZ4X’s charging times are wild, and not in a good way. A recent bZ4X charging test by Kyle Conner of Out of Spec Reviews found that it took 58 minutes (an hour!!!!!) for the AWD bZ4X to charge from 10% to 80%.

Additionally, InsideEVs found that it took 93 minutes to charge from 0% to 90%. That’s NOT normal for an EV in 2022. For comparison, my very own Hyundai IONIQ 5 accomplishes the same feat in 20 minutes, and Tesla’s can do that in 15 minutes. Over 80% of EV charging is done at home overnight, but if you’re a frequent traveler, be very wary of the Toyota bZ4X’s charging speeds. 

Range

The 2023 bZ4X’s range is merely okay. It would not be NEARLY as big of an issue if it could charge faster. The front-wheel drive bZ4X is rated for 242 miles with the Limited trim, and 252 miles on the XLE. Upgrade to dual-motor all-wheel drive, and range suffers. The AWD Toyota bZ4X is EPA-rated for 222 miles on the Limited, and 228 miles with lower trims. 

Can Performance and Features Redeem Toyota’s First EV?

2023 bZ4X interior

The bZ4X comes standard with a panoramic glass roof. There’s also adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and Safe Exit Assist. The Limited’s features include a motion-activated power liftgate, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, an upgraded camera, 20-inch rims and faux-leather upholstery. Does that make it worth the hours you’ll spend charging? I’m not so sure.

Toyota’s first EV is loaded with safety features, but bZ4X charging and range capabilities leave a lot to be desired. With the all-wheel drive variant, you’re essentially buying 2016 tech at 2023 prices.

I know more than a few Toyota fans who are disappointed by the bZ4X’s specs. Will this EV turn out to be a winner for Toyota? Time will tell. 

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What Is Bidirectional Charging? Your Questions Answered

What Is Bidirectional Charging? Your Questions Answered

Silverado EV

Imagine using your vehicle as a backup generator for your home, or even to help a stranded motorist reach their destination. Electric vehicles claim just 5% of new vehicle market share in America, however record gas prices are spurring renewed interest in the EV lifestyle. One of the most sought-after features of electric vehicles is bidirectional charging. Also known as vehicle-to-load, or V2L, tomorrow’s cars literally have the power to do so much more than drive us around. Here’s everything you need to know about bidirectional charging in electric vehicles.

V2G, V2L & V2H: The Types of Bidirectional Charging Capability

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning bidirectional charging
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

During typical use, electric cars draw electricity from the grid, and then consume that energy to power their electric motors. What if you could reverse the flow of electricity back into the grid? Better yet, imagine making money doing it. The future of mobility is about to get weird. Cars are already becoming rolling computers, so it only makes sense that they are capable of revolutionizing the world beyond the driver’s seat.

What is bidirectional charging?

Simply put, bidirectional charging is the ability for electrical current to flow in both directions: from the grid to the vehicle (to charge the battery pack), and also from the car to the grid, another car, or household appliances. 

How does bidirectional charging work?

When an electric vehicle is charged, alternating current (AC) from the grid is converted to direct current (DC) using the car’s built-in converter. To send electricity out of the battery pack and back into the grid or into another electronic device, electricity must first convert back to AC. This is done using an inverter. Vehicles that are manufactured with an inverter are already equipped with the hardware needed for bidirectional charging.

The numbers are in: see average EV prices and the latest EV market share update.

Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G)

Vehicle to grid (V2G) capability enables an electric car to return electricity to the grid. V2G can help supply energy at times of peak grid demand. In most of the world, electricity demand peaks during the afternoon and early evening. Peak demand causes demand charges, which are higher rates for usage. 

Vehicle to grid capability offers a way around demand charges, to the benefit of consumers and grid operators alike. The vehicle’s owner avoids demand charges or even sells electricity to the grid, and the grid gains a new source of electricity when it’s needed the most.

Although V2G is still in its infancy, the technology opens up the possibility of future revenue streams for everyday EV drivers and even automakers. Imagine if your car could make you money while it’s parked in the garage. Rental and ride-hailing fleets could double the revenue from their autonomous vehicles by serving as power suppliers to the grid. It’s a game changing option that is coming to cars in the near future.

Vehicle-to-Load (V2L)

V2L allows an electric vehicle’s battery pack to power appliances such as power tools, a coffee machine, cooking equipment, laptops, or even a party. More importantly, vehicle-to-load capability serves as the ideal emergency power source during times of need, such as following a natural disaster or power outage. Some cars, such as the 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5, can output 3.6 kilowatts via V2L functionality. That is a LOT of power, surely enough to power an entire campsite or family-sized outdoor event.

Vehicle-to-Home (V2H)

Naturally, one of the first uses of bidirectional charging that comes to mind is powering one’s home during a power outage. Indeed, vehicle-to-home (V2H) power supply is under development, and it’s even featured in a few of today’s production EVs. It’s important to note that accessories and professional installation of associated hardware are required before any EV can power an entire home. Still, it looks like V2H capability is a real option for EV shoppers to consider in 2022. More on today’s V2H EVs below. 

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Does Bidirectional Charging Harm the Battery?

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

The short answer is that it depends on the battery chemistry. One of the latest battery chemistry types to be employed in EVs is lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, or LFP. LFP batteries quickly rose to prominence due to their remarkable ability to withstand the stresses of repeated charging cycles without severe battery degradation. 

Other battery chemistries lose range over time as the battery is charged and discharged (referred to as a charging cycle). Even charging to 100% too often can reduce the life of some battery types. LFP batteries are the perfect companion for bidirectional charging, especially vehicle-to-grid. They handle frequent charging and discharging like a champ.

Other battery types in development are engineered with bidirectional charging capability in mind. Ford’s partnership with SK Innovation resulted in a more environmentally-friendly battery chemistry suitable for the frequent charge cycles of bidirectional charging.   

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Which Models Have Bidirectional Charging and V2L?

Max Power OutputDate AvailableV2L Capable?V2H Capable?V2G Capable in 2022?
Chevrolet Silverado EV10.2 kW2023YesYesNo
Ford F-150 Lightning9.6 kWMid 2022YesYesNo
Hyundai IONIQ 53.6 kWNowYesNoNo
Genesis GV603.6 kWSpring 2022YesNoNo
Genesis G803.6 kW2022YesNoNo
Kia EV61.9 kWNowYesNoNo
Toyota bZ4XTBDMid 2022YesNoNo

Does Tesla Have Bidirectional Charging?

Tesla Model S

For the time being, no Tesla models are capable of bidirectional charging. It’s possible (even likely) that all 2022 Tesla models have the necessary hardware for V2G or V2L, or V2H. However, Tesla has alternative motives for delaying bidirectional charging rollout for as long as possible. If Tesla vehicles became V2H-capable, they would render the $10,500 Tesla Powerwall home battery obsolete!

A few curious Tesla owners have inquired about modifying their cars to become capable of bidirectional charging. The response from Tesla was a warning that doing so would void the vehicle’s battery warranty. So for now, don’t expect Tesla EVs to power your home or appliances.

Ford Intelligent Backup Power: F-150 Lightning

F-150 Lightning

Ford’s F-150 Lightning is widely marketed as the answer to power grid anxieties. Ford Intelligent Backup Power is an available accessory to the popular F-150 Lightning electric truck. With 200,000 reservations in the books, the Lightning is already sold out through 2023. 

The F-150 Lightning contains unique battery chemistry that strengthens charging cycle durability while also requiring fewer rare earth metals. Ford’s partner, SK Innovation, has developed a new battery cathode that uses 90% nickel, and 5% each of manganese and cobalt. The new battery chemistry also reduces the harmful environmental and ethical impacts of cobalt mining.

Ford’s engineers designed the new electric F-150 with V2H in mind. In the electric truck segment that’s rapidly gaining steam, automakers are looking for bold ways to make their truck a compelling buy.

“F-150 Lightning with available Ford Intelligent Backup Power can provide power and security during an electrical outage – the first electric truck in the U.S. to offer this capability; in the future, new features will offer additional ways to manage energy use and potentially save on energy costs.”

Ford touts high power output and energy storage capabilities

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum

“The F-150 Lightning extended-range battery system can store 131 kilowatt-hours of energy and deliver up to 9.6 kilowatts of power in a cleaner, quieter, more efficient way versus gasoline-powered generators, and with greater capacity than many wall battery units. F-150 Lightning can also offer lower-cost energy storage in a product customers already own – their truck.”

How long should an electric truck be able to power an entire home? 12 hours? Three days? Ford says that depending on power demand, some homes could be powered for seven days with the F-150 Lightning’s extended range battery.

“With Ford Intelligent Backup Power and the Home Integration System, F-150 Lightning automatically kicks in to power your home if the grid goes down. Once power is restored, the system automatically reverts back to utility power. Based on an average U.S. home at 30 kilowatt-hours of use per day, F-150 Lightning with extended-range battery provides full home power for up to three days, or as long as 10 days when used in conjunction with solar power or rationing.”

Learn more about Ford Intelligent Backup Power in Ford’s official announcement

The average

CarEdge’s Take

Kia EV6 bidirectional charging
2022 Kia EV6

Bidirectional charging is yet another way that the electrification of the auto industry is transforming vehicle ownership. In five years (or less), trucks will be judged for how many days they can power your home, and crossovers will be expected to power household appliances with ease.

The fact that vehicle-to-home capability relies on the professional installation of accessories sold separately seems to fly under the radar for many. While vehicle-to-load may become a standard feature that we all take for granted in a decade’s time, retrofitting a home for V2H power will remain a lofty expense for the foreseeable future.

What do you think about bidirectional charging? Do you plan to power your home with your car in the future? Let us know what you think about automaker’s bold plans for EVs in the comments below, or share your thoughts with the CarEdge Community at caredge.kinsta.cloud.

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