The biggest auto news of the last week, at least sizewise, was the introduction of the GMC Hummer EV SUV. Shorter than the new pickup, but still getting most of the important features like removable roof and all-electric driveline, this should be a more downtown-friendly version of the vehicle. Less power than the truck, just 830 instead of the 1,000 hp of the truck, it still offers a 0-100 km/h time of 3.5 seconds. More important for EV buyers it will have 3kW AC power available and can charge another EV at up to 6 kW. It will have off-road trail range estimates through an app. The shorter wheelbase offers a slightly shorter range thanks to fewer cells, but it still offers up to 480 km for the top versions, as well as 800V/ 300kW fast charging where available. More than 2,300 L of cargo will fit with the back seats folded.
B.C. has added to its electric vehicle skills training programs. This time the Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation is spending $440,000 to expand the EV Maintenance Training program to two new college campuses. It allows Red Seal techs to learn to work on EVs and gain the experience needed to do so. B.C. has a similar program for electricians to teach them to work on EV infrastructure.
Hyundai revealed official teases of the Santa Cruz. It will be the brand’s first pickup sold here, though rather than a conventional model it will follow the route of the Honda Ridgeline. With a Tucson-like face and expected Tucson size, this small truck could appeal to many buyers who want the open box of a truck, but don’t need the excess capacity or thirsty fuel economy that comes with larger trucks. The Santa Cruz will be fully unveiled April 15th.
Subaru is doubling down on the original Outback formula with the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness. It takes the lifted, more rugged wagon and lifts it and makes it even more rugged. Nearly an inch taller than the current model, the Wilderness offers longer suspension travel and more ground clearance to give it more off-road capability. It will also have new skid plates and white-letter all-terrain tires. A new roof rack can handle a static load of up to 318 kg, letting you safely use a rooftop tent. The 260 hp 2.4-litre turbo engine is standard and the interior gets special waterproof seat covers and all-weather floor liners.
The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada revealed its 2021 Car and Utility of the Year Award winners. Top Canadian Car went to the Mazda3, the second year in a row the compact sedan and crossover has won that award. Canadian Utility of the year went to the Genesis GV80, that brand’s first crossover.
Kia’s first purpose-built EV made its debut last week. The EV6 electric crossover will be coming to North America early next year, offering an estimated range of up to 510 km on the WLTP cycle. Rear-drive will be standard and AWD optional, with up to 576 hp from the GT model. Lesser EV6’s will get 167 or 320 hp, depending on motor choice. 800V charging will be offered, meaning 100 km of range is possible in just 4.5 minutes on the right fast charger. Battery capacities offered will be 58 kWh for the standard range versions and 77.4 kWh for long-range. The EV6 can be used to supply 3.6 kW external power, letting you run some household appliances from your car. Tech features include a new augmented-reality HUD, while the EV6 will have Kia’s latest Highway Driving Assist hands-on driver assistance.