The Friday Five:The Mercedes-Benz EQC Doesn’t Quit, Hertz Partners with Tesla, and Stellantis Frequent Driver Rewards Edition

Beverly Braga | Oct 29, 2021

This week, we released our ultimate guide to 2022 model-year cars, trucks, and SUVs. Already a comprehensive list, we also separately covered recent updates for the 2022 Ford Bronco and 2022 Dodge Challenger and Charger models as well as previewed the new 2022 GMC Sierra 1500, and updated our review of the 2022 Subaru Forester.

Looking ahead to 2023, we have news on the all-new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Kia Sportage. Initial deliveries of the Lucid Air will begin this weekend, and we offer an explainer on its advanced driving assistance system (ADAS) known as DreamDrive. And speaking of safety, the Mazda CX-5 was the only “small” crossover SUV to earn tops marks in the more demanding new IIHS side crash test.

But that’s not everything that was happening in the automotive space.

Mercedes-Benz EQC Resurrected from the EV Graveyard - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQC Front Quarter View

The Mercedes-Benz EQC debuted in 2018 and was the first member of the automaker’s sub-brand of electric vehicles (EVs). But after multiple delays, the battery-electric crossover SUV never made it stateside as planned and was officially scrapped from the U.S. lineup this year. That is until Stuttgart changed its mind yet again.

According to Automotive News, the second-generation EQC will indeed arrive in the U.S., but not until 2025. Also to debut that year is an all-electric C-Class. Both are expected to use a new global platform, the Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA).

Hertz, Tesla Partner in Deal for 100,000-Plus Model 3 Vehicles

Car rental agencies maintain massive fleets, offering everything from basic commuter cars to uber-luxury vehicles. But what is hard to come by among those 2 million rental choices were EVs. Mostly because early EVs were too small in size and range. So far, Hertz is the only large company to offer EVs with any real effort.

But as EV engineering has adapted to meet consumer needs, Hertz is hedging its bets, announcing it will purchase 100,000 Tesla Model 3 vehicles by the end of 2022. In what’s estimated to be a $4 billion deal with TeslaHertz said it would earmark half of those initial vehicles exclusively for Uber drivers as a rental option. If the Uber program is successful, Reuters reports that number could increase to as many as 150,000 Model 3s by 2025.

Stellantis Launches Travel Rewards Program

You can get rewards points for flying, walking, cycling, running—any number of activities, really. Stellantis figured why not for driving? In an automaker first, Stellantis announced its new Miles rewards program, which would offer costumers an opportunity to earn miles that they can redeem for “unique-to-market” options at more than 250 U.S. retailers.

And it’s not just for driving. Registered owners of any ChryslerDodgeJeepRamFiat, or Alfa Romeo vehicle will earn 2x miles for driving but 5x for cycling and 10x for walking or running. You can even earn reward miles for utilizing ridesharing services. It seems Stellantis wants people to get moving, regardless of how.

General Motors Dealers to Add 40,000 EV Charging Stations Within Local Communities

To make EVs more accessible throughout North America, General Motors announced a program to focus on charging “deserts” within urban and rural areas. Through the Dealer Community Charging Program, GM will work with its dealer network to establish key non-dealership locations within the U.S. and Canada that could benefit from added Level 2 charging stations. These locations can be workplaces, multi-home dwellings, entertainment venues, sports facilities, and schools but are not limited to those. Nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a dealership, and GM dealers will be allotted up to 10 charging stations to serve their local communities.

Electrify America Builds EV Chargers in Two New States, Makes Cross-Country Road Trips More Feasible

If you’ve ever driven through, say, Middle-of-Nowhere, South Dakota, you’ve no doubt been entertained (annoyed?) by the endless miles of billboards for Wall Drug. Part tourist trap, part much-needed 5-cent coffee break, the infamous stop along the lonely Interstate 90 will soon add DC fast chargers to its name thanks to Electrify America (EA).

The first EA stations in South Dakota will be two 150-kW and two 350-kW chargers. The company also will bring DC fast-charging stations to Wyoming, which will increase its footprint to more than 670 charging stations located in 46 states and the District of Columbia.

The automakers are the sources of information for this article. It was accurate on October 29, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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