All the News, Reviews, Guides and Reports on Electric Cars
Tesla announced this week that it plans to double its charging network by the end of 2017. It will add new locations in city centers while expanding existing highway sites so drivers don’t have to wait for access to a charger. The company said that it’s taking these steps to prepare for sales of the Model 3, its first mass-market car.
Famed auto designer Henrik Fisker will reveal a new luxury electric vehicle—dubbed the EMotion—on August 17. Fisker is known for his dynamic visual designs, most notably the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin DB9. His company, Fisker Inc., describes the design of the EMotion as featuring a large curved front windscreen pushed forward, an extremely low hood, and a rear that integrates a spoiler and diffuser to aid with aerodynamics.
In a first for the electric car market, Hyundai is offering a subscription-style plan for its Ioniq electric car. EV buyers can opt for monthly payments as low as $275 a month—including the vehicle, unlimited miles, fuel (for charging reimbursements), maintenance, initial tax, title, license, and fees. No money is due at signing after tax credits and rebates are calculated. The 36-month subscription is only offered in California.
Volkswagen has been talking about a major shift to electric vehicles ever since the revelations of the company’s diesel-emissions scandal. The company now appears to be focusing on the affordability of its upcoming EVs. “Offering our electric cars for prices similar to combustion engine vehicles really is a game changer,” said Christian Senger, head of VW’s electric vehicle program, while speaking with reporters on Tuesday at the Shanghai Auto Show.
The best selling plug-in hybrid so far in 2017 is the Chevrolet Volt, which offers 53 miles of all-electric driving on a charge before reverting to some use of gasoline. But the Toyota Prius Prime—despite only offering 25 miles of all-electric range—is nearly as popular. The two vehicles currently stand as the second and third most popular plug-in electric cars this year.
Tesla updated the price of its Model S and X today, dropping the cost of the 75-kWh Model S by $7,500. That version of the Model S, which offers 249 miles of range on a single charge, is now Tesla’s least expensive model. It starts at $69,500.
Tesla is now shipping 100D versions of its Model S and Model X vehicles. These vehicles with 100 kilowatt-hour battery packs are similar to the previous Performance versions, but with a slight reduction of power. The 100D (sans P) models now lead all electric vehicles for range. The EPA, as of today, lists the Tesla Model S 100D as providing 335 miles of driving range on a single charge. (The Model X 100D is rated to go 295 miles on a charge.)
Starting on April 1, GM began offering a national lease on the entry-level LT trim of the Chevy Bolt EV—starting at $329 for 36 months with $3,809 due at signing. While the Bolt lease deal is attractive, there are other EVs offered with even more enticing lease prices. Meanwhile, the wait continues on the Tesla Model 3, which might prove to be significantly more expensive than the Bolt.
Edmunds, the car-shopping website, released a report last week claiming that the market for electric cars will “crash” without the current $7,500 federal tax credit for consumers buying an EV. Incentives are indeed under attack. At least nine states have introduced bills that would repeal tax credits for electric cars, let them expire, or levy new fees on those who own EVs.
Saikawa said that a future Nissan model (or models)—expected in three to four years—would provide about 300 miles on a single charge. “It will have a usable range of 300 miles,” he said. “I believe that the technology will take us there.” Saikawa believes that offering longer range will make Nissan electric cars competitive with traditional vehicles in the United States. He did not disclose the range for the next-generation LEAF, which is due before the end of 2017.
New to EVs? Start here
Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
Buying Your First Home EV Charger
You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.