4 new electric cars that you should be excited about
The major manufacturers are now joining Tesla in the premium EV game
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Although it may not seem abundantly apparent, the world is ready for electric cars. The infrastructure is in place and 99% of the journeys we take can be tackled by a current EV.
A campaigning body for cleaner transport in Europe, Transport & Environment, recently published an article stating that through their research, they found that only five per cent of charging of electric cars occurred at public charging points, meaning that the vast majority of people only ever need to charge their vehicles at home. That means that the infrastructure is actually in abundance, despite many people’s fears.
So rather than a lack of charging infrastructure, the main thing that is holding us back in the journey to fully electrifying motoring is actually the supply of new EVs to populate the market. Do not fear however, as there is a new tidal wave of electric cars on their way to kick internal combustion firmly into touch.
Here are the pick of the bunch...
After a fortnight of teasers, Mercedes has finally lifted the covers on its first attempt at an EV. Taking a fairly traditional SUV form, the EQC hasn’t strayed too far from the rest of the large Mercedes SUV range – you’d be forgiven for getting it mixed up with something like a GLS.
Its large (fake) front grille and badge makes it undoubtedly a Mercedes but underneath it’s all new. The battery packs in the floor make for an 80kWh capacity which – when driven sensibly – will amount to a range of 280 miles. Dual motors will have the job of transferring 408hp to all four wheels, making for a 0-100kph time of 5.1 seconds.
That makes the EQC one of the slowest EVs in the premium sector and unless they have something else coming in the very near future, it seems that the project has been a tad rushed to try to keep up with the latest Audi and Jaguar products. Pricing is yet to be released but considering this car is due to be taken to market in 2019, an 80kWh battery pack may seem a little dated by then.
Audi e-tron quattro
We were initially shown the e-tron Gran Turismo concept as an insight into how cool EVs could be, and now Audi is set to launch its first full production electric car, the e-tron quattro SUV. The fact that is has dual motors, a 95kWh battery pack and a 248-mile range are all great but the main standout piece of the puzzle is its capability of 150kW charging, a world first that sees the company trump even the Tesla supercharger network.
Charging time is of huge importance when it comes to justifying owning an EV in the current climate and Audi has certainly cracked it by creating a battery pack and charging system that can be fully charged in just 30 minutes. That’s roughly 15 minutes shorter than any of its rivals – 15 minutes that many of us would love to have back in our pockets.
After Tesla, Jaguar has been the next company to attempt to enter the premium EV market and so far its I-Pace SUV has been received rather well. It went on sale officially just the other week and prides itself on being a genuine Jag, despite most people’s mindset that the brand is only for people in smoking jackets in their 60s.
In performance terms, the Jaguar I-Pace will outgun everything up to a P100D Tesla (a spec that is far more expensive than the £63,000 Jag) but the 45-minute ‘coffee break’ charging time from 20% to 80% lags behind the capabilities of the Audi e-tron. The well-built, elegant-looking I-Pace seems pretty solid on a sheet of paper, so it’ll be interesting to see how it fares against its upcoming German rivals.
Tesla Model 3
Troubled by continuing delays in production and frightening rumours of build quality issues, Tesla’s compact electric car hasn’t had the easiest of entries into the EV marketplace. Having a Tesla badge on it means that it will almost certainly sell well and especially at $35,000, it undercuts essentially every top-end electric car in terms of price.
Model 3s have been rolling out in America but are yet to make it over to Europe in time to join the aforementioned Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes. Tesla has said that they’ll be shipped over here by summer 2019 and it’ll be extremely interesting to see how the company’s third-generation platform performs in a market that is no longer dominated by the ever-prominent Elon Musk.
Ranges will soon regularly exceed 300 miles, we will all get completely accustomed to things like regenerative braking and charge times - it won't take long for the electric car to become normality.
And once these everyday EVs are filling our local dealerships and start proving to any doubters that they're more than capable of taking over from their 'normal' cars, this industry shift towards electrification will all suddenly come good. Sit tight then, because the big boys are coming.