Rumored 200-mile EV confirmed to be on the way for 2016 – but who will make it?
Automakers are well aware of the range limitations of their battery electric vehicles. Tesla remains the only company to mass produce an EV with an EPA-rated range above 103 miles, and the price point of Model S places it beyond the reach of the masses.
We now have confirmation, however, that at least one automaker has made significant strides in boosting range. LG Chem CFO Cho Suk-jeh told Reuters last week that his company will supply the battery for a 200-mile electric vehicle in 2016, without disclosing the automotive partner in the agreement.
The all-important 200 mile barrier
It is no secret that car companies are targeting an electric vehicle with 200 miles of range and an attainable MSRP. Former GM CEO Dan Akerson was quite bold in proclaiming a future 200-mile EV from General Motors to fight the Tesla Model III, which will manage 200 miles on a charge and start in the mid-$30,000 range.
Nissan has similar goals and almost certainly will be offering significantly increased range when it launches the next-gen Nissan LEAF.
Last September, GM VP Doug Parks indicated that his company is by no means alone in the race to 200 miles. “The real trick will be who can do a 200-mile car for more of the price range [$30,000] I’m talking about,” Parks told the AP. “We’re all in races to do that.”
To which automaker does this 200-mile EV belong?
This particular deal most likely concerns a GM vehicle. The company has been the most vocal about its plans for a 200-mile EV and is quite serious about electrification. Inside EVs broke down the list of automakers that contract with LG Chem for batteries, but GM seems to be the most likely candidate.
Of course, Nissan is also a possibility. But their next big move in the EV industry will be the 2017 model year LEAF, which will be the launch of the second generation. It is improbable that Nissan will achieve 200 miles of range with a redesigned LEAF, even with an improved battery. A true 200-mile EV for Nissan will probably be another year or two down the road.
For the record, our money is on a new ground-up battery electric vehicle from Chevrolet. We will find out soon enough, so stay tuned here at Torque News for all your EV updates.