Electric Vehicle News, Reviews and Analysis
Electric vehicles (EVs) have come a long way in a short time. Barely a decade has passed since the ambitious Silicon Valley startup Tesla Motors introduced the world to an electric car capable of traveling more than 300 miles on a single charge. Since then, Elon Musk and Tesla have convinced many dubious onlookers that electric vehicles are not only here to stay, but that they can become the future of transportation.
Other automakers have joined the EV movement at very different rates. The Nissan Leaf, for example, debuted in 2010 and went on to become the best-selling all-electric vehicle in the world for a time. Competition from the BMW i3 followed, as well as the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt and its all-electric successor the Chevy Bolt EV, but only the Tesla Model 3 has been able to steal the Leaf's crown. Heading into a new decade, electric vehicles are set to go from strength-to-strength, with new models like the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro EV competing in the entry-level category and the Audi e-Tron, Porsche Taycan, or Jaguar I-PACE vying with Tesla at the top end of the market.
With entire classes of vehicle still lacking an electric version, such as pick-up trucks and affordable SUVs, there's huge potential for expansion and growth in the EV marketplace. For now, Tesla is still blazing the trail, but legacy manufacturers are lining up to electrify their fleets and promising startups like Rivian and Byton are waiting in the wings with exciting new electric vehicles.
The future is bright for EVs and you can keep up to date with all the latest stories right here on Torque News.
Although many people are lauding the disruptive elements that Tesla Motors' electric vehicles bring to the auto industry, there's another project in the works that could eclipse Tesla in its impact on the way we drive. Google has been quietly developing its driverless vehicles for a few years now, and it's almost ready to begin testing its latest model on public roads.
Spurred by a college friend’s Facebook post about the first year owning a Tesla Model S, I began really looking at what EVs were all about. I was getting 13 mpg in my 2004 Dodge Dakota and I did not just want a “new” car. I was not going to buy gas anymore, so I was only looking into going pure electric.
I researched them all – Nissan, Fiat, BMW, Cadillac, VW, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Smart Car, Chevrolet, Kia and Ford. Not one perfect choice among this group, but several very likable options, including my personal preference leader, the Ford Focus Electric (FFE).
I noticed that the new Gen 1 cars are now selling with huge incentives and attractive leases nationwide. Various promos are allowing for cars to be sold at even below invoice (excluding the $7500 Federal credit and state rebates). The Gen 1 has had a good track record for reliability, and has had only a few known issues (fractured bearing cages, failed charging cables (since recalled), cracked charging ports, and a few electrical glitches).
At 50 mph, the Mitsubishi i-Miev can go 70 miles on a charge, the Nissan Leaf 97 miles, and the Model S 300 miles.
Compare this to what those cars can do at a typical 70 mph speed: 260 miles range for the Model S, 68 miles for the Leaf, and 40 miles for the I-Miev. That's about a 15% range gain for the Model S, a 63% range gain for the Leaf, and a whopping 75% range difference for the I-Miev. The Tesla Model S's being a heavy and aerodynamic car factors into its inefficient low speed range and more efficient, relative to that, high-speed range.
Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (NMAC), which is an independent subsidiary of Nissan Motor Corporation (NMC), is responsible for customer leasing programs and in effect buys new cars from the parent company and then leases them to retail and fleet customers. As with any organization that buys and leases assets, part of the process is that at the end of the lease period they must liquidate that asset. In order to liquidate the asset, in this case a LEAF coming off of lease, they must decide on what the value, or residual, of the asset will be at that point in time.