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.

The Nissan Leaf you’ll someday trade in. Courtesy Nissan.

Why it Still Makes Sense to Buy A Cheap Used Electric Car Like a Nissan Leaf or a Chevy Bolt

ANALYSIS AND OPINION: This is an ongoing mini-series of reports themed “life after Leaf,” where I take a look at what happens when you turn in the keys of a firsthand used BEV like Nissan Leaf after a brand new lease or purchase, to wonder what happens to the car thereafter. There’s such a plentiful amount of them that many will not see a long life, but in this report we take a look at why it makes sense to still buy a cheap used all electric car.
Two Different Opus Camper Vehicle’s Using Leaf Technology

Nissan x Opus and the Air Opus Off Road Pop-Up Camper Make the ex-Leaf Car Organ Donation Idea a Worthy Battery Campsite Cause

I start another mini-series of stories, this time “Life After Leaf,” of several things that can happen when you trade in your Nissan Leaf car, if not the tiny battery from a PHEV or from a smaller ranged BEV, to be repurposed or recycled into something else. In my quest to find electric campers for my social media base, I find this great caravan that uses juice from old Leaf batteries.
Spy shot of i4 electric, i4 proto pics, 430i, and my 328i towed to the shop.

Test Drive: Dropping Off my 3 Series For a Week in a Loaner BMW 430i: the Setup for the Soon Coming i4 Electric

Sometime next year BMW will be introducing their first real non-compliant full production all electric car. It won’t look as funky as i3 does. It’ll actually look like a real normal car. And it’ll be based off the 4 series. So with my BMW in the shop AGAIN, and the dealer giving me a 430 coupe as a loaner, I decided to take this opportunity to give you a dynamic of what to expect from a 4 series electric by looking at the gas one and my car, a 3 Series, first.
Red Tesla Model 3

Juiced: the electrical vehicle takeover

According to Wards intelligence we will have 142 total hybrid, electric, and fuel cell vehicle models by 2020. The addition of popular consumer vehicle options such as SUVs and Trucks turned electric could multiply the adoption rate of electric vehicles. Many consumers may hold out on going electric until there is a comparable vehicle model such as an electric truck or SUV to replace them.
Tesla Model 3

Tesla's Missed Opportunities To Lower Cost and How Can It Finally Make the $35,000 Model 3

Tesla must drastically reduce costs to make the $35,000 model 3 possible. Currently the lowest priced model 3 is $42,900. Tesla has to reduce the cost almost $8,000 to make the $35,000 Model 3 possible. It is important for Tesla to get this vehicle to market as soon as possible to transition to retain profitability and to truly bring sustainable transportation to the masses.
Plug in Hybrid car

This is why Plug-In hybrids still make sense today

In these recent cold days and nights I am reminded of why I like my plug in hybrid. For the last few years I have leased and then owned Chevy Volts, and now I have a Cadillac ELR, which was Cadillac’s short-lived luxury coupe that shared the Volt’s drivetrain. I really liked my Volts, and the ELR even more. The biggest value of a plug in hybrid is that it is essentially an electric car. Here is why.
Honda Clarity pricing compared to Tesla Model 3.

Real-World Price Comparison Shows Honda Clarity PHEV Costs About Half That of Mid-Range Tesla Model 3

The Honda Clarity PHEV is the top-selling affordable EV in America and Tesla's Model 3 is the top-selling EV overall. Here is a real-world price comparison of the two that illustrates just how much more green vehicle buyers will pay for a Model 3.
Rivian R1S Courtesy Rivian Media

The Car Lab Mad Doc Looks to Sign a Pact With Besos and Bloody Mary: Is the GM Buy-In to Rivian the Coming of the American Rolls Royce? Or Just Another GM Saab Story?

ANALYSIS AND OPINION: I hope this is about as mad as the mad doctor can be, signing a pact with the almost-devil of the car industry right before industrial birth of start up production. I guess he’ll be the industrial obstetrician. I hope the car baby ain’t no Rosemary’s. Dr. Scaringe is looking to make a deal with a devil who has more money than God. Jeff Besos of Amazon is in with this. What a strange three way this could be. I cringe: gee Doctor: will it be good for you too?
Tesla winter driving from Tesla Media. The plug is from torquenews.com

BEV Range Freeze: The Cold Realities of BEV Winter Driving, Summer is Only Half as Bad

ANALYSIS AND OPINION: Extreme weather driving has taken a toll on electric vehicle ranges as we watch BEV owners struggle to stay charged through the winter, their Tesla Model 3 door handles thaw, while the rest watch and learn from their triumphs, trials, and mistakes. I like to say “less is more,” but when it comes to extreme weather driving and batteries, more is more, tiny is workable, keep it plugged in if its 20° F or less, keep it cool over 95° F, and be prepared with options regardless.
From Jalopnik.com man caught sleeping in Tesla

Driving Distracted While AutoPilot, and the Dangerous Brinksmanship that Goes With It

ANALYSIS AND OPINION: I wonder if the people who are caught red handed being “distracted while AutoPilot” realize how lucky they are they got away with their crime. Unlike the people who I last wrote about who face the wrath of the NTSB and the courts for their tort who proclaim “my Tesla did it, not me,” “driving distracted while AutoPilot” is a crime of reckless endangerment, and most are getting away with it without realizing it.
A Family Portrait of the Tesla Model Range Courtesy Tesla Media

With Lower Priced and Less S and X, Tesla Revamps Model Range Structure and Readies for Base Model 3 Production

By selling the entire model range in three categories, Tesla Corporation makes each car more cheaply, and simplifies discerning which car is which. If you want “Ludicrous,” which now comes in a separate upgrade package at a $20,000 premium, no more looking at old school Bentley-like badges to see battery energy capacity, you just look for “Performance.” This also helps with pricing and sales: by having cheaper Base Models S and X, Tesla is getting ready to sell Base Model 3.

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