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New Renault EV Car To Compete With Nissan Leaf

renault ev (2)

French brand Renault is about to introduce two new electric vehicles (EVs) by 2022, one of which will be a larger family-sized model that will take on the Nissan Leaf. The other one will be a smaller city car. This expansion into electric vehicles production will help the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance reach its target of selling two million cars a year by 2025.

Renault currently has four EVs in its lineup, though it plans to ramp up the production as it aims to manufacture eight new ones by 2022. Eric Feunteun, the brand’s global electric vehicle program director told Auto Express, that the company will continue to focus on the B-segment, which is “our strongest segment and it is the heart of the European market.”

The plan then is to produce smaller city cars after the B-segment and then slowly go up into the C-segment to increase their coverage. But Feunteun is adamant that the timing is critical because of the price of batteries in today’s market, especially since Renault’s goal is to offer affordable technology. The ZOE, he said, is the most affordable electric car currently on the market.

“Price is the number one deciding factor,” Feunteun added, which is why the rival for Nissan Leaf shouldn’t be expected until 2022 when the prices of batteries are expected to be at the level that Renault is hoping.

The model will likely to be based on the Renault Symbioz concept, which announced the French brand’s vision of electric and autonomous vehicle technology.

This future family-sized model will have the concept’s aggressive features such as the exaggerated daytime running lights at the front and rear ends. It will use the all-new dedicated EV platform, which is also available to all of the Alliance’s partners, that can provide more space for the passengers. The model will possibly ride higher, too, because of the larger battery size to power it up for more than 250 miles.


Source: Auto Express

Hyundai Readies EV Concept For New York Auto Show

genesis-essentia-concept

Hyundai is gearing up to introduce some new electric vehicle (EV) concepts at the upcoming 2019 New York Auto Show. During the Hyundai Sonata press launch in South Korea, design head Luc Donckerwolke told Roadshow that there will be an “electric show car for [the] Genesis.”

For the entire Hyundai-Kia brand, this year’s auto show in New York will be all about the Genesis and EV concepts according to Autoblog. If you can remember, we’ve already seen the GV80 SUV concept and its hydrogen fuel cell powertrain in 2017, as well as the electric Essentia coupe concept last year. What’s left is the production version of the US-market-bound Genesis G90 and its mongo grille.

Also to make its debuts are the new Sonata and Venue crossover. A still unnamed Kia show car is expected to make its entrance, too. The show car will be the version of the SP Signature concept and can potentially be called the Tusker in the US market.

The Hyundai-Kia Group isn’t making EV concepts for car shows alone. According to Auto Express, the group is working on a new electric car platform that will serve their lineup of cars. This was inspired by Volkswagen’s role in the MEB architecture primarily being used today by the German group’s brands. Right now, the only EVs available from the South Korean brand are the Hyundai Kona and Ioniq and the Kia e-Niro and Soul.

Though they still use the ICE platforms, both the Kona and e-Niro have become so popular in the European market that the company already projected these to sell out once they are released there.

Sources said that the new EV platform is currently in the development stage and will primarily focus on the B- and C-segment cars. That expected launch is two years from now, the same year we expect the EV version of the Genesis to be ready.

This move is part of the Hyundai-Kia plan to have 38 electrified options by 2025.

 

 

2020 Kia Soul EV Improves Range And Efficiency

kia soul ev (1)

South Korean automaker Kia needs only one model-year to improve the driving range and efficiency of its newest 2020 Kia Soul EV. According to the latest rating by the EPA, the new Soul EV can last for 243 miles, up four miles compared to the Kia Niro EV.

It still lags behind Hyundai’s Kona EV, which has a 258-mile range. Interestingly, the Soul EV uses the same 64 kWh battery pack that’s found in the Niro EV and the smaller Hyundai Kona EV. This is a huge step up for the Soul EV as the 2019 model only has a rating of 111 miles from the EPA. The Soul EV started with a 93-mile range.

Each of the 64-kWh liquid-cooled battery packs has five large modules of pouch cells with three oriented lengthwise under the passenger floor and two stacked crosswise under the rear seat area. The difference lies in the fact that Kia used the cells from SK Innovation while Hyundai used the LG Chem cells.

This new Soul EV is also more energy-efficient. Its EPA combined rating is 114 MPGe versus the 108 MPGe rating for the 2019 model.

The current Soul EV has a starting price of $33,950 while the Kona EV is priced at $36,450. While we don’t have the official price range for the newest models, we imagine the prices will be in the same ballpark figure as the current models. The Niro EV should be competing with the Kona EV, though the former will be more expensive.

The 2020 Soul EV was unveiled during the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. The new model will also have 291 pound-feet of torque, just like the Kona and Niro EVs. But the 2020 model will come with a CCS DC fast-charging, allowing the Soul EV to charge at around 100kW for at least the first 50 percent of charge.

The car will enter the production phase by the second half of this year.

GMC Joins Bandwagon, Considering An Electric Pickup Truck

2019 GMC Sierra Elevation pickup truckjpg

GMC is joining the number of brands that will produce an electric pickup truck. The announcement comes after Tesla and Rivian also said they have plans to make an electric pickup. Ford added that they will build an electric version of the F-150 at some point in the future.

Duncan Aldred, the vice president of GMC, was quoted by Detroit Bureau that the company is considering developing and building an electric pickup truck.

But for now, all eyes are on the Rivian R1T, which debuted at the Los Angeles auto show in November. The model is said to have a range of 400 miles with its largest battery pack. We should be seeing it on the roads very soon.

Tesla, on the other hand, has given no details of its plan to build a pickup truck but Elon Musk said it might arrive after the release of the Model Y small utility. Given the problems that Tesla has been having with its Model 3 production, we’re not expecting the electrified pickup truck to arrive anytime soon.

Ford, for its part, has not provided clues about its plan for an all-electric F-150 truck.

It is still unclear when GM will introduce its potential pickup truck, though there are talks about it. Like with Ford, we might see the electric trucks way down the line when all the vehicles on the road start going electric. Then again, there’s also a possibility it will come sooner than expected. It was reported sometime back that GM is preparing a new electric architecture that will arrive by 2021.

The new electric architecture will first be used on a new Cadillac and it will also be the same platform that could fit an electric pickup truck in the future. GM wants to introduce as many as 20 new electric vehicles by 2023.

 

2021 BMW i4 EV Electric Car Shows Influence From Vision Dynamics Concept

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Spy photos of the 2021 BMW i4 electric car showed that it did follow last year’s i Vision Dynamics concept as can be seen from its four-door coupe silhouette, angular c-pillar, a decklid with a slight ducktail spoiler lip, and a front end with a sloping roof.

The i4 was confirmed by BMW chairman Harald Krüger at the Paris Auto Show in October last year. Dubbed as the i4, this will be the group’s fifth fully electric “core” model. This is also the fourth EV that BMW produced between now and 2021.

According to the i Vision Dynamics concept, the i4 will have an electric range of 373 miles, a top speed of 125 mph, and a 0-to-62 mph time of 4.0 seconds. But unlike the current i3 and i8, the i4 won’t be made with a carbon-fiber structure.

The spy shots, which showed the i4 in camouflage while riding on the back of a car carrier, hinted of small kidney grilles out front though it is also possible the production model will carry the concept’s burly and massive conjoined kidney grilles. It’s hard to see anything else with all that camouflage but the headlights and the taillights are not production units yet. Similar to the 4-Series Gran Coupe, the i4 might be a liftback with a large hatchback opening perfect for outdoor adventure.

The BMW Group is expected to release three other new EVs over the next three years. This year, it will be the Mini Electric, which was previewed as a concept last year. The production car will sit close to the concept and will share the powertrain of the refreshed i3, which has a range of 153 miles.

Up next is the iX3 in 2020, which was also previewed as a concept. This is the electronic version of the X3 crossover. It carries a 70.0-kWh battery pack with a range of 249 miles on the European cycle.

Finally, the iNext should arrive in 2021. Previewed through the Vision iNext concept, this will be BMW’s tech flagship and will have a range of 373 miles, reaching 60 mph in less than four seconds.

Mazda Readies Its First All-Electric Car As A Standalone Model

mazda

Mazda is gearing up for the launch of its first all-electric car, which is due in 2020. Although the car won’t look dramatically different from all of the current Mazda models, the Japanese company said that the coming all-electric car will be a standalone model and it won’t be a part of its collaboration with fellow Japanese automaker Toyota.

Apparently, Mazda has been working on this EV even before its tie-up with Toyota was finalized. Ironically, the partnership created by these two giants in the auto industry is to jointly develop EVs.

Because this will be a standalone model, Mazda’s first EV will not simply be an electric version of an already existing model. Other than this little but all-important tidbit, we don’t have any information about what kind of configuration or exterior detailing this first Mazda EV will arrive with.

When it comes to its body style, we can do a bit of imagining and rendering. There’s no reason why Mazda will divert from what it has seemingly specialized in the past—a high-riding crossover. This will effectively take advantage of the popularity of this segment right now. Aside from that, taller vehicles will allow more space for the easier packaging of the battery modules while still maintaining good cabin size for the passengers.

Mazda, however, has always been a carmaker that sets the trends rather than the one that follows them. This means the first EV might not be a crossover or an SUV. It may be like just another model off Mazda’s factories, albeit with a battery pack.

According to a report from Autocar, Ikuo Maeda, Mazda’s design chief, doesn’t want the upcoming EV “to look digital” while its European design boss said they “don’t want to make an EV to look like a fridge like some other car makers.” This means the new EV will not stick out like a sore thumb and it will be styled like all the other cars in the Mazda range.

Want a bit more to imagine? Mazda’s design language can be seen in its latest iteration of the Mazda 3 hatch and sedan. If the new EV will look anything like the Mazda 3, then our expectations have just been boosted.

What We Know So Far About The 2020 Kia Soul EV

kia soul ev (1)

Kia wasted no time in revealing its 2020 Kia Soul EV as it was introduced at the same time that the new third-generation Soul crossover debuted. The Soul EV is, of course, based on the regular Soul.

The new Soul EV has the same distinctive look as the regular Soul but it now has a larger battery pack and a more powerful electric motor.

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The old Soul EV had a 30.0-kWh battery pack while the new one claims to make 64.0-kWh, more than double the capacity of the old model. In terms of horsepower and torque, the new Soul EV also has twice the power compared to the old Soul EV. Its front-mounted motor is rated at 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque, up from the previous generation’s 109 horses and 210 pound-feet of torque.

Kia has not released performance figures as of now but it claims that drivers of the new Soul EV “will feel like a virtual Aladdin” because of the new independent rear suspension that gives a “magic carpet ride” feel.

The new battery pack installed in the new Soul EV is still being tested by the EPA with the results expected to be available early 2019. But since the Soul shares its platform with the Hyundai Kona Electric, we can base some of our expectations from its EPA ratings—258 miles of range in total. The outgoing Soul EV is rated at 111 miles, so the expected increase is quite staggering.

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The Soul EV has four driving modes—Eco, Eco+, Comfort, and Sport. All these modes will adjust the car’s powertrain power and response, HVAC system, and many more to suit the driving conditions and maximize power efficiency.

Other things that make the EV model a standout from the regular Soul are the front and rear bumpers, a charging port, a more closed-off grille, LED lights in chrome front unibrow, and 17-inch wheels. Inside, it has a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with integrated features such as monitoring charging, scheduling charge times, and planning routes.

The Soul EV will go on sale next year though prices have not been announced. We’re also not sure yet if this will be available in all states. Remember that the outgoing Soul EV was also available in these states: California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington.

 

MPs in the UK Push for Petrol and Diesel Ban by 2032

petrol and diesel ban

The UK MPs are looking to ban the sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2032. The proposed move is to ensure that they could meet their 2040 target eight years ahead.

It should be noted that the UK prime minister earlier said that all new cars and vans in the country should have zero emission by 2040. The plan outlined in their “Road to Zero” policy aims to make “almost every car and van” in the road to have zero emission by 2050. The ultimate goal is to make the UK “the best place in the world” to own an electric vehicle (EV), according to BBC.

The Underlying Issues

The government’s plan for petrol and diesel ban are raising more questions than answers though. Initially, the zero emission target by 2040 was branded by the Parliament’s business select committee as “vague and unambitious”.

MP Rachel Reeves, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee chairwoman, criticized the government’s actions though. She said that there is “little clarity or incentive to industry or the consumer to invest in electric cars.”

The committee also pointed out the problems stemming from the cuts of subsidies for vehicles producing lesser pollutants. They mentioned the lack of charging points for EVs too as one of the primary concerns.

Last week, the UK government revealed a plan to remove the subsidies for plug-in hybrids while reducing grants for EVs from £4,500 to £3,500. The committee explained that the cost of EVs is still high relative to fuel-fed cars. In addition, the customers’ preference to EVs remains low. Therefore, more efforts to encourage them to switch to electric cars must be made.

Of course, the lack of charging stations can be attributed to the low demand for EVs as well. That’s because if there are few EVs on the road, then the returns of putting up charging stations will be tight.

Furthermore, the report said the Road to Zero strategy failed to clear out how hybrid vehicles will be treated upon its implementation.

Check Out This Cool Render of the BMW i4

bmw i4 (1)

The BMW i4 electric vehicle (EV) is expected to hit the market in 2021. The car is the production version of the I Vision Dynamics concept vehicle of BMW. The EV is still in its development phase, so its maker is yet to unveil its final design, but an artist who goes by the name “Avarii” made an awesome render of the car already.

The render shows a more conventional take on the i4 EV. Although there are still hints of the I Vision Dynamics concept in its design, it has abandoned its overly futuristic elements.

The front grille of the i4 in the images follows the shape of its concept version but it adopts a mesh found in the traditional design of cars today. The wheels, as well as the glass panes of the windows, rear glass, and windshield of the i4, also show a more practical approach.

The artist seems to have taken some cues from the recent statement of BMW about the i4. Adrian van Hooydonk, the company’s design director, confirmed through an interview with Auto Express that the upcoming EV will be more “conventional looking”.

The BMW exec believes that customers don’t believe in “design differentiation” anymore when it comes to EVs. He explained that electric mobility will already be a norm in the years to come. Therefore, it will just become one of the powertrain offerings that customers can choose from. As a result, buyers may no longer care about “design differentiation”.

Robert Irlinger, BMW’s head of i division, aired the same sentiments about the styling of the i4. He claimed that customers might prefer the signature design of BMW cars rather than a different one. With that, he said they might pattern the appearance of the i4 with one of their cars with a “4” in its name.

Planned Nissan Electric SUV Will Likely Cost $45,000

nissan leaf

Nissan is currently working on a new electric sport utility vehicle. The company is aiming to offer it to customers around the $45,000 range.

Clean Technica claimed that the information came from a “highly credible and well-informed source”. The report said that Nissan is targeting a 220-mile range for their upcoming electric SUV. If it comes into fruition, the cost of the auto will be at par with the offerings of premium brands such as the $43,570 Lexus RX, $41,500 Audi Q5, $43,645 BMW X3, $40,050 Mercedes-Benz GLC, and others.

Given those facts, the product might belong to the premium segment of the Nissan Group. It is possible that the electric SUV will fall under the Infiniti brand. On the other hand, it could also be that the group is looking to keep the vehicle on its Nissan brand in order for them to build up a reputation in the electric SUV segment of the market.

Right now, the only electric vehicle available on the Nissan brand is the Nissan Leaf with a starting price of $22,490. It is the best-selling electric vehicle in the European market during the first eight months of 2018. In some parts of Europe like Norway, it has become the top-selling passenger car too.

Given the momentum of Nissan with the Leaf, they are probably looking to follow it up so that they could keep a strong hold of the EV market. Since the Leaf is considered as the company’s top electric car as of the moment, their upcoming electric SUV might get the top spot in the hierarchy of their large passenger vehicles as well.

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