With a growing number of electric vehicles (EVs) becoming a mainstay on roads all over the world, the benefits of owning one are becoming harder to miss. Besides the fact that owning an electric vehicle is the environmentally friendlier choice, it is hard to overlook the savings once you stop having to pump petrol weekly as well as car maintenance over the years.
Newer EVs that offer longer range, and other infrastructure and technological developments, are changing local perceptions and the growing numbers on the road are a testament to this.
Whether it’s a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric car, some of the coolest and most exciting cars are coming to the road in 2019-2020, and they are worth the wait.
1. 2019 Audi E-Tron
This spring Audi will debut its new all-wheel-drive five-passenger luxury crossover. The first purely electric SUV from the German car manufacturer seamlessly integrates charging technology with a sophisticated battery designed to handle the unique needs of an electric-powered vehicle. With the motors capable of generating up to 400 horsepower in maximum output mode, the car completes the 0-100km/h dash in 5.7 seconds, with a top speed of 200km/h.
“We will build a new ecosystem around the electric car with premium digital services, like functions on demand,” said Mr Schot, alluding to the company’s intention to sell not just physical cars, but also out-of-car services such as digital services and sales support to its customers.
That approach will also be extended to Singapore, when the e-tron launches in the middle of next year.
2. 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric
With its standout styling and long electric-only driving range, the Kona Electric is poised for success. Combining expansive space and head-turning good looks, this subcompact SUV has an exceptional electric driving range of up to 482km, a standout among its class.
When using a 50 kW direct current (DC) charging station, KONA Electric?s lithium-ion polymer battery takes about 75 minutes to charge to 80% state of charge (SOC) for the 64KWh version and 57 minutes for the 39KWh version. The Kona Electric is based on the standard gasoline-powered Kona, but still gives you the same athletic chassis but with greater fuel savings.
3. 2019 Nissan Leaf E-Plus
Nissan is bringing to dealerships later this year a new version of the Leaf, with a larger battery pack that enables 45% more power and an estimated 311km range on a single charge. A 100% electric drivetrain means instant push-you-to-the-back-of-your-seat acceleration, coupled with the innovative e-Pedal that lets you accelerate and brake with only one pedal.
“The motto for Nissan always been to mass-market a good electric vehicle at an affordable price,” said Jean-Phillipe Lattes, senior manager of EV marketing and sales for Nissan North America.
4. 2020 Kia Niro EV
Kia’s rival to the Hyundai Kona Electric is expected to arrive in the third quarter of 2019 as a 2020 model. The Niro EV comes in two versions that can either cover 450km or 300km on a single charge, depending on battery size. Its 204hpw motor launches it to 100km/h in 7.8 seconds – which is slightly less time than it would take the electric BMW i3.
“We recognize that EVs will take some time to grow in Singapore with the current state of the infrastructure, as well as the tax structure. However, the purpose of introducing the Niro EV is to cement Kia’s reputation as a reliable manufacturer, and one that is future-ready and poised for electrification,” said Ms Dawn Pan, Deputy Director, Multi-franchise Operations at Cycle & Carriage Singapore.
5. 2020 Kia Soul EV
Kia is in a unique position to be able to release a third-generation electric vehicle by the end of 2020. The new model of the Soul EV is fitted with a 64kWh battery offers a range of 375km on a full battery charge. With its vast improvements in technology and design, the Soul EV is one of the most exciting EVs coming to market. This new car promises almost 40 per cent more torque, and 85 per cent improvement in power- all encapsulated within the redesigned modernist compact hatchback.
The new model’s 64kWh battery pack with DC fast-charge capability has enough reserve for any around and near-town tasks, and one can imagine doing some long-distance travel along routes when charging infrastructure expands.
The new wave of EVs is expected to operate for increasingly longer periods on a charge, and these are coming from both long-established automakers and high-tech upstart companies. Do not miss your chance to be part of the deal that will more than likely register top-shelf performance, wrapped up in beautifully styled cars that set these EVs apart from their petroleum counterparts.