With 169 countries looking to reverse climate change, grow the economy, and protect public health, automakers are looking at electrification as means of reducing harmful emissions and work towards achieving the ambitious climate goals of the Paris Agreement.
Over the past decade, electric vehicles have progressed rapidly. The number of fossil fuel-burning cars are being traded in for EV cars is growing each year. Unfortunately, alternative fuel vehicles account only for a small percentage of all the cars on the road today. The reason for this is that most of today’s fully electric cars have a limited range between charges, which make them only good for short trips. But a host of manufacturers are preparing to launch new models that tackle the range issue, while also offering stylish looks and innovative technology. Here are seven new models that will be available in the next two years and augment the existing fleet of available battery electric cars.
2018 Nissan LEAF 2.0
The first generation LEAF started with the 2010 model year and matured with only minor updates. The 2018 LEAF begins marks the second generation and comes fully stocked and loaded with new safety, security, and driving assistance technologies such as ProPILOT assist and e-Pedal technologies. Now, the maximum range on a single charge is up to 150 miles from a 147 horsepower electric motor. Starting price is $29,990, which is $690 below the current 2017 LEAF starting MSRP. Watch for the all-new 2018 Nissan LEAF to go on sale early 2018 in all 50 states.
2019 Audi e-tron quattro
The Audi e-tron will start production next year at Audi’s Brussels plant and will evolve the styling and powertrain components from the e-tron quattro concept that first appeared at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Official details haven’t been announced but the concept had a 95-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and three electric motors—one at the front, two at the rear—providing a total of 320 kilowatts (496 horsepower) and 590 lb-ft of torque that can be boosted to 370 kilowatts and 590 lb-ft of torque for short bursts of power.
Zero to 60 mph performance for the e-tron quattro concept is a blazing quick 4.6 seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph. Audi claims a range of 310 miles, albeit on the highly-optimistic European testing cycle. That number might well be closer to 250 miles under U.S. EPA testing. The production model will likely adopt the concept’s “crossover coupe” design, with a low roofline combined with more traditional SUV styling elements.
2018 BMW i3s
Set to debut at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show is a more performance-oriented version of the refreshed i3. The sportier all-electric i3s differs from the typical i3 with a wider track, higher wheel arch moldings, and a more muscular stance. Max output comes from an electric motor that tops out at 184 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. The standard i3 has a maximum output of 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The i3s snaps from zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, almost a half second faster than the i3, and has a top speed of 100 mph.
A sport-tuned suspension with specially developed spring, dampers, and anti-roll bars plant the i3 firmly on the road. Also new is a SPORT mode that quickens accelerator response and sharpens the steering characteristics. An available range extender engine increases the overall range from 87 to 97 miles.
The new i3s is scheduled to reach showrooms November 2017.
The 2019 VW e-Golf is due to begin production next year and reach showrooms by late 2018. Volkswagen is keeping details under wraps, but expect the new e-Golf to have a range of 186 miles. According to a report by Autoblog, the eighth generation e-Golf will feature a 48-volt onboard power supply — a mainstay with all of VW’s future hybrids and battery electric MQB-based cars and crossovers.
2019 Jaguar I-Pace
We expect Jaguar will officially announce the details of their new all-electric, all-wheel-drive sporty crossover soon. Styling will be heavily influenced by the I-Pace concept, which debuted at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. According to Jaguar, the concept has a 220-mile range on the EPA test cycle and featured a pair of electric motors that drive the front and rear wheels — each producing 150 kw (200 hp) and 258 lb-ft of torque. Production is slated to begin in March or April of 2018.
2019 Porsche Mission E
Porsche originally revealed the Mission E concept at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Their high-performance all-electric concept boasted an output of 440 kilowatts (600 hp) and a range of 250 miles. Obviously, the emphasis is on performance along with zero emissions. Its design already won awards and is expected to launch the 350 kW ultra fast-charging technology developed by the company.
Proven to be a winner, Porsche confirmed Mission E three months after its debut with a target launch date “by the end of the decade.” Plans since have progressed such that Porsche announced they will produce and deliver the Mission E in 2019. MSRP will be in the neighborhood of $86,000 With options and more powerful powertrain configurations expected to push the price significantly higher.
Set to debut at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show is the first pure-EV MINI since 2008. Nearly ten years ago, MINI leased 600 cars to the general public as part of a trial run. Ultimately, the Mini E collected data that BMW used to formulate the i3. This time, the MINI Electric will be a full volume production model and not have a clause for its immediate return upon an expiration date.
When the production-ready MINI EV does arrive in 2019, it’s likely to use powertrain technology from the BMW i3. That would mean a range of around 190 miles, a peppy 0-62mph time of about 7.5 seconds and DC rapid charging compatibility. MINI also envisions it would bring an agile, ‘go-kart’ like option to the EV market. We’ll include an update shortly after the MINI Electric’s debut.
Here is our EV roundup of all the latest electric cars from the floor of the 2017 Detroit Auto Show: