EVs and Hybrids will continue to roll out in 2018
2017 was not quite the year of the pure electric vehicle. There are more EVs coming to market, such as the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3, but none are coming in massive numbers (yet). However, in recent years, thanks to diesel emissions scandals and tightening regulations, automakers are making larger pushes toward electric cars. By 2030, Honda hopes to sell two-thirds of their vehicles in electrified form. Volvo is going one further by phasing out all conventionally-powered cars by 2019, meaning all their cars will be hybrids or pure EVs. While the landscape is tilting more favorably toward EVs and hybrids, traditional gasoline-powered cars are still with us and may be for some time.
Could 2018 truly be a great year for electric cars? Today’s TFLnow video, coming to you from the Texas Motor Speedway, covers some of the major EVs coming in the next few years. These are some of the most significant EVs and hybrids that will hit the U.S. market in 2018.
One of the most significant EVs hitting the U.S. market in the upcoming year is the fantastic-looking Jaguar I-Pace crossover. By appearance, it clearly shares DNA with its gas-powered siblings, the F-Pace and smaller E-Pace. However, this car will be a first for Jaguar, as it’s going to be their first pure electric car. This could be a serious game changer – not just for Jaguar, but also for the world of EVs in general. Why? Because, apart from Tesla, it’s one of the first “want one” electric cars.
Tesla proved that electric cars don’t have to be dull. When the I-Pace makes it to showrooms, it may serve as a signal to those on the fence about EVs that an all-electric world isn’t going to be scary. We’ll still have great looking cars. The I-Pace should arrive on the scene in the middle of 2018.
Honda Clarity EV and plug-in hybrid
A couple weeks ago, we headed out to Calistoga, California to test all three versions of the new Honda Clarity. Not keenly knowing which drivetrain is going to prove most popular in the future, Honda is betting on hybrid, hydrogen, and electric. Now, Honda isn’t playing fast and loose with all three models. Bearing in mind the relative lack of infrastructure for hydrogen and electric vehicles, Honda will only be doling those versions out to customers in California. They will sell the plug-in hybrid, on the other hand, in all 50 states.
Higher-range Nissan LEAF (October)
After seven years in its first generation, Nissan is sending the original LEAF out to pasture in 2018. In its stead, we’ll get an all new LEAF. Those who were waiting for Nissan to sexy up the styling of the LEAF a bit won’t be disappointed. Gone is the largely egg-like shape. They’ve restyled the LEAF to be a more crisp and angular, as tends to be the direction with most modern cars. However, this new version is only a slight improvement on the old one, with 150 miles of electric range. That’s not as much as most people were hoping, as other (not much more expensive) offerings like the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 offer 230+ miles on a charge.
However, Nissan is planning to sell the LEAF with a larger battery pack for the 2019 model, which may emerge this year. Inevitably, that one will be more expensive. The biggest selling point for the LEAF, despite its range deficiency, is that it’s more than $6,000 cheaper than the Bolt. If you can’t wait to get a bit more range in your LEAF, the 150-mile version will be available later next month.
Hyundai/Kia: Ioniq/Niro Plug-in hybrids, Kona EV
Hyundai and Kia are going to hit the market hard in 2018 – a sign of things to come with regard to electrification. First up are plug-in hybrid versions of the Hyundai Ioniq (pictured) and the Kia Niro. Both are already fuel-thrifty hybrids in their own right – with some variants cresting 50 MPG combined. Plug-in hybrid versions will allow each respective model even more versatility as you can drive around in pure EV mode. The Niro offers up 26 miles of electric range, while the Ioniq offers up 29.
For those who want a full EV offering from the Korean manufacturer, never fear. Hyundai will also offer up an all-electric version of their new Kona subcompact crossover later next year.