The Economist: Electric cars will come of age in 2018

October 23rd, 2017 § Comments Off on The Economist: Electric cars will come of age in 2018 § permalink

Electric cars will come of age in 2018. For the first time they will compete in price and performance with petrol and diesel cars. But in the year ahead we will also be confronted with some uncomfortable truths about going electric.

2018 is set to be the year the world fully embraces the electric car.

We’ll see a global tipping point for drivers as electric models start competing with petrol and diesel cars head-to-head. But we’ll also be confronted with the uncomfortable truth about the impact of going electric.

They’ve long been vaunted as the vehicle of the future but from laughing stock in the mid-1980s to rising stock today electric cars have come of age. Companies are clambering to take the lead with billions in investments and promises to make the switch, but it’s pressure from governments that’s driving this push from the industry.

It’s an unlikely country that’s leading the pack. In 2016 China brought more than 40 percent of the world’s electric cars. These fume free cars will make our cities cleaner but uncomfortable truths lurk behind the electric car revolution.

The rise of electric cars will challenge the world’s thirst for oil. It could spark a global shift of power from countries that have enjoyed the influence that oil has bought. Beyond oil, attention will turn to lithium electric car batteries which rely on the mineral Cobalt. Two thirds of the world’s cobalt comes from one country, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Demand for cobalt has doubled over the past five years and is set to triple by 2020.

But the electric car revolution is coming.

After 2018 there will be no turning back.

New electric cars coming for 2018 onwards

October 5th, 2017 § Comments Off on New electric cars coming for 2018 onwards § permalink

The next couple of years promise to be quite interesting for electric cars.

A minimum of six new models are expected in that time period, all promising ranges of 200 miles or more—which until a few months ago had been the exclusive province of Tesla Motors.

The list includes two affordable 200-mile electric cars: the second-generation Nissan Leaf, and the highly anticipated Tesla Model 3.

It also includes the first production long-range battery-electric cars from Audi, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz.

Finally, the BMW i5 could prove to be a crucial model for the German automaker’s “i” sub-brand, which has been in a holding pattern.

Here is a quick look at each of these models, and a summary of what we know so far.

2018 Nissan Leaf

Along with the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Tesla Model 3, the 2018 Nissan Leaf is one of three affordable electric cars with 200 miles of range or more that’s expected to go into production this year.

The second-generation Leaf has big tire tracks to fill: the version it replaces was a major part of the first wave of modern electric cars, as well as the best-selling electric car in history.

The 2018 Leaf is expected to offer at least two battery-pack options, though only the largest is likely to provide the marquee value of 200-plus miles of range.

The new Leaf will also be offered with Nissan’s ProPilot technology, which the automaker says will offer limited self-driving capability.

Styling will likely be inspired by the Nissan IDS concept that first appeared at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, and will bring the Leaf more in line with other current Nissan models.

Expect the 2018 Nissan Leaf to be revealed this summer or fall, while retail sales will likely start at the very end of 2017 or perhaps early next year.

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