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The Hummer EV SUV will share key components with the Hummer EV pickup, from its Ultium powertrain platform to the open-air driving experience that comes from its removable Infinity Roof panels. Both the SUV and pickup are being touted as having significant off-roading chops, including the ability to ‘crab walk’ diagonally around trail obstacles thanks to four-wheel steering, and an Extract Mode that utilizes the Hummer’s Adaptive Air Ride suspension to raise the body some 6 inches out of harm’s way.  

Because the SUV is shorter than the pickup – overall by about 10 inches and with a wheelbase nearly 9 inches shorter – GMC is promoting it as having ‘best in class off-road proportions.’ Those proportions, combined with its four-wheel-steering capability, do give it a tight turning radius of 35.4 feet, equal to that of the Chevrolet Bolt.

The smaller platform, though, does have a cost: less room for batteries. The Hummer EV SUV’s double-stacked battery pack contains 20 modules, while the Hummer EV pickup has 24. That means, on paper, anyway, the SUV is less powerful. The Edition 1 version of the SUV that will be available at launch is rated at up to 830 horsepower compared to the pickup’s 1,000. Range is shorter, too, at 300 miles compared to the pickup’s 350. Torque remains rated at up to 11,500 lb-ft, a number GM arrived at by multiplying the twisting force through the gear ratios in the Ultium platform’s front and rear drive units.

How Hummer configures that platform will be a key differentiator between Hummer EV SUV models. Edition 1 and 3X models will have three drive units, one to power the front wheels and one each for the rear wheels. The 2X and 2 models will have two drive units, one up front and one at the rear. The 2 will also have 16 instead of 20 battery modules, lower power output, and shorter range, but will be priced accordingly – 79,995 compared to $105,595 for the Edition 1.

Adding the Extreme Off-Road Package to an Edition 1 raises its MSRP by $10,000, for which the Hummer buyer receives 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory tires on 18-inch wheels (22s are standard). Also provided are underbody armor and rock sliders, front and rear lockers, heavy-duty half-shafts, and the UltraVision camera system that provides up to 17 views around the vehicle to see the surrounding terrain, including under the body, in real time.

Those UltraVision images are among the infotainment channels broadcast on a 13.4-inch high-def touchscreen positioned between the driver and passenger. In front of the driver is another 12.3-inch information screen. GMC promises Hummer occupants a  ‘multisensory, immersive experience’ with customizable features that can tailor not just the sound through the Bose entertainment system and the feel through the haptic driver’s seat, but also the SUV’s steering, suspension, and acceleration response. The center screen can also be used with an updated version of the myGMC mobile phone app to show satellite-rendered trail maps for navigating off-road. The revised app also tracks real-time energy consumption and can find local charging stations.

On the subject of charging, an optional Power Station generator can be used not just to charge personal devices and power recreational gear, but has the power (240v/25A/6kW) to charge other electric vehicles.

The low-floor, skateboard-like Ultium drivetrain platform has one other advantage: It affords several gear storage options. Folding the SUV’s rear seat flat and opening the powered tailgate reveals nearly 82 cubic feet of cargo space, more than GMC’s Acadia SUV with its second and third row seats folded. There is additional storage space hidden beneath the load floor and more in the Hummer’s front trunk.

GMC expects to launch the Hummer EV SUV in Edition 1 form in early 2023. It will  be followed by 3X and 2X models in the spring of ’23, and the base 2 model in spring ’24.

Somewhat smaller than Lincoln’s first plug-in SUV, the Aviator Grand Touring, the Corsair is a luxury-oriented, two-row crossover that injects comfort and class into a compact premium crossover segment dominated by European offerings. It's offered in both conventional gas- and plug-in hybrid-powered variants.

When one looks to Corsair, its distinguishing characteristics and luxury appointments mean there’s no mistaking it for anything other than a Lincoln. Its attractive design features creased and organic dynamic bodylines, a Lincoln-esque diamond patterned grille, and oversized alloy wheels. Inside is a premium leather-upholstered, wood-accented, and tech-rich cabin. The compact Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring lives large enough for four to five well-sized adults and a complement of weekend luggage.

At the heart of 2021 Corsair Grand Touring beats a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder, Atkinson cycle gas engine and a twin electric motor planetary drive system. A constant variable transmission transfers torque to the front wheels. A third motor producing 110 lb-ft torque is dedicated to driving the rear wheels, bringing the confident traction of all-wheel drive. Combined, this powertrain delivers an estimated 266 horsepower.

EPA fuel efficiency is rated at 33 combined mpg and 78 MPGe when running on battery power. It will drive 28 miles on its lithium-ion batteries with a total range of 430 miles. Conventionally-powered Corsairs net an estimated 22 city and 29 highway mpg, and 25 mpg combined .

A driver-centric cockpit offers infinitely adjustable and heated leather seating surrounded by wood and burnished metal accents. A comprehensive dash and infotainment display, back-up dashcam, pushbutton drive commands, head-up display, parking assist, and smartphone keyless access are standard or available. Top-of-the-line Co-Pilot 360 driver assist, electronic safety, and personal connectivity features are offered. Corsair Grand Touring’s 14.4 kWh battery module is located beneath the model’s body pan, resulting in a lower center of gravity and unobstructed rear deck cargo space.

The Corsair Grand Touring has an MSRP of $50,390, about fourteen grand more than the conventionally-powered base model. It's expected to make its way to Lincoln showrooms sometime this spring.

The 2021 all-electric Polestar 2 arrives in North America this year as the brand’s first pure electric vehicle, aiming to take on Tesla in a market that’s seeing increased interest in EVs. Produced in China through a collaboration of Volvo and Geely Motors, this 5-door midsize electric hatchback proudly forwards the Polestar nameplate that was formerly dedicated to Volvo’s performance arm. Now, Polestar represents the maker’s global electric car initiative as a stand-alone car brand.

At first glance, there’s no mistaking the Volvo pedigree of Polestar 2 as it embraces the design language of Volvo’s XC40. Manufactured on Volvo’s CMA (compact modular architecture) platform, it presents premium fit and finish seamlessly blended with the utmost in functionality. This eye-catching model gets high marks for attention to detail, clean lines, and an unapologetically conventional front facade and grille design that fits its persona, without giving way to the whims of those who seem convinced an electric must look decidedly different.

No performance is lost here in the transition to zero-emissions electric power. Polestar 2 is motivated by dual electric motors, one at each axle, producing a combined 408 horsepower and 487 ft-lb torque in the Performance Pack all-wheel drive variant. This delivers a claimed 0 to 60 sprint in just 4.5 seconds.

A 292 mile range is estimated on the electric’s 78 kWh LG Chem lithium-ion battery pack, which is said to be 10 percent more powerful than Audi and Jaguar offerings. Polestar integrates the battery module as a crash-protected unibody stress member, improving overall road handling characteristics through strategic weight distribution. There are multiple charging options with integrated dual inverters and AC/DC at-home and network charge capability. Charging to 80 percent capacity can be had in 45 minutes at a fast-charge station.

Polestar 2’s regenerative braking enables one-pedal driving, a feature pioneered by the BMW i3 some years back and now adopted in an increasing number of electric models. In effect, strong regenerative braking slows a vehicle down sufficiently to often allow coming to a gradual stop without using the brakes, a fun feature that enhances the joy of driving. Although not fully autonomous, Polestar 2 comes standard with the automaker’s Polestar Connect, Pilot Assist, and adaptive cruise control for Level 2 partial automation.

Inside, driver and passengers enjoy a more conventional cockpit and cabin environment than that presented by some competitors. Polestar 2 is minimalistic but also business class posh in its interior design, placing emphasis on low environmental impact manufacturing practices and materials like repurposed Birch and Black Ash wood accents, plus soft touch ‘vegan’ synthetic seat fabrics.

Heated and cooled seats, inductive cellphone charging, ample points for device connectivity, and a standard panoramic digitized sunroof are provided. Information is intelligently presented in the instrument cluster and a large center stack navigation/infotainment touchpad. A familiar center console select shift is used. Easy access to an ample cargo deck is afforded by a power lift rear hatch, with additional room provided by a fold-down second row seat.

The price of entry for Polestar 2 is $59,900 before federal or state incentives, with the model offered in three trim groups, five color combinations, and four add-on price upticks. It’s currently available for order in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. Buyers will discover a no-salesman showcase approach with a take-your-time-and-look buying and lease environment. As the market reacts, Volvo intends to make Polestar 2 available in all 50 states.

Early electric vehicle efforts took many forms, with automakers striving to compress the learning curve in order to meet California’s impending 1998 zero emission vehicle mandate. While a few automakers like Honda developed their electric vehicle programs around all-new designs, most turned to electrifying existing car, truck, minivan, or SUV platforms. Some were recognizable models sold in the U.S. Others, like Ford’s Ecostar, were built on platforms sold only abroad. The Ecostar was unique in many respects, not the least of which was its use of an experimental sodium-sulfur “hot” battery, which provided exceptional on-board energy. Ultimately, this battery didn’t make the cut and was abandoned, although the Ecostar itself still shines as one of the era’s true stars. This article shares details of Ford’s Ecostar program and is presented as it originally ran in Green Car Journal’s December 1993 issue.

Excerpted from December 1993 Issue: It was just over a year ago when Ford debuted its Ecostar electric vehicle to the skeptical motoring press in Los Angeles, Calif. The unusual vehicle, based on the automaker's European Escort Van built in Britain at Ford's Halewood, Merseyside, manufacturing facility, seemed normal enough at first blush. But its powertrain made it the most unique vehicle ever to hit Hollywood's Sunset Strip.

Green Car Journal editors who drove the Ecostar found it to be an extremely capable EV, perhaps the best to date. But there were a few small glitches including an occasional drivetrain shudder and a degree of inverter noise. A recent test drive in a more refined Ecostar example illustrates just how far Ford has come in its electric vehicle project. The only two glitches we had noted were conspicuously gone, and the Ecostar drove better than ever.

"The shudder was an interaction between the drive system and the mechanical system it was driving, creating a resonance," Ford's Bob Kiessel told Green Car Journal. "What we had to do was compensate for that resonance. It's all done electronically.” Evolutionary changes in the controller also eliminated the high-pitched noise noted on the earlier drive. The Ecostar's gauges and diagnostics were also working this time around, a simple matter of more time spent dialing in the EV's many functions and subsystems.

During this most recent drive, we were aware of a significant amount of tire noise making its way to the cabin. Because this also created its own unique resonance, it was cited by some drivers as motor noise, a suggestion that Kiessel denies. Even so, he offers that improvements are in the works.

"We're testing a next-generation motor-transaxle that cuts the noise level down by an order of magnitude," Kiessel shares. Tire noise will be engineered out, at least to a greater degree, as R&D work on the Ecostar continues.

There was a reason for the Ecostar's recent coming out party. Ford has completed a number of the Ecostar examples it began assembling in June and was preparing to deliver them to fleets for real world testing over a 30-month period. Fleets taking delivery: Southern California Edison (Los Angeles, Calif.); Pacific Gas & Electric (San Francisco, Calif.); Allegheny Power (Frederick, Md.); Commonwealth Edison (Chicago, Ill.); Detroit Edison (Detroit, Mich.); and the U.S. Dept. of Energy (Washington, D.C.).

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now being driven on U.S. highways are milestone vehicles in that they're the first to travel under power of advanced batteries. The 37 kWh, 780-pound sodium-sulfur battery, built by ABB (Heidelberg, Germany) for Ford, allows the 3100-pound Ecostar to achieve a conservative Federal Urban Driving Schedule range of 100 miles. Acceleration on the highway is brisk enough to meet daily driving needs. Ford estimates 0-60 mph acceleration at about 16.5 seconds, in the realm of a Volkswagen EuroVan powered by a 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder engine. Top speed is cited as 75 mph.

Once the entire 105 vehicle fleet is fielded in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe, it's expected that Ford will get plenty of feedback on how these vehicles perform and how they can be fine-tuned for the real market.

"This vehicle is a learning tool for us in several different ways," says Kiessel, "from a design standpoint to an engineering skills standpoint, and from a supplier development standpoint to market development and service. It's a probe to learn. What we're trying to do is focus on the things that will help us make better electric vehicles in the future."

It’s no surprise that the move toward electrics is also being driven by growing consumer interest in vehicles that address the challenges of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Those who don’t see this this transition aren’t paying attention. However, taking this as a sign that the imminent end of the internal combustion vehicle is upon us assumes too much. The numbers and trends do not bear this out.

While our focus here is on all ‘greener’ vehicles offering lower emissions, higher efficiency, and greater environmental performance, we give significant focus to electrification on GreenCarJournal.com because, to a large degree, this represents our driving future. There are many electrified vehicles now on the market that have met with notable success, particularly gasoline-electric hybrids. In fact, hybrids have become so mainstream after 20 years that most people don’t look at them differently. They simply embrace these vehicles as a normal part of their daily lives, enjoying a familiar driving experience as their hybrids deliver higher fuel efficiency and fewer carbon emissions.

Less transparent are electric vehicles of all types because they have a plug, something that’s not familiar to most drivers. This includes plug-in hybrids that really are seamless since they offer both electric and internal combustion drive. The challenge is especially pronounced for all-electric vehicles that drive exclusively on batteries.

A recent survey of consumers and industry experts by JD Power underscores this. Even as the overall survey indicated most respondents had neutral confidence in battery electric vehicles, many said their prospect for buying an electric vehicle was low. They also had concerns about the reliability of battery electric vehicles compared to conventionally powered models. Clearly, there’s work to be done in educating people about electric vehicles, and it will take time.

Overall, automakers do a good job of providing media with the latest information on their electrification efforts, new electric models, and electrified vehicles under development. That’s why you’ll read so much about electric vehicles in mainstream media and learn about them on the news.

What’s less evident is that consumers truly learn what they need to know about plug-in vehicles at new car showrooms. Car dealerships are critical even in an era where online car buying is starting to gain traction. Showrooms are still where the vast majority of new car buyers shop for their next car, and the influence salespeople have on a consumer’s purchase decision is huge.

The JD Power study illustrates consumers’ lack of understanding about the reliability of electric vehicles…even though reliability is a given since electrics have far fewer moving parts to wear and break than conventional vehicles. Dealer showrooms can help resolve this lack of understanding with readily-available materials about electric car ownership, a sales force willing to present ‘green’ options to conventional vehicles, plus adequate stock of electrified vehicles – hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric – to test drive.

Sales trends tell us that conventional internal combustion vehicles will represent the majority of new car sales for quite some time. More efficient electrified vehicles will continue to make inroads, but not at the pace many would like, even at a time when greater numbers of electric models are coming to market. In the absence of forward-thinking dealerships willing to invest in change, an enthusiastic sales force eager to share the benefits of electrics, and auto manufacturers willing to incentivize dealers to sell electric, this promises to be a long road. It’s time to change this dynamic.

It’s well understood that driving electric is more efficient with a lower cost-per-mile than driving internal combustion vehicles. That’s especially true if you charge an EV up at home. But what if you need to use public chargers on the road or live in an apartment where a commercial pay-per-use charger is your only option?

The cost can vary significantly since commercial chargers use different methods of payment. For example, many providers charge for the time it takes to charge a battery rather than the kWh of electricity delivered. This would be like gasoline stations charging for the length of time a nozzle dispenses gas in the fuel tank, not by the number of gallons of gas pumped. A few providers charge a per-session fee or require a monthly or annual charging subscription. While many public chargers at businesses and parking lots remain free of cost to EV drivers, that is changing over time.

When you pay by the minute, charging cost is influenced by an EV battery’s state of charge, ambient temperature, and the size of the EV’s on board charger. Different size chargers can mean a big difference in the cost of a charge even though the same number of kW hours are delivered. For example, earlier Nissan LEAFs had a 3.6 kW (3.3 kW actual output) on board charger while later ones had an updated 6.6 kW (6.0 kW output) version. Thus, it takes almost twice as long to charge an earlier LEAF at double the expense than later ones, even though both have the same 30 kWh battery. Many EVs now come standard with a 6.6 or 7.2 kW charger. When considering buying or leasing an electric model, keep in mind that a more powerful on-board charger means quicker and potentially more cost-efficient charging.

It’s an interesting bit of science that while charging an electric vehicle, the rate of charge isn’t linear but rather decreases as a battery approaches full capacity. If an EV has a lower state of charge (SOC) at the beginning of a charging session, charging occurs at its maximum rate, such as 3.3 kW, 6.6 kW, 7.2 kW, and so on. As the battery approaches 100 percent SOC, charging can slow to a trickle. The last 20 percent of charge can sometimes take as long as the initial 80 percent. To be most cost efficient, it’s recommended to only charge to 80 percent full capacity when using a public charger, especially one that includes time-based pricing.

For a charging cost comparison, let’s look at charging an EV with a 40 kWh/100 mile rating and a 50 kW on board charger. At a Level 3 charging station it would take about 48 minutes to get an additional 100 miles of range and cost between $6.24 to $16.80, depending where you did the charging. With a 350 kW fast charger this would take about 7 minutes and cost between $1.82-$6.93 to add 100 miles. This compares to $10.00-$13.33 for a gasoline vehicle that gets 30 mpg and fuels up at $3.00 to $4.00 per gallon. This shows the need for fast charging when away from home and charging with time of use chargers, and more importantly, the need for pricing solely on a per kWh basis.

While kWh charging is fairer to the consumer, some companies prefer time-based charging because the longer customers are connected, the more profit is made. However, public charging could be moving from time-to-charge to the kWh charge model. This will put the energy cost of EV operation in line with that of gasoline vehicles where fueling cost is determined by the cost of a gallon of gasoline, not the time it takes to refuel. Clearly, this change is needed.

New rules in California will eventually ban public charging operators from billing by the minute and require the fairer billing by kWh. The ban will apply to new Level 2 chargers beginning in 2021, and to new DC fast chargers beginning in 2023. Chargers installed before 2021 can continue time-based billing until 2031 for Level 2 chargers or 2033 for DC fast chargers.

The new rules do not prohibit operators from charging overtime, connection, or parking fees, or fees for staying connected after reaching 100 percent SOC, providing they are disclosed. Electrify America already charges 40 cents per minute if your vehicle is not moved within the 10 minute grace period after your charging session is complete. It remains to be seen whether more states will follow California’s lead. Laws will have to be changed in about 20 states where only regulated utilities can presently sell electricity by the kWh.

Charging providers like Tesla and Brink presently charge by the kWh in states where it’s allowed. For example, Tesla charges $0.28 per kWh while Blink charges $0.39 to 0.79 per kWh, depending on location and user status. California regulations require Tesla and others to show the price per kWh and a running total of the energy delivered, just like a gas pump.

Other charging considerations can affect the actual long-term cost of operating an EV. These include lower charge pricing and discounts that come with subscriptions, free charging incentives that accompany a vehicle purchase (like the first 1000 kWh provided free or 100 kWh of free charging per month), or if a charger is shared with another user. For Teslas, free unlimited Supercharger access has often come with the purchase or lease of a new Tesla model.

While EV technology is now relatively mature, pricing electric vehicle use is evolving. Hopefully, competition and a bit of government regulation should ultimately make it as understandable as it is now for gasoline vehicles.

An important measurement of your vehicle’s efficiency is understanding the cost per mile of your daily driving. For a gasoline vehicle, one merely divides the cost of a gallon of gasoline by the miles-per-gallon the vehicle gets to determine cost per mile. As we move into the electric vehicle era, determining a vehicle’s operating cost becomes more complicated. That’s because an electric vehicle’s cost per mile can depend on many factors that influence what you pay for charging its batteries – the price of electricity, the length of time it takes to charge, time of day, how close to ‘full’ the battery is, and even an EV’s onboard charger capabilities. Cost can also vary considerably based on whether you charge at home or at public chargers.

We’ll guide you through the process of understanding electric vehicle charging and how this directly impacts driving costs. Just a note, though, that our calculations focus on battery electric vehicles (EVs) and plugin hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) when running solely on battery power. Because things get more complicated when the gasoline engine of a PHEV is operating, this is not covered here.

CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS Electric vehicle energy use is measured in terms of kilowatt hours per 100 miles (kWh/100 miles). This would be like gallons per 100 miles in a gasoline vehicle. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) includes this number on the window stickers of plug-in vehicles along with their estimated miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe), since we’re so used to a gas vehicle’s mpg rating as an efficiency reference. EPA determines MPGe by assuming a gallon of gasoline is equivalent to 33.7 kWh of electrical energy (MPGe = 3370/kWh/100).

So how do you determine what each mile of driving costs in your electric vehicle? Let’s do an example. The cost of electricity in a sample California city is about 15 cents per kWh ($0.15/kWh). If a current model Kia Soul Electric with an EPA rating of 31 kWh/100 miles was charged here, it would cost $4.65 to travel 100 miles. This translates to $0.15/ kWh x 31 kWh/100 miles = $4.65/100, or 4.65 cents per mile.

Gasoline prices in the U.S. vary considerably depending on markets and world events. In recent times, that range was between $3 to $4 per gallon, while the average price of electricity ranged from $0.095/kWh in Louisiana to $0.31/ kWh in Hawaii. Even within a state the rate depends on what a specific utility charges, which can differ substantially. Thus, the cost to drive an electric Kia Soul could range from 2.95 to 9.6 cents per mile. In comparison, the cost of driving a gasoline Soul could range from 10.0 to 13.3 cents per mile.

CHARGING AT HOME Unlike gasoline, the price of electricity can vary not only by location, but the time of day it is used. Utilities typically have two types of rate plans – level-of-use and time-of-use. With level-of-use, the price rises with the amount of electricity used. Here, the last kilowatt used in a month could cost more than the first one, which would most likely be the case for electric vehicle owners. With time-of-use, utilities divide a day into peak, off-peak, and sometimes a mid-peak period. Some utilities have as many as six time-of-use periods. In any case, electricity is most expensive during peak usage times, usually in the morning, late afternoon, and early evening. Others offer a lower rate for EV charging than the rest of a home’s electrical service, but the savings may not amortize out considering the fee charged for installing a separate meter. Additionally, many offer the option of a special EV rate plan that can make the cost of charging an electric vehicle more financially favorable.

You can charge an EV or PHEV using Level 1 household 110 volt current using a portable charger often provided with a plug-in model, with the charger powered via a standard wall outlet. Typically, electricity is supplied at a 1.4 kW rate. This is workable for topping off batteries after limited daytime driving where little battery power was used, but the time required for charging a fully depleted battery can be considerable. For example, to charge a Chevy Bolt’s 66 kWh battery to 80 percent state of charge (SOC) with Level 1 charging would take about 38 hours…far too long for most drivers. This time is reduced to about 7 hours with a Level 2 charger at 240 volts and a 7.2 kW charging rate. Level 2 charging is recommended for any vehicle with a battery capacity larger than 10 kWh.

While the latest generation EVs and some PHEVs have the capability to fast-charge to 80 percent SOC in a half-hour or less at a Level 3 and above charging rate, Level 3 charging is not available for homes since this requires 480 volt electrical service. In all cases it’s important to avoid discharging EV batteries to near-zero percent SOC to avoid diminishing battery longevity.

Charging at home at a more convenient Level 2 rate requires special Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE). These wall or portable chargers cost between $200 to $1000, with wall chargers also requiring installation that can run from $800 to $1300. Most automakers offering EVs and PHEVs have a recommended EVSE provider, but there are many companies selling EVSEs.

In penciling out the financial benefit of a plug-in vehicle, your number crunching should include the cost of the EVSE. For example, if an EVSE costs $1500 installed and you plan to drive an EV 75,000 miles over a five year period, the EVSE’s amortized cost will be 2 cents per mile. Since most people will likely drive their EV for many more years, amortized EVSE cost could be much lower.

While the overall cost of driving electric can vary widely depending on vehicle purchase or lease cost, electricity rates, EVSE and installation cost, and the length of time an EV is driven, as a general rule owning and operating an EV will be less than that of an equivalent gasoline vehicle.

These days, Henrik Fisker bringing to bear insights and lessons learned from his first effort at Fisker Automotive to his new company, Fisker Inc, with what looks like another groundbreaking vehicle – the Fisker Ocean. Most recently, the company has made moves to bolster the funding of its new electric vehicle launch with a $2.9 billion reverse merger with Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp. a move that’s taking Fisker public. Plus, there’s reportedly a deal in the works with VW to use that automaker’s MEB platform for Fisker’s new electric vehicle.

Fisker’s all-electric, five seat SUV is slated to begin manufacturing late in 2022 and feature several versions with two- or four-wheel-drive. The quickest variant will feature a 302 horsepower electric motor that will accelerate the Ocean from 0 to 60 mph in under 3 seconds, with power from an 80 kWh battery said to provide a range of 300 miles. A Combined Charging System (CCS) Type 2 Combo plug offers a 150 kW charging capability that Fisker says will allow the battery to be fast-charged to provide 200 miles of range in 30 minutes.

A state-of-the-art heads-up display integrated into the windshield is complemented by a 16-inch center touchscreen and a 9.8-inch cluster screen. Karaoke mode displays lyrics for your favorite song in the windshield so you can keep eyes on the road. A full-length solar roof provides electric energy. One-touch ‘California Mode’ simultaneously opens all side windows, rear hatch glass, and the solar roof to create an instant open-air feeling. This feature allows the rear hatch glass to roll down to handle carrying long items.

Over time Fisker has brought in some significant talent to help get the job done. One of these moves is bringing in Burkhard Huhnke, former vice president of e-mobility for Volkswagen America, as chief technology officer to lead Fisker’s R&D activities in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley. Another member of Fisker’s executive team is senior vice president of Engineering Martin Welch, formerly with McLaren cars and Aston Martin.

Fisker says the Ocean will start at $37,449 and will be leased for $379 per month, allowing an impressive 30,000 miles per year with maintenance and service included. The company is currently accepting $250 deposits.

There are challenges ahead even as electric pickups are poised to enter a potentially enthusiastic market. Those challenges could mean a more gradual market trajectory than that of electric sedans and SUVs, which have already taken quite some time to gather momentum. For example, cars and SUVs used for commuting or running errands are typically driven less than 40 miles daily, with occasional trips of several hundred miles with passengers. That’s a reasonable and flexible duty cycle for electric passenger vehicles. It’s different for trucks.

With the exception of work trucks in urban areas, pickups in many rural areas travel hundreds of miles every day without refueling. That’s not an issue for conventionally powered pickups with their considerable driving range. It could be for coming electric pickups since their battery range is about half that of most full-size gas pickups. When conventional pickups do need to refuel, it takes but a few minutes to fill up with gasoline compared with the hours required for electrics. Realistically, it's difficult to see electric pickups meeting the duty cycles of work trucks like these until fast charging becomes widespread, especially in rural areas.

Towing presents additional food for thought. It’s well-known that fuel economy, and thus range, is reduced when conventional vehicles tow trailers, boats, or any load. Range is impacted more dramatically in electric vehicles, a fact that could make electric pickups less desirable for towing a boat or heavy load any significant distance since charging would likely be required every couple hundred miles. Illustrating the challenge is that towing a 5000 pound trailer with a Tesla Model X or Audi e-tron has been shown to result in a range reduction of up to 40 percent. Increasing range by adding batteries in an electric pickup may bring longer range, but it also means reducing payload and towing capacity pound for pound.

Looking at the demographics of pickup owners and comparing this with available charging stations presents a stark reality. The 13 states where pickups represent 25 percent or more of new vehicle sales have about 2600 public charging stations, less than 10 percent of all public charging stations in the country. That’s quite a disconnect. These are typically large states where long distance travel is the rule. This underscores the importance of charging opportunities and the formidable challenges electric pickups may face in areas where charging infrastructure is behind the curve.

Another challenge is maintenance. Even though electric pickups require significantly less maintenance than their gasoline or diesel counterparts, there are times when EV-specific service will be required. While the usual tire, brake, and fluid maintenance can be performed by mainstream service providers, electric pickup manufacturers must provide for other potential servicing involving an electric drivetrain, on-board electronics, and the many other controls and systems unique to an electric vehicle. That’s not a significant issue for legacy automakers like Ford and GM that have a widespread dealer sales and service network, even in sparsely populated states. Service personnel at dealerships can be trained in EV-specific work. Fledgling and start-up electric pickup companies will certainly be at a disadvantage here.

Will electric pickups succeed? Time will tell. Plus, we’ll have to see how some wishful launch schedules align with reality since COVID-19 has caused auto manufacturing delays and shutdowns. Plus, with today’s extraordinarily low gas prices, the value equation for electrics of any kind is skewed, at least for the present time. That doesn’t mean there won’t be demand for electric pickups…just that expectations for timing and market penetration should be tempered.

The iconic, box-like Kia Soul gets a redesign for 2020, sporting styling changes that include a more aggressive front end with horizontal strips containing daytime running lights. Headlamps are integrated in the bumper while taillights now practically encircle the rear window. The third-generation model rides on a 1.2-inch-longer wheelbase and is 2.2 inches longer, and while this really doesn’t translate into additional usable space, the doors do open a little wider and the rear hatch is a bit larger. Folding down the back seats expands cargo capacity from 24 cubic feet to 62 cubic feet.

Soul is available in base LX, X-Line, S, EX, GT-Line, and GT-Line 16T trim levels plus the all-electric EV. LED projector headlights are standard on the both GT-Lines and are optional on the EX. The X-Line gets tougher-looking bumpers and plastic fender flares. GT-Line has a center exhaust, monochromatic bodywork, and a sportier suspension tune. The GT-Line 16T also gets wider tires on 18-inch alloy wheels and larger front brakes.

Except for the GT-Line 1.6T and EV, all Soul variants are powered by an Atkinson-cycle, 2.0-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine producing 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft torque. The GT-Line 1.6T features a turbocharged 1.6-liter DOHC four-cylinder boasting 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft torque. All 2.0-liter engine cars except the base LX use a new continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The LX has a standard six-speed manual with the CVT optional. GT-Line 1.6T shifts through a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. All-wheel drive is not available on the Soul. EPA estimated fuel economy numbers are 29 city/35 highway for the 2.0-liter engine with CVT and 27 city/33 highway mpg for the 1.6T.

Forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, driver attention warning, blind spot collision warning, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist, lane change assist, smart cruise control, and a head-up display are available as standard or optional equipment, but not on an all trims. A 7.0-inch color touchscreen is standard with a new 10.3-inch widescreen unit available. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all trims. The controls on the steering wheel almost rival those on a F1 race car.

Making the 2020 Soul EV more competitive in the electric vehicle space is a driving range more than double that of its predecessor, with the distance traveled between charges EPA rated at 243 miles. This dramatic increase from the EV’s earlier 111-mile range is made possible with a new 64 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with DC fast-charge capability, quite a step up from the previous 30 kWh pack. A single-speed transmission delivers electric power to a 201 horsepower, 291 lb-ft torque permanent-magnet AC motor driving the front wheels. With max torque available from 0 to 3600 rpm, it’s not hard to squeal the tires. This same drivetrain is used in the Kia Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV. The 2020 Kia Soul model has four drive modes including Eco, Eco+, Normal, and Sport. EPA rates the Soul EV’s efficiency at a combined 114 MPGe.

Soul EV is differentiated from its internal combustion cousins by a painted plastic insert in place of a front grille, a lower set of LED lights, and restyled fascias at both ends. The Soul EV gets its own version of Kia's UVO infotainment system and a 10.3-inch touchscreen. It includes information on charging and battery status, charging station updates, and scheduled charging functions. Drivers have the ability to remotely plan a trip and send the information, including waypoints, to the car's navigation system.

The gas-powered 2020 Soul’s base price starts at $17,490 for the LX and tops out at $27,490 for the GT-Line 16T Turbo. Available in late 2019, the new Soul EV will be offered in California EV compliant states at a price to be determined.

Jaguar’s first electric vehicle, the I-PACE offers a pleasing and aggressive design, luxury appointments, and exceptional driving characteristics. Part of Jaguar’s PACE family of vehicles along with the gasoline-powered E-PACE and F-PACE, the electric I-PACE blazes its own trails with great acceleration and handling on purely battery power, something it proved time after time in Green Car Journal’s drives on interstates, in the city, and on twisty canyon roads.

The I-PACE is is available in three trim levels, S, SE and HSE, starting at $69,500. Besides being Jaguar Land Rover’s first all-electric vehicle, it is also the first one that can receive over-the-air system software updates as new capabilities become available.

I-PACE is powered by two identical 197 horsepower electric motors that produce a total of 394 horsepower and 512 lb-ft torque. One motor drives the front wheels while the other powers the rear, resulting in all-wheel-drive. It can also operate on a single motor for more efficient two-wheel drive motoring when appropriate. Acceleration from 0-to-60 mph is a claimed 4.5 seconds, a performance characteristic we enjoyed throughout our drives.

This Jaguar electric SUV is essentially equal to its all-electric competitors when it comes to range between charges at 234 miles. Electrical energy is stored in a 90 kilowatt-hour, underfloor battery pack consisting of 432 high-energy density lithium-ion pouch cells. The battery pack's location provides a low center of gravity that enhances driving dynamics.

The I-PACE has an aluminum body like other current Jaguar Land Rover vehicles. In this case the underfloor battery pack housing is used as a structural component, which provides I-PACE the greatest torsional stiffness of any model in Jaguar Land Rover’s lineup. The battery pack can be charged to 80 percent capacity in 40 minutes from a 100 kW source or in 85 minutes with a 50 kW charger.

Because there is no engine up front, the base of the windshield has been moved forward compared to the E-PACE and F-PACE to provide more interior space. Thus, while being similar in dimensions to its conventionally-powered siblings, it has a roomier interior. While a battery electric vehicle, it retains the appearance of an internal combustion model. For instance, there’s a radiator behind the front grille for the battery's liquid-coolant system. The grille also directs airflow through the hood scoop to reduce drag, and active vanes in the grille and front bumper can close to further improve aerodynamics when battery cooling and the climate-control system aren’t needed. Other aerodynamic features include powered hideaway door handles. Air springs are standard and can lower the car by as much as 0.4 inches at highway speeds to further reduce drag.

Torque Vectoring by Braking gives the I-PACE sports car-like agility. Controlled independent braking on the individual inside front and rear wheels adds to the turning forces acting on the car. Under most conditions, more braking pressure is applied to the rear inside wheel as this best supports increased cornering capability, while the front inside wheel is braked for greater effectiveness and refinement. Adaptive Surface Response constantly monitors the car's driving environment and adjusts appropriate motor and brake settings.

The I-PACE offers a wide array of driver assist  and connectivity features that vary with trim level. The Park Package includes Park Assist, 360-degree Parking Aid, and Rear Traffic Monitor. A Drive Package provides Blind Spot Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, and High-Speed Emergency Braking. Connectivity features include Remote, Navigation Pro, Connect Pro, 4G Wi-Fi Hotspot), and Stolen Vehicle Locator.


Jaguar Land Rover plans to offer an optional electrified powertrain for every one of its models by 2020. The Range Rover P400e, along with the Range Rover Sport P400e, represent the brand's first plug-in electric hybrids. Most significant about the Range Rover P400e is that it’s the first hybrid 4WD vehicle from any automaker that can drive off-road solely on battery power in almost complete silence, and without any emissions. To accomplish this the P400e uses a 144 horsepower electric motor and dual clutches inside the automatic transmission, and an eight-speed ZF transmission with steering wheel paddles for manual control.

The gasoline engine in the P400e is Land Rover’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 296 horsepower and 295 lb-ft torque. Combined engine and electric output is 398 horsepower. Supplying power to the electric motor is a 13.1 kWh lithium-ion battery located beneath the rear floor, necessitating the floor to be raised about 1 1/2  inches. The P400e can run on electric power for about 31 miles at speeds up to 85 mph. Range is reduced substantially in electric off-road mode.

range-rover-p400e-rear-1The Range Rover received a mild makeover for 2019 with a longer hood, slimmer LED headlights, wider lower intakes, and black grille accents. Side accents and graphics were also revised, taillights are new, and a restyled rear bumper now integrates boxy exhaust exits. Only a small P400e badge on the tailgate indicates that electrification is at work beneath the skin. Its charge port is hidden behind a flap at the left of the grille.  Illuminated strips on either side of the charge port allow a quick check of the battery's charge status.

Air suspension can raise ground clearance up to three inches and the PHEVs can ford 35.4 inches of water like other Range Rovers. With Low Traction Launch software, it can handle slippery surfaces like wet grass, loose gravel, and snow.  On ideal surfaces, Land Rover is claiming a 0-60-mph time of 6.4 seconds with a top speed of 137 mph, impressive for vehicles weighing over 2 1/2 tons.

Range Rover’s Touch Pro Duo infotainment system has two 10.0-inch HD displays stacked on top of one another in the center console. The top one is primarily for navigation functions, while the lower screen controls infotainment, car settings, climate control, and other features. An Interactive Driver Display indicates driving efficiency. In Control gives information about charging locations on the route traveled. In parallel hybrid mode, both engine and motor work together for optimum fuel economy and  minimum impact on the environment.

When a destination is entered into the navigation system, the P400e's electronic neural network factors in traffic conditions, gradients on the route, and whether driving is in rural or urban environments to deliver the most efficient combination of power modes. Save mode ensures the battery will have enough charge to allow the P400e to operate in pure EV mode in urban areas.

hyundai-kona-electric-drivinng-1Hyundai’s 2019 Kona joins a growing list of long-range EVs aiming to entice new car buyers to go electric. The Kona Electric subcompact crossover looks like its conventionally-powered counterpart save for its closed front grille, silver side sills, unique 17-inch alloy wheels, and appropriate badging. It is available in three trim levels – SEL, Limited, and Ultimate.  Like the gasoline Kona, the Kona Electric is available with a two-tone roof if the sunroof is not ordered.

Power is provided by a 201-horsepower electric motor driving the front wheels, energized by a 64-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery that enables an estimated 250-mile range. It can be recharged from a depleted state in about 54 minutes via a fast 100 kW Combined Charging System (CCS), or in 75 minutes with the more common 50 kW CCS. Charging with a 240-volt Level 2 charger takes about 10 hours. An EPA estimated 117 MPGe is expected. The Kona Electric accelerates from 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 104 mph.

hyundai-kona-electric-cabinA 7-inch TFT screen instrument cluster shows the speedometer, battery charge level, energy flow, and driving mode. There’s also a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen system that offers HD and satellite radio as well as BlueLink data connectivity. The system is also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Navigation with an 8-inch screen is optional. BlueLink app-based remote charge management and charge scheduling is fitted. Other available features include a flip-up head-up display and wireless inductive charging for personal electronics.

hyundai-kona-electric-displayPush button shift-by-wire controls are located on the center console. Adjustable regenerative braking is controlled by steering wheel paddles. Electrically-assisted power steering has been tweaked to accommodate the enhanced low-speed performance of an electric vehicle.

A host of driver assist features are provided depending on the trim level. All trim levels get Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Rear Cross-traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear View Monitor, and  Smart Cruise Control. The Ultimate trim level adds Parking Distance Warning for reverse, Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go, and a head-up display.

The Kona Electric will initially be sold only in California. It will eventually be available in states that have adopted the California ZEV mandate.

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2018 Nissan LEAF makes North American debut

Amid all the hype and hope for electric vehicles, there are many assumptions being made by those who believe electrics will dominate the worldwide automotive landscape in future years. How much is this based in reality? No doubt, consumer acceptance will vary depending on specific markets. According to a recent study, Future of Electric Vehicles in Southeast Asia, up to one in three Southeast Asian drivers in the market for a new car would be open to buying an EV. Commissioned by Nissan and conducted by Frost & Sullivan, the study is said to illustrate the very strong propensity for electric vehicles in the region.

The research focused on Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Among its findings are that 37% of prospective buyers would be willing to consider an EV as their next car. Of these, the study points to consumers in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand as the most inclined to do so.

2018 Nissan LEAF makes North American debutInterestingly, two out of three surveyed said that safety was most important to them, followed by charging convenience. Cost was not identified as a factor in their decision making, and in fact many of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay more for an electric vehicle. Green Car Journal editors note that early electric vehicle studies in the U.S. at times came up with the same conclusion that buyers would be willing to pay more for an electric vehicle, but that has not materialized. In fact, subsidies are often a prime motivator in prompting an EV purchase or lease.

While a higher price wasn’t identified as an obstacle to EV sales, that doesn’t mean lower cost wouldn’t be a motivator. In the study, three in four respondents said they would consider an electric vehicle if taxes were waived, and other incentives would also sway consumer decisions to go electric including free parking, the ability for solo EV drivers to use priority lanes, and installing charging stations at apartment buildings.

2018 Nissan LEAF makes North American debut"Leapfrogging in electrification of mobility requires strong collaboration between public and private parties and a long-term approach tailored to each market's unique situation," points out Yutaka Sanada, regional senior vice president at Nissan. "Consumers in Southeast Asia have indicated that governments have a critical role to play in the promotion of electric vehicles."

Nissan has announced that its Nissan LEAF electric car will go on sale in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand during the next fiscal year.

battery-recyclingSo what to do with old electric vehicle batteries? Here’s one approach: Toyota and Chubu Electric Power Co. will be constructing a large-capacity storage battery system that reuses recycled batteries from Toyota electric vehicles. This aims at addressing two key issues. It deals with ways to make use of aging EV batteries that have reached the end of their useful life for vehicle propulsion, while also enabling Chubu Electric to mitigate the effects of fluctuations in the utility’s energy supply-demand balance, a growing issue caused by the expanding use of renewable energy.

Initially, the focus will be on repurposing nickel-metal-hydride (Ni-MH) batteries since these have been used in large numbers of electric vehicles for nearly two decades. The focus will then expand to include lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries by 2030. Li-Ion batteries have generally powered the second generation of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in more recent years, and thus will not reach their end-of-use for electric propulsion for some time still.

suppress-voltage-fluctuationThe energy storage capabilities of EV batteries diminish over time and after continuous charging and discharging. Eventually they become insufficient for powering electric cars but can still store adequate energy for other purposes. Even with their diminished performance, combining them in large numbers makes them useful for utilities and their efforts to manage energy supply-demand.

Based on the results of their initial work, the plan is to provide power generation capacity of some 10,000 kW by 2020. In a related effort, Toyota and Chubu Electric will be exploring ways to ultimately recycle reused batteries by collecting and reusing their rare-earth metals. The automaker has explored battery recycling in the past including at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch field campus in Yellowstone National Park. Here, 208 used Toyota Camry Hybrid battery packs are used to store renewable electricity generated by solar panel arrays.

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Weltpremiere Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2018Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its all-new Sprinter van, the third-generation of this highly successful commercial vehicle that first came on the scene in 2006. Beyond the model’s updated styling are its many features that mark the Sprinter’s entry into an increasingly connected and environmentally-focused world. The new Sprinter is available for order now in the European market and will be launched there in June, with a gradual introduction into other markets to follow.

Perhaps the most interesting bit of news about the new Sprinter is the coming introduction of an electric variant next year, part of Mercedes-Benz’ efforts to introduce electrification in its commercial fleet. The eSprinter will follow in the footsteps of the eVito van that has been available for order since late last year. Deliveries of the eVito are set to begin during the second half of 2018. The eVito will be followed by the eSprinter in 2019. According to Mercedes, its electric commercial vans will offer operating costs similar to comparable diesel-powered models. Electric eSprinter and eVito models are primarily designed for commercial use in city centers.

sprinter-electric-hood-detailAn array of important optional driver assistance and safety systems are now available in new Sprinter vans that were only previous offered in Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles. Among these are the automaker’s Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Attention Assist, and the radar-based DISTRONIC distance control system, When Blind Spot Assist is ordered with the Sprinter’s automatic parking package, traffic and pedestrians crossing behind the van are recognized and autonomous braking will initiate if needed.

"Our new Sprinter is the first van of a new type – a fully connected integral system solution,” shares Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “We have made it even better with regard to its traditional strengths and have supplemented it with intelligent products and services. So, we are unlocking a new dimension in terms of efficiency, flexibility, connectivity, and profitability for our customers.”

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ron-cogan-capitol-hillCharging your electric vehicle used to be an easy thing, at least in many areas where electrification has long been promoted. Public chargers were installed in high-profile areas like shopping centers, parking garages, and at the workplace. For the longest time, it wasn’t unusual to see these chargers go unused for long periods of time. Green Car Journal editors experienced this first-hand for many years during our daily travels with plug-in test cars.

Often enough, ours was the only electric vehicle plugged in at a bank of four chargers at a local commercial center in our city. It was the same story in the parking garage downtown. But that’s changed, signifying both the positives and the challenges of a plug-in vehicle market that’s gathering momentum, and numbers. These days those chargers are often occupied when we pull up. Like most places, there simply don’t seem to be enough chargers to go around.

Many have heard about incidents at Tesla Supercharger sites, places where you can top off 80 percent of your battery charge in 30 minutes and then be on your way. The problem is, not everyone plugs in and then moves on. Superchargers, and chargers in general, are often located in areas where businesses are nearby so the experience is convenient and there’s something to do while charging. Tesla, in fact, has hinted that it’s taking this further and exploring Supercharger sites with food and amenities for those charging up their cars.

To be sure, not everyone stops for a 30 minute cup of coffee while charging. Shopping experiences in nearby stores can take much longer than that, and if all chargers are being used with others waiting to top off before continuing their journey, long waits are a problem. At times that leaves EV drivers frustrated with those who leave their car plugged in long after their needed charge is complete. The result? An interesting phenomenon in recent years called ‘charge rage.’

charging-at-two-chargersThis isn’t unique to Superchargers or to public charging sites. Workplaces can have similar experiences as employees in increasing numbers step up to battery electric and plug-in hybrids. They’re encouraged to do so not only to drive ‘greener,’ but also to benefit from shorter commutes in states that allow solo EV drivers in high occupancy vehicle (carpool) lanes. That privilege alone has spurred many commuters to go electric. Time isn’t just money. It’s also…time. Spending a half-hour less each way during the daily commute is worth more than money in many respects. And once the commute is done, it’s time to charge.

Most companies offering chargers have limited numbers and often site these in favorable parking areas close to the workplace, further encouraging employees to go electric. It’s good for a company’s image and it’s the right thing to do. That said, expecting employees to free up a charger after a few hours and move their car farther out in an expansive parking lot is asking a lot, human nature being what it is.

charging-bankConsider, too, charging sites at public parking garages adjacent to convention centers and other venues. Those who plug in while attending a conference of expo aren’t likely to return after an hour or two to unplug and move to another less convenient parking spot. With a limited number of charging spots available, other EV drivers counting on a range-extending charge aren’t likely to be pleased if all charging spots are taken.

Yes, there’s change afoot. Charging companies, automakers, utilities, and both state and local governments are striving to install an exponentially larger number of public chargers to alleviate the problem and keep pace with the growing number of plug-in vehicles on the road. But it hasn’t been fast enough…certainly not at a pace that’s keeping up with the larger number of electric vehicles on the road today.

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Drivers have long been promised perks like free public charging, access to carpool lanes with a single occupant in an electric vehicle, and favorable parking with charging available, all to encourage them to go step up to a battery electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. While not disappearing, these perks are getting harder to realize. And that’s not a good thing for the electric vehicles and the industry as a whole.

DRIVETHEARC EV fast charging corridor breaks ground in northernEVgo, which maintains the largest network of DC fast chargers in the U.S., reports it has experienced a significant increase in use by electric vehicle drivers over the past two years. In 2016, the company says its network of chargers delivered enough electricity to enable 22 million miles of battery electric driving, with that number increasing to 40 million miles in 2017. Some 1.1 million charging sessions occurred in 2017. EVgo points to the expanding number of EV models available to consumers and an overall increase in the number of electric vehicles on our highways as driving an increasing need for public fast charging.

The company’s fast-charge network now numbers over 1,000 in 66 markets across the country. Its DC fast chargers are typically located in major metro and retail areas to make charging convenient for plug-in drivers.

In addition, EVgo has collaborated with others to complete key charging networks in 2017 that serve the needs of EV drivers wishing longer-distance travel. This includes Northern California’s ‘DRIVEtheARC’ corridor that enables fast charging in the San Francisco Bay Area, Monterey Peninsula, Lake Tahoe, and Sacramento regions. Along with EVgo, the partnership includes the State of California’s Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, Nissan, Kanematsu, and Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

"Nissan is determined to widely spread EV use to help benefit the environment on global basis. The U.S. is among the top markets in the world for EV sales, and California represents a staggering 40 percent of all EV sales in the country, making the state the catalyst for furthering the adoption of EVs into the future," said Hitoshi Kawaguchi, Chief Sustainability Officer of Nissan Motor. "An adequate public charging network is one of the key factors for EV expansion. Northern California has a diverse geography but until now did not possess a true inter-city EV fast charging network. We are excited to implement this network and study EV use in Northern California so that we can apply the lessons we learn to future fast charging network projects around the world."