Electric cars (EVs) account for 5.8% of new car sales in the US, but they’re a fast-growing segment. With the promise of a zero-emission future, automakers are betting on EVs to reshape the way we drive. EVs come in a wide range of price points, but all have a few things in common: a battery that delivers energy to the wheels and an electric motor that generates power. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but they’re all a great way to go green.
The Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf is one of the most popular EVs in the world, with half a million models sold in 2022. It’s a stylish, compact sedan with strong performance and an enviable driving range. With a whole new look, a proven track record (over two billion EV miles strong in the U.S. alone), and some of our most advanced driver assistance and safety features, the refreshed 2023 Nissan LEAF is driving proof – now is the time to go all electric.
Its high-efficiency drivetrain, combined with an affordable price, has helped it become a hugely successful product. It also prioritizes safety and provides several standard features that most drivers won’t find in other EVs. There are also several good choices if you want to get into an EV but don’t have a lot of money. The Chevrolet Bolt EV is an excellent choice, offering a low cost of ownership and free Level 2 charging installation at home.
EV Motor, Power, and Performance
Leafs are front-wheel drive cars. The standard Leaf S comes with a 147-horsepower electric motor and a 40.0-kWh battery pack—both dinky by today’s standards. Leaf SV Plus gets a gutsier, 214-hp electric motor and a larger 62.0-kWh battery. An S managed a 7.4-second zero-to-60-mph time at our test track, but it feels perkier than this number suggests thanks to the instantaneous power delivery of the electric motor. This result makes it slower than the Bolt EV and the Model 3, though. Upgrading to the more powerful Plus model will no doubt result in quicker acceleration, but we won’t be able to confirm that until we are able to test one.
The Leaf’s e-Pedal feature allows the driver to toggle back and forth between regenerative braking modes, one of which allows the car to coast when the driver lifts off the throttle and another that slows the car when you take your foot off the gas and uses that energy to recharge the battery.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
The Leaf can be plugged in to a regular 120-volt outlet or a 240-volt outlet, but the charging times vary dramatically between the two. On a 240-volt connection, Nissan says both the standard Leaf’s battery and the larger one in the Leaf Plus can be replenished in seven hours. A DC fast-charging connection is standard on all trims. The Leaf S comes with a 40.0-kWh battery that provides a relatively limited range of 149 miles.
This might be enough range for some drivers with short commutes but it’s less than half of what the Model 3’s
Long Range model provides. The SV Plus provides 215 miles of EPA-rated driving range thanks to its larger battery pack.
The fraternal twin to the Hyundai Ioniq 5–and winner of our 10Best Trucks and SUVs award–the 2023 Kia EV6 is sporty and fun to drive on the road. It’s available with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, a standard battery pack that offers 216 miles of driving range, and an extended-range option with 310 miles on the meter.
With a 576-horsepower, all-wheel-drive GT model on offer, the 2023 Kia EV6 can be driven to the limit for hot-shoe enthusiasts. As more and more people decide to get into the EV game, the challenge for automakers is to move quickly enough so that they don’t lose market share. This requires a much more aggressive push to develop EVs that meet strict emissions standards and meet consumers’ expectations.
This is especially true in China, where a government mandate is forcing automakers to move to all-electric vehicles by 2030. The European Union is also pushing for a similar change, which means that more automakers are developing all-electric models to comply with regulations and maintain their competitiveness in the new world of electrified transportation. Many of these EVs are also available with an enhanced self-driving system that can navigate complex roads without a driver. This costs about $6,000, but it’s a good investment for anyone who’s thinking of switching to an electric vehicle.
For more: businesstechtime.com
With a growing fleet of EVs, there will be less demand for fossil fuels and more demand for electricity to charge the batteries. That, in turn, will put greater strain on the electric grids. It will also lead to a greater need for raw materials, such as lithium, copper, nickel, cobalt, and manganese. As a result, the supply chains of these raw materials will need to be reshaped. It will take a lot of work to adapt the infrastructure
to accommodate the increased demand for EVs, and there’s a long list of challenges ahead that will have to be
overcome, including figuring out how to build charging networks that can handle all the traffic.