A few weeks ago I wrote about the sales of EV’s in Europe, and one thing stood out like a sore thumb; the success of the Renault Zoe. Now in its second generation, the Zoe is the number one selling EV in Europe with a 14.7% market share. However, when you look at the sales in Renault’s home country, France, the Zoe is simply killing the competition with a 70.1% market share. The little Renault has enjoyed an oversized market share of at least 50% ever since she was first launched in 2013. What makes the Zoe so special and what else can explain its mega success. By coincidence, I happened to be in France last month, so I stopped by a local Renault dealer to get some background on these sales numbers and to have a quick test drive in this number one selling EV.
Feature June 15
Feature May 12
“Charging is optional, thrilling is not.” it says on the BMW iPerformance website. A bold statement but one that is unfortunately true. The regenerative brakes charge the battery, so you don’t necessarily have to charge it, and the 330e is indeed a thrilling ride. However there are so many questions: Is the 330e still the Ultimate Driving Machine? Did BMW successfully bridge the gap between a sports sedan with an internal combustion engine and an electric vehicle? Can it drive like an EV in urban environments and still provide a thrilling drive on backroads while being somewhat frugal on gas? Is the BMW 330e the ultimate hybrid or an overpriced Prius on steroids?
Keep reading and find out our conclusion after putting this car through its paces. expand full story
Feature April 5
Last month I had the opportunity to travel to beautiful Durham, North Carolina on Hyundai’s dime to check out the new IONIQ EV and hybrids. The IONIQ, you’ll recall, is a 3 car strategy from Hyundai aimed at the high-efficiency vehicle market traditionally dominated by Toyota’s Prius line.
Though the Prius-beating 58 mpg and nifty new 12V battery replacement technology in the IONIQ Hybrid was impressive, it’s the IONIQ Electric we’re all here to talk about. I spent the bulk of my time driving the EV – and boy was I pleasantly surprised…
Feature February 27
TL;DR – The 2017 Prius Prime doesn’t deserve coverage on Electrek. While a significant improvement over its predecessor the Prius Plug-in, the Prime’s internal combustion engine continues to turn on unpredictably and it cannot function as a complete car without gasoline.
I’ve been a Toyota Prius owner for almost 8 years. I loved my 2008 Prius so much that I decided to step up my game and get a 2012 Prius Plug-in. I regret that now because we had also looked at the Chevy Volt but the rear seat room vs. the Volt’s 4 seat option won out.
The local Toyota dealership sold me on the Plug-in version of the Prius getting 12 miles of range before the ICE motor kicked in. For me, that would have taken care of my commute and my wife could have gotten to work, charged up and gotten home without ever using a drop of gasoline. For long trips we’d use the gasoline and still get the great 50+mpg mileage of a Prius. Perfect! I don’t need the 2012 Volt’s 43 miles of range. Except one thing: The Prius Plug-in doesn’t go 12 miles on electricity or, in my case, often even get out of the driveway on electricity…
And I found out this week that Toyota’s new Prius Prime, while certainly an improvement in many areas over the Plug-in it replaces, still doesn’t function like the EV it pretends to be… expand full story
Feature January 27
GM invited us to come to San Francisco for a new round of test drives of their new flagship all-electric vehicle: the Chevy Bolt EV. Note: The lovely folks at Chevy paid for our travel, hotel and fed us quite nicely. You can find significant discounts on the Chevy Bolt here.
I had mixed feelings when I first got inside the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV more than a year ago at CES 2016 and those mixed feelings persist today. My concerns aren’t about the engineering, technology or even the implementation of the vehicle. The Bolt is unequivocally the best $30,000 EV you can buy today (in some states + Canada) and for my money, the best car of any kind on the roads right now at its price point. GM/Chevrolet deserve a mountain of praise for delivering the first affordable EV with more range than anyone could hope to use on a daily basis.
But there are still some concerns…
Feature December 16, 2016
That was quick. Last week, CEO Elon Musk warned that Tesla will “take action” against Tesla owners leaving their vehicles at Supercharger stations after charging is over. He said: “Supercharger spots are meant for charging, not parking”.
Today the company took action and introduced a new $0.40 per minute idle fee for the entire Supercharger network. expand full story
Feature October 17, 2016
Around this time last year, Audi unveiled the quattro e-tron and Porsche unveiled the Mission E. The automotive press was quick to dubbed the vehicles ‘Tesla Killers’ seemingly only based on the fact that they are all-electric luxury vehicles that would theoretically compete against the Tesla Model X in the case of the quattro, and against the Model S in the case of the Mission E.
Now a year later, Mercedes unveils its ‘Generation EQ’, an all-electric SUV, and several other EVs are on the map, and again the media jumped back on the ‘Tesla Killer’ train. Business Insider seems particularly fond of the term, but they are far from the only culprit.
It wasn’t true last year and it’s still not true today. expand full story
Feature October 10, 2016
It’s arguable, of course, but third-party tests have shown Tesla Autopilot outperforming other semi-autonomous or advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) from Mercedes, Hyundai and Cadillac by a wide margin. That, and the fact that Tesla is gaining more real world data in its vehicles than anyone else would seem to indicate Tesla is a leader in the field, if not the leader.
Now we learn that Tesla could be about to significantly increase its lead with ‘Tesla Vision’. Electrek has learned more details about the new program, which is an end-to-end computer vision system built with NVIDIA’s CUDA, a parallel computing platform by the graphics processing unit (GPU) maker. expand full story
Feature October 6, 2016
After my initial pickup/intro of the Kia Soul EV, I’ve spent the last week driving the vehicle as my daily driver. I normally drive a 2012 Prius Plug-in or a 2013 Tesla Model S so I know my way around EVs but this was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to really dig deep into both a Kia branded vehicle and a 100-mile range Chademo electric vehicle. I’ll spoil it a little saying that I was pleasantly surprised …
Feature September 28, 2016
It has been a few months since our last in depth EV review with the 2016 Chevy Volt so we’re excited to jump into another in-depth review: The 2016 Kia Soul EV.
I got the Soul EV yesterday driven from New Jersey about 52 miles away. With most other sub-100 mile commuter EVs this would mean it was pretty much useless to me upon delivery before charging. But the Kia Soul has a 115 mile city range (93 on the highway), the biggest non-Tesla range currently available in the US, so I had about 60 miles to play with.
That’s great because my first test, the nearest CHAdeMO station, is around 20 miles from my house, and I want to make sure I can get back if this is a failed mission…