Ironically, the very first electric car in modern history could go more than 200 miles on a charge, but today’s EV buyers are eagerly awaiting this benchmark as though facing a new frontier.
And for all intents and purposes, it really is. While the 2008 Tesla Roadster could travel so far and much farther when nursed, it cost more than triple today’s low-30s average new car price, but at last, the 200-mile EVs for the rest of us are coming.
Here is a rundown of production-pending all-electric cars with at least 200 miles range that we’re looking forward to:
2017 Chevrolet Bolt
General Motors developed this $37,500 “compact crossover” – a.k.a. nicely proportioned hatchback – in response to Tesla’s pending 200 mile EV proposed to cost $35,000.
Poised to give 200-plus miles – pending EPA certification – from its 60-kwh battery, the Bolt is to cost under $30,000 after federal tax credit and state incentives as available could drive it lower. Zero-to-60 mph time is around 7 seconds, seating is for five for the front-wheel drive car, and GM says the roomy car will sell in all 50 states with no limit known on unit volume availability.
The Bolt is due to begin production late this year and first examples could be in buyers’ hands late this year or early next.
ALSO SEE: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt Review – First Drive
2018 Tesla Model 3
It’s been promised for a few years now, and as the original goad to all others, Tesla’s 200-plus mile Model 3 is due to be revealed March 31. This is the third stage of Tesla’s plan leading toward introduction of mass-market EVs, and this is the first of those “volume” level cars, and is due to indeed start at $35,000.
It would be eligible for the $7,500 credit plus state incentives, but if it gets here as soon as late 2017 as Tesla projects, the company may have used up most or all of its 200,000 unit sales eligible for the federal credit, unless Congress extends the rule.
What one gets for $35,000 is also open to conjecture. The Model 3 is reportedly to be 20 percent smaller than a Model S, a sedan, and rear-wheel drive. It may likely be offered in upper level trims and nicer examples including AWD models.
ALSO SEE: This is What the Tesla Model 3 Could Look Like
2018 Nissan Leaf
Whether the second-generation Leaf will be a 2018 model as some believe, or a 2017 as others suggest, is unknown, but Nissan is on track for a 200-plus-mile range Leaf.
Nissan was first to market with a relatively affordable mass-market EV in December 2010. The Leaf started with 75 miles, rose in 2013 to 84, and this year as a stop-gap measure, its third generation 30-kwh battery is good for 107 under EPA rules.
Nissan has repeatedly said it has a fourth-generation battery waiting in the wings that could provide 200-plus real-world miles that would soon make “range anxiety” a non-issue, so why is it waiting?
2019 Audi Q6 Crossover
A 300-mile range competitor to Tesla’s Model X, Audi’s battery electric version of its Q6 crossover could be here by early 2018. The Q6 will also have plug-in hybrid and fuel cell versions, but the pure EV is one of many electrified cars the VW Group is developing.
Outright performance capability for the people-mover probably won’t be as quick as the most potent Tesla, but expect an opulently appointed upscale German experience with price tag to match.
2017 Audi R8 e-tron
Even more exclusive, the pending R8 e-tron boasts 456 horsepower, 679 pound-feet of torque, and Audi says it will hit 62 mph in just 3.9 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155 mph. Electric range is to be 280 miles with fast charge in just two hours, says Audi.
The company has also used this vehicle to demonstrate self-driving tech, which is due ultimately as a production option.
2018 Aston Martin RapidE
To be co-developed between Chinese consumer electronics giant LeEco and the storied maker of Bond cars, the RapidE is Aston’s first EV. The vehicle will offer around 800 horsepower, a 200-mile range, feature all-wheel drive, and is being positioned as a Tesla fighter – and then some. Price has been projected to come in between $200,000 and $250,000.
What does this mean for mainstream buyers? Probably not much except for a prestige factor imbued upon EVs, a spurring of others to follow, and a trickle down to cars regular people can afford.
2020 Porsche Mission E
Another elite car, Porsche may rename the car based upon its Mission E concept, but it is being developed for production by end of this decade. The sports sedan may be late to the EV party, but it is aiming for that moving target that is Tesla’s Model S.
In concept form, Porsche’s all-wheel-drive, four-wheel-steering EV serves up 600 horsepower, a zero-to-62-mph time of 3.5 seconds, 200 km/h in under 12 seconds, and Porsche says it can lap the Nurburgring in under 8 minutes. Range on the EU NEDC cycle is 310 miles, which is on par with Tesla’s EU number.
Seeking to top Tesla in other ways, the Porsche concept recharges its 800-volt drive system in just 15 minutes to 80-percent charge. Price is to be determined.
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