The latest in electric vehicles take center stage at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.
If there is one thing automakers know it’s that gas is on its way out. Peak oil may not be a thing, but global warming certainly is, and more and more people are taking matters into their own hands and tossing their old gas guzzler for a new, electric car.
At the Canadian International Auto Show, all the world’s major car manufacturers are sure to show off their latest cars to ditch gasoline in favor of clean battery packs. These are the best cars to get from point A to point B with zero emissions produced. Let’s check out these already here or soon to be available electric cars. You’ll be amazed at how car a battery can take you.
Kia Soul EV
Korean automaker Kia is set to release the all-electric Niro next year, but in the meantime, the carmaker has transformed their successful brand of urban hatchbacks into an all-electric chassis.
The latest version of the Soul EV has a maximum range of 111 miles, which isn’t much compared to cars like the Tesla Model S, but then again, the Kia Soul is but a fraction of the price for a Model S. The electric motor is rated at 109 hp, and with the somewhat limited range the Soul EV is perfect for silently puttering around the urban jungle.
General Motors’ response to the EV craze was initially the Volt, which is a four-door plug-in electric hybrid sedan that was introduced way back in 2010. The Volt’s little brother, the Bolt, is a subcompact hatchback that is both far cheaper than the Volt and makes use of the latest in battery technologies to give it a far larger range. It’s also only electric — no gasoline sullies this little car’s interior.
The Chevy Bolt has an electric motor that rates up to 200 hp, which sounds like a lot but remember the car’s batteries weigh it down to the point where it’s actually pretty hefty. 3,500 pounds, to be exact. Still, the car’s roomier than you’d think thanks to its all-electric drive, and with a range of 240 miles, it’s enough to meet the needs of most drivers.
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While most people wait for the Tesla Model 3s to be delivered, Hyundai has quietly produced an all-electric version of the Ioniq. The Ioniq was designed and built with the environment in mind, the chassis can be fitted with a hybrid motor, a plug-in electric hybrid motor, or an all-electric motor. The Ioniq is the first car in the world to be offered in three different styles of motor with none of them being fully gas-powered.
Unlike the tiny Bolt or the boxy Soul, the Ioniq doesn’t try to stick out from the crowd. The five-door hatchback design can pass off as any other car on the highway, and the only thing that gives it away is its utter silence while in motion. The Ioniq just went on sale in North America last year, and Hyundai hopes to continue their strong debut into 2018.
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Smart cars have always looked like overgrown toddler cars where the child puts their feet through the plastic body to push themselves around. Previous models came in either electric or three-cylinder gasoline models, but from 2017 onward Smart is going all electric all the time.
The fourth generation Smart ForTwo has a tiny 80 hp engine and a top speed of barely over 80 mph, which is roughly what you got in the gasoline-powered version. The range on this car is smallest of all at only 53 miles per charge (and that’s only if you drive conservatively). But then again, the Smart ForTwo has always been a tiny city roundabout and never intended to go on the highway.
You don’t need to wait for the Tesla Roadster to see an example of what a purely electric sports car will look like. The Blue Lightning is a custom-made, all-electric supercar made from the chassis of a Lotus Evola, the drivetrain of a Tesla Model S, and the battery from a Chevy Volt. Combined you have OnPoint Dyno’s electric sports car that they say should eventually have the same performance as a Porsche 911 GT3.
They’re not quite there yet. While the car is built and it can go for roughly 125 miles on a full battery, there is still a ton of software optimization to be done before the car can outperform a Porsche 911. But it’s here, and it certainly brings a level of sexiness to electric vehicles that people might find a bit lacking in other offerings.
With over 300,000 cars sold, the Nissan Leaf is the best-selling highway capable all-electric car in history. Nissan actually made an affordable car that people could buy and reap the benefits of government subsidies and never having to buy gas again, with only the slight bump to their monthly electric bills.
The 2018 version of the Leaf improves the car immensely, giving it a 150-mile range on a 147 horsepower electric motor. The 2019 version will improve that range again to 200 miles, and Nissan expects to continue offering better batteries with greater range year after year.
BMW has been pretty late to the whole electric party. The recent i-Series of cars, including the i3 and the i8, are steps in the right direction but they’re still just plug-in electric hybrids that need a gas engine to get anywhere further than the corner store.
Enter Mini, BMW’s British bought budget brand that sells subcompacts for a sensational price. Mini gave their Canadian debut at of the all-electric Mini concept, but production and sales are planned for the 2019 model year. Expect the final version of the Mini EV to tone down the futuristic getup and just have a front fascia without the usual mesh grille.