If you are looking to change your car, consider electric cars. Why? In the near future, vehicles that run on petroleum will cease to exist. As a response to the growing problem of global warming, many governments are “pressuring” automobile manufacturers to roll out a least one fully electric or plug-in hybrid car. Automobile manufacturers are quick to comply: most of them have already released their first electric vehicle, while some others have committed to launch one in the next few years. The future of electric cars is inevitable: India, Norway, and The Netherlands look to ban sales of new petroleum-powered cars, and Japanese car maker Toyota plans to stop selling gasoline-powered cars by 2050. Electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell cars are the future, Toyota says.
Why buy an electric cars or vehicle?
You probably would want to drive an electric vehicle too. A growing number of motorists are ditching the gas pumps in favor of charging stations (or home and workplace charging), and if you are not driving one of those electric cars, you are out of place. There is also your employer or government that is willing to help you purchase an electric vehicle of your choice. Buy a fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle and you are entitled to an employer subsidy, state rebate, and even a tax break. Combine all these financial incentives and you would be shocked to know that you could get one of those electric cars – for free.
Models you can buy today
Should you wait next year to buy an electric vehicle? Why not buy one today? A lot of new or upgraded electric cars are sure to hit the road in 2017, but the current year 2016 is the right year to own an electric vehicle. Here are a few battery-operated or plug-in hybrid car models that is currently shown in showrooms near you:
The fully electric Nissan Leaf holds the distinction of being the first ever electric car model designed for the mass market, the largest electric taxi fleet, and one of the best-selling electric cars in the world. The 2016 version of the Leaf, first introduced in 2010, has been repackaged with a handful of significant upgrades, most notably its battery pack. The upgraded version boasts a new 30kWh battery pack (8 cells per module) that delivers 155 miles of range on a single charge – a great improvement over the previous versions with 24kWh battery packs (4 cells per module) that can go 124 miles.
The updated Nissan Leaf also includes a greater passenger space, improved cargo room, upgraded digital connectivity, and additional charging options. The quiet, comfortable Leaf offers you a relaxed ride. This is one of the cheapest, most relaxing electric cars you can buy in 2016.
The BMW i3 looks small for a city car, but its range offering, futuristic design, and well-finished interior make it a great urban vehicle. The i3 boasts a contemporary look and a sporty edge, and offers a fun driving experience and optimum performance. Unfortunately, the BMW i3 is out of reach for budget-conscious motorists as it is one of the priciest electric cars in the market.
Carbon-fiber reinforced plastics (CERP) makes up the lightweight car’s internal structure and body, and hemp fibers form a design element of the BMW i3’s fantastic interior, thus making it a truly green machine. The liquid-cooled 33kWh lithium-ion battery pack can do between 120 miles and 195 miles on a single charge. With the range extender (a 32bhp two-cylinder petrol engine), the car can extend its range to 276 miles, which helps to extinguish your dead-battery anxiety. Like other electric cars, the BMW i3 comes digital connectivity and controls, including the standard sat-nav, hands-free Bluetooth, and access to email, music, and social media apps.
Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S gets a new look and extra cool tech. The 2016 version discards its black fascia, only to replace it with a flatter nose that features a small moustache grille, which you will also find on the Model X crossover SUV. The Model S is quite light for a large luxury sedan as its body structure is made almost entirely of aluminum, making it one of the lightest electric cars in the market.
The cabin boasts a minimalist design, classy but not as flashy or plushy like those of BMW, Porsche and other upmarket electric cars. The cheap plastics will tell the difference, but still are pretty good quality material. The interior exudes a futuristic feeling: the Tesla Model S quietly prepares itself for action when you get into the driver’s seat. Tech highlights include a huge 17-inch touchscreen interface sitting in the middle of the center console and autopilot software that can effectively drive the electric vehicle autonomously on the road. Of course, the Model S does not come complete without onboard Wi-Fi, parking sensors, reversing camera, and a secondary screen behind the steering wheel.
Like other electric cars, the Tesla Model S comes in different configurations. You would already be impressed with the Model S 70 that is equipped with a 70kWh battery pack and travels up to 248 miles at a top speed of 140 mph.
The Chevrolet Volt is one of the best selling plug-in hybrid electric cars in the world. If you are not ready to give up the gas but would like to try electric, then the Chevy Volt is the right drive for you. The 2016 version boasts a number of changes in aesthetics and design to appeal to the growing number of mainstream electric car buyers. The exterior is re-sculpted to give out a contemporary look as seen in the angular shape and the curvy rear. As expected with updated versions of electric cars, the Volt greatly improves with the interior, now boasting a futuristic design, improved ergonomics, and user-friendly technologies.
But even without a new look, the Chevrolet Volt will still impress buyers and enthusiasts of electric cars with its greater efficiency, better acceleration, and better all-electric range. The Volt can travel up to 53 miles on a single charge of its smaller, lighter lithium-ion battery pack. With output from its 1.4-liter gas-powered engine plus a full 8.9-gallon gas tank, the king of all plug-in hybrid electric cars can go up to 367 miles – for a total range of 420 miles.
Kia Soul EV
The first electric offering from a leading Korean car maker, the Kia Soul EV is one of the priciest electric cars in the market. The funky Soul is the electric counterpart of the gas-powered Soul and is one of the conventional gas-powered cars converted to electric powertrains.
The Soul EV makes as a great electric car choice for city commuters. It is desirable car not only for its quiet, comfortable drive, but also for its range potential, which is greater than most electric cars and perhaps second only to the Tesla Model S. This is attributed to its powerful lithium-polymer 27 kWh battery pack, which can power the Kia Soul EV to an EPA-estimated 93 miles. The Korean car maker claims the Soul EV can go up to 132 miles. Nevertheless, the 93-mile driving range is already a huge advantage over electric cars with lithium-ion battery packs.
Aside from its range offering, the Kia Soul EV comes with a spacious interior space and cargo area to compensate for its limited appeal. What’s more, it keeps the utility of its gas-powered twin. Standard equipment includes sat-nav, Bluetooth, a rear camera, keyless entry, heated leather seats and steering wheel, projector beam fog lights, power-folding mirrors, and DAB digital radio.
If you are not driving an electric car today, where will you be tomorrow? If you are not ready to buy one in the next few months, how ready will you be in the upcoming years of electric mobility? Don’t leave yourself out in the future of electric cars.