100% Electric refers to electric vehicles that don’t have any gasoline, diesel or otherwise powered engines on board. They are purely electric with an electric motor and a battery pack to power the electric motor.
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The BMW i3 is an urban electric car under development by BMW. It features a carbon fiber reinforced plastic body placed on top of a metal platform that contains all the batteries and drive components. The body is being built in Washington State and then being shipped to Germany for final assembly. The i3 electric vehicle is part of BMW’s Project i and is expected to go into mass production in 2013. Initial market launch in the US includes Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego and New York City plus the suburban areas of New Jersey and Connecticut.
Touted as the first of the ‘next generation’ of electric vehicles, the Chevrolet Volt is the first vehicle with a long-range, $30,000 price tag. Chevy is no doubt trying to compete with the Nissan Leaf version 2, as well as beat the Tesla Model E to market (which is supposed to arrive in 2017). Full details of a production version of the Chevy Bolt will likely be announced at the LA Auto Show this summer, or the Detroit Auto Show in 2016.
In October 2011, General Motors announced the production of the Chevy Spark EV with sales planned in Korea, select US markets including California and Oregon, and Canada. The production version was unveiled at the 2012 LA Auto Show and will be on sale in early 2013 for $32,500 MSRP. The Chevy Spark EV is the first all-electric vehicle by GM since the EV-1 was discontinued in 1999.
The Coda Electric Sedan is now available in California. First announced in 2009, the Coda Sedan has withstood CEO changes, negative reviews from major media outlets, and various price cuts and production delays. The Coda Sedan has been rated by the EPA as having an 88 mile range – the highest of any all electric sedan besides the still to be released Tesla Model S. With all available tax incentives, the Coda Sedan is available for under $30,000 in California.
Chrylser first unveiled the Fiat 500 Ellettra concept at the 2010 North American International Auto Show. Since then, Fiat has announced it will build an electric version of the 500 for the US Market. The production version of the Fiat 500e was unveiled at the November 2012 LA Auto Show, and deliveries are scheduled to being in July 2013 in California. The rollout will continue into other states with ZEV mandates. Fiat-Chrysler has no plans to offer the 500e in Europe.
The Ford Focus Electric is not like the Nissan Leaf that was built specifically as an electric vehicle. The Ford Focus Electric is just a normal Ford Focus with an electric motor and battery packs – which could mean sacrificing cabin space or trunk space for all of those batteries. Ford hasn’t released many details yet such as range, top speed, electric motor specs etc. Initial launch markets of Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and the New York metro area (NY/NJ).
The Honda Fit EV is a 100% electric version of Honda’s popular Fit 5-door compact car. The Honda Fit EV will be available in select markets in the summer of 2012 with 6 more areas being added in early 2013. The Honda Fit EV will first be available for lease only, but Honda does plan to offer them for sale, likely after they are more confident in their batteries and technology.
The Hyundai IONIQ is the first electric vehicle from Hyundai, but it actually comes in three flavors – a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and a 100% electric. The IONIQ Electric is currently the most efficient electric vehicle for sale in the USA!
The Hyundai Kona Electric is a small crossover SUV set to hit markets in the fall of 2019. In Europe, the Kona EV comes with 2 battery pack sizes, but only the larger pack will be available in the USA and likely Canada. The Chevy Bolt is currently the only competition for the Kona Electric in the small crossover fully-electric category.
The Infiniti LE is based on the Nissan Leaf platform. The LE concept was powered by a 100 kW electric motor, 20 kW larger than the motor in the Leaf. The LE is said to have a 24 kWh battery pack, just like the Leaf. The Infiniti LE will be the first production electric vehicle to have inductive wireless charging that allows the EV to be parked over a charge point located in the floor (or charged via the CHAdeMO quick charger as well).
The Kia Niro is a compact utility vehicle that comes in 3 flavors – hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and a full electric vehicle. Similar to the IONIQ, and sharing drivetrain components, the vehicle is the first EV from the automaker that will be sold worldwide.
The redesigned Kia Soul will be launching in early 2014 – later in the year, Kia will be releasing an all electric version called the Soul EV. With a ‘class leading range’ due to a high density lithium-ion battery pack, the Soul EV could be some real competition for the Nissan Leaf. Kia says it will offer it nationwide in the US, as well in other markets around the world making it unlikely to be simply a compliance EV.
Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is the first all electric vehicle by the automaker. Clearly set to battle the BMW i3 in the luxury electric vehicle segment, Mercedes has priced the B-Class $100 higher than the i3. Mercedes has been saying all along that the electric range will be in the ‘3 digit range’ which would make this EV a real challenger.
The Mitsubishi i-Miev has been available in Japan and some other countries since 2009. It has a proven track record that Mitsubishi hopes will give it an advantage in North America. The North American version of the Mitsubishi i-Miev is called the Mitsubishi i, and it doesn’t just have a new name. The Mitsubishi i has been widened and lengthened by a few inches to increase interior room.
The Nissan Leaf was the first mass-produced electric vehicle to be available in the USA. Over 6000 have been sold across the country, and Nissan is still expanding the areas that the Nissan Leaf is available in. In late 2011, the Nissan Leaf became available in parts of Canada as well now that the 2012 Nissan Leaf comes with a cold weather package. In late 2017, Nissan unveiled the updated and redesigned 2018 Nissan Leaf. It will come with 2 battery pack options 40 kWh, and 60 kWh, to give it a range to directly compete with the Chevy Bolt and the Tesla Model 3.
First introduced in 2006, the Smart Electric Drive is now heading into its third generation. Unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011, the new Smart Electric Drive will have an improved lithium-ion battery pack for a longer range, a more powerful electric motor for better acceleration and top speed, wider door sills, and fully automatic air conditioning. Deliveries of the Smart Electric Drive are scheduled to begin in the U.S. and Europe by the second quarter of 2013 and Smart plans to mass produce the electric car with availability in 30 markets worldwide.
The Rav4 EV combines a Tesla designed and produced battery and electric powertrain with Toyota’s most popular SUV model. The only all-electric SUV on the market, the Rav4 EV features the same amount of cargo space as the gas powered version. The EPA has rated the Rav4 EV as having a 103 mile all electric range. Charge time is approximately 6 hours. Toyota will produce 2,600 Rav4 EVs through 2014.
The Volkswagen e-Golf was first introduced as the Golf blue-e-motion concept in 2010. Finally ready for production, the 2015 e-Golf was unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. It will be the second all electric vehicle, following the 2014 Volkswagen e-Up! electric city car.
The VW e-UP! is the all electric version of the Up! City Car. First announced at the Geneva Motor Show almost 4 years ago, the first production e-Up! electric vehicles were delivered to customers in Germany. Sales in the UK are expected by the end of January 2014.