Within the next five years or so, we're going to see a whole slew of new electric vehicles-Volkswagen alone says that by 2022 it'll have 27 models based on its new MEB electric platform. Rivian pledges to have its electric pickup and SUV on the road in 2020. But for 2019, EV offerings in the U.S. will continue to grow slowly, as manufacturers ramp up their programs and play catch-up to Tesla and Jaguar at the high end and Chevy and Nissan on the affordable side. But there are still some interesting electric cars in the pipeline, so let's take a look.
Hyundai Kona Electric
The Kona embraces the wisdom that continues to evade Chevy with the Bolt: add some fender flares and plastic cladding and buyers will hallucinate an SUV when plainly they're looking at a hatchback. And if people are buying small crossovers anyway (they are), then there's an excellent chance they'll consider this electrified version, which promises 258 miles of overall range (and 125 miles of range in 30 minutes of quick charging). The Kona won't dust a Model 3, but its 201-hp motor enables a sprightly 7.6-second 0-60 time. Hyundai hasn't announced pricing, but expect it to be in line with the Bolt, which is to say it'll land in the low $30,000 range after the $7,500 federal tax credit.
With more than 600 hp and and 0-60 in less than 3.5 seconds, the Taycan is Porsche's four-door riposte to the Tesla Model S. Its 800-volt DC fast charging system is called, naturally, Porsche Turbo Charging, and adds 60 miles of range in four minutes (Porsche is building a charger network and plans to have 500 stations open by the time the Taycan arrives later this year). While the car is still in its final development stages, Porsche will happily direct you to a dealer willing to take some money right now.
Nissan Leaf e+
This spring, Nissan dealers will have a Leaf that's in the same competitive set as the Bolt and Kona in terms of both range and power. The e+ motor is upsized from 147 hp to 215 (with 250 lb-ft of torque), while the 62 kWh battery delivers 226 miles of range, rendering the Leaf both more fun and more versatile. Also of note, every Leaf is being built with the capability for two-way power flow through the charger, meaning that your car could act as a generator for your house. They're still ironing out the hardware on the home-charger side, but the car is ready.
While the Jaguar i-Pace goes for the cab-forward futuristic look and the Tesla Model X is an ovoid falcon-doored egg, the Audi e-Tron is an upscale electric SUV for people who don't necessarily want any attention. The $75,795 e-Tron looks a lot like a Q5 and performs like one too, with 0-60 in 5.5 seconds and a 4,000-pound tow rating. It'll also be capable of 150-kW fast charging at Electrify America's network of fast chargers (500 of which should be open by July), delivering an 80 percent charge in 30 minutes. Audi hasn't yet certified the e-Tron's range, but with a 95 kWh battery, you could expect around 300 miles. The car comes with 1,000 kWh of free charging at Electrify America, which sounds generous but would likely equate to less than 3,000 miles of driving-or, in gasoline terms, maybe $400 worth of regular. Deliveries start in the second quarter of this year, and yes, they will accept a $1,000 deposit.
The $35,000 Tesla
Tesla's sold a lot of Model 3s, but so far none of them have been the trim that generated the bulk of the initial hype-the basic, small-battery, $35,000 rear-wheel-drive model. It's become conventional wisdom that Tesla will never actually produce such a car, but we're optimists. After all, the mid-range model starts at $44,000, which nets you a $40,250 car after the now-reduced tax credit. So who knows? Knowing Tesla, they might roll out the Model 3 F.U., which will cost $35,000 but include only one seat and roll on four space-saver spares. Or they could do what they've done with every other car, which is deliver on their promise but not on the initial timeline. Or maybe they'll just keep on saying that the $35,000 Model 3 is on its way in four to six months, so sit tight. The good news is, there is a $35,000 Tesla available to anyone who wants one. It's called a used Model S.
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