Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Which Electric Car Is Right for You?


Electric vehicles have reached another milestone—in Norway. According to the Norwegian Road Traffic Information office, one-third of the 147,929 new cars sold in Norway last year ran on batteries, with Nissan’s humble Leaf (rather than the beleaguered, if stylish, Tesla Model S) the most popular all-electric in that market. Sales of electric vehicles in the country rose 40 percent in 2018 from a year earlier, according to the report


So if you find yourself wanting to hop behind the wheel of a full electric or hybrid—while still enjoying a luxurious ride—here’s a guide to what we think are the best of these vehicles on the market now or in the near future. 

Need Something Sporty, Small, and Personalized?

The Car: Polestar 1
Stats: The slick, $155,000 hybrid two-door coupe has electric motors and a four-cylinder combustion engine that will produce 600 horsepower and 1,000 Nm (738 pound-feet) of torque. The range will be 150 kilometers (93.2 miles) under electric-only power; the charging time has yet to be announced. 
Where it Excels: With time-tested Swedish engineering and power sent to each of the rear wheels, the Polestar 1 has all the components needed—in theory—to drive like a real sports car. (Remember, so far this remains in concept form.) That, along with its hybrid drivetrain, which eliminates range anxiety, is going to be a big reason for this new brand to pull buyers from Porsche, Tesla, and Audi. Plus, because each Polestar car can be configured and personalized to a high degree using the brand’s novel subscription system, it will appeal to young, affluent buyers accustomed to purchasing items that reflect their personality and style.
Notes:  Polestar is the performance luxury brand of Volvo Cars, owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. While the cars aren’t available yet—production will start in mid-2019 in Chengdu, China, with deliveries beginning in early 2020—they will be “sold” via an all-inclusive subscription model that combines automotive costs such as insurance and maintenance in a single monthly payment, unlike Tesla, which sells cars outright. Polestar North America will open its first Apple store-like retail space in New York. 
The Car: Ferrari LaFerrari  
Stats: The hybrid LaFerrari has a V-12 engine and an electric motor that combine for a total output of 960 hp. It can reach 124 mph in less than 7 seconds (zero to 62 in less than 3 seconds). It has a top speed of 220 mph. (Ferrari doesn’t release electric-only range for this supercar, but all reports say it’s extremely limited.)
Where it Excels: The LaFerrari is good at getting attention. It’s good at making jaws drop from sports car and exotic car aficionados. It’s good for a weekend drive to the local cars & coffee meetup and for showing up in for dinner on a Friday night. And it’s good for sitting in your garage and appreciating in value.
Notes: This is the first hybrid from Ferrari. With ultralimited production, futuristic looks, an iconic heritage, and insane performance, it’s a true collector’s piece. Will Ferrari ever make something 100 percent electric? Maybe. In the meantime, the LaFerrari is more than enough.  
The Car: Jaguar I-Pace 
Stats: The $69,500 electric SUV has all-wheel drive and a total 394 hp and 512 pound-feet of torque. It can hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, about equal to much more expensive vehicles such as the Porsche Macan E-Hybrid and entry levels of the Tesla Model X. Top speed is 124 mph and it can travel 234 miles on a full charge. A typical 50-kilowatt DC rapid charger gets it from a zero to 80 percent charge in 85 minutes. 
Where it Excels: The I-Pace is good for sightseeing. It has a massive panoramic roof that affords those in the back seat spectacular views. And it’s good for driving around town doing errands (there’s lots of space in the trunk for groceries), picking up the kids from practice, or heading out to camp, bike, ski, or hike for the weekend. Does this sound a lot like what the Taycan does? Yes, but with more room in the back. 

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