As I inched down I-95 outside Boston on a Friday afternoon — stop and go, brake lights and sudden acceleration — my attention was drawn to a Kia EV6 in the next lane. Sleek with clean lines, just spacious enough, able to zip in and out of traffic, the all-electric vehicle piqued my interest. I could see myself driving this car. With so many exciting new EVs like this model coming onto US roads, I thought that it might be fun to describe a list of appealing EV choices available for folks like me — such as this Kia and others.
Auto manufacturers are suddenly all public smiles and optimism about the future of EVs. What was once cynicism and backroom guffaws has become frenzied planning and pledges to become competitive. In fact, dozens of pure electric models are set to be ready for consumers by the end of 2024.
Fully electric vehicles already accounted for 5% of US auto sales in the second quarter of 2022. As with the last decade of gas powered vehicles, sales of electric SUVs and pickup trucks are the favorites. Several sedan models are getting high marks, too. The following is a list of models for regular folks like you and me — okay, and maybe our well-to-do cousins, too. Here goes.
The Kia EV6 has a slightly futuristic, sultry styling. With up to 310 miles of range, it offers a huge amount of trunk space, can accelerate from 0–60 mph in 4.6 seconds, and has a middle-of-the-road price starting at $41,400. With the option of a 54 kWh or 74 kWh battery pack, it’s been optimized for performance, and the 160kW front motor and a 270kW rear motor add in a bit of zip. There’s also a Drift Mode that unlocks increased capacity and performance, larger diameter disc brakes (15″ front / 14.2″ rear) with quad-piston front calipers, a stiffened chassis, quicker ratio steering, and electronically controlled suspension.
Cadillac Lyriq production is well underway. The first battery electric offering of the line, the Debut Edition comes with a single rear motor making 340 hp and 325 pound-feet of torque. Described as being similar in length and width of the Cadillac XT6 SUV, the Lyriq is 6 inches lower in height and rides on a wheelbase that’s 9 inches longer. The initial Lyriq is a 340 hp, rear-drive model with a 100-kilowatt-hour battery, a combination that provides an EPA rated 312 miles of range. Its cost is about $63,000. A friend — who was a rare person to successfully get an order into our southeast Florida area dealer — had expected to get delivery in June. He — and we — wait.
The Chevrolet Blazer EV, the all-electric midsize SUV, will be available in a performance boosting SS trim and is based on GM’s Ultium platform that underpins the automaker’s latest electric models. The model offers “eye-catching design, technology, and style to give you the confidence to cruise through the roads ahead regardless of where your journey takes you,” according to a company press release. Of its several trims, the sporty RS trim will have an estimated 320-mile range, and an SS will tout 557 hp and an estimated 290-mile range. Not one, but two large screens embrace the dash: an 11-inch instrument panel display and a 17.7-inch infotainment screen. The Blazer EV will range from $47,595 to $65,995.
Recently revealed to the public, the Chevrolet Equinox will enter the market as an economical EV option. With a starting price of around $30,000 on the 1LT, the company expects it to be the most affordable EV in its class. The front drive versions have 210 hp with 250 to 300 miles of range, and all wheel drive versions have 290 hp with 280 miles of range. The Chevrolet Equinox EV will use the Ultium Charge 360, GM’s holistic approach to EV charging, with information and access to 110,000 publicly available charging points in the US and Canada. Technology features include a large infotainment screen — including an available 17.7-inch-diagonal system — a strong suite of standard and available driver assistance technologies, and available Super Cruise hands free driver assistance technology for compatible roads.
I come from a long line of males who were/are loyal to the Dodge brand, so the recent Jeep® announcement that it will introduce 4 all-electric SUVs in North America caught my eye. With 50% passenger car and light-duty truck battery electric vehicles (BEV) sales mix in the US by end of 2030, the Jeep brand will certainly benefit from Stellantis’ more than $30 billion investment through 2025 in electrification and software development. As CNET reports,the Jeep Recon inherits the Wrangler’s large tires, long-travel suspension, departure and breakover angles, and the signature two-box silhouette. Drawing on the vibes of the Jeep Wrangler, the Jeep Recon is a rugged and fully electric 4×4 SUV with the high level of off-road capability and electronically locking axles.
We’re all anxiously awaiting deliveries of the Tesla Cybertruck. The all-electric pickup, with its angular styling and futuristic super-strong curved windows, will definitely be one of the most exciting EVs to come on the market. Its cold-rolled stainless steel exterior provides structural support and needs no painting. Tesla has over 3 years’ worth of Cybertruck orders, and nobody is really sure if the projected base price of around $40,000 will be anywhere close to real world costs. But battery ranges of 250, 350, and 500 miles and acceleration of 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, combined with the ability to tow 14,000 pounds, may soothe the slightly emptier wallets of interested buyers.
Final Thoughts about the Most Appealing New EVs
I’ve been driving a Tesla Model Y for nearly a year now, and I must admit that I wave at other Model Y drivers when I pass them on the road. It’s not quite the cult of Harley riders, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicted during the Q1 2021 earnings call that the Model Y would “quite likely” be the world’s best-selling car in the future. It seems his vision is close to becoming reality. In February, 2022, the all electric vehicle crossed the 500,000 sales mark. I feel that the car is an entity unto itself, incomparable outside the brand. As an Earth Day advocate, I answered questions at a festival in the spring about what it’s like to drive an EV in general and a Model Y specifically. I was proud, for sure, and continue to feel pleased when I see other Model Ys. When looking around at the exciting new EVs out on the road, it truly is one of the best.
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