Originally considered an expensive and somewhat novel mode of transport, electric cars have now developed into a viable mode of transport for many people globally. This is especially true for people who live in cities and who only have to commute short distances every day. The cars listed below are some of the latest and most advanced electric-powered vehicles, which manage to combine low running costs and innovations, such as self-driving car technology, with remarkably increased range.
Tesla Model 3
Although it is markedly more expensive than competing petrol or diesel powered sedans of its type, the Tesla Model 3 is poised to be one of the car maker’s most affordable electric cars. Still, the Model 3 is a luxury car, well placed to compete with the likes of the Mercedes C-class and the BMW 3 Series. However, unlike these cars, the Tesla is fully electric powered and also comes with the added advantage of Tesla’s autonomous car technology. The vehicle boasts a range of 215 miles on a single charge.
The Mercedes EQ (EQ stands for Electric Intelligence – go figure!) is just one of the concept electric cars from the German automobile giant, with the car maker claiming that it has a range of 310 miles (approximately 500 kilometers). Similar to several other vehicles on this list, the car is an SUV, expected to cost about the same as a Mercedes GLC. It is targeted for launch in early 2018.
Faraday Future FF91
Whether the Faraday Future FF91 will ever see commercial production is still anyone’s guess, but if it does see the light of day, then it is guaranteed to be a groundbreaking vehicle. First off, it has – by some distance – the longest range of any current or projected electric cars at 434 miles as well as the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.39 seconds. With the amazing tech that the car promises, such as opening the doors through facial recognition, it is certainly one of the most anticipated autonomous vehicles of 2018.
This battery-powered variant of the highly-regarded F-Pace is the first ever electric vehicle produced by Jaguar and is expected to be available in 2018. It is a five-seater SUV that is expected to offer a range of over 500 kilometers (310 miles) on a single charge. However, there is still no indication that Jaguar is planning to include any of the autonomous driving technology on the I-Pace concept on the production model.
The Hyundai Ioniq has been available since 2016 and remains one of the cheaper all-electric cars on the market today. However, rumors have been swirling recently of a massively upgraded version of the iconic EV SUV, with an improved range of 174 miles. It is expected that the autonomous car technology included in the vehicle will finally make driver-less cars available to the masses.
Ford Focus Electric
After several years of being at the bottom end of the list with regard to range and new features, the Ford Focus Electric has finally been boosted with the addition of a higher capacity battery as well as DC fast charging for its 2017 model. The car’s lithium-ion battery pack now offers about 34 kWh, up from 23 kWh, giving the Focus a range of about 115 miles from its previously meager 76 miles. Ford claims that it limited the increase in battery capacity to keep costs and weight as low as possible.
The current Audi E-tron range is made up of hybrid versions of the A3 Sportback and the Q7. However, there is an all-new electric Audi Quattro in development. The new Quattro concept features three electric motors, with one powering the front axle and a pair at the rear. This allows the car to give out between 430 and 500 BHP and the battery provides a range of 310 miles. As one of the Audi cars with auto pilot, the Quattro boasts a ‘Level 4’ autonomous driving system.
Unlike many other EVs that are closely styled after their fossil fuel-powered counterparts, the BMW i3’s design is unique, making it unmistakable as a battery-powered car. While the current model has increased the original i3’s range from a mere 81 miles to 114 miles, the 2017 edition is expected to reach nearly 200 miles per charge. While it is expected to look similar to its predecessors, the new i3 has a new motor, capable of accelerating the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 7.2 seconds.
2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
The 2017 e-Golf has substantially better range than its previous editions. According to Volkswagen, the new e-Golf manages more than 124 miles on a full charge. The vehicle retains the conservative, crisp-edged hatchback design that has been the hallmark of Golfs for over four decades. Although e-Golfs are not fully autonomous vehicles, they have a Driver Assistance package, providing collision warnings, parking assist and automated emergency braking.
Nissan e-NV200 Combi
Nissan was among the first car manufacturers with a production electric vehicle, and it has followed it up by producing the first electric MPV. The e-NV200 Combi has room for seven people and has a design based on Nissan’s NV200 van. This means that it is the most spacious electric vehicle available today. The van’s 24 kWh battery pack hidden underneath the passenger floor offers about 100 miles on a full charge.
With so many options, when it comes to advanced electric-powered vehicles, it is clearly evident that there will be an autonomous vehicle to meet the style and pocket of many individuals. Over the next few years, we will continue to see leading manufacturers pushing the boundaries even further making automated vehicles a way of life in the future.