Jalopnik Reviews All of our test drives in one convenient place. Electric cars may be the solution to some of our problems, but if they’re going to be our main source of transportation they need to work everywhere, all the time. On a warm, dry road in southern California, EVs seem to have no problem operating as promised. But how do they cope with the harsh realities of a real winter? Can they survive subzero temperatures, repetitive snow storms and freezing rain during six grueling months? To find out, I ventured out on a very Canadian quest behind the wheel of a 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV in the middle of January. Turns out, if you’re going to commit to daily driving an electric car in a northern region, you’ll need to consider a few things first. (Full Disclosure: Chevrolet Canada wanted me to drive the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV in winter so badly it charged one up, threw a bucket of fluorescent yellow paint on it, and handed me the keys for a week.) What Is It? The … [Read more...] about Here’s What Happens to Your Electric Car in a Bitter Canadian Winter
Wheego electric cars
When speaking of electric cars, major media still seem to talk more about them in the future sense rather than in a present one, as if EVs are coming, but not here yet. Actually, though, they kind of are here: You might not know it, but sales of electric vehicles were up 81 percent in 2018. That’s thanks mostly, of course, to Tesla getting its lower-priced Model 3 line up to speed. All of which still makes EVs less than 2 percent of the U.S. market. But it’s strong growth nonetheless, with market share in California, a state with the nation’s most vigorous EV mandates, approaching 8 percent some months. Coming in the midst of an era of booming sales of internally combusted SUVs, the numbers might reasonably lead you to conclude that consumer acceptance of the electric car is growing meaningfully despite cheap gasoline, an industry that largely doesn’t bother marketing the electric cars it does make, and the as-yet-to-emerge seamless charging infrastructure … [Read more...] about I Think I Can Feel the Electric-Car Movement Finally Gaining Speed
George Parrot's home solar installation [Credit: George Parrot]With the big upturn in electric-car adoption driven by the Tesla Model 3, incoming Kia and Hyundai options, and the highly competitive Chevrolet Bolt, many drivers will be moving to vehicles that will be primarily charged at home. This means that their household electric bills are likely to show a significant increase—a big and obvious increase. Many of these new electric vehicle (EV) adopters, however, have the option of embracing solar (or sometimes even wind) for their household electricity. Back in 2009, as I was putting in my first order for an EV, a Nissan Leaf, I already had a decent-sized solar photovoltaic system on my home—one that just balanced the annual costs for the house electricity demands. Doing a little extra estimating, I wanted to keep my electricity payments essentially zero annually. Even back then, there had been both local and regional horrific events that suggested to me how negligent my … [Read more...] about How to charge your electric car from the sun, at home
Jalopnik Reviews All of our test drives in one convenient place. If you’re tired of electric cars that seem like they’re trying too hard to stand out, the 2019 Kia Niro EV goes the opposite direction with humble performance, practical packaging and the styling of a middle-aged Kia Soul. (Full Disclosure: Kia wanted me to drive the new 2019 Niro EV so bad it flew me out to San Jose, let me drive the car to Santa Cruz, put me up in a hotel, and then sent me on a day-long “adventure” to various hot spots in the area, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Big Dipper roller coaster on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, which Kia rented out for an hour just for us. It was ridiculous.) What Is It? The 2019 Kia Niro EV can be thought of as the respectable, normal, casual electric crossover meant to build on the success of the old electric Kia Soul, but offer a little more performance and practicality. Funnily enough, the hardware underneath the Niro EV will be the … [Read more...] about The 2019 Kia Niro EV Is the Kia of Electric Cars
2019 Audi Super Bowl ad, "Cashew," featuring e-tron GT conceptAudi’s 2019 Super Bowl ad for Sunday’s Big Game focuses in on the brand’s electric and electrified future. Like many EV ads, it’s a head-scratcher. In a series of almost clichéd nods to Field of Dreams, Back to the Future, and other movies that would be familiar to the target buyer, a man is walking through an overgrown field and encounters his grandfather, who gives him an emotional welcome and shows him to the barn or old garage. There he reveals the Audi e-tron GT, the brand’s upcoming fastback sedan that was revealed in drivable concept form in November but isn’t due for deliveries until early 2021. Just as the grandson is about to step on the accelerator and be launched back against the seat, he wakes up from his out-of-body experience—or glimpse of the afterlife, some might say—spitting out the cashew he’d been choking on in a very … [Read more...] about Audi Super Bowl ad: Heavenly electric-car future, hackneyed themes?