Top EVs coming to the UK in 2019

We all know that the Tesla Model 3 should be hitting the UK shores in the first half of 2019.

Numerous articles cover the model 3 and there are hundreds if nor thousands of reviews available to read. The key points to know are that many people regard this Tesla as the best yet in superior to the existing Model S and X. More refined with a clean and tidy interior, smaller footprint that will be more suited to the UK roads and parking spaces than the larger S and X.

Expect initial models to be all wheel drive with the larger battery pack and fancy interior and be priced some way from the perceived $35,000 that was promised. For the UK launch specs and price expect 0-60 MPH in less than 4 seconds and around 300 mile range.

Market

The Model 3 occupies space where BMW, Mercedes and Audi regard as their space. The compact executive world where performance and style rule. Think five-door fastback – Audi A5 Sportback or BMW 4-series Gran Coupe. Both these cars are around £42,500 with the options you need and more like £50,000 in the high performance level. Expect the Model 3 to take them head-on. To make things even more intertesting Tesla has just reduced the base price of the US Model 3. Musk tweeted yesterday that the base price is now just $35,000 though that’s after you apply tax credits and fuel savings — you’ll have to wait a bit more for a Tesla car with a $35,000 base price.

If you visit Model 3’s “Design Your Car” page, you’ll notice that it looks a bit more affordable than before. Tesla has lowered its price across versions by $1,100, so you can now get the mid-range battery option for $42,900 before incentives. Meanwhile, the car’s long-range version now costs $49,900, while the performance option will set you back $60,900

“We’re doing everything we can to get there,” Musk tweeted. “It’s a super hard grind.”


The Germans are coming with EVs a plenty

First the Mercedes Benz. EQC. The EQC is a mid-size SUV, similarly proportioned to the Mercedes GLC class.

Details are still limited to show cars and vague press releases and a content light website. See https://www.mercedes-benz.co.uk/passengercars/mercedes-benz-cars/models/eqc/pad.html

The EQC is powered by a newly developed electric drivetrain that’ll be used across the EQ range. Initially previewed in the Generation EQ concept, it consists of two electric motors – one powering the front wheels and another the rears – that enable four-wheel drive capability, depending on the driving mode.


They deliver a combined 402bhp and 564lb ft to move the EQC’s 2425kg kerb weight. By comparison, the 395bhp Jaguar I-Pace weighs 2130kg.
In Sport mode, the EQC will sprint from a standstill to 62mph in 5.1sec. Top speed is limited to 112mph. In a display of the car’s versatility, Mercedes also claims a towing capacity of 1800kg and a 515kg payload.
Energy to power the motors is supplied by an 80kWh battery. All up, the lithium ion unit weighs 650kg. With a claimed range of 280 miles on the current NEDC test cycle (which is being phased out) and 249 miles on the WLTP cycle, the EQC can’t quite match the 336-mile NEDC and 292-mile WLTP claimed range of the I-Pace, which features a larger, 90kWh battery. That should translate to around 200 miles of real-world range.

Audi e-tron

Another model we’re really looking forward to seeing is the new Audi e-tron. It’s understated and looks like another gorgeous vehicle from Audi’s SUV lineup, only under the bonnet lies a potent electric motor instead of a traditionally ICE unit.

One of the biggest selling points will be that the E-tron doesn’t really look like an electric car, which is great news for buyers who are making their first tentative steps into the electric market. We do know that the E-tron will be priced from around £70,000 – slightly more than we expect from the Mercedes EQC. However the launch edition will be £82K.

One of the most interesting changes is that the E-tron has ditched wing mirrors and replaced them with cameras. Seems excessive but it will appeal to tech-loving buyers and Audi promise it will be easy to get used to. The E-tron should be good for a claimed 248 miles and it doesn’t compromise on practicality as it will have a massive 605-litre boot.

Place your order now at Audi website http://www.uk.audi.com/uk/web/en/models/e-tron/e-tron.html and expect to pay around £85,000 for a nice model.

Porsche Taycan

This is a car which was originally dubbed Porsche’s ‘Mission E’ but has since been gifted the name Taycan. This is a low slung 4 door EV that promises bags of performance and, naturally, exquisite levels of luxury. The Taycan is only in its second phase of the prototype, but we expect a lot more info to be shared on this model over the coming months as it looks likely that the Taycan will be on sale by the end of the year. The Taycan will be roughly the same size and width as the Tesla Model S, to give you an idea of scale, and it is likely to offer equally mind-blowing performance. As mentioned, this is still a prototype but it’s certainly one to keep an eye out for, although we might be anticipating a price tag the norht side of £100,000.

The countdown to the launch of the electric-powered Porsche Taycan has begun in earnest with officials revealing the new four-door saloon has now entered the second phase of prototype production at the company’s Zuffenhausen headquarters on the outskirts of Stuttgart in Germany.

The first in an extended line-up of electric-powered models being developed in a programme budgeted to cost up to £5.3 billion through to the end of 2022, the Taycan marks a radical departure from Porsche’s traditional line-up, bringing full-time zero local emission compatibility together with the promise of what the new car’s lead engineer, Stefan Weckbach, describes as a “typical Porsche driving experience”.

When it goes on sale in the UK following a planned public premiere at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2019, it will be positioned between the £55,965 Cayenne and £67,898 Panamera in a move that will set the scene for the introduction of other new battery-powered Porsche models, including an electric-powered mid-engined sports car in the mould of the existing Boxster and Cayman and an SUV similar in size to the recently facelifted Macan.

The Taycan, previewed by the original Mission E concept, will be offered in two distinct variants with the standard saloon planned for right-hand-drive delivery in Britain in early 2020 and a more ruggedly styled high-riding estate-cum-crossover model previewed by the Mission E Cross Turismo concept revealed at the Geneva motor show 2018 scheduled to see local showrooms in 2022.

Porsche charging

A retractable body element located behind the front wheel arch provides access to the charging port. Alternatively, Porsche is also working on providing its first electric-powered model with inductive charging, although it won’t be drawn on whether it will be available as an option from the start of sales.


Porsche has developed an 800V charging system for the Taycan to fulfil an early pledge that its first electric powered model will not only be fast to drive but also be fast to recharge.


“With the 800V technology, it can be recharged in just over 15 minutes for a range of around 400km, so it only takes about half as long compared to today’s systems,” said Weckbach.


As well as providing fast charging, the 800V system allows the Taycan to use a lighter and more compact wiring loom than if it had chosen a more widely used 400V system – all without any crucial safety concerns, according to Porsche. Despite this, the new four-door is still expected to tip the scales at over 2000kg.

For ful detilas see Porsche’s micro website for Taycan

Mini EV

After much shouting and a Plug In hybrid version we think a full EV Mini is on the way. BMW haven’t changed much of the iconic design of the MINI, only that it now uses a solid front grille as ventilation is no longer needed and this optimises aerodynamics. The MINI EV is still technically a concept car, but we’re confident there will be more news on this coming later in the year as it gears up for production. There’s currently no indication of price or electric range yet, although we expect it will share a lot of electric components with BMW’s i-3.

See Mini site for scant details. https://www.mini.co.uk/en_GB/home/range/mini-electric.html

And in the East Corner we have the all Electric KAI Soul

KIA are updating their solid-selling Soul EV in 2019 to keep up with competition from the likes of the Hyundai IONIQ and Nissan Leaf. The Soul offers a really reasonable solution for family buyers who want to switch to an electric car but they don’t want anything too expensive, too lightweight and too impractical. The Soul EV now has more defined and angular lines, making it seem less soft and bubbly and you could argue it commands a bit more respect than the previous model. KIA hasn’t confirmed the electric range just yet for the new model but we expect it to be at least 200 miles, a marked improvement over the current model. The old Soul EV starts from around £31,000 and we’d, therefore, expect the new model to be similarly priced if not slightly more expensive.

Germans come together to build EV Charging network

German brands plus Ford join forces to create a pan European fast charging network

A new joint venture formed by some of the biggest names in the car industry has come to a formal agreement over the creation of new ultra-fast, high-power electric car charging infrastructure.

The BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford and Volkswagen along with its Audi and Porsche marques have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate and create the brand-independent network of charging points, which will be placed along major European highways.

The network will use the Combined Charging System (CCS) standard, which uses both AC and DC connectors. In the future, these systems will be capable of charging cars at 350kW.

For comparison’s sake, a Tesla Supercharger is a DC system and provides up to 120kW of power per car. As such, the new group promises that its network will be ‘significantly faster’ than the most powerful charging points found on the road networks today, and cars using them will charge in a fraction of the time.

The build up is set to start at some point in 2017 and 400 locations have been earmarked. However, it’s promised that motorists will have access to thousands of these new charging points by the end of the decade.

Having the infrastructure in place by 2020 would coincide nicely with the electric car plans many of these manufacturers have up their sleeves.

Earlier this year at the Paris Motor Show, Mercedes unveiled its new EQ sub-brand, which will be the front for a new range of dedicated electric vehicles. The first model is expected in 2019, and the EQ range will be ten models strong by 2025.

Similarly, Volkswagen previewed a series of purpose-built EVs at the Paris show with the ID concept. VW’s new electric car is expected in 2020.

Porsche will have an EV on the market by 2020 as well, in the form of the production version of its Mission E concept from the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

missionE_front

The six carmakers will all be equal partners in the new venture, and will encourage other manufacturers to participate in the new network.

We see this as a direct strike at the Tesla network and perceived sales advantage of Tesla.

First B Class Mercedes delivered to US customers

A Kim Price of LA became the first driver of the Mercedes Benz all electric B class. Forty one cars were delivered in the month and Kim an Mercedes driver for 15 years was the first. 

Price happened to be in Germany the month before the electric B-Class was officially introduced in the U.S.  “I liked the looks, it was big inside,” it had the luxury Price wanted–“so I called Mercedes-Benz of Laguna Niguel and put down a deposit.”

kim-price-first-buyer-of-2014-mercedes-benz-b-class-electric-carNow that Price has been commuting in her B-Class for a month, she says, “It fits my needs.”

“It’s all electric, and though there’s a capacity of 85 miles on a single charge, that’s a very conservative estimate in my experience.”

Her daily commute traffic ranges from cruising at 75 mph to stop-and-go traffic on the freeway, so access to the carpool lane is hugely important–as California commuters know all too well. 

With its regenerative braking and the radar-based adaptive cruise control, Price finds that commuting the 70 miles to work–and starting with an indicated 85-mile range–she often has an indicated 35 miles of charge remaining.

The parking garage in the Sunset Boulevard building where Price works has six 240-Volt Level 2 charging stations. She notes that the smartphone app for her B-Class alerts her when the car has finished recharging–“typically about three hours,” she says.

At that point, she’ll move the car to a non-charging space or, she admits, often call the valet service in the garage and have them move it, to open up the charging station for another user.

The most pleasant surprise of her B-Class has been the high range, Price said. “I’m super-excited” at not having to “squeak by with 5 miles” to spare when she arrives at work.

She also likes “having my trunk back,” given the reduced trunk volume of her plug-in Accord to accommodate the battery pack.

On the downside, she was surprised to learn that her 2014 B-Class didn’t come with Apple CarPlay, announced for the new 2015 C-Class models.

“Plug-in geeks like technology, or at least I do,” said Price. “I want the latest and greatest, so it was kind of a bummer” not to have CarPlay in her electric car.

She would also have liked a sunroof option.

Finally, Price likes the fact that her Mercedes-Benz B-Class isn’t that common a sight on the streets of Southern California.

“Heads turn,” she said, “and I get people asking, ‘What IS that?’ all the time.”

Mercedes Benz does have a stake in Electric Car maker Tesla so we can assume there is some Tesla engineering in this B class vehicle.

UK sales should start in first Quarter 2015 with a starting price of around £32,000 before any grants.

For more details on the electric B class visit MB USA website 

 

Mercedes-Benz confirms S500 Plug-In on route

Mercedes-Benz confirms S500 Plug-In on route for Europe for later 2014 and the US in early 2015 according to news from Detroit Auto Show. Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Daimler AG management board member and research and development chief for Mercedes-Benz cars, confirmed that this model is on track to go on sale this year in Europe.

“We are convinced that especially in the S-Class, the future of the plug-in concept will play a major role in congested areas for example, in areas and countries where special tax consideration is in place,” said Weber, who promised “a lot of driving pleasure” out of the plug-in.

Up against Porsche Panamera S e-Hybrid, with 20 miles or more all-electric

As first detailed this past summer, the all-new Plug_in Hybrid S-Class picks up on the Vision S500 concept of a few years ago—and should go head to head with the Porsche Panamera S e-Hybrid.

With a 328-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 gasoline engine and 80-kW electric motor system, the S500 Plug-In Hybrid can accelerate the S-Class to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds. A lithium-ion battery pack mounted in back should involve only minimal packaging differences.

Based on EU-cycle driving the S500 Plug-In will go more than 30 km (19 miles) on a charge, in all-electric mode, Weber said, emphasizing that the S-Class is a large car and the company is being conservative with first numbers, and the future models will go farther.

Longer range anticipated for C-Class Plug-In

“The smaller cars [C-Class] from the beginning will go even longer,” said Weber. “Our target is closer to 50 km.”

Both a C-Class Plug-In Hybrid and a normal C-Class Hybrid–both of course based on the new C-Class introduced this past week at Detroit–will be available, Weber confirmed, although Merceds won’t introduce those models right away, and then it’s a question of demand.

And you can expect new E-Class hybrid eventually, too. It’s all part of a modular approach, from which the main components can be easily adapted to the whole MRA (Mercedes Rear-Wheel Architecture) platform—to include the C-Class, E-Class, and S-Class.

Worldwide models…but still feeling out demand

While the S500 Plug-In will go on sale first in Europe later this year, and then in the U.S. early next year, Weber emphasized that it is a world concept, as will be the C-Class models.

“It’s only a question of sequence and what is really the demand behind the hybrids.” said Weber. “Because around all of our ‘e-mobility,’ a lot of questions are still there.”