Electric SUVs And CUVs On Their Way To North America
Electric vehicles aren’t limited to tiny, odd looking cars like the LEAF or Volt. Sport utility vehicles and crossover utility vehicles are officially outselling sedans now. With the numbers proving the overwhelming success of SUVs and CUVs here in North America, it was only a matter of time before they were made available in electric versions too. Right now, the only vehicles of this type one can get their hands on is the all-electric Toyota Rav4 EV, and only if one lives in California.
This will change soon though, as automakers rush to comply with the tough upcoming emissions standards. Here are a few electric SUVs and CUVs that are on their way to North America.
Tesla has just stopped production of their Model S, to retool for the upcoming Tesla Model X. This electric utility vehicle features falcon wing doors, a range of over 200 miles on electricity alone, and can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. We can expect high demand for this groundbreaking all-electric crossover when it arrives in 2015.
Before that, the 2015 Kia Soul EV will arrive in North America later this year. This all-electric Korean crossover gets an estimated 92 miles to a charge, and a surprising 210 lb-ft of torque. Upgrade to a rapid charger, and it can fill to 80 percent of battery power in only 25 minutes. The Soul EV is already sold in other countries, so it has a track record that some newer vehicles can’t offer.
Arriving late 2014, the Volvo XC90 Plug-in Hybrid has an impressive 400hp and 472 lb-ft of torque, thanks to it’s hybrid powertrain. Volvo calls it “the world’s most powerful and cleanest SUV.” The XC90 can travel 25 miles on electricity alone.
Not letting Tesla grab the entire luxury electric/hybrid SUV/CUV market, BMW is preparing to launch it’s X5 eDRIVE, the plug-in hybrid version of it’s luxury X5 SUV. This hybrid gets about 20 miles on purely electric power, and delivers 270 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque.
Volkswagen recently announced that they will be producing the Crossblue utility at it’s plant in Chattanooga. We first saw the Crossblue as a plug-in concept in 2013 with twin electric motors matched to a diesel engine that produced 305 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. While they have not committed, we can reasonably anticipate a plug-in version once it begins production in 2016.
While Kia’s big brother Hyundai already has the Tucson Fuel Cell EV available in California, it’s unlikely to make it’s way elsewhere on the continent any time soon. They say that as soon as infrastructure is in place, they will expand the vehicle’s availability to other markets. It’s 265 mile range would put it at a level comparable to the Tesla.
Available in Europe, Japan and Australia already, the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid is set to arrive in North America in late 2015 or early 2016. It’s electric range is in the high 20’s, making it a suitable and inexpensive grocery-getter.
By Linda Aylesworth – car-news.ca