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Improved technology, range help electric vehicles continue their march in U.S. market
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Improved technology, range help electric vehicles continue their march in U.S. market

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According to the Edison Electric Institute, more than 1.18 million electric vehicles are driving on America’s highways. That’s an increase of more than 80% since 2017. It translates into a 2% percent market share of new vehicle sales.

Recently, a panel of 11 EV experts named the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid the 2020 Green Car of the Year. This is the second time a hybrid won the award, with the Toyota Camry Hybrid receiving the honor in 2007.

“This award is one we’ve been eyeing for a while now, so it’s great to get this recognition and stamp of approval,” said Curtis McAllister, Toyota communications manager. “It’s a testament to the desire and effort of Toyota team members to help reduce our environmental impact, while delivering quality and choice to our customers.”

Hybrids and pure EVs are experiencing a growth in the U.S. In the model years 2019 and 2020, 24 new EV models were introduced to American dealerships.

These include:

  • 2021 Mustang Mach-E, an all- electric SUV pony
  • 2020 Kia Soul and Niro
  • 2020 Bollinger B1
  • 2020 Aston Martin Rapide E
  • 2020 Hyundai Kona
  • 2020 Nissan Leaf +
  • 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC

There are more in the works:

2020 Mini Electric. Mini is said to be working on a full-electric version of the Cooper coupe for introduction by the end of 2020. It will reportedly share technology with the BMW i3 and could offer a range of 200 miles on a full charge.

2020 Polestar 2. A new line of performance EVs from Volvo debuts this year. Though the Polestar 1 is a plug-in hybrid coupe, the 2 will be a full-electric four-door hatchback that rides on the same underpinnings as the XC40 crossover. It’s expected to put 400 horsepower to the pavement and offer an estimated 300-mile range.

2020 Porsche Taycan. Porsche’s eclectic ride will be an ultra-sleek battery-driven four-door sports car. With a targeted range of more than 300 miles on a charge, two synchronous motors will generate in excess of 600 horsepower and enable the Taycan to reach 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds.

The technology questions of “how” have been pretty much answered. Now, EV manufacturers are focusing on performance, range, and drivability.

“At Ford, we understand and fully buy into the fact that the automotive world is going electric,” said Cristina Sanders, the U.S. brand manager for the Mach-E, the electric SUV that wears the Mustang banner.

By incorporating instant torque into the build, this electric pony does zero-to-60 in less than 3.5 seconds, achieving 459 horsepower and 612 lb.-ft. torque combination.

“Mustang means fun, fast, freedom,” said Sanders. “The Mach-E not only upholds that tradition it takes it to a whole another level.”

Mach-E is the first Ford to be designed specifically as an electric. It will be available in late fall of 2020, with the GT version bowing in the summer of 2021. Prices begin around $40,000.

Sanders said charging options to keep the pony running for 300 miles include a wall-mount system for a garage.

Range and performance as well as handling in snow and rain have improved with each generation of EV. 

But for EVs to become universal, America will need to expand its electrical grids by 25 percent, according to Physics World magazine. Existing grids need to be upgraded to handle larger output at a faster pace.

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