As market acceptance of gas-electric hybrid [HEV], plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and full battery electric cars [BEV] grows, even punctilious luxury car makers are eschewing ultra-efficient combustion engines for the greener pastures of advanced battery-powered options offering huge advances in maximum range capabilities.
Regardless of social strata, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it is more cost-effective to power a vehicle with cheap electric power once the stigma of ‘range anxiety’ is removed.
With many luxury marquees lining up ‘alternate propulsion’ [non 100% combustion] vehicles to showcase publicly, it’s an exciting time for more capable buyers who can afford the best tech money can buy. Luxury leaders like Tesla’s Model S [BEV], BMW’s i8 Roadster [PHEV], Jaguar’s I-Pace [BEV], Volvo’s XC90 T8 [PHEV], Cadillac’s CT6 [PHEV], and Lexus’ LS 500h [Hybrid] are but a few. These luxury brands are investing billions into R & D to be the next BIG thing.
“ PEOPLE INCREASINGLY DEMAND ELECTRIFIED CARS”
Typically, luxury automakers begin a push into alternate propulsion with the reliability of hybrids. With the growing advances in technology, they can now skip this initial phase and the plug-in hybrid stage, advancing straight to the all-electric vehicle option. Lodestar luxurymarque Rolls-Royce has indicated that’s their plan with an upcoming new all-electric Phantom. The CEO of BMW’s luxury British brand Rolls-Royce, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, confirmed, “We will go full electric, we don’t do any interim steps.”
Even McLaren Automotive, an illustrious alumnus of the combustion-powered Formula One circuit, is committed to ensuring that its sportscar and supercar range will be hybrid within seven years. Beginning in 2013 with its revolutionary P1 model, the [world’s] first gas-electric hybrid hyper-car, McLaren’s entire range is due to be all hybrid models by 2025.
McLaren is introducing the 2019 Speedtail this October 2018 with new hybrid technology. The Speedtail is described as the “Ultimate Hyper-GT” with the highest top speed of any McLaren yet, including their iconic F1 which exceeds 391 km/h (243 mph), and promises levels of customisation and individualization never seen before in a three-seat configuration. But sadly, a production run of only 106 cars worldwide.
Jaguar, known for breathtaking design in luxury is opting to excite the soul with an all-electric performance SUV. Jaguar (BEV) says the I-PACE is the “world’s smartest five-seater sports car”. Offering a fully-charged estimated range of 386km, it uses technology developed in the I-TYPE Formula-E car, specifically electric motors that generate 394 horsepower and 512 lb-ft of torque.
Volvo Cars has announced that every Volvo it launches from 2019 (delayed) will have an electric motor, marking the historic end of cars that only have an internal combustion engine (ICE) and placing electrification at the core of its future business.
“This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.” It will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021, three of which will be Volvo models and two of which will be high performance electrified cars from Polestar, Volvo Cars’ performance car arm.
Porsche, with their current offerings with the new Cayenne E-Hybrid and 6 Panamera E-Hybrid Models are now launching Porsche E-Performance.
A little history. Porsche’s first electric model manufactured was the 2014 Panamera S E-Hybrid. In September 2013, production began on the Porsche 918 Spyder, a mid-engine plug-in hybrid. In 2017, Porsche won the 24h Le Mans for the third consecutive time with the 919 Hybrid. Fast forward to today and Porsche is focused on the Mission E Cross Turismo, a new concept of pure electric mobility.
Mercedes-AMG showcased their halo car called THE ONE hypercar, a celebration of their 50th anniversary.
The vehicle was built around the F1 racer’s 1.6 litre turbocharged hybrid engine with a rumoured 1,000 horsepower. The Canadian price is roughly $3.5 million, but my understanding is that all 275 units are now SOLD.
Mercedes-Benz has revealed that all future electric vehicles will be under the EQ namesake, starting with the EQC all-electric SUV currently in development with the EQA to follow.
California’s Tesla blazed the trail with sleek, all-electric vehicles that all luxury cars are measured. Since the debut, Tesla’s super quiet and superquick Model S fourdoor sedan outsold the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, and the Lexus LS. Even reliability-oriented Consumer Reports reported that the Model S was the most-loved car of 2014 by its owners and more Tesla owners say they’d buy one again than any other car, by an astonishing 98 percent.
Forever, manufacturer, there are increasingly more stringent fuel economy requirements. In both Europe and North America, governments are working with automakers to make their vehicles more fuel efficient.
Certain Canadian provinces offer incentives like British Columbia and Quebec, but in Ontario, they have been cancelled, effective as of July 11, 2018. However, Eligible vehicles that have been delivered to consumers, registered, and plated on or before July 11 will receive the incentive, up to $14,000. Also, Inventory that dealers have on lots or orders made by dealerships with manufacturers on or before July 11, will also be honoured for the incentive provided that the vehicle is delivered to consumers, registered, and plated by September 10th.
Here is some basic terminology that will help you get started in your research: Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or Electric vehicle (EV) runs purely on electric power; Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is a combination of an internal combustion engine (ICE) and a rechargeable battery, allowing for either pure electric-powered driving or extended range from a combination of the gasoline engine and electric motor; Plug-in vehicle (PiV) is a blanket term for any vehicle with a plug socket, including BEVs and PHEVs; Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) car that has tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions of less than 75g/km; New Energy Vehicle (NEV) refers to vehicles that are partially or fully powered by electricity, such as PHEVs and BEVs; and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) refers to an EV which uses a fuel cell to power its electric motor. The fuel cells create the electricity to power the EV.