New EVs for 2020

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begreen

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Nov 18, 2005
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South Puget Sound, WA
There will be 8 new EV options in 2020 and more in 2021. Here is the lineup so far.
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,186
SE PA
Ah, they all look interesting to me. I had not heard of the Next Gen Bolt before. Hopefully they improve the fast charging speed above a max of ~70 kW for the Gen 1, esp with the advent of higher power CCS charging stations. There was no engineering reason for such a big battery to be so limited....the rumor was that the bus wire from the connector to the pack was the limit.

Now I just have to see how I would pay for any of these things.... in the meantime, my 2015 Volt is humming along fine.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,727
Philadelphia
Interesting to see some more affordable options hitting the market. I’m still reeling in shock from the “starting at $108,490” price for the Tesla Model X I shopped in the fall. The competing gasser I bought in its place was nearly half that price, and frankly both nicer and bigger. Tesla still has a prestigious badge and a superior charging network that will get them some premium, but they’re going to have to trim their pricing as some of this new competition catches up to them.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,075
Eastern Central PA
Great post BG, im always checking on these upcoming evs with a little size to them. Wonder why the hybrids do not give their gasoline MPG figures. Must be nothing to brag about. The pickup is still ugly,whats with those headlights?
 
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jebatty

Minister of Fire
Jan 1, 2008
5,747
Northern MN
Looks like all of the new entrants in 2020, except the Tesla and the Bolt, will have the attractive benefit of the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit, just as the BEV Bolt and Tesla had until their sales crossed the 200,000 vehicle limit, and that several of the new entrants are PHEV with very limited battery electric range, which still may be a big plus for a pure commuter-focused EV. The $7500 tax credit is a big deal, and as intended will encourage strong growth in EV sales. All will experience battery range reduction in cold climates, typically up to about 40%, and perhaps a bit more in the bitter cold periods experienced in northern Minnesota, where I live. The extent of range reduction is heavily impacted by temperature, wind, use of lights, heat. AC and other accessories, driving speed, and driving habits in general. All of these factors, plus lower operating efficiency, also impact ICE vehicles.

I hope all of these new entrants are successful and find room in the marketplace. Competition will be keen, and quality, dependability, and charging network availability will play a big role, as will exterior and interior design and overall functionality.

Being a month shy of a full two years of ownership of a Bolt, we have just over 24,000 miles accumulated. The Bolt has met all of the expectations and requirements we had which led to our purchase. With an advertised range of 238 miles, our requirement was dependable round-trip range of 150miles, summer and winter, without intermediate charging. This goal was met. The Bolt has performed flawlessly, required zero maintenance, (other than washer fluid and maintaining tire pressure), except to fix a leak in the window wash system which was faulty on delivery, and replacement of the cabin air filter due to dust/debris accumulation from normal use. The Bolt has surprising interior room, and the new 2020 Bolt promises even more as it moves from a hatchback design and into the small SUV arena. Almost all our Bolt charging is at home on a Level 2 charger with very limited use of public charging stations.

We are two months short of a full year of ownership of our Tesla Model 3, and now have 14,224 miles accumulated. The Tesla was intended to be our primary family driving car, with both local and long distance driving. We regularly, once a month or more often, use the Tesla for about a 400 mile round trip travel to visit family, as well as use the Tesla for all of my wife's local driving. Simply stated, the Tesla is an awesome vehicle: comfortable, secure, predictable, great road handling, and design and functionality which we find to be superb. In one word, the Tesla is smooth, all the way up to 100+ mph with certainly all the acceleration a person needs, and more than most people have experienced. The Tesla too has performed flawlessly with no required maintenance or repairs (other than washer fluid and maintaining tire pressure). Since the Tesla ("Tessa Rose") is my wife's car, I have to thank her for giving me plenty of opportunity to drive the Tesla, especially on road trips. I've never before had so much fun driving a car as I have had with the Tesla. The Tesla also is mostly charged at home on a Level 2 charger, but we use the Tesla SuperCharger network extensively on our over the road travels. SuperChargers are super convenient, located strategically along every route we have traveled, and extremely easy to use. SuperCharger availability is a huge plus for the Tesla.

We also own a 2007 Toyota Camry, equipped with a trailer hitch to pull a utility trailer or our small teardrop camper. Annual mileage on the Camry is less than 5,000 miles. We have owned Camrys since 1986 and they have been great cars. If Toyota would have had a capable BEV available in 2018 when we bought the Tesla, we most likely would have bought that vehicle. We were very disappointed, and continue to be disappointed, in Toyota largely ignoring the BEV market.
 

sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
682
Central Ohio
We also own a 2007 Toyota Camry, equipped with a trailer hitch to pull a utility trailer or our small teardrop camper. Annual mileage on the Camry is less than 5,000 miles. We have owned Camrys since 1986 and they have been great cars. If Toyota would have had a capable BEV available in 2018 when we bought the Tesla, we most likely would have bought that vehicle. We were very disappointed, and continue to be disappointed, in Toyota largely ignoring the BEV market.
As usual, great post @jebatty about your EV experience. I _believe_ Toyota was / is putting a lot of money into hydrogen fuel cell cars. I'm guessing that is why they are late to the BEV game. Personally, I think they are betting on the wrong horse but I could be wrong.

 
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begreen

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Nov 18, 2005
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South Puget Sound, WA
Wonder why the hybrids do not give their gasoline MPG figures. Must be nothing to brag about.
Probably because EPA testing had not been done yet.
 

begreen

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Nov 18, 2005
82,934
South Puget Sound, WA
As usual, great post @jebatty about your EV experience. I _believe_ Toyota was / is putting a lot of money into hydrogen fuel cell cars. I'm guessing that is why they are late to the BEV game. Personally, I think they are betting on the wrong horse but I could be wrong.

Toyota appears to be focused on Japan's future and the Japanese market. They are thinking long term. Infrastructure continues to grow there and other car companies are participating.

A little teaser on a prototype hydrogen car that isn't from Toyota.
 
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begreen

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GM announced today a commitment toward an all-electric future.
 
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Seasoned Oak

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Oct 17, 2008
7,075
Eastern Central PA
Probably because EPA testing had not been done yet.
Pretty easy test to do and the Mfgs can certainly do their own. If the numbers were impressive they could certainly give an estimate.
 

Seasoned Oak

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Oct 17, 2008
7,075
Eastern Central PA
GM announced today a commitment toward an all-electric future.
This is the future,i hope the govt never lets it get away to other countries like they have in the past. With so much automation just around the corner we need everyjob we can get (or can hold onto).
 

Ashful

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15,727
Philadelphia

woodgeek

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Jan 27, 2008
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SE PA
As usual, great post @jebatty about your EV experience. I _believe_ Toyota was / is putting a lot of money into hydrogen fuel cell cars. I'm guessing that is why they are late to the BEV game. Personally, I think they are betting on the wrong horse but I could be wrong.

Actually, the story largely goes back to an old engineering decision. When Toyota was first thinking about hybrid cars like the Prius, they had to choose between the newer, less safe Lithium Ion batteries, with higher performance, and the older, safer but a lot heavier Nickel Metal Hydride batteries. They did a LOT of expensive research on various chemistries, and finally decided that Lithium Ion was not safe enough for automotive applications, and then spent a bundle of getting NiMH batteries robust enough to work in the Prius (i.e. durability, cycles, assembly cost, etc.).

But that decision (for the Prius) forestalled the development of electric cars. NiMH is really too heavy to allow a proper BEV. The GM EV1 started with lead AGM batteries, and then the gen 2 version had NiMH batteries, and the rage/weight specs were not acceptable.

When Tesla and Nissan started building EVs, they went with the (now slightly more mature) Lithium tech. Tesla went with a high performance, but also very flammable battery chemistry, and potted the cells in fire retardant foam (a design they retain to this day). Nissan went with a lower performance, but inherently non-flammable chemistry they helped develop.

When Tesla and Nissan started to be successful, a lot of their sales were eco early adopters and cannibalized Prius sales. And Toyota couldn't play in the EV game with their obsolete NiMH tech. So Toyota actually ran anti-EV ads to get people to buy the Prius, arguing that it would be more convenient, since you would never need to plug it in!

Toyota corporate had their heads up their butts so long (like many 'incumbents') that by the time they figured out that lithium EVs were the future, they were at the back of the line. So the **grudgingly** switched the batteries in the Prii to Lithium tech (bc its lighter and cheaper), and are still badmouthing lithium BEVs and hoping to leapfrog the competition to the next big thing .... Hydrogen, to get back on top.

Good luck with that Toyota! ;lol
 

Ashful

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When Tesla and Nissan started building EVs, they went with the (now slightly more mature) Lithium tech...
Excellent post, as always, woodgeek. I guess it comes back to what I said above, "timing is everything".
 
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DBoon

Minister of Fire
Jan 14, 2009
1,176
Central NY
It's my belief that Japanese companies are so good at creating continuous, incremental improvements over a many year timeframe that they are bewildered by disruptive technologies. Furthermore, their companies are much more engineering-driven (as opposed to marketing-driven) and they are therefore very slow to pivot during technology shifts and not so good at recognizing the difficulty of human behavior or infrastructure changes.

The fact that Toyota is still thinking about hydrogen fuel cells is completely mystifying to me. But if you can imagine a company run by a bunch of engineers that are pretty enamored with what they have invested their entire careers into, with little cultural incentive to speak up and advocate for change, a belief that every year they will make things 3% better, and sometime 20 years out their graph shows the cost/benefit advantages of the technology they are working on versus their belief as to what competitive technologies will do, then you can understand why they are so locked in. Add to that some other part of the company that probably completely underestimates what it will take to get consumers to want to pour hydrogen into their vehicles or to get fueling infrastructure set up, and you can start to understand a company like Toyota.

I say this as someone with a B.S.E.E. who now works in "marketing" and having worked with many Japanese companies over the years on development projects.

The opposite of that is the stereotypical US company that underinvests in future technologies, innovation, or quality and over invests in marketing to maximize current year profits, and wonders why every year their sales or market share decline by 0.5%. The absence of any real leadership that thinks beyond how to get their bonus paid for the current fiscal year and probably having one too many bean counters involved in investment decisions doesn't help. Think GM of the 1970s-1990s.

When you think of these two extremes, you can see how Tesla created a market opportunity for itself.
 
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begreen

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Nov 18, 2005
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Ironic that they are resisting disruption considering the Japanese have disrupted the audio/visual market repeatedly and the American automobile market since the 1980s and the Prius disrupted it again starting in 2004.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
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Philadelphia
I think there are some pretty wild assumptions at work, here. I'm no fan of Toyota, but I'd not be so quick to discount them, or assume I can suss out their motives with a little armchair reasoning. This is a company with a remarkable history of making very smart decisions, for their long-term welfare.
 
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jebatty

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Jan 1, 2008
5,747
Northern MN
I think Toyota has wasted a lot of goodwill and brand value in being so slow to move into the EV market. When I heard and read about the Bolt, and even before looking at one, I went to our local Toyota dealer to see what was or soon would be available. Other than the Primus, not good on space and very limited all electric range, I told the dealer how disappointed I was in Toyota, particularly since the Toyota Camry had been our car for 28 years. The dealer had no response.
 

begreen

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Nov 18, 2005
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South Puget Sound, WA
We sold our 2013 last fall and re-Volted to a 2018 Volt. Love it. Most of our driving is local and all-electric, but when we want to take a trip up into the mountains or to eastern WA or the coast it is without anxiety and additional hours of charging delay. That would not happen with a BEV yet. The charging infrastructure is still weak once one gets away from interstates. Toyota gets this. They are coming out with a new RAV4 PHEV with a 40mi range. I may be wrong, but I suspect this is going to be a winner for them. Had GM put a small SUV body on the Volt chassis they could have won during this transition period.
 
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jebatty

Minister of Fire
Jan 1, 2008
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Northern MN
I agree that a PHEV can be a winner for many people, good for much of local city use all-electric, and good for travel and longer commutes. But, it would not work for us. The 150 mile round trip ability makes all-electric for the great bulk of our "local" rural driving, and this is what the Bolt does, accounting for a 40% reduction in range in our cold, snowy MN winters.

And the Tesla with the 300+ mile extra range (allowing 40% reduction in winter) now also covers our trips to see family in Minneapolis/St. Paul -- all the way there with surplus, SuperCharger recharge for the trip home. And so far it also, with SuperCharging, has covered easily our longer trips.

Alas, we still need the ICE, a 2007 Camry with trailer pulling ability for our boat and small teardrop camping trailer.
 

Ashful

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Mar 7, 2012
15,727
Philadelphia
We sold our 2013 last fall and re-Volted to a 2018 Volt. Love it. Most of our driving is local and all-electric, but when we want to take a trip up into the mountains or to eastern WA or the coast it is without anxiety and additional hours of charging delay. That would not happen with a BEV yet. The charging infrastructure is still weak once one gets away from interstates. Toyota gets this. They are coming out with a new RAV4 PHEV with a 40mi range. I may be wrong, but I suspect this is going to be a winner for them. Had GM put a small SUV body on the Volt chassis they could have won during this transition period.
Agreed. I just bought a new car yesterday, another big V8 gasser, because I still care more about my wallet and convenience than being virtuous. But I was looking hard at PHEV’s leading up to the final decision.

The trouble for those of us who would like to make the transition, but haven’t completely devoted our lives to environmentalism, is:

1. PHEVs are clearly the technology least disruptive to ones lifestyle, but they nearly double the cost of the vehicle in higher-end full-size categories.

2. Lack of dealers close to our house with any good BEV or PHEV options, even if I were willing to spend nearly double for one. By “good”, I mean full-size sport/luxury vehicles I’d actually be willing to drive, not some econobox (eg Volt or Bolt) I’d have driven in college.

3. Neither my wife’s employer nor mine have BEV charging stations. This new vehicle is for my wife, who has a 4-hour commute for work. The hotel where she stays for work also lacks BEV chargers, but I suspect that may change soon.

4. Running another 220V line to the garage where I park this vehicle would be expensive and inconvenient. See PHEV comment no.1 above.

I see us still being at least 3 years out from resolving most of these issues, excepting perhaps the additional cost applied to the luxury brands, but do believe we will get there.
 

SpaceBus

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Nov 18, 2018
4,321
Downeast Maine
I'm waiting for something more rugged like a Wrangler or even just like an electric Subaru Crosstrek XV. My wife and I are looking at possibly buying a new car in a year or two and really want electric, but we don't even have a place to plug a car in, yet. I have a Miata living in a shed in NC that I want to bring up to Maine to become an electric rally car. Even if we had a garage to plug our car into the market just doesn't have an affordable EV that can put up with Russian quality roads or a firebreak road.
 

DBoon

Minister of Fire
Jan 14, 2009
1,176
Central NY
Ironic that they are resisting disruption considering the Japanese have disrupted the audio/visual market repeatedly and the American automobile market since the 1980s and the Prius disrupted it again starting in 2004.
Not so ironic when you think how little time it took for Apple to make Sony nearly irrelevant. And as the world moved to digital recordings, how all Japanese companies sat on the sideline and watched that obliterate their businesses while others capitalized on the digital shift (e.g. Netflix and Amazon for movies, Apple and Spotify for music) that made playback equipment obsolete.

In my opinion, the Prius is the classic example of incremental improvements. While it sold very well (and I'm sure they made a lot of money off of it) and was very reliable (Toyota's key strength), it has to be the least inspiring car in the world to drive. We test drove one when my wife needed a new car - it's just about the most dispiriting experience in the world to drive in terms of acceleration and responsiveness. It was engineered for one thing, it seems - 50 mpg. Jeez, I got almost that driving a $20k Chevy Sonic on the highway and I had a lot more fun doing it. And the Bolt or Tesla is an order of magnitude more fun than that. My wife ended up buying a VW Golf TDI (54 mpg highway), and replacing it after the recall with a VW Golf gas engine (42-44 mpg highway). I've read that Prius sales are now half of what they were at their peak, despite a variety of new models.

Now Toyota is finally getting into plug-in hybrids about 10 years after others, and just in time for a mass-market shift to BEVs. OK, I admit, we are still a few years away from BEVs being 10% of the market, and I won't count Toyota out. At some point, they will have a full BEV vehicle(s) but by the time they do, they will again be followers. They are very conservative in bringing new technology to market (which is probably why their reliability is so good), but BEVs make it a lot easier for any manufacturer to have high reliability (fewer moving parts) so Toyota's key differentiator will not be so differentiating in the future. Then what? They will be seen as behind the times with nothing any better than what other companies make.
 
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DBoon

Minister of Fire
Jan 14, 2009
1,176
Central NY
I agree that a PHEV can be a winner for many people, good for much of local city use all-electric, and good for travel and longer commutes.
Also agree. Two of the four EVs owned by people I work with are PHEVs. Clearly, there is a market here. The people who have them like them and I think they are good options for many people and they cost a lot less today than full BEVs and deliver a lot of the benefits of a full BEV to the people that own them. But I think the PHEV market will peak and decline pretty quickly as BEVs have many of their cost, range and charging issues resolved in the next 10 years.

For instance, a year ago I couldn't have driven my BEV to Southern Virginia to visit my parents due lack of DCFC installations. Now, there have been three DCFCs added at key locations in the last year. What was not an option for me one year ago is totally doable for me today. This trend is only going to accelerate. And if you own a Tesla, this is already a non-issue for you.
 
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