Fri, 12 Jan 2024 06:40:56 +0000 InsideEVs InsideEVs | Electric Vehicle News, Reviews, and Reports Thu, 11 Jan 2024 18:42:58 +0000 Tesla Model 3 Highland vs. Rivals: Which Is The Best Smaller Electric Sedan? The refresh that Tesla gave the Model 3 is more cosmetic than anything else, but is that still enough to stay ahead of its rivals?

When the Model 3 was launched in 2017, it didn’t have any direct electric sedan rivals, which is part of the explanation behind its remarkable market success, but now, in 2024, the situation is completely different. It now has to fend off rivals from established automakers like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Hyundai, all of which now offer competent electric sedans in America.

Fortunately, Tesla gave the Model 3 a thorough exterior and interior makeover last year and added plenty of new features. And now that you can configure a Model 3 Highland in the U.S., we wanted to see how the revised model stacks up against some of the new rivals that have popped onto the scene over the last couple of years. The rivals we’re comparing it against are the BMW i4Polestar 2Hyundai Ioniq 6, and new Volkswagen ID.7.

Mind you, they are not exactly direct rivals since the Model 3 is quite a compact and affordable vehicle, and some of the vehicles mentioned here may be a bit bigger and more expensive. However, they are still all smaller than the Tesla Model S, and they will probably be cross-shopped with the Model 3 and not its bigger brother.

Let's take a look and see where the updated Model 3 stacks up in a game it basically created.


2024 Tesla Model 3 (Highland)

The revised 2024 Tesla Model 3 doesn’t just look sharper than the pre-refresh model; but it’s better at cutting through the air, with a lower drag coefficient of 0.219. This allows it to travel a bit further than before on one charge, even though the batteries and motors are largely untouched. The base Rear-Wheel Drive 2024 Model 3 still uses the LFP battery pack and has the same 272-mile EPA range, while the Dual-Motor Long Range gets a bump from 333 miles to 341 miles.

That’s less than what the Hyundai Ioniq 6 offers 361 miles of EPA range in SE RWD Long Range trim, which is its longest range configuration—Tesla no longer offers an equivalent long-range rear-wheel drive variant of the Model 3. If you opt for all-wheel drive in the Ioniq 6, the EPA range drops to 270 miles.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Limited

After it was updated in the summer of 2023, the Polestar 2’s EPA range ratings went up thanks to a revised powertrain and the use of a slightly larger-capacity battery pack. The range for the single-motor variant is 320 miles, or 307 miles if you opt for the larger optional 20-inch wheels.

The base single-motor version of the BMW i4, the eDrive35, has an estimated range of up to 276 miles, which goes up to 301 miles in the eDrive40 model and 307 miles in the xDrive40 dual-motor all-wheel drive variant. Opt for the top i4 M50 version, and the maximum range drops to 269 miles.

Volkswagen’s ID.7 sedan is the newest entrant, and it has not yet received its EPA range rating. In Europe, it gets a WLTP rating of nearly 400 miles, but Volkswagen has said that for the US, it is targeting a range of 300 miles, which seems reasonable given the car’s battery pack size and specifications.

The takeaway here is that even though the Model 3 hasn’t received a significant technical update with the facelift, it’s still one of the longest-range sedans available in the US. It’s only beaten by the single-motor Hyundai Ioniq 6, and chances are, if Tesla offered a similar Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive version of the Model 3, it would surpass the Hyundai.


Tesla Model 3 Highland charging at a Supercharger

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 is the only vehicle in this list with an 800-volt architecture, courtesy of its E-GMP platform. It’s the quickest to charge too, with a theoretical maximum charging speed of 350 kW that can bring its state of charge from 10 to 80 percent in 18 minutes.

The Ioniq 6 was the quickest-charging EV in America, according to testing from Edmunds. Hooked up to a sufficiently powerful charger, the Hyundai can replenish range at a rate of 868 miles per hour, notably quicker than even other E-GMP-based models.

The Model 3 Long Range can charge at up to 250 kW, while the Rear-Wheel Drive and Performance variants are capped at 170 kW and 210 kW, respectively. It still charges quickly, even by the latest standards, but it can only add 569 miles per hour.

2022 BMW i4 M50 Review Exterior

BMW isn’t too far off with its i4, which can take up to 205 kW, enough to bring its battery from 10 to 80 percent in around 31 minutes. It gains range at a rate of 477 miles per hour, according to Edmunds' tests.

Polestar limits the maximum charging speed for its 2 sedan to 205 kW, and that’s only for the long-range single-motor version, which can go from 10 to 80 percent state of charge in 28 minutes. Dual-motor versions are limited to 155 kW, so charging to 80 percent takes 34 minutes. Its peak rate of range replenishment is 355 miles per hour.

The Volkswagen ID.7 can charge at a maximum of 175 kW, which can add 127 miles of range in 10 minutes or bring the battery from 10 to 80 percent in 28 minutes.

The 400-volt Tesla Model 3 can’t hope to compete with the charging speeds of vehicles running on 800 volts, like Hyundai and Kia vehicles built on the E-GMP platform or the Porsche Taycan. However, its charging performance is still pretty impressive and let’s not forget that the Model 3 takes full advantage of the best charging network around, which still makes topping up a Tesla much more reliable and hassle-free than any other brand.


2024 Tesla Model 3 (Highland)

The Tesla Model 3 Performance is the top-of-the-range version in the Model 3 lineup, and its stats are pretty impressive. You can’t configure the refreshed Model 3 Performance yet, but the 2023 model had a combined output of 455 horsepower and 487 pound-feet from its two motors. Thanks to its all-wheel drive grip off the line, it could sling itself to sixty in 3.1 seconds and to 162 mph flat out.

The 2024 Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive can sprint to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, while the Dual Motor Long Range drops that to 4.2 seconds. Both of these versions are limited to 125 mph at the top end.

Even though the BMW i4 M50 has more power and torque than the Model 3 Performance, with 536 horsepower and 586 pound-feet, it is considerably heavier (it weighs over 5,000 pounds in this version), so it needs 3.7 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph from a standstill. Its top speed of 142 mph is also lower than the Tesla’s.

The single-motor 282-horsepower i4 eDrive35 needs 5.8 seconds to reach 60 mph, with the 335-horsepower eDrive40 variant dropping that to 5.4 seconds and the dual-motor xDrive40 model taking it to 4.9 seconds. None of these non-M variants can exceed 124 mph.

2024 Polestar 2 First Drive Review

Polestar is the only manufacturer in this company to offer a special hardcore performance version of its model, the limited-series 2022 Polestar 2 BST 270. Its dual-motor setup made a combined 469 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque, enough to send it to sixty in a little over 4 seconds (although MotorTrend found that it was capable of completing the benchmark sprint in 3.9 seconds in its independent testing).

Now you get those numbers in the 2024 Polestar 2 Dual Motor with the performance pack. that boosts power from 421 horsepower to 455 horsepower. Torque remains the same at 536 pound-feet, but the sprint time drops from 4.3 seconds to 4.1 seconds.

The base single-motor Polestar 2 (now rear- instead of front-wheel drive) produces 299 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque, and it can accelerate from naught to sixty in 5.9 seconds. All Polestar 2 variants are limited to 127 mph.

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 seems to be the least performance-oriented out of this selection of cars, but it’s by no means a slow car. The base rear-wheel-drive, 225-horsepower version also makes a healthy 258 pound-feet of torque, enough to push the vehicle to sixty in just over 6 seconds and give it decent punch while on the move. Add a second motor and all-wheel drive, and the combined output goes up to 320 horsepower, which cuts the sprint time to 5.1 seconds.

Hyundai is rumored to be working on a dedicated Ioniq 6 N performance model that will surpass the Ioniq 5 N for power and performance, but it is believed that it won’t arrive until 2025. With a predicted output of over 641 horsepower, it will give all the vehicles on this list a run for their money.

Volkswagen has so far only said that the single-motor, rear-wheel drive ID.7 will feature a 282-horsepower drive unit that will push it to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 112 mph. Dual-motor variant specs have not been released but it should be quite a bit more powerful and quicker than the dual-motor VW vehicles built on the MEB platform so far.


Tesla Model 3 Highland: Autopilot

Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Beta are arguably Tesla’s biggest tech features that set it apart from its competitors (besides access to the excellent Supercharger network.) All other vehicles in this company can offer some semi-autonomous driving features, yet the Tesla is the closest to being able to drive itself. FSD is still not perfect, but it’s improving.

Being based on the E-GMP dedicated electric vehicle platform, it offers vehicle-to-load (V2L) capability, which allows you to use the vehicle’s massive battery pack to power tools, appliances, and even an entire campsite. None of the other vehicles in this article offer bi-directional charging.

The BMW i4 is built on a variation of the company’s CLAR architecture, which is also used to underpin its internal combustion engine models. However, while it doesn’t have a standout tech feature, being a BMW, you can spec it with a plethora of systems and gadgets that make it feel far more posh and upmarket than any of the other cars here.

The Polestar 2 was the first car ever to feature an Android-based infotainment system with Google features built-in. It’s one of the best and easiest to use on the market, and it’s a lot less daunting for newcomers compared to Tesla’s iPhone-like interface, which may overwhelm with its multitude of menus, submenus, and options.

2024 Volkswagen ID.7 First Drive Review

The big tech feature that Volkswagen seems to be pushing with the ID.7 is its augmented reality head-up display, which we’ve also seen on other VW ID models. It will also offer striking 3D LED tail lights with animations that transform the look of the rear end, so this is probably going to be a popular option for design-conscious buyers.


2024 Tesla Model 3 (Highland)

Regardless of whether a vehicle is powered by gasoline or electrons, price is still a major deciding factor behind the purchase. You can buy a Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive in 2024 starting at $38,990, while the Long Range All-Wheel Drive model pushes that to $45,990.

It considerably undercuts the similar-size Polestar 2, which in Long Range Single-Motor trim starts at $49,900, with the all-wheel drive model pushing it to $55,300. If you want the full level of performance that it can offer, you will need to spend an additional $5,500 on the performance pack.

With a starting MSRP of $42,450, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 SE comes closest to the Tesla. Opting for an all-wheel drive SEL dual-motor bumps the price to $45,250, while the top Limited trim starts at $50,150 with its additional premium features.

Pricing for the Volkswagen ID.7 has yet to be announced, but it is expected to start at around $50,000 and exceed $60,000 in top dual-motor configuration.

It probably doesn’t come as a shock that the BMW is the most expensive of the cars mentioned here. The base i4 eDrive35 is the most affordable, starting at $52,200, which is considerably cheaper than the eDrive40 variant, which kicks off at $57,300. The i4 xDrive40 all-wheel drive model starts at $61,600, and the i4 M50 starts at $69,700.


Tesla has left the mechanical side of the Model 3 Highland effectively untouched, so pretty much every major component is carried over from the pre-refresh variant. But even so, the Model 3 is still the gold standard in this world, blending range, tech, performance, and affordability in a way that rivals still can’t match. The revised Model 3 also looks better on the outside, and its revamped interior has nicer materials and improved attention to detail. It was the interior of the Model 3 that needed the biggest revamp, and even though it’s not completely new, it is a more pleasant place to sit than before.

Its biggest rival is still arguably Polestar 2, which is the most similar vehicle available for purchase in the U.S. But now that the Hyundai Ioniq 6 has also been released, compact and midsize electric sedan buyers have another very competent and reasonably affordable model to choose from.

Depending on how keenly it is priced, the Volkswagen ID.7 also has a good chance of stealing buyers away from the Model 3 and maybe even the larger Model S, since its size puts it in between the two Tesla sedans.

The point is this: if you want a high-range electric sedan, your choices are now better than ever.

More On The Tesla Model 3

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The Tesla Model 3 Was The Most Popular Used EV In The U.S. In 2023

]]> (Andrei Nedelea) Tue, 09 Jan 2024 18:00:05 +0000 Do Electric Vehicles Have Transmissions? EVs don't have the same kind of complicated gearbox that you find in combustion cars, but they do still have one.

The Oxford Advanced American Dictionary defines an automotive transmission as “the system in a vehicle by which power is passed from the engine to the wheels.” This means that the simple answer to the question about electric vehicles having transmissions is yes. However, EVs don’t have the same kind of transmission as combustion vehicles, which either need multiple or continuously variable gears to ensure a mix of good acceleration, fuel efficiency, and the long-legged character necessary for relaxed driving at highway speeds.

Electric vehicles do have transmissions because power has to be transmitted from the motor to the wheels, but they don’t have multiple speeds. The simple reason behind this fact is a mix between EVs being able to deliver the three aforementioned characteristics (acceleration, efficiency, and cruising ability) with a just one gear ratio, as well as the fact that making a reliable multi-gear transmission for EVs has proven challenging.

Why Are There Hardly Any Multi-Speed Transmissions In EVs?


You probably know the story of Tesla testing out multiple-gear transmissions in first-generation Roadster prototypes, and how the idea was abandoned because these gearboxes kept failing. Jay Leno remembers this happening during a Roadster test drive when he recalls actually hearing the sound of the teeth on the gears inside the transmission being stripped when the vehicle shifted under hard acceleration.

Tesla abandoned the idea of putting a two-speed transmission in the Roadster and sold it with a single-speed box. This one-gear approach became the standard in the industry, but the two-speed was revived by another manufacturer many years after Tesla’s failed attempt with the Roadster.

Nowadays, you will see geared transmissions in combustion cars that have been turned into EVs. Retaining the ICE vehicle’s original transmission is the most affordable way to do an EV conversion since you reuse much of what the car already had and you don’t need to come up with an entirely new transmission system. However, in the vast majority of these EV conversions that retain the stock gearbox, the vehicle is left in one gear (often third) since it provides a good blend between acceleration and high-speed efficiency.

The fully electric Jeep Wrangler Magneto 2.0, which we experienced off-road in 2022, featured a modified Dodge Charger Hellcat-sourced six-speed manual transmission that made for a very different EV driving experience.

Which EVs Have Multiple Speeds?

Porsche Taycan GTS Hockenheimring Edition (2022)

The Porsche Taycan and Audi E-Tron GT share a platform and feature a two-speed automatic gearbox on the rear motor, designed by German transmission specialist ZF. The Ingear two-speed EV transmission from Canada-based automotive supplier Inmotive

Mercedes-Benz is also believed to introduce a two-speed gearbox in an all-new electric CLA sedan expected to arrive by the end of 2024, as well as other subsequent new EVs.

Probably the coolest multi-speed EVs were early Formula E racers. These single-seater racers had a sequential five-speed paddle-operated gearbox, and you could hear them go up through the gears as they accelerated down the straights, but they were abandoned after the competition’s first season.

How Do Single-Speed EV Transmissions Work?

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N screenshot from official video

Since EVs can do just fine with a single-speed transmission, the gearbox itself is much simpler and more compact (and often integrated into a one drive unit along with the electric motor). Electric traction motors can spin at over 10,000 rpm and they feature a reduction mechanism to gear them down.

As a simple visualization, the motor’s output shaft is connected to a small cog, which spins a larger cog. This brings rpm down, increases torque, and makes the power usable in an automotive application. Electric motors also produce peak torque from almost zero rpm and maintain it until very high in the rev range, and this is another factor that allows EVs to work just fine with only one gear that takes them from a standstill up to top speed.

There’s also no need to decouple the motor from the wheels, like in an ICE vehicle. Electric motors don’t need to idle, so you don’t need a clutch to get going, and you usually want regenerative braking to kick in when you lift off the accelerator pedal, so it’s fine for the motor and wheels to always be connected.

However, most EVs still have a clutch or some sort of decoupling mechanism to enable coasting (which is sometimes more efficient than using regenerative braking) and free-wheeling when in neutral (to allow you to push the vehicle if need be), and this varies depending on the manufacturer, platform, and type of electric motors used.

What Are Simulated Gears?

2023 Toyota Supra with manual gearbox (Europe)

The idea of having simulated gears in an EV is a very polarizing one, both among car fans and probably the automakers themselves too. That partly explains why so few manufacturers have tried to do it, even though trying to mimic a combustion engine’s noise and characteristics seems like one of the most obvious ways to try to make EVs more engaging and exciting.

So far, only Hyundai has been bold enough to offer actual simulated gears in a production car, the Ioniq 5 N, which even gives you an ICE-like rev counter on the driver’s display when you select the fake manual mode. It allows you to go up through eight simulated gears, and every time you shift, you not only see an rpm drop but torque is also cut momentarily to simulate an actual mechanical cog swap. It doesn’t make the car any quicker, but it’s a fun feature that owners may enjoy from time to time.

Dodge is another manufacturer that could introduce simulated gears in its EVs similar to Hyundai but also pair them with an exterior sound generator similar to the one in the Abarth 500e.


Toyota went one step further than everyone with its simulated gears and showed footage of it testing a fully electric car with a third pedal and an actual stick shift. In its demonstration, Toyota showed off a Lexus UX-based prototype as it reached a simulated redline in each gear and how the driver pressed the clutch and then slotted the shifter into the next gear.

The system has been designed to mimic a sputtering if you let off the clutch too quickly, and the vehicle will even simulate stalling. Toyota envisions this as a solution that you can turn on when you want a more engaging driving experience, then disable it when you just want to get from one place to another. BMW is also reportedly considering developing something similar to Toyota’s simulated stick shift, but the Bavarians also want the stick to vibrate, for that extra level of immersion.

With so many differing visions among automakers and automotive parts suppliers, it is difficult to anticipate if there is a future for actual or simulated gears in an EV. Let us know what your take is on all this in the comments below: do you think shifting gears has a place in the EV world?

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]]> (Andrei Nedelea) Mon, 08 Jan 2024 17:06:12 +0000 Hyper-Fast EV Charging Is Coming To Supercharge The EV Transition Ten-minute EV charging is on the way. It could reshape the electric car market.

How long did your last visit to the gas pump take? Three minutes? Five minutes? The truth is, you probably didn’t even think about it. For owners of electric cars, filling up is a whole different story.  

Quickly recharging an EV’s battery pack is a far more delicate procedure than simply pouring gas into a tank. It requires surging certifiably lethal levels of power into lithium-ion battery cells prone to overheating and runaway chemical reactions. Consequently, “fast-charging” an EV somewhere like a Tesla Supercharger is actually pretty slow. We’re talking 20 minutes to an hour for a solid charge, depending on a particular vehicle’s capabilities. 

That needs to improve—and fast—to get more Americans to buy electric vehicles and stop killing the planet. The good news is that researchers, car companies and battery startups are innovating quickly to cut charging times down to a more palatable 10 minutes. But getting to the point when refueling an EV happens just as fast as filling a combustion car—in five minutes, let’s say—isn’t happening anytime soon. 

Why EV Fast Charging Is Hard 

There are a couple of persistent hurdles standing in the way of lightning-fast charging utopia. And you need to get the very basics of how batteries work to understand them.

At a fundamental level, lithium-ion battery cells store and release energy using charged particles (lithium ions) that flow between a positive electrode (the anode) and a negative one (the cathode). Hooking a battery up to a power source sends the ions swimming toward the anode, but forcing them to do so too rapidly produces nasty side effects. In the best case, these issues may diminish a battery’s capacity and cut short its usable lifespan. In the worst case, they can make the whole thing go kablooey. 

Pilot Travel Centers LLC, General Motors and EVgo charging station

The biggest problem is lithium plating, explains University of California, Berkeley chemical engineering professor Bryan McCloskey. If you send too many ions barreling toward the anode all at once, they can accumulate permanently on its surface as deposits of lithium metal, which “likes to react with essentially everything.” In extreme cases, McCloskey says, lithium plating can cause short circuits and violent battery fires. 

Pushing lithium ions around too vigorously can also produce undue friction and cause overheating. Just like lithium plating, that can spark unwanted “parasitic” reactions that degrade a battery’s performance, McCloskey says. 

This doesn’t mean all EVs are total duds from a charging perspective, but it does mean that even the fastest-charging models may not blow away drivers who’ve been pumping gas their entire lives.

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 can replenish its battery from 10%-80%, the equivalent of some 250 miles of driving, in 18 minutes. California startup Lucid Motors claims its high-priced Air luxury sedan can add 200 miles of range in 12 minutes. (Nobody really thinks about EV charging time in terms of empty to full because charging slows to a crawl as a battery nears 100%. More common benchmarks are 200 miles or 80%.)

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Review

The key to speeding things along is figuring out ways to allow lithium ions to move around more freely inside a battery without dealing too much of a blow to energy density. That’s what McCloskey is working on as part of a U.S. Department of Energy program aimed at creating batteries that can reach an 80% state of charge in 10 minutes or less. 

You can’t buy a car that charges that quickly yet, but they’re coming. And the impact of that advancement may be far more profound than just saving drivers a bit of time in their day. 

Faster Charging Could Supercharge EV Sales

Faster, more convenient and more appealing charging will be a crucial driving force for the next wave of EV adoption—the wave that encompasses everyday buyers, not just enthusiasts. People aren’t happy with the state of EV charging, and it’s tough to sell regular Americans on a technology that’s unfamiliar and also sometimes sucks.

Tesla Supercharging station

Today’s average fast-charging session lasts 31 minutes, according to JD Power, a research firm that surveys EV buyers. Drivers aren’t exactly thrilled with that, most recently rating their satisfaction with fast-charging speeds at a dismal 609 on a 1,000-point scale. 

“What we have right now is not fast enough, or we wouldn’t be looking at scores that are quite so low,” Brent Gruber, Executive Director of the firm’s EV practice, told me. 

Even as charging networks have upped their game and vehicles have become more technologically advanced, that satisfaction score has decreased over the last two years, a trend Gruber attributes in part to changing demographics among EV shoppers. Early adopters were sufficiently jazzed about their Teslas to overlook time-sucking pit stops. Mainstream buyers aren’t so forgiving. 

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Public charging will only grow more important as the EV market flourishes. Most Americans who’ve bought EVs thus far live in single-family homes where they primarily plug in in their garage or driveway, Gruber said, but more and more apartment dwellers who rely heavily on public charging are entering the mix. 

Batteries Are The Bottleneck, But Things Are Changing Fast

Today’s most powerful charging stations can dispense enough juice to, in theory, fully recharge a moderately sized battery pack in something like 10 minutes. It’s the batteries themselves that can’t handle that firehose of current. But that’s poised to change. 

“Existing fast-charging infrastructure is not only available, but also largely underutilized,” says Chao-Yang Wang, a battery researcher at Penn State University who’s developed cells that can recharge to 80% in less than 10 minutes. His technology uses an ultra-thin nickel foil to preheat batteries to 60 degrees Celsius prior to charging, preventing lithium plating and allowing for better heat dissipation. He says his cells are undergoing testing by multiple carmakers. 

Wang believes that ultra-fast charging could solve a slew of growing pains plaguing the transition to zero-emission transportation. If drivers knew they could recharge in the time it takes to use the restroom, he argues, they’d have more peace of mind to take longer trips. Plus, they wouldn’t demand 300 or 400 miles of range and the big, expensive, resource-rich battery packs that sort of mileage requires. 

“Maybe every two days each person needs three gallons of water, but we don’t carry three gallon-sized water bottles,” he says. “We carry a liter-sized bottle because we can refill the water everywhere and anytime, right?”

Polestar 5

Israeli startup StoreDot developed battery cells that can charge from 10%-80% in 10 minutes using an anode made from silicon, rather than the typical graphite. Dubbed 100in5 (referring to 100 miles of range in five minutes), the technology will power the Polestar 5 sedan when that vehicle launches in 2026. If it’s ready in time, the company may swap in its next-generation chemistry, 100in4, StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf told me. 

What’s next?

A 10-minute charge to 80% pushes the boundaries of our current charging infrastructure. Speeding things up to a gasoline-like five minutes may be possible in theory, experts say, but would necessitate installing public chargers that can serve up roughly twice the power of today’s most potent units, which are rated at 350 kilowatts and are still rare.

“Five minutes is certainly a stretch goal. There’s no question about that,” McCloskey said. “But at the same time, I don’t think it’s entirely out of the realm of possibility.”

StoreDot is more optimistic, touting plans to produce a 100in3 chemistry in 2028, followed by a 100in2 cell in 2032. Myersdorf thinks 700-kilowatt public chargers will be commonplace down the line, but acknowledges that that infrastructure evolution won’t be swift or easy. 

“Five years from now, I think 350 will be a baseline kind of station,” he told me. 

Chevrolet Blazer EV Steet Charging

Disappointed that gasoline-rivaling recharging isn’t right around the corner? Don’t be. There’s a compelling argument that says we should quit trying to map our notions about gas cars onto EVs. 

One of the best things about battery-powered cars is that with a fairly basic electrical connection—one far cheaper and simpler than the mega-powerful plugs at highway rest stops—you can recharge one slowly just about anywhere: on the street, at the office, in a parking garage, at the mall. Harnessing the true potential of EVs may mean investing in lots and lots of slow-charging hookups that can keep cars topped up whenever they're parked, which, importantly, is most of the time. That’ll require a paradigm shift in the way we think about driving. 

So maybe cars are just fine. It’s our brains that could use some rewiring.

]]> (Tim Levin) Fri, 05 Jan 2024 17:48:07 +0000 How Cold Winter Weather Affects Electric Cars (And What To Do About It) Switching from an ICE vehicle to an EV will require additional care when winter arrives. Here's what to watch out for.

If you're switching from an internal combustion vehicle to an electric one, the winter may bring some surprises. Range, charging and battery health are all impacted by cold weather, so driving your new EV through the winter months will require some adjustments to your routine as well as some extra planning—especially if you want to go on a longer journey that will require charging along the way.

Keeping the battery pack as close as possible to its optimal temperature is key to getting the most out of your EV in winter, and depending on the car, you have several options to play with to achieve that. Most modern EVs can regulate their battery pack temperature, and you will need to understand how this thermal management works and how to use it best.

Having said all that, cold temperatures may not be as apocalyptic for your EV as you might have heard. Read on to learn more about how to navigate this situation. 

Range Drops

Lucid Air Range Test

The range takes a big hit in cold temperatures, and don’t think that it has to be close to freezing out for your EV’s range to drop by 30 percent or more in some extreme cases. This is caused by increased resistance in the battery cells. This, in turn, affects the entire pack’s efficiency and performance.

The optimal operating temperature range for an EV's lithium-ion battery pack is roughly between 68°F and 113°F (20°C and 45°C). So if the outside temperature drops below about 68°F, your vehicle will use some of its electricity to increase the pack temperature and hold it there. Keep in mind that this is happening even when your EV is turned off, so if you leave it parked outside on a very cold night and don’t plug it in, you will see much more significant range loss compared to leaving it out in milder temperatures.

According to data recently presented by battery health startup Recurrent Auto, which tested a pool of over 10,000 cars comprised of the 18 most popular electric models in the US, EVs retained 70.3 percent of their range in freezing temperatures.

Some vehicles performed much better than average in this respect. For instance, the Audi e-tron lost just 16 percent of its range in winter, making it the best performer of the study. The weakest model from this study was the Volkswagen ID.4, which lost a whopping 46 percent of its range under such conditions. 

Battery Performance Is Reduced

Volvo EX90 platform

Lithium-ion batteries of the kind found in most EVs don’t operate as efficiently in cold weather, especially when temperatures dip below freezing. This affects the battery anode’s capacity to capture the lithium ions, which will tend to coat the surface of the anode in a process called coating. Most of this coating goes away through the use of the battery, but it won’t go away completely, and it will accumulate and affect battery performance over time.

You will observe this as a drop in the battery’s capacity, and you will also notice capacity going back up as outside temperatures increase and the lithium coating around the anode is reduced.

An electric car’s battery monitoring system and its thermal management system (usually centered around a heat pump) will be working overtime in freezing conditions to not only give you the maximum possible range but also to prevent damage to the battery. Luckily, modern EVs have evolved to a point where damage to the battery shouldn’t be a concern to you since they are tested and designed to withstand temperature extremes.

Charging Slows Down

Cupra Born Undergoes Final Winter Testing At -30°C

Since EV charging speeds are highly dependent on battery pack temperatures, the rate of electron replenishment might slow to a crawl in winter. Matching your EV’s summer charging speed numbers in winter can be difficult, and it will require additional planning.

In many EVs, there is a separate option to tell the car to precondition the battery and prepare it for charging, while in others, the car will do this automatically if you’ve selected a fast charger as your destination. Once you’ve picked out a charger in the nav system, your EV will know that you have the intention of plugging it in, and it will begin to raise battery temperatures in preparation for charging. Definitely check your user manual to see if your car is capable of this, and even watch some YouTube videos to find out how the process works. 

If you omit this step and take the vehicle by surprise and plug it into a DC fast charger with a cold battery, you will only be getting a fraction of the advertised charging speed. This may partly explain the Idaho National Laboratory’s report that EVs can take up to three times longer to charge in the cold. The study also discovered that this varied greatly depending on where you lived; EV owners in the northern US (or colder areas with harsher winters, generally speaking) were more likely to experience these longer charging times.

Regenerative Braking Is Limited

Porsche Macan (2024): The front electric motor is apparently behind the axle

One of the easiest ways you can tell your EV’s battery is not at optimal temperature is by the level of regenerative braking it can provide. Some EVs can put well over 100 kW back into the battery under regen (up to 300 kW for the Rimac Nevera or 290 kW for the Porsche Taycan), but if the battery is cold and it can’t take the power flowing into it from the motors, the vehicle will simply reduce the rate of recuperation until the battery is warm enough to take it.

The level of available regen will increase as you drive, or you can remotely precondition your vehicle so that it’s already up to temperature when you set off. Always leaving your EV plugged in overnight in winter and setting your departure time for the next day will ensure the level of regen you experience won’t vary too much.

Cabin Heating Saps More Range

Mercedes-Benz MBUX Hyperscreen Climate Display

If you’re moving from an ICE vehicle to an EV, it may seem counterintuitive that you’re not actually producing as much heat as you drive around normally. In a combustion car, the engine produces a lot of heat—more than enough to heat the cabin—and you don’t really think about its impact on efficiency or range as you do in an EV.

EVs equipped with heat pumps will scavenge some of the waste heat produced by the electric motors and other components, and part of it will be used to heat the cabin. But this often won’t be enough, and they will have to also use their resistance heater to make the cabin toasty on a cold winter’s day.

This is why turning on the heater in an EV, even one with a heat pump, will instantly cause the predicted range to drop. Polestar says that outside temperatures can reduce the range of its EVs by 10 to 12 percent, but if you also use the climate system, that can go up to 41 percent.

One way to get around this issue and stay warm in your EV is to solely rely on the heated seats and steering wheel if they’re available. Keeping the ventilation off will allow the heat pump to use all the heat for the battery pack, keeping it closer to its optimal temperature and giving you the best range.

BMW is equipping its iX flagship electric SUV with the Radiant Heating package, which adds infrared heaters in the armrests, the door panels, and even the lower part of the dashboard. This complements seat and steering wheel heating and encourages you to not use the ventilation system and just rely on radiant heating for warmth during winter driving.

Ice Buildup May Block Flush Door Handles And Charging Port Door

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE500 Exterior Door Handle

Many EVs have flush-fitting (sometimes powered) door handles that pop out when the vehicle is unlocked. These have the advantage of slightly improving the vehicle’s aero while also making it look cool and modern, but ice buildup can form on top of them, making it difficult to get inside the vehicle.

If the manufacturer doesn’t have a specific technique that you need to apply to get the ice off without causing damage to the bodywork, you may have to get creative and exercise patience. The same can be true for charging port doors, many of which seem poorly designed to deal with the issue of ice buildup.

Winter Tires Also Affect Your Range

Volkswagen ID.4 winter driving

Another range-sapping part of cold-weather EV driving is the switch from summer to winter tires. Between their different rubber compounds and tread patterns, they produce more rolling resistance, and this will incur a range drop.

You should regularly check the tire pressure in winter, as it can vary depending on outside conditions, and having them underinflated can further penalize efficiency.

Michelin says that rolling resistance can lower an EV’s range by up to 20 percent. It also notes that a 30 percent increase in rolling resistance will increase electricity consumption by between 3 and 5 percent.

Some tire manufacturers like Michelin, Hankook, or Nokian have announced EV-specific winter tires, which aim to strike a better balance between grip and rolling resistance, thus helping electric cars drive further in winter without compromising on safety.

Do you have more questions about winter driving range? Drop them in the comments below.

More On EVs In Winter

Summer Weather Affects EV Range Less Than Winter
EV Drivers Adjust Behavior To Deal With Winter Range Issues: Study

]]> (Andrei Nedelea) Fri, 05 Jan 2024 17:00:11 +0000 Should My First EV Be New Or Used? Your answer may be budget-based, but don’t forget about PHEVs and lease takeovers.

Michael Bettencourt is a long-time EV owner, both of BEV and PHEV vehicles, and automotive journalist whose vehicle reviews have specialized in EVs and plug-in hybrids for the past 10 years. We’re following Michael in a new series about the experience of EV ownership, in the short and long term. 

The pattern goes way back, and may still apply today: new drivers (not always super young) start their driving career with an older, less expensive vehicle, sometimes handed down to them or sometimes purchased. Then they save and work their way up the income ladder until they can afford something newer and nicer. 

But what if you don’t want your parents’ gas-powered hand-me-down, and would rather use the potential cost savings of a plug-in vehicle to purchase a new vehicle? This cost savings adds a relatively new level of complexity to the question of whether to go new or used for your first battery electric vehicle (BEV) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). 

There’s no correct choice that’s best for everybody.

There’s no correct choice that’s best for everybody, but after buying both new (BEV) and used (PHEV), I’ll tell you what worked and didn’t work for us, and why both new and used plug-in vehicle buyers have much more to consider now when it comes to vehicle options, tax incentives, and emerging data on battery longevity. 

What worked for us: both new and used, for different reasons

After my wife and I bought our first brand new vehicle in late 2002 (a hot-selling ’03 Pontiac Vibe built in Fremont California in a then-GM/Toyota joint venture plant later taken over by Tesla), I had told myself that we would never buy a new vehicle again. Not because we weren’t happy with it, but because once we saw the final sticker price, I couldn’t help but look at the nicer, quicker, and more luxurious used vehicles out there for the same money. 

But years later, after sampling a few early model EVs including a Tesla Roadster and a 2011 Nissan Leaf at its media launch event, the timing coincided for us to look for our next family vehicle. We were looking for something small and fuel efficient, but more comfortable and luxurious than the Vibe. 

Should My First EV Be New Or Used?

At that time, the super quiet and refined Nissan Leaf with its heated steering wheel and four outboard seats was a major step up in comfort compared to the Vibe. And you couldn’t get much more fuel efficient in 2012 than using zero gas. 

The regrets, however, for buying another new car came in quick succession: bam, the next year a new heat pump was added to the Leaf for extra winter range; bam, a major price chop, roughly $6,000 back then; bam-bam, alarming battery degradation, which was a more prominent issue when you’re only starting with about 80 miles of range and the limited quick-charging infrastructure near us at the time.

Government EV rebates are great, but tend to push down the used prices of EVs.

These gut punches led us to trade in our Leaf in 2016, at which point we experienced another EV budget body blow: serious depreciation. 

This is when we realized that government EV rebates are great, especially when received up front, but these incentives tend to push down the used prices of EVs. At least they did before the global supply chain crunch when the lack of new vehicle inventory sent used EV prices (and many ICE ones) soaring. 

Used EV prices have since floated downward as new vehicle supply has started increasing, so depending on where you are and what vehicle you’re interested in, it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on used EV options in your area – or even further afield if you’re willing to go far for a true bargain. 

Should My First EV Be New Or Used?

For us, the Leaf’s high depreciation drove us into the arms of our current 2013 Ford C-Max Energi PHEV, which at the time was coming off lease. This was another depreciated plug-in vehicle that was slightly newer than our Leaf and roughly the same price, but came standard with zero range concerns and still enough electric range to make my wife’s daily commute largely gas-free. 

Going to our second plug-in vehicle was much easier overall. For one thing, we already had an L2 charger in the garage. And once you become used to smooth EV power, barely noticing gas price swings, and coming out to a nicely cooled or warmed-up vehicle, we knew we couldn’t go back to a non-plug-in vehicle. 

Rebates And Leasing Loopholes Are Key Considerations

The EV landscape has shifted dramatically in North America with the introduction of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) last year and its changes to EV rebates, changes that will shift dramatically again at the start of 2024. The IRA eliminated the long-standing federal EV tax rebate for vehicles not produced in North America (including Mexico), as well as instituted requirements for half of the critical battery materials and components to be processed or built on this continent, or one in which the U.S. has a free trade agreement. For consumers, this means that fewer plug-in vehicles qualify for the full $7,500 tax credit. 

The IRA also instituted new income caps for potential owners, so if your personal or household income is above a certain amount, you no longer qualify for these new EV government incentives. 

In October 2023, the U.S. government clarified its long-awaited 2024 federal EV tax incentive guidelines. The good news is that the government actually changed the EV tax credit you get when you file your taxes (if you had the eligible room) to a point-of-sale tax rebate program. This means you will get up to the maximum of $7,500 off your new EV at the time you buy it, and the dealers will have to fetch the funds back from the feds after you walk out with your new plug-in vehicle. 

EV Tires Are The Hot New Thing:

What Is An EV Tire And Do I Need It?
How The Right EV Tires Can Improve Your Range And Performance

For those looking to buy a new EV, the just-announced changes are detailed here, but the key change of $7,500 upfront may change the calculus of whether you prefer to go new or lightly used. The rebate is comforting to those looking for a full warranty on a shiny brand-new vehicle, especially if you’re working without another vehicle to trade in. It will help blunt the higher upfront cost of a new EV for more folks. 

For those looking for a new EV that happens to be built outside the NAFTA zone (Hyundai group E-GMP vehicles and the BMW i4 are among many worth considering), the government currently allows one major loophole: these dealers are eligible to receive the full $7,500 as commercial owners of these vehicles, and are then free to pass these savings onto the consumer in the form of a lease. 

Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. And sometimes dealers will partially forward on the tax savings, often depending on vehicle supply and desirability. 

Consider Used Rebates, Battery Degradation, And Lease Takeovers 

If you’re leaning towards a used EV, the IRA also introduced federal rebates for used EVs that cost $25,000 or less. The rebate amount is 30 percent of the cost of the vehicle, up to $4,000 max. Sure, that’s just over half of the new vehicle rebate, but proportionately, it’s a worthy and helpful amount. It’s also a greater value than what Canada provides for new EV rebates north of the border (C$5,000, or roughly US$3,660 as this is written). 

Many EV buyers may shy away from buying a used BEV due to concerns over battery degradation over the long term, in part because of horror stories about early battery replacement costs. But recent studies and market surveys have come out that suggest battery degradation – and the expected decrease in vehicle range that will inevitably follow – is far less than many feared. 

Check out ERange EV Tires to combat range loss

There is certainly some degradation in EV range as each year and full charging cycle passes. But for vehicles with modern battery thermal management (including liquid cooling, so basically anything but a Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, or early Outlander PHEV), recent battery and range studies by Recurrent and Geotab fleet services suggest that Tesla batteries in particular, as well as actively cooled batteries in general, are holding up better than predicted. 

Is a used EV test drive and an inspection by a qualified technician of a used EV still a worthy step before purchase? Yes, for sure. Make your used EV offer contingent on this once-over, and ask that any cost associated with the technician’s assessment be covered by anything found that could affect the final selling price.

When we bought our used PHEV, it was coming off lease and we scored a good deal on it. But with interest rates and inflation so high these days, it may be worth looking at a lease takeover that locked in an interest rate when prices and rates were largely lower (maybe outside Teslas). Lease takeovers are when motivated buyers looking at multi-thousand-dollar penalties to break their lease contract agree to port their lease over to a new buyer.  

Honda Used Cars Program

During the extreme vehicle supply-crunched days of the COVID era when used EVs were going for more than brand new ones, hungry buyers were paying large upfront cash payments for the privilege of taking over the few new EV leases that folks were willing to give up. But now that the new EV supply has started flowing again and used prices have floated downward, more deals are available on the lease takeover side as well. 

A lease takeover may doubly help the lessee at the end of the term, as the residual values of these cars may have been set well before used EV prices shot up. That means for many models (outside Teslas and more recent leases), the balloon payment established early on to buy out the vehicle at the end of the lease may be much less than its current value.

Unfortunately, Teslas make for a much less appealing lease product, new or used, because once you’re done renting them, Tesla wants them back, with no buyout option. If you’d like to buy it at lease end, you’re looking at the same retail price for used Teslas as everyone else. That said, recent offers by the automaker to allow folks to move their FSD software over to their next Tesla suggests there may be growing flexibility in this area. 


At the end of the day, it’s impossible to say that buying a new or used EV is the best move for everyone. Traditionally, there has always been more value per dollar in the automotive world on the used vehicle side, due to relatively high rates of depreciation – again, outside of the recent supply chain crunch that turned this upside down for a brief moment in time. 

Take stock of your own vehicle priorities, budget, commute, and financial realities to make the right decision for you and your family.

But you can’t answer the question ‘is new or used better?’ without acknowledging that new Tesla prices have decreased multiple times since the beginning of 2023. Collectively, these drops have added up to prices lower by at least $10,000 and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars lower than prior years in the case of the S sedan and the X SUV. It’s true those cuts came after two years of regular price increases, but the Model 3’s current starting price of just under $39,000 is very close to its effective starting price when it was launched in 2018. 

All this is to say that the EV landscape is evolving rapidly with government and technology changes that have impacted buying decisions much more than for ICE cars. So it’s important to take stock of your own vehicle priorities, budget, commute, and financial realities to make the right decision for you and your family.

]]> (Sponsored) Fri, 05 Jan 2024 14:21:25 +0000 Here Are Some Of Our Favorite E-Bike Innovations Of 2023 E-bikes are charging ahead when it comes to tech and performance.

The electric bike industry has been bustling with innovation in recent years. We’ve been seeing exciting new developments from both new and established players – everything from advancements in battery tech to new powertrains pushing the boundaries of lightweight, powerful motors.

Needless to say, 2023 was an exciting year for e-bike enthusiasts. Big innovations from some of the biggest names in the industry rolled out left and right, and new players emerged with some impressive e-bikes that offer impressive levels of performance for small budgets. With all that being said, let’s take a look at some of our favorite e-bike innovations that emerged in 2023.

Bosch Performance Line SX

Bosch Unveils Lightweight Performance Line SX E-Bike System

Bosch is one of the most established names when it comes to e-bike powertrains, and in 2023, it unveiled its newest motor called the Performance Line SX. Bosch’s Performance series of motors is among the most widely used in the industry, with the Performance Line CX being a favorite among electric mountain bikers. Meanwhile, the top-tier Performance Line CX Race delivers uncompromising performance in a lightweight magnesium housing.

As for the Performance Line SX, this motor isn’t all about brute force, but rather, providing a smooth, natural-feeling pedal assist. Bosch says that the Performance Line SX motor is designed for gravel bikes and lightweight MTBs, and indeed, manufacturers were quick to pick up on this innovation, as lots of new e-gravels, e-MTBs, and electric trekking bikes feature this new motor.

SRAM Eagle Powertrain

Sram has always been a force to be reckoned with in the cycling world, but until recently, didn’t really show much interest in the e-bike space. This all changed when it dropped the Eagle Powertrain, a powerful e-bike system co-developed with German company Brose. Apart from delivering impressive performance, the Eagle Powertrain offers a wide array of integration and compatibility features, allowing riders to fine tune their riding experience.

One of the Eagle Powertrain’s standout features is its ability to control the bike’s drivetrain. It offers automatic shifting for Sram’s wireless drivetrains, allowing riders to focus solely on pedaling and enjoying the ride without needing to fiddle with gear changes. That said, performance-oriented riders looking for a more engaging experience can still choose to shift manually.

Trek Fuel EXe Alloy

Trek Introduces The Fuel EXe Alloy Electric Mountain Bike

Trek’s Fuel lineup of mountain bikes is among the best-known in the business. It’s been around for more than a decade now, and has evolved from all-mountain MTB to full-on enduro builds. The Trek Fuel EXe unveiled in 2022 was truly an e-MTB to behold, with its carbon fiber frame and top-tier components. However, it was naturally premium and beyond the reach of many riders.

Luckily, in 2023, Trek released the Fuel EXe Alloy, a similarly capable electric MTB, albeit one with an aluminum frame and more affordable components. The result was a capable e-MTB that had an MSRP starting at $5,500 USD – still a sizeable chunk of change, but nonetheless more accessible than the carbon frame that would cost you a thousand bucks more.

Yamaha’s 2WD Gravel Bike

Yamaha Y-01W AWD

As it would turn out, Yamaha has a thing for two wheels. Apart from making some of the best motorbikes in the market, it’s also pushing innovation in the e-bike industry. In May 2023, it unveiled the YDX Moro 07, a premium enduro e-MTB with a unique Dual-Twin frame. Even more interesting was Yamaha’s two-wheel-drive electric gravel bike.

The Yamaha Y-01W AWD made its debut at the Japan Mobility Show, and attracted attention due to its wilde frame design and futuristic technology. Among the features on offer are a dual-battery setup and two motors – one in the middle that powers the rear wheel, and another one mounted on the hub of the front wheel.

Pinion MGU

New Pinion Mission ON.E E-Bike System Combines Motor And Drivetrain

Pinion’s innovations in the bike world go beyond electric bicycles with its intuitive internal gearing solutions. However, its MGU, or Motor Gearbox Unit, seeks to revolutionize the way e-bikes are built. By combining the motor and gearbox in a single housing – similar to how a motorcycle internal combustion engine works – the MGU not only offers a compact setup with central weight distribution, it also extends service life and reliability.

The MGU incorporates a myriad of sensors to precisely time each and every shift. Pinion says that the system is so smooth that it shifts in a seamless manner and delivers a natural-feeling pedal assist. To keep weight down low, the entire setup is housed in a compact die-cast magnesium housing.

Jackrabbit XG

Let’s take a step back from all the performance-oriented e-bike innovations and take a look at a bike that’s all about enjoying the simpler things about e-bikes. Indeed, Jackrabbit’s XG is proof that bigger isn’t always better. Perfect for the crowded metropolis, the Jackrabbit XG injects a dose of pure-hearted fun into your rides with its lightweight and powerful motor. Its compact dimensions mean that it’s easy to carry around with you.

Jackrabbit’s XG is its most powerful e-bike on offer, with a 500-watt rear hub motor solely responsible for propulsion (no, there aren’t any pedals). So while the Jackrabbit XG may look like a bike, it’s actually more like a teenie weenie electric motorbike. The price for this fun and practical toy? $1,750 USD.

Ride1Up CF Racer1

Ride1Up CF Racer1: A High-Performance E-Bike For Riders On A Budget

California-based e-bike specialist Ride1Up has always been about producing budget-friendly e-bikes that are good around town. However, it came as a surprise to many when it dropped the CF Racer1, its most performance-oriented e-bike to date. To make it even better, the CF Racer1 is priced extremely attractively at just $2,295.

It’s hard to find a carbon fiber electric gravel bike at this price point, let alone one that’s packing as much tech as the CF Racer1. It’s rocking a Bafang mid-drive motor that pumps out a nominal 250 watts. On top of that, it’s rocking a Sram 1x11 drivetrain and hydraulic brakes. All these parts are impressive, and more commonly found on bikes that retail twice as much as the CF Racer1.

Ducati E-Enduro Powerstage RR LTD

Ducati Unleashes Ultra-Limited Powerstage RR LTD Enduro E-Bike

If you’ve got a spare 11,990 euros ($13,100 USD) burning a hole in your pocket, and you want an electric mountain bike from one of the biggest names in the motorcycle world, then the Ducati E-Enduro Powerstage RR LTD is just the bike for you. This full-carbon electric enduro bike is one of the best e-MTBs to come out of the House of Borgo Panigale, and features no shortage of cutting-edge tech.

It’s rocking Shimano’s top-tier motor, the EP801, which delivers 85 Nm of torque and up to 400-percent pedal assistance. The bike features Ohlins suspension and rolls on a mullet wheel configuration (29 inches up front, 27.5 inches at the back). Only 230 of these bikes will ever see the light of day.

More Fun On Two Wheels:

New Gravital AXS Is A Lightweight Customizable E-Gravel Bike
New Mihogo One Is A Compact Folding E-Bike For The City

Source: Bosch, SRAM, Trek Bikes, Yamaha, Pinion, Jackrabbit Bikes, Ride1Up, Ducati

]]> (Enrico Punsalang) Fri, 05 Jan 2024 13:33:15 +0000 2024 Electric Car Tax Credits, EV Sales And Cybertruck Charging This week's podcast welcomes the New Year with a lot of talk about how EV tax credits are changing, as well as some surprising sales results.

InsideEVs is proud to present episode 192 of its weekly podcast. Available on the InsideEVs YouTube channel and all major podcast platforms – Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsiHeart Radio, and Tune In. We also stream the show live on FacebookTwitchTwitter, and YouTube on Friday at 9:30 AM EST.

Appearing on this episode is Laycee “Miss GoElectric,” an insightful veteran of the InsideEVs Podcast and her own media empire, Hazel Southwell who has been doing science-y deep thinking and reporting for outlets ranging from ESPN to Ars Technica, Alex Goy who is an all-around motoring person and a talented presenter, and Patrick George, Editor in Chief of InsideEVs.

This week we will discuss how EV tax credits will work in 2024 and discuss sales results for various automakers before diving into some Cybertruck charging news.

This Week's Podcast News

Here Are All The EVs And Hybrids That Qualify For A Tax Credit In 2024
GM Offers $7,500 Discount To EVs That Don't Get The Tax Credit
Yes, The Revised 2024 EV Tax Credits Still Count If You Lease The Car
GM's U.S. EV Sales Fall Flat In Q4 As Ultium Ramp-Up Sputters
Kia EV9 U.S. Sales Already Off To A Strong Start In December 2023
Tesla Sets New Record For Total Deliveries In Q4 2023
The Tesla Cybertruck Can't Take A CCS Charging Adapter
The Tesla Cybertruck's Charging Speeds Are Getting Slammed. Here's What We Know

Subscribe to the InsideEVs YouTube channel and tap the bell icon to stay up to date with our new videos and podcasts.

Our Previous Podcasts

We Drive The Chevy Blazer EV, Porsche Macan EV And Discuss The Cadillac Vistiq
Chevy Blazer EV Leaves Us Stranded, Tesla's Defective Parts, VW Gets Buttons

]]> (Eric Loveday) Thu, 04 Jan 2024 19:52:05 +0000 A Guide To BYD, The Chinese Automaker That Just Surpassed Tesla BYD started selling cars at about the same time as Tesla, but it took a very different path to global EV superstardom.

The last decade saw the meteoric ascent of many Chinese automakers, which not only started building and selling more (and better) cars on the local market but also expanded beyond the borders of the People’s Republic to become global brands. And by and large, they aren't making these big waves with gasoline-powered cars. One such success story is BYD—an acronym for Build Your Dreams—which was founded almost 30 years ago and is challenging and even surpassing the automakers it was trying to initially emulate.

As with many of its Chinese counterparts from the early 2000s, the rest of the world initially didn’t take this automaker seriously, often because of the copycat cars it initially produced and its lack of technical and design innovations.

BYD Lineup 2023

How things change. In the years since, BYD has become arguably the tip of the spear for China's unmatched global EV ambitions. In 2023, the company sold over 3 million vehicles around the world, an impressive achievement when you consider it sold about 427,000 vehicles in 2020. That’s an almost sevenfold sales increase in just three years, and since March 2022, it has announced that it is shifting its production and resources away from combustion engine vehicles and going all-in on EVs.

And this week, it made international news for surpassing Tesla in global EV sales—a feat that many industry watchers had anticipated for months that's now come to pass.

So what exactly is BYD? What cars does it make, and why is the rest of the world finally taking notice? Let's dive in with this inaugural edition of EV 101, our new compendium of beginner-friendly guides to the world of electric cars. 

Where Does BYD Come From?

BYD was founded in China in 1995, starting out with just 20 employees. It opened its first overseas office in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, three years later, in 1998, and it began building its first industrial park in China in 2000. Its industrial park in the Pingshan District in Shenzhen, China, was completed in 2007 and has served as the company’s headquarters since. BYD opened a North American headquarters in Los Angeles in 2011 after the city put in a huge order for electric buses. Its parent company, BYD Company Ltd, makes a lot of products including solar panels, industrial equipment, electronic parts and more. 


The BYD F3, an early sedan model. 

 The company wasn’t initially an automaker, and its first two major contracts were to supply lithium-ion batteries for mobile phones to Nokia and Motorola. Its automotive ambitions began with the 2003 acquisition of Xi'an Qinchuan Automobile.

By 2005, its first production model, the F3 compact sedan, was already on the market, and in 2008, it introduced a plug-in hybrid variant of the model called the F3DM. Interestingly, this early PHEV was shown by BYD at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, already hinting at the automaker’s international ambitions. But even then, the cars had such suspect quality, designs and technology that they were hardly taken seriously by the rest of the world. 

In 2008, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway investment company purchased $225 million in shares—largely out of interest in its battery business—giving the brand a big boost. In the subsequent years, the huge investments into and incentives for EVs by the Chinese government helped push BYD and the rest of China's auto industry into a kind of surprise world leader, something that really didn't become readily apparent until after the pandemic

Today, the company is enrolled in several programs and agreements with various companies and governments around the world to promote electric vehicles, extract raw materials for EV batteries, and build more manufacturing facilities to support its massive expansion.

What Vehicles Does BYD Sell And Under What Brands?

BYD Tang

BYD Tang

BYD doesn’t just sell cars. It builds and markets a wide array of vehicle types, ranging from small city cars to buses and trucks. Most of these vehicles are available with a plug-in hybrid or fully electric powertrain. (For years, BYD was often cited as the world's top seller of "electric vehicles," but it often counted hybrids in those figures; the rest of the world generally does not.) 

Passenger cars are built under their own name, so they wear a BYD badge, but also under several separate brands, each with its own distinct badging and identity. The BYD Seagull subcompact hatchback is its smallest offering, followed by the compact Dolphin, but if you want a sedan, the manufacturer has you covered with the compact Qin, the Seal (a Tesla Model 3 and Volkswagen ID.7 rival), and the larger Han. Crossover fans can pick between the Atto 3, the Song, and the Tang. 


The BYD Dolphin and Seal.

Denza is one of BYD’s more luxurious brands. Initially a joint venture with Mercedes-Benz, Denza now has three models on its roster: the N7 and N8 crossovers and the D9 luxury minivan.

Yangwang is another BYD luxury brand, but this one is positioned to challenge European premium manufacturers directly, so its vehicles, the U9 sports car and the U8 large SUV (pictured), are positioned to start at over 1 million Chinese yuan, or about $141,000.

2024 BYD Yangwang U8 Premium Edition in the mountains

2024 BYD Yangwang U8 Premium Edition 

BYD announced a new passenger car brand called Fangchengbao, which “specializes in professional and personalized identities” and will offer plug-in vehicles specifically designed for certain tasks, like going off-road or doing laps around a track.

Commercial vehicles are also big for BYD. It builds small electric vans, like the BYD M3 (called ETP3 in Europe), but also larger trucks (Class 5, 6, 7, and 8) on its own heavy-duty platform that can be equipped for a wide range of tasks. BYD also builds buses in several locations around the world, including the United States, through its plant in Lancaster, California.

When Did BYD Outsell Tesla in EVs?

BYD first outsold Tesla in 2022, but both plug-in hybrids and EVs were included in that sales tally, so it wasn’t an entirely fair comparison. 2023 was the year when BYD recorded a surge in the number of electric vehicles sold, outpacing Tesla in the year’s fourth quarter with 526,400 EV deliveries to Tesla’s 484,500.

What Markets Are BYD Present In?

BYD first expanded its presence outside of China by selling vehicles in the Middle East, South America, and Africa. Since its founding, it has expanded from the couple dozen employees it initially had to over 290,000, as well as 40 global branches (in late December 2021).

BYD Dolphin (Europe)

BYD Dolphin (Europe)

Aside from the aforementioned geographical areas it initially expanded into, BYD currently also sells passenger cars in certain European and Southeast Asian markets, as well as in the United Kingdom and Oceania. In Europe, it is present in 19 countries, and it already has a factory in Hungary where it builds electric buses, as well as plans to open a second manufacturing location in the country.

BYD Mexico

BYD in Mexico

Does BYD Sell Cars In The United States? 

At present, it does not, despite having a headquarters building in Los Angeles. The United States currently has stiff 27.5% tariffs on Chinese-made cars, so due to that and ongoing trade and political tensions between the U.S. and China, BYD is not available there yet. That situation is expected to change someday. 

BYD is already in North America, however, commencing sales in Mexico. The company is also said to be eyeing a factory in Mexico, which would in theory allow it to sell cars in the U.S. without those tariffs. 

How Many Cars Does BYD Sell Globally?

BYD sold 3.02 million EVs and PHEVs in 2023, up from 1.85 million in 2022. This marks a 62 percent increase and shows a strong growth tendency that will be maintained given BYD’s project portfolio and strong ambition to keep expanding into new markets.

Does BYD Make Its Own Batteries?

BYD is one of the world’s largest suppliers of rechargeable batteries, so all the battery packs it puts in its EVs are manufactured in-house. It also supplies batteries for other electric vehicle manufacturers, and there’s even a rumor that Mercedes-Benz will start building EVs with BYD batteries starting in 2025.

BYD Blade Battery

Over the years, BYD has grown to own the complete supply chain, from mineral extraction to final battery assembly. This has enabled the company to not only pay less for its batteries but to also invest in research and development. The fruit of its battery tech research effort is the advanced BYD Blade battery, which prioritizes fire safety over maximum energy density, which doesn’t seem to be as high a priority for other EV battery manufacturers.

What Are BYD's Car Prices? Are The Cars Any Good?


Generally, yes, BYD's cars are regarded as solid by European reviewers—and more importantly, as great values. The interior and exterior designs have advanced a great deal since the abysmal 2010s. 

Take the BYD Seal, for example. The UK's Autocar finds the interior "more visually appealing than the minimalist and more austere Model 3," and said the dual-motor AWD Seal undercuts a similarly spec'd Model 3. It's also mentioned as competition to the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and BMW i4; a tough crowd to run against, but the Seal apparently holds its own. Similarly, the compact BYD Dolphin starts at just £26,195 and according to that publication, "brings long range and impressive practicality to small EV class at a very keen price."

Simply put, BYD's cars seem to offer impressive range, technology and performance for much lower prices than many competitors, which especially as the European automakers worried as they struggle to ramp up their own EVs. They see BYD as a threat to be taken seriously, so much so that the European Union is weighing stronger tariffs of their own

Is BYD A Serious Player In The Electric Space?


Undoubtedly, yes. Though BYD's cars aren't for sale in every market yet, and Europe and the U.S. may act to fend it off in novel ways, the automaker is the poster child for how good China's auto industry has become. Expect to hear much more from this brand as the years go on.

Got a topic you want us to explore for EV 101? Get in touch:

More BYD News

BYD's Next Stop: World Domination
BYD Sales Hit Massive Record In December, Overtaking Tesla
Tesla Model 3 Vs. VW ID.7 Vs. BYD Seal: Which Electric Sedan Is Best?
BYD's Upcoming EV Aims To Beat Tesla And Mercedes-Benz In Aerodynamics

]]> (Andrei Nedelea) Sat, 30 Dec 2023 04:10:34 +0000 Looking To Get Your First E-Bike In 2024? Read This First Here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to embark on e-biking in a safe and enjoyable manner.

Electric bicycles continue to revolutionize the way people get around all over the world. In Europe, they’re proving to be extremely capable urban mobility devices, even replacing cars in certain trips around town. The same is true in Asia, as many cities’ congested streets make commuting by car a tedious, tiresome task. Meanwhile, in the US, e-bikes are picking up steam, as sales have quadrupled since 2019.

Now, I’ve been writing about e-bike stuff here on InsideEVs for nearly two years now, and I know a number of our readers have made the shift, or at least added an e-bike to their fleet of vehicles. For those of you who haven’t, well maybe you’re thinking of doing so in 2024. I thought I’d make that a little easier for you by giving you a quick rundown of everything you need to hit the road (or trails) on two wheels in a safe and enjoyable way. Let’s dive right in.

Do some research

Thok’s MIG eS Is The Perfect E-Bike For Both Urban And Off-Road Explorers Folding Bike Maker Brompton Refreshes Its E-Bike Lineup For 2023

There are tons of e-bikes on the market today, and each of them are different from one another. Indeed, you don't need to look far. Simply type "e-bike" on our search bar, and you'll find hundred of articles highlighting everything the e-bike industry has to offer. That being said, the first step in starting your e-bike journey would be determining what kind of riding you actually want to do. Of course, this would depend on a multitude of factors such as your skill level, where you live, how long your commute is, and of course your budget.

If you’re the adventurous type and want to get into e-biking primarily for recreational purposes, then an e-MTB is probably your best bet. We’ve talked about tons of e-MTBs, and quite a lot of them offer impressive all-terrain capability at an irresistible price. If you’ve got kids and plan to use your e-bike for transporting them and running some errands, you may want to consider a long-tail cargo e-bike. Meanwhile, if you plan to ride mostly on the road and occasionally cross the odd gravel path or light trail, an electric gravel bike could be the one for you.

New Murf Higgs Cargo E-Bike Impresses With Versatility And Retro Style

Last but not least, once you’ve decided what kind of e-bike is best for you, you’re going to want to try it out. Head over to your nearest e-bike dealer or bike shop and see if they offer test rides. If not, try to find a buddy who already rides. Maybe they’ve got the bike you’re eyeing or something similar, and are willing to let you take theirs for a spin.

High Quality Helmet And Basic Gear

Looking To Get Your First E-Bike In 2024? Read This First

It goes without saying that riding an electric bicycle is slightly more dangerous than riding a regular bicycle. The addition of a powerful motor inevitably adds extra speed and weight into the equation, so it’s always a good idea to dress appropriately before hitting the cycle paths, roads, or trails, aboard an e-bike.

Looking To Get Your First E-Bike In 2024? Read This First

Luckily, there are tons of decent e-bike rated helmets on the market. These lids offer significantly more protection than your standard bicycle helmet, particularly at the back of the head. Some of these helmets even make use of premium tech such as Mips, which go the extra mile to protect your noggin' in the event of a tumble. It’s also worth investing in padded cycling shorts or pants so you don’t get saddlesore – something that’s pretty much inevitable especially for beginners. Gloves can also prevent your hands from getting sore while ensuring you have a good grip on the bike. They also provide abrasion resistance in the event of a drop or crash.

Learn How To Work On Your Bike

Looking To Get Your First E-Bike In 2024? Read This First

Bicycles are among the most reliable means of mobility, and their two-century existence is proof of this. Nevertheless, they’re machines, and machines can break down. As such, it’s essential that you learn even just the basics when it comes to troubleshooting and repairing your e-bike. Depending on the e-bike of your choice, you’ll want to learn how to replace a chain. Of course, removing the wheels is a must, and so too is replacing tires and inner tubes.

Bike tools are specialized, but they’re by no means expensive, especially if you know where to look. Scour the classifieds or Facebook Marketplace for a used set of bike tools, as well as a handy multi-tool that you can carry around with you when you ride. A floor pump for your home is also a convenient way to air up your tires before you ride, but you’re also going to need a portable hand pump (there are even fancy electronic pumps now) when you hit the road.

Learn About The World Around You

Swiss Startup URB-X Is Developing Elevated Bike Paths For European Cities

Depending on where you are in the world, different rules and regulations apply to bikes and e-bikes which will ultimately affect all the choices you make about the stuff I mentioned above. For example, in Europe, all e-bikes are mandated to have a nominal power output of 250 watts. Lots of European countries also have comprehensive cyclist-focused infrastructure such as bike paths, bike parking, and dedicated bike lanes alongside public roads. Meanwhile, cyclists in Asia and parts of the US aren’t as lucky.

More Fun On Two Wheels:

BMC Has Urban Riders In Mind With 257 AMP AL One E-Bike
More Details About AI-Powered Urtopia Fusion E-Bike Emerge

At the end of the day, defensive riding is key for a safe and enjoyable e-biking experience. Riding like you’re invisible (i.e., not assuming other road users can see you) is the best way to develop a safe riding style. Having the proper safety gear, a capable bike, and the know-how to keep things shiny side up and rubber side down only make your two-wheeled experience more enjoyable.

]]> (Enrico Punsalang) Fri, 29 Dec 2023 16:00:15 +0000 Considering EV Ownership: To Level 2 Charge Or Not To Level 2 Charge?  They’re more expensive to install, but they charge oh-so-fast compared to a wall outlet. 

Michael Bettencourt is a long-time EV owner, both of BEV and PHEV vehicles, and automotive journalist whose vehicle reviews have specialized in EVs and plug-in hybrids for the past 10 years. We’re following Michael in a new series about the experience of EV ownership, in the short and long term. 

In this brave new world of battery electric vehicles (BEVs), one of the key differences of EV versus regular car shopping is that where you live, and in particular your overnight parking situation, can often dictate what type of EV is best for you, or at least be a major influence on your vehicle choice.

For us, our family’s situation was an ideal scenario to jump into early BEV ownership, both now and even back in late 2011: living in a suburban home, being a two-car family with a garage and driveway, and having a younger child prone to car sickness that disincentivized longer road trips. We can easily park our leading-edge (for the time) 2012 Nissan Leaf in the driveway as we have for the past 10 years.

Like many folks who regularly see freezing winter temperatures, our garage was full of bulky items that had long banished our vehicles to the driveway, even if it meant regular snow and ice scraping come winter. Our single-car garage housed bicycles, lawn equipment, shovels, winter tires, and the overall detritus of suburban life that piled up to a point where it seemed inconceivable to fit a vehicle in there anymore.

Check out ERange EV Tires to combat range loss

Cleaning out the garage to make room for both the EV and the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) – often called the charging station – was easily one of if not the toughest part of becoming an EV owner. For us, this happened months before actually becoming an EV owner, ironically.

It's conceivable now for families to consider jumping straight into full battery-electric ownership and giving up on gas station visits cold turkey. There are some caveats to that, however, so here are the key considerations if you’re debating whether or not to stick with the common-but-oh-so-slow Level 1 charging method or invest in a faster Level 2 charger for your new electrified chariot.

You Don’t Need A Garage, But It Really Helps

If you own or rent a home with a garage or any overnight parking space, life with an EV becomes much simpler straight away. There’s no wrangling with a condo board or landlord to install even a basic 120-volt outlet to charge your EV at night. 

This type of Level 1 charging with a common household plug is what some folks use to charge their EVs, thus avoiding hundreds of dollars in install fees for a Level 2 charger. It could even become thousands of dollars if there is no room left in the electrical panel or it needs to be upgraded to handle the higher load.

Level 1 portable charger

Level 1 charging, though, is the least expensive EV charging option, where you can use the cord that comes standard on most EVs (outside of the Kia EV6 and all Teslas as of mid-2022) to plug into a standard three-prong outlet.

But it’s not ideal, from a safety or a convenience perspective, no matter if you’re looking at a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) or full-on BEV.

EV Tires Are The Hot New Thing:

What Is An EV Tire And Do I Need It?
Electric Car Tires: All You Need To Know

That’s because Level 1 charging adds only four to five miles of range per hour of charging. This means you can only add about 40-80 miles of range while charging overnight, and it’s painfully slow to charge when you’re running around and want a quick top-up before your next errand, practice, or visit. On a long-range BEV with a big battery (70+ kWh), a 12- or even 24-hour charging period may not even be enough for a full charge, especially in cold winters. 

And safety-wise, while trickle charging is not unsafe, it does generate a lot of heat for a regular outlet.

Thus, it’s always preferable to have a licensed electrician come in and install a more powerful 240-volt, UL-certified Level 2 EV charger. From a cost perspective, most certified Level 2 EVSEs run between $300 and $900, depending on how smart and feature-rich you’d like them, and they can often be rolled into your car payment as a dealer accessory. 

United Chargers Alpha Level 2 Smart Charger

Where the most cost variability comes in is with the installation: If your panel is in or near your garage, the labor cost for the installation could be less than the EVSE itself. If it’s at the opposite end of the house, and you have to run wires from your basement panel through your walls and ceiling, it could run many times that smart EVSE cost.

Being able to warm and cool your parked EV in your garage is one of the modern joys of EV living. It’s even better when you can use grid power for this and leave with a full or nearly full battery. Trickle charging on a 120-volt outlet simply can’t provide enough power to do this and charge the car when temperatures dip close to or below freezing. A Level 2 charger, however, has no trouble doing both at the same time.

Apartment-Dwellers and Condo-Owners Have It Rougher

At the opposite end of the ease-of-EV-ownership spectrum are condo owners and those living in multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) without a regular (or any) parking spot. Not being able to install a Level 2 EVSE themselves, these folks must either petition the building management to install Level 2 chargers, settle for using a slower 110-volt outlet for charging (if they can find one), or rely entirely on our nation’s incomplete and iffy DC fast charging network.

Some ambitious cities now offer a growing number of on-street L2 chargers meant for overnight EV charging, placing them in residential urban neighborhoods. Prices vary, but in the city of Toronto for example, an overnight charge currently costs a flat fee of $3 from roughly 10pm to 8am. The program aims to give an overnight charging option to EV owners without a garage.

To Level 2 Charge Or Not To Level 2 Charge? 

Other options for these garage-less EV owners include workplace charging, though from my experience the paid L2s offered at my former office were pricey and therefore barely used until the network operator went under. If workplace L2s are not available, there are some new EVs that come with two or three years of free DC quick charging at Electrify America stations (the VW ID.4 most commonly) that would make a three-year lease worth considering.

Just please don’t sit on busy chargers past an 80-percent state of charge if other folks are waiting, especially if you don’t need the full range of your car right now. This is Public Charger Etiquette 101 and is non-negotiable.

tesla-supercharger-v3-initiatis-i-work-in-milan (Those:

If you’re open to older used EVs, some early Tesla Model S and Xs included free lifetime charging at their coveted Supercharger networks. Also, there may be some free government-sponsored public chargers available near you, but most of them are slower L2 chargers. It’s hard to beat free, though, whether sponsored by the government or granted through private industries.

As mentioned, paying to regularly use a DC quick charging station is also possible, but it's a pricey option. Considering the state of reliability of our fast-charging infrastructure in North America, buying a BEV and depending only on this type of charging should be considered a last resort.

In the end, whether you’re considering a PHEV or BEV or both, it’s worth taking stock of what works best with your own living situation, driving patterns, and local public charging infrastructure. This adds another layer of key research on top of comparing roominess, value, tech and drive feel, but welcome to the wise EV buyer’s age.

]]> (Sponsored) Sat, 23 Dec 2023 15:10:00 +0000 2023 Was The Year Of The Tesla Cybertruck. I’m Glad It’s Over The year of rumors, embellishments, and shaky fan videos is coming to an end.

It only takes a minute to check out the dedicated page where all the Tesla Cybertruck-related stories are neatly categorized on InsideEVs. A couple of mouse scrolls later, you’ll see that a consistent chunk of articles dedicated to the controversial pickup were written by yours truly.

Everything from videos analyzing photos that were taken on the side of the road and drone footage that shows the car’s rear-wheel steering in action to images of several Cybertrucks parked next to each other, and official material from Tesla showing how the electric truck drove on slightly uneven roads in Mexico. I’ve written about all of this and many more.

And I’m glad it’s finally over–at least where speculation and sketchy sources are concerned–because the Cybertruck is finally being manufactured and delivered to customers across the United States.

But the previous two paragraphs would simply not exist if the Cybertruck was the product of any other car brand that could now be described as a legacy automaker. That’s because Tesla doesn’t do normal car launches.

It doesn't fly journalists out on "press trips" to exotic locales to test their cars for a few hours at a time, hoping for a favorable first-drive review. Tesla doesn't loan out cars to journalists anymore, a practice it ended sometime around when the communications team was dissolved. Granted, the automaker will work directly with some outlets and influencers, but certainly not all of them. And Tesla doesn't answer questions from reporters, pretty much ever. 

That’s both good and bad at the same time. It’s good for customers and regular folk who just want to feel like they’re a part of the development process. At Tesla, reservation holders and more recently stockholders could participate in new model launches next to engineers, designers, and high-ranking executives. The press? Not so much, given Elon Musk’s aversion to journalists inquiring about sensitive topics.

Traditional carmakers, on the other hand, rely on established press entities to relay information to the public. More often than not, experienced journalists attend carefully crafted and choreographed vehicle launches meant to show everything that’s good about the car and the company behind it.

Tesla doesn't operate that way. Even the Cybertruck delivery event could be described as amateur hour, with Musk jumping in the bed of the truck at one point during the live stream only to become almost invisible to the cameras because there wasn’t a single light pointed at his face. (Seriously, Tesla, hire one lighting guy next time.) 

Tesla Cybertruck Delivery Event (2023)

Tesla Cybertruck Delivery Event (2023)

But people were cheering anyway. That’s why we decided to run some stories that would otherwise be ignored if there was another marque in the headline. People wanted to get all the information because Tesla wouldn’t give it to them, not even to those who paid money to help it build the damn thing. 

Journalists don’t cheer at launch events. They ask questions that need real answers, not insipid “we make the best cars” replies.

This does have its drawbacks. There's a lot we would love to know about the Cybertruck's 48V architecture, the drive-by-wire steering, the range extender battery pack, how repairs to the stainless steel body will work, and so much more. Those are industry-changing technologies and things owners will definitely care about. We'd love the chance to talk with the very smart people at Tesla about how they'll work. Unfortunately, if you're not in the Muskian inner circle, you rarely get that chance. Instead, you wait for customers to find out on their own, or for the answers you want to get posted on X. 

What I’m getting at here is that any other carmaker in this world would put a lot more effort into giving out official information and it wouldn’t get away with its CEO writing nonsense on a social media platform he acquired just to make it a trumpeting device. It wouldn’t rely on the community to do the work for it because it wants to make sure the correct details get into the hands of prospective customers.

But that's Tesla for you. And as frustrating as it is for us, the company has no trouble generating publicity. 

More Cybertruck News

Tesla To Offer Boat Package For Cybertruck. Here's Why That's A Terrible Idea
The Tesla Cybertruck’s Wade Mode Uses Air From The Suspension To Protect The Battery

]]> (Iulian Dnistran) Fri, 22 Dec 2023 14:33:29 +0000 Can EV-Specific Tires Help Make Up For Range Loss Over Time? We test ERange tires on my 2013 Ford C-Max Energi PHEV to help find out.

Michael Bettencourt is a long-time EV owner, both of BEV and PHEV vehicles, and automotive journalist whose vehicle reviews have specialized in EVs and plug-in hybrids for the past 10 years. We’re following Michael in a new series about the experience of EV ownership, in the short and long term. 

Battery degradation is a cruel but inescapable reality for EV drivers, even if EV owner-based empirical data suggests that this degradation is not nearly as extreme as many (less informed) EV critics suggest. Automakers battery lifespan estimates of 15 to 20 years looking fairly realistic – and possibly longer, depending on mileage, plus how they’re used and cared for, of course.

ERange series 1 C-Max beauty 4

After buying our family’s first EV in December 2011, our trusty but oh-so-early 2012 Nissan Leaf, we traded it in for a slightly newer 2013 Ford C-Max Energi in summer 2016. Thus banishing EV range anxiety – especially in our cold northern winters in Toronto – from our daily commuting lives.

Or so we thought.

As the years since have passed, we’ve found that daily charging does not provide quite the same all-electric range as our C-Max Energi used to offer. So I looked forward to trying these new highly-hyped ERange tires designed specifically for EVs as soon as they became available.

That day came yesterday, as I write this, and I’m looking forward over the next few weeks to tell you how it’s going with them, plus go into more depth on the trials and tribulations of long-term EV ownership, while updating my observed range figures over these first few weeks of summer.

ERange series 1 rear 3q beauty 8

Granted, our Ford PHEV’s e-range wasn’t huge to start: the EPA figure for a new ‘13 C-Max Energi came in at just 19 miles of all-electric range. That was just enough to cover my wife’s daily commute in moderate, non-winter temperatures at the time we acquired it – barely, but it covered.

This is sadly not the case anymore. And when the serenely refined electric range is done, the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder Atkinson engine loudly announces it’s back on the scene, seemingly trumpeted even louder by a continuously variable transmission that plays a buzzy duet that transforms – some might say ruins – the fairly advanced drivetrain feel of the entire package when in EV-only mode.

This golden silence and relative cacophony when it ends makes every mile of all-electric range extracted from our C-Max Energi precious to the driver. Though significant gas savings and emissions reductions are nice bonuses here too.

ERange tires can help extend range, as can warmer weather, but by how much?

On an earlier preview test of a Tesla Model 3 on a set of ERange tires in and around Los Angeles, after a full day of mixed driving, I found efficiency numbers that lent worthy real-world data points to support the company’s estimate of a seven percent improvement on the Model 3’s official EPA combined figures. It was far from a scientifically-controlled test, but in my morning stint, there was a meager 1.2-percent improvement, but then a whopping 11.5-percent improvement to 4.34 miles/kWh on my longer and more varied afternoon drive, compared to the Model 3 LR’s official 3.8 miles/kWh. 

Did the folks at Sailun somehow manage to find a route that included city, highway and canyon driving that afternoon that was all downhill?

Sailun Erange series tires 11

For us, a 7-percent improvement in our electric range would be much less dramatic – at roughly 1.33 miles if it still offered the full 19 mile range as new (which it doesn’t) – but would provide back some of the precious EV range we lost to degradation over the years.

So how much of that battery degradation EV range could be recouped? I couldn’t wait to try them out on our own C-Max to try to find out.

First ERange test versus my three-year-old all-season tires

My local tire shop recommended an alignment as soon as I told them of my plan to do a careful EV-mode range comparison of my current all-season tires versus the exact same route on the ERange tires.

My current tires were three year-old Toyo Extensa A/S II all-seasons, a low-cost tire designed for long tread life more than anything else, and are not low-rolling resistance like the ERange. Since I also had swapped out those Toyos for winter tires, the Toyos were running on roughly 18,000 miles worth of tread wear, or roughly a quarter of the way through their tread life.

ERange series 1 Toyo tread 3

Tread pattern of my three year-old Toyo Extensa A/S II all-seasons

All the tires were the same 225/50R17 V-rated rubber as the stock size, even though the factory rims are now mounted on my winters. I planned out a test route of 19 miles that started right after a full charge at the L2 in my garage, with a 50/50 mix of city and highway driving, using the EV Now mode that keeps the Ford using electrons unless you stomp on it, and climate control off the entire way.

No A/C was a challenge in stuffy conditions that ranged from mid-to-high 70s and high humidity throughout, so in the city, the windows were mostly down. Trying to maintain as similar acceleration as possible throughout was also a challenge, so I tried to drive normal up to each road’s speed limit (20-40 mph in town, around 60 on the highway), although needing to prevent the engine from turning on even in EV Now mode meant I was gentler on the accelerator than I normally would be – or any time-conscious drivers.

My first test-run was done pre-alignment, where I hit 15.4 miles, suggesting I was now working with about 81 percent of the CME’s original 19 miles of all-electric EPA range. I also went to a public FLO L2 charger soon after, leaving it there for over three hours to ensure ample time for a full drink of electrons, with the total energy replenished coming out to 4.9284 kWh. This from the CME’s liquid-cooled 7.6 kWh battery pack, which when new, offered 7.2 kWh of usable energy.

ERange series 1 FLO full charge

This smart FLO’s meter therefore suggested my plug-in hybrid battery’s usable capacity had diminished to a sobering 68.5 percent of its original usable capacity over its 10-year lifespan. For the record, my C-Max Energi has traveled a total of 92,239 miles, of which 48,125 miles of those were on battery power, according to the dash’s most recent Lifetime Summary pictured here.

Erange series EV range start 11 Erange series Lifetime EV use summary 13

So almost exactly half of its total use has been running electric. Which may be a philosophical gut punch to the BEV-angelists that declare all PHEV owners rarely if ever plug in their vehicles, and don’t want to classify plug-in hybrids as EVs at all. Our total proportion of EV use could have been even higher, as it had been leased for three years before we received it, where the CME’s lifetime summary then had been closer to a 60/40 gas/electric ratio when we first acquired it.

The prior owner had plugged in regularly, but had driven more than our urban family’s usual 10,000-ish mile yearly total.

Initial verdict on all-season versus ERange tire tests

After a full charge in the C-Max, the dash usually shows 16 miles of total range available, which I’ve found to be fairly accurate in these carefully driven tests. After the alignment, with air pressures all set to factory 36 psi recommendations, my three-year-old all-seasons ran on a full charge for 15.7 miles, a very slight improvement over their pre-alignment figure. I quickly pulled into a nearby gas station to take note of this, and to help keep in mind the physical point at which the EV range ended.

ERange series 1 Toyo tread 3

Tread pattern of new Sailun ERange tires

It was then back to the tire place for a quick tire switch, then back home for a full charge for 2.5 hours before doing the same loop on the ERange tires. Within 0.1 of a mile of leaving home, the range estimator jumped up from the usual 16-mile EV range estimate up to a surprising 18 miles. Okay, two extra miles doesn’t seem shocking, but that would constitute a healthy 10.5 percent increase, although the quickness of its addition had me thinking that the Ford’s computer had simply adjusted to my more conservative ‘test mode’ driving style.

Which seems to be the case, as by the turnaround point in the route, the remaining range was at nine instead of eight miles previously. And by the end of the test, the range ended at a somewhat disappointing 15.2 miles before the engine kicked in, or roughly the same EV range as on the all-season tires, pre-alignment.

ERange series 1 plugged in 2

Wait a minute, what happened? I realized that by the time the car finished charging, I had missed much of the rush-hour traffic I had hit on part of the highway stretch in my aligned all-season tire test, and on the earlier one as well. So I took the Ford through the same route again the next day closer to the original rush hour time frame – traffic is never exactly the same density day after day, but traffic patterns are patterns for a reason. And voila: a healthy 16.9 miles of all EV range! Marking an extra 1.2 miles on the ERange tires over the aligned all-season tires, which represented an increase of roughly 7.4 percent of the CME’s all-electric range.

The extra braking of stopped or slower highway traffic and less high-speed proportion of miles helped extend out the battery range. I estimated my planned 50/50 proportion of city/highway driving ratio would be closer to 60/40 if you count the time slowed by in-town-like highway congestion.

Clearly, this is another interesting data point, not a proper scientific test, which would be impossible to perform on public roads due to all the variables. But it’s more illuminating in a pattern that suggests the company’s estimates on the effects of the ERange tires on electric range are certainly worthwhile, and measurable, if variable due to driving conditions – as always, YMMV.

]]> (Sponsored) Fri, 22 Dec 2023 13:32:41 +0000 Chevy Blazer EV Leaves Us Stranded, Tesla's Defective Parts, VW Gets Buttons Plus we recall some of the big stories of 2023 and provide a look into 2024.

InsideEVs is proud to present episode 191 of its weekly podcast. Available on the InsideEVs YouTube channel and all major podcast platforms – Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsiHeart Radio, and Tune In. We also stream the show live on FacebookTwitchTwitter, and YouTube on Friday at 9:30 AM EST.

Appearing on this episode is Laycee “Miss GoElectric,” an insightful veteran of the InsideEVs Podcast and her own media empire, Hazel Southwell who has been doing science-y deep thinking and reporting for outlets ranging from ESPN to Ars Technica, Alex Goy who is an all-around motoring person and a talented presenter, and Patrick George, Editor in Chief of InsideEVs.

This week we will discuss our how the Chevy Blazer EV left us stranded, Tesla's defective parts and VW putting buttons back in its cars. Then we'll take a look back at 2023 and forward into 2024. 

This Week's Podcast News

The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV Left Me Stranded In Rural Virginia
Tesla Knew It Installed Defective Parts In Its EVs. It Charged Customers For Repairs Anyway
Volkswagen Will Bring Back Physical Buttons In New Cars
Next-Gen Apple CarPlay Will Tap Into Your Car’s Sensors And Take Over All The Screens

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1.2 Million-Mile Tesla Model S, Cybertruck Foundation Series Pricing Announced
We Drive The Chevy Blazer EV, Porsche Macan EV And Discuss The Cadillac Vistiq

]]> (Eric Loveday) Wed, 20 Dec 2023 23:00:44 +0000 It’s The Best Time Ever To Buy An Electric Car. It’s Also The Most Confusing Despite confusion around tax credits and shifting charging standards, now is a great time to buy an electric car.

There’s a lot of conflicting information being hurled at electric vehicle buyers right now. Much of it’s good. Some of it’s bad. Taken together, it can all be tough to make sense of. 

One day it’s: “EVs are the future!” The next it’s: “Never mind, nobody wants them.” One day that car you had your eye on qualified for a game-changing $7,500 tax credit. The next day you hear the Feds are booting it off their list because of minerals from China, or something. Flashy new models frequently make headlines, but few are attainably priced. 

Allow me to cut through the noise: Between the constant march of new model launches, ever-improving technology, maturing charging infrastructure and falling vehicle prices, right now is the best time in history to buy an electric car. At the same time, it’s also the most dynamic and perplexing.

“There's a lot going on,” Ingrid Malmgren, policy director at the EV advocacy group Plug In America, told me. “It's an exciting time, but also a confusing time.”

EV Choice And Technology Is Evolving Quickly

Let’s start with some of the good. Since 2019, the number of different electric models available in the U.S. has tripled from 16 to some 48 and counting. (Not too long before that, the market was practically nonexistent.) With Ford trucks, Mercedes SUVs and even exciting new entries from startup brands that didn't exist a few years ago, today’s buyers are more likely than ever to find an EV in their preferred form factor or from their favorite brand. 

Technology has improved by leaps and bounds too. The average EV sold in the U.S. in 2013 could drive just 117 miles on a full charge, according to a BloombergNEF analysis. By 2022 that figure had jumped to 291 miles. Charging is getting quicker as battery technology advances, making road trips way more convenient. That’s all fantastic for buyers. 

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

But the wealth of choices also complicates things. Before, shopping for an EV was like going to In-N-Out, said Ivan Drury, director of insights at car-buying website Edmunds. Just a few straightforward options. (Setting aside the secret menu, of course.) Now he says it’s more like perusing the vast menu at The Cheesecake Factory. 

The breakneck pace of innovation means there’s a strangely broad range of capabilities on the table, as aging platforms are sold alongside bleeding-edge products. A 2024 Nissan Leaf provides a not-amazing 150 miles of range and antiquated charging speeds. A brand-new Hyundai Ioniq 6 sedan, meanwhile, promises to travel 361 miles on a full charge and can add 100 miles of range in a breezy 7 minutes. That’s not to mention everything in between. 

It all means buyers need to do more research than ever and learn to grasp unfamiliar concepts beyond horsepower and miles per gallon. Yet car dealers are still catching up and aren’t great, it turns out, at educating shoppers on the specifics of electric propulsion. It’s not clear that they even want to

The Affordability Problem

More good news about the current moment: Thanks to an oversupply of EVs and a price war initiated by Elon Musk, you can get your favorite Tesla, Ford, Kia or the like for thousands less than it would’ve cost this time last year. That makes now a prime time to pull the trigger on an electric purchase or lease.

More Buying Advice

You Can Get An Incredible Deal On A Volkswagen ID.4 Right Now
I Considered A Super-Cheap Hydrogen-Powered Toyota. Here's Why I Steered Clear
Porsche Taycan EVs Are Depreciating Like Crazy. Get A Screaming Deal On One Now
Is It Smarter To Buy Or Lease An EV? 

At the same time, affordable electric options are sorely needed to spur adoption. The average price paid for an EV in November was $52,345. That’s a big improvement over this time last year but still is significantly more than the industry-wide average of $48,247. 

Charging Availability Is Getting Better, But…

The availability and quality of public charging stations have been a persistent pain point for EV adoption, but things are slowly getting better.

The biggest news on that front—maybe the biggest news in EVs this entire year—is that most carmakers have accepted an invitation from Tesla to transition to its charging plug design for their future models. 

It’s a big deal because Tesla’s Supercharger network is larger, easier to use and more reliable than other fast-charging networks, but it’s historically been exclusively available to Tesla owners. Now that basically the entire industry is switching over to Tesla’s plug (called the North American Charging Standard, or NACS), buyers of non-Tesla cars will gain access to thousands of Tesla’s chargers across the country for the first time. 

Tesla Supercharger 4

That’s a potential game-changer for any buyers on the fence. But the switch won’t happen overnight.

Starting in 2024, most EV owners will be able to access Tesla chargers using an adapter. In 2025 and beyond, companies like Ford, General Motors and Volkswagen plan to integrate the NACS port into their new vehicles. 

This weird transitional period introduces lots of thorny questions. Should shoppers delay a purchase until they can buy a NACS-equipped car? Should they just go ahead and buy now, even though their vehicle’s hardware is guaranteed to be outdated in short order? Will non-Tesla owners enjoy the same seamless experience that Tesla drivers get?

All the uncertainty could deter mainstream buyers from going electric for the time being, Drury said. Just imagine telling someone their new gas-fueled car needs different nozzles and different stations, he said. 

“They would laugh. They would think you’re insane,” he said. 

Tax Credit Confusion

The up-to-$7,500 federal tax credit for EV purchases is another double-edged sword for buyers. On the one hand, it offers a hefty discount on certain EVs. On the other, its rules are built to get stricter over time, making the list of eligible vehicles a moving target

Congress rewrote the longstanding incentive program as part of 2022’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), introducing a host of details that make things easier for consumers. After they sold too many cars to qualify for credits under the previous Obama-era rules, Tesla and GM are now back in the game. Starting on Jan. 1, buyers will be able to receive an up-front discount from their dealership, rather than a tax break in April. That should make things simpler.

But in other ways, the tax credit is mind-numbingly complicated. Tightening restrictions on component and mineral sourcing for eligible vehicles (rules designed to prop up US supply chains and challenge China’s EV dominance) mean that a bunch of models will lose eligibility on Jan. 1. That’s after new rules implemented this year already disqualified some cars. 

Malmgren, of Plug In America, recommends that buyers jump on a purchase while their desired car is still eligible for a credit since the list could change dramatically come next year. But, she says, more and more vehicles should qualify over time as automakers and suppliers work to build up domestic manufacturing and comply with the IRA’s requirements. 

Given enough time, other growing pains of the zero-emission transition will likely be smoothed over one way or another. The shift to NACS may be messy but will ultimately result in far better charging access for many owners. Dozens more electric models should hit the scene in the near future, including some budget-friendly options like the $35,000 Volvo EX30 and, eventually, the next-generation Chevrolet Bolt

Perhaps the biggest thing looming over this moment is the 2024 election. These tax incentives, and the rush to offer more EVs in our market, have been heavily driven by tough new emissions rules and pro-EV policies introduced by the Biden Administration. If Biden loses next year, it's very likely some or all of those policies will be slowed, or reversed entirely. Clearly, we won't know the full impact of politics on the market until the dust settles.

But one thing is clear: chaos aside, it's a better time than ever to try and break up with gasoline—if you can figure it all out.  

]]> (Tim Levin) Fri, 15 Dec 2023 20:00:37 +0000 Use These Floor Mats To Protect Your Tesla Model Y's Interior Use code MAT10 for 10% off your purchase.

Every Tesla owner wants to maintain the resale value of their EV as it gets older, or at least that’s the goal. Doing so, however, can get expensive. Paint protection film with ceramic coating, stain-resistant seat covers, an extra set of wheels for the winter months – these things are not cheap. There is, however, one thing you can buy for your Tesla that is guaranteed to help keep it like new for many years to come: floor mats.

Tesloid makes some of the best floor mats in the business for Tesla vehicles, specifically the Model Y and Model 3. Its 3D Extreme Performance set of floor mats have the features to keep your footwells looking like new for the life of your car. Plus, you get 10% off using promo code MAT10.

Tesloid Floor Mats for Tesla Model Y and Model 3

These 3D Extreme Performance floor mats are thick, durable, and engineered for the harshest environments. With complete floor coverage, good thickness, and a high lip, they will capture anything you track into your Tesla, from mud to snow to spills. They also look the business too, with deep channels that keep liquids low and away from your feet.

Tesloid Floor Mats for Tesla Model Y and Model 3 Tesloid Floor Mats for Tesla Model Y and Model 3

The 3D Extreme Performance floor mats for the Model Y and Model 3 start at $159.99 for a set of front seat mats and a single large mat that covers the floor of the back seat. You can also order the bundle for $299.98 that includes a large mat for the rear cargo area and one for the front trunk.

The hit to your wallet is nothing compared to the peace of mind a good set of floor mats like the 3D Extreme Performance mats from Tesloid offers. After all, there’s no other part of your car that experiences more wear and tear than the original floors from the factory; they need protection from Day 1. A set of floor mats from Tesloid should be your very first purchase after picking up your new Tesla. Don’t forget to get 10% off using promo code MAT10.

]]> (Sponsored) Fri, 15 Dec 2023 19:52:21 +0000 I Considered A Super-Cheap Hydrogen-Powered Toyota. Here's Why I Steered Clear A secondhand Toyota Mirai might be the best used-car deal around. But high hydrogen costs and shaky infrastructure made me steer clear.

When I told Mike, a Toyota Mirai driver I bumped into at a hydrogen fuel pump in Oakland, California, that I was considering buying an off-beat, zero-emission car just like his, the first three words out of his mouth told me everything I needed to know: “Don’t do it.” 

It was deflating. For a second there, I thought I’d stumbled upon the deal of the century: Used hydrogen fuel-cell cars are weirdly cheap and, in some ways, more convenient than battery-powered EVs. They’re generally only available in my new home of California—minus some occasional mishaps—and they allow owners to skirt the state’s notoriously pricey gasoline prices. Buying a hydrogen car instead of a gas car could slash my carbon footprint

I was eager to embrace a strange, new technology and gloat about how clever I was to anyone who’d listen. It’s the California way, after all.

But after chatting with Mike and doing some digging of my own, I’m pretty sure a Mirai isn’t for me. It sucks because I found some really amazing, overlooked benefits to owning one. For example: Toyota offers $15,000 of free fuel to new owners. I think it says something when even that isn’t quite enough to convince me. 

Used Toyota Mirais Are A Bargain

Hydrogen fuel-cell cars are a niche within a niche, and I’d never even remotely considered one as a legitimate option until I moved to California and started browsing for used cars.

Some backstory, if you need it: no automaker has pushed for hydrogen fuel-cell cars more than Toyota. The automaker once believed that hydrogen cars would be the future of how we got around, once we hit peak oil and gas prices got too high. Obviously, that never happened. Instead, the world seems poised to pivot to battery-electric cars, driven by companies like Tesla and the Chinese automakers. Plus, very few companies stepped up to build the expensive fueling stations ($1.5-$2 million, generally) needed to power these things, so they barely exist outside of California. This leaves drivers of the two generations of Toyota Mirai, Hyundai Nexo and Honda Clarity with few options outside the Golden State. 

But hydrogen cars have their strengths, and I thought perhaps I could take advantage of some of them. 

For the first time in my life, I now live somewhere (the San Francisco Bay Area) where owning a car is more of an advantage than a burden. So I’m on the hunt for something relatively modern (for safety and reliability), efficient (for both my wallet and the planet), and cheap. Under $10,000 would be ideal. 

The problem is that those requirements are tough to reconcile, particularly given how the pandemic inflated used car prices. Whenever I plug my parameters into Craigslist, I get a list of high-mileage options and practically nothing from the past decade. The newish cars and hybrids are often too expensive, and the budget-friendly ones are often too old, ugly or unreliable. 

With one strange exception: the Toyota Mirai. Amid all the 200,000-mile Priuses and Civics, I kept seeing shiny Mirais from 2017 or 2019 asking something like $7,500 or $10,000. That's for a car that costs something like $60,000 new. 

So I set out to determine whether a Mirai could fit into my life. Was everyone sleeping on this deal, or was I missing something? As it turns out, it’s a little of both. 

A used Toyota Mirai for sale on Craigslist.

What’s great about hydrogen is that refueling is lightning fast compared with conventional battery-electric cars, which can take a half-hour or more to charge under the best circumstances. That much I knew. Grabbing the hydrogen necessary to power the Mirai’s electric powertrain takes a few minutes, giving it, in theory, almost the convenience of a gasoline car. And a quick Google search informed me of a hydrogen station about a mile from my apartment. Things were looking good. 

I don’t actually drive all that much or have a daily commute, which makes me more flexible than most. The last-generation Mirai’s 300-or-so miles of range would mean I could take a bunch of trips before needing to fill up. Plus, I saw a smattering of hydrogen stations across the Bay Area, where I do most of my driving. Eight-thousand bucks for one of these things was becoming increasingly appealing.

Then my plan started unraveling. 

Expensive Fuel And Shaky Infrastructure Complicate Things

Upon closer inspection using a more reliable source, the hydrogen station closest to my apartment, attached to a Shell gas station, was shut down indefinitely. Bummer. Upon even closer inspection, a whole bunch of the stations in California were out of service due to technical issues or having run out of fuel.

I also realized there were zero locations in the northernmost chunk of the state, barely any in the east, and only one on the way to Los Angeles. That would severely limit how far I could travel. And, like I said, I don’t commute, so my main use for a car would be weekend trips. 

So, hydrogen fueling is convenient, but the reliability and prevalence of the infrastructure is a weak point. That's been a persistent issue, and it's understandable for a novel technology still very much in the early-adopter phase. 

Then I learned that, due to a range of factors, hydrogen prices have skyrocketed lately. One kilogram at the (working) station closest to my apartment now costs $36 when I drove over to check. That figure means nothing to you, obviously, so let me explain. 

A Mirai takes a total of five kilograms of hydrogen. So a full tank would cost around $180 and return 312 miles of EPA-estimated range (taking the 2018 model as an example). That works out to 58 cents per mile, which is abysmal. Taking the average price of gas in California ($4.64/gallon) and a hypothetical car with decent fuel economy, let's say 25 mpg, you wind up with just 18 cents per mile. 

That makes the aforementioned $15,000 of free fuel more of a necessity than just a nice benefit. You can get that if you buy new or certified pre-owned, which costs a bit more than regular-old used. I found certified Mirais in my area going for as little as $11,000, not factoring in the used EV tax credit that lops off 30% of the purchase price, up to $4,000.

So in theory, you can get into a Mirai for well under $10,000, with thousands of miles of free hydrogen to boot. Despite all the hangups I have about infrastructure, that’s an incredible deal. 

A certified used Mirai for sale.

But what about once the money runs out? Toyota’s fuel cards for used Mirais are good for up to three years. After that, you’re stuck paying whatever hydrogen actually costs, which, as we’ve discussed, can be a lot. That’s precisely the situation Mike was in when we talked. 

He’d bought a certified Mirai, depleted his free fuel, and was now dismayed at the cost of hydrogen, which he said had roughly tripled since he bought his car. (Other than the high running cost and shaky infrastructure, he really likes his car.)

When he tried to trade it in, he told me, a dealership offered him $1,000. 

That’s a lot of depreciation to stomach, even considering all the free hydrogen. And it makes perfect sense when you think about it: Who’s going to buy some guy’s used Mirai when there are ones out there that aren’t very expensive and come with free fuel? That realization was the nail in the coffin for me. 

When I asked Toyota about all of this, a spokesperson said the automaker is continuing to work with partners to open up new fueling locations, and that it’s trying to lower the cost of hydrogen alongside California lawmakers and station operators. The spokesperson pointed out that an additional 122 fueling stations are projected to open up in California by 2026, on top of the current 54. 

Hopefully the situation improves sooner rather than later, because more viable options that wean the U.S. off of fossil fuels are always a good thing. And it's a shame that existing Mirai drivers are feeling the burn of high fuel prices, on top of other inconveniences. 

But for now, I’ll take Mike’s advice and see what my other options are. 

Contact the author:

]]> (Tim Levin) Fri, 15 Dec 2023 15:00:45 +0000 Is It Smarter To Buy Or Lease An EV?  It’s a tougher question to answer for EVs than ICE-powered vehicles.

Michael Bettencourt is a long-time EV owner, both of BEV and PHEV vehicles, and automotive journalist whose vehicle reviews have specialized in EVs and plug-in hybrids for the past 10 years. We’re following Michael in a new series about the experience of EV ownership, in the short and long term. 

The age-old “Should I buy or lease my next vehicle?” debate has never been a cut-and-dry one, as the right answer for you may vary from your neighbor’s, depending on your driving patterns and overall buying priorities.

But that debate takes a graduate-level increase in required research if you’d like to maximize your savings when it comes to buying or leasing an electric vehicle (EV). Especially since the rules governing the $7,500 federal U.S. rebate have shifted so radically as of April 18, 2023.

That’s when new rules brought on by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) changed the parameters around which electric vehicles would be eligible for federal government rebates, and introduced tougher new rules around domestic sourcing of critical minerals and battery materials.

And changes will keep coming as soon as January 1, 2024, with plans for increasingly stringent content rules that could annually adjust which vehicles are eligible for all or a portion of the $7,500 government incentive each year until 2029.

Check out ERange EV Tires to combat range loss

IRA Kept $7,500 Rebate On Some EVs, But Not Many 

Instead of discussing the 2024 changes, which were covered nicely in detail here, let’s go over the current EV rules to the end of 2023 in case you’d like to buy an EV before ringing in the new year. As of the beginning of this year, to receive the full $7,500 that was previously available to all EV sales until each automaker hit a limit of 200,000 units, the federal government added the requirement that all eligible vehicles must be built in North America.

This is what has excluded worthy EVs such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and Nissan Ariya from tax credit eligibility, as none of those vehicles – nor many of the new BEVs or PHEVs for sale in the U.S. – are currently built in North America.

The federal government added the requirement that all eligible vehicles must be built in North America.

As before, the government funds are currently issued as a credit on an EV owner’s taxes for that year, meaning if you owed $4,000, that’s how much the EV tax credit was worth when you filed the following year, even if the vehicle was eligible for the full $7,500.

As of mid-April 2023, though, new rules were introduced that also added vehicle price caps for eligibility ($80,000 for SUVs, vans, and pickups, and $55,000 for everything else), plus new sourcing requirements for battery materials. These also maxed out the amount of gross income you could make and still receive the tax credit: $150,000 for individual filers, or $300,000 in household income.

There’s another level of research needed when it comes to scoring the best deal possible on EVs.

The battery and critical minerals measurements are the least transparent of all these new rules. For example, the Nissan Leaf sold in the U.S. has been built in Smyrna, Tennessee for over 10 years, along with its battery, but a 2023 Leaf acquired after April 18 is not eligible for any federal EV incentive, according to the EPA’s site. Had the same buyer bought that vehicle between January 1 and April 17 of this year, no matter their income, it would have been eligible for the full $7,500. And the mechanically identical 2024 Leaf, since mid-April, is now only eligible for a $3,750 tax credit.  

Clearly, there’s another level of research needed when it comes to scoring the best deal possible on EVs.

So be sure to visit the EPA’s site’s tax rebate section where you can plug in the year, make, and model to ensure what incentive it’s eligible for, which may shift from here to the end of the decade. Plus it details other key criteria mentioned here, and likely any new measures as the system is updated and refined.

Leasing Is A Key EV Incentive Loophole

Considering all these tax credit changes, leasing has become the equivalent of a shining north star for some EV buyers, guiding them like a bright LED beacon in the night through a forest of dark and somewhat mysterious eligibility rules. A leased vehicle is basically a long-term rental, typically owned by the automaker’s or dealer group’s finance arm and not currently subject to the rest of the new EV requirements: price limits, income thresholds, where it’s made, nor any battery or mineral content requirements.

This seems like a good time to point out that government incentive programs can and do change, as this one has already multiple times. But unlike most automaker EV price cuts, there is often a grace period or implementation time frame where plugged-in shoppers can evaluate and perhaps measure upcoming changes on the government EV incentive front.

EV Tires Are The Hot New Thing:

What Is An EV Tire And Do I Need It?
How The Right EV Tires Can Improve Your Range And Performance

One major change coming January 1, 2024 is a good example: it will change the buying incentive from an EV tax credit to a point-of-sale EV tax rebate. This will make the federal incentive work for buying an EV outright very much like how EV leasing works now, except for the aforementioned vehicle and consumer restrictions, with both partial and full $7,500 amounts available. 

You’ll no longer have to pay the full price of the car and wait for your rebate come tax season; it will be applied right there at the dealer when you buy an eligible EV.

A word to the wise, however: recent dealer guidance by the Treasury Department on how it will all work suggests this will be a major undertaking, both from a dealer and consumer education basis. The process of providing consumers instant federal rebate approval while out (or online) car shopping will be a brand-new government initiative in a process that will be streamlined and adjusted as it goes along.

You’ll no longer have to pay the full price of the car and wait for your rebate come tax season; it will be applied right there at the dealer when you buy an eligible EV.

So if you’ve been holding off on an EV purchase to the first week of January in order to take advantage of this instant dealer rebate, you may want to check with your dealer of choice (or a few nearby ones) soon to confirm they’re setting up to provide those instant rebates early in 2024.

Alternatively, if you’re not confident in either the government or your local dealer’s ability to launch this program smoothly early next year, consider taking advantage of end-of-quarter and year-end deals before the end of 2023. Then you can file your taxes early in 2024, which is another, if much-less-satisfying, way to speed up your government EV tax savings.

One of the benefits of the government’s planned point-of-sale tax rebate is that the dealer must pass along the full value of this government rebate to the consumer. When it comes to EV leasing, the finance company that technically owns the EV has no such requirement and can keep some or all of it for itself.

It’s true that most pass along the majority of the available savings, whether the full $7,500 for most BEVs (but half of that for both Rivian models and the Leaf), or the $3,750 that’s earmarked for most plug-in hybrid models. There are some PHEVs that manage to qualify for the full $7,500 too, such as the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan and Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring SUV.

So it’s worth researching the amount of federal rebate your intended lease is eligible for, and ask specifically whether or not the full rebate is applied somewhere on the itemized leasing contract.

Tesla Offers Leasing, With One Thing Missing

Another key clause to check is if there’s an option to purchase the EV after its lease term for an agreed residual price. Tesla, for instance, no longer allows a balloon payment at the end to purchase the leased vehicle, arguing in 2019 that it would need the leased Model 3s returned because “we plan to use those vehicles in the (FSD-enabled) Tesla ride-hailing network,” the company argued.

That network never appeared, but record used vehicle profits sure did, especially when used vehicle prices skyrocketed amongst pandemic and supply chain-related vehicle shortages.

Tesla Service

Ford was initially not allowing its EVs to be bought out at the end of leases for its F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E, but that changed once inventories of both models began to grow. So be sure to check this key lease clause for whatever EV you’re considering, and if it’s not there, remember that takes away one of the key and potentially lucrative benefits of leasing, at least over the past few years.

And keep in mind that if you lease an EV and receive the $7,500 rebate either through your dealer or directly, you can’t then turn around three years later and apply for a used federal EV rebate on that same vehicle if you purchase it at the end of the lease contract. The government’s recent guidance just clarified even if your vehicle is now worth less than $25,000 and meets all other used EV rebate criteria at the end of its lease, buying it outright will not get you the used EV rebate.

Tips And Tricks For EV Buying And Leasing

When we were in the market for our first EV, I was fairly sure we would lease it. That is, until I realized the lease’s interest rate was high enough over the financing rate that I’d effectively be paying the same price per month on our new Leaf, just on a slightly shorter term. I opted to buy instead, as it left us with some equity at the end of four years of payments, versus a big hole of nothing after 39 months.

As it turns out, most lease rates are traditionally a couple percentage points higher than financing rates. And both types of interest rates are high right now, making it an ideal time for buyers to use some savings or liquid assets instead of dealer or bank financing.

Remember, a lease payment starts on the basis of how much the OEM believes the EV will be worth at the end of the agreement, then divides up that depreciation over the term, then adds interest to cover borrowing costs (and help profits) over that time period. And these residual estimates can be spectacularly wrong for EVs, as we’ve seen the past few years, but also for regular internal combustion vehicles.

Car buyers talking with salesman in showroom

Giving the consumer the option of buying out the lease at the end of the term provides a helpful financial lever to potentially wring out a bit more value from of a lease if these cars end up being worth more than planned. I came to realize that Nissan had no real idea where the true residual value of that early Leaf would be in 39 months, so it gave itself a healthy financial cushion with its lease offer, steering me towards financing and taking on that heavier depreciation risk.

Whether leasing or buying, make sure to check for all state, municipal, district, and utility discounts for potential green vehicle rebates, which may also include deals or rebates on EV charger purchases and installs. This California buyer found four government rebates in total, plus Tesla inventory and referral discounts, which added up to $23,000 in total discounts. States like Colorado and New Jersey also have healthy local incentives, some of them income-dependent and with their own set of rules worth further research.

As with most vehicle purchases, it’s helpful to know the interest rates you’re eligible for going in, so check your bank or credit union’s auto and general line of credit (LOC) terms. Also look into the rough value of your trade-in from online instant price sites, but keep in mind the potential tax and financing savings (and convenience and safety factor) by trading in your vehicle straight away.

Leasing has traditionally been the costlier option overall, as it encourages perpetual car payments. But for EV owners who prefer a new vehicle every few years regardless, and/or who want the latest range, infotainment options, and battery tech, there may be a unique window in the next few years where it will be more difficult than ever for automakers to accurately predict where EV used vehicle values are going.

]]> (Sponsored) Fri, 15 Dec 2023 13:34:36 +0000 We Drive The Chevy Blazer EV, Porsche Macan EV And Discuss The Cadillac Vistiq Plus, there are some concerning Ford F-150 Lightning production issues and some fun with the Cybertruck.

InsideEVs is proud to present episode 190 of its weekly podcast. Available on the InsideEVs YouTube channel and all major podcast platforms – Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsiHeart Radio, and Tune In. We also stream the show live on FacebookTwitchTwitter, and YouTube on Friday at 9:30 AM EST.

Appearing on this episode is Laycee “Miss GoElectric,” an insightful veteran of the InsideEVs Podcast and her own media empire, Hazel Southwell who has been doing science-y deep thinking and reporting for outlets ranging from ESPN to Ars Technica, Alex Goy who is an all-around motoring person and a talented presenter, and Patrick George, Editor in Chief of InsideEVs.

This week we will discuss our first drive of the Chevy Blazer EV, as well as fill you in a bit on our long-term Blazer EV test drive. We'll also discuss our first drive of the Porsche Macan EV, as well as the reveal of the Cadillac Vistiq. Then we will dive into some truck news, including Ford reducing F-150 Lightning production, as well as some fun bits on the Tesla Cybertruck.

This Week's Podcast News

We've Got A Chevrolet Blazer EV For The Next Week. Ask Us Anything
2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS First Drive: A Heavyweight Fighter With Mixed Results
2024 Porsche Macan EV Prototype Test: Screens, Speed And Smart Tech
The Ford F-150 Lightning's Pullback Shows That The Rules Have Changed
2026 Cadillac Vistiq Three-Row SUV Is The Electric Baby Escalade
Tesla Cybertruck Tackles The Dreaded Shopping Cart Test. Does It Dent?
Watch Ford F-250 Rescue A Tesla Cybertruck On Snowy Off-Road Hill
The Only Way A Ford F-150 Raptor R Can Beat A Tesla Cybertruck In A Race Is In Reverse

Subscribe to the InsideEVs YouTube channel and tap the bell icon to stay up to date with our new videos and podcasts.

Our Previous Podcasts

1.2 Million-Mile Tesla Model S, Cybertruck Foundation Series Pricing Announced
Tesla Cybertruck Debut And Delivery Event

]]> (Eric Loveday) Tue, 12 Dec 2023 17:05:05 +0000 America's Charging Experience Is Terrible. Here's How Mercedes-Benz Aims To Fix It Mercedes-Benz seeks to elevate the public charging experience with its new charging hubs. Is it worth the hype?

When getting people to adopt new technologies, companies must make their products more luxurious, convenient, or simply better than whatever the outgoing ones were. We see this all of the time with electric cars. Take Mercedes-Benz, for example. The AMG EQE SUV makes more power than an SLS AMG, and the EQS 580 comes with the Hyperscreen— a massive display array only featured in the luxury brand’s electric products. But one thing that hasn’t kept pace with this high-tech, luxurious experience is the act of public charging.

Sure, charging at home is convenient and easy, but public charging creates more friction with someone deciding to buy an EV. And attempting to charge your $100,000 Mercedes at a broken station in the dead of night next to a combined pile of trash and snow behind a Walmart is not the experience the Silver Arrow brand wants for its customers.

To combat this, Mercedes-Benz is making an unparalleled move among established automakers by entering the charging space in North America—and it's not just a concept that might come to fruition in the next decade.

Mercedes is releasing this tech now, and it just opened its first station at its North American headquarters outside of Atlanta. So when the automaker invited InsideEVs to check out its new chargers, we had to say yes.

Why Is Mercedes-Benz Investing In Charging? 

Mercedes-Benz Charging Stall

Automakers entering the fueling segment is something relatively new. Tesla commissioned its first United States-based site in 2012, and it ended up being one of the smartest moves the upstart automaker ever pulled; since then Tesla's Superchargers have become global, bulletpoof and virtually synonymous with EV charging. In Europe, Audi completed its first charging hub as a concept in December 2021, and slowly started expanding from there (its next hub went live in November 2022). Tesla and Audi are outliers, though. Especially in the Western world, automakers are usually not directly involved in developing EV charging infrastructure. (They never wanted to build gas stations themselves, either, and no fueling partners ever stepped up to make Toyota’s expensive hydrogen dreams a reality.) 

So when Mercedes-Benz, a 97-year-old manufacturer behind some of the most iconic luxury cars ever built, decided to invest a billion dollars through a joint venture to improve public charging, I had countless questions about why it made such an unprecedented move.

Mercedes-Benz Charging Network

During our visit, I spoke to Mercedes-Benz Chairman of the Management Board, Franz Reiner, about the rationale for entering the charging space. "We know that you know the anxiety of the customers when you get a full electric car,” he said. “Where can you charge it, what is the time you spend at the charger, and where's the location? So we said, 'you know what, if we want to transform the industry, we need to be part of the entire system,' and that is what we do." 

For Reiner, investing in the charging segment is necessary to create a premium experience for all facets of Mercedes-Benz EV ownership. Charging is a big hurdle, and if Mercedes can work to 'reinvent' it, it would be a massive win for the German automaker.

Partnering For Success


For Mercedes to develop a charging network, it first decided to create a new division through a joint venture with renewable power company MN8 Energy. The joint venture is called Mercedes-Benz HPC North America and is led by Andrew Cornelia, who previously held roles at Tesla and Volta. The firm's primary purpose is to help expand Mercedes' EV adoption by creating a network of fast, reliable, and luxurious charging stations. 

Mercedes-Benz HPC NA has a bold goal of deploying four hundred charging stations by 2030, accounting for 2,500 DC fast chargers across the continent. The one near Atlanta we checked out was the brand's first location, though it expects to expand rapidly. The division of Mercedes-Benz has already partnered with Buc-ee's and Simon Malls. Moreover, the firm expects multiple Buc-ee's hubs to go live at rest stops and gas stations in  Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Texas before 2024. 

"It's not about the charging; it's about what you do while you charge. So our partnership strategy is clear. We want to put charging in those retail locations where we can have a great cup of coffee or {eat at} a great restaurant, we can have green space, you can take your dog out for a walk. We've done that with Simon; we've done that with Buc-ees," Cornelia said in a press conference.

400 Kilowatts, Courtesy Of Chargepoint


On the charging side, Mercedes-Benz acknowledges that fast and reliable charging is of the utmost importance. The manufacturer went with ChargePoint for its initial hub to secure solid chargers. The ChargePoint DC fast chargers offer a maximum of 400kW of power. It should charge an EQS from zero to 80 percent in around thirty minutes. The chargers' high rates will most benefit its upcoming 800V electric cars

Future stations will offer up to 500kW of power, a massive upgrade from Tesla’s V3 Superchargers, which push 250kW, and Electrify America’s 350kW Hyper-Fast Chargers. Mercedes’s chargers will feature both NACS and CCS1 connectors, meaning they will be able to power Tesla’s cars, the huge upcoming generation of EVs that also use that plug, and the hundreds of thousands of conventional EVs currently on the road. The station at its HQ currently only offers CCS1 capabilities. 

The automaker also clarifies that the electricity used to charge the cars is carbon neutral, in terms of energy production, on a monthly basis (hence the partnership with MN8 Energy). "We're going to be making sure that we're matching all the kilowatt-hours off the grid and going into those charging stations into the cars with clean, green kilowatt-hours that go on the grid each month," said MN8 Energy's CEO, Jon Yoder. As a side note, the GA current hub offers some on-site generation with rooftop solar panels.

The Experience 

Mercedes-Benz Charging Hub Interior

While fast charging is excellent, the other aspect the German automaker wanted to hit on was luxury. At the Georgia charging hub, Mercedes-Benz offers a lounge and restroom facilities. The lounge is reasonably sized, with several seating surfaces, a desk, a vending machine, and a coffee dispenser. The latter two amenities are pay-to-use. The vending machine is a little expensive, with bags of chips running around three dollars. The coffee machine is actually on the affordable side (ignoring the out-of-stock $8.50 Mocha); only $2.50 for a hot chocolate. 

The lounge and restroom are public, so they're effectively included in one's charging session fee. Since these are operated by Mercedes-Benz, EQ product owners get the best deal. These owners can reserve stalls through the infotainment system, acting as a safety blanket for road trips. Moreover, another perk of driving a Benz is lower energy rates. For non-Mercedes Benz owners, you won’t get preferred access and will likely have to pay a little more. However, this raises an important question: how much does using one of these stations cost? 

While access to the lounge and bathrooms asre included no matter what EV you pull up in, the only payment is the price per kilowatt-hour. Mercedes-Benz alluded that its prices will be in line with other networks. "We are looking to build a profitable network, but we're also looking to build all of our features and all of our pricing in a simple way for the driver to understand so we don't want this to be a slot machine where you know what you're going to expect to be charged. We want to make sure that we communicate this effectively," said Dimitris Psillakis, Mercedes-Benz USA's CEO. 

Current EQ products will have six months of free charging hub access. 2024 model-year EQ vehicles will increase that duration to two years. The EQE and EQS lineup offers Plug and Charge capabilities (ISO 15118), so charging should be a breeze on those models.

Other Perks


Another overarching concept Mercedes-Benz focused on was accessibility and safety. The current layout of most U.S.-based public charging stations makes it difficult for users with limited mobility to charge their electric vehicles. Moreover, drivers with trailers would have a challenging time with some spaces. The Georgia hub offers one wheelchair-accessible stall located near the facilities and a long pull-through one that should accommodate 26-foot-long trailers. 

Safety was another aspect that Mercedes-Benz HPC wanted to emphasize for the charging hubs. "I think there's some very tactical things here. So the station behind us will have CCTV," Cornelia told InsideEVs. "We're really thinking about the types of partners we select, where we put these locations, where we even put it within the parking lot, and the route to travel. How do you get from the charger to the amenity— we want that to be the shortest distance possible."

Future Plans 


For Mercedes-Benz, this seems to be a win-win. Mercedes says it's investing over a billion dollars into the project over the decade, but it does several things to strengthen the near-century-old automaker. Not only does it help EQ owners feel more comfortable with their EVs (even if they won't use the stations) but it also heightens Mercedes-Benz's position as an electric car manufacturer. 

A commitment to reliable public charging is a win for all EV owners, current and future. The notion of long charging lines, faulty chargers, and throttled units has the power to stray away prospective consumers. But with large-scale investments, especially from automakers themselves, these issues should hopefully be alleviated. 

Tesla has proven that you can have a reliable charging network nationwide. Mercedes-Benz wants to prove that it can check the "reliable" box, but also the "luxury" one. The first example of this looks promising, though we'll reserve our feedback until we can do a proper road trip on the HPC network.

More Mercedes EV News

Watch Mercedes-Benz's CEO Pull Tank Turn In The Electric G-Class
BMW, Mercedes Saw EVs Make Up 15% Of Their Total U.S. Sales In Q3 2023
Mercedes-Benz Wants To Build North America's Fastest EV Charging Network, Starts With 400 kW
Most Bucc-ee's Travel Centers Will Get EV Charging Thanks To Mercedes-Benz

]]> (Andrew Lambrecht) Tue, 12 Dec 2023 17:00:27 +0000 E-Bikes Vs Winter: Why Does My E-Bike Have Less Range When It's Cold? Just like you, your e-bike would prefer to stay in bed at home when it’s cold outside.

Those of you living in the northern hemisphere are probably either enjoying the cold weather, or complaining about the hassles that come along with it. From shoveling snow off your driveway to layering up, winter has its downs, but it also has its ups. Assuming it’s safe for you to do so, going on a frosty bike ride can be tons of fun, and not to mention an excellent way to stay in shape during the winter months.

That being said, those of you who are new to riding e-bikes may have noticed that your e-bike’s battery level seems to drop much quicker when it’s cold outside? In my experience, I’ve seen my e-bike’s battery go from full to three-quarters within just a couple of miles – far less than the claimed range figures.

Batteries don't really like the cold

E-Bikes Vs Winter: Why Does My E-Bike Have Less Range?

Well, as it would turn out, e-bike batteries don’t take too kindly to the cold. It’s well-known that batteries in general don’t perform well in the cold, as it has been frequently reported that EVs have less range in the winter. However, given the e-bikes’ batteries are usually exposed directly to the cold, bereft of any insulation, they suffer a bit more in cold temps. Of course, there’s the physical damage of the battery’s casing becoming brittle and eventually cracking due to the cold. However, the damage cold temperatures can impart on your bike’s battery goes well beneath the surface.

Batteries, particularly lithium-ion batteries found in electric bicycles, don't like the cold. Some reports state that EVs suffer up to 30 percent range loss in the winter, and it’s largely because of the electrolytes struggling to circulate ions between the cathode and the anode. Similar to how oil is more viscous in cold temperatures, a battery struggles to move ions between the different poles, thereby increasing its internal resistance and impacting its performance.

What can you do to look after your e-bike in the winter?

E-Bikes Vs Winter: Why Does My E-Bike Have Less Range?

So, is there a way for us to mitigate the ill effects of cold weather on our e-bike batteries? Well, not in a way that won’t require extra energy to begin with. Of course, if your e-bike has a removable battery, you can store it indoors. This should give it a little extra time before it suffers from the cold. Better yet, if you have a heated garage, it’s definitely a good idea to store your bike in there during the cold months. After all, exposure to the cold isn’t bad just for the battery, it also increases wear on other components, particularly those made of metal prone to corrosion and plastics susceptible to becoming brittle.

When it comes to keeping your e-bike in good health in the winter, you’re going to want to take note that its battery remains sensitive to the cold even when it’s not in use. It’s recommended to store it in a warm and dry place, with temperatures higher than 10 degrees C, or about 50 degrees F. Furthermore, experts recommend not charging your battery when it’s cold, such as right after going for a cold winter ride. Instead, it’s a good idea to remove the battery and leave it in a warm and dry place for at least 15 to 20 minutes before charging it.

More Fun On Two Wheels:

Cervélo Joins The E-Bike Game With New Rouvida Road And Gravel Bike
Take A Look At Juiced Bikes' New 1,000-Watt Scrambler X2

At the end of the day, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution. When shopping for an e-bike, make sure to do some research about the technology stuffed into it. This is especially true of today’s crop of super high-tech two-wheelers that are pretty much rolling IOT devices.

Source: Clean Rider, Cyrusher, Magicycle

]]> (Enrico Punsalang)