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What else is new?

Upcoming battery electric vehicles (BEVs)
Volkswagen ID4
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV

New for 2021 & 2022
2022 Hyundai Tucson
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L

2021 Ford Bronco Sport launch

Recently Driven
2021 Nissan Rogue

 

Upcoming battery electric vehicles (BEVs) 

By: Ron Corbett, APA Staff Writer     

While there is increasing interest and acceptance of BEVs on the part of the consumer, few are putting their wallets into play by buying one. Automakers seem undeterred, and are introducing more and better BEVs at a fast pace. The latest crop of new BEVs include the Volkswagen ID.4, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and a revised Bolt and its new companion car, the Bolt EUV. These cars should be available sometime this summer.   

 

Volkswagen ID.4

Sleek, modern Volkswagen ID.4

What’s new
The ID.4 is the first VW offered in North America built on the electric-specific MEB (Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukastenhe), which translates to Modular Electric Drive Matrix

Comments
Volkswagen's MEB platform will underpin a large array of vehicles over the next decade; the ID.4 is the first one to reach Canada. It is being marketed as a crossover, and is a dimensional doppelganger for the Toyota RAV4. Styling is elegant, clean and modern, with a few interesting flourishes. What look like conventional door handles don't move to allow access, but conceal touch pads that unlatch the doors. Once inside, the cabin is very attractive. The driver faces a motorcycle-style digital information package attached to the steering column to ensure it is always visible. Gear selection is via a toggle on the right side of the panel holding the gauges. Drive is selected by rotating the toggle toward the dash, with reverse picked by rotating the toggle toward the driver. It is neat, logical and accessible. Like Tesla and the Volvo XC40 Recharge, there is no On/Off switch for the ID.4, which can be unnerving initially.

Volkswagen claims that, with a Level II charger, the ID.4 can be fully recharged in 7.5 hours. Using a DC fast charger, the ID.4 can take on 100 kilometres of range in 10 minutes, 140 kilometres of range in 15 minutes and up to a 70 percent charge in half-an-hour.

Sales will start with the 200 horsepower rear-wheel-drive model, with a 300 horsepower, dual motor, all-wheel drive version going on sale after launch. Range under ideal conditions is estimated at about 400 kilometres.

Among the various undertakings arising from being caught cheating on diesel emissions, Volkswagen of America agreed to set up an electric car recharging network called Electrify America. There will be an Electrify Canada organization as well, and some recharging stations are already open. VW in the U.S. has announced that the ID.4 will be sold with free charging, at least initially, and VW Canada notes that will likely be the strategy here as well.

Some initial reports in the media indicate that the glitches observed by the APA when recharging the VW e-Golf in 2019 may also afflict the ID.4, and that other carmakers make recharging a lot easier.

The ID.4 should be on sale this summer.

 

Dash features a motorcycle-like gauge package. The gear selector is on the right side of the gauge pod. A free-standing screen holds pride-of-place at the top centre of the dash

 

Hyundai Ioniq 5

The Ioniq 5's shape echos the forms of one of Giorgetto Giugiaro's best designs. The reverse Z-motif pressed into the flanks of the car is puzzling

What’s new
The Ionic 5 is the first Hyundai product to be built on an electric-specific architecture that will underpin an array of BEV vehicles.

Comments
Built on the new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), the Ioniq 5 is the first of a bevy of Hyundai BEVs that will launch over the next few years. Many previous electric cars, like the Nissan Leaf and the BEV version of the previous Ionic, were compact hatchbacks. But the market continues to migrate to the crossover format, and Hyundai has conceived its first E-GMP-based model as a crossover. Compared to the ID.4, the Ioniq 5 is about the same length and width, but at 1605 mm (63 inches) tall, is substantially lower.

Hyundai is making a habit of showing future production cars as concepts long before they go on sale. Like the new Tucson, which is a four-door version of the Vision T concept shown in Toronto in February 2020, the Ioniq 5 is a four-door version of the Hyundai 45 show car that was unveiled by the firm at the Montreal Salon last January.

Hyundai has been crowing about the Ioniq 5 reprising the styling themes of the seminal Pony, their first car and the car that launched the brand in Canada. It fact, it more more closely resembles the Lancia Delta that was also a product of Pony designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, of Ital Design. As with the new Tucson, some aspects of the Ioniq 5's styling are intended to shock rather than please. The reverse Z motif impressed into the sides of the car mar the flanks for no good reason. The frontal styling of the Ioniq 5 gives more than a nod to Lancia, in this case, the Lancia Magia and Kayak show cars. The overall shape is pleasing and the car's proportions, with a very long, 3000 mm (118.1 inch) wheelbase, should provide good space for passengers.

The cabin is dominated by a large, rectangular computer tablet, like the one used in the A, and CLA models from Mercedes-Benz. The rectangle is split into two fields, vehicle information in front of the driver and infotainment functions at the centre of the dash. The rest of the dash has a strong horizontal emphasis. Photos reflect an upscale look inside. Hyundai uses some recycled materials like polyethylene bottles, some plant-based items, natural wool yarns, and eco-processed leathers to fashion the interior.

The Ioniq 5 is powered by battery packs with outputs of either a 58 kWh or a 72.6 kWh. Rear-wheel drive will likely be standard, with all-wheel drive, optional. Horsepower is likely to be about 215 for the 58 kWh battery pack, with 302 horsepower for the 72.6 kWh battery pack. Range for the 72.6 kWh model with rear-wheel drive is stated to be around 470 kilometres under ideal conditions. The Ioniq 5 can be charged using the still rare 800 volt charger, in addition to more commonly available 400 volt DC fast chargers. Charging at 350 kW, the car can go from 10 percent to 80 percent charge in 18 minutes. The Ioniq 5 offers a Vehicle to Load (V2L) function that allows other devices, like electric scooters, to be charged from the car when it is turned off.

The Ioniq 5 should be on sale by this summer.

A computer tablet broken into two zones provides all the information the driver needs

 

Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV

 

The Bolt is thoroughly updated for 2022 but still looks familiar

What’s new
Chevrolet updates its Bolt for 2022 and adds a long-wheelbase version which will be sold as the EUV. Super Cruise, GM's limited self-driving system, has migrated down to the Bolt from Cadillac, is optional.

Comments
Built on the same platform as the original Bolt, the second generation car is more of a rebody than an all-new car. The EUV version, with a 75 mm (3 inch) longer wheelbase than the regular Bolt, is 161 mm (6.3 inches) longer. Although the EUV is marketed as a crossover, it is only marginally taller than the regular version. While the new Bolt is instantly recognizable, the design is cleaner than its predecessor. The EUV is also very much a Bolt, but shares some elements, like the upsweep of the window line on the back door, and its front-end styling, with the Chevrolet Trailblazer.

The cabin will be familiar to owners of the first-generation car. The driver faces a small-format TFT gauge package with conventional displays plus those related to the electric powertrain. The centre of the dash is dominated with a large-format infotainment screen that is neatly integrated into the dashboard, as opposed to being slapped onto the top of the dash. The door panels look very similar to what came before and press photos display attractive two-tone cabin finishes. White trim accents, seemingly de rigueur for electric cars, are shown in press photos. The previous Bolt was a comfortable four seater, and based on a similar wheelbase, the new one should be equally spacious. The longer wheelbase of the EUV should make for generous rear seat legroom. The cabin of the first Bolt had some cheap elements which GM will hopefully have corrected.

The Bolts will be powered by a 65 kWh battery pack that produces 150 kW, or 200 horsepower. The Bolts can be recharged in seven hours using a Level II (240 volt) charger. DC fast charging can add 160 kilometres of range in 30 minutes; that's a lot slower than the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or the Volkswagen ID.4 and may reduce its appeal for long distance travel. Various levels of regenerative braking are offered, including an aggressive one that permits one-pedal driving.

Final pricing and package content haven't been finalized, but with the 2022 Bolt LT $6800 cheaper than it was in 2021, GM has fulfilled its pledge to slash pricing for 2022. 

The new Bolts were technically available in the summer of 2021, but many dealers may only have a single unit in stock and factory orders will take many months to fill and prices are essentially full MSRP. It is unclear when the Bolts will be available on a normal market basis but it may not be until next summer.

The Bolt EUV reflects some of the styling elements from its showroom mate, the Trailblazer 

 

The Bolt EUV dashboard features a compact gauge package and a massive centre infotainment screen neatly integrated into the main area of the dash

Kia EV6

What's new
The EV6, Kia's spin on the Hyundai Ioniq 5, built on the new Electric Global Modular Platform (E GMP), should be on sale by late 2021.

Comments
Built on the new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), the Kia EV6, alongside the Hyundai Ioniq 5 are the first examples of a bevy of new Hyundai and Kia BEVs that will launch over the next few years. Kia has conceived its first E-GMP-based model as a crossover. While Hyundai will offer a 58 kWh battery pack, Kia has only announced a 77.4 (versus 72.6 kWh on the Hyundai) power pack so far. Rear-wheel drive will likely be standard, with all-wheel drive, via a dual motor system, optional. A horsepower figure for the Kia is not yet final but a figure of 232 horsepower is estimated. Range is not finalized but 500 would not be unreasonable with the 77.4 kWh battery pack. Kia notes that the EV6 can be charged using an 800 volt charger, in addition to more commonly available, 400 volt, DC chargers. Charging at 350 kW, the car can go from 10 percent to 80 percent charged in 18 minutes, and can add 100 kilometres of range in just five minutes.

Unlike the retro-inspired Ioniq 5, the EV6 is clean, uncluttered and arrestingly moden. The rear styling treatment, with taillights visually joined by a light-bar at the top of the trunk, is quite appealing. The EV6 is marginally shorter overally than the Ioniq 5. The cabin of the EV6 is dominated by a large, rectangular computer tablet, like the one used in the A, and CLA models from Mercedes-Benz. Interestingly, the tablet is formed in a shallow arc that makes the right side of the tablet more visible and physically accessible to the driver. The rectangle is split into two fields, a gauge package in front of the driver and an infotainment array at the far right side of the tablet. The rest of the dash has a strong horizontal emphasis. The liquid crystal display (LCD) "Integrated Controller" located below the screen, has two control modes which can be switched between climate and audio systems. Cabin photos reflect a very Zen, minimalist styling ethos. Like Hyundai, Kia uses some recycled materials like polyethylene bottles, some plant-based items and eco-processed leathers to fashion the interior.
 

Nissan Ariya

What's New
Nissan's all-new electric crossover should go on sale in early 2022.

Comments
About the same size as the conventional Nissan Rogue, the Ariya is a dedicated electric car built on a a new platform. Nissan is unsure about details of the car but so far two battery packs, one with 63kWh and the other with 87 kWh, have been announced. The battery pack is liquid cooled with should maintain an even temperature and performance unaffected by ambient temperature. Front-wheel drive will be standard, with a two-motor all-wheel drive system, marketed as e-4FORCE. Nissan ProPILOT Assist 2.0, touted as Hands Free and Steer Free, uses the navigation system and 3-D mapping to detect road parameters that can perform multi-lane driving tasks including lane changes, passing and exiting a highway. Reliable data on range and recharging times is not available as Nissan is still determining final specifications for Canada.

Nissan refers to the Ariya's exterior design as "Timeless Japanese Futurism" and that the pattern behind the flat surface of the "grille" bears a 3-D traditional "Kumiko" motif. Fanciful terms aside, the Ariya is a clean, elegant and well-proportioned car. Anyone familiar which Mazda's current "visually restrained with taut surfaces" styling direction will see something familiar. The Ariya's cabin, with a large, rectangular computer tablet spanning the right two-thirds of the horizontally-oriented dashboard, looks similar to the one used in the Hyundai Ioniq 5. There is a vehicle function display in front of the driver and infotainment oriented displays on the right side of the tablet. There are no conventional dials or knobs for various functions which are handled by "haptic" feedback surfaces located within horizontal dash trim under the right side of the tablet. The rest of the cabin features very simple styling that is in no way plain. Cabin and cargo space look ample. The Ariya is the first production Nissan car to wear the company's new corporate logo.