Tag Archives: BEVs

DealsNews

At $239/month, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 is an electric car bargain

Riiight. Let’s not beat around the bush. Cheap electric cars (plus infrastructure) are what we need for widespread adoption of the breed, but the market seems scarce on any super appealing options. Sure, the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range, Chevy Bolt family, and Nissan Leaf are effective and dandy vehicles, but they’re not really model citizens in style, quality, or character, and the Fiat 500e is still on its way. We need more, I say! Well, Hyundai seems like it’s here to help since you can now score their Ioniq 6 EV for as low as a $239-a-month lease. Two-three-nine. Sick.

Hyundai Ioniq 6
Image credit: Hyundai

For reference, a comparable Model 3 can be leased for as low as $329 nowadays. Late last year, Bolts were leased for $299. And Polestar is currently advertising Polestar 2 leases for as low as $379. At an econobox-rivaling $239, the swoopy-droopy-looking Ioniq 6 has been making headlines and fueling social media banter for being the cheapest EV lease on the market today, creating an alluring deal for urbanites searching for a solidly built, comfortable, and stylish electric car devoid of egg-inspired aesthetics or questionable leadership ethics.

The stipulations are just as intriguing as the payment itself, leading to some questioning its validity and whether it’s all some pending April Fool’s prank that we’re bracing for. $0 down. 24 months. Mileage not disclosed. Still, not bad for two years with one of the more well-received grocery getters currently on sale. Alternatively, SE AWDs will lease for $349 for $349 down, while SEL AWDs will go for $449 for $449; both deals run for 24 months, should you care. Perhaps the biggest catch is that prospective lessees must act fast, as the deal expires on April 1.

The Ioniq 6 isn’t a bad car, either. With an MSRP of $42,450 for the SE trim and $50,150 for the Limited trim before incentives or fees, it’s not the most expensive nor the cheapest EV to buy. Rear-drive Long Range variants output 225 horsepower and 258 pound-feet, which is good for 0-60 in roughly six seconds and a Hyundai-estimated range of 361 miles. Dual-motor all-wheel drive saps range down to 316 miles but boosts performance to 320 ponies and 446 pound-feet. Non-Long Range variants make do with 305 miles of range while driving only the rear wheels or 270 miles with all-wheel drive. Battery capacity is either 53 or 77.4 kWh, depending on the range variant. In the unavoidable looks department, its fastback silhouette is clearly inspired by the likes of the Mercedes CLA and CLS, and its compact footprint makes it a sweetheart in urban commuting. The “borderline luxurious” interior, as described by Motor Trend, is typical Hyundai, which is to say modern, ergonomic, and totally functional.

Hurry and cop one quick if you’re in the market! April Fool’s is just around the corner. A shame such a good thing can’t stick around forever, especially for something that’s a fresh break from the bottomless sea of Teslas and Priuses. But that’s life and the cruel, cruel world of the auto industry.

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Tesla Model 3 Highland
Car CultureHot Takes

Tesla’s borderline pointless Model 3 changes they claim are “updates”

There’s seemingly no shortage of Tesla slander on the internet. Some can be a little unfair, and others can be… well, Tesla sometimes seems like it’s asking for it, doesn’t it? After nearly seven years, Tesla released its revamp of the Model 3, with minimal updates that reflect the vehicle’s minimalistic styling. While few have hit the road, we look to popular YouTuber Doug Demuro for the inside scoop on what we can expect to see from the new Tesla Model 3.

Tesla Model 3
Image credit: Tesla

Quirks and features according to Doug Demuro

As we’ve already stated, and Doug agrees, the newly re-envisioned Tesla Model 3 doesn’t seem to have many new changes. Before watching the video, we were somewhat hopeful that he would enlighten us about some of his iconic “quirks and features” that would change our minds. At first glance, the most obvious cosmetic update to the EV is the front fascia, but Tesla is known more for user-focused updates, so we decided to hear Doug out.

Cosmetic updates for the Tesla Model 3

The front fascia of the car looks more like a mid-generation facelift than an actual update, and even at that, the changes are minor. The side body lines, door panels, and rear end of the car are noticeably unchanged, leaving us to believe this is hardly an update to the styling. If you are already underwhelmed by the appearance of Model 3, these “major revisions” aren’t going to spark your interest either. The good news is that Tesla continues to offer few features to allow buyers to customize their Tesla Model 3, with the exception being wheels and trim colors, so wrap shops and car customization businesses can rest assured that their place in the Tesla community will go on.

The rear end also has some subtle and barely notable changes to the rear end of the car, most noticeably in the taillight, which now forms more of the body of the vehicle than the outgoing model. Speaking of subtle changes, that is the best way Doug could politely describe the generally negligible updates to the interior.

Questionable interior changes for the Tesla Model 3

Sitting in the driver’s seat, Doug claims that although there aren’t many changes you can see, the overall quality of the textiles and surfaces has been updated. This is likely a direct result of owner complaints that the original Model 3 didn’t feel like a luxury car. New material choices on the dashboard and around the interior feel a bit like a page out of Lucid’s book, but we will give Tesla some credit for the effort.

The biggest change to the interior doesn’t even involve the driver but rather adding another iPad-like screen to the rear of the car for backseat occupants. To Tesla’s credit, the addition of entertainment features such as Netflix, Hulu, and the arcade mode is a big bonus for some buyers. Neat.

Don’t worry, though. There is one major change for the driver, and… We hate it.

If you’ve never driven a Tesla, you may feel slightly confused when getting into the driver’s seat of the original Model 3 because it doesn’t start or engage like your typical vehicle. With the outgoing generation, gear selection was available through a stalk that protruded from the steering wheel, alongside traditional turn signals and windshield wiper controls. In an attempt to make the car even simpler, Tesla has removed the shifter and turn signal stalks and made users completely dependent on the touchscreen or controls directly on the steering wheel, making us feel more like we’re driving a giant iPhone rather than an actual car.

Don’t trust it? Right. Neither do we. This is probably why Tesla added a failsafe in the form of ceiling-mounted gear selector buttons, kind of like the engine start button in a, er, McLaren Senna. Odd parallel, we know.

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A silver Rivian R3 crossover electric utility vehicle is seen with its headlights on.
Features

The rally-inspired Rivian R3 could turn the world of affordable EVs on its head

In the documentary Objectified by Gary Hustwit, there’s an extended sequence where industrial designers for automakers describe the joy of putting a “face” on the grille of a vehicle. I think about this bit every time I see a Rivian EV on the road, with its little cartoon frog-looking “eyes.” This proprietary headlight and grille array makes Rivian EVs immediately identifiable – an absolute plus for a brand still trying to find its footing in the increasingly crowded EV market. Rivian continued to turn heads last week when it announced not one but three upcoming mid-sized crossover electric SUVs: the affordable Rivian R3, the R2, and the R3X.

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Rivian lineup
Image credit: Rivian

Rivian R3 reveal highlights

In case your invite to the Fashion Week-inspired event got lost in the mail, Rivian put together this bafflingly edited hype video of some of the best moments from the launch.

Rivian R3 price and trim options

Details are still scarce for the Rivian R3, and production might not begin until 2026 at the earliest, but that can’t stop us from being excited about this affordable crossover EV. The hatchback-like R3 and its slightly bigger cousin the R2 are part of what Rivian is referring to as their new midsize platform:

This platform consolidates and eliminates parts thanks to intelligent design, including the use of high pressure die castings, a structural battery unit where the top of the pack also serves as the floor, and closure systems that dramatically reduce complexity.

Rivian Press Release
Rivian R3
Image credit: Rivian

Similar to other electric carmakers, Rivian plans to offer the R3 in three motor arrays: Single-Motor (RWD), Dual-Motor (AWD), and Tri-Motor (two in front, one in back.) The press release claims that the Tri-Motor model will have some real pep, with a projected 3-second 0-60 time.

While these numbers and engineering feats are impressive on paper, it’s best to stay cautious until we get closer to the production date. That said: you might audibly gasp (like the event attendees in the video above did) when you hear the projected MSRP. The base model Rivian R2 is expected to start at $45,000 and, given the flap Tesla absorbed over the Cybertruck’s ballooning ticket price, it’s safe to assume Rivian is over-estimating.

As for the Rivian R3? The company is hoping that the slightly smaller crossover vehicle will have an appropriately smaller price tag. We’ll update this post as we get more details, but a starting price in the $35,000 range would make the Rivian R3 a fierce competitor for the remarkably affordable Hyundai Ioniq and Kona models.

Rivian R3
Image credit: Rivian

2027 Rivian R3 Price and Trim Options

  • Electric Motor Options:
    • Single-Motor (RWD)
    • Dual-Motor (AWD)
    • and Tri-Motor (two in front, one in back)
  • Starting price: Under $45,000 (estimated)
  • Lithium-ion battery capacity: 1000V (estimated) via Rivian’s new 4695 battery cell
  • EPA-estimated range: 300 miles per charge (estimated)

Rivian R3 interior and tech

As with many newer EVs, the Rivian R3’s skateboard-style battery array allows the designers to pack an incredible amount of space into a standard crossover’s footprint. As such, the Rivian R3’s interior looks luxuriously roomy. I am 6’5″, and just looking at the pictures on Rivian’s site, I can hear my legs screaming, “Please! We need one!”

For what will be marketed as a budget crossover EV, it’s clear that no expense was spared when considering the interior. Sleek details and organic textures like cork hide the spirit of a high-end vehicle in the price tag of a starter EV. A massive center console display screen and a full LED dashboard display will surely offer entertainment, customization, and other important controls at the touch of a button.

Rivian is clearly aiming for the adventure-adjacent set with the Rivian R2 and R3. And the R3X promises to be both a high-performance speed machine and a more sturdy off-road model, offering an optional pop-up tent you can attach to the crossover’s roof. They’re calling the add-on the “Treehouse Tent” and it will initially be available for the R2, but Rivian plans to have it available for the R3 as well.

If you don’t feel comfortable climbing onto the roof of your car, that’s fine! With full fold-down seats, you could reasonably just set up an air mattress in the back of the Rivian R3 and save yourself the hassle altogether. Me, I’ll be at the hotel.

2024 Rivian R3 electric range and charging times

Rivian R3
Image credit: Rivian

As we alluded to above, Rivian’s midsided platform will utilize an all-new battery array that features 4695 lithium-ion cells, produced in South Korea by Samsung. These new cells will be 95mm long, as opposed to the 4680 cells that Tesla uses, which are 80mm. According to this exhaustingly detailed LinkedIn post, the 4695 cells will represent considerable improvements, including:

In terms of cycle life, the fast charge life of 4695 type cells is 1200cls, and the normal life is 2000cls, which is also greatly improved compared to the 4680cls of 1500.

Keven Chen

It’s worth reading the whole post if you’re interested in the lithium cell arms race, but the long and short of it is that the new batteries will be more efficient and last longer than 4680 cells. We’ll go into how this impacts the Rivian R3 electric crossover vehicle’s potential power in the next section. At the time of publication, Rivian is predicting around 300 miles of range on a full charge for the Rivian R3.

Rivian R3
Image credit: Rivian

2027 Rivian R3 engine and performance

Motor1 investigated Rivian’s new battery platform based on the info available and they estimate that despite the smaller wheelbase, the R3 (as well as the R2 and R3X) will be built with 1000V architecture. This could be a real boon for anyone hoping their midsized Rivian will pack a punch. To wit:

With three of these modules wired in parallel, the voltage will remain the same but the current available will go up considerably. We don’t know what the individual cell ratings are, but other 4695s are capable of pulse discharging at up to 10C, or ten times their rated capacity in amp-hours. This could mean available power as high as 900kW, or around 1,200 horsepower. 

Peter Holderith – Motor 1
Rivian R3
Image credit: Rivian

2027 Rivian R3 design highlights

We’ve glossed over it in this article because the news about the battery platform and price tag were so distracting but let’s be frank: The Rivian R3 crossover EV looks like it’s going to be as attractive as it is affordable. Taking design cues from classic rally vehicles like the Audi Quattro Coupe and Delta Integrale, the Rivian R3 is sure to turn heads once it hits the street.

In an interview with Road & Track, Rivian Chief Design Officer Jeff Hammoud said:

The brief I gave the design team was like, we need this to be our Solo Rally Car. So on our image boards, we had the Delta Integrale and the Audi Quattro coupe from that era… That nostalgic feeling where it looks modern, but where it looks like it’s from the future, and the past, at the same time.

Rivian CDO Jeff Hammoud in Road & Track

Clearly, a lot of love went into designing the Rivian R3, and the designers also spent a lot of time imagining what people might use the car for. An innovative “flipper glass” rear windshield flips up to allow for carrying long items like kayaks and surfboards. And to top off the back of this hatchback-esque EV, a cute little spoiler. Simply, chef’s kiss.

Rivian R3
Image credit: Rivian

We already covered the interior storage but a massive “frunk” is tucked away in this quasi-diminutive electric EV. Rivian owners are already delighted to see that the company has improved upon the R1 line’s hard-to-access front trunk.

Overall, if they pull it off, Rivian R3 could turn the world of electric vehicles on its head. No longer will EV consumers have to choose between form, function, and affordability. With its estimated sub $45k price tag and innovative battery array, we have high hopes for the Rivian R3.

Rivian R3
Image credit: Rivian

Rivian R3 review round-up

While the Rivian R3 electric crossover vehicle is still quite a ways off, some lucky reviewers did get a chance to see a prototype at last week’s launch event. So, while there are obviously no driving impressions and won’t be for some time, here’s a quick rundown of some of their thoughts:

One of the features highlighted by Scaringe during the event was a rear gate window that lifts up to allow for extra storage, especially of long items. (He called it “flipper glass,” but it was unclear if that was a nickname or something more official.) And like the R2, the rear seats fold flat for added cargo space — which he said “creates an opportunity for in-car camping.”

There’s still a lot that’s unknown about the R3, but if the R2 is meant to compete with the big boys like the Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E, then the R3 looks more like a rival to the Korean EVs, like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6.

Andrew J. Hawkins – The Verge

And all of that isn’t even about the car I liked most from the showing. I’m a small-car guy (and you should be too), so the surprise small-SUV-crossover-rally-car-hatchback-or-whatever-you-wanna-call-it R3 was extremely exciting to me. I love the form factor, I love that they got their inspiration from ’80s Group B rally cars (complete with funky interior), and I can’t wait to see more details on this vehicle.

There were hints of a few neat hidden ideas on the R3, like a (removable?) storage compartment on the back of the driver’s seat on the R3X and some kind of cool strap-down blanket thingy on the passenger’s seat, but since the doors weren’t open and that car is quite far from production, those will have to wait for another day.

Jameson Dow – Electrek

The R3 looks more like a lifted hatchback than a proper SUV thanks to short overhangs and tighter packaging. We don’t have full dimensions just yet, but Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said the R3 rides on a wheelbase that’s 5 inches shorter than the R2. It also looks to be shorter in overall length than the R2 (which itself is 15 inches shorter overall than the R1S). That hatchback look is emphasized by a large rear tailgate that integrates a flip-up piece of rear glass cutely named “flipper glass.”

The interior is made from sustainable materials including cork, and Rivian said it’s possible to fit a mattress in the rear hatch area (for camping trips or sleeping on a long roadie). You also get not one but two gloveboxes inside, and the interior design is classic Rivian, although it seems slightly more minimalist than we’ve seen in the R1 cars.

Nick Yekikian – Edmunds
Rivian R3
Image credit: Rivian

2027 Rivian R3 FAQs

When is the Rivian R3 crossover electric vehicle expected to go into production?

Rivian has announced that the R3 will begin production after the first production models of the slightly bigger Rivian R2 leave the factory. The company says this will allow smooth ramp-up and delivery of the initial R2 electric vehicles. By current estimations, that means the R3 will begin production in mid-to-late 2026. That means the first Rivian R3 crossover electric vehicle will likely be part of the 2027 model year.

How much will the Rivian R3 crossover EV cost?

At the time of publication, Rivian has not yet shared the targeted MSRP for the Rivian R3. The launch press release does mention that the base model of the larger Rivian R2 will be $45,000 and that the Rivian R3 will be priced below that. An MSRP below $45,000 would put the Rivian R3 in the same category as the Hyundai Kona or Ioniq 6.

What will the battery range and power of the Rivian R3 crossover EV be?

It is speculated that the Rivian R3 will be built on a 1000V platform featuring Rivian’s new, longer 4695 lithium-ion cells. In addition to allowing more design flexibility, this battery promises to have a longer life and more efficient charging time. In official press releases, Rivian says the Tri-Motor Rivian R3 will be able to go 0-60 in an impressive 3 seconds. This would put the Tri-Motor Rivian R3 on par with supercars like the Audi RS e-tron GT (3.0s) for (presumably) a much smaller price tag.

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The ultra rare hypercar, Aspark Owl, at Supercar Saturday Florida
Car CultureNews

All-electric Japanese hypercar steals the show at Supercar Saturday Florida

While most of the world is still thawing out from the tail end of winter, car show season is already hot and heavy in south Florida, and that means it’s time for Supercar Saturday, an all-inclusive and free car show hosted on the second Saturday of every month at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Each month features an insane variety of supercars, trucks, modified whips, imports, motorcycles, and classic cars, but this show we saw something extra special: an Aspark Owl.

What is the Aspark Owl?

If you’ve never heard of the Aspark Owl, you certainly aren’t alone. In years of traveling and attending events, this rare hypercar is one of the only exotic vehicles I have yet to see in real life—and seeing it in person for the first time did not disappoint.

Aspark currently produces one of the world’s most expensive full EV hypercar, called the Owl. (Hint: It does kind of look like an owl). The Osaka-based company has only produced a limited number of this exotic vehicle, but with its distinct body lines and unusual appearance, you won’t have a problem spotting it in a crowd, even among the most extravagant sports cars in the world.

It’s no slouch in performance either, as the Aspark Owl is propelled by an insane 1,980 horsepower from an electric-only drivetrain with a reported top speed of 256mph and a nauseating 0-60 mph time of just 1.72 seconds which firmly cements its place as a legitimate hypercar.

Other epic supercars spotted

While the Aspark Owl sighting crossed off an item on my bucket list, we can’t forget about the other dozens of amazing supercars that took over the show. My personal favorites included the Lamborghini Huracan STO, which, in my opinion, is one of the best-looking modern Lamborghinis to date, super SUVs like the Lamborghini Urus and Aston Martin DBX, and both the first- and second-generation Ford GT.

Despite the intimidating name, Supercar Saturday has a bit of something for everyone. Classic Corvettes, modified sports cars, lifted and heavily customized trucks, and a handful of JDM imports filled up various sections of the parking lot, with over 100 cars to see and plenty of vendors to enjoy.

Follow Acceleramota on Instagram and sign up for our free newsletter to keep up with the latest car reviews, event coverage, meetups, and the occasional shitpost just for the hell of it!

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EVs Explained range no text
EVs Explained

The secret to electric car range estimates—and why Tesla always scores big

Welcome to yet another lesson on what’s perhaps the biggest selling point on today’s crop of electric cars: EV range. Yes, everyone would love to have an EV that can keep pace with, if not outlast, their gasser companions on the open road, but what some may not know is that those big ol’ range numbers people use in their games of Top Trumps come from tests. Different tests. Not every EV is held to the same standard and, therefore, can produce wildly varying range numbers in real-world scenarios, oftentimes as a bid to earn the bigger number just to say they can.

Gasp! You mean an automaker can willingly choose a method of range testing if it means being able to advertise that they can wave a bigger stick, even if the product doesn’t necessarily yield the same results in practice? That’s obscene! They would never choose a less honest route just to fluff up their brand image, would they?

Ha! Well, yes. Yes, they can. And they have. Many electric cars have been recorded not to hit their original estimates, and only a few are noted to match or exceed. Tesla and, recently, Lucid have been accused of being the worst offenders in magazine range comparisons, and there’s angst out there regarding it. Enough for me to pen up this EVs Explained piece just to tell you all about the wonderfully riveting world of EV range testing. Don’t get too restless. Like an old compliance car, I won’t take you too far.

A white 2023 Kia Niro EV is seen driving through the city.
Image credit: Kia

One size fits some

Varying EV range tests have been a thing for some time. Such methodologies include America’s EPA, Europe’s Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), Europe’s now-obsolete and unrealistically optimistic New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), and the controversially unrealistic China Light Duty Vehicle Test Cycle (CLTC).

On a recent press launch, I had the opportunity to discuss such varying test methods with Edmunds test editor, Reese Counts, who commented on his Mach-E long-term loaner’s range. And although it didn’t quite hit its EPA estimates, as he commented that almost no electric car does, he does enjoy that it was a very “real” range estimate and didn’t leave him feeling as though a buyer would be conned. As a youngin’ in this field, I asked him what he meant.

Each agency has slightly different testing practices, which already yield different numbers on just the window stickers alone. In America, automakers have a choice of two routes within the EPA’s own set of rules. Because of this, it’s become a clear trend for certain cars from certain brands to come closer to their estimates than others, while others are seemingly blatant lies, except they’re not actual lies. They’re just tested under optimal conditions that favor them. Frequently, it seems these test results can be too optimistic, as seen in some of these big-name magazine range tests, where some cars consistently leave egregious gaps, sometimes as big as 100 miles or more, between their as-tested range and their advertised estimate, like the Tesla Model 3 or Lucid Air in Motor Trend’s recent test.

Mustang Mach E in the snow
Image credit: Ford

“They don’t bullshit you,” summarizes Counts regarding automakers with comparatively uninspired range claims for cars that can at least come close in the hands of normal drivers on real roads. Then he recounts cars that willingly choose alternate tests to bolster the range numbers as yet another example of “overselling but underdelivering.”

“Their numbers rarely line up with each other and can also differ from real-world ranges because each organization has its own specific test procedures,” explains Jeremy Laukkonen in a tech explainer for Lifewire. Enough content exists on the internet to explain at least some of those in greater detail, but I’ll summarize them with key highlights as best as I can.

EPA vs. WLTP vs. CLTC range testing

Basically, all EV range tests involve strapping a car down to a dynamometer or dyno, a “rolling road” as they’re sometimes referred to and basically function as a treadmill for cars. The vehicles are then charged to full, left overnight, and run through various cycles to simulate city and highway driving until the batteries can’t power the car. The vehicle is then recharged and run again and again for many tests. EPA and WLTP function similarly but have a few slight twists to them to make their estimates vary.

There’s enough nuance and small details to spin each agency’s test methods off into their own article… which we may actually do at some point. But for now, here are quick, digestible breakdowns of each one.

For greater detail, please consult your doctor (this breakdown by InsideEVs) to see which EV range testing method is right for you (less of a load of crap, in your opinion).

EPA

EPA gives the automakers a choice of a “two-cycle” or “five-cycle” range test, which essentially just dictates how many times the car goes through testing cycles. More on those cycles in a bit, as those are what give us the bigger and smaller gaps in real-world range numbers. City test cycles are conducted for a hair over 11 minutes at a time with a top speed of 56 mph and an average speed of just over 21 mph. Highway test cycles are run for a bit over 10 minutes at an average speed of 48 mpg and a top speed of 60 mph. The combined range figure is estimated by weighing together the city and highway numbers, with city driving accounting for 55% of the score and highway driving for 45%. To further simulate the range-dropping factors of real-world environments, the range is then multiplied by 0.7 to lower it.

In 2008, the EPA added three more cycles an automaker can test for that would better indicate range in real-world conditions, including a 95-degree hot weather test with air-conditioning on, a 20-degree cold weather test, and a high-speed test. Again, the results of using these extra cycles are detailed in a section below, but first, let’s see how they do things across the pond.

WLTP

Like EPA, WLTP uses cycles to test vehicles, but they’re also broken down further into classes based on max speed and power-to-weight ratios. The higher the vehicle’s performance, the higher the test speeds, hence why a Model S Plaid won’t be held to entirely the same standard as, say, a Renault Twizy. A WLTP test will be broken down into Low, Medium, High, and Extra High sub-cycles and run for 30 minutes over 14.4 miles at an average speed of 31 mph and a top speed of over 81.

Unlike the EPA range tests, the lab temperature is static at 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit, and they do not add the 0.7 real-world multiplier to lower the final range numbers. This is partly why EPA numbers are typically lower than their WLTP counterparts. For instance, the combined range of the most frugal Mustang Mach-E in America is rated at 300 miles. Compare that European Mach-E estimates of up to 372. Want another? The refreshed Tesla Model 3 Highland Long Range has a range of 305 to 341 miles, depending on wheel choice, but WLTP estimates peg it between 390 and 421.

Ah yes, the Long Range’s range is indeed long.

CLTC

This is a China-exclusive measure that isn’t necessarily relevant to Western EV buyers unless you enjoy speculating and eyebrow-raising. Criticized as “pushing an EV down a hill in a vacuum,” this methodology has been panned for the same reason as the now-defunct NEDC by producing highly optimistic range figures that may not be anywhere near indicative of what a real-world owner may experience. Unless they apparently push their car down a hill in a vacuum.

This CLTC test is conducted at a constant cruise of 25 mph until the battery goes kaput and is then adjusted for weather, terrain, and other factors via data compiled from real Chinese drivers across its many regions. While yes, this very much plays into an electric car’s inherent lows-speed efficiency and is not quite representative of what Western-driven cars will see, it’s important to remember that this is a Chinese test for Chinese market cars, so EVs are held to a different standard for their own driving environments, which are often dense, slow, and without too much intercity travel on massive high-speed highways.

Two-cycle vs five-cycle range testing

EPA test cycles
Image credit: fueleconomy.gov

Okay. So, different regions in the world conduct varying range tests and score different figures. Alrighty then, but what about the rampant talk of some brands like Tesla and even Lucid having massive disparities between lab-brewed estimates and real-world numbers?

As Counts explained to me when talking Mach-E numbers, this widdles down to the number of test cycles an automaker chooses to use.

As mentioned, the EPA offers a simple way to test for city and highway ranges with a city and highway cycle. Most automakers opt for this two-cycle test, while a few, particularly smaller startups, opt for the five-cycle test, which, as you can imagine, tests the car over more cycles. As detailed in another InsideEVs piece, it’s not that these companies are conning anyone or cheating a system. They’re just using the options available to them to gain an advantage. Such an advantage yields them a higher number that, therefore, looks better to the press and consumers and puts these startups or anyone else who uses the five-cyle option on a pedestal.

Why is this? Simple.

More cycles let EV makers take advantage of a car’s low-speed efficiency since they’re obviously exerting less energy to move at slower speeds and are bolstered by goodies like regenerative braking. The additional test cycles reportedly also include “high-speed” or aggressive driving, hot weather with air conditioning, and cold weather tests, all of which are done at a low enough speed to work in an electric car’s favor. Cool beans, except when magazines and owners conduct their own independent tests, typically on highways and at far higher speeds than the EPA’s lab experiments. This means the range disparity is, well, to say “noticeable” would be an understatement. Still, this practice of extra low-speed tests is allowed by the EPA and is totally legal, even if it’s not exactly aligned with other automakers’ decisions and doesn’t perfectly convey real-world range results on American roads.

“Such variance. Much wow.”

In case this article, its more detailed source material, and the embedded videos haven’t engrained this into your head by now, there is a mindboggling, brain-jerking, head-spinning array of variance and inconsistencies involved in EV range testing and, by extension, MPGe testing. Not only do global agencies use different methods, but there are also different cycles and sub-cycles within these methods that all yield different results for different cars. On top of that, it doesn’t help that electric vehicles are politically and societally forced to be one of the fastest evolving niches of cars on the road today, with vehicles from several years ago being nearly unrecognizable from a technical perspective from electric cars produced today.

“EVs are one of the fastest-changing areas that we deal with in our laboratory just in terms of how fast this technology is moving,” says engineer, Jarrod Brown, in CNBC’s look at EPA EV testing. “If you look at a vehicle that we had in here even five years ago, a 2016 or 2017 electric vehicle looks almost completely different internally from what we’re seeing in vehicles coming in 2024.”

When testing for range and efficiency, automakers have different ways of recording data for certification, and their cars can all use power differently. One car may not allocate the same energy to running HVAC systems as another, or they may intake and exert electricity to propel the car differently, and so on.

“Every manufacturer kind of has their own way of reporting data on where the power is coming into and going out of the vehicle,” Brown continues regarding the complexity of EV power distribution. “How it’s moving around between the motors and the batteries, or if it’s doing things like regenerative braking, or strategies about how power goes to the heating and cooling system versus how to keep the battery at the right temperature.”

The EPA system, with its many cycles, strives and often succeeds to at least come closest to what consumers can see on their commutes. But this level of added complexity and nonstop evolution may have the current ways of lining up their rulers all tripped up and out of spec. Many critics agree that modern EVs have well outgrown their archaic methods and that a new wave of standardization must come in order to bring realism and uniformity to electric car efficiency measuring.

And if the word is true, change is indeed coming. One popular suggested method is providing city and highway range estimates like how the EPA already does for MPG and MPGe instead of weighing together the two for an average number. That way, consumers know what their best and worst-case scenarios are and don’t take a singular number as the definitive range their cars will always achieve.

Class dismissed

Did I lose you yet? Summary time!

The world has its many ways to measure range, all of which controversially lack a resemblance to real-world range tests, an issue which can be attributed to a variety of reasons, such as different test lengths and speeds, varying methods of averaging out final numbers, or even a lack of air resistance being in a lab strapped to a giant automotive treadmill. Europe currently has WLTP, China has CLTC, and America has the EPA, the latter of which offers a two and five-cycle test for automakers to run their EVs through.

Tesla EVs Explained range
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

A two-cycle test is a fairly basic test with cycles to simulate city and highway driving. The longer optional five-cycle test introduces high-speed, air-con, and cold tests conducted at fairly low-ish speeds, which works in favor of EV manufacturers since electric cars are incredibly efficient in urban use and deliver the best mileage at slower speeds. This, along with a final range number that favors 55% city and 45% highway driving, makes the five-cycle incredibly alluring to startups like Tesla and Lucid, who claim the biggest numbers in the game yet tend to show the biggest disparity in real-world range come independent tests, which are often done at higher speeds over mostly highway. And while it doesn’t deliver the prettiest, most headline-worthy figures, other automakers opt for the simpler two-cycle test as it yields the more realistic final number that is then more likely to be met by actual owners or at least have come close to.

So go forth and stay educated! And remember this one big takeaway: Like gas mileage, EV range can vary greatly. Everything from weather, road conditions, speed, and HVAC usage can affect your range, and, like these many different magazines, your own electric car’s range may be different from what any agency or even another owner gets. Your driving style may yield a 10-mile range disparity or a 100-mile one. Who knows? Just know that whatever car you buy, whether from some big-name legacy automaker or a fancy-schmancy startup, take those window sticker estimates with a grain of salt.

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Audi Q8 e-tron
FeaturesNew Car Reviews

2024 Audi Q8 e-tron nails everything but range… But that’s not the point

The longtime knock against Lamborghini’s Urus SUV has been that buying an Audi RSQ8 delivers seven-eighths of the car for about half the money. Not that such things bug Lambo owners, but what if the all-electric Q8 e-tron with gobs of low-end torque could keep up while drag racing against an Urus?

Now, Audi sells a re-named version of the EV formerly known as e-tron. The newly minted Q8 e-tron comes with the choice between a Sportback roofline or a taller SUV canopy that cuts into range estimates ever so slightly. Neither, however, can hold a candle to a Lamborghini Urus in a straight line or while canyon carving and unimpressive EPA range numbers for both are something of a bummer—but that’s not the point here. 

Instead, Audi clearly built the Q8 e-tron hoping to entice any lingering holdouts among luxury urban buyers looking for the perfect EV to haul the fam, go grocery shopping, or take out for nights on the town. And in those regards, this luxury SUV from Audi—which just happens to be electric—absolutely nails the brief.

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Price & Specs

Base price:$74,400 
As-tested price:$88,990
Motor/battery:Dual motor + 114 kWh lithium-ion battery pack
Transmission:single-speed
Drivetrain:e-Quattro all-wheel drive
Power:355 horsepower; 402 horsepower w/ Boost mode
Torque:414 pound-feet; 490 horsepower w/ Boost mode
Weight:5,798 pounds
0-60 mph:5.4 seconds
¼-mile:13.9 seconds @ 101 mph
Top speed:124 mph
MPGe:80 city, 83 highway, 81 combined
Range:285 miles

Audi Q8 e-tron exterior design

The Q8 e-tron’s styling winds up simultaneously similar to both the former e-tron SUV and all the Q8/SQ8/RSQ8 siblings. Not quite as aggressive as the range-topping RSQ8—nor the Urus, obviously—the electric version still sports subtle fender flares and a statuesque profile, especially with the air suspension pumped up to the highest setting. A closed-off grille and lack of exhaust tips serve as the main hints that an electric drivetrain hides beneath the crispy skin.

This loaner from Audi arrived in a spectacularly understated “Plasma Blue Metallic” paint job (a $595 option well spent) that approaches shades of matte Nardo Blue in some lights with a hint of sparkle in others. And the 21-inch wheels might look simple from afar, but a closer inspection reveals pure sculptural art in rolling form.

What’s hot?– Quintessential Audi design, inside and out
– Buttery smooth ride, even on massive wheels
– Absolutely silent and serene NVH
– Spectacular heated, cooled, and massaging seats
– Bang & Olufson sound system is all that much better in an EV

Q8 e-tron pricing breakdown 

The base Q8 e-tron starts at $74,400 before options and a $1,195 destination charge. Standard equipment includes a 114-kWh lithium-ion battery, dual motors for single-speed Quattro all-wheel drive, and adaptive air suspension that raises and lowers the body depending on selection of drive modes. Ticking the box for the most opulent “Prestige package” adds another $10,400 to those numbers, which explains most of this loaner car’s $88,990 MSRP along with the Black optic package (another $2,000) and rear side airbags ($400).

Two years of free charging at Electrify America also come standard, and Audi’s four-year/50,000-mile warranty applies to everything on the car. To true buyers rather than lessors, the high-voltage battery is covered by an eight-year/100,000 warranty.

Audi Q8 e-tron
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

Q8 e-tron interior and tech

As usual for Audis since the first-gen TT back in 1998, the Q8 e-tron’s interior design stands out from the bland, overly plasticine era overtaking most luxury automakers. Plenty of leather and brushed trim abounds, though a few pieces of piano black plastic have snuck in here and there. Otherwise, the deft application of angularity and ergonomics leaves most controls sufficiently intuitive and satisfying to operate—other than the distant volume control knob, that is, another Audi standard for the past decade or so.

Audi Q8 e-tron
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

But maybe the highlight of the entire driving experience so often goes overlooked: the steering wheel. The Q8 e-tron sports a four-spoke design that offers multiple comfortable hand placement options, with minimal buttonry to get in the way. Then there are the seats, quite possibly some of the best in existence, and obviously equipped with heating, ventilation, and surprisingly firm massaging functions.

Onboard tech, however, falls a bit short by most modern EV standards. Sure, the dual touchscreens for climate control and infotainment require a pleasing amount of haptic pressure to actually make selections—but not always, sometimes only a light touch does the trick. For some reason, however, the Q8 e-tron forgets drive modes regularly enough to approach annoyance, requiring the constant selection of regen settings via paddle shifters even after just turning the adaptive cruise control on or off. 

Lane keep assist also intrudes regularly, the seats find new positions upon every start-up (which might change for a more permanent owner using a consistent key), and the range estimate seems to vary wildly. Did the engineering team truly need to reinvent the shifter for the umpteenth time? 

Audi Q8 e-tron
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

An EV for the last urban luxury holdouts

Slipping into the Q8 e-tron for the first time, a sense of serenity and confidence emanates from the entire interior. Luxury buyers not accustomed to the more typical over-technologized interiors of most other EV options might even be forgiven for struggling to recognize a difference between the controls for an internal combustion or all-electric Q8. Hell, there’s even a stop-start button!

Most importantly, anyone still poo-pooing the Q8 e-tron’s range estimate of 285 miles needs to take that initial impression into more consideration. The whole point of this car, clearly, is to convert any stubborn holdouts who simply don’t want to shift their thinking too much while making the switch to electrification. Audi even withheld aggressive regeneration, which means the Q8 e-tron cannot be driven in a full one-pedal mode. 

Otherwise, the gauges and dash seem very familiar, halfway between an Urus and other Audi models. The interior even smells similar to a first-gen TT or a 2016 A3, despite the lack of gasoline, gear oil, and belts to warm up on a cold day. Similarly, the gauges offer multiple customizable readouts for either more or—to the point—less EV-specific information. 

Audi Q8 e-tron
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

But the Q8 e-tron still prioritizes the benefits that electric cars offer, too. The large and spacious interior allows for plenty of legroom in the second row, which, when folded down, then opens up to a cavernous cargo area big enough for ski bags or bicycles. Even more importantly, this thing rides so damned quiet that the lack of sound can almost get creepy. Zero tire or wind noise until about 75 miles an hour absolutely bedevils the mind, especially compared to other EVs not named Lucid. Talk about NVH as a priority.

And the suspension rides in god mode, insanely smooth, given 21-inch wheels and 265-mm wide Hankook eco tires. Everything from asphalt ripples to pavement cracks and speed bumps simply evaporates. Only the most unpredictable road surfaces create the occasional rafting sensation when one wheel popping upward forces the entire skateboard chassis to lift noticeably.

Audi Q8 e-tron
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

Power and range in line with ICE performance

For any EV aficionados, however, the Q8 e-tron’s power and range wind up on the slightly disappointing end, without a doubt. The dual electric motors deliver plenty of peppy acceleration, from a standstill or while passing at highway speeds, but nowhere near the neck-snapping jerk of other EVs at similar, and even lower, price points. Typically featherweight Audi steering actually becomes slightly firmer on center, then lightens up while whipping around corners. But those eco tires start to squeal early when pushed hard.

Switching between drive modes lifts the suspension’s ride height while adjusting throttle response and traction control modes. Out on the dirt roads of Johnson Valley, raised all the way up in “offroad” mode, the prospect of puncturing a low-profile tire prevented any true Quattro rally-racing shenanigans. And yet the air suspension and dampers still gobbled up washboards on rough graded surfaces with ease.

Most of the time, the Q8 e-tron putters around happiest in “efficiency” mode, which dulls down throttle response and lowers the suspension to minimize aero drag and maximize range. But on the drive out to Johnson Valley, the onboard range estimate’s programming almost immediately caused some serious range anxiety.

Theoretically, a 99% full charge with 280 miles of range remaining should be plenty to drive 135 miles at highway speeds. Yes, EVs run most efficiently in stop-and-go traffic, but come on now. Instead, almost immediately, the Q8 e-tron started eating through miles of range—to the point that only 20 miles into the drive, the estimated range left only 90 miles to spare. This is despite purposefully staying below 80 miles per hour.

Switching to Audi’s onboard MMI navigation, rather than using Waze through wireless Apple CarPlay, seemed to change the estimated range available as the computer took into consideration traffic and elevation changes. Around 65 miles later, with about 154 miles of range remaining, the situation started to plateau. But then, driving up the 15 Freeway towards Victorville restarted the range, plummeting to the point that hypermiling behind semi trucks seemed prudent (while searching for nearby Electrify America charging stations to use those two years of free charging).

Back at speeds below 60 miles per hour on State Route 247, the dissolving range once again settled down. Upon arrival at Johnson Valley, the range estimate still read 78 miles remaining. And then, on the last leg of the drive home, the remaining range actually increased over the total course of a 90-mile journey. Such wild fluctuations in Audi’s ability to predict range might not affect city slickers quite so much, and presumably, a family spending $90,000 on an EV commuter owns another car for road-tripping. But still, better programming would be nice—or maybe Audi just believes in ceding all trust to the machines.

In town, while charging regularly at home or at the occasional fast charger, those 280 miles of range should serve 99% of owners just fine. Most range anxiety, after all, comes from false promises of a life lived on the adventurous edge. Even without a pre-conditioning button to push, the Q8 e-tron topped up from 66% to an overstuffed 99% at an Electrify America charger in Culver City in just 55 minutes. Not bad.

A few other general gripes might require a longer adjustment period than the mindset shift to EV life. Audi’s extremely aggressive driver aids—similar to the Urus, in fact—will absolutely yank the car away from lines on the road, to the point of pulling tires well into dangerous areas or cutting off lane-splitting motorcyclists regularly. (A button on the turn signal stalk turns off lane-keep assist, which cannot be controlled by any of the various settings deep in the MMI system either.) Automatic emergency braking can also sound and feel similar to tapping bumpers while parallel parking, partially because tipping into the go pedal afterward requires a bit more toe due to EV regen. 

Lastly, the MMI regularly disconnected the entire smartphone interface with a warning banner, which required turning the car off and then on again, then re-connecting the Bluetooth (only possible when fully stopped, of course). This might just as likely be Tim Cook punishing any older iPhone users, though…

Audi Q8 e-tron
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle
What’s not?– Range more akin to previous generation of EVs
– No full one-pedal driving
– Priced high as the market keeps expanding
– Doesn’t remember drive settings at all, even between switching cruise control on then off
– Infamous MMI glitches out and disconnects smartphone regularly

Can luxury be defined at the right price?

In reality, nobody will mistake a Q8 e-tron for a Lamborghini Urus, and not just because of the mild EV whine. But similarities across the entire Volkswagen AG conglomerate do shine through, mostly for the better. 

The question of Porsche’s newly announced Macan EV then starts to crop up. Sure, the Q8 e-tron is bigger by a fair amount, but the Macan’s 380-mile range capability adds to the impression that this Audi hails from a previous generation of electric vehicles—which it does.

Audi Q8 e-tron
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

And yet, for the refined urbanite waiting to make the jump to an EV without giving up the familiarity of ICE cars, regardless of newfound nomenclature, the Q8 e-tron remains a solid option that delivers most of Audi’s strengths with just a few of the old weaknesses cropping up. In an increasingly crowded electric crossover-SUV market, such steadfast engineering likely combines the right attributes at the right price to stay fairly popular for the foreseeable future.

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The Tesla Semi, Tesla Roadster 2.0, Tesla Model 2 and Tesla CyberTruck
News

Every new Tesla (supposedly) coming in 2024, 2025, and beyond

(Editor’s note: updated 2/8/2024)

Tesla, the American automaker owned by electronic musician Grimes’ on-again-of-again “situationship” Elon Musk, continues to be one of the most popular and ubiquitous electric vehicles on the road. Despite the bad press surrounding the erstwhile richest man in the world’s stewardship over X (formerly known as Twitter), the enthusiasm for new (and used) Tesla electric vehicles remains high – and not just among Musk fanboys, as one might assume.

Elon Musk greets his fans at an event.
Elon Musk in happier times. Credit: AP/Andrej Sokolow

Since becoming one of the pioneering electric-only car companies, Tesla has had its fair share of controversies, blow-ups (both literal and figurative), and general bad vibes. The quintessential example of the adage “no such thing as bad press,” Tesla’s engineers are known for setting the pace within the industry (for better or worse) and the end result has been consistently impressive – with sales to match.

Chart credit: Statista

The Tesla landscape in 2023

If you’re thinking about going all-in on Mr. Musk’s latest mystery machines, some patience might pay off in the long run. Tesla continues to cut the MSRP for its cars, with further reductions expected following yet another earnings miss and waning investor confidence. Otherwise, you can find a used Tesla for less than the price of a base Nissan Altima, especially the Model 3.

For some bleak outsider comedy, the transcripts from the earnings call are out there – and they feature moments like this one that prove Elon totally knows what pennies are and also definitely watched Game of Thrones.

It’s like Game of Thrones but pennies. I mean, first approximation, if you’ve got a $40,000 car, and roughly 10,000 items in that car, that means each thing, on average, costs $4. So, in order to get the cost down, say, by 10%, you have to get $0.40 out of each part on average. It is a game of pennies.

Elon Musk – Tesla Q3 2023 Earnings Call

What’s next for Tesla in 2024 and beyond?

Now that we’ve got that all out of the way, let’s get to the fun stuff. As mentioned above, Tesla continues to innovate in the electric vehicle space. The American automaker’s upcoming roadmap includes a production fleet of Tesla Semi trucks, a refreshed Roadster 2.0, the diminutive “Compact EV” (also known as the Model 2 or “Redwood”, and, of course, the elephant-colored chunk of metal in the room – the Cybertruck.

UPDATE 3/15/2024: We’ve updated this article with some information about the refreshed Tesla Model 3 (codename “Highland”) that is starting to appear stateside as well as some updates on the Model 2.

Four of Tesla's upcoming electric vehicles, the Tesla Semi, The Tesla Roadster 2.0, the Tesla Model 2, and the Tesla Cybertruck.
Clockwise from top left: Tesla Semi, Tesla Roadster 2.0, Tesla Model 2, and Tesla Cybertruck (image: Acceleramota)

2024 Tesla Model 3 (Highland)

When the entry-level Tesla Model 3 first hit the scene in 2017, it instantly received good reviews. Finally Tesla was catering to the “budget” car consumer, without sacrificing (much) in the way of performance, range, or features. The first time I rode in a Model 3 I was completely blown away by how spacious the main cabin was. With the Model 3’s first major refresh since its launch, the 2024 Tesla Model 3 Highland improves on many of these already excellent details.

The most noticeable change is the front slope of the hood and the shape of the headlights, now with a more “sports-car” looking silhouette and (allegedly) improved aerodynamics, which should result in increased range. Codenamed “Highland” during development, this car has been available overseas since late 2023 and are starting to roll out stateside as we speak.

As of writing, the 2024 Tesla Model 3 is available in two trim levels, a single-motor (RWD) version and a dual-motor (AWD) version, leaving questions as to if they’ll be bringing back the “Performance Model” Tesla 3 from previous model years. We will update this section if we hear more about this trim level returning.

From initial looks at the Tesla Model 3 refresh, it seems like the cabin is (somehow) even more spacious than in the first edition. The spartan design cues are still there, so expect clean lines and a massive center console infotainment screen. The rear seats fold flat, meaning you can fit as many as 15 full-sized suitcases inside (apparently).

2024 Tesla Model 3 (Highland) specs

  • MSRP: $40,630 (single-motor/RWD), $47,630 (dual-motor/AWD)
  • 0 to 60 mph: 5.8s (single-motor), 4.2s (dual-motor)
  • Top speed: 140mph (single-motor), 145mph (dual-motor)
  • Weight: 3,862 pounds (single-motor), 4,034 pounds (dual-motor)
  • Battery capacity: 50.40 kWh (single-motor), 75.00 kWh (dual-motor)
  • Range: 272 (single-motor), 333 (dual-motor)
  • Seating: 5 adults
  • Cargo volume: 23 cubic feet

Tesla Compact EV/Model 2/Redwood

UPDATED 3/15/2024: Tesla has now slated the Compact EV (sometimes called the Model 2 or referred to by its codename “Redwood” for a late 2025 debut (although we have reason to doubt this.) We’ve updated this section with new information.

While the Model 3 made waves in the “entry-level” EV world, upstart electric vehicle makers across the world have been scrambling to create a truly populist vehicle. Something accessible to everyone, reliable, and if possible, fun to drive. For years there have been rumbles from the Tesla team that a sub-$25k MSRP compact EV could be in the offing. Tesla teased the design by sharing this sketch back in 2020.

We’re excited to see what comes from this development process, because a $25,000 MSRP Tesla could be exactly the thing that kicks the electric vehicle revolution into high gear. This will also allow Tesla to compete in markets like China and other parts of world where super-low priced EVs are a dime a dozen.

Tesla Model 2 teaser rendering
Image credit: Tesla

According to CarScoops, the initial production run of the Tesla Model 2 will be produced at Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory in China, but the automaker may opt to have regional plants build cars for other markets.

Now, back to that promised late-2025 production window… A potential wrench has been thrown into the works by investment firm Evercore according to a recent report by Fortune. The money men (and presumably some women) toured Tesla’s Gigafactory Texas facility and were less than impressed with what they found.

Evercore’s report began on a dour note, with lead analyst Chris McNally declaring that “Tesla is increasingly a 2027 story.” This means they don’t imagine the budget-level Model 2 will enter production before 2027 and that would only be if the automaker is able to get the cost-of-goods down to well below MSRP. As always, we will update this article when we hear more.

Tesla Model 2/Q/C Specs

  • Expected model year: reportedly 2025, possibly 2027
  • Expected MSRP: $25,000
  • Expected 0 to 60: 5 seconds
  • Expected top speed: 120mph (193 kmh)
  • Expected battery capacity: 75 kWh
  • Expected battery range: 279 miles (single motor)

Cybertruck (SURPRISINGLY, IT’S FINALLY HERE)

Let me start this section with an apology.

If you follow me on Twitter or know me IRL, you’ve probably heard me make fun of the Cybertruck. Maybe you’ve seen me make fun of the way it looks, or the door panels don’t align, or how it couldn’t jump a small curb in “off-road mode”, or how its basic design flaws were costing the company untold millions. You definitely would’ve seen me make fun of the time he revealed the Cybertruck to investors by smashing its supposedly unbreakable window with a rock.

Welp. Against many people’s negative outlook, the Cybertruck is finally here for U.S. orders in 2024. And that’s despite the testing hiccups that have occurred over this truck’s gestation period. The prototypes were breaking down like crazy, and the model year was pushed to 2025. It certainly doesn’t inspire much confidence that Elon Musk is saying things like “[Tesla] dug our own grave with the Cybertruck” on investor calls.

So yeah, there’s been a lot to make fun of with the Telsa Cybertruck, but this past week Elon completely redeemed himself. Oh no, I’m still joking, all he did was shoot it with a danged Tommy Gun – surely this will make the Cybertruck the #1 choice of getaway vehicle for old-timey scofflaws, rascals, and ne’er-do-wells.

There isn’t really much else to say about the Tesla Cybertruck that hasn’t already been said. At the moment of writing, Tesla is claiming a production run that’ll start in 2024, but even long-time fans are starting to lose faith. As a recent post on r/RealTesla (the Subreddit for Tesla drivers who haven’t “drank the Elon-Ade”) calls out:

While I have little faith in humanity left, surely nobody is going to actually buy a CyberTruck, right?

I just can’t imagine the shame.

Can you imagine what it would be like to be “that guy”?

Would you confuse all the smirking attention for admiration? I can’t get my head around the mental gymnastics it would take to buy, own and drive one.

Additionally, can you imagine the type of person who would buy one? Like, just think about it for a second. It’s horrible!

u/St3fanz on r/RealTesla
Concept art of the stainless steel Tesla Cybertruck on a desert somewhere.
Image credit: Tesla

Tesla Cybertruck Info:

  • MSRP: $60,990 (Rear-Wheel Drive), $79,990 (All-Wheel Drive), $99,990 (Cyberbeast)
  • 0 to 60 mph: 6.5 seconds (single motor), 4.1 seconds (dual motor), 2.6 seconds (Cyberbeast)
  • Top speed: 130 mph
  • Weight: 6,843 pounds
  • Towing: 7,500 lbs (Rear-Wheel Drive) 11,000 lbs, (All-Wheel Drive), 11,000 lbs Cyberbeast)
  • Battery capacity: 123 kWh
  • Range: 250 mi (Rear-Wheel Drive), 340 mi (All-Wheel Drive), 320 mi (Cyberbeast)
  • Seating: 5 adults
  • Cargo volume: 120.9 cubic feet

Roadster 2.0 (maybe?)

When the original Tesla Roadster was announced for production in 2008, the upstart carmaker’s first release boasted some eye-popping stats. The sleek, futuristic design felt right for the advanced electric motor hidden within that could accelerate from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds. Throughout its lifespan, the Roadster has seen MSRPs for competitive models balloon, making the 2009 edition’s $98,000 price tag seem quaint in comparison. The original run of Tesla Roadsters ended in 2012 despite the 2010 model being Elon’s daily driver of choice. Since getting blasted off into literal space on the back of a goddamn rocket, the O.G. Tesla hasn’t made many headlines, so a refresh shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Elon's red Tesla Roadster which was mounted to the Falcon Heavy Rocket and shot into outer space. You can see the earth placidly behind the car.
“Elon’s Roadster” mounted on the Falcon Heavy Rocket (Credit: Wikipedia)

While official details are hard to find, it’s clear that the new model of the Tesla Roadster will pick up where version one left off. It will be sleek, it will be stylish, it will be full of next-level tech, it will be fast, and you’d better believe your ass that it is going to be expensive. The Tesla Roadster is not an entry-level electric vehicle and we can’t wait to see how it compares to the original. Unfortunately, for now, all we can do is poke around the internet for some concept art and dream of yet another high-performance vehicle we simply cannot afford.

Concept art of the Tesla Roadster 2.0
Image credit: Tesla

Tesla Roadster 2.0 info:

  • Expected model year: 2026
  • Expected MSRP: $200,000 (Founder’s edition: $250,000)
  • Expected 0 to 60 mph: 1.9 seconds
  • Expected top speed: 250mph (403 kmh)
  • Expected battery capacity: 200 kWh
  • Expected battery range: 620 mi (998km)

Tesla Semi

Concept art of the "New Tesla Semi" semi truck.
Tesla Semi concept art (Credit: Tesla)

The Tesla Semi truck was called “badass” when the company announced it way back in 2017 and while the aggressively futuristic freight vehicle has impressed in the abstract, the rollout has been a bit of a mess. Musk’s notoriously dodgy PR is at least partially to blame for the confusion, according to my new favorite website Freight Waves,

Trucks in the United States are allowed to weigh a maximum of 80,000 pounds, including the tractor, the trailer and everything you’re fitting inside. Electric trucks, like the Semi, are allowed to weigh 82,000 pounds. Companies typically want to haul as much as they can in a single truck, so getting close to that 80,000-pound limit is ideal.

However, Tesla, which did not respond to a press inquiry, has not released information on how much the truck actually weighs.

That limits what the Semi is able to haul, and for how long. Right now, snack and beverage behemoth PepsiCo is the only company to have received its Tesla Semis. It has three dozen electric big rigs servicing two California warehouses.

From one base in Modesto, California, 15 Tesla Semis are hauling Frito-Lay products up to 425 miles, according to a 2022 Reuters article. That means potato chips and other snack foods — a (literally) low-lift task. From another base in Sacramento, California, 31 Tesla Semis are hauling loads of soda. It’s a much heavier load, but these trips are around 100 miles, per Reuters. 

That would make the Tesla Semi a less versatile truck than a traditional option, where you know what it weighs and how long a distance it can handle. When communicating to a commercial audience, it’s crucial to include those details.

Rachel Premack – Freight Waves

Most recently, the Tesla Semis that have been put into use had a major safety recall after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) discovered the electric trucks could “fail to move into the park position when the parking brake is activated,” which is kind of an important thing for a 30,000+ lb truck to be able to do.

New Tesla electric semi trucks parked at the Pepsi plant in Sacramento.
Image credit: PepsiCo
  • Expected model year: 2025
  • Expected MSRP: $250,000+
  • Expected battery capacity: 950 kWh
  • Expected 0 to 60: 20 seconds
  • Expected maximum gross combined weight: 82,000 lbs
  • Expected battery range: 300-500 mi

FAQs

So, there we have it, every new vehicle Tesla claims will be released in the next few years. We’ll keep this page updated when more details come in, but candidly I would not be surprised if at least one of these models fails to materialize before 2030. Maybe I’m being a pessimist, but then I look at the Cybertruck and I know deep in my soul I am right.

When will Tesla release the Tesla Roadster 2.0?

The Second-Generation Tesla Roadster was teased in 2017, but hard details are difficult to find. At the time of publication, the Tesla Roadster 2.0 is rumored to be part of the 2026 model year.

When will Tesla release the Tesla Model 2/Q/C?

While Tesla has been teasing it for a while now, details about the hatchback Tesla Model 2 (also known as the Model Q or Model C) are scarce. This entry-level electric vehicle will have an MSRP of around $25,000 and could be part of the 2026 model year.

When will Tesla release the Tesla Semi Truck?

A fleet of Tesla Semi Trucks was delivered to PepsiCo in Sacramento, CA late last year, but the production model has not yet surfaced. Based on the relative lack of updates, we’re anticipating more information in 2024 and beyond.

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Teslas in winter
EVs ExplainedFeatures

Electric cars and winter: A guide to EV winter survival and how to drive in the winter

It’s cold. So cold. But life doesn’t stop in the cold, and neither does your EV. Winter weather can present unique obstacles for your electric vehicle that don’t often affect gas-engined ones, and you must know how to tackle them. So we compiled everything there is to know about EV winter survival!

Unlike combustion engines, batteries are indeed negatively affected by winter, or at least to a significantly greater extent. You also need to consider your charging habits and where you park your vehicle. And traction is something every car lover must understand when the roads get slippery. We’re not necessarily debunking EV myths here; we’re only providing straight facts on electric car performance (as well as general driving and car ownership tips) during winter. So, let’s dive in and ensure your EV is winter-ready!

Tesla model S winter
Image credit: Tesla

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Maximizing range in cold weather

At temperatures below 32°F (freezing), battery chemistry functions all slow down, reducing how fast your battery can charge and discharge. Some battery compositions are more susceptible to degraded performance than others. At extremely low temperatures, the electrolyte can freeze, and your battery might be unable to discharge. Charging at low temperatures can also reduce your battery’s life span.

It’s important to note that battery pre-heating is common in electric vehicles, and most will not let you charge before the battery has heated sufficiently. Batteries also generate their heat when you drive. However, note that range may still take a hit as your energy consumption may rise with your reliance on climate controls and heating.

You will lose range. As little as 3% but can be as drastic as 25% to 30%. Whether you’re driving a Tesla or Audi E-Tron, any lithium battery loses range in weather below freezing. The degradation in performance should you find yourself with a nickel-metal battery or perhaps a dinosaur with a lead-acid one.

EV battery winter solutions

Some positive news is that there are solutions to improve your winter battery performance.

  •  Precondition your EV (arguably the most important thing!): Although your car will probably do this before charging, it can help to precondition your EV before this. You can do this using your vehicle’s app, smart home system, or even the car’s infotainment.
  • Park in a garage: Removing your electric car from complete cold weather exposure does help. Parking in a heated garage is an even better option. 
  •  Use a winter car cover: Parking outside is the only option for many people. If that’s you, a winter car cover is your best bet. Yes, more high-tech solutions are coming, but this can prevent your vehicle from freezing over and further reducing battery temperatures.
  •  Warm your EV while charging: Heating your seats and cabin is essential. Warm up while charging is the best way to do this without reducing range.

Winter tires (duh!)

Tesla side view tires
Image credit: Tesla

All-season vs all-weather tires

Winter tires are necessary for those in colder states, but there’s more to tires than just the rubber that meets the road.

All-season tires offer traction in light snow, and some top-tier offerings can fare far better than others, but they’re generally not usable for especially deep snow, ice, and below-freezing weather. Anything below 45°F means it’s time to switch to a more effective tire. 

All-weather tires are better than all-season tires if you live in states with freezing temperatures. Think of them as all-seasons with a marginally broader spread of talents. A more aggressive tread pattern means you get excellent traction in snow and no hydroplaning in melting conditions. The caveat is that these tires are noisier and don’t offer equal performance compared to summer tires. They’re also still not as good as snow tires in winter, and tread life is worse than all-season tires.

Studded vs. non-studded snow tires 

Let’s talk about the real deal. Snow tires are the ultimate winter tire for snow, ice, rain, and temperatures below freezing. The main issue is that these tires are unusable in hotter conditions, so you must switch them out in the summer.

Studded snow tires offer extra traction in icy conditions. The metal studs dig into the ice, are generally the safest option when the roads are icy, and can withstand extremely harsh winter conditions. Non-studded snow tires are just as usable for winter as studded snow tires, albeit with reduced traction when ice is on the road. Not all states allow studded snow tires, and some only allow rubber studs.

Winter tire maintenance

Not all winter tires are the same. On average, electric vehicles weigh more than gas cars, increasing tire wear, specifically during winter. Choose an extra load (XL) winter tire for your EV to prevent this.

Make sure to check your winter tire tread before setting off. A great way to do this is by using a quarter; it’s time to replace the tire If you see the top of George Washington’s head. Regularly checking your tire pressure in the winter is also vital because the air is denser, which lowers pressure. 

Mustang Mach E in the snow
Image credit: Ford

All-wheel drive

Power to the car, people. The basis of all-wheel drive is that it powers all four wheels. Four-wheel drive functions similarly with a different mechanism, but the gist is that you get more traction on slippery surfaces. Winter tires will improve the safety of your vehicle in the colder months; all-wheel drive is that additional step for surviving winter.

It’s important to note the power of AWD systems is significantly reduced without winter tires. Many AWD cars will not help you escape a jam if your vehicle gets stuck, nor will it help you stop and turn since there’s no traction from the ill-equipped tires. That is not to say it is entirely useless in winter, but don’t go out and buy an AWD car if you don’t already have one; winter tires will do just fine.

However! Should you fancy the extra driven wheels, consider the viable options below. Heck, we have pictures and videos of them doing this exact kind of driving.

No winter tires — no problem

Winter is coming! But sometimes, life happens, and winter tires are not an option. Thankfully, there are alternatives to help you get by if you can’t score a set of winter rubber or all-weathers, ones that can be totally transformative and still save your skin when it gets really nasty outside. Some of your options are:

Autosock snow socks are the perfect winter traction tool for sports cars and emergencies. These textile wheel covers pull over your wheels just like a sock. Super quick, super traction!

Snow chains are metal chains that attach to your wheels. It’s a tried and true solution; you can buy these as a fixed set instead of buying them yourself. Even though these are an effective solution for winter traction, snow chains can be quite challenging to install.

Anti-skid tendons are similar to snow chains but forgo the old-school metal for plastic. You could also opt for long-cable ties as they perform the same function.

How to drive in winter

So you’ve put your winter tires on and are ready to take off in your super quiet EV. Another critical point about driving in winter is the driving part. Winter brings a significant loss of tire traction, which is the resistance between your rubber and the road. Too much resistance and you lose speed; too little, you start to slide and lose control of the vehicle.

Here are some extra winter driving tips:

  • Keep your headlights on for improved visibility and to spot black ice easily.
  • Keep your wipers elevated when parked so they don’t freeze to the glass
  •  Increase your following distance to a minimum of five seconds.
  •  Brake more gradually and accelerate gently.
  •  If you hit black ice, take your foot off the gas pedal, steer toward the spin until you regain traction, and do not slam on the brakes. If you find your EV’s brake regen to be quite aggressive, consider dialing it to a Medium or Low setting if it’s adjustable.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 N winter driving
Image credit: Hyundai

Surviving a winter emergency

Let’s discuss what you should keep in your emergency kit and what to do if you get stuck. And this goes for all of you, EV or ICE powertrains!

Don’t leave your car. The worst thing you can do is stumble into a winter storm and become stuck outside your vehicle. Run your car every ten minutes for heat, but (and here’s one for the ICE car owners we know are still reading this) crack the window for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Check for any snow that can clog your vehicle’s exhaust.

Keep a kit for emergencies. The National Weather Service recommends these items:

  • Flashlight and Extra Batteries
  •  Blankets/Sleeping Bag
  •  Extra Clothing
  •  First Aid Kit
  •  Non-perishable food like granola bars
  •  Kitty Litter for traction
  •  Snow Shovel
  •  Bottled Water
  •  Cell Phone & Charger
  •  Ice Scraper
  •  with Brush
  •  Booster Cables
  •  Flares/Triangles

Acceleramota recommends staying at home

Image credit: Toyota

The safest place during winter is your house. There are those situations where you have to venture out into the icy depths, but if you don’t need to travel, don’t go out! Winter expeditions are risky even if you take the correct precautions and drive safely. So stay inside where possible and cozy up for more Acceleramota!

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News

Ford has a two-year-old skunkworks team dedicated to EVs

Automakers have long established secret divisions to work out challenging engineering and design issues. Their efforts often turn out some of the most impressive performance models seen from those brands, but Ford’s new skunkworks division is wholly focused on something else.

Ford’s CEO told investors that the company created its skunkworks division two years ago with the goal of building next-generation affordable electric vehicles. Alan Clarke, a former Tesla engineer, is heading the efforts in his role as executive director of advanced EV development. 

Surprise, surprise. EVs haven’t been a golden egg-laying goose for Ford, which reported losses of $1.6 billion on its Model E division last year. The automaker announced a pullback on investments and expanding EV production efforts, but this announcement shows that it hasn’t abandoned the program. CEO Jim Farley said, “We made a bet in silence two years ago. We developed a super-talented skunkworks team to create a low-cost EV platform. It was a small group, small team, some of the best EV engineers in the world, and it was separate from the Ford mothership. It was a startup.”

The skunkworks team developed a platform that will be flexible enough to underpin a wide range of vehicle types. Farley also said the team’s work will support software and connected services, such as Ford’s commercial telematics systems. 

While this is an interesting development, it’s unlikely to yield any immediate products. The team is said to be working on Ford’s third-gen EVs, which would come after the electric truck and SUV we already know about. In the meantime, Ford will lean on hybrids, saying its sales climbed 20 percent last year with an expectation of another 40 percent increase in 2024. 

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The Dodge Charger EV will be unveiled on March 5—fake engine sounds and all

Dodge debuted the electric Charger Daytona concept quite a while ago, and in the time since, it has discontinued its long-running muscle cars, the Charger and Challenger. The lack of performance cars won’t last long, however, as the automaker recently told reporters that it would reveal a production version of the Charger Daytona on March 5.

Dodge is expected to offer three power levels and more through upgrades later on. The STLA Large platform will underpin the cars, and the automaker can offer performance options via over-the-air updates. The platform can support large battery packs with a range of up to 500 miles of range, but Dodge said it’s not focused on aerodynamics or efficiency with the new cars

Dodge being Dodge, the electric Charger won’t be a by-the-books EV. The company revealed a controversial Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust with the concept car, which for the production car will generate a surprising 126 decibels of artificial exhaust sound. That’s as loud as a gas Hellcat, but simulated engine noises aren’t for everyone.

We can debate the “coolness” of this car until the cows come home, but there’s nothing about this car that looks surprising when taken in context with the rest of the Dodge lineup. The automaker’s loud, somewhat obnoxious vehicles are far from understated, so an EV just as loud by every definition should not raise any eyebrows. 

That said, the jury’s out as to whether the average Dodge customer will warm to the electric muscle car, even if it blows the Hellcats out of the water. It’s hard to imagine that customers previously attracted to rowdy, supercharged V8-powered cars would jump at the chance to exchange their gas guzzlers for an emissions-free muscle car, loud exhaust or not.

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