2018 Nissan Leaf: 150 miles
For six years the Nissan Leaf has led the EV sales race. Today the competition is heating up and the second generation Leaf has arrived just in the nick of time. The 2018 Nissan leaf has buffed up its motor to 147 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. That’s 40 more horses than the 2017 model, and more horsepower than the 2018 versions of Volkswagen e-Golf and Hyundai Ioniq Electric.
New for 2018 is Nissan’s e-Pedal technology that combines regenerative braking and the conventional friction brakes. Most EVs are equipped with regenerative brakes. This arrangement slows the vehicle when you ease up on the “gas” pedal. With the addition of friction brakes, the Leaf will come to a complete stop. It will also hold the car on a 30 degree slope without touching the brake. It’s a bit tricky to get used to but most new drivers stop well short of their intended target rather than long.
The Leaf’s range has been improved to 150 miles. Recharging continues to be a concern (as it is for all EVs). An exhausted battery takes a day and a half with a 110 volt Level 1 source, or 7.5 hours with a 220-volt Level 2 source. The charging cable that comes with the car accommodates both voltages.
2018 BMW i3: 205 miles (with gas range extender)
Weight obviously has a big impact on the range of an electric vehicle. To lighten the load on the BMW i3, the vehicle’s body comes composed in plastic. Not just any plastic, carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). BMW claims it is as strong as steel and half the weight. Even so, it’s kind of disturbing to learn that your new $44,450 BMW is made of plastic.
It is a peppy EV with 0-to-60 time of 6.7 seconds, but the company’s big pitch is twofold. Sustainability of materials used and the availability of a network of 41,000 charging stations. Eighty percent of the materials in the cabin are made from “sustainable materials like eucalyptus wood and leather tanned in olive oil.” It sounds like BMW is hawking Birkenstocks instead of performance automobiles.
A quick note, 205 miles can only be achieved with the optional two-cylinder engine. The i3 can only get 114 miles on the battery alone. But since the small gasoline tank is slightly more than just two gallons, we felt we could include it here on our list of longest range electric car models.
2019 Jaguar I-Pace: Range 220 miles
Arriving mid-2018 the Jaguar I-Pace will be a serious contender to Tesla if they can keep their price in line. This Jaguar features two electric motors generating 400 horsepower that promises a zero-to-60 speed of 4.0 seconds flat. With a torque rating of 516 lb-ft that seems like an achievable feat. This Jag, like all Jags, will be heavy on sleek design, technology and luxury.
The big draw here is a range that promises 220 miles on a single charge. That’s still well short of Tesla’s reach, but the figure makes for a very respectable longest range electric car competitor. If they can price it around $45,000 they could have a contender.View on One Page