QOTD: Does the Electric Realm Have Borders?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd does the electric realm have borders

The trail-trampling fodder of the previous post — Volkswagen’s rugged, hypothetical, yet-unnamed electric off-roader — sparked this question, as it really seems there’s little ground the once nerdy and impractical electric vehicle can’t claim.

The EV revolution, if indeed that’s what it is, started a decade ago with Tesla’s Lotus-bodied roadster, and continues at an ever growing speed. As of this writing, choice is already plentiful. Come two years or so, and the options could be virtually limitless.

Is there a segment where you just can’t see the EV becoming a fixture?

Call your bank, assess your funds, and you can, in early 2019, get into an electric sedan, compact or midsize. Hatches are there, too, and the first mass-market, battery-powered crossovers have already begun to arrive. Sporty (Jaguar I-Pace) or practical (Hyundai Kona EV)? Keep in mind the Kia Soul EV’s been around for some time. Rivian would love to sell you a larger electric SUV in the near future, as would Tesla and Ford. Oh, and Volkswagen. It has a microbus coming, in addition to a two-row crossover, three-row crossover, and the possible aforementioned off-roader.

Those horrified by the thought of ridding themselves of jerry can assistance while crawling through the backcountry have PHEV versions of the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport to choose from, and Jeep’s plug-in Wrangler is hot on their heels.

Pickup truck fan? Rivian wants in on that, too. Same with Atlis, which debuted an electric concept just a few days ago. ( Workhorse would argue it was first on the scene.) Tesla also sees the pickup market as fertile ground, with the Silicon Valley lifestyle maker planning to unveil a prototype later this year. Maybe. Meanwhile, it’s Ford’s intent to bring serious electrification to the segment in a big way with its forthcoming F-150 hybrid. Depending on the truck’s reception, this could cause domestic rivals to respond in kind.

We’ve already seen how high-zoot sports cars can go gas-free, as, oddly, this was the vehicle type that broke the seal. Italian automakers have electric propulsion in their sights for future models. Even motorsports isn’t immune, with Formula E offering emissions-free thrills for the few who choose to attend. Life on two wheels suit you better? Harley-Davidson wants a word.

There’s few, if any, areas of autodom where EVs aren’t trying to make inroads, but which segment will hold out the longest with primarily ICE-powered vehicles? It would seem that pickups, which require sizeable (and expensive) battery packs to move their hefty bulk, even when unladen, is the obvious answer. Still, you might have other ideas. Sound off in the comments.

[Image: Atlis Motor Vehicles]

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  • JaySeis JaySeis on Jan 12, 2019

    Hybrid diesel electrics been hauling ICE vehicles for nearly a 100 years. And speaking of infrastructure..post WW2 our county easily had twice the “gas” stations we’ve today. 4 in the small town I grew up in and another 2 in the immediate rural area. Today there is 1. Seriously overbuilt. I can charge a vehicle overnight on the equivalent of a dryer plugin? Certainly easier than going to Home Depot & buying a refinery in a box. Get off my AstroTurf Luddites! https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steel_Electric-class_ferry

  • Carlson Fan Carlson Fan on Jan 13, 2019

    I've said before that with the current technology EV's are almost a no-brainer for multi-car households as a second or third vehicle. Initial purchase cost being the biggest limiting factor currently. But I suspect China will take care of that in a few years. I'll be trailering from Minneapolis to the upper UP of Michigan for a snowmobile trip in a few weeks and it will be a long, long time before an EV tow vehicle is available that can replace the ICE tow vehicle that will be doing that job. So anything powerful enough to tow something that sits on tandem axles long distances to remote areas in the winter will probably not be replaced with anything electric in my lifetime.

  • Stuart de Baker This is depressing, and I don't own one of these.
  • Stuart de Baker Chris! When asked for car advice, I just ask 'em what they want out of a car. And I have my prompts: fun to drive, safety, economy, longevity (I have Consumer Reports annual auto issues going back so I can help people with used cars, too), road trips vs in town, etc, and what sort of body style do they want and why. (If they want an SUV because they think it's safer, I'll suggest they consider large sedans, but if they put major emphasis on safety, I'll check the latest safety stats for whatever cars might satisfy their other desires.
  • Stuart de Baker I don't speak to Jeeps and I don't approve of driving off road, especially in places like Utah where the vegetation won't come back for years.
  • Kanu Actually, I think this makes a certain amount of sense.The average age of light vehicles in operation in the US is now 12.2 years. This means that the typical useful life of a light vehicle is around 25 years.The big virtue of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is that the infotainment system in your car uses the relatively up-to-date technology of your smartphone rather than the vintage technology that existed when your car was built.But the useful life of EVs is nowhere near 25 years. It’s more like 8 years. That’s when the battery needs to be replaced, and that’s when you discover that the price of the new battery is more than the market value of your eight-year-old car with a new battery.So if your EV has built-in infotainment technology, that technology will still be relatively up-to-date when your EV goes to the scrap yard.
  • Deanst I like most things Peugeot recently, along with Skoda wagons and, for practicality’s sake, a Toyota Corolla hybrid wagon. And the Honda e.