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All-New Nissan LEAF Ready To Take On Chevy Bolt, Tesla Model 3

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New Nissan Leaf EV, white

The Nissan Leaf, the car that sparked the mainstream electric car segment into second gear, has been redesigned, gaining a fresher style, more technology and longer driving range to better compete with the Chevrolet Bolt, Tesla Model 3 and other new EV challengers.

For starters, the second-generation Leaf gains a bigger battery (40-kWh) that provides approximately 150 miles of driving range, a 40-percent increase over the previous model. As good as that is, that level of performance actually places the electric hatchback in the middle of the pack, beating the Hyundai Ioniq Electric’s 124 miles, Honda Clarity’s 89 miles and BMW i3’s 81 miles but falling far short of the Chevy Bolt’s 238 miles and Tesla Model 3’s 220-310 miles.

A new, more capable electric motor also grants the Leaf with a significant power increase, delivering 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. Nissan’s engineers refined the chassis for better stability and revamped the electric steering system for a more linear feel.

The exterior of the new Leaf is an evolution over the its predecessor, eschewing a quirky design for a more traditional look highlighted by Nissan’s trademark V-Motion grille and a floating roof.

Ditto with the technologically-superior interior, which has the same general layout as the previous Leaf’s and boasts upgraded versions of the same switchgear. Why mess with something that isn’t broken, right?

All models come standard with a single ‘e-Pedal’ system that allows drivers to accelerate, cruise, decelerate and stop using just one pedal. Simply removing your foot from the pedal initiates a 0.2g deceleration, eliminating the need for a brake pedal in most situations.

The new Nissan Leaf launches in the Japan in the closing months of 2017 and arrives in North America in early 2018 with a starting price of $30,875 in the United States, a price point that undercuts the competition.

A more powerful Leaf variant with even longer range will be released for the 2019 model year.

So, what do you think, does the new Nissan Leaf have what it takes to outsell the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Ioniq Electric and other mainstream electric cars? Let’s not mention the Tesla Model 3 — that car is in a league of its own popularity-wise.

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Hatchbacks

Volkswagen ID.3 Debuts As The Electric Golf We’ve Been Waiting For

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New Volkswagen ID.3 1st Edition, White

VW’s first-ever mass-production all-electric vehicle is an ideological successor to the original Beetle.

The Volkswagen ID.3 electric car is finally here, and it marks a new chapter for the VW brand.

As the first member of the German automaker’s new MEB family of electric vehicles, the ID.3 doesn’t stray too far from the concept that previewed, blending the Golf’s overall form with futuristic styling elements like a clean front end that omits a traditional grille.

Inside, the modern electric hatchback features Volkswagen’s latest technology, including a large floating infotainment screen and head-up display for the top ‘1st Max’ launch configuration.

Three different battery capacities will be available at launch, providing an electric range of 330 kilometers (205 miles), 420 kilometers (261 miles), and up to 550 kilometers (342 miles), respectively, based on the WLTP test cycle. Expect those figures to be lower under the U.S. EPA’s more stringent tests.

Re-charging is made easy thanks to 100 kW DC charging that can add up to 180 miles (290 km) of range in only 30 minutes.

With the ID.3, Volkswagen hopes to revolutionize the automotive industry like it did with the original Beetle decades ago. It’s an all-electric Golf by another name.

Interestingly, there are no plans to bring the car to the United States and Canada, where it would have been the perfect replacement for the e-Golf. North American buyers will have to wait until the ID Crozz electric crossover to arrive.

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Fiat

Fiat Kills 500 And 500e In The United States

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2018 Fiat 500 hatchback, America

Ciao, little car. Your stay was fun while it lasted.

The Fiat 500 marked the Fiat brand’s return to the United States nearly 10 years ago, but sadly, it won’t be sticking around for another year.

Fiat has announced that both the gas-powered 500 and all-electric and 500e will be discontinued in the Land of the Free after the 2019 model year.

The small hatchback was a causality of the SUV craze, with sales collapsing by 44-percent in 2018 and by 38 percent in the first half of 2019. Even so, it is Italian marque’s most popular model in the country, accounting for nearly 35 percent of all sales.

Sales numbers for the 500e were not disclosed, but late FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne once asked customers to not buy the EV because the company lost money on each unit sold.

The departure of the Fiat 500 and 500e leaves the 500X crossover, 500L hatchback and 124 Spider as the only models in Fiat’s US lineup, but one wonders how long they will be around.

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Hatchbacks

2020 Honda E Is A Small Electric Car With 137-Mile Range

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New Honda e electric car

It’s no Porsche Taycan, but it’s certainly perkier and a lot more affordable.

Honda has officially unveiled the production version of the Honda E electric car.

The Honda E was previously previewed by near-production prototype, so there is nothing surprising about its performance figures and the way it looks. Engineers gave it an electric motor (136-hp or 152-hp) that powers the rear wheels, which together with a 50:50 weight balance, should make it a fun little car to drive around in town.

When equipped with the more powerful 152-hp electric motor, the E can reach 62 mph in about eight seconds. It can travel up to 137 miles (220 km) on a single charge, and its 35.5-kWh battery can be recharged up to 80 percent capacity in only 30 minutes when plugged into a fast charger, providing juice for roughly 110 miles (177 km).

New Honda e electric car, interior

Inside, driver and passengers are treated to a minimalistic interior dominated by an intelligent interface with a dual 12.3-inch touchscreen display. A pair of six-inch screens provide a view of the side of the vehicle, thanks to the utilization of Honda’s Side Camera Mirror System instead of traditional side mirrors.

The highlight of the infotainment system is the Honda Personal Assistant application, which uses “unique contextual understanding to create natural conversations and provide access to a range of online services.” All you have to do say “OK Honda” and tell the car what you want to know.

The online ordering book for the Honda E is open for buyers in the UK, Germany, France, and Norway. Are you interested in getting one?

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