5 EVs for under $45K
|driving.ca 31 Oct 2019 at 13:59|
It’s only been the last couple of years that putting together a list of five electric vehicles for under $45,000 was possible, and given the coming wave of new, affordable EVs on the horizon, a top-10 list will be do-able in the next two years or so.
For now though, these five zero emission vehicles will have to do. But it should be noted that that price threshold of $45k is far from arbitrary, as that figure is the ceiling of a base priced model to qualify for a federal government rebate of $5,000 (and no, it’s not a coincidence the base prices of these five EVs are mere dollars, or in the case of the Tesla and Hyundai one loonie, below that threshold).
B.C. and Quebec residents can further whittle down the MSRP with provincial incentives of $3,000 and $8,000 respectively. The Doug Ford government in July of last year canceled Ontario’s EV rebate program.
So, in no specific order, five affordable EVs.
By far the best-selling EV in Canada so far in 2019 — by June some 7,585 had been delivered to Canadians, compared to the second place Nissan Leaf (1,476) — the Model 3 is a formidable contender and worthy of its top-selling crown. With a full-charge range between 350 and 500 kilometres (depending on the battery pack), over-the-air software upgrades and Tesla’s distinctive, yet spartan, exterior and interior design language, the technically advanced Model 3 exemplifies many of the best attributes of an electric vehicle. Then there’s Tesla’s Supercharger network, which enables fast charging from coast-to-coast to the tune of up to 290 km of range is just 15 minutes. Using a Tesla 48A home wall connector charger, an hour’s charge provides about 70 kilometres of range. One caveat surrounding the Model 3, in fact regarding all Tesla models, is an increasing number of owner complaints about service. Specifically, how long somewhat routine repairs are taking and also the wait time for certain parts. To be sure these are, given the surge in Model 3 sales, growing pains as the company deals with a much larger footprint in Canada—particularly in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Base price (Standard Range): $44,999
Nissan was at the forefront of the EV passenger vehicle revolution with the debut of the Leaf nearly 10 years ago, and in 2018 released the all-new, second-generation model, featuring new styling inside and out and a 40 kWh lithium-ion battery. For the model year 2019 Nissan upped the ante with the Plus model, its 62 kWh battery pack increasing the regular Leaf’s range by 50 per cent for an NRCan full-charge range of up to 363 kilometres. The Plus also has a more powerful motor (160 kW compared to 110 kW) that produces 45 per cent more power (214 horsepower) and a very respectable 250 lbs.-ft of torque. The second-gen Leaf benefits greatly from Nissan’s decade-long experience in the EV space, with advanced systems like the semi-autonomous ProPilot assist feature and the ePedal function that enables one-pedal driving perfectly suited for daily commutes in high-traffic urban centres. In terms of charging options, the Plus model offers the standard Level 1 and Level 2 ports, and adds a high output charge port (up to 100 kW) that provides an 80 per cent charge in just 45 minutes. And for those cold Canadian winters, heated seats, steering wheel and side mirrors come standard. Base Price (S Plus): $44,898
GM brought the Bolt to Canada in 2016 and set the new high-bar for range in an affordable EV with a full-charge range of 383 kilometres and a distinctively fun-to-drive personality. For 2020 they’ve upped that very good range by some 10 per cent (417 km) without increasing the size or weight of the 66 kWh battery pack. That is thanks to a tweaked battery chemistry, but it does add 30 minutes to a full-charge session on a 240V system (10 hours) but improves on the DC Fast Charge time (160 km in 30 minutes). Apart from that range increase, the only real changes to the new Bolt are a textured front grille and bumper, and two new exterior colours (Cayenne Orange and Oasis Blue). One of the helpful features for Bolt owners is free access to the myChevrolet App2, with an Energy Assist function that allows you to view and search for charging stations, plan a trip with multiple waypoints and/or charging stops and receive alerts if the set route becomes invalid. A new feature of the app projects that Energy Assist screen to the Bolt’s infotainment system using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Base price: $44,998
The new-for-2019 Niro combines an all-electric powertrain with the popular crossover body style. Based on the gas-powered CUV of the same name, the front-wheel drive Niro EV features a liquid-cooled 64 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery with a full-charge range of 385 kilometres. Power output is 201 hp and 291 lbs.-ft of torque, and the standard DC Fast Charge system provides 135 km of range in 30 minutes using a 50 kW charger or 193 km using a 100 kW charger. A full charge utilizing Level 2 (7.2 kW) is approximately nine-and-a-half hours. Thanks to the batteries located beneath the floor, cabin space is excellent and that lower centre of gravity provides good handling and driving dynamics. There are four selectable drive modes — Eco, Normal, Sport and Ec0+ — that automatically adjust reg braking levels and climate controls, and regulate speed. Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters are manually operated to increase/decrease the amount of regenerative braking, a great system than when mastered serves as a form of downshift braking. In addition, a paddle-engaged brake-and-hold system allows the vehicle to come to a full stop. Base price: $44,995
Matching Korean counterpart Kia in 2019 is Hyundai, with its all-electric Kona also embracing the crossover trend. The Kona’s range is a few clicks better at a very impressive 415 kms, though, but equals the Niro in horsepower, torque, battery size and charge times. Using a Level 3 (or 100 kW fast charging station) the battery can be recharged up to 80 per cent in just under an hour. For charging convenience, the charging port is located in the front grille area for head-in parking. And specific to the Canadian market, the Kona Electric comes with a standard heat pump to improve the HVAC system by reducing power demands to heat the cabin and reducing the affect cold weather has on vehicle range. In addition, the onboard Battery Temperature Management System will pre-warm the battery while connected to a charger to help maximize performance. And in a first for the segment, it comes with wireless smartphone charging. The system indicates when the phone has fully charged, reminds you to remove your phone when getting out of the vehicle, and detects when a foreign object is in the recharging area that could interfere with charging. Base price: $44,999