Why electric cars will take over sooner than you think

Why electric cars will take over sooner than you think

I know, you probably haven't even driven one yet, let alone seriously contemplated buying one, so the prediction may sound a bit bold, but bear with me.

We are in the middle of the biggest revolution in motoring since Henry Ford's first production line started turning back in 1913. And it is likely to happen much more quickly than you imagine.

Many industry observers believe we have already passed the tipping point where sales of electric vehicles (EVs) will very rapidly overwhelm petrol and diesel cars. It is certainly what the world's big car makers think. Jaguar plans to sell only electric cars from 2025, Volvo from 2030 and last week the British sportscar company Lotus said it would follow suit, selling only electric models from 2028.

And it isn't just premium brands. General Motors says it will make only electric vehicles by 2035, Ford says all vehicles sold in Europe will be electric by 2030 and VW says 70% of its sales will be electric by 2030. 

This isn't a fad, this isn't greenwashing.

Yes, the fact many governments around the world are setting targets to ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles gives impetus to the process. But what makes the end of the internal combustion engine inevitable is a technological revolution. And technological revolutions tend to happen very quickly.

This revolution will be electric

Look at the internet. By my reckoning, the EV market is about where the internet was around the late 1990s or early 2000s. Back then, there was a big buzz about this new thing with computers talking to each other.

Jeff Bezos had set up Amazon, and Google was beginning to take over from the likes of Altavista, Ask Jeeves and Yahoo. The EV market now is in a similar place to the internet in the early 2000s, says Justin

For those who hadn't yet logged on it all seemed exciting and interesting but irrelevant - how useful could communicating by computer be? After all, we've got phones!

But the internet, like all successful new technologies, did not follow a linear path to world domination. It didn't gradually evolve, giving us all time to plan ahead. Its growth was explosive and disruptive, crushing existing businesses and changing the way we do almost everything. And it followed a familiar pattern, known to technologists as an S-curve.

Riding the internet S-curve

It's actually an elongated S: The idea is that innovations start slowly, of interest only to the very nerdiest of nerds. EVs are on the shallow sloping bottom end of the S here.

For the internet, the graph begins at 22:30 on 29 October 1969. That's when a computer at the University of California in LA made contact with another in Stanford University a few hundred miles away.

The researchers typed an L, then an O, then a G. The system crashed before they could complete the word "login". Like I said, nerds only.

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A decade later there were still only a few hundred computers on the network but the pace of change was accelerating. 

In the 1990s the more tech-savvy started buying personal computers. As the market grew, prices fell rapidly and performance improved in leaps and bounds - encouraging more and more people to log on to the internet.

The S is beginning to sweep upwards here, growth is becoming exponential. By 1995 there were some 16 million people online. By 2001, there were 513 million people. Now there are more than three billion. What happens next is our S begins to slope back towards the horizontal.

The rate of growth slows as virtually everybody who wants to be is now online.

Jeremy Clarkson's disdain

We saw the same pattern of a slow start, exponential growth and then a slowdown to a mature market with smartphones, photography, even antibiotics. The internal combustion engine at the turn of the last century followed the same trajectory.

So did steam engines and printing presses. And electric vehicles will do the same. In fact they have a more venerable lineage than the internet.

The first crude electric car was developed by the Scottish inventor Robert Anderson in the 1830s. But it is only in the last few years that the technology has been available at the kind of prices that make it competitive.

The former Top Gear presenter and used car dealer Quentin Willson should know. He's been driving electric vehicles for well over a decade.

General Motors' environmentally friendly electric car, the EV1, January 1998IMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES
image captionLaunched in 1998, the EV1 was GM's first attempt at an electric car and failed to take off

He test-drove General Motors' now infamous EV1 20 years ago. It cost a billion dollars to develop but was considered a dud by GM, which crushed all but a handful of the 1,000 or so vehicles it produced.

The EV1's range was dreadful - about 50 miles for a normal driver - but Mr Willson was won over. "I remember thinking this is the future," he told me.

He says he will never forget the disdain that radiated from fellow Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson when he showed him his first electric car, a Citroen C-Zero, a decade later.

"It was just completely: 'You have done the most unspeakable thing and you have disgraced us all. Leave!'," he says. Though he now concedes that you couldn't have the heater on in the car because it decimated the range. How things have changed. Mr Willson says he has no range anxiety with his latest electric car, a Tesla Model 3.


He says it will do almost 300 miles on a single charge and accelerates from 0-60 in 3.1 seconds. "It is supremely comfortable, it's airy, it's bright. It's just a complete joy. And I would unequivocally say to you now that I would never ever go back."

We've seen massive improvements in the motors that drive electric vehicles, the computers that control them, charging systems and car design. But the sea-change in performance Mr Willson has experienced is largely possible because of the improvements in the non-beating heart of the vehicles, the battery.

The most striking change is in prices.


Just a decade ago, it cost $1,000 per kilowatt hour of battery power, says Madeline Tyson, of the US-based clean energy research group, RMI. Now it is nudging $100 (£71). That is reckoned to be the point at which they start to become cheaper to buy than equivalent internal combustion vehicles. But, says Ms Tyson, when you factor in the cost of fuel and servicing - EVs need much less of that - many EVs are already cheaper than the petrol or diesel alternative.

At the same time energy density - how much power you can pack into each battery - continues to rise. They are lasting longer too. Last year the world's first battery capable of powering a car for a million miles was unveiled by the Chinese battery maker, CATL.

Companies that run big fleets of cars like Uber and Lyft are leading the switchover, because the savings are greatest for cars with high mileage. But, says Ms Tyson, as prices continue to tumble, retail customers will follow soon.

How fast will it happen?

The answer is very fast. 

Like the internet in the 90s, the electric car market is already growing exponentially. Global sales of electric cars raced forward in 2020, rising by 43% to a total of 3.2m, despite overall car sales slumping by a fifth during the coronavirus pandemic.

Electric car sales
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That is just 5% of total car sales, but it shows we're already entering the steep part of the S. By 2025 20% of all new cars sold globally will be electric, according to the latest forecast by the investment bank UBS. That will leap to 40% by 2030, and by 2040 virtually every new car sold globally will be electric, says UBS.

The reason is thanks to another curve - what manufacturers call the "learning curve".

The more we make something, the better we get at making it and the cheaper it gets to make. That's why PCs, kitchen appliances and - yes - petrol and diesel cars, became so affordable.

Xinwangda Electric Vehicle Battery Co. Ltd, which makes lithium batteries for electric cars and other uses, in Nanjing in China's eastern Jiangsu provinceIMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES
image captionBigger and bigger factories are driving down the price of batteries for electric cars

The same thing is what has been driving down the price of batteries, and hence electric cars. We're on the verge of a tipping point, says Ramez Naam, the co-chair for energy and environment at the Singularity University in California.

He believes as soon as electric vehicles become cost-competitive with fossil fuel vehicles, the game will be up. 

That's certainly what Tesla's self-styled techno-king, Elon Musk, believes. Last month he was telling investors that the Model 3 has become the best-selling premium sedan in the world, and predicting that the newer, cheaper Model Y would become the best-selling car of any kind. "We've seen a real shift in customer perception of electric vehicles, and our demand is the best we've ever seen," Mr Musk told the meeting.

There is work to be done before electric vehicles drive their petrol and diesel rivals off the road. Most importantly, everyone needs to be able charge their cars easily and cheaply whether or not they have a driveway at their home.

That will take work and investment, but will happen, just as a vast network of petrol stations rapidly sprang up to fuel cars a century ago.

Ioniq 5 Quick Reviews Are In And They Are All Positive

Ioniq 5 Quick Reviews Are In And They Are All Positive

This has to be one of the most eagerly anticipated EV launches of the year, and we’re happy it delivers.

Hyundai has made itself one of the most important players on the global passenger electric vehicle market, and it wants to stay there with models such as the highly anticipated Ioniq 5. As you probably know, it is a fully-electric vehicle that was built from the ground-up on a dedicated platform, called E-GMP, and it promises to do a lot of things right.

We’ve been eagerly awaiting the first impressions from reputable sources and the first reviews are just in, from The Late Brake ShowFully Charged and WhatCar?, all of whom tested the car in the United Kingdom. Unsurprisingly, they all attended the same launch venue, held at a ‘secret’ farm, in an undisclosed location, and all unanimously agreed that it could be one of the year’s most important EV launches.

The Ioniq 5 they tested wasn’t completely finished - it was a pre-production model and during Robert Llewellyn’s Fully Charged video review, he even discovers a minor (and rather amusing) malfunction. It’s nothing major, something to do with the electrically-opening charge port door, and it will surely be fixed before the vehicle goes on sale.

What all reviewers seemed to agree is the Ioniq 5 was one nice looking electric vehicle, one that blurs the lines between hatchbacks and crossovers (it’s like an in-between body style). The interior was also pretty stylish, albeit a bit more subdued, and out on the road the vehicle proved smooth, very punchy and overall, providing a very relaxing and pleasant driving experience.

All these are first impressions videos, so they are not full reviews, but they just make us more eager to get behind the wheel of an Ioniq 5, spend more time with one, and see what it’s actually like to live with.

Source: Inside EVs

New Hyundai Staria: As A Bold Minivan For The Modern Age

New Hyundai Staria: As A Bold Minivan For The Modern Age

The 2021 Hyundai Staria has been revealed in full and it truly looks unlike any other vehicle on the market.

The people-mover is dubbed a Purpose Built Vehicle (PBV) by Hyundai and has a futuristic exterior design that includes a bold front-end with LED daytime running lights and a light bar that run across the width of the vehicle. Hyundai’s designers have also equipped the Staria with a low and wide grille while the main headlamps are located on either side of this grille.

Unique design touches continue along the sides where the windows extend lower than is usual. Meanwhile, the rear includes large vertical taillights with a Parametric Pixel lamp design similar to the all-electric Ioniq 5. Shoppers will be able to buy the new Staria in Abyss Black Pearl, Creamy White, Graphite Gray Metallic, Moonlight Blue Pearl, Shimmering Silver Metallic, Dynamic Yellow, Olivine Gray Metallic and Gaia Brown Pearl. 

This is a big minivan

The new Staria has a 3,273-mm wheelbase (129-in.) with an overall length of 5,253 mm (206.8-in), width of 1,997 mm (78.6-in) and a height of 1,990 mm (78.3-in). Hyundai says that cargo space varies depending on how the seating configurations are arranged. The 2- and 3-seater, optimized for business use, offer maximum cargo space of almost 5,000 liters (176 cubic feet). The cargo space dimensions have also been increased to carry three Euro pallets at once.

Hyundai will sell its new PBC in standard Staria and flagship Staria Premium guise and offer 2- to 11-seat configurations. The Staria Premium includes unique features like a tinted brass chrome treatment across various parts of the exterior, including the Hyundai emblem, grille, headlamp bezels, front and rear bumpers, wheels, wing mirrors, and door handles.

The interior of the Staria is a significant step on from previous people movers produced by Hyundai. Key features include a 10.25-inch front display, a button-type electronic shift lever, and a large touchscreen infotainment system.

Staria Premium models takes things one step further. In the 7-seat Premium model, for example, it features ‘Premium Relaxation Seats’ in the second row that recline electronically and have sliding capabilities. These seats also include a one-touch relaxation mode that prompts them to recline automatically. Meanwhile, 9-seat Premium models have second-row seats that can swivel 180 degrees to face passengers in the third row.

All Premium models also come with 64-color ambient lighting and the cabin can be finished in Black, Black and Beige two-tone, or Black and Blue two-tone. Premium models can also be equipped with a Gray and Brown two-tone cabin and a Gray and Light Gray two-tone interior.

New variants coming in the near future

The Korean carmaker said that it will expand the Staria lineup with additional variants over the next couple of years, including limousines, ambulances and a camping model. In addition, eco-friendly variants of STARIA are scheduled to be added in upcoming years.

What powers the new Staria

Two engines will be offered. The first is a diesel 2.2-liter VGT four-cylinder that delivers 174 hp and 318 lb-ft (431 Nm) of torque. This engine can be coupled to either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission. Sitting at the top of the range is a Smartstream 3.5-liter MPI engine with 268 hp and 244 lb-ft (331 Nm) of torque. This engine is offered exclusively with an eight-speed automatic.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 will be Motional and Lyft’s first robotaxi

Hyundai IONIQ 5 will be Motional and Lyft’s first robotaxi

Motional will integrate its driverless technology into Hyundai’s new all-electric SUV to create the company’s first robotaxi. At the start of 2023, customers in certain markets will be able to book the fully electric, fully autonomous taxi through the Lyft app.

The Hyundai IONIQ 5, which was revealed in February with a consumer release date expected later this year, will be fully integrated with Motional’s driverless system. The vehicles will be equipped with the hardware and software needed for Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities, including lidar, radar and cameras to provide the vehicle’s sensing system with 360 degrees of vision, and the ability to see up to 300 meters away. This level of driverless technology means a human will not be required to take over driving.

The interior space will be similar to the consumer model, but additionally equipped with features needed for robotaxi operation, according to a Motional spokesperson. Motional did not reveal whether or not the vehicle would still have a steering wheel, and images of the robotaxi aren’t yet available.

Motional’s IONIQ 5 robotaxis have already begun testing on public roads and closed courses, and they’ll be put through more months of testing and real-world experience before being deployed on Lyft’s platform. The company says it’ll complete testing only once it’s confident the taxis are safer than a human driver.

Motional, the Aptiv-Hyundai $4 billion joint venture aimed at commercializing driverless cars, announced its partnership with Lyft in December, signaling the ride-hailing company’s primary involvement in Motional’s plans. The company recently announced that it began testing its driverless tech on public roads in Las Vegas. Hyundai’s IONIQ 5 is Motional’s second platform to go driverless on public roads.

Source: Tech Crunch

2022 Hyundai Tucson Evolves in Style

2022 Hyundai Tucson Evolves in Style

For most of its 35-year history selling vehicles in the United States, the funk laid heavily over Hyundai. Excels, Tiburons, Scoupes, Azeras, XG350s—some utterly awkward-looking machinery wore the italicized H badge. But lately the company has been on a design tear. Under Belgian-born chief designer Luc Donckerwolke, stalwarts like the Sonata sedan have hammocked between avant and garde, new vehicles like the blocky Palisade SUV have been runaway hits, and even the cheap twerps like the Venue have some class. But all that seems like mere prelude to the faceted, distinctive design of the new 2022 Tucson compact crossover. In a market segment dominated by play-it-safe designs like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the Tucson will be polarizing. And sometimes, polarizing is good.

In general profile, the new, larger Tucson isn't that much different than the outgoing model. It's the details that make it a standout. The exaggerated bulge of the fenders, the razor-edge line that runs through the doors, and the Hyundai logo sequestered under the rear-hatch glass speak to design ambitions beyond the genre standard. Granted, it's a small crossover, and there's only so far that form factor can be pushed. But somehow it feels like the designers were liberated here. Love it or hate it, the Tucson isn't boring.

2022 hyundai tucson
Of all the exterior design elements, the ones bound to attract the most attention are the daytime running lights. DRLs aren't usually of much interest, but Hyundai made the creative decision to incorporate LEDs into the grille itself. When the Tucson is shut off, the DRLs practically disappear. But when the car is running, the stacked lights look like wings spreading from the lower grille up toward the headlights. Some of you will find a reason to hate this, but find something else worthy of your irrational wrath. As impressive as the exterior is, the interior is better. There are some echoes of Honda in there, some touches of Lexus, and a big chunk of Audi, but it all works together. Just to show that Hyundai hasn't abandoned the funk altogether, the steering wheel has a goofy design with four spokes in the lower third of the wheel. But it is well sized, and its rim has a nice squish to it.

The stars here are the twin 10.3-inch screens. The one in front of the driver is brilliant enough that it doesn't require a hood over it to provide shade, and the center screen has a more or less intuitive interface. (And in the context of current infotainment systems, "more or less" is a synonym for "pretty good.") What's missing? How about a volume knob for the sound system? Come on, it's easy. Hyundai also claims the new Tucson has some neat interior ambient lighting, but the press preview drive was conducted in daylight, so that remains to be seen.

2022 hyundai tucson

With a 108.5-inch wheelbase and 182.3-inch overall length, the Tucson grows significantly in size from the 2021 model. Its dimensions now put it right alongside the 182.1-inch-long Honda CR-V. And the Hyundai's 108 cubic feet of passenger volume beats the CR-V by a few cubes. That's three more cubic feet you could use to store, say, a small poodle or a sushi bento box. Your move, Honda! Hyundai may be pushing the style edge with the Tucson, but from a practical standpoint it's going cube for cube with the class leaders.

2022 hyundai tucson

The console-mounted shifter itself is a push-button thing similar to that now used by Honda. The Tucson's sibling, the Santa Cruz truck, uses a conventional lever shifter. Hyundai should offer the lever as an option on the Tucson if it can. Maybe it will show up on the sportier N Line version of the vehicle that was on display but not available to drive.

Fuel-economy estimates rubber-stamped by the EPA come in at 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined for two-wheel-drive models, with the all-wheel-drive versions sacrificing 2 mpg combined. Like the engine itself, that's competitive but not exceptional.
2022 hyundai tucson

The steering is decently weighted, turn-in is reasonably crisp, and not even once did the Tucson spontaneously levitate. In terms of driving experience, it's exactly the crossover that customers expect. And right now, this already vast and ever-expanding class is what standard family transportation in the U.S. looks like.

2022 hyundai tucson

Press previews like this one usually feature highly optioned, zippy top-of-the line models, the better to show off all available finery. Meanwhile, the bulk of sales are likely to be midrange versions that are well-equipped but hardly lavish. With the new Tucson, Hyundai has pushed the style envelope in some ways but gone strictly conventional in others. The Tucson is, based on worldwide sales, the company's bestseller. Hyundai can't afford to screw this up. And it hasn't.

Source: Car and Driver

1970s Hyundai Pony Restored with EV Powertrain, Ultra-Cool Interior

1970s Hyundai Pony Restored with EV Powertrain, Ultra-Cool Interior

Here's something cool that appeared inconspicuously on Instagram and in a release celebrating Hyundai's new customer center in Busan, Korea: A restomod variation of a first-generation Hyundai Pony fitted with an unspecified electric powertrain and ultra-modern head- and taillights. It also has camera-based, fender-mounted exterior mirrors and nixie-tube instrumentation that's both retro and futuristic and epitomizes the height of 1970s style.

The project was led byHyundai's interior chief designer Hak Soo Ha. It is not simply a retro design "inspired" by the 1970s, but the real thing: Hyundai took an actual first-generation car, disassembled it, and added the artistic touches and the EV powertrain.


The Hyundai Pony Heritage EV is not just a testament to the creative spirit at Hyundai Design under the leadership of Luc Donckerwolke, it is also an homage to Giorgio Giugiaro. Almost 47 years after its debut at the 1974 Turin auto show, it took just a few modifications to make the Pony look cooler and more contemporary than ever. Hyundai has also cited the original Pony as an inspiration for the Ioniq 5 EV's design.

The Pony was Hyundai's first standalone car. It was a compact model built on a relatively conventional rear-wheel-drive platform. The two-door hatchback, which Hyundai used for this project, came a few years later, preserving the look of the four-door model. It was never sold in North America. The second-generation Pony, a reskin of the original model, came to Canada, while Hyundai did not appear in the U.S. market until the third generation came along, which was called the Excel on our shores.

What are we to make of the Heritage Pony? "Don't read too much into it," we are told by an insider: "It came out of nowhere, like a work of art." That may be the case, but now we want one
2022 Hyundai Tuscon Fuel Economy Is Mightily Impressive

2022 Hyundai Tuscon Fuel Economy Is Mightily Impressive

The all-new 2022 Hyundai Tucson is gearing up for launch this summer, and it's starting to look very good indeed. The fourth-generation of the compact crossover has got a new and sharper suit, and for the first time, the Tucson will be available as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid. And now the EPA estimates for fuel economy for all but the plug-in hybrid have come in and it looks good for those that value their MPG.

Starting with the piston-only powered version, the base model SE with front-wheel-drive and a 2.5-liter engine. The EPA estimates it to have fuel economy of 26 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg on the combined cycle. That's up considerably from the 2021 model's 23/28/25 mpg city/highway/combined.


If you add all-wheel-drive, the new 24/29/26 mpg city/highway/combined is still a considerable improvement over the previous base front-wheel-drive model. Of the figures released so far, though, the base hybrid, the Tucson Hybrid Blue, is the lightest on fuel despite coming with all-wheel-drive as standard. It has an even spread of 38/38/38 mpg city/highway/combined. Its drivetrain consists of a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine matched to a six-speed automatic transmission, an electric motor, and a 1.49-kWh battery. The more feature-laden 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid takes a slight hit, clocking in with 37/36/37 mpg city/highway/combined.


The EPA estimates for the plug-in-hybrid aren't available yet, and neither is its MSRP from Hyundai. However, we do know it gets a 261-hp 1.6-liter engine and a 13.8-kWh battery. According to Hyundai, it should arrive with a 30 mpg combined figure and get up to 32 miles of range on electric power alone.

Hyundai has been pushing hard into Toyota, Nissan, and Honda-dominated segments over the past couple of years. With its new sharp looks and an upgraded and broader range of drivetrains, it looks like the South Korean automaker is ready to go toe-to-toe with the Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4, and Honda CR-V.


Source: Carbuzz

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About Garage Centraal

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