By the year 2014, quite a number of electric vehicles would be arriving in showrooms near you. The carmakers are Fiat, Mitsubishi and Tesla, and have confirmed new vehicles to come very soon.
For Chrysler and its partner Fiat, CEO Sergio Marchionne sent the word out through Twitter that the electric Fiat 500 would start production by year’s end. The tweet read, “At Chrysler we are working on an electric version of the Fiat 500 that we’ll begin manufacturing later this year.”
The question would be its market availability either by late 2012 or early 2013, but a Chrysler Canada spokesperson had confirmed that the Fiat 500 EV would be sold in Canada. The vehicle is expected to compete with the new Smart ForTwo EV by Mercedes-Benz that would be made available come September.
Other rivals for electric vehicle supremacy are the Toyota iQ and the Honda Fit EV. While these vehicles are still to be confirmed as available in Canada, Toyota is pushing ahead with the introduction of the RAV4 EV when the Canadian International Auto Show opens in Toronto. The RAV4 EV would be going head to head with the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in EV, which would be unveiled in the Geneva Auto Show in March. For its part, Mitsubishi had started advertising the Outlander and the range extended EV would be available for sale during the 2012 fiscal year. According to a statement from the Japanese carmaker, “(The Outlander) will use a plug in hybrid system derived from MMC’s already existing EV technology.”
The third and most intriguing announcement came from Tesla, as it opened with its Model X crossover. The biggest splash for this EV platform is the falcon-wing rear doors. They are similar to the gull wing door design as they open upwards but an extra hinge allows it to be folded inward towards the body of the vehicle. The company said that the doors are not concept features but are actually headed for production.
This uses the same flat battery set-up of the Model S sedan and has cargo space both at the front and back even if all seats are occupied. The Model X would be all wheel driven and would have either the 60 or 85 kWh battery packs that would be able to travel 370 and 480 kilometers. The Model X would weigh ten percent more than the Model S sedan but would be able to travel from 0 to 96 km/h in just 4.4 seconds.
With these new vehicles coming up, who says the electric car revolution is slowing down?