2017

  • 2017 Nissan Leaf showing battery pack (Source: Nissan)

    When the first-generation Nissan Leaf debuted in 2011, it quickly became the best-selling electric car in history, with no real competition. By the time the most recent version debuted in 2017, it was nearly outdated before it left dealers’ lots due to a shorter range than rivals from Tesla and Chevrolet. The biggest issues with the first-generation Leaf involved low range and the lifespan of the battery pack. DON'T MISS: 2011 Nissan Leafs Start Losing Capacity Bars: Should You Worry? (2012) After experiencing higher problems with its battery pack than other electric cars in the first...

  • John and Mimi Porter of San Diego, California, with their new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, in Feb 2017
    2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car: owners' impressions after a year

    Californians got the chance to buy Chevrolet Bolt EV electric cars before everyone else, and the compact hatchback has sold well in the state, aided by its 238-mile rated range. Last February, readers John and Mimi Porter of San Diego shared their first impressions of the new silver Bolt EV they...

  • 2017 Tesla Model 3, in photo tweeted by Elon Musk on July 9, 2017
    Tesla Model 3 Long Range rating of 310 miles: Is it understated?

    Amidst all the coverage on Wednesday of the Tesla Model 3 production numbers, we realized we'd forgotten one piece of the Model 3 saga. That would be the official EPA range and efficiency ratings for the 2017 Tesla Model 3 Long Range version. Those were issued at the end of November, and they...

  • 2017 BMW i3 REx range-extended electric car     [photo: Chris Neff]
    2017 BMW i3 REx: drive review of range-extended electric car

    When the history of modern electric cars is written, the BMW i3 will likely go down as something of an anomaly. Its carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic body shell, aluminum underpinnings, and battery-electric powertrain with an optional range extender are a combination not offered by any other maker...

  • 2017 Tesla Model 3, 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show
    How many Model 3s will Tesla deliver by Dec 31? Twitter poll results, again

    What a difference a few months makes. In June, one month before the delivery of the first 30 Tesla Model 3, we polled our Twitter followers on how many of the lower-priced electric cars Tesla would deliver by the end of this year. The view then was pretty rosy, with more than half the respondents...

  • 2017 Tesla Model 3 electric car online configurator
    Configuring a Tesla Model 3: buyer walks through the process with us

    Very few of the 455,000 people who put down $1,000 to reserve a place in line for the Tesla Model 3 electric car have received the opportunity yet to configure their cars online and place a firm order. The volume of Model 3s is still apparently at low numbers—a few hundred last month...

  • 2017 Tesla Model 3, in photo tweeted by Elon Musk on July 9, 2017

    More than five months ago, before the 2017 Tesla Model 3 officially launched, we published the results of a poll asking how many of the lower-priced electric cars would be delivered by the end of this year. Survey respondents on Twitter were optimistic, with more than half suggesting Tesla would deliver more than 10,000 by December 31. Suffice it to say, that hasn't happened. DON'T MISS: How many Tesla Model 3s will be delivered by Dec 31? Poll results (Jun 2017) Tesla hasn't provided an update over the last several weeks, but rough guesses at the number of Model 3s now in owner hands are on...

  • Video review of 2017 Tesla Model 3 electric car by Matt Pressman, Evannex [frame from YouTube video]
    Tesla Model 3 video review compares lower-priced electric car to Model S

    There have been no full reviews of the 2017 Tesla Model 3 to date by automotive media outlets, meaning professional test drivers spend a few days with the car putting it through a standard battery of tests. A few early video reviews, apparently by owners, have also vanished from the Internet...

  • 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf, Catskill Mountains, NY, Oct 2017
    2017 Volkswagen e-Golf: weekend drive report and range test

    The thought came like a flash while on the highway heading into New York's Catskill Mountains: This is what all cars will be like soon. The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf is absolutely the most normal, invisible, unremarkable electric car you can buy today. No one knew it was electric, or paid it any...

  • 2017 Tesla Model 3 "first production" car, in photo tweeted by Elon Musk on July 9, 2017
    Just 260 Tesla Model 3s built in three months, volume production delayed: Q3 results and call

    Only one topic really mattered in the Tesla third-quarter financial results call for analysts held Wednesday afternoon: Model 3. In light of far lower September deliveries than promised as late as July by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, all interest focused on the more-affordable, higher-volume electric car...

  • Frame from delivery video for "first 2017 Tesla Model 3 in Texas"
    Tesla Model 3 interior details, features emerge from pair of videos

    While the 2017 Tesla Model 3 electric car is now being delivered in small numbers to company friends and employees, not all the specifications, features, and details for the electric car are available. Now more information has emerged, in the form of a pair of videos—one by a detailer and...

  • 2017 Tesla Model S
    RWD Tesla Model S 75 gone after September 24, as electric-car range continues to change

    This year has seen a dizzying profusion of changes to the features, options, and available versions of the Tesla Model S luxury electric car, now in its sixth model year. Anyone who wants to buy a new Model S with rear-wheel drive, however, must act fast. The 2017 Tesla Model S 75, the sole variant...

  • 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

    Model years can be confusing: the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf electric car just went on sale this month, at a time when some other makers have already rolled out 2018 models. The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, meanwhile, went on sale since last December; at some point this fall, we expect to get information on the 2018 version. Comparing the two 2017 compact electric hatchbacks shows significant differences in range and lease cost. DON'T MISS: 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf, 125-mile electric car, starts at $31,315 Surprisingly, the top version of the electric car with the lower EPA-rated range (the 2017 VW...

  • 2017 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Aug 2017
    2017 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid: review of plug-in hybrid SUV

    The Porsche Cayenne is the second best-selling vehicle in the German sports-car maker's North American lineup, as SUV sales swamp those of passenger cars at luxury brands. A considerable number of the pricey SUV models sold here have been the Cayenne S E-Hybrid plug-in hybrid variant: 1,316 out of...

  • 2017 Tesla Model S 100D   [photo: David Noland, owner]
    Life with Tesla Model S: assessing my new 100D vs old 2013 electric car

    About two years ago, under the influence of an eager Tesla representative, I briefly considered trading in my trusty 2013 Tesla Model S 85 for a new Model S 90D. But after a 24-hour test drive, the advantages of the 90D—40 miles more range, all-wheel drive, and Autopilot...

  • 2017 Nissan Leaf
    Why one guy bought a 2017 Nissan Leaf electric car: it was a great deal

    The deals, incentives, and rebates currently available on the 2017 Nissan Leaf are generous and well documented. A handful of utility companies across the United States have offered generous discounts, likely backed by Nissan itself, to move the current-generation Leaf from dealerships to...

  • 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
    Toyota Prius owners: Hyundai will give you $1,000 to buy an Ioniq Hybrid

    The Toyota Prius is undoubtedly the world's best-known hybrid car, and it's now been in production over four generations for more than 20 years. There have been more than 6 million Priuses built so far, and the U.S. represents the car's largest single market. That means lots of current Prius...

  • 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
    2017 Volkswagen e-Golf, 125-mile electric car, starts at $31,315

    The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf gets several notable updates, including a larger battery pack and more powerful electric motor.

  • 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, road test, California coastline, Sep 2016

    General Motors has informed "a few hundred" owners of 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric cars that their cars could suffer from a problem with the lithium-ion battery pack that could cause it to fail without warning. The cars were among the very earliest Bolt EVs produced for public sale, so are likely concentrated in California and perhaps Oregon, where the car first went on sale last December. The specific problem is a malfunction in one or more of the 288 battery cells that delivers incorrect data to the battery management system. DON'T MISS: First 2017 Chevy Bolt EV electric cars sold today...

  • 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier and 2017 BMW i3 electric car, Aug 2017        [photo: Tom Moloughney]
    Chevy Bolt EV reviewed by BMW i3 driver: electric cars compared

    Owners of specific electric cars sometimes tend to become boosters and fans for their particular EV as well as plugging in to drive in general. So it was with Tom Moloughney, whose purchase of the very first 2014 BMW i3 REx range-extended electric car in the U.S. he wrote about for us three years...

  • 2018 BMW 3-Series
    Does Tesla Model 3 compete with Bolt EV and Leaf, or BMW 3-Series?

    There's a new generation of the BMW 3-Series sport sedan coming next year, and rumors suggest there will be an all-electric version in 2019 or 2020. If so, there's only one car that it would be targeting: the Tesla Model 3, the 220-mile or 310-mile electric sedan from the Silicon Valley carmaker...

  • 2017 Tesla Model 3 and 2011 Nissan Leaf, Half Moon Bay, California, Aug 2017  [photo: Scott Forrest]
    Is the Tesla Model 3 really 'Car 2.0'? Maybe not: here's why

    Like the company's three previous electric cars, the Tesla Model 3 launched into production with a splashy media event during which owners received the keys to their new cars and the company's fans applauded. Like the Model S and Model X, production is starting at very low rates, with the rate of...

  • Tour of Tesla battery gigafactory for invited owners, Reno, Nevada, July 2016
    Tesla Model 3 battery cells will turn a profit for Panasonic by next year

    Relatively few people focus on it, but the huge Japanese electronics company Panasonic is a minority shareholder in electric-car maker Tesla. The deal dates all the way back to November 2010, the same year that Tesla completed its initial public offering after Toyota took a stake in the company and...

  • 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel (with 6-speed automatic transmission), Catskill Mountains, NY, May 2017
    2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel: fuel economy review for automatic, manual versions

    Times are tough for sedans in general, as buyers swarm into crossover utility vehicles and ignore the passenger cars sitting next to them on the showroom floor. Also, gasoline remains cheap. All of which may add up to tough times for the current Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, the compact sedan to be...

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