Hybrid and electric cars have long been seen as more of a practical commodity than a status symbol. Sleek lines and high-tech internal features weren’t really the main point of their design; they were built to simply be more fuel-efficient. Yet over the past few years, eco-friendly cars have become increasingly luxurious as high end manufacturers have started producing their own models. You can now drive a hybrid diesel Range Rover, a hybrid Bentley, and even a hybrid Porsche. The release of luxury hybrids has also made it necessary for manufacturers of more moderately priced models to up their game, and now you’ll find no shortage of stylish features in today’s eco-friendly cars. Furthermore, with a growth in car charging networks, the hybrid trend shows no signs of slowing down.
Expansion of Charging Stations
One of the reasons why there have been some major hybrid makeovers over the past few years is that charging stations have become more convenient. In the USA, you’ll find NRG Energy’s eVgo charging network on the west coast and Car Charging Group’s network in the east. Smartphone apps like PlugShare have also made it easier to find charging stations worldwide by locating the closest option as you’re on the road. Added to this is the fact that today’s electric cars can travel further on battery power than in the past, making it easy for commuters to make it to and from work without burning any fuel.
New Models and Features for 2014
If you’re looking for a car that mixes style with substance, you’ll find plenty of luxury models to choose from this year when reviewing sites like Motoring for the latest eco-car news. Although these carry hefty price tags, you can expect many of their main features to trickle down to more affordable models in the near future. This makes them worth taking a look at no matter what your budget may be. The Cadillac ELR is one of this year’s trendiest models, with the ability to fully recharge in only 4.5 hours. It is based on the same technology as the more affordable Chevrolet Volt. Cadillac’s Escalade is now also available in a hybrid version, providing towing capabilities and holding up to eight passengers in style.
Tesla’s become one of the hottest electric car manufacturers in the world. The Tesla Model X will be revealed this year, showcasing stylish features like falcon wing doors and 4WD. If you want to look at a possible competitor to the Model X, look no further than Porsche’s new Panamera S Hybrid, which can travel up to 22 miles in fully electric mode. Naturally, it rivals other supercars in performance and speed, while boasting a high-tech cockpit display. Finally, the BMW i8 can hit 60 mpg in just 4.4 seconds and can reach top speeds of 150mph while also travelling 22 miles at a time in fully electric mode.
With an increase in charging stations and the release of new luxury hybrids this year, it seems as though eco-friendly cars are enjoying a moment in the spotlight. There should be an even wider range of hybrids unveiled this year, giving an indication of this niche market’s true potential.
My Dad has an EV and he loves it. His is a 2014 Nissan Leaf. It was an adjustment at first dealing with the range and need to charge vs. swing by the gas station, but now he is in a routine and it is saving him a ton of money on gas.
Here in Portland, we have charging stations popping up all over the place. Downtown there is an “electric avenue” where all spots are reserved for EVs and have a high speed charger at each space.
Before you know it, we will have charging stations all over the place.