Electric Vehicles Coming in 2018

There’s a lot of ‘buzz’ about the advance of electric cars with more and more manufacturers moving to electric engines.

Electric vehicles (EVs) are the future offering clean, green motoring for everyone.

Uptake of battery-powered models is somewhat surprisingly slow, but that’s not stopping manufacturers entering the electric vehicle market.

Here are 5 expected to hit the Australian market in 2018.

BMW i3 and i3s

On sale since 2015, the city-sized BMW i3 will be updated this year with extra battery capacity, more equipment and a sporty new variant.

The four-seater will retail from $68,700 (plus on-road costs) for the base grade all-electric variant, the range-extending petrol-electric (REX) model selling for $74,700 (plus ORCs).

Sporty i3s and i3s REX models are priced from $69,900 and $75,900 respectively. BMW says the i3 can travel up to 200km on a single charge. The new i3 will be in showrooms from February.

Hyundai IONIQ

The Toyota Prius-sized IONIQ (pronounced ‘ionic’) from Hyundai will arrive in Australia in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric form this April.

The attractive five-door hatch claims 280km of all-electric driving and promises to “democratise” the EVs with an expected price tag of $40,000 (plus ORCs). In the US the IONIQ sells from $29,500.

With aluminium panels to reduce weight and simple suspension to improve packaging, the IONIQ is a useful five-seat family car with none of the typical EV styling quirks.

Jaguar I-PACE

Set to compete with the Tesla’s Model X is Jaguar’s first all-electric vehicle, the family-sized I-PACE.

Slightly smaller than the oil-burning F-PACE, the I-PACE will feature all-wheel drive by means of an electric motor on each axle, and offer a range of more than 500km.

Expected in showrooms in the second-half of 2018, its anticipated the Jaguar I-PACE will retail from around $120,000 (plus ORCs) – approximately $50,000 more than the larger, entry-spec F-PACE Prestige 20d.

Nissan LEAF

The second-generation LEAF is slated to arrive in Australia late this year.

The four-seat hatch made its international debut in Japan last year promising improved range – Nissan claims more than 400km from a single charge –plus connectivity and autonomous driving benefits over the outgoing model.

Nissan sold more than 300,000 examples of the first-generation LEAF globally, and though pricing is yet to be confirmed, we anticipate an asking price of under $50,000 (plus ORCs).

Renault Kangoo ZE

Available from this month, the Renault Kangoo ZE small parcel van arrives in showrooms after years of local testing with Australia Post.

The all-electric ‘ZE’ (for Zero Emissions) van shares all but its engine with the conventionally-powered Kangoo, and boasts a realistic range of around 80km, Renault says.

It offers a payload of up to 650kg, or 150kg less than the diesel-engined Kangoo due to the weight of its batteries. There’s no word on price yet, but our guess is around $50,000 (plus ORCs).

Source: Electric vehicles coming to Australia in 2018
January 16, 2018 | Matt Brogan | motoring.com.au

Cars of the Future

Interesting question: what will cars be like in the future?

When I first started driving, heaters, music and air con were only just starting to appear in top of the range models.

There was almost nothing electric unlike today where almost everything is electric.

Now they are talking about electric powered cars, self drive cars, self parking cars, hey, why do they need me?

Alexander Kalogianni looked at next 10 years..

The next 10 years in car tech will make the last 30 look like just a warm-up

“It’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.”

Sure, it’s a wry remark about the accuracy of superfluous prognostication but that doesn’t stop human beings from seeking to peer past the horizon. From trying to plot a course through years of academia to sorting out what’s for dinner, we’re always looking expectantly to the future.

One way to qualify the passage of time is through technology eras, each hallmarked by the progression of transportation — from steam engine to internal combustion, jet propulsion, and so on. This is why flying cars and robot-piloted taxis remain a staple in science fiction narratives. But putting the Jetsons aside for a moment, what’s actually in store for the automotive world in the next few years?

1 year out: 2017

Head’s up: the cars of the not-so-distant future are being made today. Automakers have been hard at work testing tech that will appear in the car of tomorrow for some time, and we’re seeing the results already. Ten years ago, cars with built-in Bluetooth, navigation, and parking sensors were the domain of top luxury vehicles. Now even the most affordable econo-box has these things, as options at the very least.

Next year, we can expect even more everyday technology features to come as standard equipment, notably online access. General Motors has been blazing a trail with its OnStar connectivity for decades, offering in-car connectivity for all sorts of services. This can now turn cars like the Chevrolet Camaro into a roving 4G LTE hotspot. Similarly, FCA and its vehicles access the interwebs through Uconnect for all their connectivity needs.

Connectivity is a major factor in making cars — our means of mobility — true mobile devices. Folks without factory installed systems can get on-board with third party services like Verizon’s Hum or Vinli’s OBDII port accessory. Throw in Apple Carplay and Android Auto which will be barreling towards ubiquity by 2017, and the world of connected apps you’ve come to rely on from your smartphone for will be available every time you get behind the wheel.

2 years out: 2018

Further along the foggy path of time, it’s clear that autonomous driving will be a part of our automotive existence. We have seen grand demonstrations from Audi of RS7 sedans lapping Formula 1 courses and driving 500 miles, but these still seem like projects for the far future. What about sooner? As is turns out, many autonomous functions have crept into our lives under the label of driver-assist features: things like lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and self-braking systems.

If we’ve got cars that can stop, steer, and accelerate independently already, why can’t we simply network these functions to work together? This thinking hasn’t escaped many automakers who are working on ways to do just that. Take Tesla’s autopilot system, which uses all these to operate semi-independently. Drivers still need to remain responsible behind the wheel, but it makes highway commutes easier, keeping within the chosen lane and monitoring the cars around with an array of sensors along the exterior.

Bosch has also demonstrated its ability to have all these systems communicate with its traffic jam assist technology. This system, with the help of a stereo video camera (to perceive depth the same way our two eyes allow), traffic jam assists makes the gridlock under 35 miles per hour slightly more bearable. Autonomous cars, where we push the power button, enter a destination, and then open the newspaper, will still be a challenge by 2018. But driver-assist technologies will make our cars feel like they drive themselves.

5 years out: 2021

In the year 2021, the Tokyo summer Olympics will be behind us, Sealabs will be run of the mill, and Johnny Mnemonic-style couriers who commune with cyber-dolphins will be daily business. Well, at least one of those things will be true, anyway.

Your car would sense the disabled one instantly, applying the brakes before you could even see the problem.

Even so, today’s new tech will be old hat by 2021. In car connectivity? In five years, the very idea of a car without a built-in internet connection should be as absurd as buying a laptop without Wi-Fi today. And you’ll speak to dumbfounded youths about songs coming on the “radio” while they remind you that cloud-based music libraries are available with a simple voice command. (You will not like this. You will lament the day music died — when Zayn Malik left One Direction to become Prime Minister.)
By 2021, the first production self-driving vehicle should be for sale. In 2014, Elon Musk said fully autonomous cars should be on the road in five to six years. And the folks at Ford, Google, and other companies have made similar projections. The challenge, of course, will be communicating to the other autonomous and human-piloted cars on the road.

Driver-assist features will have dramatically improved along with the connectivity, with plans for vehicle-to-vehicle communication, like that demonstrated by Ford. The ubiquity of networking will allow cars to sense each other, giving drivers an extended perception of what’s nearby. Say the car ahead of you suddenly swerves right to avoid another vehicle that stopped short. The swerving driver had an extra split-second to perceive the imminent danger and narrowly avoid the collision — you aren’t so lucky.

With a connected car network, your car would sense the disabled one instantly, applying the brakes before you could even see the problem. Ford takes the car’s awareness of its surroundings even further, experimenting with LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) systems allowing the car to “see” the world around it in real time. It’s sort of like how SONAR (SOund Navigation And Ranging) maps things with sound waves, only with light.

10 years out: 2026

What lies beyond? Short of the massive class schism predicted by Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, cars should certainly still be around by 2026, but they will have certainly changed enormously. Automakers like Audi and Mercedes-Benz believe that in 10 years, fully autonomous driving will be sophisticated enough for regular use. Perhaps we’ll even have the legalities and moral quandaries of self-driving cars sorted out by then.

If so, cars will have to be accommodating for the hands-off moments. Volvo, heavily exploring self-driving car technology, is preparing for this eventuality with ideas like its Concept 26 design study. This demonstrates how a car’s cabin will be configured to change depending on the driving mode — kick back and relax, watch a film, or connect to the Internet and work in a mobile office.

This idea still seems fanciful today, despite the great leaps we’ve seen in recent years. Bosch’s vision of autonomous driving is more realistically rooted, believing that full autonomy will be relegated to highways, with drivers needing full control only around local streets.

Perhaps we will incorporate these ideas into one: Cars with the ability to drive and compute independently, but communicating through the cloud. These vehicles will “sense” which cars are on the highway — even the ones that aren’t in autopilot mode. Let’s face it: Many people will still be cruising along in old-school classics like our 2008 Mustangs. Cars of the self-driving era will keep an eye on those old clunkers thanks to myriad LiDAR sensors and small camera arrays.

And with such a set up, a fully autonomous highway system built to work with our current infrastructure doesn’t seem that far fetched. The future may be impossible to predict, but we’re the ones making it; it’s up to us to decide what we want to happen.

Except flying cars. We’re never getting those.

The next 10 years in car tech will make the last 30 look like just a warm-up
By Alexander Kalogianni — January 12, 2016 3:00 AM

Top 10 Advanced Car Technologies

We are always interested in hearing what manufacturers have in the pipeline.

What clever technology will be making our cars safer, easier to handle and fun to drive.

Karl Brauer wen to the CES and the Detroit auto show and came away with these technologies

Top 10 Advanced Car Technologies by 2020

Attending CES and the Detroit auto show over the past two weeks has my brain awash in future technology. Mercedes-Benz showed off its fully autonomous F015 Luxury in Motion concept car in Las Vegas, while Buick, Chevrolet , Hyundai, Infiniti and Volkswagen all had concepts sporting advanced features in Motown.

Many of these technologies are a ways off, but others are just around the corner, or even entering showrooms right now. The rate at which technology is changing personal transportation accelerates every year, which can make predicting the arrival of future car tech a dicey proposition.

Even more compelling is the increasing priority we’re seeing consumers place on automotive technology during their shopping process at Kelley Blue Book. This had me wondering — what automotive technologies will go from science fiction to commonplace in just the next 5 years. I’ve listed these below in an effort to identify the top 10 advanced car technologies we’ll see in showrooms by 2020.

1. Autonomous Vehicle — Let’s just get this one out of the way. Note I didn’t say fullyautonomous vehicle. Why? Because it will take more than 5 years before a car can drive anywhere, at all times, without human oversight. But by 2020 we’ll have cars capable of being fully autonomous in certain circumstances, most likely rural interstates with minimal variables (and no inclement weather). Think early days of cruise control.

2. Driver Override Systems — This relates to autonomous technology, but it’s different because it’s the car actively disregarding your commands and making its own decisions. We’ve already got cars that will stop if you fail to apply the brakes. But by 2020 cars will apply the brakes even if the driver has the gas pedal floored. The rapid increase in sensor technology will force a shift in priority, giving the car final say — not you.

3. Biometric Vehicle Access — The switch we’ve seen in recent years from keys to keyless entry and start will be followed by a switch to key-fob-less entry and start. You’ll be able to unlock and start your car without anything more than your fingerprint (or maybe your eyeball, but fingerprint readers are more likely than retina scanners). Sound a lot like the latest form of cell phone security? It should, because it’s exactly the same concept.

4. Comprehensive Vehicle Tracking — Insurance companies, and some state governments, are already talking about fees based on how many miles a person drives. By 2020 insurance companies will offer a reduced rate for drivers that agree to full tracking of their behavior. I’m hopeful this technology remains voluntary, but do I foresee a likely future where insurance companies will require comprehensive driver tracking? Sadly, yes.

5. Active Window Displays — Head-Up Display (HUD) technology has come a long way from the dim, washed out green digits some cars projected on their windshields 20 years ago. But as good as HUD is in 2015, by 2020 we’ll see active glass capable of displaying vibrant images. Imagine a navigation system that actually highlights the next turn (as seen from your perspective, through the windshield) as you approach it.

6. Remote Vehicle Shutdown — This technology already exists, with OnStar leveraging it regularly. In recent years the telematics company has shut down hundreds of stolen cars, ending police chases quickly and with little drama (though most drivers still don’t know it can be done, even drivers with OnStar…). By 2020 remote vehicle shutdown will enter the social consciousness, negatively impacting nightly news ratings everywhere.

7. Active Health MonitoringFord Motor F -0.15% Company has previewed the idea of seatbelt or steering wheel sensors that track vital statistics, though the rapid development of wearable technology means most cars will just wirelessly pair with these devices (think cell phone for your body). Combine this with basic autonomous technology and you’ve got a car that can pull over and call paramedics when the driver has a heart attack.

8. Four-Cylinder Supercar — Ford just showed an all-new GT supercar using a twin-turbo V6. While it may rub traditional performance enthusiasts the wrong way, a lightweight V6 making over 600 horsepower will offer world-beating performance, especially if it’s got a light, carbon-fiber body to pull around. By 2020 we’ll see the first full-fledged, 200-plus mph supercar with a four-cylinder engine (cubic inches be damned).

9. Smart/Personalized In-Car Marketing — You’re already getting Facebook, Twitter and Gmail ads based on your behavior. By 2020 the average car will be fully connected to the internet, meaning your vehicle will provide marketers with a powerful set of metrics to customize their message. Hopefully these will manifest as an opt-in feature, but get ready for personalized, location-based ads in your car’s display.

10. Reconfigurable Body Panels — The small SUV category is seeing increased demand these days, while truck sales grow by leaps and bounds. What if you could have both vehicle types in one car? Imagine an SUV with lightweight body panels and advanced motors that retract the roof and side glass into the lower body panels. Now throw in Chrysler minivan stow-and-go seat design and BAM! A truck and SUV in one vehicle. It could happen.

Top 10 Advanced Car Technologies by 2020
Karl Brauer
JAN 19, 2015 @ 04:00 AM