WITH some 455,000 eager fans having deposited $1,000 to reserve a place in the queue for Tesla’s mid-size Model 3—a battery-powered car for the masses that went on sale in early July—electric vehicles appear poised, at last, to gain some serious traction. General Motors has already sold over 12,000 of its Chevrolet Bolt, a broadly similar model launched late last year. Together, these two represent a new wave of battery cars that come close to rivalling the family saloon (sedan) in terms of price, performance and range. And in October, at least in Japan, they will be joined by much-improved version of Nissan’s Leaf, currently the world’s best-selling electric vehicle.
The Tesla Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt are capable of travelling 300-500km (200-300 miles) on a single charge—the sort of range conventional cars get from a tankful of fossil fuel. The Leaf, which is cheaper, gets only 250km. But even that should help put to rest the “range anxiety” that has made…Continue reading