Americans are lagging behind
The return of Los Angeles show After a two-year shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic seemed almost impossible, but the event still managed to hold on, with a few bonus surprises. If the American and German manufacturers were discreet at the Show, the South Korean brands made sure to dominate the two floors of the LA Convention Center. In all this, a panoply of new players who are trying to upset the established order have taken the opportunity to make themselves known. It is obvious that Los Angeles relies more than ever on the electrification of transport. Here are the highlights of the event.
Toyota bZ4x / Subaru Solterra
Toyota and Subaru took advantage of Los Angeles to showcase their first steps in the electric vehicle segment. THEhe two manufacturers had unveiled their model online a few days before the Show, but Subaru is still going with a classic unveiling.
Being essentially the same vehicle from a technical point of view, the cousins Toyota bZ4x and Subaru Solterra will enter our market next summer equipped with a battery with a capacity of 71.4 kilowatt hours, which will allow them to offer a range of up to 400 kilometers. However, this figure will only be possible in the front-wheel drive version, which will only be offered on the Toyota side.
True to form, Subaru only intends to offer 4-wheel drive operated by two engines, one on each train, but this configuration will have an impact on range, which is only estimated at 354 kilometers. No pricing has yet been announced for these models, but it is clear that, if they want to be competitive in their respective segment, they will need to be sold below $ 45,000 to be eligible for grants.
Hyundai SEVEN / Kia EV9
If Toyota and Subaru seem to be dragging their feet when it comes to electrification, Hyundai and Kia are increasingly ahead of the competition. With the Hyundai SEVEN (the future IONIQ 7) and Kia EV9 concepts, the South Korean industrial giant has given us a taste of their future plans for mid-size SUVs with three rows of seats.
While some elements of these concepts, such as the lounge-style interior with swivel seats, will never see an assembly line, manufacturers have confirmed that production models will be based on the E-GMP modular architecture, which is the one that supports also the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and the Kia EV6. In all likelihood, these SUVs will therefore be powered by a battery with a capacity of 77.4 kilowatt hours, which will provide a range of up to 480 kilometers.
What is especially important to remember from these two concepts is that, if Hyundai and Kia market them on the dates planned, that is to say towards the end of next year, they could become the first generalist manufacturers. for sale an electric mid-size SUV with three rows of seats. They would thus take a considerable lead over the competition.
Almost two years after his initial concept, Henrik Fisker finally arrives with a production version of the Fisker Ocean. Scheduled to be assembled in Graz, Austria, in November 2022, this compact electric SUV, which takes on the air of Land Rover Evoque, will offer up to 562 kilometers of range thanks to a battery made of nickel-manganese from a capacity of 80 kilowatt hours.
When it hits the market in 2023, the Ocean will be offered in several versions, namely Sport, Ultra, Extreme and One, with a power that will vary between 275 horsepower with a single engine and 540 horsepower with two engines. No Canadian price has yet been announced, but Fisker has already established an American price scale, with a base price of US $ 37,499 and a cap of US $ 68,999, which would allow the Ocean to come and play. in the Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E flower beds.
In the wake of new electric manufacturers arriving soon, such as Fisker, Rivian, Lucid, Canoo and Imperium Motors, VinFast is by far the most promising. This is a manufacturer of Vietnamese origin, from the Vingroup conglomerate, and who amazed us in Los Angeles.
Installed in a huge booth housed between Land Rover and Honda, VinFast quickly showed its seriousness to the world by announcing the arrival of two new electric mid-size and full-size SUVs in our market, the VF E35 and VF E36. No, these are not concepts or model vehicles, but real prototypes that are about to be assembled.
The manufacturer promises that by the end of 2022, it will have installed 38 stores across the country, including 3 in Quebec. After speaking with a media representative from VinFast Canada, two of these stores will be inaugurated in the greater Montreal area, and the third will be in Quebec. VinFast therefore relies on a business model similar to that of Tesla and Polestar, that is to say online or through a specialized store.
The figures, if they are true, risk giving major manufacturers a hard time. Two battery capacities will be offered, 86 kilowatt hours for the E35 and 95 kilowatt hours for the E36. In the case of the E35, VinFast promises a range that will vary between 460 and 510 kilometers, then between 485 and 680 kilometers for the E36. The other particularity of this manufacturer is that it intends to offer a 10-year warranty on the entire vehicle, both for the battery and the powertrain as well as the accessories.
RPM will have the chance to test these vehicles for the first time in Quebec somewhere next summer. Stay tuned for all the details.
Associated tag: Electric vehicles