Electric avenue

PHOTO: AUDI

Those looking to plug into an electric ride will be spoilt for choice this year

Elon Musk can whine all he wants, but 2019 will be the year car buyers in Singapore will be able to plug into a wide array of electric rides.

No fewer than 10 new electrified cars - either fully battery-powered or innovative hybrid models - are slated to be launched over the next 12 months here - a market the Tesla chief labelled in a yet another Tweet as "unwelcome" for e-vehicles.

The slew of e-rides will be supported by an expanding network of charging points, not least the 1,000 which SP Group will have up by 2020.

The following is a rundown of the new electrified models.


AUDI E-TRON

This electric five-seater sport utility vehicle (SUV, above), like the Jaguar I-Pace, is driven by two electric motors powered by a 95kWh battery. It has 356hp and up to 664Nm of torque at its disposal, allowing it to accomplish the century sprint in 5.7 seconds. It has a stated range of 400km and is due in the third quarter of the year. Expect to pay close to $400,000 for the first of many electric Audis.


BMW I3S 120AH

The carbon-fibre tall hatch from Bavaria gets a bigger battery and nearly twice the range of the original i3. It is due in the second quarter of the year and estimated to cost $162,000 before a certificate of entitlement.


KIA NIRO EV


PHOTO: REUTERS

The Niro Hybrid (above) is quite peachy, so its full-electric twin should be something worth waiting for. And the wait will not be too long, as the car is slated to arrive by next month. It is expected to cost about $160,000.


HYUNDAI KONA ELECTRIC


PHOTO: HYUNDAI MOTOR

Following the Ioniq Electric sedan, Hyundai will introduce a battery-powered variant of its Kona compact crossover (above) this month. There are two versions - a 39kWh one with a range of more than 300km, and a 64kWh one which can cover 480km between plug-ins. Prices range from $137,999 to $168,999.


JAGUAR I-PACE


PHOTO: REUTERS

This luxury electric SUV (above) from Jaguar boasts two motors powered by a 90kWh battery. It has 400hp and 696Nm of torque on tap, allowing it to zip to 100kmh in 4.8 seconds.

The car, priced between $346,999 and $369,999, will be unveiled later this month.


NISSAN LEAF

The second generation of Nissan's electric Leaf (see Elegant Leaf is green too)- a best-selling zero-emission car in many markets - will be unveiled later this month. It has a real-world driving range of 250km, allowing you to drive comfortably to Malacca at one go. It is chock-full with features and expected to go for under $160,000.


NISSAN SERENA E-POWER

This multi-purpose vehicle drives like an electric car, but is actually a hybrid. But unlike most hybrids, the Nissan's e-Power system consists of a small petrol engine, which acts as a generator to keep its battery constantly charged. The battery then drives the motor to drive the car. The innovative Serena will be launched in the second half of this year, with a price tag of around $136,000, going by current certificate of entitlement premiums.


PORSCHE TAYCAN


PHOTO: REUTERS

This sizzling electric cruiser from Stuttgart could arrive by year-end. Promising Tesla-rivalling performance, the Taycan (above, pronounced ty-cahn) is said to pack more than 600bhp and a century sprint time of under 3.5 seconds. With a high-powered motor at each axle, the electrified Porsche will also offer the roadholding of an all-wheel-drive.


SUBARU FORESTER E-BOXER

The hybrid concept, pioneered by Toyota, is more than 20 years old. But what will it feel like in a car famed for its horizontally opposed "boxer" engines and symmetrical all-wheel-drive chassis? The answer is probably within the Forester e-Boxer, which will be unveiled very soon. It pairs a 12hp electric motor with a 2-litre engine to produce more boost and more efficiency.


VOLVO S60 T8

This plug-in petrol-electric hybrid from Volvo is tuned by Polestar (Volvo's sports department) and may arrive by year-end. It has 400hp from a twin-charged four-cylinder driving the front wheels as well as an electric motor driving the rear axle.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2019, with the headline 'Electric avenue'. Print Edition | Subscribe