Electric cars have come a long way in under a decade, and by 2021 analysts predict we’ll reach a tipping point that sees them take over as the mainstream choice. This year sees several carmakers’ first forays into the plug-in market – notably Audi and Mercedes-Benz – and in Tesla, we have a brand that does as much to propel us into the future as it does to entertain us along the way.
The switch to electricity is about more than ditching fossil fuels – it has the potential to revolutionise car design all over again, as we abandon a basic engineering structure that has been used for more than a century. And it gives drivers a suite of new advantages and concerns; quiet cruising and swift, torque-heavy acceleration must be weighed against range anxiety, slow charging times and developing infrastructure.
But whatever your personal pros and cons, the smug satisfaction of potentially never visiting a petrol station again holds a strong lure. They look the business, too. From executive saloons and SUVs to family runabouts and city superminis, with one bona fide hypercar sneaking into the list, here is our rundown of the best electric cars on the market right now.
Tesla Model S
Best for: Executives
It’s the car that did more than any other to change the public’s mind about electric cars. Say what you like about Tesla, or its real-life-Bond-Villain CEO Elon Musk, but the Model S is a game-changer. It brought a 1990s nerd mentality to performance motoring with ‘easter eggs’ like Ludicrous mode, which will take the P100D from 0-60 in a Ferrari-humbling 2.3 seconds, but remains a family car at heart. Now in its seventh year of production, it is being caught up by other manufacturers, but improvements to its charging system, headlights and air conditioning in 2016, plus regular over-the-air software updates, have kept it fresh.
Best for: Adventure
Jaguar was the first traditional manufacturer to get a premium all-electric SUV to market; some say it doesn’t look sufficiently like a Jag, but the emergence of the E-Pace and F-Pace have shown that Jaguar’s image is evolving rapidly. Head designer Ian Callum’s I-Pace looks sharper than either of them, with a distinctive snub-nosed body shape that hints at how cars can be designed when you aren’t hamstrung by the engine and powertrain placement. It’ll do just under 250 miles on a charge and, with a 100kw charger, can be 80 per cent recharged in 45 minutes.
Best for: First-timers
The Zoe manages something few cars in any category can: pairing good looks and a low price tag. As with all electric cars, it does command a premium over its combustible equivalents but the little Renault starts from just £18,170 after the UK government’s EV grant, and as with all the cars on this list, the money you claw back in petrol savings makes it an even better deal. Renault claims a range of 250 miles, and although it’s not exactly nippy, it is rewarding to drive – a benefit of having been designed from the ground up as an EV rather than adapted from an existing petrol or diesel model.
Best for: Design addicts
BMW’s “i” cars tick all the boxes you’d expect from the brand: premium tech on the options list, striking looks both inside and out and excellent build quality. While it’s the i8 that really turns heads, the i3 is arguably ageing better, balancing avant-garde details with elements that will feel familiar to anyone who’s driven a 3-series. From 2019, the i3 is only available as a pure EV, and the range has been upped by around 30 per cent to 153 miles. Carbon fibre elements in its construction and minimal overhangs at front and rear make it extremely nimble around town.
Tesla Model X
Best for: Over-achievers
Building on the success of the Model S, Tesla’s second model improves on practicality – seating seven with luggage – while retaining the same range of engines as its saloon sibling, and adds some new gimmicks in the form of gullwing doors (good for tight car parks but overengineered in most situations) and an enormous panoramic windscreen. You can add a tow bar and bicycle mounts, and even with a 1,000kg load behind it the 100D will retain 70 per cent of its 295 mile range. Assuming, that is, you ignore the fact that this family wagon will still out-drag most sports cars to 60mph.
Hyundai Kona Electric
Best for: Families
The battery-powered version of the Kona – named after a Hawaiian island – launched in 2018 with two choices of power pack. The larger will do 258 miles on a full charge (186 for the base model) which befits its go-anywhere image. In truth it’s more middle-of-the-road than off-road, but it will do 0-60 in a surprisingly brisk 7.6 seconds. The sales pitch focuses more on safety, with lane assist, driver attention monitors, automatic emergency braking and pedestrian alerts among the features on offer. And it’s big enough to swallow your family’s luggage with ease.
Best for: City living
Hold the Yorkshire jokes. VW’s Up is a brilliant budget option in any of its guises, and the e-Up is no exception. With an electric powertrain, however, it is pricier than the Renault Zoe – but it’s livelier at low speeds (4.9 seconds to 30mph won’t trouble any hot hatches but you’ll nip through traffic nicely). It’s also faster to charge – 30 minutes will see it 80 per cent full at a fast-charging point. Of course, that goes hand-in-hand with a shorter range than most – just 99 miles – but if most of your daily driving is local and urban, that won’t be an issue.
Best for: The school run
Is the Nissan Leaf going to fill you with excitement? Probably not more than an actual leaf. But it is the world’s all-time best-selling electric car for a reason. It’s well-priced (starts at around £26,000), practical, efficient and reliable. A new generation has just hit the roads that now looks a lot more dynamic than version one, and there have been technological upgrades as well, including increased range (226 miles) and Tesla-like software updates. Spec the top-level trim options and you’ll get Nissan’s Propilot lane assist and self-parking technology, too.
Best for: Everyday use
If all the futuristic stylings of the i3, I-Pace or Leaf leave you cold, VW’s e-Golf is there, waiting like the automotive equivalent of a favourite pair of trainers. There’s nothing edgy or weird about it; the appeal of a Golf has always been as the ultimate every-car, and VW doesn’t want that to change just because it’s lopped off the exhaust pipe. Inside it’s trimmed out similarly to top-end fossil fuel Golfs, and gets VW’s deluxe infotainment system as standard. Range was increased in 2017 (to 186 miles) and the car has been set up to drive with more eager responsiveness than some EVs.
Best for: YouTube drag racing
From $1.5m approx
And finally, the one that isn’t like the others. Chinese manufacturer NIO was only founded five years ago, but its flagship supercar has set lap records at some of the world’s toughest circuits, including the Nurburgring. It boasts a whopping 1,341 horsepower – a megawatt, in terms more suited to an EV – spread over four motors, one at each wheel. The car weighs 1,735kg, generates as much downforce as a Formula 1 car, and has a top speed of 194mph. With all that, you’d expect the batteries to run down in minutes, but NIO claims a 265 mile range and a recharge time of 45 minutes. Just sixteen cars have been made, each costing $1.2m.
Huawei Responds To Android Ban
Fresh off the sledgehammer blow of having its Android license revoked by Google in response to US government demands, Huawei has issued its first, limited response, which leaves more questions open than it answers. In a statement emailed to The Verge, Huawei underscores its contributions to the growth of Android globally — which most recently saw the company’s Android phone sales growing by double digits while every other leading smartphone vendor was shrinking or stagnant — and reassures current owners of Huawei and (subsidiary brand) Honor phones that they will continue to receive security updates and after-sales service. That promise also covers phones that are already shipped and in stock at stores globally, but no additional promises are made beyond that.
“Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry.
Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally.
We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.”
Google has already said that owners of Huawei phones will retain their access to the Play Store and continue being able to update their apps. The big thing that’s being written out of their future, however, are further Android OS updates from Google. To get those back, Huawei phone owners and fans will have to hope for a resolution in the US-China trade dispute, which has been the trigger for Huawei’s current blacklisting by the US government.
For its part, Huawei has been making preparations for an eventuality of losing access to software from US companies like Google and Microsoft, and it has been developing an in-house operating system alternative to Android. That may be what the company hints at in the final paragraph of its statement when it says it will “continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem.” Sustainable being the key word.
Source: The Verge.
NCA Unveils Plan To Ban All Fake Phones.
Mobile devices that enter the country will now be tested for their authenticity before being released onto the market.
This follows the completion of a state of the art laboratory by the National Communications Authority to test such devices.
The NCA, together with other stakeholders in the telecommunications industry, has on a number of occasions lamented the effect of substandard mobile devices have on service delivery.
Speaking at the celebration of World Telecoms Day in Accra, Deputy Minister of Communications George Andah said the Ministry will do all it can to maintain high standards within the country’s telecommunication industry.
“The NCA has acquired the state of the art type approval laboratory capable of testing all electronic communication devices to ensure that they are up to standard”
“To the NCA, I request that you kindly liaise with mobile network operators to determine the level of potential risk with regards to the prevalent substandard mobile devices on the market”.
Ghana joined the rest of the world on Friday, May 19, 2019 to observe the 2019 World Telecommunications and Information Society Day under the theme “Bridging the standardization gap”. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the celebration since its inception in 1969.
The day was observed to raise awareness on the importance of the theme as well as encourage the implementation of international standards in Ghana’s communications sector in the bid to bridge the digital divide
Google And Android System Start To Cut Ties With Huawei.
US internet giant Google, whose Android mobile operating system powers most of the world's smartphones, said Sunday it was beginning to cut ties with China's Huawei, which Washington considers a national security threat.
In the midst of a trade war with Beijing, President Donald Trump has barred US companies from engaging in telecommunications trade with foreign companies said to threaten American national security.
The measure targets Huawei, a Chinese telecoms giant in Washington's sights that is listed by the Commerce Department among firms with which American companies can only engage in trade after obtaining the green light from the authorities.
The ban includes technology sharing.
"We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications," a Google spokesperson told AFP.
The move could have dramatic implications since Google, like all tech companies, must collaborate with smartphone makers to ensure its systems are compatible with their devices.
Google will have to halt business activities with Huawei that involve transfer of hardware, software and technical services that are not publicly available -- meaning Huawei will only be able to use the open source version of Android, a source close to the matter told AFP.
Huawei will no longer have access to Google's proprietary apps and services, such as the Gmail email service.
Huawei did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Huawei is a rapidly expanding leader in 5G technology but remains dependent on foreign suppliers.
It buys about $67 billion worth of components each year, including about $11 billion from US suppliers, according to The Nikkei business daily.
Huawei is the target of an intense campaign by Washington, which has been trying to persuade allies not to allow China a role in building next-generation 5G mobile networks.
US government agencies are already banned from buying equipment from Huawei.
Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said Saturday that "We have not done anything which violates the law," adding the US measures would have a limited impact.
Rigworld, Maritime University Partner To Train Students On IMO Regulations.
Rigworld Training Centre (RTC), an indigenous Ghanaian company has signed an accreditation partnership with the Regional Maritime University (RMU) to train personnel on International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations.
Under the accreditation partnership the two parties will collaborate for the training of people on IMO mandatory short courses hence issue two certificates; one jointly signed by RTC and RMU and secondly solely signed by the Ghana Maritime Authority, certificate of competency from Ghana Maritime Authority.
The partnership, which was signed by Prof. Elvis Nyarko, Vice Chancellor of the RMU and Kofi Amoa-Abban, Director of the RTC.
Among some of the courses that would be offered as part of the training program include Elementary First Aid, Personal Survival Techniques, Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities as well as Basic Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting.
Others are International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, Oil/Chemical Tanker Familiarization, Efficient Deck Hand, Lifeboat, Proficiency in Survival Craft Rescue Boat, Radar/ARPA Simulator Training as well as International Safety Management.
The RMU is an international institution owned by the Republics of Cameroon, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone under the Maritime Organization of West and Central Africa (MOWCA). The overall objective of the RMU is to promote regional co-operation in the maritime industry focusing on the training to ensure sustained growth and development in the industry.
The RTC on the other hand is an indigenous Ghanaian company accredited by various international bodies to train people and students in safety and survival skills in the oil and gas industry here. Enditem
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