Every Friday, The Charge looks back at the biggest headlines of the week with our own added insight and opinions for a broader picture of the news.
From hypercars to commuters?
We won’t blame you for not knowing about Koenigsegg, the super exclusive builder of 700hp+ hypercars. Based in Sweden, the niche company builds but 35 or so cars a year, with some costing as much as $3 million apiece. Unless you have a villa in Monaco or a condo in Beverly Hills, you’ve likely never set eyes on these rare beasts.
But Koenigsegg and, more accurately, the company’s founder, Christian von Koenigsegg, have a reputation as innovators. And its latest invention may have a huge impact on the EV world.
The company revealed a tiny electric motor dubbed the ‘Quark’. Intended for its Gemera four-door hybrid, the Quark weighs just 30 kg, yet outputs 355 hp. The entire drive unit, with two motors, an inverter and gear set, weighs 84 kg, with an output of more than 670 hp. For reference, a Tesla Model S front drive unit weighs 90 kg with 300 hp.
Yes, there aren’t a lot of people willing to fork out $3 million for a Gemera. But this technology is sure to trickle down to more pedestrian vehicles at some point.
Spoiled for choice
The list of EVs either available or imminent for Canadian drivers seems to grow each week. We’ll soon see the Nissan Ariya and Kia EV6 on dealer lots here (with all due respect to the supply chain problems, of course). While there are no Canadian prices announced for the Ariya yet, reservations are open for the all-electric crossover. The EV6, however, will officially start at $44,995, making it eligible for Canadian EV incentives.
But wait, as they say, there’s more. The much anticipated Ford F-150 Lightning, which could be used as a back-up generator in emergencies, will appear later this year. And General Motors announced its Chevrolet Silverado EV pickup, which is set for production next year, has already garnered more than 120,000 reservations. And across the pond, Jaguar has announced it will design its own EV platform; it already offers the I-Pace BEV, but plans to go fully electric by 2025. And even tiny Lotus has news of its plans for another electric sports car. There aren’t many details to go on, and with production planned for 2026, we won’t hold our breath right now.
With so many choices, you’ll see a lot more EVs on the roads in just the next few years.
Tesla’s ‘Model 2’ off the table
One vehicle you won’t see in the near future, however, is a less expensive car from Tesla. Elon Musk first announced plans for a US$25,000 vehicle in 2020 with a vague sketch and promises of autonomous driving and a battery 50 per cent cheaper than competitors. But we know better than to trust Musk’s timeline promises, and sure enough, it was announced this week that the project, unofficially referred to as the Model 2, is put on hold. With other vehicles planned for production in the next year or two, the company simply has “too much on its plate”.
But we can wait; with the advancement of technologies (see Koenigsegg above, for example), prices of batteries and motors have visibly dropped in the last decade and continue to fall. We’re sure to soon see cheaper EVs from some automaker in the near future, at least.