Audi’s 2019 e-tron is now on the market. With a maximum range of 329 kilometres, it is the first mass-produced car that can be charged with up to 150 kW of electricity at a fast charging terminal. Under ideal conditions, the car charges from five percent to 70 percent at maximum power before intelligent battery management lowers the current levels in order to protect the lithium-ion cells and guarantee the battery life cycle. Gaining a range of around 100 kilometres takes less than 10 minutes on the charger. The Audi e-Tron reaches the 80 percent mark after just under 30 minutes. Even though it takes much longer to fill the remaining 20 percent of a lithium- ion battery, fully charging the Audi e-Tron at a fast charger takes less than 50 minutes. The e-Tron’s lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 95 kWh and has been designed for a long life cycle. It uses liquid cooling to ensure the battery’s temperature remains in the optimum range of 25 to 35 degrees Celsius, even at high stress levels or low temperatures.


Today, the BMW Group offers a wide variety plug-in hybrid electric vehicles ranging from sporty and luxury sedans to Sports Activity Vehicles to supercars: the BMW 3 Series, BMW 5 Series, BMW 7 Series, BMW X5, the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4, and the BMW i8. The BMW i3 is a purely electric model, and towards the end of the year, a pure electric MINI joins the line-up. The BMW 3 Series, BMW 7 Series, and BMW X5 now come with extended electric range, and the company is currently developing the fifth generation of its electric drivetrain. This will not only play a role in cutting costs, but the electric motor will not require rare earths, which enables the BMW Group to reduce its dependence on their availability. BMW will also see a Centre of Excellence for battery cells open in Munich in 2019, promising additional innovations in the field of electrification from the pioneering company. By 2021, The Group will offer an all-new model, the BMW i4, as well as a new innovation leader, the BMW iNEXT. And by 2025, at least 25 electrified models, including 12 fully electric vehicles, will be available.


FCA is offering PHEV, diesel, and eTorque technologies. The 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V-6 with ESS (manufactured by FCA-owned V.M. Motor) has been adapted by FCA US engineers to meet NAFTA-region regulatory requirements. It is offered on the all-new Ram 1500 and Jeep Wrangler starting in 2019. Wrangler four-door models will offer a 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V-6 engine, rated at 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, with ESS standard. It will also be available on the new 2020 Gladiator pickup. In addition, FCA’s plug-in hybrid Pacifica minivan continues to offer a 16 kWh lithium- ion battery and a 6.6 kWh on-board charger. A 3.6 litre Pentastar V-6 engine is mated to two electric motors and an electrically variable transmission. The result is electric-only range of up to 53km, and total range of up to 911 km. Fuel economy is 2.6 L/100km in city driving and 3.0L in highway driving. It charges in two hours using a Level two 240 volt charger. The Fiat 500e is FCA’s full electric vehicle offering and is available only in the NAFTA market. It has an all-electric range of 84 miles and achieves 121 MPGe City, 103 MPG Highway and 112 MPG Combined. Since its introduction in the 2013 model year approximately 25,000 units have been sold.


Ford’s strategy includes a combination of BEVs, PHEVs, hybrids. Between 2017 and 2022 it is investing US $11 billion in electrified vehicles. Most recently the company took a US$500 million equity stake in Rivian, an EV manufacturer. Together the companies plan to work together to develop an all-new, next-generation battery electric vehicle for Ford’s growing EV portfolio using Rivian’s skateboard platform. It will launch an all-new all-electric performance compact SUV next year, with a range of 480 km. Ford will launch all-new Ford Explorer and Ford Escape hybrids this year along with the new F-150 Hybrid in 2020. As the second largest player in the hybrid (HEV) segment, Ford pledges that every new SUV will be offered with a hybrid or plug-in hybrid version – or both. Offerings include an F-150 BEV and hybrid; Mustang hybrid; Transit Custom Plug-in hybrid; Police Responder hybrid Sedan; Special Service plug-in hybrid sedan for police and government; an additional all-new Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid; plus Explorer, Escape, and Bronco. The battery electric vehicle rollout starts in 2020 with performance utility and six BEVs promised by 2022. A fully autonomous, SAE level 4 capable hybrid vehicle is promised in 2021. Ford’s strategy includes rethinking the ownership experience so it is more seamless than with today’s gas-powered vehicles. That means making charging an effortless experience at home and on the road as well as offering full-vehicle over-the-air software updates to enhance capability and features. “Throwing a charger in the trunk of a vehicle and sending customers on their way isn’t enough to help promote the viability of electric vehicles,” said Sherif Marakby, Ford’s vice president, Autonomous and Electric Vehicles. “In addition to expanding our electric vehicle lineup, we are redesigning the ownership experience to ensure it addresses customer pain points that currently hold back broad adoption today.” Ford’s BEV manufacturing plan will also be more efficient. The company will halve floor space for final assembly operations and reduce capital investment 50 percent. A projected 30 percent improvement in labour efficiency will allow Ford to redeploy employees to do other jobs, including assembly of battery packs (which are normally expensive and complex to ship).


General Motors offers a range of BEV and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The Chevrolet Bolt EV is powered by a single-motor system that generates 266 lb-ft of torque and 200 horse- power with a maximum range of 383 km. A 60 kWh lithium-ion battery pack located under the vehicle comes with an eight-year/ 160,000 kilometre warranty. A 7.2 kW onboard charging module takes care of charging with a Level 1, Level 2, or DC Fast Charging. Level 1 gives the Bolt about six EV kilometres per hour of charge, Level 2 gives 40 EV km per hour, and DC Fast Charge is up to 145 EV km in 30 minutes. Bolt also comes with an elec- tronic shifter that offers driving in D – or in low mode – that allows for one-pedal driving. This mode offers greater deceleration and more regenerative braking than drive mode. Regen on demand is also offered. GM also has an extended range plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Volt. It offers 85 km of EV range, has regen on demand (using a paddle on the steering wheel), and uses an electric drive system with 18.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack mated to a 1.5-litre gasoline engine (range extender). Total power is 294 lb-ft of torque. Charging takes 130 hours with a 120 V charger and 4.5 hours with a 240 V charger.


Hyundai Canada is the only brand to offer traditional hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Hyundai was the first in Canada to bring a hydrogen vehicle to market and make it available to the public, with their 2015 Tucson FCEV. It is now the first to bring an all-new, second-generation fuel cell vehicle to market, with the 2019 NEXO. NEXO replaced the Tucson FCEV and offers a range of 570 kilometres and 291 lb-ft of torque. The NEXO can be refueled in five minutes at hydrogen refuelling stations. Recently voted the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year, the new Kona Electric has taken the electric vehicle market by storm. It provides a 415 km range through the use of a 64 kWh lithium-ion battery with an electric motor that generates 201 horse- power and 291 lb-ft of torque. Using a level three DC fast charger (100 kW), the Kona can recharge from 0 to 80 percent in 54 minutes. Using a level two (7.2 kW) charger, it takes nine hours and 35 minutes, perfect for over- night home charging. Imperative for Canadians, the Kona Electric comes standard with heated seats, heated steering wheel, heat pump and a battery temperature management system, crucial for minimizing range loss during inclement weather. Hyundai also continues to offer its IONIQ in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric versions.


Infiniti’s QX50 mid-size SUV uses the VC- Turbo engine, which the company says is the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine, transforming on demand. A breakthrough in combustion engine design, the 2.0-litre VC-Turbo engine adjusts its compression ratio to optimize power and efficiency. It combines the power of a 2.0-litre turbocharged gasoline engine with the torque and efficiency of a four- cylinder diesel engine. A compelling alternative to diesel, it challenges the notion that only hybrid and diesel powertrains can deliver high torque and efficiency. “Variable compression ratio technology represents a breakthrough in powertrain development. The QX50, powered by our VC- Turbo, is the first production vehicle ever to give drivers an engine that transforms on demand, setting a new benchmark for power- train capability and refinement,” said Randy Parker, Vice President, Infiniti Americas. A multi-link system continuously raises or lowers the pistons’ reach to transform the compression ratio. High compression ratios aid efficiency, while low ratios enable greater power and torque. The VC-Turbo offers any compression ratio between 8:1 (for performance) and 14:1 (for efficiency), maximizing driver control. The engine delivers 268 hp (200 kW) and 280 lb-ft at 1,600-4,800 rpm, an expected best-in-class combination of four-cylinder power and torque. The 2019 QX50 delivers a fuel economy of 9.0 L/100 km. All-wheel drive models offer a 30 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over the previous V6 gasoline QX50.


Hyundai Motor Group is planning to deploy 44 eco-friendly models by year 2025, including 23 electric vehicles. As part of this initiative, Kia Canada is offering two all-electric vehicles this year. The new Soul EV, introduced to Canada for 2019 and to be available early this summer, has a standard 39.2 kWh battery with an available 64 kWh battery, which will likely add up to $10,000 to the price. The liquid-cooled lithium ion polymer 64 kWh battery is expected to mean much less need for daily charging, and with Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast-charge as standard equipment, battery refills should be brief. It offers and an available 201-horse- power electric motor with 291 lb-ft of torque. Kia’s Niro EV has the same 201-horsepower electric motor, with the charging protocol up- dated to Combined Charging System (CCS) so the battery can now charge at 100 kW. CCS DC fast-charge is standard equipment: it gains approximately 135 km in 30 minutes using a 50 kW charger or 193 km in 30 minutes using a 100 kW charger. With a Level 2 (240 V) charger at 7.2 kWh the Niro’s battery needs approximately 9.5 hours for a full charge. Both vehicles offer more than 383 kilometres of driving range, and both Niro and Soul qualify for the federal government incentives announced in the 2019 budget.

The company also unveiled an electric concept car at the Geneva Motor Show. ‘Imagine by Kia’ is the company’s first pure electric four-door passenger car, classified as a large C-segment vehicle. It is underpinned by a low-mounted, induction-charged battery pack that powers a compact drivetrain. The company says that altering the traditional ICE vehicle format allows for a larger interior and more luggage space. With the growing presence of EVs, Kia is developing smartphone app for EV performance adjustment. It will allow users to customize seven performance features including the maximum torque output of the motor, ignition, acceleration and deceleration abilities, re- generative braking capacity, maximum speed limit, responsiveness, and energy use on climate control.


Mazda Canada Inc. will begin selling the 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD with the Skyactiv-D 2.2-litre diesel engine in the second half of 2019. The 2019 CX-5 Signature AWD with Skyactiv-D 2.2 provides a high-torque driving experience and revs freely at high rpms. The Skyactiv-D 2.2 engine is estimated to deliver 168 horse- power at 4,000 rpm and 290 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm with an NRCan-estimated 8.9 litres per 100 kilometres (L/100km) in the city, 7.9 L/100km on the highway and 8.5 L/100km overall. A sequential twin turbo- charger delivers smooth and linear response from low to high engine speeds, and greatly increases low- and high-end torque (up to the 5,500 rpm rev limit). The Skyactiv-D 2.2-litre engine in the North American-specification CX-5 adopts special combustion control software and exhaust treatment to meet the strictest emissions regulations in the U.S. Mazda worked closely with agencies in the U.S., such as EPA and CARB, to ensure that the Skyactiv-D 2.2 engine passes all appropriate regulations. Pricing and detailed specifications will be released closer to the start of sales. Mazda has also developed what it calls the “revolutionary” Skyactiv-X, which adopts a unique combustion method to combine the free-revving performance of a gasoline engine with the superior response of a diesel. Mazda’s Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) combustion brings diesel-style compression ignition to a gasoline engine. As a result, it features both the superior initial response and powerful torque of diesel engines, as well as the linear response to even sudden driver inputs and the smooth revving up to the higher rpms typical of a gasoline engine. Skyactiv-X engines are equipped with Mazda’s M Hybrid system for both greater gains in fuel economy. Skyactiv-X will be available first in Europe this summer on the new CX-30 compact SUV, and sales in Canada are currently under study.


Arriving in Canada in early 2020, the EQC SUV is the forerunner for the Mercedes-Benz EQ line-up, which by 2022 will have expanded to include fully electric options in all key market segments from smart right up to large SUVs. The EQC has an all-new drive system with two compact electric drivetrains, one at each axle, giving it all-wheel drive. Together, these motors generate an output of approximately 402 hp and a combined maximum torque of 564 lb-ft. It comes equipped with the “Mercedes me connect” app, which gives customers convenient access to charging stations operated by numerous providers, making electric mobility convenient and suitable for day-to-day driving. In conjunction with the Canadian launch of the EQC, Mercedes-Benz Canada released the EQ Ready app, a free app that is available to down- load for Android or iOS. The easy-to-use app helps Canadians understand if they are ready for electric mobility. Via smartphone, it records the distances covered in a user’s vehicle, analyzing individual mobility behaviours and pairing the data with variables such as temperature and terrain, to show drivers how their regular behaviour would impact the state of charge of electric vehicles from the EQ line-up. By 2025, Mercedes-Benz plans for battery- electric vehicle sales to make up 25 percent of its total volume. By 2022, Daimler will electrify the entire portfolio of Mercedes-Benz, offering customers at least one electrified alternative in all Mercedes model series. The company plansto offer more than 50 electrified vehicle variants, and more than ten models will be fully electric cars. In Canada, fully electric options will be available in all key market segments.


Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV, the world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV, has achieved sales of 200,000 worldwide since its launch in 2013. The Outlander PHEV is Mitsubishi Motors Corporation’s (MMC) technology flagship, and its success demonstrates the scale of con- sumer demand for electrified vehicles. Since making its debut in Japan, the Outlander PHEV has been rolled out to more than 50 countries across the world. It has become the world best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle as at the end of December 2018. It was also Europe’s best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle from 2015 to 2018, a testament to its constant evolution, engineering and technological innovation. In 2018, Outlander PHEV was Canada’s best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle. Developed from a fully electric vehicle, the Outlander PHEV has a unique architecture consisting of a front electric motor, a rear electric motor and no gearbox. It offers customers energy efficiency and a smooth driving experience. Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada, Inc. made it easier for Canadians to purchase Canada’s top plug-in hybrid by introducing the “bridge to iZEV” incentive program for the month of April. As a result, Outlander PHEV sales surged with 505 units delivered. In January, Mitsubishi Motors sold 182 Outlander PHEV units, in February 197 units were sold and in March 432 units were sold. “In Canada, where the electrified vehicle market is still developing, affordability is important. Outlander PHEV sales in April are proof of that,” said Juyu Jeon, president and CEO, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada, Inc. “The realities of the market are that we need to continue to educate Canadians on the value of plug-in hybrid systems including affordability, the capacity to drive fully electric in a plug-in hybrid and no compromises to utility functionality. The Outlander PHEV has been incredibly important in helping to bring Canadians into the segment who may not have considered a plug-in previously.” The company has also introduced The Dendo Drive House (DDH), a packaged system com- prising the EV/PHEV, a bi-directional charger, solar panels and home battery. This is a one- stop shopping service that will be available from MMC dealerships. It bundles together the sale, installation and after-maintenance of the system components. The package allows the customer to charge their EV/PHEV at home using solar generated power, and to supply electricity from their EV/PHEV to the home. DDH brings savings on electricity costs and the provision of an emergency power source. It is scheduled for rollout in the U.S. Mitsubishi Canada is not aware of timing to make it available here.


The 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus recently joined world’s best-selling electric vehicle family. The “PLUS” refers to the increased energy density of the model’s 62 kWh battery pack and the higher output of its powertrain. The new powertrain adds to the car’s range by approximately 40 percent, with NRCan range of up to 363 kilometres. The high-capacity battery and more powerful, 160 kW motor in the Leaf Plus combine to produce 45 percent more power and 250 lb-ft of torque, enabling faster acceleration when driving at high speeds. Accelerating from 80 kmh to 120 kmh is nearly 13 percent quicker. Thanks to the available new 70 kW (100 kW peak) Quick Charging system, the 2019 Leaf Plus can charge more efficiently than ever. Based on early testing, Leaf Plus owners can expect similar charging times when hooked up to a 100 kW charger as current Leaf owners do with a 50 kW charger, despite a 55 percent larger battery storage capacity. Even with a 25 percent increase in energy density and the increase in energy storage capacity, the Leaf Plus battery pack is almost the same size and configuration as the pack in the Nissan Leaf. Other than a 5-millimetre increase in overall height (with 16-inch wheels), the car’s exterior and interior dimensions are unchanged. Equipped with advanced technologies including ProPILOT Assist semi-autonomous driving system and e-Pedal mode for one-pedal driving, the Leaf Plus symbolizes Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company’s vision for changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society.


Subaru is introducing its first ever plug-in hybrid, based on the 2020 Crosstrek compact SUV. It is slated to be available in Canada at the end of 2019. The company is not revealing any further details yet, simply noting it will be designed around the Subaru Global Platform that is designed to accommodate hybrid and electric powertrains. It will have a distinctive look, the company says. As part of its ongoing sustainability initiatives, Subaru plans to sell electric vehicles at the global level by 2021. The company has also tackled the elimination of toxic chemicals in its production processes, as well as the issue of air quality inside vehicles. So far it has achieved its targets in reducing lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium and cadmium. It is also reviewing the components and adhesive agents used in vehicle interiors in order to reduce the use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde and toluene, which are said to cause nose and throat irritation. The company says it has reached voluntary targets in five models by reducing the concentration of the 13 substances defined by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare as irritants. Other initiatives include light-weighting to achieve better fuel economy, improved engine design for better fuel economy and work to- wards the electrification of its products. Subaru’s first plug in hybrid is due to be available in Canada by the end of 2019.


Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) reported that electrified vehicles accounted for a record 16.7 percent of its total sales in April 2019. Led by the all- new, made-in-Canada Toyota RAV4 hybrid, the momentum from TCI’s best-ever month for electrified vehicle sales (3,876 units sold, up 82 percent) resulted in a 6.1 percent overall sales increase in April. Toyota sees multi-powertrain approach to electrification as key to the company’s long- term commitment to reduce its carbon foot- print. Since the launch of the Toyota Prius over 20 years ago, Toyota has sold over 13 million electrified vehicles globally, including close to 190,000 in Canada. That represents a CO2 reduction equivalent of over 90 million tonnes. Toyota is committed to the development and launch of electrified vehicles, including: hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). As part of its Environmental Challenge 2050, Toyota plans to achieve annual electrified vehicle sales of 5.5 million units globally by 2030, including over one million zero- emission vehicles (BEVs, FCEVs). Additionally, by around 2025, every model in the Toyota and Lexus line-ups around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model or will have an electrified option. The automaker’s current electrified line-up in Canada includes the all-new RAV4 Hybrid and Corolla Hybrid, Prius (with available AWD-e), Prius C, Prius Prime plug-in hybrid, and several other hybrid models, as well as Lexus options including the ES Hybrid, LS Hybrid, LC Hybrid, RX Hybrid, UX Hybrid, and NX Hybrid. The Toyota Mirai zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), which offers drivers a cleaner, more sustainable alternative to the conventional automobile, is making its first impression on Canadian soil with a fleet launch in Quebec earlier this year. The four- door mid-size sedan takes approximately five minutes to refuel and has a driving range of about 500 kilometres. Toyota is also working with the Government of Quebec and other hydrogen stakeholders to put in place the necessary fueling infrastructure, training and service support for FCEVs.


The Volkswagen e-Golf continues as Volkswagen Canada’s ‘Green Fleet’ flagship. The e-Golf’s lithium-ion battery is almost 50 percent more energy efficient than earlier generations, at 35.8 kWh, resulting in a driving range of 200 kilometres or more on a single charge. The electric motor delivers more power and torque than the previous version, improving on- road performance and acceleration, while maintaining the same level of efficiency. Stan- dard cold weather-related features in Canada include a heat pump and a heated windscreen. The e-Golf can be recharged in one of three ways: by regular 120 V household outlet (Level 1), by a home or public 240 V (Level 2) AC charging station, or by public Level 3 DC Fast Chargers, which can charge to 80 percent in approximately 30 minutes. Going forward, Volkswagen will introduce a new line of all-electric vehicles based upon a dedicated platform, the Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB). These include passenger cars, SUVs and people movers, and will arrive in the marketplace in the next few years. One of these vehicles is the ID.3, which will be the first of the company’s new EV model family. Reservations for special first edition, which will be limited to 30,000 cars, were opened on May 9th, 2019, and more than 10,000 were spoken for in the first 24 hours, crashing the reservation system, VW reported. The pre-booking special edition ID.3 1ST has a range of up to 420 kilometres. While the recommended base price for the ID.3 production model in Germany will be lower than €30,000 (approximately C$45,000) for the smallest version, the exclusive special edition is being offered at less than €40,000 (approx. C460,000). These prices apply before the deduction of state subsidies in each case. Volkswagen is offering pre-bookers who purchase a ID.3 1ST the possibility of charging electric power at no cost for the first year up to a maximum of 2,000 kWh at all public charging points connected to the Volkswagen charging app WeCharge and using the pan-European rapid charging network IONITY. The network offers eco-power where feasible. The ID.3 is to be delivered to customers in carbon- neutral form. Production of the ID.3 1ST is to start as planned at the end of 2019 and the first vehicles are to be delivered in mid-2020. The market launch of the ID.3 is to be followed by further models. With its electric offensive, Volkswagen intends to become the world number one by 2025, with more than 20 full-electric models and more than one million connected, zero-emission vehicles sold each year.


One of Volvo Car Canada’s main strategic pillars is sustainability. To realize the company’s sustainability objectives, Volvo has committed to offering every vehicle in its line up with a PHEV variant for Model Year 2020. The XC40 is the only exception, and it will be offered in a fully electric version to be introduced later next year. New additions arriving in summer 2019 to accompany XC60, XC90 and S90 PHEVs will be the S60 T8 PHEV sedan and V60 T8 PHEV wagon. This completes Volvo’s PHEV offering and includes a 313-horsepower supercharged and turbocharged engine alongside an 87- horsepower battery electric engine to provide 400 total horsepower and 472 lb-ft torque. The added electric motor also contributes to the eAWD set up which provides efficiency and power combined. In addition, Polestar Engineered PHEV variants of the S60, V60 and XC60 will be rolled out through the second half of 2019.