Russian Time Magazine

Future Cars Here and Now

Electric cars seem to be the latest trend in the auto industry these days. If a few years ago cars like Prius were considered a flick of meticulous environmentalists, today most leading auto makers strive to release their own electric models. The variety of features this technology offers is especially fascinating. Chevy’s new fuel efficient Spark can go up to 119 mpg, Audi’s wicked Audi A3 e-Tron reaches 0 to 60 mph in a 4.9 seconds while Porsche’s luxurious Cayenne S E-Hybrid goes up to 151 mph. Here are top four electric vehicles that have earned consumer confidence.

Tesla is the automotive phenomenon of the 21st century.

It is a luxury car that is priced well over $100K when fully loaded. Despite being pretty high in the price range, the automaker managed to claim a good share of the US market, catching up in sales with the long-time market leaders such as Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, and Audi A8.

In Norway, which is the European leader in oil-production, Tesla has become a best-selling car, and not just among electric vehicles, but overall! This popularity is justified not only by the use of the highest quality materials and the car’s attractiveness from the aesthetic standpoint, but also by the fact that the Tesla Model S has been acclaimed as the safest automobile on the road today.
Nissan Leaf is officially the best-selling electric car in the world.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance has reported almost 200,000 units of this zero-emissions car sold in 2014. According to the company’s official statistics, this translates into saving nearly 28 million gallons of oil and sparing the atmosphere of over 501 million pounds of carbon dioxide.

Leaf is also the most affordable model out of the four we feature. Its base model is priced under $30K which makes it an ideal combination of price, quality, and efficiency. Although it only offers around 80 miles on a full charge, the Leaf’s 114 MPGe makes up for the relatively short driving range.
BMW i3 is the first mass produced car with a body made of carbon-fiber-reinforced-polymer.

Now, something that was once only in the realm of exotic supercars is within the price range of the average buyer. The result of the implementation of this material is impressive – the weight of the i3 is only around 2,600 pounds.

While it has rather compact exterior dimensions, the i3 is amazingly spacious inside. Spirited acceleration, excellent handling, a comfort level worthy of its esteemed manufacturer, and a mind blowing multimedia system – the i3 has it all. Add to that two very exotic qualities: library-grade silence in the interior and the ability to be driven using only one pedal.
This electric marvel is my personal favorite.

It’s a new electric sports car (!) which will be presented at the 2015 SEMA exhibition in Las Vegas. It’s called The Immortus and it was developed by a Melbourne-based startup named EVX in collaboration with engineers from Swinburne University of Technology. The developers claim that in terms of endurance this car is basically infinite: “As long as the sun shines, The Immortus lives,” is their slogan.

The car features frontal aerodynamics, a 10kWh battery, photovoltaic panels measuring 7 ft.² built into the roof, and the high efficiency of those solar panels (22%). This electric car can go 340 miles without charging at an average speed of 50 mph and top speed of over 90. Reaching 60 mph takes less than seven seconds. Under certain conditions The Immortus’ range without charging can be unlimited!

Electric cars are considered to be a big breakthrough of the modern days auto industry. But did you know that this technology was developed over 150 years ago? The first electrically powered automobile appeared as early as the 1840’s. In 1899, an electric car successfully passed the 60 mph speed barrier.

However, the first electric vehicles had some serious shortcomings that caused the evolving technology to vanish from the market until recently. For instance, the batteries weighed a lot, charging required a long time, and bad fuel efficiency only allowed for a very short driving range on one charge. All that aside, it was the appearance and proliferation of the internal combustion engine that dealt the final blow and lead to a complete cessation of electric car manufacturing by 1940.

Electric car technology research has been resurrected by two adverse reasons – heavy air pollution and skyrocketing gas prices. At the end of the 20th century the number of metropolitan residents who were suffering from asthma, allergies, and headaches grew sevenfold as a result of severe air pollution.

Growing public concern in combination with climbing oil prices finally made automakers look for alternative energy sources. It took manufacturers almost half a century to begin testing and implementing electric motors in their product lines. By the beginning of the 2000's the first models powered by hybrid powertrains hit the showrooms and soon claimed their share of the market. This innovational leap of faith earned the consumers trust, but that still could not be considered a complete victory for the electric motor.

The company that truly revolutionized and made a huge splash in the world of electric automobiles is Tesla. Under the leadership of its charismatic CEO Elon Musk, Tesla built an electric car for mass production. What's more interesting, Tesla made a public announcement that the company won't patent its ideas thus giving a green light to manufacturers worldwide to take a confident step into the future.
La Jamais Contente, which translates as “The Never Satisfied”

It was the first vehicle that broke the speed barrier of 100 km/h. It was driven by a Belgian driver named Camille Jenatzy who managed to hit 105,882 km/h (65.792 mph). The record was set in 1899 and the car that first broke the speed barrier was an electric vehicle.