There is little doubt that the past two years has presented the automotive sector with a series of challenges. The COVID outbreak with the various stages of the pandemic, the semi-conductor shortage, and supply chain challenges have all combined to create a scenario the industry has never before experienced.
Vehicle production continues to be sluggish as automakers struggle to get their hands on vital computer chips, leading to downtime at assembly plants. Furthermore, the outlook for production is somewhat murky at the moment. A recent Scotiabank report suggests global production will pivot in the fourth quarter and will hit higher capacity sometime next year.
Like many of you, I am tired of writing about some of the conditions that have plagued the sector over the last several months and would like to focus on some of the new or innovative products that will be making their way to showrooms in the next 24 months. While it will be 13 years before Canada requires all new light car and light-duty trucks sales to be zero emission vehicles, the development of new or redesigned clean energy vehicles is very much front and center.
A recent article in Consumer Reports suggests a record number of almost 100 pure electric models are set to debut over the next two years in North America. Obviously, I can’t cover all of the emerging vehicles in this column space, but the following provides a glimpse of some of the new vehicle models that we all hope to see soon in the BC market:
The Ford Lightning name returns on an electrified F-150 crew cab truck with prodigious power and strong work capabilities. This pickup is offered in two power configurations, with 426 and 563 horsepower. The standard-range battery promises 370 kilometres and the extended-range battery is projected to provide up to 300 miles.
The Hummer of old is not the Hummer of new. The all-new electric Hummer EV SUV and pickup truck promise to be both green and off-road ready. The Hummer EV pickup truck launches in 2022 with the pricey, full-featured Edition 1 boasting 1,000 hp and promising 560+ kilometres of range. The SUV will follow a year later.
The Kia EV6 is the brand’s first car designed from the ground up to be electric. Acceleration is said to be as swift as 3.5 seconds from 0 to 60 mph. The EV6 is compatible with 400 and 800-volt fast-charging stations in public places, enabling the car to go from 10 to 80 percent charge in 18 minutes.
The Nissan Ariya will be the brand’s first electric SUV when it enters the market in 2022. The compact SUV will have standard- and long-range battery versions and a choice of front or all-wheel drive. The front-wheel-drive model equipped with the long-range battery will have an estimated driving range of up to 480 kilometres.
The Subaru Solterra is the automaker’s first-ever electric vehicle, and the range is anticipated to be more than 350 kilometres. Subaru says the battery can be charged to 80 percent capacity in less than an hour using DC fast charging in public places.
The Volvo C40 Recharge combines the ride height of an SUV with just the cargo space of a hatchback and will have a dual-motor setup and 78-kWh battery, and an estimated range of more than 320 kilometres.
The Toyota bZ4X electric SUV was designed alongside the Subaru Solterra and built on a shared platform. Sized much like the discontinued Venza, the bZ4X comes in two powertrain configurations and is good for an estimated 400-kilometre range.
With many new vehicle models announced and arriving in the near future, you will have a chance to see some of the latest developments at the upcoming and long-awaited 2022 Vancouver Auto Show – March 23-27 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Stay tuned at www.VancouverInternationalAutoShow.ca.
Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at [email protected].