Tag Archives: EV

The Purr of the Electric Cat. The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace EV 400 AWD

 

 

Jaguar's Race Director James S Barkley

After attending an introduction event for Jaguar’s EV Racing in New York City, last year, I have looked forward to the opportunity to spend time and experience life in a luxury EV. This summer, a Photon Red First Edition Jaguar I-Pace showed up in my driveway.

IMG_3022While the world is focused on SUV’s even as they pertain to electric-powered vehicles, Jaguar has nicely put together a sleek hatchback, that is a luxury sedan, sports sedan, EV and with the full-size hatch, all-wheel-drive SUV. And the adjustable suspension helps on or off road.

 

Design

IMG_2570Ian Callum accepts 2019 World Car Award for Jaguar I Pace
IMG_2570Ian Callum accepts 2019 World Car Award for Jaguar I Pace

First and foremost, it is a Jaguar. You can tell  Ian Callum kept with the brand’s design language using angles to replace the curves of the Jags of my youth. More a 1980’s than 1960’s look, while still quite current. Aerodynamics is the name of the game when trying to stretch every electron into a mile, and with this I-Pace, you have a 230-mile range on a charge. And selling it as a luxury SUV, and sports-sedan in one. This one has all-wheel drive and an adjustable suspension that you can raise and lower the vehicle for off-road travel if needed.

 

Under the Hood

IMG_3048While you will not find anything under the hood, or as it is known the “frunk” or boot, which is the proper British terminology, other than small cargo space. It is almost not worth opening.

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Where is all the power coming from, you ask?  Well, two electric motors that produce 394 horsepower and 512-ft of torque are fore and aft with a 90-k Wh battery pack that is mounted low and provides a 76 MPGe combined.  Actually, the only way to see anything close to the powerplant would be to put it on a lift and take it apart. So for us, we never got to see anything but what the promotional material shows. Single-speed transmission with simple push-button controls and separate buttons for mode settings give you all the control you need in this EV.

 

Electric Plug-In?

20190716_073528Should I have range anxiety? Well, range anxiety is a part of the current EV driving experience, so it comes with the territory.  It did not take us long to figure out how to cure that and enjoy the drive in this iconic brand’s EV 400. We found both pay to charge, and free-to-charge locations via the Plugshare and ChargePoint apps. Which provided fast chare options while we were out, though often not in places we were initially going, or maybe wanted to go.  As well as plugging into our 110v home outlet for a trickle charge, of about a mile an hour.

 

How do you start an EV

Jaguar's Activity Key – allows you to wear a key to the vehicle and not carry one with you.
Jaguar’s Activity Key – allows you to wear a key to the vehicle and not carry one with you.

Like with most modern cars the RFID keyfob has replaced the switchblade or knife blade key, and Jaguar feels its owners will be active and may want to wear their key like a fitness tracker, so they provide an activity key, a black band you wear on your wrist that can get wet if you go kayaking or sailing, or surfing.

 

Door handles are recessed into the Jaguar I Pace until activated
Door handles are recessed into the Jaguar I Pace until activated.

 

Aerodynamics or Tesla design copy? How do you get the door handles to pop out?  Having the key in your pocket and activating the door handle by touching it, front or back, or hitting the traditional keyfob unlock button makes the door handles appear from the side slab of the I-Pace.

 

 

 

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An important part is even if the I-Pace doors are unlocked, the charging plug is still locked onto the charging port, and you have to unlock the car again (even if it is unlocked) to release the plug.

 

Cargo

IMG_3063While the frunk is small, not to worry the conventional rear hatch has plenty of room with the 3rd-row seats up or down, if you are carrying anything, and the four-doors open wide to give you easy entry and exit to the vehicle for all the passengers. Two bucket seats up front and a sizeable split-bench seat in the rear. And as the I-Pace is a wide car, there is plenty of room in that rear seat for three people.

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Open the hatch, and you can load large items, put down those rear seatbacks and the long flat cargo floor is easy to load in and out of.

 

Price – EV’s are not cheap

IMG_3059First of all, EV’s tend to be thought of as the play toys of the Rich, or those that want to be seen as financially successful. Tesla owners feel they have the sole ownership of the upscale EV space. So when Jaguar quietly stepped in without fanfare and put the I-Pace on the scene, we knew the price tag would be comparable.

20190716_072959Starting at just under $70K for a base Jaguar I-Pace, but really whoever buys a base car?  While there are a few who are looking for basic transportation, and the Nissan Leaf’s and Kia Niro EV’s may work well there. When you get to the level of luxury that Jaguar represents you want to add bells and whistles to your whip. Our I-Pace, the First Edition, 400 AWD I-Pace stickered out at just under $80K.

Now EV enthusiasts will tell you all about the tax incentives and all, but still, you have to buy something before you get a tax break for the purchase. Well, there is the free charging, when and where you can find it.

 

Charging Infrastructure

2019 Jaguar I Pace at a ChargePoint ChargerAs they say, nothing is free in this world. You get what you pay for!  And indeed when it comes to EV Chargers, I would agree about that.  While Tesla owners rave about their own (and totally proprietary, chargers. So don’t even think about plugging in there if you are not driving a Freemont Cali built the car. Charging stations are located all over the country, which is a beautiful thing indeed. Many are at commercial centers, though some gas station | convenience stores are adding them, most EV owners have to rely on public charging stations.  Finding them through Plug Share, Electrify America, and Charge Point, as well as other app-based programs,  are expanding. We discovered that Charge Point seems to have a better handle on their chargers, and they tend to be better-maintained infrastructure.  We found that newly constructed parking garages with EV charging as part of the design are better than those that are retrofitted. If for no other reason than the number of chargers.

IMG_3047Charging at home, if you have installed a 240 V dedicated EV Charger, you will do better than using the supplied charging plugged into a 110v grounded home outlet. The added cost to your home electric bill will help you decide if an EV is right for you.

 

Aud Etron with Electrify America ChargerCharging at your place of work, if you are lucky enough to be located in a location that provides charging for EV’s all the better. I have seen solar-powered chargers as well as banks of chargers in office building garages.

 

 

Promotion and Racing

Jaguar Race to InovateWhere does this E-Grand Prix racing come into play?  For Jaguar, racing is such a part of their heritage; it makes total sense that they are early participants in the sport of racing EVs. Jaguar and racing are like Milk and Ice Cream, they are even better together.  Racing has always been a proving ground for automotive engineering, as it is some of the best testing that any vehicle can go through.

 

Awards and Accolades

Jaguar wins 2019 Word Car Award Ian Callum AcceptingIn 2019 Jaguar I-Pace wins World Car of the Year Awards presented at the New York International Auto Show, and we were there (at the next table when the awards were presented.)  And justly so, Jaguar has brought forth a great product in the early days of modern electric vehicles.

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Words and images by William West Hopper.

William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret
William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret

Mr. Hopper is a lifelong auto enthusiast. As a member, he currently serves as the President of the Washington Automotive Press Association WAPA and is also a member of The International Automotive Press Association IMPA.

All opinions are his own. Mr. Hopper received no compensation from producing this post. He was given a week with the Jaguar I-Pace that arrived with a 60% charge, and he returned it with a 100% charge.

 

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Driving in NYC – Nissan’s Twizzy, a Battery Powered Mobility Concept Vehicle

Driving the Nissan Mobility Concept Vehicle in New York City

The Nissan "Twizzy" or Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, a small battery powered people transporter.
The Nissan “Twizzy” or Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, a small battery powered people transporter.
Nissan’s Mobility Concept Vehicles NMC in New York City.

Check out the Queer4Cars YouTube Video:

We were welcomed to New York City prior to the New York International Auto Show by Nissan to take a drive in their Mobility Concept Vehicle (NMC), an ultra-compact, all electric, four-wheel runabout. This was an informal meet and greet with the #NissanFutureLab Team.

Nissan invited journalists to experience a new mobility concept vehicle.
The Nissan “Twizzy” or Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, a small battery powered people transporter.
Nissan held an informal gathering prior to The New York International Auto Show
to drive their Mobility Concept Vehicle.

Prior to our taking this little quad out for an exciting drive in New York City’s crazy traffic, we sat down with Nissan’s Josh Westerhold, an Urban Planner by training and mobility guru by profession, to hear all about this vehicle.

The Nissan Mobility Concept Vehicle relies on mirrors to see out the back.
The Nissan Mobility Concept Vehicle relies on mirrors to see out the back.
No rear window on the Nissan Mobility Concept Vehicle.

The NMC is all electric with a top speed of 45 mph and a range of 40 miles on a single charge. Designed for the sole purpose of transporting one or two people from place to place. The NMC vehicle has a rugged look with outboard fenders, exposed wheels and struts.

While it has a cabin with a windshield and scissor-like doors that swing forward. It is open to the elements with no side windows.

Looking inside the cockpit of the Nissan Mobility Concept Vehicle. A very simple dashboard with basic controls.
Looking inside the cockpit of the Nissan Mobility Concept Vehicle. A very simple dashboard with basic controls.

The interior is clean and simple, with a single driver’s seat. It can either be fitted with a tandem rear seat, or a package tray, to carry a second person or a small cargo of items. The NMC is without HVAC, but has an instrument cluster that tells you speed and battery life.

#NissanFutureLab's Mobility Concept Vehicle instruments are basic.
#NissanFutureLab’s Mobility Concept Vehicle instruments are basic.
#NissanFutureLab’s Mobility Concept Vehicle is a single/tandem seat, open air vehicle .

Nissan Mobility Concept Vehicle has exposed fenders, headlights and a mono-blade windshield wiper.
The Nissan “Twizzy” or Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, a small battery powered people transporter.
Nissan Mobility Concept Vehicle has exposed fenders, headlights and a mono-blade windshield wiper.

Outside it has the basics of a road vehicle, a mono-blade windshield wiper and turn signals, headlights and rear view mirrors, as there is no back window.

Segway Expericmental Vehicle
Segway Expericmental Vehicle
Segway showed this single passenger, two wheeled, self-balancing experimental vehicle at the New York Auto Show in 2008.

 

This little runabout is more like a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle or a Golf Cart that you would see in private suburban gated communities. It reminded me of the Segway/GM experimental vehicle shown at NYIAS about ten years ago.

Indeed the NMC is on the tiny side of compact, smaller than the NYC Pedi-cabs, and a Nissan Leaf is a behemoth in comparison. So wrangling for space on NYC’s crowded streets with taxicabs and black car limousines was like flying an RC plane alongside 747’s.

The view of the streets of New York City from inside Nissan Mobility Concept Vehicle.
The view of the streets of New York City from inside Nissan Mobility Concept Vehicle.
Cars appear bigger while driving a small vehicle.

Driving on NYC streets in any vehicle is a testimate to your metal. Driving the NMC reminded me of when I was a kid, hot-rodding the riding lawnmower at full speed. While the NMC does have a suspension, you did get to feel every bump, and driving over rattling manhole covers, made you wonder if they were going to swallow you before a bus ran over you!

Charging port on the front of the NMC.
Charging port on the front of the NMC.
Charging port and windshield washer fluid resivor located on the front of the NMC.

But size has its advantages in the jungle of NYC, the NMC slipped into small openings in traffic, pulling into the space between vehicles, that the drivers of larger vehicles thought were already tight. The NMC was nimble enough to slip in, and the battery powered electric motors were powerful enough for you to speed off when you had the chance.

The Nissan Twizzy seemed strangely at home on the crowded streets of New York City.
The Nissan Twizzy seemed strangely at home on the crowded streets of New York City.

Nissan, Innovation that excites.
Nissan, Innovation that excites.
#NissanFutureLab

The Nissan Mobility Concept is a product of the joint partnership between France’s Renault and Japan’s Nissan, known as theTwizy, debuting a concept vehicle in 2009, and has been on the market in Europe since 2012.

Nissan Twizzy Electric Mobility Vehicles got a lot of attention, even from street-wise New Yorkers.
Nissan Twizzy Electric Mobility Vehicles got a lot of attention, even from street-wise New Yorkers.

This little Electric Vehicle is already in use in European cities, and here in the USA, it is part of a test fleet in San Francisco’sScoot Network, (a scooter rental service) and labeled the Scoot Quad.

 

While not planned for the consumer market, other than a few urban test fleets, you can find out more about this vehicle on Nissan’s website.  #NissanFutureLab

Photos and article by: William West Hopper

Posted by William Hopper at 5:32 PM No comments:

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Labels: Mobility Concept Vehicle, Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, New York City, New York International Auto Show, Nissan, NissanFutureLab, NYIAS, Renault, Scoot, Scoot Quad, Twizy

Location: Pennsylvania Station, New York, NY 10119, USA

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Infiniti QX60 Is Better Than an a Luxury SUV or Crossover, Much Better!

We had a chance to put 1800 miles on a 2015 Infiniti QX60 out of the Mid-Atlantic press fleet for a trip to Florida, it arrived with just shy of 25K on the odometer.

Infiniti’s QX60 the luxurious modern full-size Station Wagon.

While the PR Staff from Infiniti apologized about the high miles, and that it was last year’s model, for me, it is good to see how a car holds up after the initial new car smell is gone.

The inside of the Infiniti QX60 features wheat colored leather
and maple wood trim accents.

This one was doing just fine! Its bright wheat beige leather seats and black carpeting were not heading to the rough trade of being a press car that gets a new driver every week. Hint, press fleet cars have a rougher life than rental fleet cars.

The long muscular hood of the Infiniti QX60.

The first thing I noticed getting into it, was the size of the and muscular look of the hood, not unlike that of a Porsche Cayenne.

The dash of the QX60 lacks the iconic Infiniti oval analog clock.

While the inside was clearly an obsessively designed Japanese dash with plenty of buttons and controls to manage everything from the headlights, to the heated seats. The only thing I felt was missing was the oval analog clock that Infiniti was chastised for when it came to market in the 1990’s.

Infiniti’s 3.5 6-cylinder engine under the muscular hood.

What I enjoyed while driving it, was the power from 265 hp, 248-pounds of ft.-torque, 3.5-liter, 6-cylinder engine and intelligent all-wheel drive with continuously variable transmission. The good fuel economy (in excess of 24 mpg on this trip.) And the wide range of active safety features, such as forward and rear collision warning systems, blind spot warning and prevention, intelligent cruise control with distance cruise assist, which kept an eye on the vehicle in front, and matched its speed without running up onto its tail.

Infiniti’s Active Safety Display
features lane departure and
blind spot warning systems.

Lane departure warning and prevention system was helpful during the long drive, especially in the dark, (where it continued to work, even though visual distances were impaired by rain.)

Blind Spot Warning light on each door.

Blind Spot Detection was especially helpful in heavy traffic on the interstate, when drivers appear out of nowhere, though the rear view mirrors were ample in size, it was great to have the assistance of this technology.

 

The Caravan of cars to Florida featured a BMW Z3,
a rare Marcos GT, the Infiniti QX60, Ford Roush Performance
Mustang with Track Package and a Jaguar XKE Coupe.

The intelligent cruise control and distance control assist was especially handy as we were part of a multi-car caravan of classic, and vintage cars heading to theAmelia Island Concours, made up of a diverse group of vehicles from a 2016 Roush Performance Mustang with Track Pack to a 1960 Jaguar XKE, from a BMW M Series to a rare Marcos_GT. AModel A Boat Tail open roadster that had recently gone on a race from New York City USA to Paris France recreation of one done a century ago, joined the group during the trip.

 

The QX60 sporting the Amelia or Bust sign at a lunch stop.

While one would think that our Infiniti QX60 would not seem to be in step with this Caravan of classic and exotic vehicles, organized by a Hagerty Insurance. The Infiniti QX60 took it all in stride, holding its own, being the car that passengers from other cars wanted to ride in, when they were being overwhelmed by the journey, or just tired of riding in an old classic.

 

Wonder where does this the QX60 fit in, in this modern world of vehicles? Without sliding side doors, it can’t be a minivan! Without big tires and a discernible 4X4 drive train, it is more refined than an SUV. And its size and stature make it a hard fit for a crossover. In reality it is a little bit of all three.

2nd & 3rd row rear seats fold down to extend the cargo area.

The QX60 succeeds as a luxurious and capable mover of people and cargo. Like a classic full sizestation wagon of yesteryear, with plenty of room, comfort and luxury. Passengers who jumped in after riding in the vintage classics, enjoyed the infinitely adjustable, heated and cooled seats, and the quietness of the cabin. And as the QX60 had plenty of cargo room with the rear seats down, it ended up carrying luggage and other large items.

Around View® monitor gives a new meaning to backup camera.

The QX60’s luxury appointments seemed almost like the standard features you need. It remembered the driver’s seating position, and provided a great view of the road, fore, and aft, as well as with the Around View® monitor with moving object detection and front and rear sonar, which made a simple backup camera seem like an outdated polaroid photograph, as this system gave you an aerial view of the vehicle’s surroundings.

The QX60 features plenty of glass roof as well as interior space.

Our 2015 model stickers at $56,090 with options of Roof Rails, $95. Infiniti’s Technology Package, $2,800 (included much of the safety features we really benefited from on a long trip like backup collision intervention, intelligent brake assist, forward collision warning, blind spot and lane departure warning, intelligent cruise control and distance control assist.) Deluxe Touring Package, $3,450 (20-Inch alloy wheels, Bose ® cabin surround sound, advanced climate control, climate-controlled front seats, heated second row seats, power moon roof and maple interior accents, that did not appear to be fake plastic.)   Premium Package, $1,550 (Bose® 13-speaker premium sound system, dual occupant memory system heated steering wheel and enhanced intelligent key, and remote engine start.) And Premium Plus Package, $3K, (Infiniti Connection™ and hard drive navigation, 8-Inch VGA Color touch screen, voice recognition, Sirius XM’s NavTraffic &NavWeather, Around View® monitor and moving object detection, rain-sensing windshield wipers.) That brought the price up from a base of $43,800. As I used all of those packages and options on this trip, except for the remote start, I would say they were an essential part of my positive Infiniti experience.

Hagerty Classic Car Insurance’s Motto
“Life is too short to drive Boring Cars.”

My overall impression of this vehicle is it is a great if you travel long distances or have people and cargo to haul. It will work as a great family mover, or as a vehicle for a traveling business person who needs to carry thing with them. The safety features made me feel secure and the luxury features made the drive comfortable and enjoyable, especially on such a long trip.

Infiniti Logo on the grill of the QX60.

Nissan’s Infiniti line debuted in the 1990’s bringing together what American automobile manufacturers were not providing consumers at the time, dependability in a luxurious vehicle. Since then, they have evolved as the American drivers looked for carry-all vehicles with luxurious touches. At a mid-fifty’s price, this QX60 is a vehicle that gives the buyer a lot of value for the money. The 2016 model, has been refreshed with new Infiniti design language, the chassis dynamics have been returned for a more engaging and comfortable drive, and the interior has been enhanced luxury for up to 7 passengers. An augmented suite of safety and driving assistance technology which include predictive forward collision warning and emergency braking with pedestrian detection. All of which are perfect for this or any other model.

Build your own Infiniti QX60. We built a 2016 model to the specs of the 2015 QX60 Infiniti provide us with, and came out with a price less than the 2015 model. Price includes the $995 destination & handling fee. As a prudent buyer, make use of your membership in a credit union, AAA, Costco, or similar organization. Often they have connections to local dealers which result in a lower price.

Take a test drive today at your neighborhood Infiniti dealer of the QX60, and also check out the new Infiniti Q50 Sedan, which is also a pretty nice ride.

The new Infiniti Q50 Sedan, a pocket rocket dressed in a nice suit.

Remember buying from a dealer for a lower price, miles away, may not be the most prudent purchase decision. Supporting local businesses within your community is important to everyone.

Enjoy the Drive – William West Hopper