Vehicle Features

2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring: Review of the brand’s first plug-in hybrid

The PHEV adds more power, more torque and better performance – with little mention of a plug. It’s a brutal truth: in key coastal markets like California and the Northeast, the Lincoln brand has all but vanished from any discussion of luxury vehicles. In fact, Lincoln execs admit it outright. Like crosstown rival Cadillac, Lincoln… Read more »

2019 Kia Niro EV: An impressive electric compact suggests good things from future Kia EVs

Kia may be the auto brand with the biggest disconnect between perception and reality in the US today. It makes stylish, modern vehicles – passenger cars plus a growing range of crossover utilities – packed with advanced features. It’s a legitimate competitor to Toyota, Honda, and others. But ask the average buyer if he or… Read more »

EV outliers: Oslo, San Francisco…and St Petersburg?

Many readers are surprised to learn that Charged is headquartered not in California, but in St Petersburg, Florida. Once a sleepy retirement center nicknamed “God’s Waiting Room,” nowadays “The Burg” is a hipster hotspot, replete with art galleries, craft breweries and vegan eateries. Another distinction that places St Pete in the avant-garde: it’s an EV… Read more »

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric: A viable EV competitor for the average car buyer

As a company, Hyundai often sets goals that slightly exceed those set by competing automakers. The engineers who designed the Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-In hatchbacks were told that the new vehicles had to beat the fuel-efficiency ratings of the Prius hybrid and Prius Prime plug-in hybrid. So it is with the Hyundai Kona Electric. We… Read more »

A look at Volkswagen’s MEB architecture

The all-electric underpinnings that the VW Group will use to build dozens of EVs A few weeks before the end of 2019, if all goes according to plan, the first Volkswagen I.D. Neo electric car will roll off the assembly line at the company’s plant in Zwickau, Germany. Different versions will offer ranges from 160… Read more »

How local leaders can make their communities more EV-friendly

While much of the EV policy conversation focuses on state legislatures and public utility commissions, local government has an important role to play too. Cities and counties are where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, and local policies can go a long way towards increasing EV adoption. In last November’s midterm elections, thousands… Read more »

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid review: Subaru’s first PHEV offers its loyal customers a taste of zero-emission miles

Any new plug-in vehicle from a maker that hasn’t previously offered one is cause for excitement, even if volumes are low at first. So I approached my six-day test of the new plug-in Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid with anticipation. Sure, its rated 17-mile electric range is below the curve, but at least it’s a start –… Read more »

Audi joins the class of 2019 with the e-tron

A new generation of EVs is beginning to appear on the roads, and these cars have what it takes to compete head-to-head with fossil fuel vehicles. They offer more than enough range to cover anyone’s daily commute, and thanks to vast new charging networks such as Electrify America and Europe’s Ionity, they are increasingly able to… Read more »

PlugStar aims to break the EV dealership deadlock

As anyone who follows the EV scene has surely noticed, auto dealerships are widely considered to be a major bottleneck on the road to EV adoption. Sales staff tend to be poorly informed about plug-in vehicles, and many dealerships make little effort to present them to buyers as an option. In the worst cases, salespeople… Read more »

Cummins, the diesel engine powerhouse, has had a busy year expanding its EV systems development

Cummins is a huge presence in the diesel engine market around the globe. The company designs, manufactures and sells billions of dollars’ worth of diesel engines (and some engines powered by “alternative fuels” such as natural gas). Ranging from 2.8 to 95 liters, the company’s engines are found in nearly every type of vehicle and… Read more »