Electric cars may seem like they are quite far from being mainstream. But, with the new releases from many manufacturers, one can expect to see a wide variety of electric SUVs and crossovers on the roads soon. With every passing year, new SUVs are planned and added to lineups from popular manufacturers like Audi, BMW, Cadillac, and more.
Furthermore, general interest in sedans has been on a steady decline, and people have become more interested in SUVs. As of now, SUVs and Crossovers are the most popular types of vehicles in the USA, with several electric versions of these on the streets. Nowadays, electric SUVs are available in all shapes, sizes, and price points.
Companies like Tesla and GM have already reached over 200,000 vehicles in production, and there are many options available for consumers in 2021. In this article, we will take a look at the meaning of an SUV in general, and the features of their electric versions that are constantly improving with time.
The Meaning of an SUV in General
Sport Utility Vehicles or SUVs comprise a variety of shapes and sizes of cars. In the USA and various other countries, SUVs are classified as light trucks rather than cars. This leads to less stringent fuel efficiency standards for them. Also, SUVs have unibody frames and at least 4-5 doors to accommodate a higher number of people and cargo than standard cars.
Most SUVs are built to have more ground clearance and engine power to drive on rugged terrain. They can also be used to tow other vehicles as a result. Historically, SUVs didn’t have the most efficient fuel usage. But with electric SUVs, this is about to be a problem of the past.
What is New in 2021 Electric SUVs?
WIth Electric SUVs, you get smaller motors with internal combustion engines, which leads to more space for people and cargo. Also, these cars don’t have to rely on shifting gears and have more control over speeds. The maximum speeds these vehicles can reach are well over the legal limits that you’ll be following when driving on the road.
Additionally, you also get other distinguishing features like high-resolution displays, automatic lights and wipers, parking assist cameras, and much more. In the next section, we will elaborate on the various features offered by new electric SUVs in 2021.
Electric SUV Range
If you’re worried about traveling over long distances in an electric SUV, then you don’t need to anymore. With new SUVs, you can go over at least 200 miles on a full charge, with higher capacity batteries being developed at the moment.
The range you get from your electric SUV depends upon the speed and the terrain you’re driving on. If you still need a higher range from these cars, then you can opt for models with petrol range extension or hybrids.
Electric SUV Batteries & Charging
Electric SUVs rely on battery charge instead of petrol or diesel to run and hence need to charge just like traditional SUVs need to be refueled. There are three conventional ways in which most electric SUVs can be charged – Trickle, Fast, and Rapid.
- Trickle Charging – This type of charging involves plugging in your car overnight to slowly charge and be ready to be driven in the morning. Also, electric SUVs come with their own home charging leads included with the car. This can take up to 12 hours or even faster with newer battery technologies.
- Fast Charging – This type of charging is normally available in public car parks that can be found throughout major cities, and can also be installed at the SUV owner’s home. You can join one of the many charging networks available to find out the exact location of these stations from your phone, or even locate them using the navigation system built-in in the SUV. This process can take about 6-8 hours, with charging times improving in newer models.
- Rapid Charging – This is the fastest, if not the cheapest way to charge your car on the go. Using rapid charging, you can travel even further than the range provided by a single charge without waiting. These outlets can get your SUV up to 80% charge in a short time span of 30 minutes. But, often these are much costlier than other types of charging, and you should be looking at utility providers that provide discounts on charging if you plan on using this every day.
New SUV models like Chevrolet Bolt EV and Nissan Leaf offer a feature called regenerative braking, which allows the energy that is lost during deceleration and braking to be sent back to the battery in order to preserve it. This feature is gradually being adopted by many other manufacturers.
Electric SUV Specific Displays
The dashboard displays that come with newer electric SUVs provide detailed information on the remaining charges, miles, drive modes, and other intelligent features that are not found in traditional SUVs. You can also easily locate and navigate to the nearest charging station using the display.
There are also traditional GPS functions like navigating to your destination by the shortest routes, highlights on traffic, and you can also get an idea of the charge required to travel the distance. There are also insights on your speed and eco-friendly driving to conserve battery power on long trips. Some of the newer models of eclectic SUVs also show the charge used by different accessories and parts of the car, like sound systems, ventilation, and others.
Electric SUV Smartphone Integrations
Great smartphone apps like Google’s Android Auto provide useful features for new electric SUV owners. It has become a norm in newer electric SUVs to include Android Auto or Apple CarPlay as an all-in-one media control and navigation system.
Most of these can be controlled using your smartphone, and you can even make hands-free calls using the assistants included with some of these systems. You can always search for charging stations according to your location and even classify them according to charger types.
Like other types of cars on the market, SUVs are on their way to be completely powered by electricity. As of now, there are quite a few electric SUVs on the market, and the number of different models being manufactured by different companies is increasing every year. With all the new features being added to these SUVs, these are bound to be mainstream in a few years.