Electric Vehicles

Apple WWDC: Electric vehicle routing options added to Apple Maps in iOS 14

Electirc vehicle drivers will be able to utilize new Apple Maps functionality to help with route planning.

Photo courtesy of Apple

Apple Maps is getting a bigger upgrade as part of iOS 14 than Apple CarPlay. The mapping app, which has to compete with Google Maps on users phones, is getting a host of significant additions with worldwide user implications as announced at today's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

The iOS 14 version of Apple Maps will include guides from companies including Zagat and AllTrails. it will provide suggestions for users looking to lessen their carbon footprint.

Apple WWDC iOS 14 MapsMaps now includes guides for users.Photo courtesy of Apple

Cycling is added to the list of transportation options. With this choice, users are able to get a route that includes bike lanes, paths, and roads. The system takes changes in altitude into account, as well as the traffic situation on roads (busy vs quiet). Users can denote whether they want to carry their bicycle up stairs as part of their route or avoid stairs altogether. This addition rolls out to New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Beijing first. Additional city rollouts are planned.

Electric vehicle drivers can choose EV Routing for their Maps usage. Using that option, Maps will track your vehicle's current charge and will keep track of which chargers your vehicle is compatible with to ensure when you stop to charge, your vehicle is compatible with what's available.

Apple WWDC iOS 14 MapsTechnology that takes into account restricted driving zones is currently in development.Photo courtesy of Apple

The route mapping system also takes into account electric range and charging stations to find the optional route.

EV Routing functionality will first roll out in the BMW i4 as well as the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Further, Apple is working on a solution to integrate Congestion and Green Zone information and support into the app allowing for alternative routes for cities that restrict travel for some drivers in certain areas. These types of restrictions are typically found in Europe and Asia.

Apple WWDC iOS 14 MapsEV charging is now considered as part of route mapping. Opting for that functionality shows where charging is along your way.Photo courtesy of Apple

At WWDC, Apple also announced a new NFC solution called ACarKey, which allows owners to use their phone as a key to get into and operate their vehicle, as well as a refreshed version of Apple CarPlay.

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Updated EV

2023 Nissan Leaf pricing announced

The Leaf got a mild facelift for 2023.

Nissan

Nissan is nearing the release of the Ariya, its first new EV in several years. Even so, the brand hasn't forgotten about its first mass-market EV, the Leaf. It was an early entrant in the space, and has been an efficient, affordable, commuter car for over a decade. The car got a mild facelift for 2023, with updated wheels and exterior styling accents. Today, Nissan announced pricing for the Leaf, which starts at just under $29,000.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf feels lively, despite middling power numbers.Nissan

The base Leaf comes with a 40-kWh battery capable of delivering a 149-mile range. Its 110-kW electric motor produces 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The Leaf SV Plus features a 60-kWh battery for a range of 212 miles. It comes with a 160-kW motor that makes 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Nissan backs all Leaf models with an eight-year/100,000-mile battery warranty.

ProPilot Assist comes standard for the Leaf SV Plus, and brings a full suite of advanced driver aids that include adaptive cruise control, driver alertness features, and a surround-view monitor. All Leaf models get Nissan Safety Shield 360, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, automatic high beams, and rear automatic braking.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf SV Plus offers up to 212 miles of range.Nissan

The new Leaf starts at $28,895, which includes a $1,095 destination charge. The Leaf SV Plus starts at $36,895. The 2023 Nissan Leaf is on sale now, and may be eligible for federal tax credits of up to $7,500. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to receive a state tax credit or other incentives.

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The EQB lands this summer with a not-so-bad starting price.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is pressing ahead with its electrification goals. Following the release of the EQS flagship electric sedan last year, the automaker is readying the EQB, an electric SUV with up to seven seats. Today, Mercedes announced pricing for the vehicle, and it's surprisingly reasonable. Two trim levels will be offered for the EQB in the United States: Exclusive and Pinnacle, and wecould see an AMG variant at some point down the road.

The EQB comes in two variants, including the EQB 300 and EQB 350, both of which come with all-wheel drive. The EQB 300 offers 225 horsepower and the 350 delivers 288 ponies. Those aren't super-serious numbers and they don't have to be. The EQB competes with vehicles like the Volkswagen ID.4, so mind-blowing performance isn't exactly the goal. Mercedes hasn't given range estimates yet, but they should fall in line with the competition.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQBThe EQB will come in two powertrain variants, each with two trims.Mercedes-Benz

The SUV comes standard with a 10.25-inch configurable digital gauge cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen. Mercedes includes a good list of standard safety features, including lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, and active brake assist. Additionally, the EQB's navigation system routes the vehicle for the best efficiency and can help locate charging stations.

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 starts at $56,800, including a $1,050 destination charge. A range-topping Pinnacle trim is available for $59,350. The EQB 350 starts at $60,350. Mercedes says the SUV will go on sale in summer 2022.

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