High-Tech Problem Solvers

Watch: Ford myth busters take on electric vehicle misconceptions

Ford's new Mustang-inspired crossover EV is coming soon and the automaker's engineers are trying to head off some skepticism at the pass.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

A June survey by global research and analytics consultancy PSB reveled that while most Americans expect electric vehicles (EVs) to gain widespread adoption in the near future, many of them have a number of misconceptions about them.

Confusion about the capabilities of the models is not restricted to just Americans. The survey revealed that Chinese and Europeans are just as confused.

That survey, its results, and clearing up the misconceptions is the subject of a recent post on Medium by Ted Cannis, global director, electrification, Ford Motor Company.

As the head of electrification for Ford, the questions I get from family, friends and colleagues about electric vehicles run the gamut," he shared. "'Are electric vehicles fast?' 'Do they work in winter?' 'Can I really give up visiting the gas station?' 'Are they capable enough to help me do my job?'"

Cannis says that the easy answer to all those questions is, "Yes."

More than 90 percent of Americans and Europeans don't believe quick acceleration is a great benefit of electric vehicles. This could work out to benefit automakers like Nissan who have taken a less rapid approach to acceleration than Tesla's Ludicrous mode allows.

EV Myths Busted: Fun to Drive | Electric Vehicles | Ford www.youtube.com

That doesn't mean that everyone has to offer a measured approach. Ford is seeking a more blistering approach to acceleration with its forthcoming Mustang-inspired all-electric SUV.

Other findings include:

  • 42% of Americans think electric vehicles still require gas to run.
  • Nearly 80% of Americans would not pick an electric vehicle for extreme weather, while almost 65% would not choose one for all-wheel drive.
  • 67% of Americans and 68% of Europeans don't believe that electric vehicles are capable enough in terms of towing and hauling.
Ford recently showed off the all-weather prowess of the forthcoming Mustang-inspired EV by filming it testing the Smithers Winter Test Center on Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

EV Myths Busted: Winter Test | Electric Vehicles | Ford www.youtube.com

The company also recently showed off the capability of a prototype of an all-electric Ford F-150. With hybrid and electric variants of the model deep into development, the company had to do something to prove that EVs can haul - and they did, with over one million pounds behind the hitch.

EV Myths Busted: All-Electric F-150 Prototype Tows 1M+ Pounds | Electric Vehicles | Ford www.youtube.com

Recent reporting indicates that Ford could debut their all-electric pickup by 2021. The company's long-awaited all-electric SUV is expected to arrive in showrooms in late 2020.

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New sports sedan

2022 Infiniti Q50 gets more standard tech

The car sees new tech and interior features for 2022.

Infiniti

The Infiniti Q50 is an aging but still-stylish sedan that offers value and power, but it hasn't quite kept pace with the crop of more engaging premium European cars. However, it's still worth a look, and to press that point further, Infiniti has updated the car for 2022 with a healthy list of standard features.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Exterior styling has not changed for 2022.Infiniti

Headline updates for the 2022 Q50 are wireless Apple CarPlay and newly standard Bose Performance Series Audio. There's now leather for every trim, but in the ways that count, the car is the same as the one we saw last year, the year before, and so on.

That's not to say that the car is bad. After all, it still offers a 300-horsepower twin-turbo V6 as standard and can be upgraded with a 400-horsepower version of the engine. And, despite its aging exterior styling, it's still a handsome car with smooth, sculpted bodywork. The seven-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive remain in place.

2022 Infiniti Q50 All-wheel drive is available for all models.Infiniti

Pricing for the 2022 Infiniti Q50 starts at $43,125, which includes a $1,025 destination fee. The car gets standard wireless Apple CarPlay, leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, and Bose Performance Audio. All-wheel drive is available for a $2,000 upcharge.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Wireless Apple CarPlay and Bose audio are standard.Infiniti

The mid-range Q50 Sensory starts at $48,825, and comes with 19-inch wheels, black open-pore wood interior accents, navigation, and an air purifier system. Stepping up to the top Q50 Red Sport 400 will run $56,975, and brings the more powerful V6 engine, semi-aniline leather upholstery, and Dynamic Digital Suspension, which adjusts damping settings depending on road conditions and driving style.

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New AWD performance car

The Subaru WRX is all-new for 2022

The new WRX's body cladding is already stirring up controversy.

Subaru

The Subaru WRX is a rally-bred performance car that offers a unique mix of rowdy all-wheel drive fun, a value price, and youthful styling. The car is long overdue for an update, though, and Subaru is doing just that for the 2022 model year. The fifth-generation WRX is all-new, and features a more powerful engine, along with several go-fast upgrades.

2022 Subaru WRX Both a manual and an automatic transmission will be offered.Subaru

A new GT trim joins the WRX lineup for 2022. It features a new automatic transmission, adaptive dampers, and drive mode selections. With various customization options available to the driver, the system offers up to 430 different settings combinations. The GT's interior adds Recaro seats wrapped in Ultrasuede with red stitching. The GT also gets exclusive 18-inch wheels.

Though still a Boxer engine, the 2022 WRX's powerplant is new and more powerful than before. It delivers 271 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, as well as a broader torque curve. Subaru says that the larger engine plus an electronically controlled turbo wastegate and air bypass valves improve responsiveness and acceleration.

2022 Subaru WRX A larger 11.6-inch infotainment screen is on board. Subaru

All WRX models come with Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel drive system and active torque vectoring, which can shift power to individual wheels that need the most traction. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but a new Subaru Performance Transmission is available, which features faster shifts and other features to improve performance.

The 2022 WRX also gets a tech upgrade that brings a large 11.6-inch tablet-style touchscreen. It runs Subaru Starlink infotainment, handles HVAC and vehicle controls, and offers split-screen functionality for two apps to run simultaneously. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is Bluetooth, SiriusXM radio, and HD radio. An upgraded version of the system also offers navigation with three years of free map updates.

2022 Subaru WRX Subaru will offer a new GT trim with upgraded suspension and finishes.Subaru

As it has done with many of its other vehicles, Subaru is equipping every WRX with its EyeSight suite of advanced driver aids. The packge includes lane departure prevention, adaptive cruise control with lane centering, and more. A new available automatic emergency steering system works with the car's pre-collision braking feature to help avoid collisions at speeds under 50 mph.

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