Electric vehicles

VW Brings 2 electric vehicles to the Amelia Island Concours - one old, one new

Two Volkswagen electric vehicles hang out side-by-side in Florida.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

With the pandemic becoming less of an issue as people get vaccinated and head out into the world, beloved automotive events are starting to come back online. One, the Amelia Island Concours D'Elegance, is taking place right now, and features some of the rarest, coolest, and most expensive vehicles in the country.

This year's event will be preceded by a parade of electric vehicles called Taking Charge, which will feature several electrified models. Volkswagen brought two EVs to the event this year, but there's a surprising twist with one of them. The ID.4 electric crossover will take part in the parade, and the other is a rare electrified bus form over 40 years ago.

1978 VW Elektrotransporter Early EVs had almost no power or range.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen's brand-new ID.4 electric crossover will participate in the parade. By now, most of you have probably heard about the vehicle, VW's first fully electric crossover. It recently took home 2021 World Car of the Year honors, and is on sale now. The ID.4 is cool, but it's the vintage EV that really caught our eye. The 1978 Elekrotransporter is based on a Volkswagen Type 2, and was originally used by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). VW says that it produced a handful of electrified bus and Golf models in the 1960s and 70s to test the feasibility of EV powertrains and charging. The Electric Power Research Institute snapped up ten buses to test with the TVA at the time.

1978 VW Elektrotransporter The EV was powered by 24 lead-acid batteries.Volkswagen

The electrified bus carries 24 lead-acid batteries held in a 1,225-pound pack under its floor. The electric motor is bolted directly to the existing gearbox, which is permanently locked in second gear and sends power to the rear wheels. The early electric powertrain only generated 23 horsepower, which gave the bus a top speed of just 48 mph. It did feature an early version of regenerative braking, a feature that is onboard nearly every EV made today.

1978 VW Elektrotransporter The bus used a combo of electric and existing drivetrain components.Volkswagen

It's easy to draw a line from the old Elektrotransporter to today's VW electric vehicles. The ID.BUZZ concept is the old EV's direct descendent, and will enter production in the EU in 2022. Unlike its grandfather, the ID.BUZZ will produce a combined system output of 225 kW, which equates to around 300 horsepower.

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The iX M60 will hit dealers' lots in June 2022.

BMW

BMW's electric vehicle catalog is growing rapidly as the automaker rolls out new electrified cars and SUVs. The latest is the iX M60, a red-hot five-seat SUV with sleek styling and a spectacular list of standard features. BMW announced the new SUV this week, along with pricing and release date details.

The iX M60 is BMW's first performance-oriented electric SUV, though BMW calls it a sports activity vehicle, or SAV. Its powertrain has been massaged to produce up to 610 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque. Maximum power delivery is limited to times when the vehicle's launch control is activated, but even the "normal" numbers are impressive: In regular driving situations, the iX puts down 532 horsepower and 749 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration to 60 mph takes 3.6 seconds and the iX M60 can go on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.

2023 BMW iX M60 Though extremely sporty, BMW doesn't shy away from using loads of luxurious finishes and materials. BMW

The iX brings more than performance, as its charging capabilities are quite strong. Using AC power, the vehicle can charge from 0-100 percent in 10.25 hours on its fastest setting. Using its fastest DC power setting, the iX can charge from 10 to 80% in just 35 minutes.

Two electric motors power the SUV, which provide standard all-wheel drive. Dual-axle air suspension is standard, along with electronically-controlled shock absorbers. BMW says that the air suspension is controlled individually at each wheel, so the vehicle can adjust ride height in several ways to maintain stability and remain level in corners.

2023 BMW iX M60 The vehicle can run from 0-60 mph in under four seconds and features standard AWD.BMW

When it goes on sale in June, 2022, the 2023 BMW iX M60 will have a starting price of $106,095, which includes a $995 destination charge. That's a flagship price tag, but the SUV's got the performance and a flagship-level list of standard features. That six-figure dollar amount buys 21-inch wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, wireless phone charging, AC fast charging, a panoramic sunroof, LED headlights, a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System, four-zone automatic climate controls, and more.

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The F-150 Lightning is Ford's first all-electric pickup truck.

Ford Motor Company

Ford had a stellar 2021, with new vehicle rollouts and a strong commitment to electrification in the near future. Its newest vehicle is nearly ready for primetime, and today, The Blue Oval announced an expansion of initial production to meet demand. The F-150 Lightning will go on sale soon, and Ford says it is doubling production to 150,000 units in an attempt to meet the extreme interest in the truck.

Ford F-150 Lightning Ford doubled its production plans in response to heavy demand.Ford Motor Company

Demand for the F-150 Lightning is steep, with almost 200,000 reservations on the books. Ford says it will handle deliveries on a wave-by-wave basis, as reservation holders will receive an email in the coming months with details on converting their reservation into an order for a 2022 model year truck. Those that aren’t lucky enough to slide into the 150,000-unit production run for the first year will have the opportunity to order a 2023 truck when the time comes.

After a year that saw extreme wait times on the Bronco SUV and Mustang Mach-E EV, Ford is anxious to get the F-150 Lightning launched smoothly. To do that, it split off a small team of employees from various functional areas to act as a task force to adapt and expand production. People from manufacturing, strategy, product development, capacity, planning, and purchasing are coming together to help get the electric truck out the door without delay.

Ford F-150 Lightning Several versions of the truck will be available, starting at just under $53,000.Ford Motor Company

Ford opened the online build and configuration tool for the F-150 today. The base Pro model starts at $39,974 and is a far more basic and stripped-down truck than most mainstream buyers can stomach. The next cheapest model – and the one most people will gravitate toward to start – is the XLT, which starts at $52,974. The Lariat trim starts at $67,474 and the top Platinum trim starts at $90,874. As is the case with Ford’s gas pickups, buyers have several options and packages to choose from, which can bump the price of any trim by a considerable amount.

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