All-electric (EV) cars are challenging to fully grasp, understand their economy, and utilize the all-electric mojo for your personal driving demands. There are still major challenges in using and finding reliable and convenient charging stations. I have encountered challenges on several occasions, leading to lengthy charging delays.
For a driver who commutes from home, charging options are relatively easy. There are three levels: fast, medium, and very slow, depending upon your charging equipment.
Prior, up until now, most of the test vehicles have been gasoline engines, or crossover hybrids; charging has not been a challenge. Now, in reviewing the many EVs coming forth, the first criteria are the powertrain, gasoline, crossover hybrid, or all-electric. What is the mileage for a full-charged battery system? The other two modes are simple, battery power can be challenging, and estimated mileage can vary with the temperature, level of terrain, such as mountains or plains, city, or freeway, all these factors can influence factory mileage estimates. Also, night driving, temperatures, air conditioning, any source of electric power usage can diminish the vehicle mileage. And the dread of all-electric car operators is what happens if the juice runs out during the drive?
This brings me to this weekly test model car review, Toyota’s latest all-electric EV, the bZ4X Limited AWD. These new EVs are challenging for drivers who have tested gasoline and hybrids vehicles; learning the ins and outs of all-electric models takes some research and experience in each model. As explained, what is the power source range and how many estimated miles on there on a full charge? Cool weather and mountain roads destroy the averages.
The brand new all-electric bZ4X is a brand-new model engineered by Toyota, a highly revered and respected world leader in technology and dependable vehicles.
The new bZ models come with front wheel drive, or all-wheel drive. The price and horsepower vary, and the price is around $51,000, depending upon model selection. All models have excellent power train warranties of usually 10 years and 100,000 miles.
Enclosed in the vehicle trunk is the charging cable that can easily plug into a 120w garage outlet, such as mine. The trouble is this is the “slow” charge station and the bZ takes a 40-hour charge for 228 miles on my plug-in Fast charge stations can boost that time to under an hour with commercial equipment or home garage upgrades, others maybe four-hours This brings up the point if you only commute 50 miles a day, one can easily charge the vehicle every night and never see a gasoline station. However, should you take a mountain drive to Vail from Denver you can’t get back home without finding an available charge station that may, or may not, adapt to your EV vehicle.
Regarding the bZ4X as a total package, it is a wonderful drive, powerful, can reach 60 mph in 6 seconds, handles excellent, has heated seats and steering wheel, a 12.3-inch screen with all the apps, the 360-degree surround camera, and all the latest safety equipment. You can tune the radio by voice command or steering wheel aps, but no dials for volume or channel changes.
The bottom line on this new auto technology is the commuter driven vehicle is a very “smart car” that can do everything but drive itself, that is probably coming soon.
The car is great, but the power supply source can be stress-inducing, at least for longer mileage trips.
If you’re driving needs match the power limits, this can be an exciting drive into the future of automobile technology.