Electric & Hybrid CUVs: Charging Forward

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Chevrolet Bolt EUV. PHOTO General Motors

A variety of options for fleets that want utility and ultra-low emissions.

Electrification has become important for automakers, allowing them to improve fuel consumption, meet emissions standards, and in some cases increase vehicle performance. That’s a plus for fleets, and with electric vehicles (EV) there is far less maintenance, resulting in less down time.

Many electrified drivetrains are going into small SUVs and crossovers (CUVs). While automakers are primarily aiming them at consumers, they can be a good light-duty fit for fleets, offering that fuel-saving powertrain along with a comfortable interior and cargo space. Maximum cargo space in our specs is with the rear seats up or folded down.

Chevrolet Bolt EUV

The electric Bolt EUV (Electric Utility Vehicle) is an all-new model for 2022. It’s based on the Bolt hatchback but slightly longer, with all of that extra length dedicated to more rear-seat legroom. It’s a bit pricier than the Bolt EV but offers more features.

At its upper trim level, the Bolt EUV includes features such as adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, digital camera mirror, and leather upholstery. It can be optioned with Super Cruise, which offers hands-free driving assist on some 320,000 km of pre-mapped roads in Canada and the U.S.

The Specs

  • 200 hp/266 lb-ft torque
  • Battery: 65 kWh
  • Range: 397 km
  • Consumption: 1.9/2.3/2.1 L/100 km city/highway/combined
  • Maximum cargo capacity: 462 – 1,611 litres

Ford Escape Hybrid / PHEV

In addition to a conventional gas model, the Escape is also available as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV). Both come with front-wheel drive, but the hybrid can be optioned with all-wheel drive.

Both use the same engine and hybrid system, but when the PHEV is plugged in, it can drive up to 60 km on electricity alone. When that depletes, the system reverts to conventional hybrid operation. Both come in three trim levels, with available features including voice-activated navigation, heated seats and steering wheel, hands-free liftgate, and rain-sensing wipers.

The Specs

  • 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine
  • 200 hybrid net hp/155 lb-ft torque
  • PHEV battery: 14.4 kWh
  • PHEV range: 60 km
  • Hybrid consumption: 5.4/6.3/5.8 L/100 km city/highway/combined
  • PHEV consumption: 5.5/6.2/5.8 L/100 km city/highway/combined
  • Maximum cargo capacity: 974 – 1,861 litres
Ford Escape PHEV. PHOTO Ford Motor Company

Hyundai Ioniq 5

A new model for 2022, the electric Ioniq 5 is available with a standard or long-range battery. Both are rear-wheel drive, while the long-range can be optioned with all-wheel drive. The long-range Ioniq 5 can tow up to 1,650 lbs.

With the onboard ultra-fast charger and appropriate DC charger, the battery can be replenished up to 80% in 18 minutes, and up to 100 km of range in five minutes. The vehicle’s exterior 120-volt outlet can be used to power devices to a maximum of 1.9 kW peak power.

The Specs

  • 168 hp/258 lb-ft torque (Standard); 225 hp/258 torque (Long); 320 hp/446 lb-ft torque (AWD)
  • Battery: 58.0 kWh (Standard); 77.4 kWh (Long)
  • Range: 354 km (Standard); 488 km (Long); 414 km (AWD)
  • Consumption Standard: 1.9/2.5/2.1 L/100 km city/highway/combined
  • Consumption Long: 1.8/2.4/2.1 L/100 km city/highway/combined
  • Maximum cargo capacity: 770 – 1,680 litres
Hyundai Ioniq 5. PHOTO Hyundai Motor America

Kia Niro Hybrid/PHEV/EV

Kia’s compact Niro comes with three levels of electrification as a hybrid, PHEV, and electric vehicle. The PHEV gets up to 42 kilometres on a charge, then reverts to conventional hybrid operation when that depletes.

All come in three trim levels, with the hybrid starting at a lower, less-expensive level, and the PHEV and EV starting above that. Available features include heated and cooled seats, navigation, premium stereo, and auto-dimming mirror.

The Specs

  • 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine (Hybrid, PHEV)
  • 139 hp/195 lb-ft torque (Hybrid, PHEV); 201 hp/291 torque (EV)
  • PHEV battery: 8.9 kWh
  • EV battery: 64 kWh
  • Range: 42 km (PHEV); 385 km (EV)
  • Consumption Hybrid: 4.4/4.9/4.6 L/100 km city/highway/combined
  • Consumption PHEV: 4.9/5.3/5.1 L/100 km city/highway/combined
  • Consumption EV: 1.9/2.3/2.1 L/100 km city/highway/combined
  • Maximum cargo capacity: 524 – 1,543 litres
Kia Niro. PHOTO Kia Motors

Mazda MX-30

The MX-30 is Mazda’s first all-electric car, but at the moment is only available in Quebec and British Columbia. It has a short range compared to others in the segment, but its smaller battery charges in just five hours. It features unusual rear-hinged back doors, and its interior is finished with sustainable materials, including cork and recycled-plastic fabric upholstery.

The Specs

  • 80.9-kW motor (143 hp/200 lb-ft torque)
  • Battery: 35.5 kWh
  • Range: 161 km
  • Consumption: 2.4/2.8/2.6 L/100 km city/highway/combined
  • Maximum cargo capacity: 405 – 1,053 litres
Mazda MX-30. PHOTO Mazda Motor of America

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV offers a wider range of choices than many plug-in hybrid competitors. It comes in four trim levels, and unusually for a PHEV, can be fast-charged from a DC charger, which reduces its charging time from an estimated four hours on a 240-volt charger, to 25 minutes to 80% on a DC charger.

All trims include twin electric motors that provide all-wheel drive, with a drive mode selector that includes snow, sport, or lock modes. Available features include a heated steering wheel, power liftgate, quilted leather seats, adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, and a multi-view camera system.

The Specs

  • 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine
  • 125 horsepower/147 torque
  • Front electric motor: 80 hp/101 torque
  • Rear electric motor: 94 hp/144 torque
  • PHEV battery: 13.8 kWh
  • PHEV range: 39 km
  • Hybrid operation consumption: 9.2/9.0/9.1 L/100 km city/highway/combined
  • PHEV consumption: 3.2 L/100 km
  • Maximum cargo capacity: 861 – 1,886 litres
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. PHOTO Mitsubishi

Toyota Venza

Toyota has resurrected the Venza name on a new model that comes only as a hybrid. It’s built on the RAV4 Hybrid platform and shares its driveline, but the body is longer and lower. While the RAV4 is also available as a PHEV, the Venza so far is not.

The Venza comes in three trim levels. All are all-wheel drive, with a second electric motor driving the rear wheels. Available features include navigation, head-up display, panoramic sunroof, and 360-degree camera.

The Specs

  • 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine
  • 176 hp/219 lb-ft combined hybrid net hp/163 torque
  • Consumption: 5.9/6.4/6.1 L/100 km city/highway/combined
  • Maximum cargo capacity: 812 – 1,554 litres
Toyota Venza. PHOTO Toyota

Volkswagen ID.4

Volkswagen’s all-electric ID.4 is available in Quebec, British Columbia, and Ontario, but wider availability is planned as vehicle production ramps up. It comes in one trim level, in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Standard features include wireless charging, rain-sensing wipers, heated seats and steering wheel, and auto-dimming mirror. Available features include massaging seats, variable-height cargo floor, and panoramic sunroof.

The Specs

  • 201 hp/229 torque (RWD); 295 hp/339 lb-ft torque (AWD)
  • Battery: 82 kWh
  • Range: 400 km (RWD); 386 km (AWD)
  • Consumption RWD: 2.3/2.6/2.4 L/100 km city/highway/combined
  • Consumption AWD: 2.4/2.7/2.5 L/100 km city/highway/combined
  • Maximum cargo capacity: 858 – 1,818 litres
Volkswagen ID.4. PHOTO Volkswagen

Volvo XC40 Recharge

Volvo’s all-electric XC40 Recharge uses twin electric motors to provide all-wheel drive. It comes in three trims and the top level includes a heat pump, which improves heating and cooling efficiency to provide better range. The XC40 can tow up to 1,985 lbs.

In addition to its rear cargo compartment, the XC40 has a small “frunk,” a front trunk. Available features include a hand’s-free liftgate, panoramic sunroof, and adaptive cruise control.

  • 300-kW motor (402 hp/487 lb-ft torque)
  • Battery: 78 kWh
  • Range: 359 km
  • Consumption: 2.6/3.0/2.8 L/100 km city/highway/combined
  • Maximum cargo capacity: 578 – 1,328 litres
Volvo XC40 Recharge. PHOTO Volvo Cars



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