ELECTRIFICATION of the automobile is under way and
Carsguide has driven the current heroes and hopefuls. The Nissan Leaf tops the lot and is coming to Australia next year. The hydrogen-powered Honda Clarity is a game changer and the range-extendedGMVolt is also impressive.
What makes the Leaf so good is that it drives like a real car, not a science experiment. It has a workable Corolla-sized cabin, rides and handles well and is quite spritely in traffic. Now we have to wait for the showroom price and the essential detail on charging a battery car. The Clarity is still only in limited trials but it’s a workable fuel cell car intended to show that hydrogen can be a genuine energy source for transport.
Fuel cells were originally developed during NASA’s lunar program to generate electricity and, although still costly, they are coming.
The Volt will be a Holden and takes a fresh approach to motoring. Its petrol engine helps charge its batteries. Genuinely electric, it is good to drive but is likely to be expensive and with a cramped cabin.
This is the Carsguide pecking order for the current heroes and hopefuls: