In 1995, a scandal grew around the manipulation of car engines to distort emissions measurement tests – the so-called ‘dieselgate’.
Besides costly effects and discrediting of automakers, the scandal boosted discussions about transport emissions, pollution, and diesel driving bans.
The scandal helped advance the development of electric cars.
The number of electric vehicles on Australian roads has almost doubled over the past year, growing from 44,000 at the beginning of 2022 to more than 83,000, according to research based on sales data in the Electric Vehicle Council’s yearly recap.
That figure is expected to top 100,000 this year.
Of the 83,000 now in circulation, 79% are battery electric vehicles while 21% are plug-in hybrids.
The fact is automakers are withdrawing R&D investments in combustion engines to focus on electric engines. Daimler, Volvo, Jaguar, and Volkswagen are some of the traditional European automakers that have announced corporate policies in this direction.
Backed by $50 billion of R&D, Ford has released an electric Mustang. At least five electric Fords will be available in Australia next year.
Rolls Royce has released the electric Spectre, perhaps with a nod to James Bond.
To this list we can happily add the Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury spin-off brand and the South Korean’s first fully electric model.
The word comes from the Greek language and signifies the beginning of something … something big in the case of the electrified Genesis GV 70.
Its next-generation platform means hearty 800V electric underpinnings for fast charging, rear- and all-wheel-drive powertrain options, and a healthy driving range.
Unlike the ‘regular’ petrol-powered Genesis GV70 range that begins at $68,500 (before on-roads) and tops out at $84,600, the Genesis Electrified GV70 is a single variant. It comes in at $127,800 – a hefty $43,200 price leap from the flagship GV70 petrol variant (3.5T AWD Sport) to the fully electric GV70. It’s more expensive than established prestige electric SUVs such as the $104,900 BMW iX3.
The GV 70 delivers a max output from a set of dual electric motors of 360 kW and 700 Nm. This power is reserved for ‘boost mode’, which is activated for 10 seconds at a time via the large ‘boost’ button on the steering wheel.
That catapults the GV70 to 100km/h in just 4.2 seconds. Wooosh…we tried it in a thrilling burst along a country road, Power is dialled back for Eco, Comfort and Sport, but aside from Eco mode, you won’t need more power than what’s offered outside of Boost mode.
The warranty is five years/unlimited km eight years for high voltage parts. Service intervals are every 12 months or 20,000 km, whichever comes first.
Servicing is complimentary for five years, and if you are within 70 km of a Genesis shop, the car will be picked up and a service loan car will be provided until your car is ready to be returned. In addition, there’s10 years’ roadside assist and map updates, which is important as charging station locations are stored here.
Aside from the usual sound deadening and silent cabin, Genesis has added active sound cancellation, playing opposite frequencies to the outside world to enhance cabin quietness.
For those who like the sound of a Genesis gives us a selection of generated sounds to mimic the sound of a futuristic electric motor.
Not to be out done by their smaller counterparts, forestry trucks are also championing electrification. The Mount Gambier-based Fennell Forestry took the covers off Australia’s first electric logging truck, a Kenworth and it has a 400-500 km range. It features a 540 kW motor from electric conversion specialist Janus Electric.
Scania AB has a fleet of first-generation electric logging trucks operating in New Zealand and Europe. In what they are calling a ‘world first’, the Swedish company delivered its all-electric timber truck to SCA, Europe’s largest private forest owner. It has a massive capacity of 80 tonnes and represents Sweden’s next step in becoming an entirely fossil fuel-free society.