As hot as it is outside, technology is what’s really heating up the car industry. Not since the early 1900s have car buyer options and possibilities in transportation seemed so promising and diverse. From autonomy to fuel economy, manufacturers and researchers are working hand in hand, along every auto avenue imaginable, to make consumer cars more able to go further, reasonably affordable, and greener. To that end, it’s visions and innovations in EVs that are having the most impact on consumer car development.

Nissan LEAF, the world’s first affordable EV, has always been strongly influenced by the mass market (credit

“The idea that electric cars are normal cars, which is a big revolution from 10 years ago, has taken place,” said Carlos Ghosn, head of Renault-Nissan Alliance.

Here’s our top three manufacturers’ cars and concepts we see as best fulfilling those objectives and why we think they have value in what we at Montway Auto Transport anticipate to be the golden age of auto ownership.

Going the Distance

One of the mass market roadblocks to EVs is so common it’s been named, “range anxiety.” Most car owners don’t want to buy a car that they won’t be able to drive more than a few hours away from home. Of course, the higher cost of EVs is an issue, but both the time it takes to charge and access to units on the road is accepted as a limit to consumer appeal.

So it makes sense that range is what’s driving Nissan right now. Their new Leaf Acenta+ Grade can be recharged in just four hours and comes with an impressive safety package of function-specific autonomous tech. But the company knows even the Grade’s above-average range of 124 miles is still seen as a limit to its appeal.

Nissan’s promise that positions them at the top of our range rating is ambitious. Ghosn, head of Renault-Nissan Alliance, said he expects to be able to triple or quadruple EV range in five to ten years–and Nissan is dedicating a lot of research toward developing that technology.

Affordable and Adorable

Volkswagen is currently working toward a “quantum leap” in battery technology, according to an interview in Bild, with VW Chairman of the Board of Directors Martin Winterkorn.The company is working on a battery with a range of 186 miles. The key to VW’s concept, however, is making the battery cheaper, and therefore more affordable and appealing to a larger range of car buyers.

These new concepts sure aren't your parents' VWs!
These new concepts sure aren’t your parents’ VWs!

VW’s electric outlook is focused on accessibility. The company has revealed its also working on an electric three-wheeled electric scooter, smaller than a Segway, that folds up to fit inside the trunk of a car. This is VW’s suggestion for how consumers can get the most out of their car. Aptly named “Last Mile,” the scooter is designed to supplement car travel, taking you the last mile to your destination.

Green Machine

Subaru gets our green award for several reasons. Subaru’s hybrids are Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle and built in plants where all waste is recycled or turned into electricity. In 2004, Subaru became the first manufacturer in U.S. automotive history to achieve zero-landfill status. All production waste is either recycled or turned into electricity.

Subaru became the first US auto maker in history to achieve zero-landfill status (credit

The XV Crosstrek Hybrid is one of the greener (and more affordable) cars available today. The hybrid eclectic all-wheel-drive powertrain gets 31 combined mpg. Subaru has taken greening even further with their second hybrid, the Impreza Sport, which gets 48 mpg, that just hit the market in Japan.

Lastly, Subaru has announced that by 2016, all their gasoline engines will be converted to a new generation of direct injection engine technology, which burns fuel more evenly and thoroughly.

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Future for You

It’s clear manufactures’ focus in car development today is on the consumers. Thanks to our interests and conscious, expect to see more affordable, greener, and more far-reaching futuristic models a lot sooner than we expect. Will these strategies work, making them more irresistible, and getting them in more driveways, too?

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