I honestly do not understand the resistance, sometimes passionate, to the electric vehicle revolution. For the last few months, I toured the USA in an old, under-powered V8 Range Rover and the dismal 10 mpg mileage combined with near-record gas prices ate up most of my travel budget. It would have been cheaper to rent a car and stay in hotels every night. One of my greatest expenses in a decade-long drive around the world has been fuel—money we could have spent on experiences and rib eye. I can’t wait for affordable, reliable, long-range-capable electric overland vehicles.
I understand some of the arguments against electric vehicles and the notion that the construction of an EV (Electrical Vehicle) is perhaps more damaging to the environment than a conventional gas-powered vehicle. Still, the upsides of long-term, single-vehicle ownership are significant. The idea of a vehicle that is affordable to run and maintain is appealing. Yes, the current mile range of EVs is not excellent (or even practical for overland travel), but with time and technology, the range will increase. Autopilot (a parallel technology) appeals to me, particularly the idea of letting the vehicle deal with long-distance motorway driving while I get to drive the fun off-road stuff. East Coasters could set off after work and sleep most of the way to Moab, eventually. EVs are also generally powerful and very fast. When battery technology offers a 500-mile loaded range, and I have to choose between the old Range Rover and a new electric truck for overland travel, I am taking the new EV (or will ultimately convert the old Rangy from gas guzzler to electric).
At the recent SEMA show held in Las Vegas, there were two electric vehicles that stood out. One is produced by an established manufacturer, and the other is a classic, restored and converted to electric. Both fill a niche, and both offer opportunities.
Gateway Bronco Luxe-GT, Electrified
Starting at $350,000, this vehicle is not an option for those who actually worry about the cost of fuel. At that price, it is not a practical overland vehicle, but it is not supposed to be. This Bronco is about showcasing what is possible when new technology meets old glory and excellent American workmanship. Gateway Bronco has teamed up with Legacy EV to create a vehicle which combines the best of the past with the possibilities of future technology, and the result is inspiring.
The Luxe-GT Bronco boasts a near 300-mile range, high performance, a genuine Porsche leather interior, a top-end sound system, a seven-year bumper-to-bumper warranty, and a 24/7 next-day field service concierge.
This vehicle offers a glimpse into what could be. Undoubtedly, many owners of classic vehicles will be tempted to reinvent the vehicles they love to a level of performance before considered near impossible.
The HUMMER EV
What can we say that has not already been said? The HUMMER EV is a step toward the mass production of electric recreational vehicles and boasts impressive statistics and enticing features. With a starting price close to $110,000, the HUMMER EV is not cheap, but you are promised a lot of bang for your buck.
The HUMMER on display at SEMA bore only a passing resemblance to the HUMMER H1, but beneath the skin is an all-new machine built for the future.
The standard features include a driver-selectable experience that allows full acceleration, including an estimated 0-60 mph performance, in approximately three seconds. Drive Mode Control offers driver-selectable modes that tailor performance, including torque splits between the front and rear wheels, and four-wheel steering settings for different driving conditions. Terrain Mode raises the HUMMER EV’s ride height by nearly 2 inches. The roof can be removed, the suspension is smart, the interior is made with premium materials, the dashboard is impressive and complemented by a TV screen, and the tailgate has six positions.
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