If you watched this year’s Super Bowl, you may have noticed a number of different commercials for electric vehicles. Given the cost of each 30-second spot, it’s clear that companies are committed to making electric vehicles mainstream sooner rather than later. We’ll let others comment on the quality of the ad itself (feel free to do so in the comments), focusing instead on what we know about the electric vehicles introduced or teased during this year’s Super Bowl.
The electric vehicles in Super Bowl ads
Four different electric vehicles featured heavily in Super Bowl ads this year: the Audi e-tron, the Porsche Taycan, the Hummer electric truck and the Mustang Mach-E. Here’s a quick comparison of what we know about these cars so far:
|Make||Model||Range (mi)||Battery size (kWh)||Time to charge, standard outlet (hours)||Available?||Annual electricity usage (kWh)|
|Porsche||Taycan 4S||250||79.2||9.5||Later 2020||4,300|
|Ford||Mustang Mach-E||240||75.7||10.9||Later 2020||4,300|
Audi is making their foray into electric vehicles by introducing the e-tron series, which was first launched during the spring of 2019. The two vehicles in the product line are the already-available SUV and the recently announced Sportback, which was featured in the company’s Super Bowl ad. Not much is known about the Sportback as of yet, but the specs of the e-tron SUV, and the price point of both cars, provides a sense for what to expect.
Both cars are priced at above $70K, well in the luxury vehicle price range, making them direct competitors with products like the Tesla Model S. The SUV’s range of just over 200 miles isn’t groundbreaking (at least four electric cars currently available have a larger range); however, the e-tron is designed with the every-day commuter in mind as a 10-minute charge on a high-voltage charger can increase your range by 50 miles, enough to cover the vast majority of trips commuters take daily.
You know what you’re going to get when you buy a Porsche (author’s note: or so I’m told – I’ve never driven one): a high-performance driving machine. Reviews of the new Taycan series, the automaker’s first foray into the electric vehicle market, indicate that the various models of the Taycan are made in the mold of the company’s other cars.
Internationally, there are three models of the car – the Taycan 4S, the Taycan Turbo, and the Taycan Turbo S – which increase in performance (and cost) as you move through the offerings. The price point may be high (>$100K at base), but the cars are blisteringly fast, with all of them able to accelerate 0-60 in under four seconds.
The model teased in the Super Bowl commercial–the 4S–is not available in the US yet, and the spec sheet is missing some crucial details. For instance, though the international models have range estimates (388-412 kilometers, or ~250 miles), the car does not yet have an EPA range estimate, one of the most important factors for comparing electric vehicles.
GMC Hummer Electric Truck
Tesla may have been first to introduce the Cyber Truck, but the rest of the industry has taken notice. In fact, GMC, the automaker responsible for Hummer, used their Super Bowl spot to introduce an all-electric reboot of the vehicle line.
The reveal is…light on details. The ad appeals to the demographic traditionally associated with a purchase of a Hummer or a truck by focusing on the horsepower, torque and acceleration of the car. However, neither the ad nor GMC’s website provide any additional information about the specs of the car, from how long the range will be, to the size of the battery, to how long it will take to charge, or even, really, what it will look like.
According to the ad, the full product release will come in May 2020, while the first model available to car buyers will be a 2022 version, meaning you’ll have to wait until 2021 if you’re interested in purchasing the Hummer Electric Truck.
Ford is taking a new approach to the traditional Mustang look and feel with the new Mach-E: it’s turning the classic muscle car into a two-row SUV. The company first displayed the new vehicle in early January 2020, before introducing it to the wider public with the Super Bowl spot, and the car is expected to be available in stores later this year.
Early reports for the specs of the car indicate that the Mach-E will be available in two different battery sizes: a 76 kilowatt-hour and a 99 kWh battery, providing either 240 miles or 300 miles of range, respectively. In each case, the battery packs in the car are manufactured by LG Chem, a leading energy storage manufacturer globally.
The different trim options for the car come at varying costs and levels of performance, but based upon the initial price points on Ford’s website (~$50K) and the stated acceleration (as fast or faster than you’d expect for a Mustang), the Mach-E promises to provide great bang for your buck from a performance perspective.
The best way to charge an electric vehicle
Electric vehicles can increase your annual electricity usage significantly: if you drive the same number of miles per year as the average American, an electric vehicle could increase your electricity consumption by between 3,000 and 6,000 kilowatt-hours per year. Instead of trading the gas pump for paying your electric utility, the best way to charge your electric vehicle is to connect it to a solar panel system. Once you pay for the installation of solar, your solar panels will keep providing electricity at no cost for 25 years or more. Thinking of purchasing an EV? Register for a free account on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace today to learn how you can charge your new car with carbon-free, locally produced solar electricity.