The 2023 Fisker Ocean Is an Affordable and Luxurious Electric Crossover That You Can Buy… or Rent

The 2023 Fisker Ocean Is an Affordable and Luxurious Electric Crossover That You Can Buy… or Rent

At a time when the average transaction price for a new car is approaching $50,000, a sub-$40,000 electric crossover sounds too good to be true. The Fisker Ocean introduces rare value in the crowding EV segment, however it represents something more for its creator.

Rarely does a designer have creative freedom over an entire vehicle’s development. The all-new Fisker Ocean shows what’s possible when art, luxury and sustainability are front and center from start to finish. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest sporty crossover to pull up to the electric vehicle party: the 2023 Fisker Ocean.

Fisker: A Bit of History

Car enthusiasts will remember Hurricane Sandy for the thousands of vehicles that were flooded in saltwater at East Coast ports. A large batch of those flooded cars were Fisker’s first deliveries of the 2012 Fisker Karma hybrid sports car. Famed vehicle designer Henrik Fisker co-founded Fisker Automotive in 2007 with Bernhard Koehler and Quantum Technologies, and things were not going well when 338 brand-new cars sat smoldering in six feet of ocean water. 

Completely losing your first batch of production vehicles is just about the worst thing that could happen for any young auto brand. Fisker had overcome a lawsuit from Tesla, the failure of its battery supplier, and laying off most employees. Bankruptcy soon followed, and vehicle development screeched to a halt. Fisker burned through $1.3 billion in its short history before failing altogether.

However, that was certainly not the end for the Fisker brand and vision. In 2014, Fisker Automotive’s Karma vehicle design, tooling and a manufacturing facility in Delaware were purchased by Wanxiang Group, a Chinese auto conglomerate. They continue to produce the Karma sports car today.

New Life For Fisker 

A few years later, Henrik Fisker rebranded his sustainable transport projects into Fisker Inc. A lot had changed over the 2010s. Tesla succeeded against all odds, crossovers were replacing sedans everywhere, and electric vehicles were entering the mainstream. Most importantly for Fisker, electric vehicle battery technologies were maturing.

In 2020, Fisker opened up reservations for a new electric crossover dubbed the Ocean. It’s not clear if the name choice is a healthy dose of irony or a real coincidence considering what brought the brand to its knees in 2012. This time around, Fisker seems to truly have the wind in its sails. Fisker is officially partnering with Magna to mass produce the Ocean electric crossover starting in late 2022. 

The 2021 LA Auto Show brought a real emphasis on electric vehicles. From legacy automakers to EV startups, the world was excited to show off the future. Among the many EV headlines at the LA Auto Show was the unveiling of the production-ready Fisker Ocean electric crossover. Here’s why the Fisker ocean is seriously a car to look forward to in 2022.

Sustainable Design, Affordable Price

Just look at those curves, that front fascia, and the limited glimpses we have of the interior. The Fisker Ocean is one gorgeous crossover. It’s muscular yet composed, and there’s nothing out there like it. The Ocean is slightly larger than the popular and more expensive Tesla Model Y when it comes to height, width and length.

Fisker says that the interior is surprisingly spacious due to the compact electric motors and skateboard battery design underneath the floor. Much of the interior is made of recycled materials, of course with a luxury flare. 

The Fisker Ocean will enter the U.S. market at a starting MSRP of $37,499 (excluding incentives). In some states, tax credits and state rebates will bring the effective cost of an entry-level Ocean below $30,000. Tired of one-size-fits-all trim options? Fisker offers compelling option packages to customers across the Ocean’s entire price range.

2023 Fisker Ocean dimensions
2023 Fisker Ocean dimensions

Fisker Ocean Sport Price

Starting MSRP: $37,499

2023 Fisker Ocean Sport pricing

The entry-level Ocean still comes well-equipped with a 17-inch central touchscreen, premium sound and a BigSky roof. The Ocean Sport is powered by a single front-wheel drive motor that’s more than enough power for most. The Fisker Ocean Sport starts at an MSRP of $37,499.

Standard features on the base Fisker Ocean Sport

Fisker Ocean Ultra Price

Starting MSRP: $49,999

Fisker California Mode pricing
Fisker California Mode

The Ocean Ultra will be the option that most buyers will go for. Stepping up to the Ultra gets you dual motor all-wheel drive, three drive modes for diverse driving conditions, and 360-degree cameras. 

There’s a LOT more. The Ultra also tacks on Fisker’s more expansive OpenSky glass roof, unique interior trim options, and phone-as-a-key. 

The Fisker Ultra is also where the brand’s famous California Mode becomes accessible to buyers. Fisker California Mode lowers all windows, including the rear window, effectively turning the cabin of the Ocean into open-air space perfect for breezes and sunshine. 

2023 Fisker Ocean pricing
Fisker Ocean Ultra trim features

The Fisker Ocean Ultra starts at $49,999, a noticeably lower base MSRP than you’ll find in most similarly equipped competitors.

Fisker Ocean Extreme Price

Starting MSRP: $68,999

Fisker Ocean Extreme and One options
Fisker Ocean Extreme and One options

Want a solar roof on top of your car that can harness the sun for up to 2,000 miles of range every year? You can have that and more with the Fisker Ocean Extreme. The Ocean Extreme comes packed with an abundance of high-end luxury amenities at a more premium price point.

On top of what the Ocean Ultra offers, the Extreme gets Park My Car, and advanced driver assist systems like lane change assist. The 17” screen found in all Ocean trims turns into a revolving screen that can flip horizontal or vertical. 

2023 Fisker Ocean Extreme
The Fisker Ocean Extreme is fully loaded

The Ocean Extreme also gets Fisker Limo Mode, which allows rear-seat passengers the ability to control audio volume, heating and cooling. The Fisker Ocean Extreme starts at $68,999, but you get a whole lot of quirks and features.

Fisker Ocean One Price

Starting MSRP: $68,999 (sold out)

Fisker Ocean One
Fisker Ocean One

The launch-edition Fisker Ocean One will be the first-ever vehicle launched by Fisker Inc. Unfortunately for today’s buyers, the Ocean One is limited to the first 5,000 units produced. All are spoken for, so the Ocean Extreme is your next best bet. This luxury edition comes fully loaded with all available premium features.

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Fisker Ocean Specs and Performance

The Fisker Ocean Sport will have an expected 0-60 mph time of 6.9 seconds with peak horsepower of 275 hp. The Fisker Ocean Ultra drops the 0-60 time to just 3.9 seconds with a peak of 540 HP. That’s a full second quicker than the dual motor, long range Tesla Model Y. The Fisker Ocean Extreme and Fisker Ocean One will have an estimated 0-60 mph time of 3.6 seconds, with 550 HP.

The Fisker Ocean Sport will have Earth and Fun drive modes, while the Fisker Ocean Ultra and Fisker Ocean Extreme will add Hyper mode. The Fisker Ocean Extreme and the Fisker Ocean One will also have an Off-Road mode. The Fisker Ocean Ultra, Fisker Ocean Extreme, and Fisker Ocean One trims will have a Smart Traction torque-vectoring system to enhance performance and safety.

Fisker Intelligent Pilot driver assistance features
Fisker Intelligent Pilot driver assistance features

Fisker Ocean Range and Battery Size

Fisker estimates that the EPA range of the front-wheel-drive, single-motor Fisker Ocean Sport will be 250 miles on a single charge. The Ocean Sport gets a lithium-ion phosphate (LFP) battery cell chemistry supplied by respected battery supplier CATL. EPA ranges for the all-wheel-drive, dual-motor Fisker Ocean Ultra and Fisker Ocean Extreme are estimated at 340 miles and 350-plus miles, respectively.

The Ocean Ultra, Ocean Extreme and limited-edition Ocean One will use CATL-supplied battery packs with a nickel-manganese-cobalt cell chemistry. Fisker says that they’ve worked in close collaboration with CATL to create reliable, high-energy packs for the Fisker Ocean.

Fisker Ocean One
2023 Fisker Ocean in Big Sur Blue

Don’t Want to Buy? Try Fisker’s Flexee Lease

For just $379 per month (a bargain these days!), you can lease a Fisker Ocean SUV under a very untraditional lease agreement. Fisker says that they believe electric vehicles should be affordable to all, and this is how they’re going to try to get there. 

With a Fisker Flexee Lease, there are no term limits and you can cancel at any time. It’s basically a long-term rental that appears to be worry-free. After twelve years of leased driving, Fisker will retire and recycle the electric SUV. The Fisker Flexee Lease requires an initial payment of $2,999, and it includes up to 30,000 miles per year. Maintenance is covered. Sounds like a great deal if you ask me!

Fisker Ocean Incentives

In the United States, buyers of the Fisker Ocean qualify for up to $7,500 in federal electric vehicle tax credits, depending on annual tax liability. Many states offer additional electric vehicle rebates and tax credits that drop the effective price of the Fisker Ocean well below $30.000. US lawmakers are considering revisions to the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit that could possibly up the incentive amount to over $10,000 for the Fisker Ocean, and even higher for vehicles made in the United States with union labor. Your electric utility may even offer some kind of EV rebate.

When Will the Fisker Ocean Be Available?

You can jump on the Fisker reservation list with a $250 refundable deposit, but know you’re signing up for a waiting game. Fisker is proud to announce that production is scheduled to begin at Magna’s state-of-the-art, zero-emissions factory in November 2022. The first 5,000 Oceans made will be the top-tier Ocean One that is already sold out. We expect those who get in line for a top-trim Fisker Ocean in early 2022 will likely take delivery in the second half of 2023. There’s a longer wait ahead if you’re interested in the more affordably priced ocean trims – 2024 at the earliest.

Fisker Will Open Six Brand Experience Centers in 2022, Four in America

The first two Fisker Experience Centers will open soon in Los Angeles and Munich, Germany. Later in 2022, the company plans to open at least four additional centers in London, New York, Miami and Copenhagen.

YAA’s Take

Your automotive advocates at joinyaa.com are feeling optimistic about Fisker. The car is beautiful and the specs are promising, but the price points are very competitive for what you get. We would not be so enthusiastic about the brand if it had not already announced strategic partnerships that elevate reliability ratings from day one. Austrian automaker and supplier Magna-Steyr has been building luxury vehicles for the likes of BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes. CATL’s battery packs are arguably the best out there. Even Tesla uses them for some manufacturing.

Of course, our opinions can only be so strong when no reviewers have had the chance to take a ride in a production-ready Fisker ocean just months before production is set to start.  

Another thing to consider when making any vehicle purchase is how close you live to Fisker’s planned Experience Centers. It’s never a great idea to be too far away from maintenance if you need it. For example, I’d love to purchase a Fisker Ocean myself, but I live in West Virginia. I doubt Fisker will be coming to the Mountain State anytime soon. We don’t even have a Tesla showroom or service center in the state.

At this price point and with these specs, the 2023 Fisker Ocean just might shake up the electric crossover segment like never before. We will be keeping our eyes on Fisker as they enter the American market.

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Batteries NOT Included: VinFast Pricing and Battery Subscription Prices

Batteries NOT Included: VinFast Pricing and Battery Subscription Prices

2022 VinFast SUV

Just as legacy OEMs are jumping into the EV race, newcomers and startups are set to enter the North American market within the next year or so. Today, a glance at electric vehicle sales numbers finds Tesla dominating with 67% market share, but that figure is slowly falling as the competition heats up. Volkswagen Group, Ford and Korean automakers trail behind, eager to bite into Tesla’s success. Here to spice things up are newcomers like Rivian, Fisker, Lucid and a half-dozen other boutique automakers.

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Overseas, two established EV players are poised to join the fun as well. While Chinese EV success story NIO hasn’t made any commitments, aspiring Vietnamese automaker VinFast is ready to break ground in America. How will this emerging vehicle segment evolve over the next 2-3 years? Whatever happens, it’s looking increasingly likely that VinFast will be a part of the story.

Who Is VinFast?

The 2021 LA Auto Show was all about EVs. No one lingered around the occasional displays of cross-cut engines or propped-open hoods. Yet every electric vehicle booth was packed. One of the many oddities and spectacles at the auto show was VinFast, who (almost) nobody had heard of. It almost sounds like the name of a rebranding online car seller who gets your title to you in less than a month. Founded in 2017, VinFast is the automotive wing of Vingroup, a private Vietnamese conglomerate active in tech, retail, industrial development and service industries. Now worth over $35 billion, Vingroup had humble beginnings as a food processing company working out of Ukraine in the early 1990s. 

VinFast first set foot in America in the summer of 2020. That was a pretty horrible time to be launching any kind of business venture, but VinFast stuck with it. With an extensive history and enough capital to get the ball rolling, automotive industry analysts are marveling at the pace of VinFast. At the LA Auto Show, VinFast US CEO Van Anh Nguyen told TechCrunch about their expansion plans. Here’s what the ambitious automaker has in store in just the first half of this decade:

  • $200 million for building a headquarters and support infrastructure in California
  • Hiring 1,000 employees in California, including 400 at the new headquarters
  • Opening 60 sales locations
  • Opening multiple service centers and mobile service providers
  • Building a VinFast factory in America by the end of 2024
  • Two VinFast SUVs launching in the US soon

With this roadmap in mind, it’s no surprise that VinFast is eyeing an IPO into the US stock market. Rumor has it that they’re shooting for a $60 billion valuation.

Batteries Not Included?

vinfast vf9

When VinFast announced their new 15,000 square-foot headquarters, they also shared some details about future product launches. VinFast followed through on their pledge to officially debut two of its first electric SUVs, the VF 8 and VF 9, at the 2021 LA Auto Show. There’s one aspect in particular that lends so much confidence to VinFast’s growth strategy. Much of their research and development has been focused on streamlining and automating vehicle manufacturing processes. Sound familiar? That’s how a certain American company (starts with a T, ends with an A) overcame the many burdens of production ramp-up. In fact, Tesla was the first American car manufacturer to successfully ramp up automotive production in nearly 100 years. If VinFast has scalable growth in mind, their likelihood of success is far greater than the average EV startup.

VinFast’s approach to EV production isn’t all good news for the consumer. Automotive News recently reported on VinFast’s plan to NOT include a battery pack as part of the standard equipment when the vehicle is purchased. Instead, car buyers will lease a battery pack from VinFast. I guess that’s one way to guarantee a revenue stream! 

How Much Is a VinFast Battery Lease?

Renting a battery pack from VinFast won’t be cheap. Unless, of course, you intend to purchase an EV that comes without the usual fuel savings associated with going electric. VinFast Global CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy said the two battery pack options will cost between $100 and $150 PER MONTH. They say the battery leasing model would buffer EV buyers from the risk of degraded battery performance over time. They’ll replace the battery if it falls below 70 percent of its initial charging capacity. The thing is, today’s EVs still retain over 80% of their initial charging capacity with well over 100,000 miles on the odometer. This would have been a reasonable strategy a decade ago, when early battery tech was on shaky, experimental ground. Now, it’s a solution in search of a problem.

Below is the official announcement from VinFast, showing the pricing tiers for the VinFast VF 8 and VF 9. VinFast battery subscription plans range from $110 to $160 per month on the VinFast Fixed Plan, and $35 to $44 per month on the VinFast Flexible plan, which includes just 310 miles of driving per month.

This is from VinFast’s marketing material.

Why would anyone buy a new car knowing they will have to pay an extra $150 every month for the required battery? That would only work if the car itself sells for ridiculously cheap. We’ll see, but I’m skeptical.

Imagine if Apple required you to purchase a battery for the IPhone separately. The behemoth wouldn’t be where they are today with such a critical product miscalculation.  Will VinFast SUVs overcome this looming and unnecessary product feature? Or will they reverse course before launching US sales? 

VinFast Models in 2022

vinfast vf8

Enough with the negativity. At the 2021 LA Auto Show, VinFast shared two impressive electric concepts. They intend to bring both to production very soon, and both will be sold in the US market. The VF 8 (formerly dubbed the e35) and VF 9 (formerly e36) are two fully-electric SUVs that feature advanced driver-assistance systems and a suite of smart features. Both VinFast SUVs are designed by Italian design firm Pininfarina, and the result is pleasant to look at. 

The smaller VF 8 is advertised for up to 310 miles of range on a charge. Stepping up to the larger VF 9 will get you 301 miles of range with the (rented) standard battery, or buyers can opt for the bigger battery that’s good for 422 miles.

Aside from the range figures and pretty images, not a whole lot is known about these two SUVs. The VinFast website shows an interior with a 15” Tesla-style touchscreen front and center. What they do make clear on the website is that interested buyers are welcome to place a reservation for $200. Reservations placed before April qualify for a $3,000 to $5,000 voucher for their VinFast SUV of choice.

VinFast pricing starts at $41,000 for the crossover-styled VF 8, and $56,000 for the larger VF 9 SUV. Power is impressive, yet nothing to write home about. Check out the full VinFast pricing and spec details below. The automaker does make it abundantly clear that this information is subject to change.

Vinfast VF8 specs
Vinfast VF9 specs

YAA’s Take

I want VinFast to succeed in their North American expansion. Greater competition among automakers almost always results in savings for the consumer. But batteries not included? $150 every month for something that literally comes with every single other electric vehicle in the world? Come on. I hope VinFast sees the reality of the situation and the expectations of the American buyer. 

What do you think? Are you willing to give VinFast a chance, or are they wasting their time with this battery nonsense? How affordable would the car have to be for this sales model to work? Let us know what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you might be willing to give the VinFast ownership experience a try. 

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The 2023 Nissan Ariya Is a Premium Electric Crossover… From Nissan

The 2023 Nissan Ariya Is a Premium Electric Crossover… From Nissan

2023 Nissan Ariya
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The all-new 2023 Nissan Ariya is arriving to high expectations. Following a decade of delayed development, controversy, and Nissan’s former leadership in EVs long gone, the Ariya has a lot to live up to. Just a decade ago, Nissan’s brand was synonymous with electrification when it launched the Leaf in 2011. For years, Nissan led the pack. Over half a million Leaf’s were sold globally by 2021. However, EVs from Tesla, Korean automakers and even General Motors eventually surpassed the Leaf’s market share in America as the 2010s came to a close. 

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Today, competition in the electric crossover segment is even more fierce. Will the 2023 Nissan Ariya’s pricing act as a deterrent, or will the progressive design language and decent range drive sales? Can Nissan reclaim their former electric glory? Let’s dive into what this much-anticipated electric crossover will have to offer. 

The Ariya’s Forward-Thinking Design Is a Concept Brought to Life

2023 nissan ariya

What do you picture when you think of Nissan’s brand? The affordable Altima, Frontier, maybe the bug-eyed electric Leaf? What are the more luxurious examples of what Nissan has to offer? The Maxima has attained near-premium quality, the Murano is a spicy Rogue, and the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder has a fanbase. Soon, the Ariya will up the ante for the Japanese automaker’s brand image. 

The 2023 Nissan Ariya features futuristic design language and a suite of next-gen tech. The exterior conjures up ideas of what a Murano might look like a decade into the future. The front fascia stands out with a large black faux grill topped off with slender LED headlights. A large, redesigned Nissan logo sits prominently front and center, illuminated by 20 LEDs.

Nissan says the Ariya is proudly inspired by Japanese culture, culminating in a delicate balance between futurism and tradition. Nissan introduced the Ariya with a primer of the design language.

Ariya styling represents a significant redefinition of Nissan’s design philosophy. This new philosophy is based on what Nissan calls “Timeless Japanese Futurism,” which is characterized by a distinctive Japanese approach conveyed in a simple-yet-powerfully modern way.”

Embracing the Japanese term iki, which characterizes the Ariya’s chic, cutting-edge nature, the front of the vehicle appears seamless, elegant and fresh. It’s highlighted by a shield – a reimagined grille for the EV era. The shield incorporates a 3-D traditional Japanese kumiko pattern just under the smooth surface, while protecting sensors used for driver assistance functions without the aesthetics interrupting operation.”

Footprint, Fit and Finish

The general body styling fits a lot of usable space into a relatively compact footprint, all thanks to the flexibility of the new electric platform underlying the cabin. The Ariya’s crossover stance is supported by an estimated 7 inches of ground clearance, width of 75”, and a length of 183”. At a height of 65 inches, the Ariya is 2 inches higher than the popular Hyundai IONIQ 5. A fastback-style roofline isn’t just for looks; the increasing popularity of fastback design is attributed to the dual sportiness and high efficiency of the design.

2023 Nissan Ariya

The rear of the Ariya is characterized by a C-pillar that blends cleanly into the rear deck. The rear taillight is a horizontal light bar that fits well with the overall design language. LED light blades are taking the industry by storm, gracing everything from the budget-minded Volkswagen ID.4 to the ultra-luxury Lucid Air. On the Ariya, the taillight has a blackout effect when parked. A high-mounted rear wing is more for looks than for speed.

The 2023 Nissan Ariya is available with six two-tone paint combinations and three full-body colors. Most of what we’ve seen so far is the Akatsuki copper and black package, which draws inspiration from the moment just before dawn.

Interior Design Inspired by Japanese Philosophy

The open and driver-focused front dash features two 12.3” screens, haptic controls and interior lighting (as is the trend these days). Nissan says the Ariya’s interior draws inspiration from the Japanese concept of ‘ma’, which refers to qualities belonging to both space and time. They liken the interior to a ‘sleek cafe lounge on a starship’, and that’s a reasonable comparison given the looks and feel of it all. 

Interior Dimensions Take a Back Seat

It’s clear that Nissan cares deeply about the design language of the 2023 Ariya. While the result is an eye-catching crossover, it seems that interior dimensions have taken a back seat. The front and back rows do provide ample room for four to maybe five passengers, but the sloping roof design makes for just 17 cubic feet of rear cargo space with front-wheel drive. Add a second motor in the back and rear cargo capacity drops further to just under 15 cubic feet. 

2023 Nissan Ariya

Inside the cabin, the few who’ve had access to the pre-production prototypes say that passenger volume is similar to what you’ll find in the Tesla Model Y. The lack of a central transmission tunnel creates an abundance of leg room throughout, which is most notable in the backseat. If you’re wanting a panoramic glass roof, you can have that on the higher trims. Nissan has not yet released official interior volume specifications.

Nissan Ariya Tech: ProPILOT Assist and the Promise of OTA Updates

2023 Nissan Ariya

ProPILOT Assist comes standard as a driver assistance feature, an admirable decision possibly taken out of the Volkswagen ID.4’s playbook. ProPILOT Assist is a hands-on assistance system that helps drivers stay centered in their lane, navigate highway traffic and maintain a set speed and distance to the vehicle ahead. The higher trims (Premiere and Platinum+) upgrade to ProPILOT 2.0, which enables hands-off driving on the highway with the help of 360-degree sensing using 7 cameras, 5 radar sensors and 12 sonar sensors.

Dual 12” screens provide the driver with Nissan’s latest infotainment and digital gauge cluster. The Ariya is capable of receiving remote over-the-air updates to improve performance and tech, a feature popularized by Tesla but rarely matched in terms of usefulness. 

2023 Nissan Ariya trims

Power and Performance

The Ariya is the first model to be powered by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s new Common Module Family (CMF)-EV platform. At the core of the CMF-EV platform is a 4-inch tall battery pack along the floor. The narrow battery pack opens up the cabin above to more passenger volume and design flexibility. There are two battery sizes to choose from for the Nissan Ariya: 65 kWh and 90 kWh. Nissan has decided to source these prismatic NMC (Lithium-Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt-Oxide) batteries from Chinese battery leader CATL, who also supplies to Tesla, Volkswagen and several other global automakers. If you’ve ever heard horror stories about the older Nissan Leaf’s battery woes, fear not. The new CATL battery is completely different and state-of-the-art. The old Leaf was a driving experiment in the earliest days of electric vehicles. 

2023 Nissan Ariya Pricing

Front-wheel drive trims produce 238 horsepower (178 kW), reaching 60 mph in 7.4 seconds. Nissan clearly thinks highly of the Ariya, as the price point sits above several competitors. The Venture+ base trim starts at $45,950 before incentives, and the premium Platinum+ offers AWD and 389 HP (442 lb-ft of torque) for $58,950. The mid-grade Evolve+ and Premier trim options start at $48,950 and $53,450 respectively. With a 0-60 time of around five seconds, the AWD Ariya can hold its own against the other electric crossovers.

Remember that the Nissan Ariya will qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs. Nissan has had great success selling the Leaf EV over the years. Therefore, the current federal tax credit may expire for the automaker soon. Local and state incentives may lower the price further, depending on where you live. Revisions to the EV tax credit are far from clearing Congress.

2023 Nissan Ariya Range: 265-300 Miles

The 300 mile target range is on par with class leaders like the Model Y and Mustang Mach-E, IONIQ 5 and EV6. However, there’s a catch. The maxed-out 300 mile range is only for the entry-level Ariya Venture+ front-wheel drive trim. This is great for budget-minded shoppers, but the opposite of what we see in the Model Y and Mustang Mach-E. Typically, higher trims equal more range in EVs. Check out the full spec sheet of range, battery capacity and power output below. 

2023 Nissan Ariya Charging: Up to 175 miles in 30 Minutes

Charging speed is nothing to write home about at 130 kW peak speeds at a DC fast charger like those at Electrify America. There’s the chance that, like the Volkswagen ID.4, the Ariya could have a great charging curve that maintains high charging speeds longer than some competitors. In fact, Nissan told Tom Moloughney of InsideEVs that the Ariya can add 175 miles of range in 30 minutes of DC fast charging. 

The total cost of charging depends on how and where you charge. We covered all the charging cost details in our recent feature.

Charging isn’t always a deal breaker, especially if you don’t travel long distances very often. Keep in mind that most EV charging happens at home overnight. Charging at home, the Nissan Ariya can receive 7.2 kW with a level 2 charger plugged into a 240 volt outlet. That’s nearly 20% less than home charging speeds in the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4. Will it matter? If you’re likely to charge overnight, it probably won’t. 

YAA’s Take

The 2023 Nissan Ariya reimagines the Nissan brand for an electrified future where style and luxury take center stage. As the automaker looks beyond the pioneering Leaf EV, they’re reaching for a different set of electric car buyers. At MSRPs ranging from $45,950 to $58,950, the Ariya is hitting the market a full $20,000 more than the Leaf. Considering the prices of the competitors in the electric crossover segment, it may not be too much to ask of Nissan customers. 

The Ariya is many years in the making, but there’s a lot more to come from Nissan’s EV development team. Nissan recently shared their goal of producing 15 electric models by 2030. Hopefully early adopters of the Ariya will find that Nissan’s $17.5 billion investment is paying off.

2023 Nissan Ariya

For a 2023 model, the max charging speed of 130 kW is behind the curve. Three of the Ariya’s direct competitors in the segment offer over 250 kW charging for about the same price. That isn’t to say there aren’t some real positive things to say about this EV. Range is a notch above the industry median of around 250 miles on a charge. The heartily Japanese-inspired looks are sure to appeal to many. If you’re ready to get in line for the 2023 Nissan Ariya, patience will come in handy. Nissan says that limited numbers of Ariyas will arrive at select dealers starting in fall of 2022.

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The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq Luxury EV Heralds a New Era for GM

The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq Luxury EV Heralds a New Era for GM

2023 cadillac lyriq

The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq makes its debut at the leading edge of GM’s massive $35 billion transition to EVs. After five years of offering the Chevrolet Bolt as their flagship EV, the General is going all-in with EVs. Now, all eyes are on the first three electric models arriving at GM dealerships. The first has just begun deliveries, the $100,000+ GMC Hummer EV. And now, the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq luxury SUV is about to hit the market with much anticipation.

Are Cadillac buyers on board with GM’s electrification plans? Well, it seems they don’t have a choice. By 2030, Cadillac will be an all-EV brand. Other GM brands will follow suit by 2035. In fact, GM already lost dozens of Cadillac dealerships nationwide after it provided an ultimatum requiring dealers to spend about $200,000 on EV training, charger installation and more, or withdraw from the brand altogether and accept a buyout. About one-third of Cadillac dealerships took the buyout, and GM spent a total of $274 million as it paid to have 360 Cadillac dealerships close doors. At the end of 2021, just 560 Cadillac dealerships remain in the business nationwide, down from 920 just three years prior. 

Now that the dealership shuffle has settled, it’s prime time for Cadillac to unveil the first of its EVs. The 2023 Lyriq will be the first to arrive in mid 2022. Here’s what we know about the Lyriq as it nears production. 

The Lyriq Shows That Luxurious EV Interiors Don’t Have to Be Bland

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

For starters, the Lyriq is a true SUV in size and stature. The outside has all the Cadillac design language you’d expect. Walking up to the Lyriq, you’re greeted by a welcome light show put on by the 50 LEDs illuminating the angular front grille. Stepping into the cabin, the first thing you’ll notice is the meticulous detail and labor of love, from the tree canopy inspired door illumination to the well-placed open-pore wood decor throughout. 

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

If you lament the auto industry’s shift away from physical controls in favor of haptic feedback and touchscreens, you’ll be a fan of this interior. The Lyriq strikes the ideal balance of physical buttons and knobs and a healthy serving of touch controls. The 33” horizontal screen wrapping across the front dash may sound like the antithesis of physicality, but the screen and surrounding physical controls complement each other, making for an intuitive experience. The Lyriq’s 33” single screen is surprisingly similar to what you’ll find in the much more expensive Lucid Air, and more well-placed than the single 15” screen centrally located in the Tesla Model Y. A Cadillac-exclusive AKG Studio 19-speaker audio system provides excellent sound for audiophiles. 

The Lyriq Driving Experience

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

The Lyriq’s tech is all-around impressive. Super Cruise is at the heart of Cadillac’s Smart System suite of safety and driver assist features. Super Cruise supports hands-free driving on over 200,000 miles of North American roads. The ‘hands-free’ part is a big deal, as even Tesla isn’t yet ready to make that claim (and with good reason).

A popular feature of EVs is one-pedal driving. Most EVs allow for energy recuperation as the vehicle slows down. This is called regenerative braking. In essence, some of the electricity that was used to accelerate is recovered as the vehicle slows down, and is returned to the battery. But not all EVs are capable of strong enough ‘regen’ to make the brake pedal almost unnecessary, except of course during instances when hard braking is needed. The Lyriq has what looks like paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. These are the controls for regen strength. At the highway setting, the Lyriq will slow to a stop without needing the brake. Using regen on a daily basis takes some getting used to, but as Tesla owners can attest, it ultimately becomes second nature. 

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

The Lyriq’s serene cabin is well-insulated and quiet with active noise cancellation. 8-way power driver and front-passenger seats with 4-way power lumbar, heat, ventilation and lumbar massage are all included with the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq. Rear passengers have access to dual USB-C charging outlets and a three-prong outlet for charging laptops and other larger devices. 

Great Range, Decent Charging

Cadillac claims an expected EPA range of about 300 miles on a charge. Considering the large size of the Lyriq and the rapidly growing charging networks, that’s more than enough for almost everyone. EVs are generally more efficient at lower speeds, so the Lyriq is likely to go well over 300 miles in city driving, and 275 or so on the highway. 

When it comes time to charge, the Lyriq supports 190 kW fast charging at level 3 public chargers, like those you’ll find at Electrify America and Tesla Superchargers (if they ever open up to non-Teslas in America). This works out to about 76 miles of range in 10 minutes, or 200 miles in about 30 minutes. 

At home, a level 2 charger can be installed into a 240 volt outlet like you’d use to plug in a dryer. This is where the Lyriq stands out above the charging competition. The Lyriq supports segment-leading 19.2 kW home charging, which can add up to 52 miles of range per hour of charge, or a full battery from empty in just six hours. To the uninitiated EV shopper, six hours might sound like a long time, but don’t forget that charging is done at night while you’re asleep. Most Lyriq drivers will wake up with a full battery every morning.

GM’s Ultium Platform Sees Action

GM Ultium battery

The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq will be the first time most consumers experience GM’s all-new Ultium electric platform. The 2022 Hummer EV is powered by Ultium, but it’s at a much higher price point that’s out of reach for most. Plus, it’s huge, and not everyone wants to drive a crab-walking boat around. GM’s engineers say that Ultium batteries are reliable, durable and more energy dense than anything we’ve seen before in a production EV. Cadillac claims an estimated EPA range of around 300 miles on a single charge made possible by the Ultium platform’s new chemistry. The public hasn’t forgotten about the ongoing Chevrolet Bolt recall and fire hazard, so it’s comforting to know that all new GM EVs will be built with a completely revamped and improved battery and electric motor architecture. 

The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq is powered by a 12-module, 100 kilowatt-hour Ultium battery pack and a rear-wheel-drive Ultium Platform. This powertrain delivers 340 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. It’s no Tesla, but a performance-oriented Lyriq is rumored to be on the way in 2023. For you speedsters out there, official 0-60 times haven’t been released yet, but considering that it weighs 5,610 pounds (over 1,000 pounds more than a Tesla Model Y!), the 5.0 second range is a likely figure.

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How Does the Lyriq Stack Up to the Competition?

2022 Tesla Model Y

The Lyriq Steps Into a Crowded SUV Segment that was essentially nonexistent just five years ago. One thing that may lure shoppers towards the Lyriq is its size. It’s larger than the Volkswagen ID.4, Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E. Thanks to the compact electric motors, the wheelbase is on par with a Hyundai Palisade, even though the interior volume is a bit less at 105 cubic feet. That’s more than the Model Y and VW ID.4, but just a cubic foot less than the much more affordable Hyundai IONIQ 5. Rear passenger leg room is generous at 40”. Everyone seems to offer a panoramic glass roof these days, and the Lyriq is no different. But the glass roof helps head room stretch to 38” for rear passengers.

Cargo volume is solid, even though there’s no frunk (front storage). There’s 28 cubic feet with seats up, and 68 cubic feet with seats laying flat. Even though that’s about the same as the ID.4, Model Y and IONIQ 5 (the Kia EV6 and Ford Mustang Mach-E are significantly less), the Cadillac Lyriq has something that none of the others have: the very essence of luxury. Better comparisons could be made with the Audi e-tron, Tesla Model X, the brand-new BMW iX, and the soon-to-arrive Genesis GV60 and Mercedes EQB. Among these competitors, the Lyriq is likely to remain more affordable.

The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq Starts at $59,990

The base Luxury trim of the Lyriq is nearly loaded as-is. The Luxury comes with 19” aero wheels versus 22” rims for higher trims, but Cadillac hasn’t shared many additional details other than that the base trim features all of the biggest perks. Reviewers who’ve had showroom tours of the Lyriq have been told that the base Lyriq has all of the above. The debut edition starts at right under $59,990, and higher trims are expected to reach well above $70,000. Unfortunately, early-access reservations are now closed. GM recommends getting a hold of a dealer to get on the list for a Lyriq when they arrive on the lot in mid-2022. Does that signal the impending doom of dealer ‘market adjustments’? It’s quite possible. We’ll update this page as Cadillac releases more information about pricing and specs for higher trims.

The Lyriq’s Weaknesses

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

One odd choice on the part of Cadillac is only offering two exterior colors for now: Satin Steel Metallic or Stellar Black Metallic. Interior themes are Sky Cool Gray or Noir (because ‘black’ sounds cooler in French apparently). Also, reservations are closed before it even goes on sale. It would be nice if Cadillac would provide a way for car buyers to get in line for a Lyriq without having to submit to dealer hassles.

For a 2023 model, 190 kW fast charging is merely okay. It’s nothing like the superior charging of the luxury Lucid Air, Hyundai IONIQ 5, Kia EV6 or the Tesla models. But it’s still better than the VW ID.4, Ford Mustang Mach-E and industry-worst Chevrolet Bolt’s 55 kW ‘fast’ charging. Despite these flaws, the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq is all-in-all a sweet looking luxury option for today’s car shoppers. 

YAA’s Take On the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq

The base spec of the Lyriq offers a whole lot for an MSRP of 60 grand. Could the Lyriq be the new anti-Tesla? Tesla may be the leader of EV sales for now, but for car buyers yearning for less minimalism, more luxury and competitive pricing, the Lyriq sure works out to a great deal. One thing the two share is that both GM and Tesla no longer qualify for the EV tax credit. Revisions to the EV tax credit are pending, but nobody really knows what the outcome will be. 

The Lyriq is looking like a great flagship for GM’s new Ultium battery and powertrain platform. An expected 300+ miles of range and rapid charging make this electric SUV competitive from day one. 

Will GM’s New Ultium Battery Turn the Tide Against Tesla?

Will GM’s New Ultium Battery Turn the Tide Against Tesla?

GM Ultium Platform

When GM launched its first plug-in hybrid in 2010, the Chevrolet Volt, turning a profit was an uphill climb. It was a time when EVs were a pipedream to most OEMs. Nissan was nearing the launch of the Leaf, the first fully-electric mainstream vehicle ever. Tesla was a nascent startup raising funds by selling the first-generation Roadster. Automakers old and new alike knew that if EVs were to ever become affordable for the masses and profitable for OEMs, the costs of battery production would have to plummet, and battery efficiency and durability would have to increase. 

Here we are 12 years later, and GM is ready to launch its first vehicles powered by their all-new Ultium battery platform and propulsion system. Is the platform a technological leap forward? Could it be the key to dethroning Tesla, or is GM after something different altogether? Here’s the latest on what GM claims is the game-changer for mass electrification.

GM Is Banking on the Ultium Battery for EV Domination

GM Ultium Platform

When GM CEO and chairman Mary Barra announced the Ultium platform in March of 2020, there was a lot going on in the world that overshadowed the gravity of her announcement. However, the automotive industry noticed GM’s confidence in its ability to overcome one of the biggest barriers to affordable EVs: battery production costs. Battery capacity is most often measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). For reference, a plug-in hybrid like the 2011 Chevrolet Volt has a smaller battery, 16 kWh in this case. Today’s popular EVs like the Tesla Model Y, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4 have battery capacities in the 70-80 kWh range. 

At the time of the Volt’s launch in 2010, battery costs were about $1,000 per kWh. That meant that the Volt’s 16 kWh battery was the most expensive component of the car. Now, Mary Barra says that the new Ultium platform will be produced at less than $100 per kWh. To date, only Tesla has been known to have reached such battery affordability, and it’s been considered a key ingredient in their secret sauce for success. The press release announcing Ultium didn’t beat around the bush, stating that “the first generation of GM’s future EV program will be profitable.” 

Plenty of automakers have ambitious, expensive plans for electric vehicles, but if GM is already there in 2022, are we witnessing a major disruption to the EV segment in real time?

What’s GM’s Strategy?

They’re not going it alone. In fact, all major OEMs partner with battery producers to produce their EVs, from Tesla to Ford. In this case, GM is continuing to work with LG Chem for Ultium development and production (which has already begun). LG Chem is a respected battery supplier for Stellantis, Lucid and even some Teslas. 

What could go wrong? You’ve heard about the Chevy Bolt battery fires that have resulted in recalls, stop-sales and $2 billion in expenses for GM? LG Chem supplied those batteries too. LG recently agreed to cover the massive costs of the Bolt recall, perhaps in a last-ditch effort to preserve the business partnership between the two.

The automotive industry usually welcomes second chances (remember the Great Recession bankruptcies, VW’s Dieselgate, etc.?), so let’s hope LG and GM’s partnership results in a great electric platform, one that’s far less flammable this time around. 

Ultium Is a Scalable Electric Platform

GM Ultium Platform

GM says its all-new global platform is flexible enough to build a wide range of trucks, SUVs, crossovers, cars and commercial vehicles all with the same Ultium architecture. They call it a one-size-fits-all approach to electrifying all GM brands by 2035. At the heart of the Ultium platform is a pouch-type of battery module. This is where scalability becomes easy, at least in the eyes of GM’s engineers. Ford and GM are among the legacy automakers who continue to develop pouch-type battery modules, while relative newcomers like Tesla, Lucid and Rivian are using cylindrical batteries in their vehicles. It will be interesting to see which form factor becomes the dominant battery architecture over the coming years. 

Ultium Battery Chemistry

The new Ultium battery from GM uses a state-of-the-art Nickel Cobalt Manganese Aluminum (NCMA) chemistry, which was designed to reduce the cobalt content in our batteries by more than 70 percent. Cobalt mining in Africa is notorious for human rights abuses, so the battery industry as a whole is looking to reduce reliance on the element.

GM Is Aiming for Vertical Integration

In the announcement for the new Ultium platform, GM didn’t hide the fact that they see battery production as a new source of revenue. Vertical integration of most vehicle components has been one of Tesla’s most influential strategies in the auto industry. Now GM leadership sees the value of cutting out the middleman (to an extent). “By vertically integrating the manufacture of battery cells, the company can reach beyond its own fleet and license technology to others,” reads the March 2020 announcement. They also tout their ability to leverage existing facilities and equipment for Ultium battery production.

Which Vehicles Will Be Powered by the Ultium battery in 2022?

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

The first generation of Ultium-powered vehicles is already arriving at dealerships. GM just shared the first customer deliveries of the resurrected GMC Hummer EV, a 1,000 hp crab-walking luxury electric truck. In case you’re keeping track, both Rivian and GM have delivered the first electric trucks in America before Tesla has started production of its Cybertruck.

GM Ultium Platform

Soon to follow will be the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq electric crossover (starting MSRP of $60,000), which will hit the road in 2022. The real test of the Ultium platform’s market strength will be the Chevy Silverado EV. Electrifying one of GM’s best-sellers is a bold move. We don’t know much about the electric Silverado yet, but GM will unveil the truck on January 6, 2022 at the CES expo in Las Vegas.

GM plans to stop selling combustion vehicles by 2035, so a LOT more Ultium vehicles are surely in the making. Cadillac will be exclusively electric by 2030, a mere eight years ahead. What’s next, an electric Camaro?

YAA’s Take: Is It Enough to Catch Up?

Execution is key for GM. We learned in 2008 that no automaker is too big to fail, and a Bolt-like battery blunder can’t happen with the new Ultium platform. Hopefully GM and partner LG Chem have taken the time and due diligence to get it right. It remains to be seen if GM will price its vehicles competitively.

The 2022 Chevy Bolt and Hummer EV are worlds apart in terms of affordability. In fact, the Bolt and Nissan Leaf are the only two popular EVs that typically sell for under $40,000. Will EVs forever be mostly $40k-plus models, or will American soon have Ultium-powered economy options to consider. Only time will tell if consumers are willing to spend Tesla money on a GM EV in 2022. About 641,000 employees work for the big three American automakers (GM, Ford, FCA/Stellantis). With so much money, investment and infrastructure on the line, we sure wish for their success. 

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