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Electrified Hyundai and Kia allow eco-friendly commutes

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is an electric-only hatchback that’s efficient and fun to drive but sold only in California so far. Marylanders can still buy a hybrid or plug-in hybrid Ioniq, though. COURTESY PHOTOThe Hyundai Ioniq Electric is an electric-only hatchback that’s efficient and fun to drive but sold only in California so far. Marylanders can still buy a hybrid or plug-in hybrid Ioniq, though. COURTESY PHOTO  If you’re looking to add some electricity to your car, Korea’s Hyundai and Kia are offering a large and steadily growing lineup of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric models.
These corporate cousins collectively offer two pure electric vehicles (EVs, which have no gas engine); four plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs, which can run on electricity from the grid but also have engines); and four gas-electric hybrids that save fuel without needing to be plugged in. At least one more EV is due this fall.
The heart of this fuel-saving lineup is the Hyundai Ioniq, a compact hatchback, and its mechanical twin the Kia Niro, which blurs the line between a small station wagon and a crossover. Both are sold both as hybrids and PHEVs, and there’s also an all-electric Ioniq that’s so far sold only in California.
Recent tests of the Ioniq Electric and Niro PHEV, along with drives of both cars’ hybrid variants last year, reveal a pair of comfortable, user-friendly, affordable fuel savers. For better or for worse, they lack the strong personality of a Toyota Prius — instead, they feel like everyday economy cars even as they achieve exceptional fuel efficiency.

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Electric cars grabbing larger share of market

  • Published in Local

Electric cars are coming and coming quickly.

A conference on electric cars and charging stations took place at the Hilton Garden Inn in Rockville April 13.

There are three basic kinds of electrically-powered vehicles. First, there are standard hybrids such as the Prius and its many competitors, which take gasoline and have no plug-in apparatus.

Second are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (“PHEVs”). They take gasoline and also have plug-in capability. There already are 20 PHEV brand/models in the marketplace.

Third are all-electric EVs. They have plug-in capability only. Both the Bolt and the Leaf, the best-selling model nationally in this category, are EVs, as are Teslas. There are about 15 brand/models of EVs.

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