The era of electric cars isn't coming; it's already here. Though they still make up a small portion of the new car market, EVs are where the action is when it comes to the exciting realms of vehicular development. No longer are they battery-powered compliance cars or subcompact shuttles for the crunchy granola set; today's electric vehicles come in a broad range of sizes, shapes and prices.
Still, while Tesla may have carved out a solid niche as purveyor of cutting-edge automobiles, Porsche has redefined sport sedans and Audi and Jaguar have whipped up stylish crossovers that feel imported from the future, the next few years will be the ones that truly open up the electric vehicle market. Pickup trucks and SUVs packing battery packs instead of gas engine will soon be rolling off production lines en masse, remaking the American automotive landscape with every day they're on sale.
So to keep tabs on all the cool new EVs coming down the pike, we've put together this roundup of the ones we know about that have us most excited. You won't find plug-in hybrids or hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars or anything like that here; we're just talking about pure electric vehicles, the kind that only get power from a plug and wouldn't know what to do with liquid fuel if they had it dumped on their hoods.
(Note: the years in the story below refer to the year the vehicle is expected to go on sale, not the model year — hence why they come at the end of the vehicle name, and are in parenthesis.)
If there's such a thing as an old-school electric truck, the Bollinger B1 and B2 (the SUV and pickup versions of the same vehicle, respectively) are it. Blocky enough to make an old Land Rover Defender look aerodynamic and utterly lacking in pretension, Bollinger's giant rigs are designed to get shit done. Helping them do so: a giant 142-kWh battery pack that provides around 200 miles of range (these are big trucks) and dual electric motors providing 614 hp and 668 lb-ft of AWD grunt.
The Chevy Bolt hatchback is receiving for a refresh in 2021, but its crossover twin, the Bolt EUV, is the far more exciting proposition. Well, calling it a crossover is perhaps a stretch; it's FWD-only, and offers little in the way of extra ground clearance or added height. Still, it's slightly easier to get in and out of than the Bolt, looks much better, goes 250 miles on a charge, offers semi-autonomous Super Cruise — and starts at $35K with destination.
If there's one vehicle that defines American roads, it's the Ford F-Series pickup truck — and with the BEV version, Ford seems poised to remake the nation's automotive population in a way other electric vehicles haven't been able to. With a starting price under $40K, a choice of 230- and 300-mile batteries, a minimum of 426 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque and a wild variety of crazy-cool tech features (it can power your house for three days in an emergency, for crying out loud), the F-150 Lightning could be the most important vehicle of the year — period.
Kia (and sister brand Hyundai) are coming out swinging with new electric cars in 2021, launching the first in a volley of EVs built on their new Electric-Global Modular Platform. The Hyundai Ioniq 5's retro-modern design certainly draws in eyes, but we're more excited for the EV6, which not only offers versions for everyday folks with 168 to 321 hp, but an EV6 GT that packs dual motors and makes 577 horsepower, 546 lb-ft of torque, and does a claimed 0-60 mph spring in 3.5 seconds. Add in world-class fast-charging, a stylish design inside and out and (presumably) a value-packed price, and you've got one hell of an exciting proposition.
The Lucid Air is proof that "more is more" applies to EVs as much as it does pickup trucks and muscle cars. The fully-loaded launch version, the Air Dream Edition, makes 1,080 horsepower, rips off quarter-mile runs in less than 10 seconds and can (in test conditions) hit 235 mph; it can also go more than 500 miles on a charge, according to the company, and offers an interior that makes an Audi look like a Suzuki.
That one will run you $161,500 after the tax credit (though it comes with three years of free high-speed charging) when it goes on sale in spring 2021; ever-so-slightly-lesser versions making 480, 620 and 800 horsepower will follow.
The Endurance is meant as a work truck for commercial buyers, but that doesn't mean we can't get excited about it. After all, it has four hub-mounted electric motors making more than 600 combined horses, can reportedly travel 250 miles on a charge, and will start at $45,000 after the tax credit. Here's hoping we can rent one at Home Depot.
When we say "Lotus," you probably think of lithe, nimble roadsters and other lightweight sports cars, not EV hypercars packing quadruple-digit horsepower. But hey, if the Evija is any indication, maybe we all need to reconsider our personal biases. Four electric motors cranking out a combined 2,000 horsepower and a body that looks sexy enough to be practically obscene mean Evija drivers will be the envy of both gawkers and drag-racers alike.
Like VW, Mercedes-Benz is going all-out on EVs in the next few years, with plans to roll out an electric equivalent to each of its major model ranges. The EQC that was supposed to hit U.S. shores this year but was delayed was first, but it's the new full-sized EQS sedan revealed in April 2021 that shows what Mercedes is planning.
EV packaging means it's be the size of an E-Class outside, but with the interior space of an S-Class; you'll also find S-Class-rivalling luxury and power, all packaged in a very aerodynamic, very cool body.
Midsize crossovers are huge business, but EV versions have been few and far-between so far. Nissan's Ariya (note the spelling, it's not like the Game of Thrones character) could be the electric SUV the mainstream has been waiting for. FWD or AWD and up to 389 hp join many of the EV tricks and treats Nissan developed for the Leaf, like the e-Pedal function that makes one-pedal driving a snap.
Electric hypercars are about to become a serious thing — and when people in the future look back on the dawn of this new era, odds are good they'll see the Battista as one of the pioneers. The powertrain is based on that of Rimac's incredible Nevera, so we're talking around 1,900 horsepower — but it's all wrapped up in a bespoke body crafted by one of the world's leading names in design. You can't afford it, but you want it. Same for us.
What Tesla has been to electric performance cars, Rivian wants to be to the EV off-road lifestyle: frontrunner, pioneer, trendsetter. Of course, with up to four motors delivering as much as 750 hp and a 0-60 mph time claimed to be in the three-second range, they'll be almost Ludicrous quick in a straight line; Rivian's truck and SUV will just also be able to frolic off-road like few other vehicles, as well.
A max of 400-plus miles of range should be good for epic road trips, although that's for the version with the 180-kWh battery; the entry-level Rivian R1T that starts at $61,500 and the R1S that starts at $65,000 after tax credits make do with less.
Tesla's Cybertruck blew away the motoring world when it debuted in late 2019, with a design that lived up to Elon Musk's promises for a Blade Runner-inspired pickup like nothing else on the road and claims of Porsche-rivaling acceleration. Of course, there are still plenty of kinks to be worked out; the factory hasn't even been built yet, and the truck has almost no chance of passing federal safety tests as it's currently designed.
Still, if you love what you see, you can reserve a Cybertruck on Tesla's website right now with a $100 deposit. Just be prepared to shell out $49,900 for a two-motor AWD version or $69,900 for a three-motor AWD one when they finally start coming off the line — or $39,900 for the RWD one that comes out later.
The BMW i division's second lease on life kicks off for real with the launch of the i4, an all-electric midsize sedan design to take the fight to the Tesla Model 3. The range of this roughly 3 Series-sized is estimated to be well over 300 miles, and power in max-attack versions should be enough to humble even the mighty M3. And, yes, there are M3-like giant nostrils, even though this EV doesn't need to breathe.
Cadillac's future is electric; if it doesn't succeed, the brand might not have a future. The decision to give its EVs names ending with "-iq" may have seemed better on paper, where it reminds people of "intelligence quotient," than it does in practice, where it sounds like "ick" — but there's no arguing that the crossover-cum-station wagon Lyriq could be a smash hit once you get past the name. As one of the first GM products to use the brand's new Ultium battery tech, expect class-leading range and power to go along with its sleek lines.
We've known for a while that the eighth-generation Corvette would likely go hybrid; that frunk, as it turns out, is just right for an electric motor to drive the front wheels. But it also seems that Chevy is working on an all-electric Corvette. None other than Joe Biden mentioned as much, claiming that it could do 200 miles per hour. 2022 might be on the early side for such a car to appear, but hey, let's be optimistic. As for a name...hey, doesn't GM own the trademark to "E-Ray"?
Two-thirds of the Big Three will be moving into the electric truck realm in the near future, and the Ford F-150 will almost certainly be the first one there. The carmaker has made no secret of it, going so far as to reveal when it'll go on sale (mid-2022), what will power it (two electric motors), and what sort of power it will make (more than any other F-150 currently on sale). There'll also be a giant frunk you'll almost certainly be able to use as a cooler, which seems certain to become a staple of country songs. And, it seems it'll mark the return of a famous F-150 model's name; the new EV will likely be called the Ford F-150 Lightning.
The Hummer is back, and it's hard to argue that it's not better than ever. Even the most die-hard good ol' boys have to be impressed with 1,000 horsepower, a 0-60 mph time of three seconds, and off-road capabilities that can, in some cases, humble a Jeep Wrangler. (Oh, and did we mention the roof comes off, and it drives itself on the highway?) 350-plus miles of range on a charge ain't so bad, either.
The sold-out Launch Edition starts at $112,595, but models ranging from $79,995 to $99,995 will come for the 2023 model year.
Give your off-roader the tires it deserves.
Land Rover's first EV could be its oddest model yet — not because of its powertrain, but because of its design. Reportedly, the first electric Range Rover will actually be a Road Rover — a crossover that's could be closer to a station wagon than an SUV. Little is known about it, but don't be surprised if it bears a slight resemblance to the Velar. (Of course, JLR's plans are all in flux these days, but we're betting this ride will still make it to the streets, unlike the electric XJ that was canned at the last minute.)
Maserati's new supercar is a dynamo of internal-combustion glory, but it'll also come in an all-electric version come 2022. Given that most Maserati buyers still probably have a bias towards gas, we expect the EV version will have to definitively beat the ICE version's 621 horses in order to woo people into showrooms.
As you might have heard by now, the Macan — Porsche's best-selling model — is going electric. The next-gen version is expected to only come as an EV when it goes on sale, although the current internal-combustion Macan may stick around simultaneously (probably with the help of another facelift at some point). Seeing as this is Porsche we're talking about, expect a wide range of power levels, including a "Turbo" version with acceleration that'll undo all that good work your hair straightener did in the morning.
Tesla hasn't sold a Roadster in more than a decade, ever since the Lotus-based vehicle that launched the company faded away to make room for its own in-house-developed models. Now, the Roadster is set to return — and if even half of Elon Musk's typically broad promises come true, it'll be a car to wow the world. Tesla promises a 0-60 mph of less than two seconds, a 250-mph-or-higher top speed, more than 600 miles of range, and maybe even spacecraft-inspired air thrusters.
Reserve now for $50,000, and you'll only owe the balance due towards the $200,000 price. Unless you opt for the "Founders Series," in which case you have to pay the entire $250,000 up front.)
Ask most Americans to name some iconic VWs, and odds are good Bus would be the second word out of the average person's lips. The iconic VW Type 2, as it was formally known, is set to get a spiritual rebirth come 2022 as an all-electric minivan. Whether it'll keep the ID.Buzz name of the concept remains unknown (though it seems doubtful), but expect it to keep most of that happy design intact.
Part of Audi's flood of new electric models means some existing internal-combustion ones are set to be washed away in favor of EV equivalents, eventually. The A6 E-Tron concept that debuted in 2021 is very, very close to the eventual production version — think how similar the E-Tron GT concept was to the final car —and while it'll likely be sold alongside the gas-powered A6 when the new EV goes on sale (likely in 2023), eventually, it'll likely supplant the ICE version.
If the Lyriq crossover represents the practical aspect of Cadillac's EV plans, the Celestiq is the wild side. What else could you call an enormous range-topping super-sedan that's largely hand-built and will pack a price tag north of $200,000?
It wouldn't be a stretch to say Cadillac might not be around today were it not for the Escalade, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that an electric SUV of that scale is also in the works. Whether or not it'll use the Escalade name or not ("Electralade" is a portmanteau we made up, but we kind of like it) remains to be seen, as does what it'll look like; the drawing seen here is just a concept from the GM Design Instagram account. One thing's for certain, though: it'll be big.
Count Canoo among the legion of EV start-ups looking to score a piece of the profitable work-vehicle-and-adventure-truck market. Their pickup truck, which they claim will arrive in 2023, uses a cab-forward design and a choice of rear- or all-wheel-drive to deliver up to 550 lb-ft of torque.
While the Hummer EV will be the tip of the spear for General Motors's push into electric pickups, it'll be more humble, more traditional models from Chevy and GMC that do most of the sales work. Considering the tit-for-tat nature of the pickup truck wars, expect them to at least equal the F-150 EV for power and capability.
This one's a bit of a wild card, but since every crew needs one of those, we've decided to include it here. During an early 2021 presentation about its electric vehicle future, GM showed off a ton of shadowy concepts — and one of the ones lurking in the back looked an awful lot like an SUV with Corvette styling. Seeing as how Ford used Mustang badging to sex up its new EV SUV with great success, and that performance SUVs are a booming segment these days, it seems like a layup for Chevy. GM is either saying nothing or claiming "oh no, that's a Buick," but five gets you ten we'll see a Corvette EV SUV by 2023.
Here's what we know: Mercedes-Benz plans to build an electric version of the G-Class as part of its electrification efforts. Here's what we don't know: much beyond that. We assume, however, that it'll have the same boxy styling the model has always had, as well as four-wheel-drive and incredible off-road capability. We also assume that 2023 is the earliest we'll see such a model.
The Polestar Precept Concept was meant to be the star of the 2020 Geneva Motor Show, but then, well, 2020 happened. Nevertheless, the brand says it'll be coming to production soon as the new face of Polestar due to popular demand. As a Polestar, we expect it to be very quick, very tech-focused and very safe.
Subaru and Toyota's last team-up, the BRZ / 86, proved a quick hit among car enthusiasts, but their next project will be aimed in a very different direction. The two carmakers are joining forces to create an electric crossover platform, which Subaru has previewed as the Evoltis concept seen here. Expect the styling to be toned down a bit for production, but dual-motor AWD seems like a gimme.
Toyota's version of the Toyobaru EV SUV was revealed in 2021 in "concept" form — though expect the production version to look an awful lot like this. Unfortunately, that awkward name seems likely to also be real; Toyota says "bZ" will be its in-house EV branding, much like VW's ID, Mercedes's EQ and so forth. Expect the bZ4x to offer RAV4-like space and capability.
The likes of the ID.4 crossover and ID.Buzz minivan, well, they're just part one of Volkswagen's electric vehicle master plan. Part two comes in the form of the project known as "Trinity," which will not only offer long ranges and short charging times, but a whole new business model: optional features like Level 4 autonomy will become available via over-the-air updates — and possibly even offered via subscription model.
Kelley Blue Book has released their "best cars to buy" awards for 2020. The results may surprise you.