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.)
After seeing the sort of wonders Audi can accomplish with an electric car packing two motors, we can't wait to see what they can do with three. The E-Tron S (available in both conventional two-box and rakish Sportback forms) uses one motor for the front axle but two for the rear, giving it torque-vectoring capability for better handling — and up to 496 hp and 717 lb-ft of torque for acceleration. With SUVs like these, who needs sports cars? (Well, we do, obviously, but you see what we mean.)
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.
Sure, it may not be the most handsome car we've ever seen, but the new iX has plenty beneath the cover to judge it by. Think: a revolutionary new interior design, 516 horsepower, a 300-mile range and a starting price of $84,194. Early reviews have been very promising; we're excited to see if we can get past that mug when we see it in person.
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.
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.
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.
The all-new 2022 Land Rover Range Rover has debuted in gas-powered form, but that won't be the only way you can buy it. Land Rover has already confessed that an EV version of the iconic SUV will be hitting the streets (and trails, and deserts, etc) next year.
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.
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.
The electric equivalent of the E-Class, the EQE should be a volume seller for Mercedes-Benz — and judging by the shadowy image Mercedes released of it, it should also be quite a looker. Expect close to 400 miles of range or more, a super-luxurious cabin — and, more excitingly, an inevitable electric equivalent of the E63 S. (Here's hoping they do an EQE AMG station wagon, too.)
The electric EQS SUV (not to be confused with the EQS sedan going on sale this year) will no doubt come in Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Maybach forms — but it's the latter, teased here in a picture Mercedes released in July 2021 — that has us most excited. After all, the gas-powered Mercedes-Maybach GLS proved itself to be an utterly delightful luxury ride; all that luxury but zero emissions sounds like a dream come true.
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.
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.
Polestar's naming convention, so far, has been fairly simple: first came the Polestar 1, then the Polestar 2, and the Polestar 3 should follow in 2022. Based on the draped image seen here, it seems all but certain to be an athletic-looking crossover; it'll also reportedly be built on a new EV platform that'll be shared with other Polestar and Volvo models.
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 be in the three-second range, they'll be almost Ludicrous quick in a straight line— and they'll also be able to frolic off-road like few other vehicles, as well.
The R1T pickup went on sale late last year, and quickly proved itself to be one of, if not the most, influential and ground-breaking new rides of 2021. Here in 2022, the R1S sport-ute that shares its platform and most of the sheetmetal forward of the C-pillar will bring similar innovation to the SUV market.
Subaru's first electric SUV, co-developed with Toyota in much the same way as the BRZ / GR 86 twins, is aimed straight at the heart of the market: it's a compact crossover with off-road-esque looks. Dual motors give it all-wheel-drive, as you'd expect from a Subaru, but don't expect insane EV acceleration or ground-breaking range; power maxes out at 215 horses, and Subaru estimates it'll go "more than 220 miles" on a charge. Still, 8.3 inches of ground clearance should be enough to hop over most everyday obstacles.
Toyota's version of the Toyobaru EV SUV is much like the Solterra, just with its own set of Toyota-specific cues inside and out. Unfortunately, that awkward name is sticking around; 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.
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Volvo is plotting an all-electric replacement for the XC90 crossover. The brand has said it will have "a name, like a child." All signs point to it being called Embla after the first woman in norse mythology. The new flagship SUV should look similar to Volvo's Concept Recharge and may pack some Level 3 hands-free driving tech.
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.
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.
Jeep teased us with an electric Wrangler in the form of the Magneto concept rig revealed in early 2021, but a production version seems likely to follow soon. (Adding credence to the idea, albeit in an odd way: a Stellantis teaser video that showed an electric Wrangler driving underwater.) No word yet on whether it'll keep the X-Men-inspired name or not.
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 production version of such a model, though we're betting it'll look an awful lot like the concept version seen here.
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. Tesla now says the development will finish in 2022 with a plan to begin production in 2023.
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. Production has been pushed back until at least 2023.
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 coming back as an electric minivan. It debuted in Europe this year, but the long-wheelbase version that comes to America won't arrive until 2024.
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"?
Okay, we're a bit into the realm of conjecture here, but given the fact that a) the new Bronco is already a massive hit for Ford, b) FoMoCo has vowed to go heavily into electric mobility over the next decade, and c) the company showed off the above conceptual image of a "theoretical" EV SUV in a 2021 presentation, it seems pretty much like a lock that a Bronco EV will happen sooner or later. We're pegging it at 2024, but that's just a guess.
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.
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