All the electric cars coming soon
Electric vehicles still account for a tiny proportion of car sales, but that could soon change, because these upcoming models push the boundaries of performance, range and desirability...
Electric cars coming soon
Demand for electrified cars has surged in the past five years, with registrations increasing from around 3500 in 2013 to more than 170,000 in 2019, but they still represent a tiny proportion of the UK car market.
One of the main reasons for this is that fully electric cars have traditionally had quite a limited range between charges, making them unsuitable for long journeys. However, that's no longer the case, with the best now fantastic all-rounders.
To help you decide which should be on your shortlist, What Car? will be holding its first ever Electric Car Awards in August. Meanwhile, here we take a look at the upcoming electric models that you might want to consider waiting for.
Think of the Polestar 2 as a sleeker, fully electric version of the Volvo XC40, and you won’t be far wrong. Indeed, Polestar and Volvo are both owned by Chinese firm Geely, and the two cars are closely related under the skin. That’s good news, because the XC40 is such a good all-rounder that we named it Car of the Year in 2018, while the Polestar’s official range of 292 miles is competitive. Prices will initially start at £49,900.
Volkswagen ID 3
Volkswagen is no stranger to electric vehicles, but the new ID 3 will be the brand’s first car to have been designed as an EV from the outset – as opposed to the e-Golf and e-Up, which are electrified variants of existing cars. With styling that stays true to the futuristic concept of 2016 in all but details, the ID 3 takes the form of a five-door family hatchback and has a range of up to 341 miles.
Audi Q4 E-tron
The Q4 E-tron is the smaller sibling to Audi's E-tron electric SUV and was seen in thinly veiled concept form at the Geneva motor show last year. It's slightly wider and shorter than today's Q5 and is powered by two electric motors – one on either axle – producing around 302bhp. The 82kWh battery pack mounted under the Q4 E-tron's floor is said to give it an official range of up to 280 miles.
Like the Q4 E-tron, the iX3 has a motor on each axle, giving it four-wheel drive. And while it’s based on the conventional X3, it stands out by dint of its closed-off front grille and smoother bodywork with blue accents. Its anticipated official range is 249 miles, while prices are predicted to start at £56,000.
Acting as both a design and technology showcase for Jaguar, the new XJ will retain the car’s traditional sleek profile but switch to a five-door layout, making it more practical than the old four-door saloon. Jaguar is targeting a 0-60mph time of less than five seconds and a range of more than 300 miles, with power coming from two electric motors to make the XJ four-wheel drive.
Look just beneath the surface of this concept car’s funky, futuristic styling and you’ll glimpse Seat’s first bespoke electric car. Based on the same underpinnings as Volkswagen’s ID 3, the Born will lead to a production model that's about the same size as the latest Leon family hatchback.
Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge
Volvo has used its outstanding family SUV as the basis for its first electric car. With a 201bhp motor on each axle, the XC40 Recharge is four-wheel drive can can do 0-62mph in just 4.9sec. Its 78kWh battery yields 248 miles of range and can be charged to 80% in 40 minutes. All is familiar inside apart from a new, Android-based infotainment system. You can expect to pay around £50,000.
Audi E-tron GT
Audi’s fourth electric model, after the E-tron, E-tron Sportback and Q4 E-tron, will be this four-door coupé. Unveiled in concept car form at the 2018 Los Angeles motor show, it is about the same size as the luxurious A7 and is the sister car to the Porsche Taycan. The key numbers are 282bhp, 0-62mph in 3.5sec, a top speed of 149mpg and a range of 248 miles between charges.
This fully electric version of the new C4 hatchback is powered by the 134bhp electric motor and 50kWh battery that we’ve already seen in the Peugeot e-2008. In the e-C4, the result is an official range of 217 miles. Meanwhile, the battery can be replenished to 80% in 30 minutes using a 100kW rapid charger. Other highlights include the Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension that gives the C5 Aircross such a cushy ride, although it works less well in the C4 Cactus.
The EU’s drive to reduce emissions is slowly but surely making traditional city cars such as the Kia Picanto, Volkswagen Up and Fiat’s 500 untenable. So, here’s an electric version of the latter with a bespoke body and an official range of 238 miles. It’s plusher inside than the regular car to help justify its £32,500 price, plus there are rear doors to make it more practical.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
This £40,250 electric SUV can take you farther than any current rival: 370 miles. And while it’s not as fast as some, 0-62mph in less than 7.0sec is hardly slow. Inside, you’ll find a new 15.5in touchscreen, digital dials and space for five.
The MX-30’s official range of 130 miles is far less than that achieved by the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro, both of which are proven to be capable of more than 250 miles in real-world conditions. But Mazda reckons that most of its European customers drive an average of only 31 miles each day, and says that by using a smaller battery than those cars, the MX-30 is able to achieve fewer emissions throughout its life. It should make the MX-30 significantly cheaper to buy, too.
Performance figures for the Nissan Leaf's long-awaited SUV sister are still to be confirmed, but recently leaked patent images suggest that its looks will remain faithful to those of 2019 Tokyo motor show concept car (pictured). We also know that it will come with adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance technology.
Just 5cm shorter than the conventional Kodiaq, the Enyaq will cost from around £40,000, with that entry-level model featuring a 146bhp motor, rear-wheel drive and a range of around 211 miles. More expensive versions, meanwhile, will produce up to 302bhp, come with four-wheel drive and be able to travel as far as 311 miles between charges.
Later in 2021
BMW is very much going after the Tesla Model 3 electric saloon with its i4, because it has announced some very healthy performance figures: 0-62mph in 4.0sec and a top speed of 125mph. The i4 should also achieve a very competitive range of 373 miles, partly thanks to a large (80kWh) battery.
Later in 2021
Land Rover Road Rover
Twinned with the next-generation Jaguar XJ, the Road Rover (this internal nickname is likely to be replaced by a Range Rover badge) will be Land Rover's first fully electric car. It's designed to be the brand's most road-focused car yet, and promises a range of around 300 miles in the official WLTP test. Prices are expected to start at around £90,000.
Later in 2021
Tesla Model Y
Essentially an SUV version of our reigning Large Electric Car of the Year, the Model 3, the Model Y can seat up to seven. Two versions are likely to be offered in the UK initially: the Long Range, which is capable of around 300 miles between charges on America's official EPA test cycle, and the more powerful and expensive Performance, which still manages 280 miles.
This second-generation Tesla Roadster is an all-electric four-seat convertible that is claimed to accelerate from 0-60mph in 1.9sec; in other words, it’s blisteringly fast. With three electric motors, the Roadster is also said to have a top speed of more than 250mph, while an advanced 200kWh battery gives a claimed range of more than 600 miles. Prices are expected to start at about £190,000 for the first examples.
Volkswagen ID Buzz
The ID Buzz MPV features a retro design that draws heavily on the Volkswagen Microbus of the 1950s. It has seating for up to eight people in a reconfigurable interior, with space for luggage at both the front and rear. Volkswagen is even promising a steering wheel that retracts into the centre console when the car is driving itself – although this Pilot mode won’t be available from launch.
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