All the electric cars coming soon
Next week, we'll reveal our 2021 Electric Car Awards winners, but here we're looking farther into the future at the upcoming models that you might want to wait for...
Electric cars coming soon
Under current Government plans, all new cars will have to be electrified from 2030, but sales of such models are already booming.
Indeed, they've accounted for 22.5% of all new car sales so far this year, with registrations of fully electric models up 138.7% compared with the same period in 2020.
Tax incentives are no doubt contributing to their popularity, but it also helps that electric cars have come on massively; where previously they had quite limited ranges that made them unsuitable for long journeys, that's no longer the case. In fact, the best are now fantastic all-rounders and standards are continuing to improve.
On 28 July, we'll reveal our current favourites in every class as part of the 2021 What Car? Electric Car Awards, but first let's take a look at the electric models that will be going on sale in the next few months and years.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
We've already driven a left-hand-drive version of the Ioniq 5, so know it combines its standout looks with composed handling and an interior that's both futuristic and incredibly spacious. Ride comfort and refinement let the side down a bit, but it’s still a very appealing addition to the large electric car ranks. Prices start from £36,995.
This luxury limousine is for buyers who want an electric alternative to the existing Mercedes S-Class. It has an official range of up to 478 miles between charges, while the list of cutting-edge equipment includes a fully digital dashboard and a new Digital Light system, which can project guidelines, markings and even warning symbols onto the road ahead.
The EV6 is the first in a new generation of electric Kias and can travel up to 328 miles on a charge. Its radical exterior design is half SUV and half family hatchback, while inside there's a 12.3in infotainment touchscreen, and front seats that can recline backwards so you can take a nap while the car is charging. Prices will start from £49,895.
Costing from £51,905, the i4 is designed to rival the Tesla Model 3, and our recent drive in a late stage prototype version showed that it definitely has the potential to match the best from Elon Musk's stable. Two versions will be available from launch, with the range-topping M50 producing 537bhp from its twin electric motors.
First revealed as the Seat El-Born concept car in 2019, the Born is Cupra's version of the Volkswagen ID.3. There are three battery sizes for buyers to choose from, but even the entry-level model can travel up to 211 miles on a single charge, while range-topping versions top out at 335 miles – further than the cheapest Tesla Model 3 can take you.
Hyundai Ioniq 6
Following hot on the heels of the Ioniq 5, this second model from Hyundai's new electric car sub-brand is an electric saloon designed to compete with BMW's upcoming i4 and the the Tesla Model 3. It's expected to take design inspiration from the Prophecy concept car pictured above.
About the same size as today's X5, the iX will offer Level 3 autonomy, which means it will be able to steer, accelerate and brake for itself in certain situations (including at speeds of up to 80mph). It will also have around 500bhp, meaning 0-62mph should be possible in less than 5.0sec, while the 100kWh battery is expected to deliver a range of more than 370 miles in official WLTP tests.
The Mercedes EQB will be the smallest seven-seat electric SUV you can buy. And while its rearmost seats are likely to be only suitable for small adults or children (they have Isofix mounting points for child seats), it should be well suited to many families' needs. The range-topping EQB 350 4Matic version will have two electric motors for four-wheel drive and a combined output of 288bhp.
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.
The next car to join Volkswagen's stable of ID-badged electric models will be the ID.5, a coupé SUV based on the existing ID.4. It will be offered with virtually identical performance and battery options as that model, and the range will be crowned by a performance-oriented version called the ID.5 GTX, offering around 300bhp.
Tesla Model S
First introduced to the UK in 2014, the Model S luxury car will get a big interior update next year, with the portrait-orientated touchscreen infotainment system of today's car ditched in favour of a 17in landscape unit that looks to be better integrated into the dashboard. Beyond the new interior, the big news is the introduction of a 1006bhp Plaid variant, which is said to accelerate from 0-60mph in just 1.99sec.
Volvo C40 Recharge
Essentially a coupé-styled version of the existing XC40 Recharge, the C40 is Volvo's rival for the Audi E-tron Sportback and Jaguar I-Pace. Power comes from two electric motors, each drawing power from a 78kWh battery. The result is a combined 402bhp and a range of up to 261 miles between charges.
If you've been looking at the new Nissan Qashqai and wondering why there's no fully electric version, the Nissan Ariya is your answer. This is Nissan's first electric SUV, and it's powered by two electric motors. As is becoming the norm, you'll be able to tailor the battery size, power output and range to suit your needs and budget, but even the base model can go up to 223 miles between charges.
Most details about Polestar's third model are still under wraps, but we do know that it will be built in the US and that the design will be influenced by the futuristic Precept concept car pictured above.
We've already talked about the Born, but Seat's performance brand is also planning a second electric car: the Tavascan coupé SUV. An expected starting price of around £60,000 would see it undercut premium-badged rivals such as the Audi E-tron Sportback and Jaguar I-Pace, while a range of 279 miles between charges is competitive.
MG Electric Hatch
Likely to be similar in size to the current MG 3, this new electric hatchback will be sold alongside its conventionally engined sibling for a short time, before replacing it. It's likely to be able to travel for around 150 miles between charges, so will be aimed primarily at urban drivers, while MG is said to be targeting a starting price of less than £20,000, making this electric hatchback significantly cheaper than rivals such as the Honda E and Mini Electric.
Porsche Macan EV
Porsche has just unveiled a facelifted version of today's Macan, but it's also planning a fully electric Macan, which will be sold alongside. Using the same name for two different models is unusual – not to mention a little confusing – but Porsche appears to have made the decision based on the fact these two SUVs are a similar size, even though they're not closely related under the skin.
Range Rover EV
Designed to be Land Rover's most road-focused car yet (indeed, its internal nickname was apparently the Road Rover), this luxury SUV will be sleeker than the conventionally powered Range Rover, but similarly expensive, with prices expected to start at around £90,000.
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.
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.
Toyota is planning to launch a whole new range of electric cars, and the Bz is the first to be revealed. While little is known about its power output or range, it's apparently designed to offer comparable comfort and space to the existing Lexus LS luxury car. Expect the very latest driver assistance tech to be available, plus an interior that features a distinctive yoke-style steering wheel.
The EQE SUV is intended, for the moment at least, to be the largest and most luxurious electric SUV Mercedes will make. Similar in size to the existing GLE, Mercedes is said to be targeting a range of around 373 miles.
At 5.87 metres long, Tesla's first foray into the pick-up truck market is around the same length as conventional rivals in the US, but slightly longer than the models we currently get in the UK. It features a radical wedge-shaped design that's a major departure from the styling of other Teslas – and indeed pretty much everything else on the road. Plus, buyers will be able to spec it with one, two or three electric motors.
As odd as it may sound, a fully electric version of the hardcore Mercedes G-Class off-roader really is on the cards – indeed, Mercedes applied to trademark the name EQG way back in 2016. Like the majority of the EQ range, power will come from two electric motors, but buyers will likely be able to choose from different driving modes suited to going off-road.
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