The most important 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.....

Demand for electrified cars has surged in the past four years, with registrations increasing from around 3500 in 2013 to almost 160,000 by the end of 2018.

Concept electric cars compilation image

However, 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, and the best are now fantastic all-rounders; indeed, at the 2019 What Car? Awards, the Kia e-Niro became the first-ever fully electric model to be named overall Car of the Year.

That's the good news if you like the idea of going green and reducing your motoring costs, while the even better news is that a host of manufacturers are preparing to launch new models that further push the boundaries of style, range and technology. Here we take a look at what's coming when, starting with the Honda E.

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Honda E

Honda E concept

On sale: Summer 2020

Price from: £29,660

Meet the most exciting upcoming model of 2019 – as crowned by What Car? readers at our most recent awards, where it garnered almost eight times as many votes as the runner-up.

The Honda E is a rival to the BMW i3 and Renault Zoe, and keeps the modern, minimalist styling of the 2017 Urban EV concept on which it's based. However, it gains rear doors to aid practicality.

The E can travel for up to 125 miles on the latest WLTP test cycle, with power coming from a single electric motor mounted at the rear of the car.

Charging the E to 80% of capacity takes just 30 minutes using the latest rapid chargers, although that time will increase significantly if you use a less powerful wall-mounted charging point at home or an on-street charger.

Prices start at £29,960 for the car in its standard form, or drivers can pay £32,160 for the Advance model, which comes with an autonomous parking system, a digital rear-view mirror and an upgraded stereo. Finance payments for the E are due to start at just less than £300 per month.

Mercedes EQS

Mercedes EQS concept

On sale: 2021

With its EQC SUV, Mercedes has already shown that it can create an electric SUV to rival the Audi E-tron and Jaguar I-Pace, and now its attentions have turned to the luxury car market. The EQS shows what an all-electric Mercedes luxury saloon could look like and is due to go on sale in 2021.

Power comes from two electric motors producing a combined 470bhp and a staggering 560lb ft of torque; that's enough to get the EQS to 62mph in just 4.5sec. An advanced battery pack is said to give the EQS a range of around 435 miles. Inside, the EQS features a minimalist design, with a small steering wheel and large touchscreens.

Prices won't be announced for some time, but the EQS is expected to sit even above the S-Class luxury car.

Volvo XC40 Electric

Volvo XC40 Electric concept

On sale: Early 2020

We've known for a long time that an all-electric version of Volvo's family SUV was in the works. And its arrival could be big news indeed; let's not forget, after all, that the XC40 was our Car of the Year in 2018. With a promise that it will be the safest car ever built by the Swedish manufacturer, Volvo's electric XC40 is expected to use the same underpinnings as the Polestar 2.

That car produces 402bhp from its electric motors and has an official range of up to 311 miles. The XC40 is expected to have a similar range but less power.

Audi Q4 E-tron

Audi Q4 E-tron concept

On sale: Late 2020

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 earlier this 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 an official range of up to 280 miles.

Peugeot e-208

Peugeot e-208 concept

On sale: Early 2020

Price from: £28,550 (excluding gov't grant)

Power for this all-electric version of Peugeot's small hatchback comes from a single 134bhp electric motor, which is fed by a 50kWh battery and offers a range of up to 211 miles on the WTLP test cycle.

A full charge using a dedicated wall charger takes eight hours, but you can charge it to 80% of capacity in 30 minutes using a 100kW rapid charger. To help increase the uptake of electric vehicles, Peugeot plans to offer buyers a pass allowing them to access a petrol or diesel-engined alternative model for occasional long journeys.

Ford Mach E

Ford Mach E concept

On sale: 2021

At first glance, an all-electric SUV from Ford that takes inspiration from the Ford Mustang sports car doesn't seem like a likely concept, but that's exactly what the company is planning.

Expected to be called the Mach E, it will be designed from the ground up as an electric car, but hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions could follow later.

Mini Electric

Mini Electric concept

On sale: March 2020

Price from: £27,900

Initially, it will be offered only as a three-door hatchback. However, if it proves popular, electric versions of other Minis could well follow.

The Mini Electric gets a 33kWh battery pack and single 181bhp electric motor. The car's official range is 144 miles – greater than the Honda E's but less than that of rivals such as Vauxhall's upcoming all-electric Corsa.

Prices for the Mini Electric start from £27,900, but the Government's £3500 electric vehicle grant takes that down to £24,400, which is less than the price of a petrol-engined Mini Cooper S. For those buying on PCP finance deals, the Mini Electric will be available from £299 per month.

Porsche Taycan

Porsche Taycan

On sale: January 2020

Price from: £115,858

The Taycan is powered by two electric motors that produce 616bhp in standard 'Turbo' form and 750bhp in the Turbo S version. Given the car’s exterior styling and four-seat interior, you might assume that it will be closer to the Panamera than the 911 in terms of the way it drives. However, the Taycan’s floor-mounted batteries give it a lower centre of gravity than either of these conventionally powered Porsches and, as a result, improved handling.

The Taycan is the first car to use an 800-volt electrical system, enabling charging at up to 270kW. Indeed, when receiving this rate, the Taycan can get a full charge in less than 20 minutes. Porsche plans to give the Taycan Level 4 autonomous driving technology down the line; that equates to self-driving in nearly all situations, with driver attention not always required.

Vauxhall Corsa-e

Vauxhall Corsa-e concept

On sale: Early 2020

Price from: £29,990

Vauxhall sees the electric variant as so important to the Corsa’s future that it chose to reveal it ahead of the combustion-engined models.

Called the Corsa-e, it uses a 134bhp motor and a 50kWh lithium ion battery that’s good for a range of 211 miles between charges on the official WLTP test cycle. That matches the figure of its sister car, the Peugeot e-208, and compares favourably with today’s Renault Zoe, which manages just 188 miles.


BMW iX3 concept

On sale: Early 2020

Like today's Audi E-tron and Jaguar I-Pace, the BMW iX3 has a motor on each axle, giving it four-wheel drive. Aesthetically, it stands out from other X3 models by dint of its closed-off grille and smoother bodywork with blue accents.

An anticipated official range of 249 miles matches exactly what the E-tron manages, while prices are predicted to start at £56,000.

Jaguar XJ

Jaguar XJ concept

On sale: 2020

While today’s XJ is a fairly conventional luxury saloon, next year’s replacement will be exclusively sold as an electric car, making it a direct rival to the Tesla Model S and the Porsche Taycan.

The new XJ will also switch from a four-door layout to a five-door one, potentially boosting practicality. Powered by two electric motors driving all four wheels, it will serve as a technological showcase for Jaguar.

Power will come from two electric motors, and Jaguar is targeting a real-world range of around 300 miles. For reference, the existing I-Pace electric SUV manages 292 miles on the WLTP test cycle.

Audi E-tron Sportback

Audi E-tron Sportback concept

On sale: 2020

With the regular Audi E-tron now on sale, Audi is looking to follow it up with a coupé-like Sportback version, previewed by 2017’s Elaine concept car.

It uses the same 402bhp dual-motor powertrain as the E-tron and should deliver a range of up to 250 miles. Plus, like the E-tron, the Sportback will be able to control its own acceleration, braking and steering in certain situations. Camouflaged prototype versions have been spotted testing, and Audi showed one off at this year's Geneva motor show.

Inside, expect to see an interior similar to that of the regular E-tron, with a large digital instrument cluster and separate screens for the infotainment and climate controls.

Maserati Alfieri

Maserati Alfieri concept

On sale: Late 2020

The conventionally powered version of the Maserati Alfieri sports car is due to go on sale next year after an unveiling at March's Geneva motor show, and a year later it will be followed up by an all-electric version.

The electric Alfieri will have three electric motors, four-wheel drive and an energy-dense battery pack. A plug-in hybrid version is also on the cards.

Peugeot e-2008

Peugeot e-2008 concept

On sale: Spring 2020

Price from: £20,000 (est)

The second generation of Peugeot's smallest SUV will be joined by a new electric version, called the e-2008. Powered by a single 134bhp motor, the e-2008 can cover 193 miles between charges, according to the latest WLTP tests; in comparison, Hyundai's Kona Electric covered one mile more in the same tests.

Charging takes up to eight hours using a 7.4kW home wallbox but will be a lot quicker if you use a rapid charger. Buyers will also get access to a network of 85,000 charging points across Europe.

BMW Vision iNext

BMW Vision iNext concept

On sale: 2021

About the same size as the X5 SUV, the Vision iNext (although it won’t have that name when it goes on sale) is said to be capable of level three autonomy – meaning that, in certain situations such as on the motorway, drivers won’t need to pay attention to what the car is doing.

It will be able to travel for up to 450 miles on a single charge – helped by the large battery housed beneath its floor. Drivers can choose between Boost and Ease modes, with the former allowing the Vision iNext to be driven like a normal car. When Ease mode is engaged, however, the steering wheel retracts slightly and the infotainment displays show places of interest near to the car.

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID 3 concept

On sale: Summer 2020

Price from: £29,000 (est)

Volkswagen is no stranger to electric vehicles, but the new ID 3 hatchback is 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.

The more powerful of the two electric motors you can choose develops a lively 201bhp, and the ID 3 will be available with three sizes of battery. The biggest battery gives you a range of 341 miles, the mid-range option (which VW expects most buyers to go for) grants 260 miles and the smallest battery 205 miles.

The batteries can be recharged to 80% of capacity within 30 minutes, using the fastest charging points found at motorway service stations.

Audi E-tron GT

Audi E-tron GT concept

On sale: 2021

Price from: £100,000 (est)

After the E-tron, E-tron Sportback and Q4 E-tron are on sale, the next phase of Audi's electric car plan is the E-tron GT, a four-door coupé that will go on sale in 2021.

Power comes from two electric motors – one on each axle, giving the E-tron GT four-wheel drive – that together produce 582bhp, allowing the car to accelerate from 0-62mph in just 3.5sec and on to a top speed of 149mph. That acceleration is faster than you get in most versions of the Tesla Model S.

The E-tron GT can travel for up to 248 miles between charges on the newest WLTP tests, which are more representative of real-world driving. Most importantly, however, the E-tron will be capable of charging at a far higher rate than today's electric cars, which could reduce charging times to as little as 20 minutes on the very fastest 350kW chargers.

Seat el-Born

Seat el-Born concept

On sale: 2020

Price from: £28,000 (est)

Based on the same underpinnings as Volkswagen’s ID 3 electric hatchback, the el-Born will lead to a production model with about the same footprint as the current Leon family hatchback.

Powered by a 201bhp electric motor, the el-Born has an official range of 261 miles on the WLTP test cycle – far greater than that of electric rivals such as the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf, which offer 186 and 168 miles respectively on the same test. The el-Born should also be nippy; it can cover the 0-62mph sprint in 7.5sec.

Charging the el-Born to 80% capacity takes as little as 47 minutes using the latest 100kW rapid chargers, but that time will increase dramatically if you use a standard wall-mounted charger.

Volkswagen ID Buzz

Volkswagen ID Buzz concept

On sale: 2022

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 configurable interior, with space for luggage at both the front and rear.

What’s more, the steering wheel will retract into the centre console when the car is driving itself – although this Pilot mode won’t be available from launch.

Volkswagen ID Crozz

Volkswagen ID Crozz concept

On sale: 2020

Another part of Volkswagen’s planned electric revolution is the ID Crozz – an SUV with coupé-like styling.

Standout features include a system that ensures the air inside the car is pure, regardless of pollution outside, and a digital key that stores your preferences for things such as climate control and seating position so it can set them as you approach the car.

Although only seen so far in concept car form, an almost production-ready version of the Crozz was shown at the Frankfurt motor show recently, albeit hiding under heavy camouflage.

Polestar 2

Polestar 2 concept

On sale: Early 2020

Think of the Polestar 2 as an all-electric, coupé-like version of the Volvo XC40 and you won’t be far wrong.

Previewed by the 40.2 concept car in 2016, the Polestar 2 should cost about £34,000 and be capable of covering up to 350 miles between charges, with 402bhp coming from its electric motor. Top-end models, meanwhile, will cost around £51,000.

Tesla Roadster

Tesla Roadster concept

On sale: 2020

This second-generation 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 said to have a top speed of more than 250mph, while an advanced 200kWh battery gives a range of more than 600 miles. Prices are expected to start at about £190,000 for the first models.

Seat Mii Electric

Seat Mii Electric concept

On sale: 2020

This all-electric version of the Seat Mii city car is powered by a single 82bhp electric motor and can travel for up to 162 miles on a single charge. It should be nippy, too; the 0-31mph sprint takes just 3.9sec and its top speed is limited to 81mph. Inside, you'll find redesigned seats that are now heated, plus a leather steering wheel and a new dashboard.

Skoda is also producing an electric version of its city car, the Citigo, while an upgraded version of Volkswagen's e-Up will go on sale early next year, with prices starting from around £23,000.

Road Rover

Road Rover concept

On sale: 2020

Twinned with the next-generation Jaguar XJ, the Road Rover will be Land Rover's first fully electric car. It's designed to be less capable off road than its standard Range Rover siblings but promises a range of around 300 miles.

Like the XJ, it will be powered by two electric motors – giving the Road Rover four-wheel drive. Prices for top-end versions are expected to reach to around £90,000.

Skoda Vision E

Skoda Vision E - interior

On sale: 2020

Skoda wants its electric SUV to be seen as a performance and technology flagship for the brand; that’s why it will come with around 300bhp from its electric motors and be capable of hitting 62mph from rest in six seconds.

Longer and lower than the existing Kodiaq, the Vision E has a targeted range of around 310 miles. A planned rear-wheel-drive-only variant could offer more range.

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