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The coronavirus pandemic has slowed auto development and production, but manufacturers’ plans to introduce electric vehicles (EVs) continue unabated. A record number of almost 100 pure electric EV models are set to debut by the end of 2024.
On the menu are cars, and an increasing number of SUVs and pickups, along with a broader array of plug-in hybrid models, which can run on mostly electric power for stretch before a gasoline engine kicks in and operates the vehicle more like a traditional hybrid.
The rollout of new EV and plug-in hybrid models across different segments is good news for consumers looking for an alternative-fuel vehicle that will fit their needs.
Here’s a rundown of some of the models that are most worth watching over the next couple of years. The list is alphabetical by automaker. Prices are estimates in most cases.
Audi Q4 E-Tron
Audi will expand the E-Tron nameplate later this year with the Q4 E-Tron. A close relative of the Volkswagen ID.4, Audi’s compact electric SUV will be built on the Volkswagen MEB modular electric vehicle platform. Based on its size, the Q4 E-Tron will compete with the likes of the Tesla Model Y and Volvo XC40 Recharge. Audi has not yet announced the Q4 E-Tron’s driving range, which is the distance a vehicle can go between charges or fueling. The current range estimate for the Q4 E-Tron is 280 miles, but it is based on EU test standards, which are more optimistic than the U.S. ones. That is considerably less than the Model Y.
On sale: Late 2021
Audi E-Tron GT
Audi's new flagship, the E-Tron GT, shares the electric vehicle architecture that underpins the Porsche Taycan, an EV that also falls under the aegis of Volkswagen Group, one of the world's largest automakers. The E-Tron GT features a layout and electric powertrain similar to the Taycan, but the styling and infotainment system are distinctively Audi. All E-Tron GT models will feature all-wheel drive. In performance-oriented RS trim, combined output from the front and rear motors is 637-horsepower, which Audi says is capable of launching the car from 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. EPA range estimates are not yet available for the E-Tron GT, but Audi's estimates are 238 miles for the base model and 231 miles for the RS.
Cost: $75,000 estimated
On sale: Summer 2021
BMW calls its stylish new i4 electric vehicle a “four-door coupe.” This EV is projected to have a range of 300-plus miles and a fast charging system that will add about 60 miles in just 6 minutes. The i4 also promises sports-car performance, with 530 hp and 0-to-60-mph acceleration in under 4 seconds. (It’s probably no coincidence that those acceleration numbers are similar to Tesla’s Model 3, a rival.) The fact that BMW is bringing out an electric vehicle with a broader appeal than the quirky-looking compact i3 will give consumers in the market for sporty luxury more choices.
On sale: 2021
The iX is BMW’s new electric flagship SUV. Designed from scratch and a showcase for the automaker’s latest tech, it’s nothing like any BMW we’ve seen before considering its massive grille, squared-off steering wheel and wraparound floating touchscreen. According to BMW, the iX will have 500 hp and employ two motors to give it AWD capability, and it will sprint from 0-62 mph in under 5 seconds. Range is claimed to be 300-miles, and it can add 75 miles of charge in 10 minutes of DC fast charging. Charging from empty on 240 volt will take 11 hours, which is par for the course.
Cost: $80,000-100,000 EST
On sale: Early 2022
The Cadillac Lyriq showcases next-generation styling for the brand and introduces a new modular electric platform. It is roughly the length and width of the Cadillac XT6 SUV. However, the Lyriq has a much different profile, being 6 inches lower in height and riding on a 9-inch longer wheelbase. The dominant feature in the cabin is a curved 33-inch LED display that stretches from the instrument panel all the way to where the infotainment screen is traditionally placed. This builds on the presentation found in the 2021 Cadillac Escalade, which has a 38-inch curved OLED display. The initial Lyriq is a 340-hp, rear-drive model with a 100-kWh battery—a combination that the automaker estimates is good for at least 300 miles of range. Production starts in early 2022 at the Spring Hill, Tenn., facility. GM has pledged a $2 billion investment in that factory to support electric vehicle production. In addition, the company is spending $2.3 billion on a new battery manufacturing plant in the same town, as part of a joint effort with LG Energy Solution.
On sale: Early 2023
Learn more about the Cadillac Lyriq.
Chevrolet Bolt EUV
The Bolt EUV, a new small front-wheel drive SUV, is built on the same platform as the freshened for 2022 Bolt EV. It features a clean and uncluttered styling. The EUV is more than 6 inches longer than the hatchback model, has a longer wheelbase, and more legroom for rear passengers. Both the Bolt EV and EUV share the same 200-hp electric motor hat drives the front wheels. Chevrolet estimates that the EUV can go 250 miles on a full charge. Active safety features including FCW, AEB, lane keeping assist with lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and a following distance indicator will come standard. Super Cruise, the driver assist technology that allows hands-free driving as long as the driver pays attention to the road ahead, will be available on the Bolt EUV.
On sale: Summer 2021
Learn more about the Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV.
Ford F-150 Lightning
The F-Series pickup truck has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for decades, and with all the EVs coming to market, it makes sense that Ford would add an electric option to its biggest moneymaker. Anyone who has been following the horsepower/torque arms race among various truck manufacturers over the past few years will know that electric motors promise to be as capable as gasoline and diesel engines for use in vehicles intended to tow and haul heavy loads. One other small advantage the electric F-150 will have over its traditional counterparts is a “frunk”—a storage compartment where the gasoline or diesel engine would have lived. Ford says both the truck and its batteries will be built at the company’s River Rouge manufacturing complex in Dearborn, Mich. The automaker said this new truck will be quicker than the original Lightning, a performance-focused version. There is currently an F-150 hybrid.
On sale: Mid-2022
GMC Hummer EV
The Hummer badge was once antithetical to alternative fuels, representing hulking, gas-guzzling SUVs inspired by military vehicles. The new Hummer will be both hulking and green—a large, aggressive-looking four-door pickup and SUV with big power and undeniable off-road presence. GMC says the reimagined Hummer will come in a three-motor setup good for either 800 or 1,000 hp, or a two-motor version that will make 625 hp. Online preorders for the first of these trucks—dubbed Edition 1—sold out within 10 minutes. Lower-priced versions will roll out over time.
Cost: $79,995 to $112,595
On sale: Early 2022
Learn more about the GMC Hummer EV.
The Kia EV6 is the brand’s first car designed from the ground up to be electric. Sized like a Ford Mustang Mach-E, the EV6 crossover promises to be the first in a series of upcoming EV models. The EV6 will be offered in a number of powertrain configurations, with rear- and all-wheel-drive versions, and several motor combinations. Acceleration is said to be as swift as 3.5 seconds 0-60 mph. The EV6 is compatible with 400- and 800-volt fast charging stations in public places, enabling the car to go from 10 to 80 percent charge in 18 minutes. A neat feature: The EV6 is capable of powering other equipment or serving as an emergency power source for your home.
On sale: Late 2021
A large, sleek, all-wheel-drive sedan designed to compete with ultraluxury models such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Tesla Model S, the Lucid Air will eventually be available in a few formats. The first to arrive will be the most expensive one—a 1,080-hp dual-motor sedan with a $169,000 price. Less powerful versions will arrive later, including a 800-hp dual-motor model and a couple of single-motor models with either 480 or 620 hp. The car, its batteries, and the 900-volt electric architecture were engineered in-house, and have already been tested and proved on Formula E cars. Lucid says the base model will have more than 400 miles of range, with a proprietary charging system that makes it possible to add 300 miles of range in 20 minutes using a DC fast charger. An SUV based on the Air is expected to follow.
Cost: $77,400 to $170,000
On sale: Summer 2021
Learn more about the Lucid Air.
A Nissan Rogue-sized SUV, the Ariya promises to be a formidable competitor to other battery-powered SUVs, such as the Tesla Model Y and the upcoming Ford Mach-E. While more luxurious and substantial than the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona, and Kia Niro EVs, the Ariya will be less expensive than the Model Y. Nissan says two versions will be available—a front-wheel-drive one-motor model with 2,015 hp and an all-wheel-drive two-motor model with 389 hp. Equipped with a long-range battery, the front-drive model has an Environmental Protection Agency-rated range of 300 miles.
Cost: $40,000 to $50,000
On sale: Late 2021
Learn more about the Nissan Ariya.
Porsche Macan EV
The Macan was Porsche’s entrée into the popular compact SUV segment and quickly proved to be a best-seller. A battery electric version will accompany its gasoline-powered counterpart, albeit on a different, EV-specific platform co-developed by Audi and Porsche. The Macan EV will use the same 800-volt electric architecture that’s now in the Taycan electric sedan. (Current Macan GTS shown.)
On sale: 2022
Rivian R1T and R1S
The R1T is an all-electric pickup scheduled to beat Tesla’s Cybertruck to the market by two years. It has a promised range of up to 400 miles, up to 750 hp, and 11,000 pounds of towing capacity. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph is claimed to be 3 seconds. It also has a transverse tunnel between the bed and the cab for storage. The R1S is a three-row luxury SUV version. Rivian is the rare tech startup that has attracted heavy-duty investors, including Amazon, Ford, and Cox Automotive. Unlike other EV companies that have faded like vaporware, Rivian may have the ability to sop up some of the pent-up demand for an electric pickup while Tesla is still developing its Cybertruck concept.
Cost: $67,500 to $77,500
On sale: June 2021 (R1T) and August 2021 (R1S)
Learn more about the Rivian R1T and R1S.
Subaru has announced its entrance into the EV market in 2022 with an all-electric SUV called the Solterra. Subaru faithful have been waiting with bated breath for news of the automaker’s plans to go electric as other automakers, one after another, have signaled their intent. Details are scant—mirroring other automakers’ announcements of upcoming EVs—but Subaru said the Solterra was developed as part of a joint venture between itself and Toyota, and will be built in Japan and China on Toyota’s new dedicated all-electric vehicle platform, known as e-TNGA. Subaru calls it the e-Subaru platform.
Learn more about the Subaru Solterra.
It’s a radical rethinking of what a pickup truck should be, from its angular, one-of-a-kind stainless steel exoskeleton to its 7,500-pound towing capacity. But by the time the Cybertruck arrives, it will face heavy competition from the likes of Rivian and Ford, as well as from upstarts like Lordstown Motors and Bollinger. It’s hard to know what to make of this bizarre vehicle. It has the buzz you would expect of an Elon Musk-inspired creation, and large numbers of risk-free $100 deposits. But most analysts think this will be a niche vehicle for Tesla enthusiasts rather than a volume player in the huge U.S. pickup market.
Cost: $40,000 to $70,000
On sale: 2022
Learn more about the Tesla Cybertruck.
Toyota said in April, 2021, that it is developing an SUV in partnership with Subaru based on a new dedicated all-electric vehicle platform, known as e-TNGA. Dubbed bZ4X, the new EV will incorporate Subaru’s deep experience developing all-wheel-drive systems. Toyota says the bZ4X will fall under its Toyota bZ—”beyond zero”, a reference to zero emissions—brand umbrella, which includes six other bZ models to be introduced by 2025. Both automakers are withholding further details on their upcoming SUVs until closer to production.
Electric Cars 101
Electric cars are bringing some of the biggest changes the auto industry has seen in years. On the “Consumer 101” TV show, Consumer Reports expert Jake Fisher explains to host Jack Rico why these vehicles might not be as newfangled as you think.