Hot new electric cars are coming soon
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If there were any lingering doubts, set them aside. Electrification has come to cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks, and the options for new electric cars are increasing in number and variety.
A flurry of year-end announcements shows an appetite among automakers to expand the market with new electric cars. As more EV models arrive, consumers will have a better chance to find one that fits their needs.
Whether they’re trying to keep up with Tesla or making plans to meet increasingly stringent emissions standards around the world, automakers are finally rolling out models promised as part of a sustained move toward electrification.
Here’s a rundown of some of the coming models that are most worth watching. Included are the basics behind each model, CR’s take, and whatever details we have on projected arrivals and pricing (before any tax credits). The list is alphabetical by automaker.
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Profile: BMW calls its stylish new i4 electric vehicle a “four-door coupe.” This EV is projected to have a more than 300-mile range and 0 to 60 acceleration of under 4 seconds. It’s probably no coincidence that those specs are similar to Tesla’s Model 3.
Cost: $70,000 (estimate)
CR’s take: It’s good to see that BMW is bringing out a battery electric that has a broader appeal than the quirky i3. The i4 promises 530 horsepower with no emissions. It’s an intriguing challenger to Tesla, but it will be two years late to the party.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Profile:Ford’s answer to the Tesla Model Y, a performance-oriented crossover that bears the all-important Mustang badge.
Arrival: December 2020
CR’s take: Ford has taken its most valuable possession, the Mustang nameplate, and extended it to a four-door electric SUV at a price where it could find many potential customers. Sure, it’s not a low-slung coupe and has no V8, but it’s more practical than a sports car. Plus it’s quick, has optional AWD, and doesn’t consume a drop of gas or emit tailpipe emissions.
Profile: An electric SUV that’s less expensive than the Audi E-Tron and more practical than the Jaguar I-Pace.
Arrival: Spring 2021
CR’s take: It’s essentially an electric version of Mercedes’ GLC compact SUV. The size is right, and the GLC drives nicely. It’s a very promising EV with a range of 250 on the European standard. But range-conscious customers should wait for the EPA’s range estimate, which is more realistic—and likely lower—than the Euro rating.
Mini Electric Hardtop
Profile: It’s an electric version of the small, two-door Cooper. It’s one of the cheaper EV options, but at the expense of range: 110 miles, or roughly half that of most of the newer battery-electric models.
Arrival: March 2020
CR’s take: With all due respect to the fun-to-drive, cheerful Mini, with such a modest range, it seems so 2011.
Profile: Polestar, a luxury spinoff from Volvo that will offer hybrids and EVs, brings out its second model, a four-dour sedan aimed at the sweet spot between Tesla’s Model 3 and Model S.
Arrival: July 2020
CR’s take: With an estimated driving range of 275 miles, this tall hatchback promises quick acceleration. Dual motors at the front and rear axles will provide all-wheel drive.
Profile:Porsche’s match for the Tesla Model S, it’s a sedan that looks like a more muscular Panamera with robotic eyes and wide, bulging fenders.
Arrival: Late 2019
CR’s take: Porsche is arriving in the EV market in a big way with this high-performing electric sedan. The 800-volt system, which delivers faster charging and reduces weight, is an engineering achievement. But the base Taycan’s range of just over 200 miles doesn’t look competitive compared with Tesla.
Rivian R1T and R1S
Profile: The R1T is an all-electric pickup that will beat Tesla’s Cybertruck to market by two years. It actually looks like a truck, with a promised range of 400 miles, 750 horsepower, and 11,000 pounds of towing capacity. All of this while accelerating 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds. The R1S is a three-row luxury SUV version.
Arrival: Late 2020
Cost: $69,000 and up
CR’s take: Rivian is the rare tech startup that has attracted heavy-duty investors like Amazon, Ford, and Cox Automotive. So, unlike many other EV upstarts that have come and gone, Rivian’s ability to deliver may match its buzz. It may sop up some of the pent-up demand for an electric pickup while Tesla’s version is still in development.
Profile: 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.
CR’s take: Weeks after Tesla’s long-anticipated unveiling of its electric pickup, 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.
Tesla Model Y
Profile: It’s a crossover version of the Model 3. And no, it won’t have the trouble-plagued gull-wing doors of the Model X.
Arrival: Summer 2020
CR’s take: The Tesla Model Y is expected to be an even bigger seller than the Model 3, the sedan that turned Tesla from a boutique electric-car manufacturer into a volume automaker.
Volvo XC40 Recharge
Profile: This is Volvo’s first all-electric SUV, a small crossover smaller than the XC60, with an expected 200-mile range.
Arrival: Fall 2020
Cost: $55,000 and up
CR’s take: It’s essentially an electric version of the conventional XC40, but it will be quicker and quieter. By the time it arrives, maybe Volvo will have fixed the stiff ride and unintuitive infotainment system.
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