Electric cars are already a mainstay on Britain8217;s roads, with several all-electric models being available to buy right now. A lot of them are simply electric versions of fuel-powered cars, but in the not-too-distant future, we8217;ll see new designs around town and up and down the motorway.
The Audi e-tron Quattro SUV concept was shown off at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2015, and at the Geneva motor show in 2018, Audi unleashed three prototypes to prowl the streets of the Swiss city (we8217;re sure it had nothing to do with trolling Jaguar and its I-Pace launch). The production car that you8217;ll be able to buy will launch at the Brussels motorshow in August 2018. It will go head-to-head with the Jaguar I-Pace (which is on sale now), but has some cool features that will make it worth waiting for.
Audi says it will be easily capable of travelling up to 300 miles on a single charge, can be fully recharged in 50 minutes, and can achieve 0-60mph in less than 5-seconds 8211; if you attempt this, expect the 300 mile range to take a bit of a hit.
The concept version has OLED panels all around the front cabin, which displays a wealth of information, including what8217;s going on around you, as there aren8217;t any wing mirrors. Expect the production cars to have normal mirrors, but stick with the cool light. Audi says it8217;ll cost about the same as a well-specced A6 saloon. So expect that to mean a starting price in the region of £50-60k. Being a futuristic car, the e-tron SUV also has a range of lasers and cameras dotted around the outside to enable self-driving capabilities.
- Audi e-tron: Design, battery range, price and everything you need to know about the all-electric SUV
The e-tron Sportback 8211; previewed by Audi Elain in Frankfurt in 2017 8211; is another concept car for now, but will launch in 2019 as a full production model for an estimated £50,000. It looks a lot like the A7, but has huge 23-inch wheels to give you a commanding view of the road. The road going car will be smaller than the e-tron Quattro listed above and will come to market around a year before this car is available to buy.
The Sportback will be a rival car to Jaguar8217;s I-Pace and will have three electric motors giving it 496bhp that will see it go from 0-60mph in 4.5-seconds. Audi says the e-tron SUV Sportback can be recharged to 80 per cent in 30 minutes, and will have a driving range of 311 miles.
BMW recently took the wraps off its Concept iX3 all-electric SUV, with images revealing what we can expect the final production model to look like when it launches in 2020. The iX3 will get BMW8217;s fifth-generation eDrive technology, which puts the electric motor, transmission and power electronics all into one singular unit.
It also gets a fifth-generation electric motor, especially designed for BMW8217;s Sports Activity Vehicles, which produces 270hp and up to 249 miles on a single charge based on the WLTP cycle. BMW has also said it will support 150kW fast charging, meaning the battery can be fully topped up in just 30 minutes.
The iX3 is a clear sign of BMW reacting to an ever expanding market, but it8217;s odd that it8217;s taking the company so long to get the must-have SUV-body style with an electric powertrain to market, given that the i3 has been on sale since 2013.
BMW confirmed at the Geneva Motor Show 2018 that it will introduce an i4 in the early part of the next decade, and that it will be based on the 4 Series Gran Coupe to give it a sportier look than many bulky and tall EVs. It8217;ll land before the larger i5 (see below), which was previewed by the i Vision Dynamics concept. While not officially confirmed, power will likely come from a front-mounted electric motor that sends power to the back wheels, it8217;s BMW8217;s latest electric architecture, which will also appear under the forthcoming iX3 electric SUV from the Munich brand.
Autocar, who broke the i4 story, believes the car will have similar performance to the 335d GT, which itself produces 350bhp. It will likely have a range of 310 miles when it launches and seems likely to be one of the sportier EV offerings debuting around the turn of the decade.
BMW unveiled the i Vision Dynamics concept coupe at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017. It previews a mid-sized saloon car, in the BMW i range that8217;s likely to be called i5 when it launches in 2021. It8217;s bigger than the company8217;s 3-Series saloon, but smaller than a 5-Series and designed to sit between the i3 and i8 in the electric BMW i range.
The family-sized car will be capable of reaching 60mph in under 4 seconds, go on to a speed over 120mph and be able to last up to 372 miles on a single charge. Let8217;s hope it arrives with the same futuristic design displayed on the concept version.
A huge question mark hangs over the striking FF-91. It should have been launched in 2018 8211; after all, this car debuted at CES in early 2017 and the company opened order books for those wishing to place a deposit. But since then, Faraday has been threatened with bankruptcy, shed plenty of its workforce and work has stopped on its factory. Still, we hope the company makes it.
The FF-91 has a huge 126-inch wheelbase, but that makes for a huge interior. The panoramic sunroof, rear and side windows use Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal Glass, which passengers can tap on to tint the windows and let less light in. Don8217;t expect to get a conventional rear-view mirror inside, as Faraday Future has replaced it with a widescreen monitor instead. It8217;s used to show live footage from a camera on rear of the car, along with cameras on the sides, so you can see literally everything around you.
Another thing to be thrown out is a key. Instead, you use your phone to unlock the car, or if you don8217;t have it with you, your face becomes your key. The FF-91 is able to individually recognise each user and will automatically adjust the seat position, climate control, entertainment preferences and driving routes based on your individual tastes.
The 1,050bhp electric power unit will accelerate to 60mph in 2.39-seconds and will have a driving range between 378 and 435 miles. Faraday Future says the battery can be completely recharged in 1 hour.
Byton joins Faraday in the Tesla-rivalling, start-up car brand stakes. Launched at CES 2018, Byton brought the credibility Faraday perhaps lacks, by offering anyone a test-ride around the parking lot in its prototype SUV. The company says the real car 8211; which it claims will look 8220;95 per cent of the concept8221; will go on sale some time next year 8211; for a scarcely credible $45,000. This base model, should be good for 250 miles of range, and 0-60mph in around 5 seconds.
When we rode in the car at CES, we came away impressed, mostly be the enormous 8220;coast to coast8221; cross-car screen. At 49-inches wide and 10 inches deep, it makes a Tesla8217;s 17-inch display look just a bit small. But the Byton impressed with its clever design, generous space and 8211; well 8211; the fact it doesn8217;t look too weird. Designed in Silicon Valley and Munich, it8217;s funded by and will be built in China. First sales will be in its home market, but the company plans to export to Europe and the US in time. If everything works out, expect an early-2020s on sale date in the UK.
The Fisker EMotion is an electric car designed by Henrik Fisker 8211; the man responsible for designing the BMW Z8 and Aston Martin DB9 to name a few 8211; and is due to be released in August 2017. It will be Fisker8217;s rival to a Tesla Model S, not just in power, but in price too.
New proprietary battery technology developed at the Fisker Nanotech battery division will give the EMotion a 400+ mile range, and it will eventually support autonomous driving modes thanks to a radar and camera integrated in the front of the car.
Ford announced at the Detroit Motor Show 2018 that it will invest $11 billion in electric vehicles, and plans to have 40 electrified vehicles on the road by 2022, 16 of which will be fully electric, while the rest will be plug-in hybrids. The new cars won8217;t necessarily be completely new models though, but rather electric versions of current models that are popular amongst customers. The company already sells an electric version of the Focus in some markets.
They will comprise a mixture of saloons, trucks and SUVs, and the company has plans to introduce a high-performance electric utility vehicle by 2020 and will begin manufacturing a hybrid version of the F-150 truck in the same year.
It8217;s long been a sceptic about EVs, but last year Honda announced plans to join the electric party, with its Urban EV. A cute concept, that8217;s shorter than a Jazz but with space for four inside, Honda8217;s making bold promises that the production car 8211; which will go on sale in 2019 8211; will look very much like the concept. Expect it to gain wing mirrors and lose the chatty front and rear displays, but keep the chilled out, simple form language, large glazed areas and 8211; to our surprise 8211; that ultra-wide screen display inside.
Honda8217;s not confirmed prices or range yet, although Autocar have been tipped the range is likely to come in at around 150 miles. Interestingly, Honda also showed a concept last year, for something called a 8220;Honda power manager8221; 8211; this device, a kind of fully connected and integrated charger 8211; would potentially integrate into your smart home and allow vehicle-to-grid power flow, which electricity companies and power grids have great interest in, as if they can occasionally use your car to balance the grid demand, it could negate the need to build new power stations to meet the extra demand electric cars have the potential to create.
Mercedes plans to introduce 10 electric 8220;EQ8221; models by 2022, and it8217;ll start with this 8211; the EQ C SUV, which will be similarly sized to the firm8217;s mid-sized, premium GLC SUV. Previewed by the 8220;Generation EQ concept8221; the firm showed in 2016, the brand from Stuttgart has been busy testing prototypes ever since, ahead of a late-2019 launch date. The EQ C will compete with the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron Quattro which arrive ahead of it and (from 2020) the BMW iX3.
Confirmed details are still relatively scant, however Mercedes has previously suggested a range of around 310 miles and a sub 5-second time for the 0-62mph sprint time. As ever, the range won8217;t be attainable if you8217;re set on using that kind of performance all the time. Still, the Mercedes is likely to be luxurious and feature a new, all-touch screen interface along with plenty of space. There8217;s no word on prices, but expect parity with the Jaguar and Audi, so in the high £50,000 to £60,000 range.
Mini has already confirmed it will be producing a plug-in hybrid version of the Cooper hatchback, but a fully electric version, called the Mini E, will be available to buy from 2019.
Like with the plug-in hybrid version, Mini8217;s CEO Peter Schwarzenbauer says the electric version of the Cooper will arrive with new battery technology that will offer superior performance compared to other electric vehicles currently on the market. That8217;s likely to mean a range of over 200 miles, with performance to embarass a Cooper S petrol.
Polestar is Volvo8217;s electric performance brand and its first car officially goes on sale in 2019. It8217;s a slight cheat in this list, because the Polestar 1 Coupe is in fact a hybrid 8211; there8217;s a large battery capable of 150km (or 90 miles) range alone 8211; but it8217;s supplemented by a turbo petrol motor, bringing the 18217;s total power output to 600 horsepower.
The Polestar is visually similar to the Volvo Concept Coupe shown in 2013, but it8217;s a fully bespoke car, with all new metal, although it uses Volvo headlamps and dashboard. It8217;s being built in a bespoke new factory in Chengdu, China and is constructed partly from carbon fiber. Polestar has confirmed however, that the Polestar brand will become all electric, with its next car 8211; named, surprisingly, the 8216;28217;, set to be an all electric hatchback or crossover and the third vehicle (shocking, called Polestar 3) a large SUV.
If you8217;re interested in the 1, the company is taking orders from the 13th March. You8217;ll need to put down a $3,150 deposit, but the company hasn8217;t announced the outright price to buy of the powerful coupe. It will be available on a subscription-style service too, where you can simply pay a monthly amount for the car and all your maintenance in one.
The Taycan was, up until recently, known as the Mission E. It was the first all-electric car that Porsche showed off at the Frankfurt Motor Show all the way back in 2015. The car will go into full production in 2019, although the company has yet to reveal how much it will cost when it finally goes on sale.
The Taycan will get two permanently excited synchronous motors (PSM) which combined will deliver over 600hp, catapulting the Taycan to 62mph in under 3.5 seconds and 125mph in under twelve. Porsche also claims a driving range in excess of 310 miles on a single charge, based on the NEDC.
Porsche unveiled its second all-electric car 8211; behind the Taycan 8211; at the Geneva Motor Show 2018. Called the Mission E Cross Turismo, it8217;s a four-seater sports car with the Tesla Model S set firmly in its sights. It can8217;t quite match the Model S8217;s Ludicrous Mode 0-60mph of 2.9 seconds, but at 3.5-seconds, the Porsche won8217;t be left far behind in a drag race.
One of the Mission E Cross Turismo8217;s biggest selling points though, is its recharge time. Porsche says you will be able to get 62 miles out of the Mission E Cross Turismo, from just a four minute charge, faster than boiling a pot of spaghetti. Total range from a full battery is expected to match the Taycan8217;s 310 miles.
Rimac, the Croation hypercar manufacturer, has announced a follow up model the Concept One 8211; which Richard Hammond famously crashed 8211; and it looks set to be one of the fastest cars on the planet. It has a claimed 0-60mph time of 1.85-seconds, which makes it faster than the Tesla Roadster and a range of 404 miles on a single charge.
It8217;s based on the same underpinnings as the Volkswagen ID Cross and the Audi e-tron Sportback. It8217;s therefore likely to have a 310 mile driving range and a top speed of 112mph. Skoda hasn8217;t revealed a 0-60mph time just yet, but it will have a 302bhp power unit, with all of those horses being available on demand.
Two motors, one on each axle, work in unison to deliver power where it8217;s needed to provide maximum grip and stability. Clever tech features include being able to automatically find itself a parking space and park, and drive by itself in traffic jams or on motorways.
Skoda suggests that, when the Vision E arrives in the early 2020s, you won8217;t need to plug it in, as there8217;ll be inductive charging floor panel that can be fitted in your garage, but if you don8217;t have space to put in the floor panel, a quick charge plug-in cable will get it back up to 80 per cent in 30 minutes.
A digital screen will replace the analogue instrument cluster, and a larger touchscreen will be fitted to the centre console to handle all things infotainment. You8217;ll also be able to wirelessly charge your phone with a charger in each door.
The Model 3 is the most affordable Tesla you can buy. You8217;ll note the use of 8220;is8221; in that sentence, when this is a story about future EVs. With the Model 3, the 8220;is it here, is it the future8221; gets a bit complicated. Half a million people have reserved Tesla8217;s most affordable car, which starts at $35,000 in the US. The first customers have got their cars over in the States, but as production delays have hit, those in the UK 8211; and beyond the US more widely 8211; will be waiting until 2019 to get their Model 3. Place an order now, in the UK, and you8217;ll likely be looking at a 2020 delivery.
The $35,000 is just the starting price of course. That8217;s for the entry-level 220 mile range Model 3. It does 0-60 in 5.6 seconds, but if you8217;re prepared to pay extra, a 8220;long range8221; version will crack 60 in 5.1 seconds and does 300 miles on a single charge. Unlike Tesla8217;s S and X models, if you buy a Model 3, don8217;t expect to get free use of Tesla8217;s Supercharger network, but you can pay per use. The Model 3 seats five, features Tesla8217;s Autopilot system (if you pay extra for it) and information in the minimalist cabin is all displayed through a single, landscape-orientated 15-inch centre display screen.
It will eventually, in 2025, have an autonomous driving mode that will see the steering wheel retract into the dashboard at the touch of a button. The ID Concept will have a driving range of between 249 and 373 miles from a single charge, and the battery can be topped up to 80 per cent in 30 minutes with DC fast charging. The electric motor itself produces 168bhp.
Because there8217;s no need for space to be taken up by a large engine, VW has managed to give the ID Concept a similar amount of interior space as the Passat, but in a car that8217;s roughly the same size as a Golf.
The ID Crozz will be Volkswagen8217;s all-electric SUV that will go on sale from 2020. Like the ID Concept, the ID Crozz will get an autonomous driving mode from 2025, complete with retractable steering wheel.
Like the Faraday Future FF-91, the ID Crozz can remember each driver8217;s personal preferences for things such as climate control and seating position, and will activate them when each individual driver approaches the car.
An 82kWh battery is found in the floor of the car, and this produces a Skoda Vision E matching 112mph top speed and driving range of 310 miles. Power is sent to the rear wheels by default, but it will show the front ones some love if the car feels extra grip is needed, or you can permanently engage an all-wheel drive mode.
If you know you8217;re going to be out the house and unable to accept a delivery, you will be able to grant couriers access to the boot of the Crozz so you can drive home with your packages.
The ID Buzz is the third ID electric vehicle due to go on sale in 2022. It references VW8217;s historic Microbus and will able to seat up to eight people, with an interior that can be constantly changed around.
Two electric motors will give the ID Buzz a total power output of 369bhp to propel it to 60mph in around 5-seconds. It will be limited to a top speed of 100mph, will have four-wheel drive and a 372 mile driving range. You will be able to recharge the battery to 80 per cent, which VW says will be enough for 298 miles of travel, in 30 minutes.
Like the other two ID vehicles, the Buzz will have a retracting steering wheel to enable an autonomous driving mode, and it will have cameras mounted on the outside in place of conventional wing mirrors.