The EV parade is just beginning—here’s a rundown of models, from the Porsche Mission-E to the Mercedes Benz Concept EQ, that come with high expectations.
By Cabe Atwell, Contributing Editor
The electric vehicle market has grown substantially over the last few years, and according to a 2017 Allied Market Research report, the numbers will continue to grow significantly by 2023, going from a market share of $103.3 million (in 2016) to a projected $350.9 million (a CAGR of 19.8%) in just five years. Automakers are already looking to mass-produce EVs with GM and Toyota expecting to launch 10 new models over the next few years as battery technology has reduced their cost and increased efficiency.
This year alone will see some new offerings from manufacturers that feature increased mileage ranges before needing a recharge in both the supercar line and budget forms alike. What was once considered a “niche” market with a few competing models has boomed into a new class filled with a wide range of styles and choices. Listed here are 10 models that are available now or soon to arrive at some point in the near future.
Porsche has plans to produce what they call “the 911 of e-cars” with the Mission E electric concept car. The vehicle isn’t expected to hit the market till 2019, but it boasts some exciting features, including a 310-mile range, over 600 hp (0 to 60 in less than 3.5 seconds), and can charge to 80% capacity in just 15 minutes. Porsche states they will produce 20,000 Mission Es per year, but pricing has yet to be determined.
Before launching his into space, Elon Musk unveiled his company’s new Tesla Roadster, an updated version of the original slated for release in 2020 with prices starting at $200K. The new Roadster’s specs put Porsche’s Mission E to shame, featuring a 620-mile range (on a single charge) with the ability to go from 0 to 60 mph in just 1.9 seconds (0 to 120 mph in 4.2 seconds). It has a top speed of over 250 mph.
The 2018 Nissan LEAF, one of the more affordable electric vehicles, starts at just $29,990 and features a 147-hp (110kW) motor as well as a max mileage range of just 151 miles on a single charge. The LEAF also offers a mild level of autonomous control with Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist system, which can accelerate and stop by itself based on traffic flow as well as keeping you centered in the driving lane and maintaining a pre-set distance from the vehicle in front of you.
Jaguar’s I-Pace SUV is slated to arrive in the second half of this year, and is comparable to the Tesla Model 3, featuring a lithium-ion 90-kW battery, a mileage range of over 220 miles, and 400 hp using a pair of electric motors. The company states that it can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds utilizing 516 pounds of torque, and takes only 90 minutes to recharge to 80% (2 hours for a full charge). No word yet on the I-Pace’s price, but it’s expected to be in the same range as the Model 3, which retails for $35,000.
Chinese automaker NIO recently unveiled their ES8 seven-seat SUV electric vehicle that features “dual-motor intelligent E-AWD” and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. It also has a 70-kW battery pack with a 220-mile range before needing a recharge. What’s unusual about the ES8 is it has autonomous capability (dubbed NIOPilot) similar to Nissan’s LEAF, as well as an onboard AI system (NOMI) that makes it easier to navigate, find media, and adapt to weather conditions (closing windows when raining, etc.). Unfortunately, the vehicle will only be available on the Chinese market when released, and won’t hit the US until 2020.
The Audi E-Tron Quattro sports three electric motors (1X front axle, 2X for the rear axles), producing a total of 320 kW from a 95-kW battery. The E-Tron has a range of 310 miles before needing a recharge, can reach 62.1 mph in just 4.6 seconds and can be fully charged in 50 minutes using a 150-kW dc current. The E-Tron Quattro is expected to be available later this year, but the price has yet to be determined.
Volkswagen’s e-Golf line isn’t exactly new, but the 2018 model boasts several improvements over the previous models, including a new electric motor with 134 hp, a 35.8-kW battery (up from 24.2 kW) and a 125-mile range. The company also states the new e-Golf is also faster over its predecessors, being able to go from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 9.6 seconds. VW’s 2018 e-Golf is available now, with prices starting at $31,315.
Faraday Future’s FF 91 was supposed to hit the market last year, but the startup has had financial setbacks, forcing them to postpone its flagship EV’s release. Chances are it won’t be available until 2019, but it looks worth the wait. The electric vehicle feature a tri-motor design similar to Audi’s E-Tron, but with more power—1050 hp allows it to go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.39 seconds. The FF 91 also has a 300+ mile range on a single charge (unknown battery tech) and has an onboard “FFID” AI platform that learns your media, seat adjustment, and driving preferences over time. Like its release date, the retail price for the FF 91 isn’t yet known, so we will just have to wait and see.
Lucid Motors is another EV startup looking to bring its luxury car to market. The company’s Lucid Air features 400 hp, propelling the vehicle to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds using a twin motor with all-wheel drive. It also packs what every luxury car should have—an electrochromic glass canopy, executive seating and no less than a 29-speaker audio system. While the complete details of the Lucid Air are slim regarding battery technology and other hardware, the company is offering the EV at $60,000 with reserve pricing starting at $2,500.
Mercedes Benz unveiled its Concept EQ at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, and it’s still somewhat of an enigma of what exactly is under the hood. What little is known is it’s expected to feature a pair of electric motors (front/rear axles), is all-wheel drive, and will be equipped with a 70-kW battery. It’s also expected to have a 300+ mile range, go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, and will only require 10 minutes of charging for every 60 miles of travel time. There’s no word yet on when the Concept EQ will be available or what the starting price will be, but the company plans to release electric versions of all of its models by 2022.
These are just a handful of electric vehicles that are set to debut at some point in the near future, or have just been released this year. That being said, there are a lot of auto manufacturers banking on EVs replacing most of today’s gas-powered machines, so we should expect to see new announcements coming down the pipe relatively soon as to what 2019 and 2020 have in store.