It's an inescapable fact that the coming decade will belong to electric cars. Across the globe we're going to see a significant increase in the number of EVs sold, their proportional adoption in major markets and a revolution in the infrastructure that charges them.
But what have we got to look forward to?
From SUVs that we know are fast approaching release, to two-door sportscars that are only just on the drawing board, here's a selection of some of the most exciting cars that will be hitting the streets in the next five years.
The Audi e-tron SUV is already making waves in the premium EV segment, and we gave it five out of five when we tested it back in April. Next up for the Audi is the e-tron GT – a “highly dynamic coupé” (albeit four-door) that uses the same basic J1 platform as the Porsche Taycan and will be a direct rival. From what's been released so far, we're looking at around 580bhp, a range of 250 miles and ultra-fast charging at up to 350kW. When the car is launched later next year, it'll likely come with a £100,000-plus price tag.
BMW is planning 25 electrified models within its range by 2023. Hitting the market first, by 2021, will be the iX3 SUV which will use BMW's fifth-generation electric drive unit. It's promising 248 miles of range, will be made in China through BMW's Brilliance Automotive Joint Venture and should cost around £55k.
Next up is the BMW i4, a four-door coupé which will take on the likes of the Tesla Model 3. Using similar technology to the iX3, its smaller size and presumably lower weight will endow it with between 340 and 435 miles of range. Production is set to start in Munich in 2021.
The BMW iNEXT is the brands 'technology flagship' next-generation EV. A similar size to the iX3, but based on the i4 platform, it will showcase not only BMW's fifth-generation powertrain, but also level three autonomous driving. With a range of 372 miles, BMW has said that the car will provide the building blocks for future BMW Group vehicles. A more detailed run-down can be found here.
As if there weren't enough electric SUVs on the horizon, CUPRA, SEAT's 'sporty' sister brand, has shown off its Tavascan all-electric SUV. It will form part of SEAT's goal of having six EVs and PHEVs on the market by 2021, and thus we can expect it to hit the market in the next two years. The Tavascan is based on VW's MEB platform, has two motors for a total of 302bhp, a 77kWh battery and WLTP range of 280 miles.
Ford is being very coy with the finer details and especially the visual appearance of its so-called Mustang-inspired SUV, but that's not stopping the brand for flogging it to death as a PR weapon. We don't even know its name, though some have touted 'Mach-e', but the Mustang-inspired EV SUV will form the backbone of Ford's gradual move into electric vehicles. Among the few things we know about it is the 370 mile range (which would necessitate a c.100kWh battery) and 2021 release date.
On the same day that the final Jaguar XJ rolled off the production line this year, Jag announced huge investment in its UK manufacturing facilities, securing 2700 jobs at its Castle Bromwich plant. Not much is known about the 2021 XJ, but we do know that it will be available with an EV powertrain and the team responsible for the I-PACE have taken on the project. JLR has joined forces with BMW on its fifth-generation electronic drive units, so we can assume that – like the BMWs noted above – the XJ will use this shared technology.
We'll know more once the Tokyo Motor Show kicks off, but Lexus has already confirmed that it and Toyota will have ten EVs in its combined range by 2025. The concept being displayed at Tokyo will apparently be in the same vein as the 2015 LF-SA concept, meaning a small upright city car that gently evolves Lexus design language. That's about all we know so far, but keep an eye out for our Tokyo Motor Show coverage.
At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz showed off its Vision EQS concept – a car that demonstrates what a future S-Class could look like and how it could be powered. It might be just a concept, but with rivals Jaguar and BMW moving into EV saloon cars in the next two years, you can bet Mercedes will follow. The Vision EQS has a 100kWh battery, two motors for 470bhp and a range of 435 miles with 350kW charging. Whilst the styling might be dialled back, don't bet against something not dissimilar to the Vision EQS going into production before 2025.
The Polestar 2 will be the Scando-Chinese brand's first all-electric car and is set to go on sale in 2020. Polestar will go head-to-head with the likes of the Tesla Model 3 and eventually the BMW i4 with the 2, with its technical stats putting the car firmly in the same ballpark as its rivals. For around £50k for the launch edition, buyers will get four-wheel drive via two electric motors, 402bhp, 0-62mph in around 4.7 seconds and a range of 310 miles thanks to a 78kWh battery.
Another string to Tesla's bow will be the 2021 Model Y. With seven seats, supercar-chasing performance of 0-62mph in as little as 3.5 seconds and a starting price for the standard range version of less than £30,000, you can bet your mortgage that Tesla won't have any trouble shifting them. The standard range car should be able to travel around 230 miles, whilst a Long Range version (£35,489) should nudge 300 miles on a rapid 350kW charge.
It's been slow on the uptake of pure EVs, but earlier in the summer Toyota announced that it was accelerating its electrification schedule, aiming to have 50 per cent of its sales as EVs by 2025. A key part of this has been it going into partnership with Subaru to develop a C-segment electric SUV. We know very few technical details, but the so-called e-TNGA platform is scalable and will allow Toyota and Subaru to build cars in other segments on it.
As well as what will be a mass-market, family-friendly car, there are murmurings that Toyota will resurrect the MR2 using an electric powertrain for 2024. The 'MK3' W30 went out of production in 2007, leaving a hole in Toyota's lineup that many brand fans sorely miss – including several of us at Discover EV! Go on Toyota...
Riding on the wave of enthusiasm around the Volkswagen ID.3, the German brand isn't letting up and in 2020 the family hatch will be followed with the C-segment ID. Crozz SUV. Based on the MEB platform, the four-wheel drive Crozz will be a wholly more complex vehicle and will also pack in additional next-gen tech. Prices are set to start at around £40,000.