With the petrol and diesel sales ban from 2030 recently confirmed, electric cars are now under the spotlight. Which means it’s a good job there’s such a great selection of interesting new models hitting the UK
We’re now well past the point where it’s clear that electric vehicles are here to stay, and increasing numbers of buyers looking at an increasing quantity and quality of electric products means the growth is bound to accelerate into 2021 and beyond.
As well as the likes of the BMW iX (see news, p4), and the Citroen C4, Fiat 500 and VW ID.3 (see test drive reviews, p30), there are new electric cars of all shapes, sizes, ranges and budgets arriving in 2021. Here are a dozen of the best.
AUDI Q4 E-TRON
RANGE: 280 miles
DUE: June 2021
The Q4 is described by Audi’s fleet boss James Buxton as a “game-changer” and “huge opportunity”, with the German brand pinning significant volume hopes on its new EV.
Audi has already shown a Q4 E-Tron Concept (pictured) that the production version should deviate little from when it appears. That car had a quoted 279-mile range from its 82kWh battery.
With the Q4 Sportback following a few months behind, the Q4 gives Audi a new and much cheaper electric vehicle entry point than it currently has with the E-Tron, the car the brand entered the EV marketplace with last year.
The Q4 is also another step on Audi’s journey to having 12 all-electric models by 2025, which includes the E-Tron GT halo model that arrives in the first half of 2021.
The Q4 E-Tron is slightly smaller than a Q5 SUV; the concept measures 73mm shorter and 49mm lower
than its petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid sibling.
Range: 360 miles (est.)
Due: late 2021
The i4 will be the third of a new breed of electric vehicles from BMW, following on the iX3 in the spring and the larger iX in the second half of the year.
But the i4 – previewed by the BMW i4 Concept (pictured) in early 2020 – will sit in BMW’s heartland and is
a car that, according to the company, “combines driving dynamics, sporty and elegant design, premium quality and the spacious comfort of a four-door Gran Coupe”.
The new products are part of BMW’s rapid moves to launch 25 electric or plug-in hybrid models by 2023.
FORD MUSTANG MACH-E
Range: 335-379 miles
Price from: £40,350
Due: March 2021
The classic Mustang name goes electric next year, with the slightly delayed arrival of the Mach-e, which is a car that will push the Ford to the forefront of the EV market in terms of range, getting on for 400 miles per charge.
First pre-ordered cars of the fully-loaded £58,080 First Edition are due in March, and the 379-mile range two-wheel drive and 335-mile all-wheel drive models follow a few weeks later.
A high-performance Mustang Mach-E GT will follow late next year, capable of covering the 0-62mph dash in just 3.7 seconds.
Due: second half of 2021
Hyundai says that is going to use 2021 to launch a new brand entirely devoted to electric vehicles.
This new spin-off will be called Ioniq, and it will spawn three models over the next four years, beginning with the Ioniq 5, a mid-sized SUV based on the Hyundai 45 Concept (pictured) that was revealed last year.
“The Ioniq brand will change the paradigm of EV customer experience,” said Hyundai’s global chief marketing officer, Wonhong Cho.
“With a new emphasis on connected living, we will offer electrified experiences that are completely integral to an eco-friendly lifestyle.”
Vans gathering velocity
It’s not just cars where the acceleration in interesting new electric models is increasing, with the light van market building rapidly.
Electric van pioneer Renault will launch the second-generation Kangoo next year (pictured) while the PSA Group will expand its EV programme into the small van trio of Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo respectively, while the Citroen and Peugeot large vans will also get an electric version via an official third-party conversion.
The Mercedes eSprinter will join the electric Vito early next year, and the Maxus eDeliver3 is also imminent, while Ford will begin trials of its electric full-size Transit with selected fleets ahead of a 2022 launch.
These are added to vans already in the marketplace including the Nissan eNV200, Renault Master ZE and Zoe van and the Maxus EV80.
Plug-in hybrid light commercials qualify for the Government £8000 grant, which includes the LEVC VN5, Ford Transit Custom and Mitsubishi Outlander.
Range: 310 miles
Due: Q4 2021
Kia’s first stand-alone electric vehicle will be unveiled early next year. It is described as a coupe-SUV “which blurs the boundaries between passenger car and SUVs”.
Detail is relatively scarce but it will come with a range of more than 300 miles. Reports suggest that the as-yet-unnamed model will take design cues from both the Futuron concept car unveiled 12 months ago (pictured), and the Imagine by Kia concept revealed at the 2019 Geneva motor show.
Range: 240 miles (est.)
Due: spring 2021
Mercedes has confirmed six new models under its EQ banner by the middle of 2022, and the first is probably the most fleet-relevant. The EQA will be an electric small crossover based on the GLA model, although it will look different from its petrol/diesel/PHEV sibling, in the same way that the EQC model is related to the GLC, but has its own look. First pictures and details will appear at the beginning of 2022, with little by way of range or powertrain information currently available. That said, the Concept EQA car (pictured) revealed in 2017 had a range of around 240 miles.
The other new Mercedes EVs will be the EQB SUV, EQS and EQE saloons and the EQS SUV and EQE SUV off-roaders.
Range: 211-310 miles
Price: TBC first half 2021
Due: second half of 2021
Nissan will finally build on the success of its Leaf with a second EV next year, in the form of the Ariya SUV.
There will be two battery options, a 63kWh pack or an 87kWh option, and range figures from 211 miles for the smaller battery in four-wheel-drive form, up to 310 miles for the larger battery in two-wheel-drive form.
The new EV is 45mm shorter and 50mm lower than an X-Trail, and the two-wheel-drive car will have 466 litres of boot space. However, the four-wheel-drive model’s luggage capacity is reduced by 58 litres.
SEAT EL BORN
Range: up to 310 miles
Due: late 2021
Seat has moved into plug-in hybrids with the arrival of the Leon PHEV and already sells the fully electric Mii, but its EV offering gets serious next year with the arrival of the El Born.
Previewed by the concept car of the same name in 2019 (pictured), the production version is confirmed to use an 82kWh battery, although other options with smaller batteries will also be offered, giving lower range and price points.
The car will spawn a more sporting Cupra El Born sibling using the same powertrain.
Range: 242-316 miles
Price: From £33,450
Due: spring 2021
Skoda’s first car to be offered purely as an electric vehicle is one of the first ones here to arrive in the UK, with early examples due on sale in the next three or four months.
The Enyaq will come with 62kWh or 82kWh batteries. The smaller of the two will offer 180hp and a 242-mile range, while the larger brings 204hp and a 316-mile range, plus £5500 on the cost.
Either model will be offered in three trim levels, on a car that is just shy of the Kodiaq seven-seat SUV in size. Skoda describes the interior as “spacious”, and the boot offers 585 litres of space.
TESLA MODEL Y
Range: 298-314 miles
Price: £65,000 (est.)
Due: late 2021
A little brother to the Model X SUV, although without the falcon wing rear doors, the Model Y is an optional seven-seater that will come with Performance and Long-Range AWD versions, offering 0-60mph acceleration of 3.5 and 4.8 seconds respectively, and 298- and 314-mile official range figures.
According to Tesla, the Model Y will come with “full self-driving capability, enabling self-driving on city streets and highways pending regulatory approval”, operated via a dozen ultrasonic sensors, although it remains to be seen how long before the technology is authorised for use on the road. The car will also get a hefty 15-inch touchscreen and a panoramic glass roof.
Range: 201 miles
Price: from £33,840
Due: early 2021
The Mokka-e is Vauxhall’s second full electric car after the Corsa-e that was launched at the beginning of this year (although it arrives at around the same time as the electric versions of the Vivaro Van and Vivaro Life passenger models). The Mokka will be the first Vauxhall to offer an electric powertrain from launch, alongside petrol and diesel versions of the new crossover.
There’s just the one electric powertrain, a 136hp 100kW motor using a 50kWh battery, which offers an official range of 201 miles. Four trim levels are being offered at launch, running from the entry £33,840 SE Nav Premium up to the £37,970 Launch Edition, complete with leather, massaging front seats and park assist.
Range: Up to 323 miles
Due: first half of 2021
Volkswagen’s second ID-branded electric car follows the ID.3 hatchback (see test drive review, p34). It will come with eight variants across the 52kwh or 77kwh battery options, and three power levels of between 148hp and 204hp from the electric motor.
So far, Volkswagen has only revealed that the maximum range configuration will be just over 320 miles, but hasn’t given information on the smaller battery or different power levels.
However, it has confirmed that the new car is rear-wheel drive, and it is around 100mm longer than a Tiguan SUV, although it offers around 70 litres less boot space at 543 litres.