Electric vehicle sales are slowly ramping up as more and more diverse models make their appearance on the scene. There has never been such a wide choice of talented, desirable models, of all sizes and for pretty much any car buying budget.
But if you think you are spoiled for choice now, wait until 2021 comes around. Next year will be marked by literally dozens of new EV launches in the U.S. and Europe, so many that we may end up looking back at it as a historic year.
There are so many enticing EV launches happening in 2021 that it was very difficult for us to narrow it down to just 20 names. These aren’t all the brand new electric models set to debut next year, but we say they are the ones most worthy of your attention.
They will be sorted into three distinct articles, this one will focus solely on cars, while the next one will be all about battery powered trucks and SUVs.
Following in the footsteps of Fiat’s most popular and successful car of recent years, the 500, the all-new 500e (which is a completely different car, riding on a different platform) has a lot to live up to. It has certainly not messed with the visual formula too much, but it is a more premium product and with a claimed WLTP range of 320 km (198 miles) or 400 km (250 miles) in town, it should prove an attractive buy. Deliveries should start in late 2020, but Fiat has not been clear on when exactly they will commence.
The Twingo hasn’t made as big a splash on the European small car scene as it could have, so now Renault is banking on an all-electric variant boosting its popularity. We don’t really know why the French automaker is bothering, really, because it already sells the very popular Zoe. What makes it all even stranger is the Twingo EV will only come with a tiny 22 kWh battery pack (similar in size to packs in the newest PHEVs) and with less than half the range of the longest range Zoe.
Europe will get its own (improved) version of the Renault K-ZE City, called the Dacia Spring, sometime in 2021 and it actually sounds like a better deal than the electric Twingo mentioned above. It won’t be built at Dacia’s home plant in Romania, since parent company Renault has decided to build it in China and export it instead. With a 26 kWh battery pack, it will have a WLTP range of around 200 km (124 miles), which is fine for around town, yet what is expected to win buyers over will be its super affordable price starting from as little as €14,000. It may also take over the market segment left vacant once production of the VW e-Up! and its SEAT and Skoda siblings ceases.
The Lightyear One has to be one of the most intriguing vehicles on this list, because its designers went all-out on making it as efficient as possible. It will have a claimed WLTP range of 725 km (450 miles), a drag coefficient of 0.20, and an upper part covered completely in solar panels. It’s set to be built in the Netherlands and if the project is still on track, a series version will be shown in 2021 and then it’s scheduled to go into (what we presume is) limited production at the company’s facility in Helmond.
Xpeng has reportedly already sold over 20,000 P7 sedans in China, where people have the option to purchase locally made Tesla Model 3s. The reason for its popularity is its blend of qualities that make it a worthy adversary for Tesla, thanks to great tech, range and performance credentials. The Chinese company has expressed its interest in selling the car in Europe (along with the G3 crossover) and its launch on the Old Continent could happen in 2021.
Another potential disruptor for Tesla’s supremacy in the electric sedan segment, particularly in the United States, is the Lucid Air sedan. It can not only match the best that Tesla currently has to offer, but it’s actually quicker and longer range, thanks to a 1,080 horsepower output and an predicted EPA range of 832 km (517 miles) on one charge thanks to a big 113 kWh battery pack.
Looking to swoop in and take sales from the Tesla Model S, as well as near future rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz EQS and BMW i7, the next Jaguar XJ is wading into battle as a very interesting proposition. Jaguar is going for a very traditional looking sedan, one that looks like an evolution of the familiar XJ formula, yet it will be completely electric. We’ll definitely see the vehicle fully revealed in 2021, but the pandemic may have affected Jaguar’s plan to start deliveries by the end of next year.
Moving into hypercar territory, we have the Lotus Evija, the famed British sports car company’s first foray not only into EVs, but supercars and hypercars as well. Just 130 will be built and it will have over 2,000 horsepower, a sub 3-second sprint time, a planned range of 402 km (250 miles) and cost the equivalent of between $1.8- and $2.35-million. First deliveries were actually scheduled to begin towards the end of 2020, but due to COVID-19, they have been pushed back until 2021.
Pininfarina intends to build 150 examples of its all-electric Battista hypercar, a model with 1,874 horsepower and a claimed nought to sixty time of 1.9 seconds. It will draw from a 120 kWh manganese-nickel battery pack and actually source its motors from Croatian performance EV company Rimac; range is expected to be up to 450 km (280 miles) and the price tag of at least $2.2-million.
Next year’s main electric hypercar reveal, though, will be the Rimac C_Two (especially since we don’t know when we’ll get to see the production-spec Tesla Roadster). Why? Well, with 1,888 horsepower, a sprint time to 100 km/h (62 mph) of under 2 seconds and advanced torque vectoring, it will be very much fun to drive. Secondly, Rimac has already built a name for itself (setting the bar for itself quite high) and this is confirmed by its tech partnerships with numerous OEMs, such as Koenigsegg, Porsche, Aston Martin, Hyundai and Kia.