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The coronavirus pandemic has slowed auto production this year, but manufacturers' plans to introduce electric vehicles (EVs) continue unabated. A record number of almost 100 pure electric EV models is set to debut by the end of 2024 if all goes according to plan.
On the menu are cars, and an increasing number of SUVs and pickups, along with a broader array of plug-in hybrid models, which can run on mostly electric power for stretch before a gasoline engine kicks in and operates the vehicle more like a traditional hybrid.
The rollout of new EV and plug-in hybrid models across different segments is good news for consumers looking for an alternative-fuel vehicle that will fit their needs.
Here's a rundown of some of the models that are most worth watching over the next couple of years. The list is alphabetical by automaker. Prices are estimates in most cases.
Audi Q4 E-Tron
Audi will expand the E-Tron nameplate later this year with the Q4 E-Tron. A close relative of the Volkswagen ID.4, Audi's compact electric SUV will be built on the Volkswagen MEB modular electric vehicle platform. Based on its size, the Q4 E-Tron will compete with the likes of the Tesla Model Y and Volvo XC40 Recharge. Audi has not yet announced the Q4 E-Tron's driving range, which is the distance a vehicle can go between charges or fueling. The current range estimate for the Q4 E-Tron is 280 miles, but it is based on EU test standards, which are more optimistic than the U.S. ones. That is considerably less than the Model Y.
On sale: Early 2021
Audi E-Tron GT
Another addition to Audi's E-Tron lineup will be a sleek sportback sedan that was developed in concert with the Porsche Taycan. The all-wheel-drive E-Tron GT will have electric motors on both axles, with a combined output of 590 hp. Audi says the car will be able to hit 60 mph in a scant 3.5 seconds, and its 800-volt electric architecture will have a unique cooling system that can enable repeated high-speed runs.
On sale: Early 2021
BMW calls its stylish new i4 electric vehicle a "four-door coupe." This EV is projected to have a range of 300-plus miles and a fast charging system that will add about 60 miles in just 6 minutes. The i4 also promises sports-car performance, with 530 hp and 0-to-60-mph acceleration in under 4 seconds. (It's probably no coincidence that those acceleration numbers are similar to Tesla's Model 3, a rival.) The fact that BMW is bringing out an electric vehicle with a broader appeal than the quirky-looking compact i3 will give consumers in the market for sporty luxury more choices.
On sale: 2021
BMW's midsized electric SUV will be about the size of the X5 and will feature avant-garde, EV-specific styling. Different levels of battery power will be available; most will put the iNext in the 300-plus-mile category. BMW says the iNext will also feature advances in connected autonomous technology. (Vision iNext concept shown.)
On sale: Late 2021
The Lyriq is still essentially a concept car. And although the rollout of a market-ready model is still a ways off, the Cadillac of EVs provides insights into coming technologies and signals the brand's shift to a fully electrified lineup over the next decade. The interior features a 33-inch curved LED display across its dash not unlike the 38-inch version seen in the new Escalade SUV. Cadillac says the Lyriq will be available in rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations, with a range of 300 miles. General Motors partnered with LG Chem to develop the Ultium battery system that underpins the Lyriq, and the company teamed up with EVgo to build a network of more than 2,700 public fast chargers aimed at making it easier to charge away from home.
On sale: Early 2023
Learn more about the Cadillac Lyriq.
Chevrolet Bolt EUV
Chevrolet says it will begin production in summer 2021 of a new Chevrolet Bolt, along with a taller SUV sibling called the Bolt EUV. Both models will be built on General Motors' BEV2 platform and are part of the company's big electrification initiative. Chevrolet says the Bolt EUV will include Super Cruise, the hands-free driver assistance technology previously available only on certain Cadillac models. No official word yet on range, but the outgoing Bolt is rated for 259 miles.
On sale: Late 2021
Ford F-150 EV
The F-Series pickup truck has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for decades, and with all the EVs coming to market, it makes sense that Ford would add an electric option to its biggest moneymaker. Anyone who has been following the horsepower/torque arms race among various truck manufacturers over the past few years will know that electric motors promise to be as capable as gasoline and diesel engines for use in vehicles intended to tow and haul heavy loads. One other small advantage the electric F-150 will have over its traditional counterparts is a "frunk"-a storage compartment where the gasoline or diesel engine would have lived. Ford says both the truck and its batteries will be built at the company's River Rouge manufacturing complex in Dearborn, Mich. There will also be an F-150 hybrid.
On sale: Mid-2022
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford has taken its most prized possession, the Mustang nameplate, and extended it to a four-door electric SUV with a starting price of $43,895 (before the $7,500 federal tax credit) that's likely to attract many customers. It's Ford's answer to Tesla's forthcoming Model Y SUV, and it looks to be the first in a line of Detroit icons adding electric vehicles to their portfolio. (An F-150 electric pickup, above, and a Lincoln SUV are in the works.) Sure, the Mach-E isn't a low-slung coupe, and it has no V8-let alone a throaty muscle-car engine roar. But this performance-oriented crossover is more practical than a traditional Mustang. It's still plenty quick, has optional all-wheel drive, and doesn't consume a drop of gas or emit tailpipe pollution.
Cost: $43,895 to $60,500
On sale: December 2020
Learn more about the Ford Mustang Mach E.
GMC Hummer EV
The Hummer badge was once antithetical to alternative fuels, representing hulking, gas-guzzling SUVs inspired by military vehicles. The new Hummer will be both hulking and green-a large, aggressive-looking four-door pickup with big power and undeniable off-road presence. GMC says the reimagined Hummer will come in a three-motor setup good for either 800 or 1,000 hp, or a two-motor version that will make 625 hp. Online preorders for the first of these trucks-dubbed Edition 1-sold out within 10 minutes. Lower-priced versions will roll out over time.
Cost: $79,995 to $112,595
On sale: Early 2022
Learn more about the GMC Hummer EV.
General Motors closed its assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, last year, as sedan sales dried up in the U.S. The plant that built the Chevrolet Cruze wasn't shuttered long before it had a new owner-Lordstown Motors. This new automaker plans to use the facility to assemble its new electric pickup truck-the Endurance. Lordstown Motors says the Endurance will be targeted to commercial fleets. It will have four hub motors that will produce a combined 600 hp. The truck will be able to tow 7,500 pounds and have more than 250 miles of range.
On sale: Mid-2021
A large, sleek, all-wheel-drive sedan designed to compete with ultraluxury models such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Tesla Model S, the Lucid Air will eventually be available in a few formats. The first to arrive will be the most expensive one-a 1,080-hp dual-motor sedan with a $169,000 price. Less powerful versions will arrive later, including a 800-hp dual-motor model and a couple of single-motor models with either 480 or 620 hp. The car, its batteries, and the 900-volt electric architecture were engineered in-house, and have already been tested and proved on Formula E cars. Lucid says the base model will have more than 400 miles of range, with a proprietary charging system that makes it possible to add 300 miles of range in 20 minutes using a DC fast charger. An SUV based on the Air is expected to follow.
Cost: $80,000 to $170,000
On sale: Spring 2021
Learn more about the Lucid Air.
The EQC is an electric version of the Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV. It's more practical than the Jaguar I-Pace because it has more room, and it is less expensive than the Audi E-Tron. Right now, Mercedes says the EQC will have a range of more than 250 miles, based on the rating standard used in Europe, but range-conscious customers should wait for the Environmental Protection Agency's estimate, which will probably be lower. The carmaker says the EQC's infotainment system can map out the most efficient routes and find charging stations. Mercedes also has plans to unveil electric versions of the GLA and GLB SUV models, which will be named the EQA and the EQB, respectively, as well as an electric version of the flagship S-Class sedan called the EQS. The EQS will have an estimated 435-mile range, according to European test standards.
On sale: Spring 2021
Learn more about the Mercedes-Benz EQC.
A Nissan Rogue-sized SUV, the Ariya promises to be a formidable competitor to other battery-powered SUVs, such as the Tesla Model Y and the upcoming Ford Mach-E. While more luxurious and substantial than the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona, and Kia Niro EVs, the Ariya will be less expensive than the Model Y. Nissan says two versions will be available-a front-wheel-drive one-motor model with 2,015 hp and an all-wheel-drive two-motor model with 389 hp. Equipped with a long-range battery, the front-drive model has an Environmental Protection Agency-rated range of 300 miles.
Cost: $40,000 to $50,000
On sale: Late 2021
Learn more about the Nissan Ariya.
This is Volvo's first fully electric car, and the Polestar 2 falls under the manufacturer's previously performance-oriented Polestar brand. The new EV, which comes in the form of a tall hatchback, features all-wheel drive and a two-motor propulsion system that produces 402 hp and 487 lb.-ft. of torque, with an Environmental Protection Agency-rated range of 233 miles. Polestar is taking orders online, with deliveries set to begin in late 2020.
Cost: $59,900 to $71,400
On sale: Late 2020
Learn more about the Polestar 2.
Porsche Macan EV
The Macan was Porsche's entrée into the popular compact SUV segment and quickly proved to be a best-seller. A battery electric version will accompany its gasoline-powered counterpart, albeit on a different, EV-specific platform co-developed by Audi and Porsche. The Macan EV will use the same 800-volt electric architecture that's now in the Taycan electric sedan. (Current Macan GTS shown.)
On sale: 2022
Rivian R1T and R1S
The R1T is an all-electric pickup scheduled to beat Tesla's Cybertruck to the market by two years. It has a promised range of up to 400 miles, up to 750 hp, and 11,000 pounds of towing capacity. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph is claimed to be 3 seconds. It also has a transverse tunnel between the bed and the cab for storage. The R1S is a three-row luxury SUV version. Rivian is the rare tech startup that has attracted heavy-duty investors, including Amazon, Ford, and Cox Automotive. Unlike other EV companies that have faded like vaporware, Rivian may have the ability to sop up some of the pent-up demand for an electric pickup while Tesla is still developing its Cybertruck concept.
Cost: $69,000 to $72,500
On sale: Late 2020
Learn more about the Rivian R1T and R1S.
It's a radical rethinking of what a pickup truck should be, from its angular, one-of-a-kind stainless steel exoskeleton to its 7,500-pound towing capacity. But by the time the Cybertruck arrives, it will face heavy competition from the likes of Rivian and Ford, as well as from upstarts like Lordstown Motors and Bollinger. It's hard to know what to make of this bizarre vehicle. It has the buzz you would expect of an Elon Musk-inspired creation, and large numbers of risk-free $100 deposits. But most analysts think this will be a niche vehicle for Tesla enthusiasts rather than a volume player in the huge U.S. pickup market.
Cost: $40,000 to $70,000
On sale: 2022
Learn more about the Tesla Cybertruck.
With an estimated range of 250 miles, the ID.4 will be Volkswagen's first "long range" EV. A sleek compact SUV, it will be slightly smaller than the Volkswagen Tiguan, and will initially come with a 201-hp rear-wheel-drive setup. A 302-hp version with all-wheel drive will be available later in 2021. Volkswagen says that although the first run of ID.4s will be built in Germany, U.S.-market models will be built at the company's factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., starting in 2022. Built to compete with sporty SUVs, such as the Tesla Model Y and the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the ID.4 will come with three years of free fast-charging through the Electrify America network of charging stations.
Cost: $39,995 to $43,695
On sale: Early 2021
Learn more about the Volkswagen ID.4.
Volvo XC40 Recharge
The XC40 Recharge is essentially an electric version of its gas-powered XC40 sibling, but it will be quicker and quieter. Volvo's first all-electric SUV is smaller than the nonelectric XC60 and has an expected 200-mile range. High-performance front and rear motors give the Recharge all-wheel drive, and the 402 hp should deliver quick acceleration. The Recharge will come with adaptive cruise control (ACC), lane centering, and blind spot warning (BSW), along with a key fob that the historically safety-conscious automaker says will prevent thieves from stealing its digital coding. The Recharge will be the first Volvo that uses Android software for the infotainment system, which will allow the SUV to get software updates over the air.
On sale: Fall 2020
Electric Cars 101
Electric cars are bringing some of the biggest changes the auto industry has seen in years. On the "Consumer 101" TV show, Consumer Reports expert Jake Fisher explains to host Jack Rico why these vehicles might not be as newfangled as you think.