Electric cars, they’re all the rage. It seems like only yesterday that the Nissan Leaf arrived in the UK. It wasn’t the first electric vehicle (EV) by any means, the first electric vehicles existed in the late 1800s, but the Leaf was the first one that made us pay attention in the modern era and think about an electrified future.
Now Boris has announced that sales of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in 2030, with hybrids to follow in 2035, everyone really is paying attention to electric. We bought over 100,000 of them in 2020, 185% more than in 2019. And that was while most of us weren’t really going anywhere. We’ve seen lots of new models appear in recent years too, from the popular Renault Zoe to the executive manager’s Tesla Model S, but 2021 is the year in which almost everyone will have something new to tempt you to plug-in to the future. Sorry, we’ll try and avoid too many electric puns.
2021 started with the arrival of the Volkswagen ID 3, which the German brand is following now with the ID 4 and a performance version later in the year. It will also launch a coupe-style ID 5 SUV that it will reveal in a few months time. Audi launched its E-tron GT and an RS version, essentially a Porsche Taycan in an Ingolstadt suit for those who want a spacious performance EV but don’t want a Tesla.
Citroen has just launched its new e-C4, an electric version of the C4 which is available as petrol or diesel, to make sure there’s a C4 for everyone. Actually, the e-C4 is our pick of the range, with the best steering, level of equipment and decent range of 217 miles. But wait, there’s more because Citroen UK is trying really hard to bring it’s cute little Ami to our shores and all for a predicted lease cost of under, wait for it.....£19 a month. A car for less than a night in the local pub. Granted it can only do 28 mph and is like sitting in a funky margarine tub, but it’s very cool.
Also already with us this year, or at least in virtual showrooms, is the new Lexus UX300e. The nice people at Toyota/Lexus tell us there will be more electrifying stuff coming this year, but they won’t tell us what so when we know, you’ll know.
That brings us to what’s still coming. Audi’s headline act is the E-tron GT of course but it will also launch a Q4 E-tron in a few months time, one of those coupe-like electric SUVs.
BMW will be busy, mostly defending its design strategy but also launching some new electric models. The iX3 SUV will arrive in July priced from £58,850 with a range of up to 279 miles. Then the iX electric flagship will go on sale in the autumn with a range over 370 miles and loads of new tech to take your mind off its looks. Finally the i4 coupe will arrive towards the end of the year.
If any car appears to suit electric, it’s the little Fiat 500 and the brand new electric model will be here around April to fill up with fluffy Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs which you can deliver to family and friends within the 199 mile range. It’ll be available with a soft-top too, so bring on summer.
The Mustang that isn’t a Mustang in the traditional muscle car sense has just gone on sale in the form of Ford’s Mustang Mach-e. We haven’t driven it yet but some chap on social media said it’s really good so it must be. We hope that it is and we’ll get back to you on it as soon as possible.
We also haven’t driven the Hyundai Ioniq 5, no-one has yet, but everyone wants one all the same. Just look at it, it looks fantastic and it’ll be here in the summer. Don’t be fooled, it’s much bigger than it looks, larger even than Hyundai’s new Tucson that’s just arrived in the UK, but that’s good because it means loads of space and practicality to match its 310 mile driving range. Plus there will be another new model revealed towards the end of the year. We can’t say what that will be, but if you’ve read the prophecy then you’ll know.
Mazda has been clinging on to the internal combustion engine like a squirrel that won’t share its nuts. Its chairman is a real car guy and he loves driving, even promising us a new version of the famous Wankel rotary engine that was used in the RX-7. No sign of it yet, but in the meantime they’ve plugged in and given us the MX-30 crossover which you can order soon, so soon in fact, that’s it already here. The EV market is moving that fast. It’s range isn’t great at 124 miles, but if that means 60 school run trips between charges then you’ll be smiling.
Then there’s Mercedes-Benz. They gave us the EQC a year or so ago and frankly it came across as a bit of a marketing afterthought. Things have moved on since then and this year Merc will be charging into the electric space with the EQA, the EQB, the EQS and the EQV. It’s probably more helpful for us to tell you that’s an electric GLA, B-Class, S-Class and V-Class, the latter already being on sale. A plug-in hybrid version of the new C-Class is also on the way but it’s not fully electric so we’re not sure why we’re mentioning it.
Porsche has just revealed the new 911 GT3 RS. Oh wait, that’s very definitely not an electric car. Back on point, Porsche will launch the Taycan 4 Cross Turismo, a sort of estate car version of the electric Taycan. Priced from £79,340 it has a range of up to 336 miles, but it’s a Porsche so you’ll reduce that somewhat by enjoying the 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds while carrying 446 litres of stuff in the boot.
Skoda will bring its Enyaq iV SUV which has us excited because Skodas are rather nice. Priced from £34,085 before the government’s £3,000 EV grant, there are two battery choices, a 62kWh providing up to 256 miles and an 82kWh with 333 miles for those who can travel that far without needing the loo. Orders have just opened with deliveries starting in June, plus you could get up to 7,500 miles of free charging if you slap an Octopus Energy box on your wall at home, which is nice.
Skoda’s sister brand Seat will have a bunch of plug-in hybrid models that we’re not really getting into too much here because they’re not fully battery-electric, but performance brand Cupra will have something. The Cupra el-Born concept has become the Born and it will be, born, in a few months time before going on sale towards the end of the year.
Tesla. Ah Tesla, the one so many love and so many hate. Before you get too excited, no the Cybertruck probably isn’t coming this year, it might not be coming ever. The Model Y might be, but Tesla UK aren’t sure when. And the new Model S and X? They will both be here in 2022. And before you ask, they’re not sure when the new Roadster is coming either. But the Model 3 was just updated and it’s still a great EV.
Last but not least we get to Volvo. The electric version of its cool little XC40, the XC40 Recharge is already on sale and the coupe-like version, the C40 is heading to us towards the end of the year.
That’s probably not all, there will be some other new models too as the industry still likes to have a few secrets that it keeps to itself, but these are most of them. So if you’ve already read our guide to electric cars and are planning on plugging in to the new era of electric mobility then you’ll have plenty to choose from this year. We’ll be bringing you not only more details on each of these new EVs, but also our opinions as we whirr our way through 2021 so stay plugged-in to Car.co.uk.