New electric vehicle brands charging into the UK

From small urban commuters to luxury saloons and even pick-ups, there are lots of new electrified vehicles heading to the UK from brands you might not be aware of. We look at what's coming to take on Tesla and other rivals.

It seems like there are more new electric models coming along than buses these days, but there are quite a few new electric vehicle brands heading to the UK too. While most of the main automakers are pushing ahead with new electric vehicles, they will find themselves having to contend with a number of new rivals. Here we take at look at some that we know of that could be here over the next year.

Arrival

Arrival seems like a good place to start, partly because it begins with ‘A’ but also because it actually does have a bus. It’s a British company with research and manufacturing facilities in Oxfordshire as well as offices in the US. At the moment it’s focused on commercial vehicles including a bus and a large van which has a range of around 210 miles. It even has an order from parcel delivery company UPS for 10,000 vans. Will it make a car too? Well it’s already been working on a car with Uber, so we’re certainly expecting its arrival.

Fisker

Henrik Fisker has quite the history in the automotive industry, from his days as a designer to creating the Fisker Karma, going bust and starting all over again. Today US company Fisker Automotive seems to have some real momentum with orders for its first new model, the Ocean already surpassing 50,000. It’s a great looking SUV with good design, practicality and tech and it will be on sale in the UK in 2023 priced from £34,990. The Ocean will be followed by a car called the Pear, the name of which obviously has a bit of a dig at Apple, although it stands for Personal Electric Automotive Revolution. Then there will be the Ronin sports car and Fisker himself told us that the team in the new Fisker Magic Works design studio in the UK is working on something luxurious and sporty too.

Lucid

The Lucid Air is already on sale in the US, but it will soon begin selling its premium electric saloon in Europe.  It’s already taking deposits from customers in the UK and the first right-hand drive deliveries should start in 2023. The Air is available with up to 1,111hp and a potential 520 mile range and has been widely praised and cited as a big rival to the Tesla Model S. It will be followed by an SUV that is currently under development.

Lynk & Co

Chinese auto giant, Geely, is making some serious inroads in Europe. Not only does it own major names like Lotus and Volvo, it also owns LEVC and Polestar and has a design centre in the UK. It already sells its Lynk & Co models in Europe, including through a subscription service. Technically its first models, the 01 and 02 are plug-in hybrids rather than full electric but EVs are on the way. A spokesperson for Geely told us that it has no plans to sell the current Lynk & Co models in the UK, but said that for the second generation we should “wait and see” which sounds promising. 

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Ora

Ora is another new Chinese brand, this time from Great Wall Motors (GWM) which you might remember had a go in the UK a few years back with its GWM pick-ups. Now it’s having another go with a new brand, Ora which recently announced its pricing for the UK ahead of a local launch in a few months time. The first model will be the Cat, with the first edition Funky Cat arriving in the Autumn. It’s not as cheap as expected at £30,495 after the plug-in car grant, but cheaper models will arrive in 2023. With a range of 193 miles and only 80kW charging capability, Ora could well struggle against more established brands, especially when it comes to price and quality.

Rivian

This is one of the brands that everyone is talking about. We were at the launch of its R1T pick-up at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2018 and since then it has added the R1S SUV to its line-up. Various delays, not least of all due to the semi-conductor shortage, means it will probably only start full production in 2023 when we should se both models here in the UK. There are even discussions about a manufacturing facility in Somerset, although that’s probably more for its deal to build thousands of delivery vans for Amazon. 

Volta Trucks

Volta Trucks is a Swedish commercial vehicle maker that has already announced four models between 7.5 and 18 tonnes. All are full electric and intended mainly for urban use with the 16 tonne version having a driving range of up to 125 miles. It has an engineering base in the UK and already has agreements in place with companies as diverse as refrigerated delivery businesses to the Crown Estate. Expect to see plenty of these on the road of our cities in the next few years.

Zeekr

Our last brand to mention is the second new one from Geely, Zeekr. The company hasn’t officially announced plans for the UK but has told us it is working on right-hand drive production, so it seems likely that we could see it here in 2023 or 2024. Its first model is the aptly named 001 and is a sort of shooting brake estate that we think looks really cool. It sits on the same Geely SEA platform as the recently unveiled Smart #1 and features a 100kW battery and a 0-62 mph time of 3.8 seconds.