The world may have struggled in general in 2021, but not the UK electric car market. It’s gone from strength to strength, and we’re still towards the bottom of a very steep upward curve.
It means that 2022 looks set to be a very important year for electric vehicles (EVs), following on from a year that has seen pure-electric cars establish themselves at more than one in ten new cars sold – and adding plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) to the mix for the year increases that to a market share of around 18%.
And that’s just the average for 2021, many months saw far greater market share for pure-EVs – all despite a shortage of new cars rolling off the production line due to a range of factors.
There are a great many new EVs already in the pipeline for the year, and as always when kicking off a new 12 months, there are still plenty we are yet to find out about. Below are some of the best new electric cars we know about.
New electric cars in 2022
There are a few models due out in the new year that Zap-Map has already driven, and each is set to perform very well. The likes of the BMW i4 and BMW iX see the Bavarian brand’s next-generation EVs sit almost at opposing ends of the spectrum.
With what is effectively the all-electric version of the 3 Series – from the manufacturer of the 3 Series – the i4 is set to shoot up the sales charts riding on the back of business sales in particular. Alternatively, the family-sized iX SUV is tailor made for domestic customers, offering a spacious and lounge-like SUV with a good driving range.
It’s just the start of a busy electric year from BMW, which will also release its pure-EV i7 luxury saloon, with other models likely to include EV versions of the 5 Series and X7.
BMW doesn’t have it all its own way, however, with long-term rival Mercedes-Benz also due to have a blockbuster 2022. The compact but seven-seat EQB SUV will arrive early doors, followed swiftly by the likes of the EQE saloon. The latter is core Merc territory, but electric, and offers huge driving ranges along with a high-tech interior.
Other German models due along include the Volkswagen ID.5 – a coupe version of the excellent ID.4 – and Skoda performs the same trick with its Enyaq iV Coupe.
Growing competition in the electric car market
The VW Group continues to expand its practical EV line-up with the Cupra Born, the Spanish performance brand’s version of the ID.3 hatchback.
At the sportier end of the scale, Porsche expands its Taycan line-up with an estate in the shape of the Sport Turismo, as well as a GTS version across the three body-styles.
If the electric coupe-SUV is doing well within the VW Group, the concept is contagious, as Volvo’s getting in on the action too. The Volvo C40 is a sleeker version of the XC40 SUV, though unlike the XC40, the C40 will be electric-only.
Volvo’s electric performance brand Polestar will also expand in 2022, following on from the 1 and 2 with the… you guessed it, Polestar 3. The SUV will see Polestar compete against greater numbers of rivals.
In a similar vein, Nissan will bring along a combination of its two greatest hits of recent history – the Leaf and the Qashqai – into one model, the Ariya. Due with multiple battery options, ultra-rapid charging, and an SUV shape, the Ariya is likely to bring Nissan right back to the top of the EV market again.
Newcomers enter the market
If the above brands (Cupra apart) are already established players in the EV market, there are also new names arriving in the UK with electric models in 2022.
Chief amongst these are Toyota, which has a strong heritage in electrified models – hybrids specifically – but is new to the pure-EV sector. It arrives with the bZ4X, a family crossover that launches the Japanese giant into the EV space.
Not only is Toyota coming along, but it brings with it Subaru with the Solterra, built on the same platform as the bZ4X. Both look set to compete in what has quickly become a crowded electric family-SUV market, but do so with a good set of stats behind them.
Although Toyota, and to a lesser extent Subaru, are familiar to most, new names are also due before 2022 is out.
Furthermore, Genesis launched in the UK in 2021, and is following up a successful entrance into the market with pure-electric models in 2022 with the likes of the GV60.
A dynamic market
Hyundai’s executive brand has already done well in the US, and other names coming from Stateside include the Rivian R1T and R1S and Ford F150 Lightning. Both see typically American approaches to SUVs and pick-ups (huge) but with a distinctly un-American attitude (electric).
Fisker will bring its Ocean along to Europe and the UK within the next 12 months, which looks set to put a serious challenge to Tesla.
However, Tesla is far from going down without a fight, and will bring along both the Model Y crossover to market in 2022 – a sure-fire hit – and the Tesla Model S Plaid, which packs in a massive range as well as supercar-baiting performance.
The Americans aren’t the only invaders to UK EV shores, with the Chinese also due to make a splash. Ora has already confirmed its impending arrival here with the Cat 01 hatchback, and it will neither be the only model from the firm, nor the only Chinese brand arriving in 2022, that’s for sure.
It looks set to be a bumper year then, but we really should have expected that when reviewing recent trends. Models are getting cheaper, more prevalent, and with ever increasing choice across a variety of model types. These are all signs that the market is maturing nicely.
Keep checking in on Zap-Map for both the latest EV charging and electric vehicle news, with updates on those models above posted when applicable, and news of new models announced as and when they are revealed.