It’s safe to say that 2020 was a tough one for most, though that’s not really the case for the electric car market. Sales have soared, and are continuing to accelerate upwards as more and more buyers switch to an EV.
If 2020 was a good year for EVs, 2021 looks set to be a belter. There are a huge number of new models coming in 2021, and that’s just looking at those we know about currently. There are more than 30 different models that could have made this list, but we’ve filtered it down to the ten most important electric cars due in 2021. Read on to see which new cars due out in 2021 have made Zap-Map’s list of the ones to watch.
Volvo XC40 Recharge P8
Volvo’s electrified its entire range now, with multiple plug-in hybrids across its line-up. The Swedish manufacturer’s electrified performance arm has launched the Polestar 2 in 2020, and now it’s the turn of Volvo to go full-electric. Launching the XC40 P8 Recharge is a smart move as the popular compact SUV is likely to be a hit with an electric only powertrain too.
Clever packaging allows for more storage inside, and the XC40 EV gets the same powertrain as the Polestar 2 so we have some clue as to how it will perform – and those clues are promising. A range of more than 200 miles on a charge, ultra-rapid charging for a top-up to 80% in 40 minutes, and more than 400hp for a sub-5 second 0-62mph time cover all the bases, and Volvo’s design is in a real sweet spot currently to further tempt buyers in. Expect the electric Volvo to sell well when it arrives in the UK.
Anything the Swedish can do in terms of design, the Italians can match it – especially when the design in question is for the iconic 500 city car. Fiat is launching the next-generation of its best-selling 500 as an EV for the first time in the UK, and it’s got options to fit buyers’ needs.
Available as both hatchback and convertible, there are two battery options for a range of around 120 miles or just under 200 miles on a charge depending on model. Rapid charging is possible on all models, but the larger battery pack gets DC charging at up to 85 kW to keep times down, and the electric Fiat 500 looks to make this latest-generation of one of Europe’s most famous cars even better.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Putting a Mustang name on a car means a lot for Ford, and those that have developed the all-electric Mustang Mach-E are confident the EV can live up to expectations. Featuring a range of more than 350 miles in the longest-range version, there are rear- or all-wheel drive versions, and two different battery packs to chose from.
Of course, to add credit to the Mustang name there is a performance version too, but even the base-spec models will be quick thanks to a well thought out electric powertrain. Charging can take place at up to 150 kW for ultra-rapid performance, and the Ford Mustang Mach-E is set to become a best-seller very quickly.
Volkswagen launched its electric car push with the ID.3 hatchback, and the pure-electric Golf-sized model has been well received, with plenty of different versions available. The next model to wear the ID. badge could easily go on to prove more popular than the conventional hatchback, as the ID.4 family-sized SUV is one of a number of EVs due out this year that looks set to prioritise the family electric car.
As with the ID.3, there will be options in terms battery, charging, and motor combinations, and towing will be possible as well. A range of more than 300 miles is available with the largest battery packs, and ultra-rapid charging means long-distance trips will be simple. As the Tiguan has become VW’s most popular model ahead of the Golf, it would be on no surprise to find that the ID.4 outsells the ID.3 as SUVs prove more popular than hatchbacks.
To say that the Ariya is a crucial car for Nissan is something of an understatement. Manufacturers such as Ford and VW above are entering the electric family-SUV market, and the Ariya represents the middle of a Venn diagram for Nissan’s strengths. The similarly-sized Qashqai remains a very popular and capable family-SUV, and Nissan’s Leaf was the pioneer mass-market EV. As sweet-spots go, this should be a good ‘un.
Range is quoted at more than 300 miles from the larger-battery model, or a still highly respectable 230+ miles from the smaller pack. As is becoming the norm, a choice of two- or all-wheel drive adds additional options for buyers, and charging is overhauled for Nissan. The Ariya sees a switch to CCS for the first time, bringing with it access to faster charging – at up to 130 kW – and the option to boost the standard 7 kW AC charging to 22 kW.
Skoda Enyaq iV
We could almost copy and past the VW ID.4 section, replacing make and model names where relevant, since the Enyaq iV is Skoda’s version of VW’s family-sized electric SUV. This is the first model from Skoda to use the new VW Group MEB electric platform, and is effectively the first EV from the company, since the Citigo iV is basically a VW e-up with a few badges changed.
The Enyaq iV is pitched as the start of a new era for the Czech firm, and features similar range/performance/charging options as seen in above EVs. Two battery options see a range of more than 300 miles available from the larger pack, and a sub-7 second 0-62mph time is possible. Charging is available at 50 kW as standard, 100 kW an option on the smaller 62 kWh battery, and 125 kW on the larger 82 kWh pack, meaning buyers can keep costs relevant to trips they make.
Tesla Model Y
The Model 3 has pushed Tesla into big sales figures, and the Model Y is only going to continue that. We could easily see the Model Y outsell the Model 3, thanks to its crossover set-up but with similar underpinnings. Range figures of more than 300 miles are possible from the Long Range variants, whilst the Performance model keeps a similar range but with sportscar-like performance.
The rest of the Model Y is essentially a scaled-up Model 3, meaning the minimalist interior with landscape infotainment screen is brought over, and there’s a huge amount of space inside considering the Model Y’s footprint. As with all Tesla vehicles, a crucial benefit is access to the Supercharger network with ultra-rapid charging, and the Model Y will continue Tesla’s switch to CCS charging.
There are two diverging trends in EVs at the moment; big driving ranges where more than 300 miles on a charge is possible on a large number of cars, and a ‘right-sizing’ of ranges, which puts the EV at around 100-150 miles possible. The Mazda MX-30 fits into the second category, with a smaller battery covering fewer miles, but proving more efficient thanks to less weight, and faster to charge because of less capacity.
It’s not going to suit everybody, but with a stylish exterior and brilliant interior will help tempt buyers in. The ‘MX’ part of the badge hints at. A sporty focus too, and the MX-30 will compete with the Mini Electric and Honda e in the ‘short-range-but-fun-to-drive’ EV stakes. The range is 124 miles on a charge – enough for most people’s weekly trips – and 50 kW DC charging still allows for a 20 minute top-up thanks to the battery being half the size of ‘normal’ family EVs now at 35.5 kWh.
There aren’t many start-ups that actually look set to follow in Tesla’s footsteps and see cars go into production, but Rivian is one of them. The R1S and R1T – effectively the same car but in SUV and pick-up forms respectively – look to make long-distance EV-ing easy even in the US; if it can be driven into the middle of the desert there, covering the UK and Europe is going to be simple over here.
Both feature more than 300 miles of range at launch, with a 250+ mile model and 400+ mile model coming shortly after. Four electric motors drive a wheel each, allowing for extremely flexible all-wheel drive, and performance aplenty. A huge footprint makes for masses of storage space, with areas under the bonnet and behind the passenger cell (in the pick-up) adding to conventional boot space, while the SUV version is available as a seven-seater.
We saw a huge and significant electric vehicle push from the PSA Group in 2020 as it normalised EVs in key models such as the Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208. The Mokka-e is the next stage of this, again seeing electric powertrains placed in family-friendly crossovers, as Vauxhall launches its new design language on the electric Mokka.
Using the same platform and electric powertrain as the e-208 and Corsa-e, the Mokka-e has a range of more than 200 miles, a 100 kW electric motor, and 100 kW ultra-rapid charging capability for its 50 kWh battery.
The list of important electric cars due out in 2021 is huge, and has never been as long before. More than 30 models could have featured here, and we’ve covered all of them in our round-up of EVs due in 2021 here [link]. We reckon these are the most important however, and tried to spread out the list to include small and large, affordable and expensive, long-range, and short to cover all the bases.
Honourable mentions should be made to the Lexus UX 300e, which will start the Toyota group’s pure-EV efforts in a compact premium crossover package, the BMWs i4 and iX which will see pure-electric models move into the key executive saloon and family-SUV markets respectively, and the Lotus Evija, which will bring hyper-car performance into the electric age.
Hyundai-Kia are due to improve on their already excellent electric offerings with a facelift Kona Electric, plus new-generation EVs with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and a new EV from Kia. Jaguar is expected to bring back the XJ as a pure-EV super-saloon, and Mercedes Benz will bring out a plethora of EVs from the luxurious EQS to the compact EQA.
It’s going to be a busy 12 months then, and the above models are only some of the cars we know about – doubtless some others will be revealed in the new year. Remember to head to Zap-Map’s EV pages to find out more about electric cars.