2016 was my first full-time year at Electrek covering clean-tech and primarily electric vehicles. It undoubtedly was a great and exciting year for EVs with several automakers announcing new upcoming vehicles, some of them even committing to volume production and governments setting more ambitious goals for electric vehicle adoption.
It obviously means that the next few years will be even more exciting in the segment and our coverage will inevitably become broader than mainly Tesla and a few EVs. Here we take a look at what’s on the roadmap for the next 3 years in the electric vehicle world with 10 new electric cars.
It’s not a complete list of electric vehicles coming to market by the end of the decade, but instead, I gathered details of the vehicle programs we know most about and those that have the best chances of making it to market.
Other vehicles like Faraday Future’s prototype or Lucid Motors’ new ‘Air’ sedan have potential and could very well get to market, but I stuck with electric vehicle programs that have already been financed and therefore, they will almost inevitably hit the market at some point – albeit maybe not within the disclosed timeline.
I also didn’t include the Chevy Bolt EV since it already hit the market in California, but maybe I should have considering GM will only ramp up production and delivery to other markets in 2017.
1 – Tesla Model 3
Easily the most anticipated one of the bunch, the Tesla Model 3 is also the vehicle with the most well-understood timeline to production. Tesla set the deadline for internal and external components for July 1st, 2017. The company anticipates some delays from the fixed deadline and therefore, it is guiding for volume production to start during the second half of 2017.
The main things we know about the upcoming electric vehicle:
- $35,000 starting price
- 215 miles of range minimum on the base version
- Higher performance versions will be available with dual motor and even Ludicrous mode
- Hardware to enable fully self-driving capability will be standard (software is an option)
With over 400,000 reservations, the first full year of production is virtually sold out at this point. Tesla will start by delivering the vehicles to employees in California (with Tesla and SpaceX it could be up to as many as 10,000 cars) and it will start going east for there. Other countries will follow as the company goes through the proper homologation process, but it would be surprising if any Model 3 is delivered outside of the US in 2017 – even in Canada.
2 – 2018 Nissan LEAF with over 200 miles of range
Nissan has been perceived as a leader in the electric vehicle segment due to its early investment in the LEAF vehicle program, but the Japanese automaker has shown signs of falling behind. Industry watchers thought the company would announce a significant battery upgrade last year to bring the range of the vehicle to over 200 miles, but the 2017 LEAF still has the 30 kWh battery pack announced earlier this year.
The 2018 Nissan LEAF is now expected to be the model receiving the update with a 60 kWh battery that the automaker has been testing for years.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is scheduled to give a keynote speech at CES next month and he is expected to unveil an electric vehicle. Whether it will be the new LEAF with the longer range or an all new car for later release remains to be seen, which leads us to our next upcoming vehicle…
3 – Nissan IDS all-electric concept with autonomous features
Since Tesla announced that all its vehicles going forward will be equipped with all the necessary hardware to enable fully self-driving capability, other automakers have to step up their game. The IDS concept is Nissan’s answer to that.
The concept unveiled last year was fitted with the same 60 kWh battery pack that is expected to bring the range of the LEAF over 200 miles. While it still looks very much like a concept, Nissan is now reportedly planning to bring a production version to market around 2019-2020.
Not much is known about the price range, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it was priced above the LEAF’s ~$30,000 starting price.
One of the biggest complaints with the LEAF is its design, which is often described as bug-like, the IDS concept is certainly more stylish. The vehicle should also be the first to feature Nissan’s self-driving technology while its other models, including the LEAF, will feature increasingly more advanced semi-autonomous features – not unlike Tesla’s Autopilot.
4 – Audi Q6 e-tron quattro SUV
The quattro e-tron SUV is Audi’s answer to the Tesla Model X and one of the first electric vehicles out of 30 new models the Volkswagen group plans to launch by 2025 as part of its new plan after the disastrous DieselGate Scandal. Additionally, VW is one of the rare automakers committing to volume production of EVs. It plans to build 2 to 3 million all-electric cars a year by 2025.
Audi has been reverse-engineering the Model X as part of the development of its first all-electric vehicle from the ground up and it created a funny situation where company engineers were stuck at a Supercharger in Germany with the vehicle they imported from the US, which is not compatible with European Superchargers.
The German automaker claims that the e-tron quattro has a “range of more than 500 kilometers (310 miles)”, but that’s NEDC-rated, the real world range should be closer to 250 miles.
The vehicle is likely to be badged ‘Q6’ and be priced at around ~$75,000. The company has been making significant investments to prepare its Brussels factory to manufacture the vehicle, which should be ready for production in 2018.
5 – Audi A9 e-tron
Building on its e-tron electric car program, the German automaker also plans to release a sedan following the SUV. The company confirmed the program and it will have similar specs as the SUV:
- 95 kwh battery yielding 500 km (311 miles) NEDC-rated of range
- An 11 kw inductive charging plate option that will be offered
- Mostly aluminum structure
- All-wheel drive. 3 electric motors (one up front, two in rear) for a total of 429 bhp, and a sport mode to boost it to 496 bhp and 590 lb ft torque temporarily
- 0-100 khm (0-62 mph) in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 211 kmh (131 mph)
- Level-4 autonomous driving technology
The vehicle is expected to follow the Q6 in 2019-2020.
6 – Porsche Mission E
Audi is not the only Volkswagen brand working on new electric vehicles. Porsche is also heavily investing in its first all-electric vehicle: the Mission E. The concept has already been praised for its impressive design – it won the prestigious ‘Concept Car Design of the year’ at Car Design Night at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show and Tesla hired the designer behind the vehicle’s interior.
The company says it is aiming for the Mission E to have “over 310 miles of range” (500 km) on a single charge, but being based in Germany, Porsche is likely talking about the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), which is much more forgiving than the EPA rating and doesn’t really reflect real-world range.
Porsche is also aiming for strong performance, which it claims will have nothing to envy of its gas-powered counterparts. It is aiming for a 0 to 60 mph acceleration in 3.5 seconds. The automaker also claims that the Mission E will be equipped with a 800-volt charging system able to charge up to 80% in about 15 minutes.
The Mission E is expected to go into production at Porsche’s Zuffenhausen plant in 2019 and the company expects to produce about 20,000 units per year, which is significant for the luxury automaker.
7 – Jaguar I-Pace SUV
Jaguar is the latest automaker to invest in EVs and its first entry, the I-Pace, has been well-received so far. The luxury SUV is the first vehicle on a new EV platform developed by the British automaker.
Here are the main specs that we know about since the unveil last month:
- Range of “over 500 km” NEDC-rated – so closer to ~250 real-world miles
- 90 kWh battery pack developed by Jaguar (pack not the cells)
- 700 Nm of torque
- 0 to 60 mph in “about 4 seconds”
- Drag coefficient of 0.29
The automaker plans to bring the vehicle to production in 2018. We don’t know the price yet, but it should fit close to the F-Pace in Jaguar’s SUV lineup, which starts at $40,990.
8 – Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ
Daimler is another automaker committing to volume production of electric vehicles and the first EV built from the ground up by the automaker, and without a powertrain built by Tesla, is the Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ.
The SUV is expected to be a direct competitor to the Jaguar I-Pace and coincidently, they are both guilty of adding some neon blue accents that have been regarded as unnecessary design cues for EVs, but otherwise, both vehicles have solid designs. Hopefully, they can lose those “EV design cues” by the time they hit production.
Mercedes says that the ‘Generation EQ’ battery pack will be scalable up to a total capacity of over 70 kWh for a range of ‘up to 500 kilometres’ (310 miles). Of course, that’s based on the NEDC standard and the real-world range or EPA-rated range would be expected to be significantly less, as previously mentioned.
The production timeline and the price has not been disclosed yet, but rumors suggest the vehicle will hit production in 2018 or 2019 and it is expected to be around the same price as Mercedes’ GLC: 49,000-euro ($55,000 US).
Being smaller and cheaper, it is not expected to be a direct competitor to the currently only all-electric SUV available, the Tesla Model X, but it should be to Tesla’s next vehicle to come to market after the Model 3…
9 – Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y has been officially announced by CEO Elon Musk and other Tesla officials, but it hasn’t been officially unveiled yet which is why we only have unofficial renderings.
The electric SUV will be built on the same third generation platform as the Tesla Model 3. Musk said that the vehicle will feature ‘Falcon Wing’ doors like the Model X.
Model Y is an important vehicle program for Tesla and it will help leverage the investment in the Model 3 program. Musk expects demand for the vehicle to be equal or greater than the demand for the Model 3:
To be clear, the priority vehicle development after the Model 3 would be the Model Y, the compact SUV, because that’s also a car that we expect to see demand in the 500,000 to 1 million unit per year level.
It’s not clear when Tesla will start production of the Model Y, but its development program is believed to be closely following behind the Model 3’s and production could start as soon as 2018. Like the Model 3, the Model Y is being designed for manufacturability and it should share a greater percentage of components with the Model 3 than the Model S with the Model X.
The other question is when will they officially unveil the vehicle? That’s even less clear, but it’s likely to happen in the next few months.
10 – Aston Martin RapidE
Aston Martin is working on an all-electric version of its Rapide luxury sedan, which it simply renamed ‘RapidE’. The British automaker took an investment from a Chinese group and collaborated with LeEco, the Chinese tech company behind Faraday Future, in order to accelerate the development of the program and bring it to market as soon as in 2018.
The company didn’t reveal many specifications of the vehicle other than it will be all-wheel-drive with over 200 miles of range, 800+ hp and is expected to retail for $200,000 to $250,000.
Like most other vehicles in this list, the RapidE is definitely a luxury vehicle. The price of long-range all-electric vehicles are going down, but announcements about the mass production of vehicles at less than $40,000 are still fairly rare. We expect that to change within the next year.
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