- 2020 was a massive year for electric vehicles, but 2021 may be even better.
- Battery-powered pickups, SUVs, luxury sedans, and more — ranging from around $40,000 into the six figures — will hit US roads by the end of 2021.
- Over the next year, upstarts like Rivian, Bollinger, and Lucid are set to deliver their debut vehicles, while established brands like Mercedes-Benz, GMC, and Volkswagen will bring their first electric offerings to the US market.
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Ten years ago, if you wanted a new all-electric car, you had precisely two options to choose from: a Tesla Roadster or a Nissan Leaf. But over the last decade, the electric-vehicle space has exploded — and looking forward to 2021, there will be more battery-powered options on the market than ever before.
EVs of all shapes, sizes, and price points are set to hit streets this year from established manufacturers and upstart companies alike. By the end of 2021, well over a dozen new EVs ranging from Bollinger's $125,000 off-road pickup to Volkswagen's $40,000 mass-market crossover will be whirring up and down US roads.
There's no doubt2020 was a massive year for EVs too. Porsche rolled out the absurdly powerful Taycan, Tesla began delivering the Model Y, Ford launched the Mustang Mach-E, and Volvo's electric brand came out with the exquisite Polestar 2. Not to mention, Tesla debuted on the S&P 500 index and reported its fifth-straight profitable quarter.
But 2021 may be even better. Take a look at some of the coolest EVs on the way for 2021:
Audi E-Tron GT
A concept version of the Audi E-Tron GT made an appearance in "Avengers: Endgame," but the real deal will be available to order come next spring.
It was developed alongside the Porsche Taycan, and if that's anything to go by, the E-Tron GT could deliver well over 700 horsepower in its top trim. Plus, Audi has confirmed there will be a high-performance RS version.
Audi Q4 E-Tron
It's a shame, but Audi can't reach its goal of electrifying 30% of its US lineup by 2025 by rolling out only high-performance grand tourers.
The Q4 E-Tron will slot between the Q3 and Q5 crossovers in size and will come in a standard and a Sportback style. Audi says it will be able to travel more than 300 miles on a charge, but it hasn't been tested by the EPA yet.
Bollinger B1 and B2
Bollinger's boxy B1 SUV and B2 pickup have one foot in the future and one in the past. Their electric drivetrains claim 614 horsepower, 668 lb-ft of torque, and a 200-mile range. But that advanced tech comes wrapped in an old-school package that looks more like a vintage Land Rover Defender than anything rolling out of factories today.
The utilitarian offroaders will cost $125,000 and pack useful features like removable doors and a pass-through for extra-long items. They're set to enter production in late 2021.
BMW launched the futuristic-looking i3 and i8 years ago but hasn't sold an "i" model in the US since. With the upcoming i4, the company is looking to take on the Tesla Model 3 and reclaim its leader status in the EV world.
We don't know all the details about the i4 yet, but we do know generally what it'll look like and that it will have 530 horsepower along with an EPA-estimated range of 270 miles, according to BMW.
GMC Hummer EV
GM revived the long-dead Hummer nameplate for its debut electric pickup, the 2022 GMC Hummer EV. The $112,595 "Edition 1" model due to enter production next fall will offer 1,000 horsepower, a 350-mile range, and a suite of off-road-oriented features, GMC says.
Lordstown is targeting its first pickup toward commercial buyers, so it won't compete much with the Rivian R1T, Bollinger B1, or Tesla Cybertruck. But that doesn't make it any less exciting than those trucks — there's huge potential in electrifying fleets since commercial vehicles typically follow predictable routes and have somewhere to charge when they're not in use.
And although it's built for reliability rather than flash or performance (it has a governed top speed of 80 mph), the $52,500 truck claims 600 horsepower from four hub motors — something no other upcoming EV can say.
Lucid Motors, staffed by former Tesla engineers and helmed by the man who led the Model S project, is taking direct aim at the company's stalwart sedan with its debut production vehicle, the Air.
With an EPA-estimated range of up to 517 miles, it bests Tesla's longest-range sedan by more than 100 miles. The $169,000 Dream Edition will hit the market in spring 2021, followed by the cheaper Grand Touring and Touring trims. You'll have to wait until 2022 to snag the $77,400 base model.
Mercedes-Benz is bringing electric power to what it does best: comfy luxury sedans. The EQS, which appears to be an electric version of the flagship S-Class, will be its first battery-powered sedan and is set to go into production in the first half of 2021.
There aren't many details yet, but it'll likely demonstrate the tippy top of what Mercedes has in store for its new EV arsenal.
It's all part of Mercedes' plan to roll out six new electric models through 2022 — at that rate, it may have a bigger EV lineup than Tesla in just two short years.
The Ariya — Nissan's first major EV since it launched the pioneering Leaf all the way back in 2010 — has some big shoes to fill. Sporting an all-wheel-drive option, up to 300 miles of claimed range, Nissan's one-pedal-driving feature, and an enticing starting price around $40,000, the crossover is set to put the brand on the map in the growing electric-SUV space.
Rivian R1S and R1T
With roughly $6 billion in funding, an operational plant in Normal, Illinois, and backing from major investors like Amazon, Ford, and BlackRock, Rivian has emerged as one of the most promising challengers to Tesla. But, unlike Elon Musk's company, the upstart is gunning for the more outdoorsy crowd with its off-road-capable R1S SUV and R1T pickup.
The R1T promises a range of up to 400 miles, up to 750 horsepower, an 11,000-lb towing capacity, and comes with adjustable air suspension. The Model X-fighting R1S is built on the same platform but has a lower towing capacity and an extra row of seats.
The truck and SUV start at $75,000 and $70,000, respectively, but you'll have to wait until 2022 to take delivery. Rivian plans to start shipping out Launch-Edition models this summer.
Tesla Model S Plaid
Elon Musk announced the newest version of Tesla's oldest sedan at the company's Battery Day event in September: the Model S Plaid.
Promising a 200-mph top speed, 0-60-mph time under two seconds, and a 520-plus-mile range, the Plaid is, by most measures, the most over-the-top vehicle Tesla has ever made. Tesla says the $139,990 car will be available by the end of 2021.
Volkswagen's first EV for the US is headed to market in the first months of 2021. Its $39,995 starting price means it'll cost about as much as the average new car, and will be about $10,000 cheaper than the Tesla Model Y.
With a claimed 250-mile range and a familiar crossover shape, it may just pull some drivers away from their gas-gulping RAV4s and CR-Vs.