Afters years of rumors about the next generation of electric vehicles, we finally have some real cars on the docket. Breakthroughs in technology, dropping battery costs, and a horse-race between automakers have yielded products that must be considered game-changers: 200-mile EVs that will run consumers $30,000 or less after incentives. The future arrived sooner than we expected.
This wave of plug-in vehicles has the potential to upend the industry as it stands, and Tesla won’t be the only one playing on the field. Every major automaker either wants or needs to have volume plug-in sales to stay relevant as a brand and compliant as a corporation. By 2020, most will have their next-generation EVs in the United States. General Motors got the jump on everyone, though.
But not for long. The General will soon have company. Here are the 10 electric cars that will change the auto landscape in the near future.
1. Nissan Leaf 2.0
We have not seen a prototype or received details on specific future electric vehicles Nissan will produce, but we know there is a model in the works that will crack 200 miles. Around the time of the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, the automaker revealed it would deliver a 60 kilowatt-hour electric car in the coming years and incorporate design elements of the Intelligent Driving System concept it premiered at the October event. Rather than a next-generation Nissan Leaf, you can expect a brand-defining product by the 2018 model year.
2. Jaguar I-Pace
At a time when luxury EVs are planned for the far-off future, the Jaguar I-Pace was a welcome change when it arrived at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. This all-electric scorcher, which came with a 90 kilowatt-hour battery pack and 400 horsepower, should appear in production form by late 2017. After that, Jaguar says it will enter the U.S. market for 2018. For all the talk of “Tesla killers” over the years, this vehicle is the first that seems capable of meeting (or exceeding) the California brand’s achievements.
3. Tesla Model 3
Tesla started the clock on mainstream EVs when it posited the 200-mile concept years ago, and so far the company’s Model 3 is the one that has most captured the imagination of consumers around the world. Whether or not Tesla fills the 400,000 preorders or not, this rear-wheel-drive EV featuring at least 215 miles of range is already a game-changer for the industry. CEO Elon Musk is pushing to bring the brand’s $35,000 EV to market faster, but the end of 2017 seems like the earliest realistic delivery date.
4. Volkswagen e-Golf
While Volkswagen does not have a volume-selling EV in the U.S. market, this fact will change when the next e-Golf makes its way to America. Billed as a way to flash the auto group’s superior technology while dimming the unflattering spotlight of Dieselgate, this model will be a crucial part of the manufacturer’s rebound. According to company executives, the electric version of the e-Golf (due out in 2018) will top 186 miles in actual range. We’ll see if that date gets adjusted according to the competition’s moves.
5. Porsche Mission E
If you imagined the perfect car, it would probably look something like the Porsche Model E, a 600-horsepower stunner that happens to be electric. When it debuted, Porsche claimed it would be able to hit 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds and cover over 300 miles on a charge. Best of all, the automaker said it would be able to charge to 80% in 15 minutes using an as-yet-unheard-of battery system. Should Porsche get most of that on the road with Mission E, it would be the halo car of the entire segment.
6. Chevrolet Bolt EV
The next generation already kicked off in 2016 with the arrival of the Chevrolet Bolt EV. General Motor’s first-to-market entry delivers a substantial 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque to grab drivers’ attention. Though some may take issue with the Bolt’s styling, the spacious interior and impressive cargo capacity with the back seats down score points in the utility department. Chevy says it reaches 60 miles per hour from a stop in seven seconds or less. Bolt EV starts at $37,500 before incentives.
7. Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ
No one expected the German luxury brands to go it alone in the EV segment. With Generation EQ, Mercedes-Benz’s all-electric SUV concept, the automaker will launch both a sub-brand and a 400-horsepower answer to the competition. We have not seen much in the way of electrified Mercedes vehicles to date, so this model will start a new phase for a company that mastered the gas-powered car many decades ago.
8. NIO EP9
We have seen far too many compliance cars and utilitarian EVs over the years. With electric supercars making it to the market, the segment will gain a new level of respect from collectors and critics alike. NextEV’s NIO EP9 should be one of such vehicles leading the charge. Billed as the fastest EV in the world at the time of its unveiling, the NIO EP9 overpowers the competition with 1,341 horsepower and a top speed near 200 miles per hour.
9. Hyundai’s electric SUV
If SUVs and crossovers remain the dominant sales force in the industry, why are most future electric vehicles sedans? We expect a crossover Model 3 to come eventually, but Tesla already has its hands full with the sedan. Hyundai, on the other hand, is reportedly planning to make an electric SUV as the company’s first long-range EV. Company officials confirmed the SUV to Korean news sources, saying such a product could arrive by 2018. When Hyundai’s Ioniq nameplate debuts in 2017, we’ll have a better idea of what to expect.
10. Ford’s electric SUV
In Ford’s announcement of its coming EV offensive, the automaker only promised one pure electric model. According to the company line, it will be a small SUV capable of 300 miles on a single charge, and it will arrive by 2020. That might seem a long way from now, but keep in mind that Ford is going for the next big benchmark — specifically, 300 miles — for affordable EVs. We hope it gets some of the 2017 Ford Escape in its DNA.
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