New electric cars 2022: what's coming when
We take a look at some of the best new electric cars that will hit the streets over the next year and beyond
It's official - electric vehicles are in the mainstream. 2021 was a record year for EV sales, with more vehicles registered last year than in the previous five combined.
Last year produced an influx of major new models from the world’s biggest manufacturers, despite the industry wrestling with worldwide supply and semiconductor issues.
These included the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the Volkswagen ID 4 and the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo. While the supply crisis continues for now, we're looking forward to another exciting year of zero-emission models showcasing the future of motoring.
Here's our list of what EVs are coming out in 2022, with a further look ahead to 2023.
*Dacia Spring EV*: Dacia’s first electric car sticks to the firm’s philosophy of keeping things simple. You get four seats, a 44bhp electric motor and 140 miles of range, but also a one-star NCAP safety rating.
*Nissan Ariya*: Another rival for the Volkswagen ID 4, Nissan’s electric SUV will start from £41,845. Entry-level models are front wheel drive and powered by a 63kWh battery, while the top-rung e-Performance ups the stakes to four-wheel drive, 87kWh and 389bhp.
*Toyota bZ4X*: Toyota’s long-awaited first bespoke EV is similarly priced to the Nissan Ariya, starting from £41,950 in the UK. Toyota has heaps of experience developing top-class crossovers, but will it be able to stand out among other established rivals? The bZ4X will draw from 20-plus years of electrification experience, with two variants on offer: a single motor, 201bhp model, and a twin-motor, four-wheel drive range-topper offering 248bhp and a sub 8.0sec 0-62mph time.
*Volkswagen ID Buzz*: Volkswagen’s legendary bus returns, but it looks radically different despite its retro styling. The ID Buzz moves from flower power to electric after 70 years, based on a variation of the firm’s MEB platform. People carrier, commercial vehicle and camper variants are confirmed to return, with a long-wheelbase model expected in 2023. It doesn’t stop there - the model is also being readied for fully autonomous driving by mid-decade.
*Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric*: The Megane will be one of many cars to literally step up and transform into a crossover. There’s no need to panic though, as our first impressions were positive. It’s good to drive, efficient and comfortable, and a power output of 215bhp and 221lb ft means it's quick too. You’ll hit 62mph in 7.4sec, but you’ll likely want to go a bit slower so people can take in its eye-catching design. It also offers a claimed range of either 186 or 292 miles.
*Lucid Air*: The Lucid Air could be a game changer. The firm claims the coupe is capable of up to 500 miles of range on top-rung models, with an output of 1065bhp. Those staggering figures have meant some have dubbed it ‘the next Tesla.’ Prices in the US start from $52,100 (that’s around £40,040 in the UK), and entry-level cars are driven by a 395bhp electric motor and a Samsung-supplied 75kWh battery pack for 240 miles of range.
*Audi E-tron*: The E-Tron will gain more than just a standard facelift this year, with a huge new battery. It’s believed the range could rise from 249 miles to as much as 373 miles - that’ll get you from London to Edinburgh in one go.
*BMW iX1*: It’s not just BMW’s 600bhp range-toppers going electric. The firm is readying an electric version of the X1, which the firm hopes will act as the way into its growing EV model range. The car will effectively replace the i3 which has been with us for ten years now, and is likely to be axed around the same time.
*Lotus Type 132*: Lotus Eletre: If you say it quickly, it doesn’t sound so shocking: “Lotus is building an electric SUV.” There, that’s not too bad, is it, purists? The Eletre marks the brand's historic reinvention as an electric performance car firm offering a breadth of vehicles. Targeting a price of £100,000, the Eletre will pack a top speed of 162mph and a sub-3.0sec sprint from 0-62mph.
We're still keenly awaiting indepth technical specs, but expect a battery capacity of more than 100kWh and power upwards of 592bhp. Maximum range meanwhile is said to stand at 348 miles. Don't worry - the Eletre is being made in China, so Hethel will remain the home of Lotus sports cars.
*Hyundai Ioniq 5 N*: Hyundai’s retro-styled EV will be Hyundai’s fastest ever car, boosted up to 600bhp with the firm’s typical N performance credentials applied. It’s likely the model will share a twin motor powertrain with the Kia EV6 GT, for a sub 4.0sec 0-62mph time.
*Kia EV6 GT*: Kia’s rapid performance crossover will be faster than the Porsche Taycan 4S, producing 577bhp. We’re excited - it’s one more incredibly powerful, sporty electric car to choose from.
*Polestar 3*: Polestar will produce the 3 next to Volvo's successor to the XC90 in the US, with styling influenced by the Precept concept. Details are still thin on the ground - we’ve not seen a final design or heard powertrain information, but expect sustainable materials to be used throughout.
*BMW i7*: The BMW i7 could be the ideal choice for those who desire a luxury, electric saloon if you aren’t a fan of the firm’s newly introduced design language (yes, that grille). The low-slung i7 will be sold alongside combustion models, but plans to compete with Mercedes-Benz’s EQS. We still don’t know exactly what the car will look like, but spy shots have revealed a blanked-off grille (shape unknown, sorry), bespoke wheel designs and EV-specific trim. A 105kWh battery will provide up to 400 miles of range and 600bhp.
*Skoda Enyaq vRS*: Skoda’s performance vRS badge will arrive for the first time on an electric model, as its answer to the Volkswagen ID 4 GTX. It will be driven by the same powertrain used by the GTX too, so a 0-62mph time of just over 6.0secs and a 300 mile range are expected.
*Ssangyong Korando E-Motion*: Financially-troubled Ssangyong was recently acquired, so it’s likely we’ll see the Korando E-Motion this year. The rugged SUV will be the firm’s first all-electric car, based on the existing Korando. It will likely rival the affordable MG ZS EV.
-Coming in 2023-
If this year’s electric offerings don’t get you excited, 2023 will also be crammed full of exciting reveals.
*Fisker Ocean*: Fisker has a tainted history, but don't write the Ocean off just yet. The model looks like it could be a real, contending rival for the Audi Q4 E-tron and the Tesla Model Y, with a roomy interior and a range of more than 250 miles. European versions will be produced by Magna Steyr in Austria, with prices ranging from an affordable £30,000 to £50,000 for top-end cars.
*Ford Electric SUV*: Ford has remained quiet about the name, price, size and appearance of its upcoming electric SUV, but has given some details of its technical specifications. We know it’ll be driven by a selection of single-motor rear-drive and dual-motor four-wheel-drive powertrains with a range in the high-200-mile region, as it’s the first passenger car to come from its deal struck with Volkswagen to develop on its MEB platform. Will Ford be able to make it feel distinguished away from the German firm?
*Mini hatchbacks and Countryman*: From next year, Mini’s Oxford factory will move to electrified power and the firm will expand its model line-up. Its three-door hatchback will no doubt remain popular, with a more adapted and versatile EV variant expected. The Countryman will also receive a revamp and amendments to its fully-electric model.
*Peugeot e-308*: The battery-electric variants of the Peugeot 308 hatchback and SW estate will be more powerful, more efficient and have a longer range than the existing e-208 supermini. A 50kWh battery will power a front-wheel-mounted motor, making 154bhp and 199lb ft. Production is expected to start in July 2023, with deliveries shortly afterwards.
*Chevrolet Silverado EV: *Did you think Chevrolet would allow Ford to bask in all the glory of electric cars? Not a chance. The firm has revealed the new Silverado pick-up, with 400 miles of range - that’s 100 more than Ford’s extended-range F-150 Lightning. A battery pack up to 200kWh is available, with a dual-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain supplying more than 660bhp and more than 780lb ft of torque. Unfortunately, we won’t see the Silverado in the UK.
*MG hatchback*: Expected to be revealed in the coming months, MG’s small electric hatchback will rival the Vauxhall Corsa - the model that was recently crowned the UK’s best-selling car. The model will join the ZS EV and 5 EV in MG’s electric line-up, but is still shrouded in secrecy. Autocar understands the model will be revealed in concept form at the Beijing motor show in April.
*Porsche Macan* EV and *Audi Q6 E-Tron*: The Macan EV will be Porsche’s second attempt at electrification, but it’s probably worth hedging your bets that the German firm will repeat its success with the Taycan. It’ll be built on an entirely new car platform, co-developed between Porsche and Audi. Expect a four-wheel-drive dual-motor set-up to offer 700bhp and 750lb ft of torque.
Audi will also use the platform for the Q6 E-Tron, with 800V charging, a range of more than 300 miles and eventually a sporting RS version.
*Rolls-Royce Spectre: *The first electric Rolls-Royce is a big one - the Spectre. It will occupy a similar market segment to the old, petrol-powered Wraith, using the firm’s Architecture of Luxury platform. A dual-motor powertrain will provide more than 600bhp.
*Smart SUV*: A Smart SUV will arrive in 2023, with production to take place in China with eyes on the country’s premium demographic. Smart is now a joint venture between Mercedes and Geely, and the SUV will be based on the latter’s SEA platform.
*Vauxhall Astra*: Will the Astra follow the Corsa and become one of the UK’s best-selling cars once again? That’s certainly a possibility when it launches this year in petrol, diesel and plug-in specifications, but hold on until 2023 if you’d rather get behind the wheel of an all-electric model.
*Volkswagen Aero-B*: Volkswagen hopes its planned electric, executive saloon will rival Tesla’s Model 3 and the Polestar 2. We first saw it in 2019 with the ID Vizzion name, but it’s now known at the firm’s Wolfsburg HQ as the Aero-B due to its aerodynamic efficiency. It’s based on Volkswagen’s largest MEB platform and will be sold with front- or rear-wheel drive, a 77kWh battery and up to 431 miles of range.