This past year was slated by some to be the “year of the EV.” Having seen a number of new electric vehicles reach the market, it’s certainly been a very positive year for electrified cars — even despite the global pandemic.
Here at SHIFT, we think that in 10 years time — when gasoline vehicles are banned — we’ll look back on an entire decade of EVs that will be worth remembering. There will be highlights for sure, but we doubt that one year alone will stand out among the rest.
Why? Because 2021 will be another year that we see many more exciting and futuristic EVs unleashed into the wild. Here are the ones we’re looking forward to most.
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Trucks, trucks, trucks
2021 is going to be the year that electric trucks could transcend their CAD designs and finally hit our roads. Honestly, we could probably write an entire article about electric trucks, but here’s the one we’re really looking forward to.
In 2021, we should finally see the Rivian SUVs hit the roads. On a personal note, this is probably my highlight for the year, Rivian if you’re reading this… get in touch please.
Anyway, the Amazon-backed company is set to release its R1S and R1T sports utility vehicles towards the backend of the year. They’ve been engineered from the ground up to be electric vehicles, and take advantage of all the space that comes as a result of not needing huge engines, drivetrains, and differentials.
While the Rivians are nowhere near as striking as Tesla’s Cybertruck and likely won’t have the road presence of the electric Hummer, they are thoughtfully designed, with function and performance coming ahead of form.
In the world of electric trucks, they could be a force to be reckoned with.
Mainstream electric with Volvo
Despite having close relations to electric focused brand Polestar, Volvo is yet to really enter the mainstream with an all-electric vehicle of its own.
That looks set to change in 2021 as the Swedish marque prepares to launch its debut all-electric vehicle, the XC40 Recharge P8.
Underneath it shares much of the running gear of the Polestar 2, which I can tell you first hand is no bad thing.
The real reason we’re excited about this EV though is how it comes together as an entire package.
With over 250 miles (400 km) of range, an ability to charge from zero to 80% in 40 minutes, and 402 horsepower, in an SUV form factor, it stands to be the perfect recipe for an eco-conscious family wagon.
Deliveries are expected in the first quarter of 2021.
Another all-electric SUV… from BMW
BMW is no stranger to electric vehicles, its i3 feels like it’s been around forever and still holds up today. The German marque hasn’t put out a new EV since the i3 launched back in 2016 and it’s long overdue.
The motor company has been making plenty of noise though, with its iNext vehicle ever on the proverbial horizon of “the cars of tomorrow.” Until then, BMW is attempting to satisfy our lust for motorized volts with its iX3 SUV.
This vehicle will go toe to toe with the Volvo XC40 Recharge, featuring 285 miles (455 km) of range, and 282 horsepower. So it might be a little slower, but that premium BMW feel is guaranteed.
Like the XC40, the iX3 stands to be incredibly popular among families or drivers that favor the high riding position and extra space afforded by its large boot.
The BMW iX3 was officially unveiled earlier this year, and is expected to make its on the road debut in the middle of the 2021.
A new chapter for Nissan
Like BMW, Nissan hasn’t done anything properly new in the electric car market for quite a while. That is despite its Leaf EV being one of the most popular options on the market.
Anyway, in 2021 we should get the Ariya, the second all-electric vehicle from Nissan, and it’s another crossover SUV type thing. There’s a bit of a theme appearing here isn’t there?
It’s set to go on sale in the second half of 2021. When it does, it’ll feature up to an 87 kWh battery. The top of the range e-4orce model is slated to produce 389 horsepower.
Perhaps the best thing about the Ariya though, is that it’s going to use the CCS charging standard for fast-charging. The Nissan Leaf used CHAdeMO, which isn’t as widely supported in Europe as CCS.
I’m not surprised there are so many electric SUVs coming to the market. Now that most major brands have wrapped their heads around producing electric drivetrains it was only a matter of time until they plonked on a high-riding, spacious body. SUVs are popular, if it’s a way to get the masses behind the wheel of electric cars, it’s a step in the right direction.
Maybe 2021 will be the year of all-electric SUVs.
Small is also cool
No one wants to sound like a broken record, so let’s change our tune and give some time to the small and always adorable Fiat 500e.
This year saw a handful of other small electric hatchbacks come to market, the VW ID.3, the Mini Cooper SE, and the Honda e being three of the most talked about.
Next year, we should finally get to see the electrified version of the Fiat 500e reach market.
Compared to the massive SUVs above, the 500e won’t set your pants on fire, but that’s not the point. It’s meant to be a nippy, fun, and practical daily run about.
With a 43 kWh battery pack and around 200 miles of range, it beats the Honda e and electric Mini. Or rather, it should do when it finally hits the roads.
The 500e is expected to go on sale in the first quarter of 2021, and hopefully deliveries shouldn’t be too far behind.
So much more to come
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the EVs coming in 2021, if you’re looking for that, check out this one from Autocar.
Some honorable mentions for EVs that have us tickled under the hood that we didn’t mention are: The Skoda Enyaq iV, the VW ID.4, the Tesla Model S Plaid, and the Mercedes-Benz EQV electric van.
This wasn’t an easy list to put together. There’s a lot to be excited about in the world of EVs in 2021. But if I had to put money on it, electric SUVs will be the talk of the town for most of the year.
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Published December 30, 2020 — 15:00 UTC