10 Electric cars to look out for in 2021
By Fran Brown
The electric car market is all charged up and surging ahead with dozens of new models coming to market.
Fully-electric car sales took off last year with demand for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) growing by 185.9% to 108,205 units.
Battery electric car registrations were 49% up, at 9,776 units, in the first two months of this year compared to the same period of 2020. The overall new car market was down 38%.
The take-up of electric vehicles is only going to keeping surging ahead, at the expense of diesel and petrol. A survey, by the AA and ITV’s Tonight current affairs programme, found 47% of drivers will consider an EV for their next car.
Here we look at 10 models, being launched this year, that are set to take the EV market to new levels of desirability and excitement and inspire more drivers to switch to electric motoring.
Audi Q4 e-tron
This new all-electric SUV, due on sale in summer, is likely to cost around £50,000.
Audi’s seventh SUV, the Q4 e-tron is the latest EV in its plan to have 12 electric cars by 2025.
Two electric motors – 150kW on the rear axle and 75kW at the front – create four-wheel drive. The 82kWh battery has an official range of 279 miles between charges and can power the Q4 e-tron from 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds.
Set in the floor to boost interior space, the battery can charge at up to 125 kilowatts.
BMW launches its first fully electric X model, the iX3 SUV, in summer.
Two models will be offered – £58,580 Premier Edition and £61,850 Premier Edition Pro. Both have more standard equipment than the current X3. The pure-electric drive system joins plug-in hybrid and petrol and diesel X3 models.
The electric motor, transmission and power electronics are arranged together in a single housing.
The 286hp electric motor drives the rear wheels and can propel the iX3 sprints to 62mph from rest in 6.8 seconds.
It has an official range of 279 miles. Charging capacity of up to 150kW means the 80kW battery can reach 80% in 34 minutes.
CUPRA, SEAT’s high-performance subsidiary, is charging into a new era of transformation with the launch of its first all-electric model this year.
It will be called CUPRA Born from the fashionable Barcelona district that inspired its creation and contemporary design and is being hailed as a game-changer in the electric market.
It will be able to travel up to 310 miles on a single charge thanks to its 77kWh battery which can be charged with enough energy for 160 miles in 30 minutes.
The CUPRA Born will go into production in Germany in the second half of the year.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
The iconic Mustang name adorns Ford’s performance battery electric vehicles.
On sale early this year, the Mustang Mach-E is offered in standard rear-wheel drive, and AWD and limited First Edition models, priced £40,350, £46,650 and £58,080 respectively.
Standard and extended range models, with 68 and 88kW batteries, give rear-wheel drive models 273 miles and 379 miles of range with 248 and 335 miles for the AWD dual motor models. Depending on model, 0-62mph takes 5.8 to seven seconds.
Late this year there will be an even quicker Mustang Mach-E GT with a 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds and a range of up to 310 miles.
Hyundai IONIQ 5
Hyundai’s IONIQ 5 all-electric, mid-size crossover utility vehicle, which launches the new IONIQ battery electric vehicle brand, will be available by mid year.
The 58kWh or 72.6kWh battery packs are offered with rear-only and front and rear motors for all-wheel drive. The maximum range is 292 miles.
With a 350kW charger, it can charge from 10 to 80% in 18 minutes.
The ‘Living Space’ design includes a Universal Island centre console that can slide back 140mm. Combined with a flat floor where the batteries are stored, it allows more freedom of movement.
Many interior touchpoints use eco-friendly, sustainably-sourced and recycled materials.
The EQA, newest member of the Mercedes-EQ battery electric vehicle family, is its first all-electric compact car.
The 66.5kWh lithium-ion battery provides a range of up to 263 miles.
The 188hp EQA’s 100kW DC charger allows it to charge from 10 to 80% in around 40 minutes. Charging from 10 to 100% with an 11kW wallbox takes five hours 45 minutes.
Navigation with Electric Intelligence, standard on Sport and AMG Line trims, calculates the fastest route taking into account charging times. A three-year subscription to Mercedes me Charge public charging service is standard.
The EQA is on sale priced from £40,495 after the government plug-in car grant.
Nissan created the crossover segment with the Qashqai and pioneered the electric car with the Leaf. Late this year it launches the futuristic-looking Ariya, an all-new electric crossover.
Power comes from 63kWh and 87kWh batteries mated to two or all-wheel drive with the latter boasting dual motors.
The 217PS 63kWH front-wheel drive model has a range of up to 223 miles and the 87kWh version 310 miles.
There are three all-wheel drive models, called E-4orce – 279PS 63kWh (211 miles), 306PS 87kWh (285 miles) and 394PS 87kWh Performance (248 miles).
The Ariya can support charging at up to 139kW
Skoda Enyaq iV
The Skoda Enyaq iV, the Czech manufacturer’s first all-electric SUV, has rear-wheel or four-wheel drive.
The 62kWh Enyaq iV 60 Nav, from £31,085 with the government grant, has a range of up to 256 miles.
It can fully charge with a home wall charger in nine hours 30 minutes. With a public rapid charger it can be topped up to 80% in 55 minutes or 35 minutes if the DC charging is upgraded.
The 82kWh Enyaq iV 80, from £35,950 including the grant, has a range of up 333 miles. A full home charge takes 13 hours. Rapid public charging to 80% takes one hour 10 minutes or 38 minutes if upgraded.
Tesla Model Y
One of the most eagerly-awaited electric vehicles is the Tesla Model Y.
The fully-electric, mid-size SUV is set to arrive in the UK later this year.
The Model Y, which can seat seven people, has two ultra-responsive, independent electric motors which digitally control torque to the front and rear wheels to create all-wheel drive.
The Long Range model has an estimated range of 314 miles and a 0-60mph times of 4.8 seconds. The Performance model has an estimated range of 298 miles and reaches 60mph in 3.5 seconds.
It can recharge 168 miles in 15 minutes at the network of Tesla Superchargers.