With the boundaries of performance, range and desirability all being pushed back at a rate of knots, EVs are starting to gain mainstream appeal. Here are the models to watch out for over the next couple of years
The rate of progress in electric vehicles in recent years has been remarkable. Only a few years ago EVs were seen as extremely â€˜nicheâ€™. Fully electric vehicles still account for only a tiny percentage of total car sales, but things are changing fast as manufacturers race to gain the high ground in this key market.
Hereâ€™s our list of upcoming electric vehicles that should be grabbing your attention now.
Audi E-Tron quattro (September 2018)
Up to now, the concept of luxury in a fully-electric car has been pretty much monopolized by Tesla, but Audiâ€™s E-tron quattro SUV is going to upset that applecart when it goes on sale this autumn.
Itâ€™s expected that the E-tron quattro wonâ€™t be much different to the E-tron concept revealed at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show. In terms of size, it will be somewhere between theÂ Q5Â andÂ Q7, but leaning more towards the Q5. Crucially, it is claimed to have a full-charge range of over 310 miles.
Audi E-tron Sportback (2019)
Coming hard on the heels of the E-tron quattro, Audiâ€™s second electric car will take its cue from the Sportback concept that was shown at the 2017 Shanghai motor show. Similarly sized to the Audi A7, and featuring its coupÃ©-like styling, the E-tron Sportback will have the raised driving position and aggressive detailing popularized by SUVs. Its three electric motors and 496bhp total power will give it a 4.5sec 0-62mph time.
Jaguar I-Pace (summer 2018)
Another prestige brand aiming to smash into the EV market is Jaguar. Its all-electric I-Pace SUV comes out this summer with two electric motors, four-wheel drive and 395bhp, making it good for a 4.0sec 0-60mph time. Claiming a range of over 300 miles, the I-Pace takes just over two hours to charge up from a standard point. 80% of battery capacity can be reached in 90 minutes.
Jaguar XJ (2019)
Once the I-Pace has reached the showrooms, Jaguar will be ready to reveal the replacement for itsÂ XJ luxury car. Remarkably, there will be no petrol or diesel alternatives: the new XJ will only be available as an electric car and will serve as a technological showcase for the Jaguar brand. In another significant change, the XJ changes from a four-door saloon to a five-door hatch.
Mini E (2019)
Back in 2009 and 2010,Â Miniâ€™s experimental electric car was leased out to a very limited number of early adopters for trialling. Some ten years later, the production version of the fully-electric Mini E will go on sale. It will be based on one of the models currently in the Mini range, and (according to Mini boss Peter Schwarzenbauer) will have “completely new battery technology” designed to give it far more usability than other electric vehicles.
Porsche Mission E (2020)
This four-door, four-seat, four-wheel drive supercar is Porsche’s rival for theÂ Tesla Model S. Originally shown at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show, its new 800v charging system is twice as efficient as todayâ€™s quick chargers and will give the Mission E the potential to take an 80% charge in just 15 minutes. Driven by two electric motors, it will deliver a 0-62mph time of only 3.5sec.
Skoda Vision E (2020)
First shown at the 2017 Shanghai motor show, the Vision E will be Skodaâ€™s first electric car, but thereâ€™ll be plenty more to follow: Skoda says that, by 2025, plug-in hybrid or fully-electric cars will constitute a quarter of its entire range. The productionised Skoda Vision E will come with a range of power outputs and is expected to have five seats rather than the conceptâ€™s four.
Tesla Model 3 (2019)
The 3 Series-sized Model 3 will be Teslaâ€™s cheapest car yet, with a probably entry-level price of around Â£35,000. That will put it up against premium options like the BMW, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class. You can put an order in now, but be prepared to wait until next year at the earliest for your car to arrive, as production of right-hand drive cars isnâ€™t scheduled to begin until 2019.
Tesla Roadster (2020)
The first Tesla was actually a two-seat sports car. On sale from 2008 to 2012, the Roadster was based on theÂ Lotus Elise. Its coupÃ©-styled successor is pure Tesla. Featuring a removable roof panel, it is reputed to run from 0-60mph in an astonishing 1.9sec, with a 250mph+ top speed and a 620-mile single-charge range â€“ nearly double that of any electric car on sale in 2018.
Volkswagen ID (2020)
A rash of VolkswagenÂ electric cars will be kicked off by this Golf-sized hatchback with a range of between 249 and 373 miles. The rear position of the electric motor has endowed the ID with more interior space and a town-perfect tight turning circle.
Volkswagen ID Buzz (2022)
Volkswagenâ€™s second new electric car draws heavily on the iconic Volkswagen Microbus from the 1950s. The ID Buzz aims to deliver the same MPV virtues of practicality and affordability for up to eight people in a configurable interior. Luggage goes at both the front and rear and the steering wheel can be tucked away into the centre console when the car is running in autonomous Pilot mode, due to arrive appear on production cars in 2025.
Volkswagen ID Crozz (2020)
The last car in Volkswagen’s initial EV stampede is this four-door coupÃ© SUV with a system that guarantees pure air in the cabin irrespective of how much pollution there is in the atmosphere. It also has a digital key to store climate control and seating position preferences and activate them as you get in.
Volvo XC40 Electric (2019)
Volvo’s first all-electric car should be aÂ small SUVÂ based on the same chassis as the excellent new XC40. Thereâ€™s not much more information, but it should be one of the safest cars on the road.
Hyundai Nexo (December 2018)
The Nexo is not a battery-electric car but a hydrogen fuel cell model. Hyundai has long experience in this technology, its first =offering being based on theÂ conventional ix35 SUV. The Nexo has its own unique design and a 500-mile range, which is 130 more than the ix35. It will also have 20% more power and the potential to be refuelled in just five minutes. The price should be around Â£50,000 and water will be the only emission.