Electric cars have generated a lot of buzz this year. While you might know of several coming out, the following vehicles might not be on your radar, yet.
Startup Bollinger is bringing its B1 boxy electric SUV to market by the end of the year. Its design hearkens back to when SUVs were only for guys who wear lots of plaid, but it will boast all kinds of cool tech. A 200-mile range, towing rating of 7,500 pounds, and 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds make this EV one to watch closely.
As the cash cow for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Jeep has a ton of pressure to perform. It will apparently lead the company’s charge into a commitment for electrification by creating four plug-in models. While it’s been confirmed at least three of them will be hybrids, there are strong indications the fourth will be fully-electric.
We know a plug-in hybrid Wrangler is coming next year, while a plug-in hybrid Renegade will arrive in about three years. But, Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley, who used to be the head of Jeep, told reporters at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show that “in addition to the all-new mild hybrid Wrangler, a full plug-in electric Jeep Wrangler” will be coming out in 2020.
Naturally, that led to all kinds of speculation. Does that mean the plug-in will be fully-electric? Or will it just be a robust plug-in hybrid? It’s possible Manley chose his words carefully to keep the competition guessing.
Very little is known about an upcoming Mazda electric vehicle. The Japanese automaker has done a tremendous job of keeping a tight lid on this project, especially considering the car is supposed to come out in 2020.
Initial suspicions were that Mazda had teamed up with another company, possibly Toyota, to make its own EV. After all, developing such a car is difficult and expensive, and Mazda isn’t exactly a financial giant. Also, Mazda and Toyota have an agreement to develop electric vehicle platforms jointly, something Mazda apparently won’t leverage this time.
By cutting back on projects which don’t generate massive revenue, like eliminating Mazdaspeed models, Mazda claims the tech for its upcoming battery-electric vehicle will all come from in-house engineering.
Depending on how this Mazda EV turns out, it could be what helps the automaker turn a corner. Without some serious financial upswing, the company risks getting gobbled up by a rival brand, with Toyota as the most likely candidate in a takeover.
Mazda European head Jeff Guyton let some details about this electric vehicle slip in an interview with Automotive News in December of 2018. He claimed it wouldn’t look strange or zany in any way, but instead would have an aesthetic like the brand’s newest vehicles. That’s key to selling EVs to people other than early adopters. After all, the appearance of the BMW i3 is admittedly quite off-putting.
Most likely, this Mazda EV will be a crossover. It makes the most financial sense since crossovers are king these days. Some have tried to claim an all-electric sports car will be first, but that admittedly is far less practical. Whatever the vehicle will be, don’t expect it to be just an electrified version of something we already know. Mazda has already confirmed this mystery model will be completely new.
With a financial slide that just won’t quit, Ford needs to come up with some products which will give it market traction again. The company has cut all kinds of jobs, essentially abandoned cars for North America, and made other painful changes, but that alone won’t be enough.
Recently it was announced Ford has an all-electric F-150 in the works. It seems to be in response to Rivian, Atlis, Workhorse, and soon Tesla jumping into the market with their own electric pickups. If Ford starts losing truck market share to those startups, the financial hemorrhaging will become catastrophic. The F-150 EV should arrive as a 2021 model.
A mysterious electric crossover is also in the works, and it supposedly will be getting some design cues from the Mustang. Originally, the word is this vehicle would be named the Mach 1, but Mustang fans let Ford know their disgust at slapping such a legendary name on a crossover, so that appears to not be happening.
Another brand owned by Fiat Chrysler, Maserati has some pretty aggressive electric vehicle plans. It’s looking to launch four fully-electric models within about three years. While shoppers have been passing over Maseratis in a big way lately, this kind of development might provide exactly what’s needed to turn the storied Italian brand around.
Coming this fall is the Aston Martin Rapide E, or the fully-electric version of the Rapide, a car not everyone has been so impressed with. Among the complaints about the gasoline-powered version are the garish front grille and shockingly outdated interior controls. There are hopes these will be rectified when the Rapide E comes out this fall.
According to Aston Martin, this car will whip out 602 horsepower and 700 lb.-ft. of torque. Two electric motors will drive the rear wheels, making for what many believe is a proper GT. The 800-volt lithium-ion battery array is supposed to supply about 200 miles of range.
You didn’t think there could be a post about electric vehicles without mentioning Tesla, did you? The California automaker is looking to maintain its dominance in this market niche with the upcoming Model Y, which will be revealed very soon.
Rumor has it the starting price will be between $35,000 and $40,000, but since Tesla is still trying to get the budget-friendly version of the Model 3 out the door, I don’t know how seriously anyone can take that.
Elon Musk has said the Model Y will be capable of Level 4 self-driving, possibly making it the first production vehicle to achieve that. Thanks to a shared platform with the Model 3, production issues should be minimal.
Quite a few analysts expect the preorders for the Tesla Model Y to surpass the one million mark.
Once a sub-brand of Volvo, Polestar has struck out somewhat on its own. It made a big splash with the Polestar 1, but you probably can’t afford the car since the price tag might rival your mortgage. Instead, a much more budget-friendly electric vehicle, called the Polestar 2, is in the works. Yes, the marketing team spent weeks coming up with these model names.
With a target starting price of about $40,000, Polestar says the 2 should go about 350 miles on a complete charge. Expect the car to be revealed this year.
There are clearly lots of new players in the electric vehicle market. Who will succeed and who will fail? Those questions will be answered soon as these cars are released to the market. Either way, we can all be excited by some of the exciting new technology coming out in the coming years.
With the increased desire for electric vehicles from the market and so many relatively small players taking up market share, what is going to happen to some of the most well-established brands in the automotive industry? Will they be able to adapt fast enough to handle this swing in demand, or are we on the verge of a new Carpocalypse? Check out this other article by Steven Symes on the ensuing Carpocalypse.