The most exciting electric cars to buy in 2020
Electric cars are hitting the mainstream this year. We round up the most exciting EVs coming soon or already on sale
Electric cars for 2020© Lotus Cars
The electric race is gathering pace. Gone are the days when the electric car market was dominated by a few manufacturers. Now mainstream marques such as Volkswagen, Honda and Ford have joined the all-electric party. Here, to mark World Environment Day, we’ve assembled some of the most exciting new EVs – from superminis to supercars.
Volkswagen ID.3© VW
It might not be the most exciting new electric car, but it’s what the Volkswagen ID.3 could do for the industry that’s most intriguing. VW says it defines the brand and will have the same impact as the Beetle and Golf – hence the ID.3 name. It will be interesting to see whether it impacts sales of the new Mk8 Golf. Up to 341 miles of range is available, with top-end first edition cars available from £35,000.
Volvo XC40 Recharge© Volvo
Volvo’s first all-electric car combines a 0-62mph time of 4.9 seconds with an EV driving range of nearly 250 miles. The XC40 Recharge P8 AWD has two electric motors, giving a total output of 408hp. Total battery capacity is 75kWh, and Volvo says the batteries will recharge from zero to 80 percent in 40 minutes. It’s the first of a new range of all-electric Volvos, with the company launching one a year between now and 2025.
Audi E-tron Sportback 55© Audi
The Audi E-tron Sportback 55 follows the E-tron SUV as the company’s second all-electric vehicle. Improved aerodynamics add 6.2 miles to the range, giving a figure of 277 miles. Audi says maintaining keen dynamics and a sense of luxury are more important than maximum range, while 615 litres of luggage capacity means the E-tron Sportback is as practical as more conventional rivals.
Ford Mustang Mach-E© Ford
The fact that this iconic Ford has gone electric continues to raise a few eyebrows, but using the Mustang name makes sense. As does the fact that it’s an electric SUV, because that’s what the world wants. Available with a choice of two batteries and three power outputs, the Mach-E could offer up to 370 miles of electric range. It’s packed with the latest tech, while practicality is guaranteed thanks to a large 402-litre boot and 100-litre ‘frunk’. UK deliveries should start in the autumn.
Honda e© Honda
We drove Honda’s new EV in January. Our verdict: ‘The Honda e is a class act. Probably more premium and luxurious than a BMW i3, it is a futuristic car that doesn’t short-change you on comfort or sophistication. The two elephants in the room are range and price.’ Those figures are 137 miles (125 miles with 17-inch wheels), £26,160 for the 100kW version and £28,660 for the 113kW version (both including the plug-in car grant). Alternatively, finance starts from £299 per month.
Mini Electric© Mini
The Mini Electric is perhaps the Honda’s arch rival. ‘This is a charismatic, premium electric car that feels high class without, unusually for an EV, the high price tag to match,’ we said. ‘Because everyone loves Minis, this alone will generate huge interest, and the curious are guaranteed to be wowed when they drive it.’ With a price of £24,400 (after the grant) the Mini is cheaper than the Honda e, while its range is a similarly limited 124 miles. A compact 32.5kWh battery helps keep weight down – and preserves the famous ‘go-kart’ handling characteristics.
Peugeot e-208© Peugeot
The Peugeot e-208 is more expensive than the Honda e or Mini Electric, but its 217-mile range is more impressive. The stylish supermini costs upwards of £25,050 after the plug-in car grant, although the top-spec e-208 GT is priced at £29,250. Unlike the Renault Zoe, which is built from the ground up as an electric car, the e-208 shares much in common with the conventional (petrol or diesel) 208 – and indeed the Vauxhall Corsa.
Porsche Taycan© Porsche
Porsche has taken the fight to Tesla – and won. The Taycan blends jaw-dropping performance with sports car dynamics. Its high-tech interior feels suitably special, too. The range stretches from 531hp 4S to 761hp Turbo S and few will cost less than six figures after options are added. Putting aside the handful of EV hypercars, this is the new electric benchmark.
Seat el-Born© Seat
The el-Born will follow the Mii Electric as Seat’s second all-electric production car. It made its debut as a concept (seen here) in 2019, but Volkswagen will be keen to give the platform-sharing ID.3 some breathing space before launching the Seat. It will offer an all-electric range of up to 261 miles, with a price tag in the region of £26,000. As it’s a Seat, you can expect sports seats and a driver-focused dashboard.
Tesla Model Y© Tesla
Officially, the Tesla Model Y isn’t expected to appear in the UK until 2021 or 2022, but North American customers are likely to get their hands on the seven-seat SUV this year. Tesla promises up to 336 miles of electric range from the Long Range AWD model, while the Performance edition will offer 298 miles and 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds. If the Model 3 is anything to go by, anticipation will be high.
Vauxhall Corsa-e© Vauxhall
This could be Britain’s best-selling electric car. The Vauxhall Corsa-e is available for a competitive £295 on a four-year personal lease contract after a £5,310 initial rental. Alternatively, you can get a guaranteed £2,000 part-exchange allowance on your old car. The 50kWh battery in the Corsa-e offers 205 miles of electric range, although this can be extended by 40 percent if you use a special eco mode.
BMW iX3© BMW
The BMW Concept iX3 was unveiled at last year’s Beijing Motor Show. The production car, effectively an electric X3, is due soon. BMW claims a range of 249 miles from a 70kWh battery, along with a newly-developed Charging Control Unit for accessing the latest fast charging points. Unlike the i3 and now-discontinued i8, the iX3 is based on existing architecture and is being developed alongside the i4 four-door coupe.
Fiat 500e© Fiat
Fiat has investing heavily in its 500e electric car, including a new production line in Italy. The cute styling looks familiar, but underneath it is all-new, with an 87kW electric motor offering 0-62mph in 9.0 seconds and a 199-mile range. Launched in convertible guise, one of the 500 La Prima launch editions will set you back £29,000 (after the plug-in grant is deducted). Cheerful, but not cheap.
Maserati MC20© Maserati
Maserati has revealed images of its mid-engined MC20 supercar testing on Italian roads. Little is known about the car, aside from the fact that its V6 engine is ‘100 percent Maserati’ (i.e. not a cut-down Ferrari unit). What’s it doing here, then? Well, there are rumours that an electric version will appear in the future, although the MC20 is likely to be electrified rather than fully electric to start with.
Mercedes-Benz EQV© Mercedes-Benz
The Mercedes-Benz EQV electric people carrier made its debut at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. The company claims the EQV will offer a range of up to 251 miles, which is impressive for an eight-seat electric MPV. It also features a 1,030-litre load area. Still want that seven-seat Tesla Model X?
Peugeot e-2008© Peugeot
If the e-208 is too small, Peugeot has a ready-made alternative in the e-2008 SUV. It offers a range of up to 193 miles, while refilling to 80 percent takes 30 minutes when using a 100kW fast-charger. Standard equipment is high, and prices start from around £28,500 after the plug-in car grant.
Pininfarina Battista© Pininfarina
Deliveries of the Pininfarina Battista will begin this year. Only 150 will be built in Italy, carrying a rumoured £2 million price tag. Producing 1,900hp – and faster than a Formula One car from 0-60mph – it will travel almost 280 miles on a single charge. The Mahindra-owned company will launch three EVs over the next three years, two of which will be SUVs.
Skoda Citigo e iV© Skoda
The new Skoda Citigo e iV is already on sale and costs from £16,995. This is after the plug-in car grant and based on the entry-level SE. The all-electric Citigo offers a driving range of between 140 and 170 miles, while the top-spec SE L can be charged using a CCS cable connected to a 40kW DC fast charger.
Jaguar XJ© Jaguar
The all-electric XJ represents a new era for the luxury saloon after 52 years of history (see above). Jaguar has announced plans to build a range of electrified cars at its Castle Bromwich plant in Birmingham. The electric XJ is expected later in 2020, with Jaguar using its experience in creating the I-Pace SUV.
DS 3 Crossback E-Tense© DS Automobiles
There are more supermini-sized SUVs than you can shake a maraca at, but only a few are fully electric. The DS 3 Crossback E-Tense has distinctive (if rather odd) styling and a plush interior. A 50kWh battery is good for around 200 miles on a full charge, plus 0-62mph in under nine seconds. It’s as practical as the combustion-engined models, but a £30,490 price tag seems steep.
Nissan Ariya© Nissan
Nissan defined the popular EV with its Leaf hatchback, then failed to build on that momentum. The Ariya should change that. Its crossover body style offers space for bigger batteries and thus a longer range. And its styling drops heavy hints about how the next Qashqai will look.
Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo© Porsche
Think of the Cross Turismo as a Taycan estate with some off-road ability. The Mission E prototype version seen here accelerates to 62mph in less than 3.5 seconds and reaches 165mph. That’s despite a hefty kerb weight of 2,150kg. Prices will be higher than the Taycan saloon, so budget for at least £90,000.
Polestar 2© Polestar
Volvo’s fledging sub-brand plans to launch two EVs this year. The Polestar 2 is the first: a family car aimed squarely at the Tesla Model 3. It boasts an electric range of 311 miles and will cost from £49,000. The £5,000 Performance Pack adds Brembo brakes, Ohlins dampers and 20-inch wheels. Racy.
Tesla Roadster© Tesla
Will we finally see the Tesla Roadster this year? The four-seat sports car is claimed to reach 60mph from rest in 1.9 seconds – swift enough to give Elon Musk’s SpaceX rockets a scare (probably). The 620-mile range from its 200kWh battery is pretty spectacular, too. Just don’t hold your breath…
Lotus Evija© Lotus
We end with the Lotus Evija: an electric hypercar you really can buy. This photo shows the new production facility in Hethel, Norfolk. You will need deep pockets (like, £2 million deep) but the 2,000hp Lotus is the most powerful production car ever. All we know at present is it will hit 62mph (100kph) in ‘less than three seconds’ and exceed 200mph. An electric dream.