EVs are slowly but steadily warming up for what appears will be a bright future for them. Although their overall market share is still rather low on both the global and national scale, there has been an evident improvement in 2018 for which most credits go to Tesla. They’ve sold 361,307 units in the U.S. which is an 80 percent increase over 2017 and more than 50 percent of the entire U.S. plug-in and EV market share. This time we’ll focus on 2021 electric cars which are sure to improve on these figures even further.
On a global scale, more than 2 million plug-in and all-electric vehicles have been sold in 2018 which is an increase of 63 percent over 2017. This also includes passenger and commercial vehicles, the latter of which we won’t be covering here.
China remains the largest EV car market by volume as more than half of the aforementioned figure (close to 1.2 million vehicles) were sold there. However, it’s Norway leading the race in terms of EV market share as more than 50 percent of all cars sold in the Scandinavian country in 2018 were actually electric cars.
Future EV market value projections showcase a compound annual growth rate of more than 22 percent on a global scale between 2018 and 2025. By then, the electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle market is expected to expand considerably. Norway, for instance is expected to be 100 percent green by the time 2025 arrives.
Here we’ll focus exclusively on all-electric passenger cars (and an occasional supercar) as hybrid and plug-in passenger cars, as well as plug-in and electric crossovers and SUVs for 2021 have already been covered separately.
You might also be interested in some of the best electric cars ever made and those that failed miserably.
Without further ado, here are some of the best upcoming electric cars 2021 is expected to bring our way.
07. 2021 Tesla Model 3
The affordable Tesla Model 3 is the absolute record-breaker when it comes to electric vehicles and the driving force behind the EV’s sales surge in the U.S. during 2018. In less than a year, it’s achieved what its main competitors couldn’t in years. With 139,730 units delivered during 2018, it’s now actually the 11th best-selling car in the U.S. – not counting the pickup trucks and SUVs. What’s more, 2019 will be even kinder towards the entry-level Tesla sedan.
The 2021 Tesla Model 3 will field a complete lineup as all of company’s production woes are expected to be taken care of by then. This means that the prospective future Model 3 owners will get to choose between the Standard and Long range – both of which have variations of their own. If everything hold to form, that is, and Tesla isn’t exactly known for consistency.
Tech-wise, we all know what to expect from a Tesla. Price-wise, things are expected to change somewhat. Considering how Tesla models aren’t eligible for federal tax credits anymore, the California-based company has already started cutting prices of its more luxurious Model S and Model X. At the moment, the Model 3 starts from around $35,000, while the most expensive models require around $60,000. Expect these to shrink by the time 2021 is upon us.
At the moment, the Tesla Model 3 offers the 240-mile Standard Range Plus trim, the 310-mile Long Range trim, and the corresponding Performance grade. The latter two use two electric motors for a permanent all-wheel drive system, while the former comes with a single 221-horsepower electric motor at the rear.
Knowing Tesla, their Model 3 lineup will be reshuffled by the time 2021 arrives so we’ll keep updating this post accordingly.
06. 2021 Audi e-tron GT
The e-tron GT was first presented at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show at the same time the e-tron crossover started reaching its first customers. The 4-door all-electric luxury coupe currently only exists in a concept form but Audi is already working on a production model that’s scheduled to be built alongside the Porsche Taycan at the VW Group’s Neckarsulm assembly, in Germany.
Given the fact it was both developed and will be built alongside Porsche’s newest electric car, the luxury coupe will undoubtedly also have a lot in common with its Porsche stablemate. However, the four-ring version stands out with its hallmark design language pushed even further specifically for this occasion.
The Germans still haven’t disclosed the future e-tron GT’s level of autonomy, but being a flagship model, it’ll certainly adopt the highest level available in the near future. Audi will also do its utmost to keep the prices down by employing the VW’s MEB platform.
As far as the e-tron GT’s powertrain is concerned, Audi will look no further than adopting the one already assembled for Porsche. The Taycan’s system of two separate electric motors and an 82-kWh battery pack should be good enough for 590 horsepower and a 0 to 60 mph sprint in around 3.5 seconds.
The concept car boasts a range estimated at around 250 miles according to measurements used in Europe. Much like the Taycan, the e-tron GT too will support 800-volt charging technology but it might take some time before this actually becomes a standard.
Expect the 2021 Audi e-tron GT to begin production in late 2020 and arrive to dealerships shortly thereafter with prices likely starting from around $100,000. More will be known after one of the upcoming auto shows in 2020.
05. 2021 BMW i4
BMW is rapidly expanding its i-range of models, and after a few years of fielding only the i3 and i8, the Bavarians will be offering a lot more from 2020 onward. The compact all-electric BMW i4 fastback sedan is only one of many upcoming BMW EVs, but we have no doubts it’ll also be one of the best 2021 electric cars that are coming our way.
Unlike its i3 and i8 predecessors, the i4 will feature a more conventional design on which the BMW crowd has grown accustomed to over the years. It’s probably fair to say that the upcoming BMW i4 closely resembles the current BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. After all, both cars are built upon the highly flexible CLAR architecture.
Even their interiors will be similar considering how the BMW i4 has apparently adopted the same dual wide screens for the instrument and infotainment clusters. Although it’ll sit on the lower end of the BMW EV spectrum, the i4 is still expected to adopt the latest driver’s aids and offer most of them as standard pieces of equipment.
There are reportedly two different battery packs being prepared for the i4. The entry-level models are expected to be offered with a 60-kWh lithium-ion unit, while the more powerful models are expected to receive a larger 80-kWh pack. The Germans will also offer both the rear and all-wheel drive configurations – the former likely being paired with a smaller battery, and latter exclusively available with the larger one. This will be achieved by using either one or two electric motors.
The most powerful of BMW i4’s shouldn’t have any problems hitting the 60 mph mark from a standing start in around 4 seconds while providing around 300 miles of range between two charges.
Expect the 2021 BMW i4 to make its official debut in Frankfurt when we’ll hopefully find out more about its price range as well.
04. 2021 Polestar 2
The seconds of numerous upcoming Polestar models and the first fully electric model in the newly established company’s portfolio was initially scheduled to enter production in early 2020. Dubbed the Tesla Model 3 fighter, the Polestar 2 might be hard-pressed emulating the favorite American electric car’s appeal given its initial price is expected to be set at $63,000 or thereabouts. Luckily, that’ll be the price of the range-topping model and subsequent versions should only get cheaper.
The luxury fastback sits upon the CMA platform which also underpins the Volvo XC40 and a number of Lynk & Co models sold exclusively in China. Although it’s not the most exciting of Volvo and Polestar models, the Swedes will give you an option to turn it into one by buying the optional performance package consisting of Öhlins-made adjustable shocks and dampers, and Brembo brakes.
Being an upmarket electric car, the Polestar 2 will also sport a highly advanced interior, tech-wise. A large 11-inch vertically-oriented touchscreen display, an abundance of advanced safety gear, and a smartphone key are just to name a few. Being Swedish, the forthcoming EV will also adopt new interior materials, none of which will be animal-based.
The initial 2021 Polestar 2 models will use a 78-kWh lithium-ion battery packs powered by two separate electric motors – one upon each axle. They produce a combined 402 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque while the range is estimated at 275 miles. Although the Polestar 2 will be fast-charging compatible, the Swedish company is yet to come out with exact details.
Expect the Polestar 2 to arrive in time for MY 2021 after which the entry-level versions are expected to enter production as well.
03. 2021 Lotus Evija
Although we expected some changes for the better after Lotus got acquired by Geely, no one could have foreseen the Evija. Enter the British company’s first true hypercar limited to only 130 units priced between exorbitantly high $1.8 and $2.5 million. For comparison, none of the currently available models manages to break the $100,000 barrier in their basic forms.
The Evija is something different, however. It’s a statement or flaunting of wealth and technology if you will. In any case, it’s a step in a new direction for the struggling British sports car brand and a message of intent to revitalize the brand in the coming years. The Evija is also the automaker’s first fully-electric car – something we’re likely to see more often in near future.
The 2021 Lotus Evija is built around a single-piece carbon fiber monocoque chassis which significantly reduces the overall weight. Speaking of which, the electric hypercar tips the scales at 3,700 pounds. It also sports a plethora of advanced mechanics and gear including the active aero, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Needless to say, the Evija is also expected to handle like a charm. It’s a Lotus after all.
The heart behind the Evija’s ludicrous performance consists of four separate electric motors – one upon each wheel. Together with a 70-kWh lithium-ion battery pack they generate a whopping 1,973 horsepower which makes the newest Lotus supercar the most powerful production car in the world. At least for the moment. It’s no wonder the final product will be able to gallop to 60 mph in under 3 seconds and max out north of 200 mph when it finally hits the roads. Impressive as it may be, that still isn’t enough to make the Lotus Evija one of the fastest cars in the world.
Sadly, all 130 units have already been spoken for. On the bright side, you don’t have to worry about spending the aforementioned enormous amount of money on them. Production is scheduled to commence in 2020 and first deliveries will likely be completed later that year or in 2021 at the latest.
02. 2021 Aston Martin Rapide E
The first ever Aston Martin electric car made its debut at the 2018 Shanghai auto show and is already available for order. It’s limited to only 155 units hence the entire contingent is expected to be sold out soon. Much like the Evija is for Lotus, however, the Rapide E is for Aston Martin, so it’s more about a statement of intention than it is about profit in both instances.
The all-electric version of the Aston Martin Rapide doesn’t stray too far from the conventional model in terms of overall design. In fact, the two cars are virtually identical save for some blue accents on the EV model. Interiors are also similar as an 8-inch touchscreen display assumes infotainment duties in both models, and both the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are supported. However, the electric-only model gets a contemporary 10-inch digital display behind the wheel which the internal-combustion models don’t have.
Unlike other dedicated battery-electric vehicle manufacturers which usually install batteries below the floor, the 2021 Aston Martin Rapide E uses what would otherwise be its engine compartment for it. This limits the battery capacity, hence the Rapide E uses a 65-kWh lithium-ion unit powered by a couple of rear-mounted electric motors. The entire setup raises 601 horsepower and 701 pound-feet of twist which is enough to overshadow the most powerful V12 internal-combustion Rapide models.
According to the more lax WLTP cycle, the Rapide E boasts a range of just over 200 miles which, while a disappointment, doesn’t come as a surprise due to the aforementioned limitations to the battery pack. Then again, when was the last time you’ve seen a bad Aston Martin? I’m not counting the Toyota/Scion IQ Cygnet they tried to market back in 2011.
01. 2021 Mercedes-Benz EQS
The all-new flagship EV from Mercedes-Benz is only one of many upcoming models in the EQ range scheduled to appear in the next few years. Based on the luxury epitome that’s S Class, the forthcoming EQS EV is expected to emulate the former’s refinement and offer it in a slightly different package.
The electric liftback sedan will ride on an all-new MEA2 (Mercedes Electric Architecture) platform and will be its first application. This, coupled with car’s overall shape, should provide for an abundance of space inside in spite of the fact the EQS seems to be lower to the ground than the likes of AMG GT 4-door Coupe and CLS Class.
Interior will likely look for inspiration in the next-gen S Class scheduled to arrive a few months prior to the EQS. Being an all-electric vehicle, however, the EQS is expected to take the technology bit of the cabin up a notch. A wide array of standard advanced safety gear and driver’s aids is also expected, and some might even make their debut here.
Performance-wise, the Germans still haven’t disclosed much. We do know that the EQS is expected to offer around 300 miles of range on a single charge and at least two electric motors in order to provide all-wheel drive. The already presented EQC crossover generates 402 horsepower and 564 lb-ft of torque using a similar setup, but that’s probably insufficient for a car aspiring to become a flagship. With that in mind, expect the EQS to offer even more power.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz EQS is expected to make its official debut in 2020 and arrive a few months after the all-new S Class, as a 2021-year model. Irregardless, it’s expected to become one of the best 2021 electric cars once it hits the showroom floors.