31.12.2020New electric cars due in 2021
With the turn of the year, attention inevitably turns to what’s coming along in the next 12 months. But before we look forward to the many, many EVs due in 2021, let's just put the current state of play for electric vehicles into context.
Most will agree that 2020 has been a bit rubbish on the whole (possibly an understatement) but always one to look for the positives, the electric car market certainly doesn’t share in that gloom.
In fact, 2020 has been the year that the UK's EV market really established itself. At the end of 2019, combined sales of new pure-EVs and PHEVs had just topped 6.3% market share in December, and those in the industry were chuffed. It built on what was already a strong November, and just over half that figure was made up of pure-EVs. As it turns out, that was nothing!
We don’t yet have December’s new UK car sales figures - they arrive in the first week of January - but November’s combined EV/PHEV market share was 15.9%, and pure-EVs accounted for 9.1% of total market share alone. It’s no flash in the pan either, with September and October both topping 10% combined market share, and July the weakest month since March on ‘just’ 8.9%. April’s 34% share was extraordinary, but had plenty to do with Covid-19 lockdown; though it showcased what was due to come from a UK EV market which simply hasn’t looked back.
But there’s more good news. We don’t know exactly how EV sales are going to fare in 2021, but we can confidently say that they will continue to rise at a fantastic rate. Seeing pure-EVs account for one in ten new cars sold is just base camp, and helping predictions of a stellar 2021 is the fact that there are so many exciting new models in the pipeline.
We count more than 30 pure-electric cars that are due to arrive in 2021; model names only, that’s not counting variants. For example, the Ford Mustang Mach-E counts as one of those new EVs, but has five different variants confirmed already. It’s a similar story for the VW Group which, having seen the VW ID.3 arrive late in 2020, is due to roll-out its MEB platform and electric vehicle powertrains in a significant way over the coming 12 months.
From the VW Group alone, we can expect the VW ID.4 SUV - potentially a bigger seller than the ID.3 - plus Skoda’s version in the shape of the Enyaq iV SUV. Seat and/or Cupra will be building their own EV on the same platform with the El Born hatch, and then there’s the premium end of the group. Audi will launch the e-tron GT fastback and Q4 e-tron compact SUV, whilst Porsche is due to bring along the Taycan Cross Turismo estate.
All will have long ranges and ultra-rapid charging to varying degrees; VW is due to start delivering on its EV promises of its post-Dieselgate announcements from a couple of years ago, that’s for sure.
German manufacturers are set to have a busy electric 2021, as BMW will bring out the i4 saloon and iX SUV. The former will be a rival to the Tesla Model 3 and offer executive saloon buyers a pure-electric alternative from a ‘conventional’ manufacturer for the first time. The latter is due to battle the likes of the Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQC in the large electric SUV market. That’s on top of the soon to arrive iX3 compact SUV.
Mercedes Benz isn’t going to let its Teutonic neighbours get away from them with the prospect of at least three new EVs due. The forthcoming EQA and EQB sit at the opposite end of the spectrum from the luxurious EQS, but with these three - plus the EQC SUV and EQV MPV already available - Mercedes will have a comprehensive EV offering across much of its product range.
Traditional rivals in the premium manufacturer space sees Jaguar bring out what is expected to be the revival of the XJ badge, but on a pure-electric saloon this time around. Lexus is also due to enter the EV market, but with a compact crossover, offering its UX in pure-EV form for the first time.
Stylish electric crossovers are a popular option for 2021, as Mazda’s MX-30 will bring a short range but short charging times, and no shortage of fun to the market, whilst new EVs from Kia and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 are expected to be crossover in appearance. Vauxhall will expand its EV range to include the Mokka-e, which is also the first model to feature the brand’s new design language.
Perhaps the most stylish is Volvo’s offering in the shape of the XC40 P8 Recharge, which kicks off the Swedish brand’s pure-electric roll-out having already electrified the rest of its range, including a plethora of PHEVs. Sharing many powertrain components with the well-received Polestar 2, the XC40 P8 Recharge is set to prove a popular choice.
Slightly larger crossovers and SUVs will be seen in the shape of the Tesla Model Y which, as with all Tesla products, has been a long time coming but is likely to (just) be worth the wait. Other American EVs with raised ride height but significantly more off-road potential include the Hummer EV and the Rivian R1T and R1S.
Looking at European-sized family cars, rather than those scaled for roads the other side of the Atlantic, the Nissan Ariya looks set to be vitally important to the Japanese brand, combining two strengths - crossovers and EVs. By blending the best-selling Qashqai with the Leaf, the stylish Ariya is expected to go toe-to-toe with the above VW ID.4, Skoda Enyaq iV, and Mustang Mach-E, plus the soon to arrive Citroen e-C4, in the battle of the electric family cars - its one that gets both serious and mainstream in 2021 which is fantastic news for EV fans.
Perhaps the most ‘European’ of EVs due in 2021 is the Fiat 500. Launched internationally for the first time as an electric model, the latest-generation cinquecento sees buyers offered both hatchback and convertible, plus a choice of battery sizes in what is surely going to become one of the most important cars - of any powertrain - of 2021.
Rather less important in terms of outright sales, but no less fascinating are the performance models due, headlined currently by the Lotus Evija. Lotus is bringing electric power to the supercar market, with supercar styling as well. Set to challenge the Evija is Rimac’s C_Two, and Tesla’s Model S Plaid, all three of which feature staggering levels of power and acceleration.
One thing’s for certain, the breadth of EVs is only increasing, and customer choice is set to expand significantly in 2021. There is already a strong EV market in the UK, but the number of mainstream and premium models due to land in 2021 is huge; and these are only the models confirmed for this year. There will be plenty of new cars due in 2021 that we don’t know of yet.
Of course, Next Green Car will keep you up to date with the latest EV news throughout the coming year, and you can use our tools to discover more about each new model as it goes on sale. Remember also to look at Zap-Map’s desktop map and app for public charge points across the UK and Ireland.