23.12.2021Top 10 Green Cars 2022
Following on from huge growth in electric vehicle crossovers in 2021, 2022 looks to see greater diversity in new EVs coming to the UK during the next 12 months.
SUVs remain a core vehicle type, with the combination of electric vehicles and taller models proving a hit in the past year. However, saloons, crossovers, coupe-SUVs, hatchbacks, and MPVs all feature in the list below. It makes for an interesting 2022 at the very least, and that's only the models announced. There are plenty due out what we don't yet know about.
The BMW i4 is effectively an all-electric 3 Series, which says all you need to know about it really. To drive, the i4 is pure-BMW, engaging, dynamic, and well balanced between comfort and performance - just as it should be. Except it’s all electric, which means performance is excellent even in the entry level model. Prices may be 5 Series in proportion, but the i4 is similar to the 4 Series Gran Coupe, which means that it’s sure to be a business user’s wheels of choice.
Although a hefty starting price of £52,000 will be out of reach for some buyers, low running costs will help monthly total cost of ownership, and company car drivers will save thousands each year over their current diesel-powered 3-Series saloon. With a range of up to 365 miles on a charge, it will easily tackle most use cases, and the M50 version comes packed with 400 kW driving all four wheels.
If the i4 is an electric version of a BMW legend, the iX is supposed to be the start of a new product line for the Munich brand. A large SUV around BMW X5 in size, the iX is conceptually very different.
A lounge-inspired interior alongside a new generation of infotainment system makes this immediately obvious, and the iX is powered by BMW’s 5th-generation eDrive technology. Maximum range at launch will be 257 miles for the iX xDrive40 models, and up to 380 miles for the iX xDrive50 version; all models will be all-wheel drive.
Compact but still a seven-seater, the Mercedes-Benz EQB looks set to be one of the family cars of the year. All electric, the EQB has a range of up to 257 miles, and can recharge the 66.5 kWh battery in as little as half an hour thanks to ultra-rapid SC charging at 100 kW.
The SUV features Mercedes’ excellent MBUX infotainment system which is intuitive to use, and the EV components include adjustable and automatic brake energy recuperation settings to keep efficiency high.
The E-Class has long been a key model in the Mercedes-Benz line-up, so an electric one? Well the electric one is absolutely vital. And although it’s not technically an E-Class, the EQE is an electric E-Class in everything but name.
Since it’s such a crucial model for Mercedes, it’s clear that the car needs the kit to back up its status. Fortunately Mercedes-Benz’s engineers have obliged, packing in a 100 kWh battery to the car’s floor, good for a range of 410 miles on a charge. Power is rated at 210 kW, and rapid charging will take just half an hour on a suitable ultra-rapid point.
This is the car that Nissan should nail. As creates of the pioneering Leaf and the equally pioneering Qashqai, the Ariya blends the Japanese firm’s EV and crossover expertise.
In this case, the Ariya sees an upgrade on both, with an SUV body and a choice of two battery sizes - 63 kWh or 87 kWh packs - offering a range of either 211 miles or 210 miles on a charge. Power comes from either a single or dual motor set-up for 2WD or AWD. Nissan uses the CCS inlet for the first time too, opening up increasing numbers of ultra-rapid charge points across Europe.
Ora Cat 01
Ora is currently an unknown quantity in the UK, but not for long we suspect. Arriving from the eV heartland of China, the Cat 01 is a family hatchback with its eyes on the established EV competition - think VW ID.3 et al.
However, the Ora pitches things at a lower price point, meaning just £25,000 will get you a decent-sized EV hatchback with a range of 261 miles on a charge. Value for money is a big driver in picking up customers - just ask the likes of MG, Dacia, and before that Skoda - and Ora looks to deliver it in spades.
Renault Megane E-Tech
Many manufacturers have offered their important new electric models with a different name - think VW ID.3 and Mercedes-Benz EQA - but Renault looks to be incorporating them into established models - hence the Megane E-Tach which arrives as a pure EV for the next-generation of the French firm’s famous hatchback.
With chunkier, crossover styling, the forthcoming Megane will arrive with a choice of two batteries - 40 kWh or 60 kWh for either 186 miles or 292 miles on a charge. Ultra-rapid charging at up to 130 kW DC will be supported, and Renault will offer power in either 96 kW or 160 kW outputs.
Tesla Model Y
UK buyers have waited a while, but the Tesla Model Y finally arrives on these shores in 2022. Based on the hugely-successful Tesla Model 3, but wrapped in a more popular crossover body shape, the Model Y is likely to quickly start rivalling its saloon stable-mate.
Seating for up to seven will be a deciding factor for many, but all buyers can expect a long range - up to 315 miles on a charge - and rapid performance from either Long Range or Performance models.
As coupe-SUVs transition from a niche to key models, it is not surprising that electric vehicles are getting in on the action. Volkswagen’s ID.5 is essentially a sleeker, sportier-looking ID.4, sharing much of the same interior and powertrain.
It’s good news since the ID.4 is an excellent EV, and the ID.5 has a range of up to 323 miles on a charge with the largest, 77 kWh battery - smaller battery options will become available for lower starting prices. There will also be a GTX version, Volkswagen’s new badge indicating an electric GTI.
Volvo C40 Recharge
The Volvo C40 is, like the VW ID.5 above, a coupe version of an existing model, in this case the XC40 SUV. Where it differs however is that the XC40 is available with engines, as a plug-in hybrid, and a pure-EV, whereas the C40 will be EV only.
Using a 78 kWh battery and twin electric motors, the C40 has a range of 275 miles on a charge, and all-wheel drive thanks to a motor on each axle. It’s the same system as used in both the XC40 and also Volvo’s electric performance brand Polestar and its 2 fastback, working well in both - so expect the same good things here. In fact, the C40 is basically the bridge between the Polestar 2 and XC40.