Although electric cars (EVs) hit the market more than a decade ago, they didn’t have any real traction in the US until just a few years back. Clearly Tesla has led the field in both innovation and affordability, but now it seems like almost every other major industry leader is on board and committed to developing the best EVs have to offer. The 2021 models will bring more options, higher efficiency, and copious comforts.
More Brand Selection
Even though most can manufacturers have previously released one electric model or another, many were still hybrids rather than full-on battery electric vehicles (BEV). In 2021, you can expect to see a BEV available from just about every maker. Whether you are brand loyal to BMW, Ford, Chevrolet, or Nissan, there’s a model for you. This increased investment by a wider host of brands comes with the added bonus of more affordable options than ever before.
More Body Styles
When EVs first trickled onto the market, choices were very limited, and most were compact and less-than-elegant. Next year’s releases provide a much larger range of body styles to choose from. This includes more crossovers, like the Volvo XC40 Recharge with a range of around 200 miles and base price of $54,000. Of course, Tesla continues to set the standard with the 2021 Tesla Model X, which offers third-row seating for larger families.
In addition to more brand and body style offerings, companies are also expanding trim options within their product lines. Where a single EV option used to roll out of the production facility, there are now several options. For example, BMW is delivering two trims with the BMW i3 (153 miles, $45,445) and the BMW i3S (153 miles, $48,445). Even the Mini Cooper, which is undeniably more about adorableness than power or range, drives in with three options that include the Signature (110 miles, $30,750), Signature Plus (110 miles, $34,750), and Iconic (110 miles, $37,750). An early adopter, the Nissan Leaf, releases five trim options this year, with ranges from 149 to 226 and a price tag from $32,000 to 45,000.
Although the average range for models across the electric car industry is in the low 200s, more and more options are hitting the market that will take you further without requiring a charging pit stop. If you can afford it, the Lucid Air Dream Edition is estimated to crank out 500 miles on a single charge, but will set you back a whopping $169,000. Similarly, the Tesla Model S ($69,000) should get you 400 miles down the road. If you don’t need that type of range, you can still expect reliable increases from the main players, such as the Chevrolet Bolt, with a range of 259 miles and an approachable cost of $41,895.
Innovation is the name of the game in the auto industry, and perhaps never more so than with the EV market. Design improvements allow for a shift away from a strict focus on weight and functionality, resulting in 2021 models full of fun, flair, and maneuverability. Tight suspensions, improved traction, better weight distribution, and braking options add up to better handling and safety than ever before.
These advancements transfer off-road too, as seen in the Jaguar I-Pace. With height-adjustable suspension and superior traction, it’s an electric car that can seamlessly take you from the highway to the hillside.
Sleek Designs Inside and Out
“Sleek” is the name of the game for 2021, in steep contrast to the clunky body styles of years past. Tesla already stands as a prime example, but this year will also see a GT style in the Polestar 2 (233 miles, $61,200) and the downright show-stopping Porsche Taycan ($105k-186k, @200 miles). Even the more affordable Hyundai Ioniq, (SE 170 miles, $34,020, Limited 170 miles, $39,950) adds a few curves to the profile.
Inside, you can expect streamlined operating screens, improved visibility in both front and back dash design, and an overall focus on improving the look, layout, and comfort of both front and back seating. There will also be more charging ports and improved accessibility to them from all areas of the vehicle.
The focus on electric vehicles began as an environmental movement to create an alternative to fossil fuels. Next year, and in every year to come, there will continue to be sustainable improvements to each component of these cars. For example, the Ford Mustang Mach-E offers a vegan leather seat covering that feels and acts like the real thing without the toxic tannery impact.
Every aspect of the EV market is seeing improvements, so it’s no surprise the advancements are providing a quicker jump off the line, as seen in the Tesla Model Y, with a dynamic zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds.
Overall, 2021 EV models will be safer, more intuitive, more appealing to look at, and provide more space, storage, and range than ever before.