Affordable & Luxury Electric Cars, Trucks & SUVs Coming
Blame it on Covid-19. Or the supply chain morass. Or the chip shortage. Those were the last two years’ excuses. This year–2022–is shaping up to be the year we have been expecting for two years—when the population of EVs expands so a great variety of vehicles at a range of prices spur the market to new heights.
We now have a tally of reasonable expectations for new EVs this year (as opposed to predictions and guesses). Some promises are being kept, some have been deferred, but we see a solid crop of 19 very likely new entries fairly evenly split between affordable and luxury electrics. That will come on top of revitalized production for some of the existing contenders as well as increased production from some new entrants.
Tesla has a new plant coming online in Texas to pump up production the country’s best-selling EV—the luxury Model Y crossover. The expanded capacity should speed up Tesla Model 3 deliveries as well, keeping Tesla solidly in the top sales spots. Ford is still catching up with orders for its Mustang Mach-E crossover, last year’s number-three seller, which adding performance models. Chevrolet also aims to revive the Bolt and Bolt EUV crossover after running in to battery issues that slowed 2021 sales.
One new (Volkswagen ID4) and one old(er) EV (Nissan Leaf) round out the best sellers of last year and both potentially could have increased sales impact this year. With less sales, but still making an impact on the market are some of the luxury players—the Audi E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback, Porsche Taycan, Tesla Models S and Y. Rounding out the list are the Hyundai Kona Electric and Ioniq EV.
Two luxury pickups, the Rivian and GMC Hummer, along with the luxury sedan Lucid Air and more affordable sedan Hyundai Ioniq 5 all just started deliveries at the end of the year and should ramp up numbers in 2022. Meanwhile, the Mercedes EQS, Kia Niro EV, Jaguar I-Pace, Audi Q4 E-Tron, Mazda MX-30, Mini Cooper SE, Polestar 2 and Volvo XC40 Recharge also contributed to the record year.
The Big Boost in 2022
That’s an impressive field, which resulted in an almost doubling of sales last year compared to 2020. Prognosticators expect a similar result this year as these new models flood onto the market and increase interest in electrics. Here’s what to expect.
The affordable EVs are creating a palpable sense of change for the whole electric segment, boosting the volume critical for the automakers to increase profitability with what has historically been a very pricey product. The first half of the year should see introductions of three key products—two compact SUVs, the Kia EV6 and Nissan Ariya, and Ford F-150 Lightning Pro pickup. The first two are SUVs that should slide right in next to their gasoline-powered brethren on the showroom, while the $40,000 electric version of the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. is a real game-changer for the work truck segment.
The second half of the year is a little less certain, but the major automaker products are very likely to arrive at least in small numbers while some of the start-up products are a little harder to assume will make it. Based on that, the sister vehicles—the Toyota BZ4X and Subaru Solterra—will arrive during summer. The Fisker Ocean, Vinfast VF8, VF 9 and Canoo Lifestyle Vehicles are harder to predict since those companies don’t have a track record on which we can make a judgement about their viability. If you’ve keeping count, that’s six more crossover/SUVs added to the mix. The year is heavy on SUV introductions, but that is the hottest segment in the market.
No Luxury Segment Left Behind
If the affordable end of the EV market is expanding, the luxury side is exploding. The elevated prices of electric vehicles tends to push them toward the high end of the affordable segment, but the true luxury models have no qualms about taking prices up into higher realms. Tesla has owned this segment and led the way with astronomical prices for much of the decade, even abandoning its “entry-level” $35,000 Model 3 soon after its introduction (the current lowest priced Model 3 is $46,440 and wouldn’t be delivered for 10 months; higher prices models can be built and delivered in two months).
All four Tesla models continue to pace the luxury group, but competition is growing and leading to the growth of sales overall. In the first few months of 2022 Rivian will add its $70,000 R1S SUV in February, followed by two BMWs—the i4 eDrive40 sedan and iX xDrive50 SUV. The first half of the year will close with the arrival of the $60,000 Cadillac Lyriq crossover.
In the second half of the year Mercedes will add two models (the EQB SUV and EQE sedan) as will Genesis (the GV60 SUV and G80 sedan). Notice a pattern here? Rounding out new luxury models will be the Polestar 3 SUV and Lexus RZ 450e at the end of the year.
The New Tally
A year from now the EV choices for consumers should look like this (and 2023 is shaping up to be a repeat from the new vehicle standpoint so this list will grow). We use $50,000 as the line of demarcation between affordable and luxury although lower-priced models from luxury brands are included with the higher priced group. Note the heavy concentration of vehicles in the SUV category—this tracks exactly where the market is strongest.
This really doesn’t begin to chart the variety available as many of the models could be broken in single drive and dual motor versions. Others have special performance versions, so the 49 models listed here could easily be almost double that with the multiple iterations available. The EV market is looking more and more like a doppelganger for regular automotive market with only the low-cost entry level cars missing. The bottom line is it’s getting harder to say “I can’t find the right price and model” for the prospective EV buyer.
Story by Michael Coates. Photos from the Clean Fleet Report archives.
We’ll be covering all of the new models (some of the coverage is linked above) as they enter the market and revisiting older models as they’re updated. To keep up with the latest EV news, sign up for the Clean Fleet Report newsletter in the form on the upper right of this page.