Future electric cars: EVs launching in 2021 and beyond

Published: 11 January 2021

► All the electric cars worth waiting for
► From Aston Martin to Vauxhall
► It's kicking off, basically 

Over the next few years, you can expect the number of electric vehicles (EVs) offered by manufacturers to snowball. The car industry’s heavy-hitters have been transforming their businesses and plunging millions into the design and development of electric cars; consequently, in the near future we’re going to see the fruits of that huge investment.

Here's our guide to the new electric cars you need to keep an eye out for in 2021 and beyond – and, if one in particular takes your fancy, don’t forget to let us know in the comments section below...

Learn more about electric cars:

From the new BMW i4 and the Audi e-Tron, to the Polestar 2 and Tesla Cybertruck pick-up, there are some impressive EVs of all different shapes and sizes just around the corner. With that in mind, read on for our look at the most interesting upcoming electric cars.

Future electric cars 2021: what to expect this year

1. e-Tron Sportback


The electric Audi e-Tron is now available to buy, and we’ve driven it in on UK roads, too. However, it’s only the beginning of the brands electrified plans, and now we’ve spotted Ingolstadt’s engineers testing spiced-up derivatives. Earlier this year, our spy photographers snapped the Sportback version of the eSUV, and now they’ve caught what could be the performance-orientated e-Tron Quattro S out testing.

2. Audi e-Tron GT

The new Audi e-Tron GT continues the new, electric design language introduced on the e-Tron SUV, and transposes it onto an A7-style body – though at 4.96m long, 1.96m wide and 1.38m high, it’s both lower and slightly wider than that conventional grand tourer. And although it uses the Taycan’s J1 platform – and keeps the same roofline as the Porsche – this is unmistakably an Audi. It’s a concept for now, but CAR understands it’s pretty much production ready. Here’s what we know.

3. Audi Q2 e-Tron

Q2 e-Tron

Audi is on an electric charge, and new spy pictures suggest the Q2 is latest model to swap fossil fuel for batteries. Our man with the telephoto has captured a new emissionless version of Ingolstadt’s baby SUV testing, and there are a few changes compared to the ‘standard’ Q2.

4. Audi Q4 e-Tron

CAR's been reporting on plans for a Q4 to join the Audi range for years now - and here's the first official confirmation of what shape it'll take: it's the new Audi Q4 e-Tron concept car. 

Ingolstadt has publicly committed to fleshing out its already expansive SUV range, as the world's appetite for crossovers shows no signs of abating. Before long, most integers between one and 10 will have their own Q spin-off, it seems.

Audi has confirmed that the Q4 will be launched 'in late 2020/early 2021', suggesting that there's still two years of development before we see the production version. More info here.

5. BMW i4


Munich is desperately ramping up its electric car ambitions and the i4 will move the sub-brand into a more high-volume, family-friendly part of the market.

The production-spec i4 saloon will use two electric motors, all-wheel drive and torque vectoring. It’s likely that BMW will follow Tesla’s lead in offering different versions with a choice of power outputs. This car is aimed squarely at the Tesla Model 3, after all…

6. Byton M-Byte

Byton M-Byte in cold weather testing

The Byton M-Byte is an ambitious, highly connected SUV we previously saw at CES – the Consumer Electronics Show, for the less techy of you.

Byton has confirmed that the new car should be coming in 2020 to showrooms in Beijing, China and the US - and it should appear in Central Europe and the UK a little after that.

Just like the Audi e-Tron, the M-Byte is aimed at all the growth areas of the car market; China, SUVs and EVs. But unlike the e-Tron, Byton is targeting a more accessible price, and believes it can generate the scale to draw comparisons to the Tesla Model 3.

7. Cupra Tavascan

What is Cupra, and why? Seat – we mean Cupra – hopes to answer both of those questions with this, the new Tavascan concept. It’s a large SUV-shaped arrow toward the Cupra brand and its future. And because this is a concept from the VW Group, it’s electric and based on the group's omnipresent MEB platform. 

8. Dacia Spring

9. Ford Mustang Mach-E

Ford Mustang Mach-E

A new kind of Ford Mustang is brewing - and the Mach-E is all electric. It's a far cry from the Mustangs of yore... It's already been unveiled in the US, and UK sales are due to start later in 2020, priced from around £40,000. More info here.

10. Infiniti electric cars

Nissan's upmarket premium wing Infiniti has pledged to launch electrified cars by 2021. This new EV concept car (above) is pointer to what you can expect - just remember that Infiniti has now pulled out of the European market...

11. Jaguar XJ

The polarising XJ luxury saloon is due for replacement in 2020 and CAR’s moles suggest its successor will be a pure electric car. Traditionally the XJ has battled the likes of the Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8, but its successor must move its cross-hairs towards Porsche’s Taycan, Audi’s e-Tron GT and, in particular, Tesla’s now-venerable but highly successful Model S. And we're hearing that's exactly where the new, pure EV XJ is headed. More info here.

 

12. Lotus Evija

Lotus Type 130

Meet the Lotus Evija: the first all-new product from Hethel in over a decade, and its first under Geely ownership. Originally codenamed the Type 130, the Lotus Evija is an EV with sci-fi looks and equally outrageous performance. Lotus will produce just 130 examples, and it’ll cost around £2.4 million when deliveries begin in 2020.

If you want one, a £250,000 deposit will secure prospective customers a build slot.

 

13. Nissan Ariya

The Nissan Ariya EV

The Nissan Leaf has been left dangling for nearly a decade as Nissan’s sole electric car, but that will change in 2020 as a zero emissions crossover joins the range. Based on the IMx concept car, the production EV is a four-door crossover SUV that’s larger in size and battery range than the Leaf hatchback. It's going to be called the Ariya.

 

14. Pininfarina Battista

Pininfarina Battista

The Pininfarina Battista is the fastest most powerful, road-car to come out of Italy. It’s powered by a Rimac-produced powertrain, and puts out 1874bhp and 1696lb ft of torque from four electric motors. It’ll ease you from 0-62mph in under two seconds. Read everything you need to know here. 

15. Porsche Taycan: Cross Turismo

Porsche has revealed the new Mission E Cross Turismo will be entering series production, and it’ll be the second all-electric EV from Stuttgart. Porsche says the new car will generate an extra 300 jobs for at its Zuffenhausen HQ, and it’ll follow the Taycan’s 2019 launch, too.You can read our drive of the Cross Turismo prototype here, or head here for everything else we know about the Mission E Cross Turismo.

16. Porsche Macan EV

Porsche is the latest brand to announce a huge push for EV production. A statement from Stuttgart has outlined plans for a new all-electric Macan, but significantly, it’ll only come in EV flavour.

Porsche says the new Macan will be the brand’s first all-electric compact SUV, and will follow the Taycan – which will be made by the end of this year –  and later, the Taycan Cross Turismo. The new Macan should make it to production by 2020. Here’s what we know right now.

17. Rivian electric SUVs and pick-ups

A new name hopes to steal some of Tesla's clean car creds: Rivian. A new American start-up, it has serious backers and some very plausible models, including this unusual R1T all-electric pick-up unveiled at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show. With a strikingly long EV range and some clever details such as a through-load facility to carry long items across the rear axle, it aims to bring silent electric running to the great outdoors.

Your Rivian R1T briefing

18. Seat el-Born

This is the Seat el-Born – the first car from the Spanish brand to put on the VW Group’s MEB trousers. It makes its debut at the 2019 Geneva motor showand follows on from the rather Twizy-esque Minimo car shown at MWC 2019.

Are you wondering where on earth that name has come from? Well, it has quite literally come from a small, trendy precinct in Barcelona of the same name, not far from the overly touristy Gothic Quarter. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere.

The Seat el-Born has a total system power of 201bhp, capable of launching the electric hatch to 62mph in 7.5 seconds. Up to 260 miles can be gleaned from its 62kWh battery pack, and it can be recharged via a 100kW in around 45 minutes. More info here.

19. Seat Minimo

You’re looking a the Seat Minimo, a new Twizy-style concept car not unveiled at Geneva, but at Mobile World Congress (or MWC). Seat says the all-electric concept has been developed to meet the challenges of ‘city driving and emission regulations.’

Seat says the Minimo should combines the benefits of a motorcycle with the comfort of a car -  while still remaining agile – and that basically puts it on parallel with Renault’s Twizy vehicle. It should comfortable fit two people and at just 2.5 metres long and 1.24 wide, the Minimo could be fine for smaller parking spaces. More info here

20. Skoda Enyaq

 Skoda’s first all-electric car. will be the Citigo – but there are several new all-electric cars on the way – and most use platforms shared among the VW Group. The Enyaq is a four-door crossover coupe, coming in 2021 – and that's the one to watch.

21. Tesla Cybertruck pick-up

Not content with electrifying saloons, SUVs, sports cars and - soon - articulated lorries, Tesla has now unveiled its radical new Cybertruck, the first all-electric pick-up from Fremont. With a range of up to 500 miles, three different power outputs and seating for six, the Tesla Cybertruck is one of the most exciting trucks on the market, looking more like a DeLorean from Back To The Future than a commercial flatbed. Full story right here.

22. Tesla Roadster

If performance is your thing, the new Tesla Roadster v2 due in 2020 is hard to ignore. In typical Elon Musk fashion, the entrepreneur has decreed that the first open-top Tesla will also be the world’s fastest car - with 0-60mph in a claimed 1.9sec. That’s what happens when you plumb 7300lb ft of torque through a lightweight four-seater targa bodyshell. Bearing in mind some of the outrageous claims made for other Teslas (and the company’s inability to launch cars on schedule and budget), we might take its 250mph top speed and 620-mile range with a pinch of salt.

23. Tesla Model Y

The Model Y is the more upright, SUV-style version of the smaller, cheaper Model 3 - and it could arguably be an even more important car for the pioneering EV company. It's Musk's version of the baby, crossover SUV – a segment that brands such as VW, Audi and well, everyone seems to be all over in 2020. It's also one of the most important sectors in the rapidly growing Chinese market. 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast

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