Electric cars are still a small part of the market, something like 3.5 per cent of the total, with 64 per cent of those being plug-in hybrids rather than pure electric. But the figures are rising, and this new wave of cars we outline here should push those sales figures higher, just as they push up the realistic range and practicality.
Audi E-Tron quattro
Sitting somewhere between the Q5 and Q7, this all-electric SUV should be a real competitor to the Tesla vehicles that have had the luxury end of the market pretty much to themselves. The E-Tron should have over 300 miles as a realistic range, and will arrive in 2018.
Audi E-Tron Sportback
The Sportback version will arrive a year later, in 2019, and pushes the performance envelope further, with a combined output of 496bhp, giving a 0-62mph time of only 4.5 seconds. Sized around the A7, the Sportback combines sleek coupe looks with the raised aggression of an SUV.
This stylish and luxurious SUV from Jaguar will effectively have four-wheel drive as it has an electric motor at each corner. With 395bhp combined it should be even faster than the Audi E-Tron Sportback, with a 0-62mph time of just four seconds. Realistic range is about the same but you can get 80 per cent recharge in only an hour and a half. Look out for the I-Pace next year.
When this comes out in 2019 it will, according to Mini, have ‘completely new battery technology’, and will be based on an existing model. It should be quite different, then, to the experimental electric model Mini leased for trials back in 2009 but should incorporate some of the lessons they learned then.
Porsche Mission E
This futuristic and fabulous looking Porsche won’t be in production until 2020, but it could be worth the wait. It features a new 800v charging system, so you can get an 80 per cent charge in just a quarter of an hour. It should be practical too, with four doors, four seats and four-wheel drive. The pair of electric motors should have enough power to get you from rest to 62mph in only 3.5 seconds.
Skoda Vision E
Skoda is aiming to produce a range of electric vehicles but this will be first. This concept, seen at the Shanghai motor show, only has four seats but expect the production car to have five, as well as a range of power outputs.
Tesla Model 3
The Model 3 will, ta da, be the third model from Tesla. It’s aimed at being more affordable, with an entry price of about £35,000, thus putting it firmly in the market alongside other executive saloons like the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series. You can order one now, with deliveries due in early 2018.
This is a reimagining of what was the original Tesla car back in 2008. Based on a shorter version of the Model S platform, this two-seater should be bonkers fast, with a 0-62mph time under three seconds. That’s probably in Ludicrous mode.
When it comes out in 2020 the ID will be the first of a new range of electric cars from VW. It’s Golf sized, and the hatchback has the engine in the rear, so it should be very manoeuvrable. Not only that, but the range is reckoned to be up to 373 miles, so it will be offering far less range anxiety than even the current e-Golf.
Volkswagen ID Buzz
A new and futuristic take on the Microbus, the Buzz has seating for eight, with plenty of space for luggage and for configuring the seating. By 2025 it’s expected to have a fully autonomous Pilot mode, at which point the steering wheel retracts into the dashboard. Sounds just right for Scooby Doo.
Volkswagen ID Crozz
VW is determined to keep them coming in the electric arena, and this Crozz covers the sort of crossover SUV sector. Aimed more at the cities of the future, much is made of the ability to keep pure air in the cabin despite pollution outside – all those pesky power stations churning out electricity for example. A digital key will remember your personal preferences for air con settings, seating position and suchlike.
Volvo XC40 Electric
By 2019 we should see on the roads the first all-electric car from Volvo. Based on the forthcoming XC40 SUV platform, the Electric version should be a very safe vehicle if current Volvos are anything to go by. More details when we get them.