1. Audi E-tron
Audi only sells plug-in hybrid electric cars today, but that’ll change late in 2018 when the new E-tron all-electric SUV (above) arrives. It’s a full five-seater and boasts an e-range of around 250 miles – and Ingolstadt is promising a rapid-charge capability of 150kW charging, meaning it’ll be replenished in pretty quick order with top-ups taking just 30 minutes (once the infrastructure is in place, obvs). There’s also a host of aero trickery, including cameras replacing door mirrors and other slippery tricks to bring the drag coefficient down to 0.28. In short? It’s a very aerodynamic car to make that electric range even longer. Note also the neat trick of having two charging ports on both front flanks – making it easier to plug in, no matter where your plug is at home or work.
2. Kia e-Niro
The sister car to the Hyundai Kona Electric, the new e-Niro is the final part of the Koreans’ triptych – the fully electric version of the popular small crossover. It keeps a decent boot (despite the batteries stuffed under the floor) and best of all is the 300-mile range quoted for the e-Niro, thanks to a chunky 64kWh battery. Brits won’t be offered the more affordable (and less rangey) 39kWh battery option. While the Soul EV has sold a modest 350 models a year in the UK, the importer has high hopes for this more practical model. First deliveries start in March 2019.
3. Mercedes EQ C
Mercedes-Benz is busy preparing a new range of electric cars, developed under the EQ banner. The first model will be the EQ C electric SUV unveiled in autumn 2018 and due in showrooms in spring 2019 costing around £70,000 to rival the Jaguar i-Pace and other SUV EVs coming from most premium manufacturers. Roughly the size of the GLC crossover, the EQ C is packed with tech and its 80kWh lithium ion battery is claimed to be good for a 280-mile range.
4. Porsche Taycan (née Mission E)
Even sports car maker Porsche is getting in on the act: the Taycan is the first all-electric car from Zuffenhausen and you can expect incendiary performance, a choice of different power outputs (think Carrera, Carrera S and – maybe – even Turbo model ladder) and charging times of around 250 miles in just 20 minutes. What started life as the Mission E (above) could be a game-changer…
5. Tesla Model 3
We’ve recommended the pricey but excellent Tesla Model S and X above – but from 2019, you’ll be able to buy the ‘game-changing’ Model 3 too. It’s already in low-volume production in the US, but we must wait for right-hand drive sales in the UK – and that means we don’t know the price yet, either. If it costs the rumoured £35k, that could indeed change the game, and tempt many motorists from their plug-in BMWs and Mercedes.
6. 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.