Five New & Exciting EVs We Can't Wait For
There’s a lot to look forward to.
With the Canadian government recently announcing that all new cars and light-duty trucks sold here need to be zero-emission vehicles by 2035, five years earlier than previously planned, there’s little doubt we are about to see a lot more all-electric vehicles on our roadways than ever before.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the crew of gearheads at Wheels will be crying into their Getrag six-speed manual transmissions. The phrase “all-electric” no longer automatically equates to “fun-free” or immediately conjures up images of soulless transportation pods best left to a dystopian future. There are plenty of EVs in the hopper we can’t wait to drive – from speedy sedans to off-road brutes with supercar levels of horsepower. Here is a selection of our faves.
Rivian R1T and R1S
This company ranks up there with auto manufacturers that show real vehicles instead of computer-generated images and mouthing a whole lot of empty promises. Rivian has been showing production-grade rigs at auto shows for some time now, constantly refining their idea for an all-electric pickup truck and SUV. Packing up to 14 inches of ground clearance (for comparison, the mighty Jeep Wrangler has 10.8 inches) and the ability to drive through three feet of water, Rivian is targeting over 600km of driving range for a model set to appear in 2022.
Absent an internal combustion drivetrain, the quad-motor R1T permitted Rivian designers the chance to incorporate unique and handy storage features not found on other pickup trucks. The R1T has a nifty pass-through spanning the truck’s width, for example, sandwiched between the rear wheels and back of the passenger cab. It’s a great spot in which to lock up camping or fishing gear, plus Rivian has shown concept accessories like a slide-out kitchen unit for overlanding. The R1S SUV, meanwhile, has similar specs but can seat seven passengers.
Not everyone wants to drive a pickup truck or SUV, a fact not lost on the brains behind Lucid Motors. Called the Air, it is promoted as a luxury all-electric car with peak power of 1080 horses and a battery sufficient to drive 800 kilometres. It should be noted the latter figure has not been certified by any official gubbmint agency. Flush door handles, an enormous frunk, and a concept glass canopy roof design are all part and parcel of the Air.
Lucid actually began as a battery company, now helping to propel some of the planet’s most powerful electric racecars. Leaning on this knowledge has apparently yielded recharge times that are scarcely believable, with the company suggesting up to 480 km of range can be replenished in about 20 minutes when equipped with the right features hooked to a Level 3 power source. Since recharging times are one of the current (pun intended) hurdles to EV acceptance, stats like these are very appealing.
The irony of a brand like Hummer, once pilloried by tree huggers wearing tea cozies on their heads, reinventing itself as an all-electric brand is not lost on anyone. Don’t worry: these rigs are still likely to rankle the granolas because, according to reports, top trims of the GMC Hummer EV will weigh north of 9,000 pounds. Officially trotted out last year as a Crew Cab pickup truck, then followed up with an SUV variant, these should start prowling the streets (and off-road trails) in 2022.
GM is boasting the burliest versions will crank out up to 1,000 horsepower and accelerate to highway speeds in about three seconds. Some variants will be equipped with dandy off-road goodies like an Extract Mode which jacks the vehicle six inches skyward to extract it from sticky situations, plus a so-called Crabwalk feature that permits all four wheels to turn in the same direction for a bit of low-speed diagonal driving on your favourite off-road trail.
Yes, your author is prepared to don his flame-retardant suit for the torching he’s about to get from Tesla stans after referring to this machine as the Tesla When-Will-It-Ever-Appear Roadster. It was first shown back in 2017 during an event for the Tesla Semi in which a new Roadster was driven out of a cargo trailer in a ‘One More Thing’ moment ripped straight from the Apple playbook. Since then, a copy has been shown at the Tesla Battery Day.
Skeptical musings aside, Elon Musk has promised a lot from the new Roadster, claiming a 0-100km/h acceleration time of under two seconds and a quarter-mile (400 m) run in an exacting 8.88 seconds. Top speed has been pegged at greater than 400 km/h. Options including cold gas thrusters developed from learnings in the SpaceX program have been described as able to improve handling, cornering, and braking. Price is in the $250,000 ballpark with production apparently planned for 2022.
While it is popular to dunk on Tesla (see above), one cannot overstate the impact they have had on EV development, forcing the hands of traditional automakers like Ford to get their act together and build viable electric vehicles. None more critical is the new F-150 Lightning, part of Dearborn’s line of best-selling pickup trucks. Traditionally powered drivetrains are replaced by new all-electric propulsion, a unique style, and one massive frunk which adds a large amount of lockable storage space.
Two battery sizes will be made available at launch, the larger of which is targeting a driving range of 480 kilometres. Dual eMotors will provide power to all four wheels, the way nature and Henry Ford intended for all pickup trucks to be configured. Ford is aiming for 426 horsepower and 563 ponies in the standard- and extended-range trucks, respectively, with torque expected to come in at a towering 775 lb-ft of twist. Since almost all of that grunt will be available immediately, this thing should have no trouble hauling the mail. What extra towing weight and payload do to total driving range remains to be seen, of course. We look forward to finding out.