Almost every brand has some kind of plug-in vehicle headed to U.S. dealerships in the next five years, if not a bunch of them.
Many are versions of gasoline-powered nameplates, but automakers are increasingly seeing the need to roll out dedicated electric vehicles or vehicle lines as well.
Daimler AG is spending more than $11 billion to bring at least 10 new EVs to market under its new Mercedes-Benz EQ subbrand by 2022.
The motive isn’t short-term profits; BMW CEO Harald Krueger told reporters in Frankfurt that EVs generally will have lower margins than vehicles with internal combustion engines.
But in the long run, automakers want to ensure they don’t get left behind their competitors as more consumers decide that an EV or plug-in hybrid can work for their lifestyle. By 2021, it’s clear that consumers will have an abundance of such choices to consider, in a broad spectrum of segments, body styles and price ranges.
Here is what Automotive News has reported to be in the pipeline so far.
BMW i3: The compact electric car is updated this year with a new 33 kilowatt-hour battery, increasing the range on a single charge to 114 miles from 81. A new sporty i3S model, unveiled last month at the Frankfurt auto show, arrives by year end. The i3S has more power, minor styling tweaks and a slightly lower ride. The new battery will go into the i3 REx range extender model with a two-cylinder engine, expected in 2018.
Honda Clarity: By year end, Honda’s Clarity lineup of plug-in hybrid, electric and fuel cell models will be available in limited markets. Whether each version gets a successor is another question. The electric model could be replaced by a stand-alone EV in the next decade, while plug-in versions of several Honda models could make a Clarity plug-in hybrid moot.
Hyundai Ioniq: Hyundai’s dedicated green-car line gains a plug-in hybrid this fall. What comes next will depend on consumer appetites. The next-gen Ioniq line could switch to a crossover body style; Kia’s Niro hybrid crossover, which shares the Ioniq’s underpinnings, is outselling the entire Ioniq line this year.
Kia Niro: A plug-in version of the hybrid crossover arrives late this year as a 2018 model. It will have a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor and offer about 34 miles of pure EV driving. A freshening should land in 2020.
Mitsubishi Outlander: A plug-in version of the current-generation Outlander will go on sale by year end as a 2018 model with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors. U.S. sales volumes will be small, likely on the order of 2,000 a year.
Nissan Leaf: The second generation Leaf, unveiled last month, has a more conventional body style and provides a greater battery range. The current-generation Leaf’s range is rated by the EPA at 107 miles on a fully charged 30 kilowatt-hour battery. The new generation can go about 150 miles, narrowing the gap with new entrants from Chevrolet and Tesla but still trailing noticeably, as Nissan went more for a value play.
Tesla Model 3
Smart ForTwo: A redesigned electric coupe and convertible went on sale this summer as 2017 models. The electric coupe costs $24,550 including shipping, $1,200 less than the 2016 version. The redesigned models have improved range, more power, a roomier interior and additional standard features. The cars could be freshened in 2020.
Tesla Model 3: After its launch in July, the Model 3 will begin deliveries in October, starting with the higher-priced long-range battery edition. With its basic yet sleek design, the Model 3 likely won’t undergo any big changes for the next five years, minimizing complexity while Tesla focuses on production. The headlights or taillights may be freshened around 2020, analysts say.
Volkswagen e-Golf: The e-Golf EV will be the first model to show off the Golf family’s freshened exterior. It will have its battery range raised to about 125 miles from 85 miles.
Volvo XC60 T8: A plug-in hybrid variant of Volvo’s redesigned midsize crossover is arriving this fall with a 20-mile battery range, 400-hp rating and starting price of about $53,000.
Acura RDX: A hybrid or plug-in version of the RDX will join Acura’s lineup after a 2018 redesign for the gasoline-powered model.
Audi Q8: The five-seat, sportback crossover arriving in late 2018 will offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Bentley Bentayga: Bentley’s first crossover will be the brand’s first nameplate to get a plug-in hybrid powertrain, based on a 3.0-liter V-6.
Bentley Continental GT: The Continental GT’s third generation goes on sale in 2018 as a 2019 model, followed by a plug-in hybrid version that likely uses a 3.0-liter V-6 engine paired with the electric system.
BMW i8: The i8 plug-in hybrid sports car coupe will be freshened in 2018, getting a longer range and more power. A new roadster variant, expected to be unveiled next month at the Los Angeles Auto Show, will go on sale in the U.S. by midyear.
BMW X3: A plug-in hybrid version of BMW’s small crossover is expected in early 2018.
Chevrolet Volt: Sales of the plug-in hybrid have been steadily rising even with the Bolt EV in the mix. Some styling improvements should be on tap around mid-2018.
Honda Civic: A hybrid or plug-in hybrid Civic is expected in 2018 or 2019 based on Honda’s promise to introduce such versions of its core models.
Hyundai Kona: An all-electric Kona has been promised for Korea in 2018; bet on that arriving in the U.S. for the 2019 model year with a range of around 250 miles on a charge.
Jaguar I-Pace: The five-seat crossover arriving next summer is Jaguar’s first battery-powered vehicle. The I-Pace is built on an aluminum-intensive platform by Magna Steyr in Austria and has a range of 220 miles from its 400-hp twin electric motors.
Mercedes-Benz GLC350e 4MATIC: A plug-in version of the compact crossover will go on sale in late 2017 or early 2018.
Mercedes-Benz S560e: A re-engineered and renamed plug-in hybrid version of the S-class sedan will arrive by the end of 2018.
Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid: A more powerful plug-in hybrid family of the redesigned Panamera is coming early next year, later than initially announced because of certification delays. The Turbo S E-Hybrid, which starts at about $185,000, is the most powerful model in the Panamera line at 680 hp and has a 31-mile battery-only range.
Subaru plug-in hybrid: A plug-in hybrid will debut in 2018, though it remains unclear as to which nameplate Subaru will choose for the designation. Given the new platform’s design, the likely bets are the Impreza, Crosstrek or Ascent.
Acura MDX: The redesigned MDX, landing in 2019 as a 2020 model, likely will include a plug-in hybrid version.
Aston Martin RapidE: Aston Martin’s four-door model will get an all-electric version called the RapidE in 2019, with a run of just 155 cars. The RapidE, expected to have around 200 miles of range on a charge and around 800 hp, will use a powertrain developed in conjunction with Williams Advanced Engineering.
Audi e-tron crossover: Audi’s electric crossover, similar in size to a Q7, is expected to hew closely to the concept’s 310-mile range and serve as Audi’s answer to the Tesla Model X.
Bentley Continental Flying Spur: Like all Bentley nameplates, the four-door version of the Continental GT will get a plug-in hybrid version after a 2019 redesign.
Bentley Mulsanne: A redesign of Bentley’s king-kahuna sedan is due in 2019 or 2020 and will include a plug-in hybrid. Whether that incorporates the same V-6-based powertrain as lesser Bentleys or one that uses the 4.0-liter turbo V-8 of the Panamera E-Hybrid remains to be seen.
Ford Escape/Lincoln MKC: A late 2019 redesign of Ford Motor Co.’s compact crossover pair will include a plug-in hybrid variant. Ford discontinued the original Escape hybrid in 2012.
Ford Model E: Tesla famously made overtures to Ford to buy the rights to the Model E name, to add to its Model S and X lineup. Ford refused to give it up and is now expected to use the name for an electric crossover with a 300-mile range due in late 2019. It will be built in Flat Rock, Mich., and sold in North America, Europe and Asia.
Genesis GV80: Genesis’ first crossover, due in 2019 as a 2020 model, could have a hydrogen fuel cell or plug-in hybrid version.
Kia Optima: A freshening of Kia’s popular midsize sedan, which got a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid option for the 2017 model year, is due in 2019.
Lamborghini Urus: A plug-in hybrid version of the new Urus will launch in 2019 with a V-6 engine. The gasoline-powered Urus, loosely based on the same platform as the Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga, will have a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 when it arrives next year with a starting price just under $200,000.
Mazda EV: Mazda has said it plans to introduce an EV in 2019, though it’s unclear how large the vehicle would be and whether it would be a crossover or a car. Expect Mazda’s partnership with Toyota to play a role here as Toyota itself plans an EV around 2019 (particularly in China) or 2020.
Mercedes-Benz EQ concept
Mercedes-Benz EQC: Mercedes plans to sell at least one EV per segment under its new EQ subbrand. The first, a compact crossover called the EQC, arrives in 2019.
Mini EV: An electric Mini will go on sale in the U.S. in late 2019, though officials haven’t said what it will look like. A new body style isn’t expected though, because Mini wants it to be a core vehicle and contribute meaningful volume.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: A plug-in hybrid version of Mitsubishi’s Outlander Sport replacement is expected to debut in 2019, a year after the gasoline model arrives.
Tesla Model Y: Tesla has said its upcoming small crossover will begin production in late 2019 or early 2020. It will be built on the Model 3 platform, despite earlier comments by CEO Elon Musk to the contrary. At Tesla’s shareholder meeting in June, Musk said the company may have to find a new manufacturing site for the Model Y because the Fremont, Calif., plant is “bursting at the seams.”
Volvo EVs: Volvo Cars kicked off the flurry of electrified product announcements in July, when it said all new vehicles introduced starting in 2019 would be a hybrid or an EV. The statement included plans to roll out five EVs from 2019 through 2021, three under the Volvo badge and two under the recently spun-off Polestar performance line.
Acura TLX: Look for a hybrid or plug-in hybrid version of the TLX in 2020, when it joins the Accord and others on Honda’s modular platform.
Audi A6/S6: Expect the redesigned sedans to arrive in 2020 with Audi’s e-tron plug-in hybrid global powertrain available in the U.S.
Audi A7/S7/RS 7: A new generation of Audi’s fastback sedan will arrive in 2020 with e-tron plug-in hybrid models to follow.
BMW i3: A redesign of the i3 is expected in 2020.
BMW X3: An electric version of BMW’s small crossover will arrive in 2020.
Chevrolet Bolt EV: Chevy will look to update the Bolt, which offers an estimated 238-mile range per battery charge, in about three years.
Chrysler Pacifica: The well-regarded minivan, which comes in a plug-in hybrid version with a battery range of 33 miles, will be freshened in 2020.
Genesis GV70: The compact crossover bows in 2020 and should become Genesis’ volume seller. Hybrid or plug-in hybrid versions are possible.
Maserati Alfieri: The concept two-seat coupe debuted at the 2014 Geneva auto show and was to arrive in 2016, followed immediately by a convertible. Now it looks like the Alfieri hardtop won’t arrive until at least 2020, and it’s rumored to be undergoing a redesign as an EV.
Mercedes-Benz E class: A plug-in version of the E-class sedan already is sold outside the U.S. but likely won’t come here until after a 2020 freshening of the vehicle line.
Mercedes-Benz EQA: A production version of the EQA concept, a compact hatchback shown in Frankfurt, is expected to go to market around 2020.
Mini Countryman: Mini’s largest nameplate, which gained a plug-in variant with this year’s redesign, will be freshened in 2020.
Mitsubishi EV: With the electric i-MiEV getting the ax, Mitsubishi’s replacement EV likely will come in the form of a rebadged or reconfigured second-gen Nissan Leaf. The body style remains unknown; it could be a crossover. Look for this to debut around 2020 with a range of more than 200 miles on a charge.
Tesla Model S: After giving its flagship sedan a new nose in April 2016, Tesla is expected to redesign the Model S in 2020.
Tesla Model X: Given the compact crossover’s delayed launch, a redesign is unlikely until 2024 or 2025. The falcon-wing doors have proved to be a manufacturing headache for the automaker, and will probably stay for the short term to make the most of Tesla’s investment. A mild freshening — such as the grille change the Model S received in 2016 — could come in 2020.
Porsche sedan EV: A production version of the 600-hp Mission E concept will go on sale in the U.S. in late 2019 or, more likely, early 2020, though with a different name. It’s expected to have a higher level of autonomous driving features than Porsche has put in its vehicles to date and multiple variants with different levels of power. Porsche is targeting annual sales of about 20,000 vehicles.
Volkswagen EV: VW will launch the first EV based on its new MEB EV platform architecture in the U.S. in 2020. It is expected to be based on the I.D. Crozz crossover concept the brand showed at the Shanghai auto show.
Volkswagen e-Golf: A redesign of the Golf and e-Golf has been moved up a year to 2020.
BMW iNEXT: BMW says it will introduce the iNEXT EV crossover in 2021, with semiautonomous driving capabilities and a range topping 310 miles. The iNEXT initially could roll out in a limited fashion to ride-sharing fleets before the general public, though some in the company want to take the vehicle straight to consumers.
Mercedes-Benz EQ sedans: Two EQ sedans are possible in 2021, a larger one earlier in the year and a smaller one after that.
Cadillac EV: Cadillac President Johan De Nysschen has said the brand is planning a flagship that’s not a four-door sedan. He also has said that the Corvette platform would be a good base for a “unique Cadillac.” But the earliest it would happen is 2021.
Chevrolet Volt crossover: In keeping with shifting consumer tastes, Chevy is expected to turn the Volt into a crossover body style for its third generation to create more utility.
Genesis EV: Genesis will launch an all-electric sedan in 2021 with about 310 miles of range on a charge.
Porsche Macan coupe: A coupe body style for the Macan is expected in 2021 or 2022, and it is likely to arrive as an EV, according to sources.
Subaru EV: Subaru has an all-electric crossover in the works, with a likely arrival of 2021 at the earliest.
Tesla pickup: Musk said he would unveil an electric pickup by early 2019. Analysts expect Tesla to target starting deliveries in 2021.
Volkswagen EV: A sedan will follow the production version of the I.D. Crozz crossover in 2021.