Insights July 28, 2020

Road rockets, hip city cars and a cybertruck beast – the future in automotive is electric

By Living Word

The world of electric vehicles is an exciting one, with a variety of options for adventurers, city slickers and big families alike. Here, we take a closer look at this promising market.

The global electric vehicle market was valued at $162.34 billion last year and is projected to reach $802.81 billion by 2027, according to a report by Allied Market Research released in April. The report claims that electric vehicles have gained popularity mainly due to higher fuel economy, low carbon emission and maintenance, the convenience of charging at home, a smoother drive, and reduced sound from the engine.

Perhaps surprisingly, sales have continued to grow this year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and the number of electric cars is expected to reach almost 10 million this year, according to a new report by International Energy Agency released in June. In fact, sales of electric cars are expected to outdo the other segments of the market.

From strength to strength

It wouldn’t be right to talk about electric cars without mentioning Tesla, the American company specialising in electric vehicle manufacturing, battery energy storage, and also solar panel technology. Tesla is now the world’s most valuable automaker, surpassing industry giants such as Toyota and Volkswagen, and valued at around $208 billion.

Tesla delivered its first mass-market all-electric car, Model S, in 2012. It became the best car in its class and dubbed a “true game-changer” by TopGear, the British motoring magazine and TV series. Following its success, Tesla launched Model X, claimed to be the safest, quickest and most capable sport utility vehicle, and later came Model 3, a low-priced, high-volume electric car. Since then, the company has also unveiled Tesla Semi, an all-electric, battery-powered semi-truck, as well as Model Y, a mid-size SUV.

However, Tesla’s Cybertruck, unveiled in November 2019, is what’s brought the most excitement. This is a new kind of consumer pickup truck, but it certainly doesn’t look like any other model on the road. Inspired by the 1982 science fiction film Blade Runner, this futuristic, radical electric vehicle with an angular stainless-steel body has been named Concept Car of the Year by Automobile Magazine, and said to be available at the end of 2021.

Rally, off-road, and the rest

Another electric car has been causing a stir. Ford has launched the performance prototype Mustang Mach-E 1400, a first-of-its-kind road rocket with seven motors (three at the front, four at the back) and more than 1,400 horsepower. As seen in a video by Road & Track, professional rally driver Ken Block recently tested the Mach-E on the track and confirmed: “It’s an incredible machine.”

But there is more variety on the market. For instance, General Motors has unveiled its first electric pickup truck, GMC Hummer EV. Jeep recently announced its two first plug-in hybrid models, the Jeep Renegade 4xe and the Jeep Compass 4xe, and Nissan is partnering with Chinese automaker Dongfeng to produce a low-priced electric pickup truck.

Another manufacturer doing well in the segment is Volvo Cars, which is committed to launching five electrical cars in the next five years. In October 2019, Volvo revealed its first all-electric car, the XC40 Recharge. It comes with a new infotainment system powered by Google’s Android operating system and has been mentioned as a milestone moment and a possible competitor to Tesla’s Model Y.

And just to mention a few more, Mercedes-Benz has started sales of the new all-electric eVito Tourer, a nine-seat e-van with a 260-mile range, ideal for large families. Renault is expanding its passenger plug-in car line-up with the tiny, urban Renault Twingo Z.E., and for those looking for another cool city option, TopGear called BMW’s Mini Cooper SE “a very complete little EV” and “fun to drive”, so it surely won’t disappoint.