Words “cheap” and “EV” still don’t have a place in the same sentence, but 2021 will seem to change that.
For a long time if a customer wanted an EV they didn’t have many options. Tesla has become the dominant player in the market but many find their cheaper offerings to still be too expensive. The Model 3 has only recently started shipping the cheaper base models and the Model Y’s base model is still far from affordable. There are alternatives like Nissan’s second-generation Leaf which has made massive improvements since its first attempt but on the whole, there are very few compelling options for affordable EVs.
The good news is that the major car manufacturers have taken notice of Tesla’s success and want their share. Years of R&D have led to an explosion of EVs and 2021 promises to be one of the best years for EV car shoppers. Here are some of the most highly anticipated affordable EVs coming in 2021.
Nissan was one of the earliest major car manufacturers to push EVs. The Leaf was nothing to write home about but was simply the only option for an affordable EV and found success as a fleet car. Nissan can no longer rely on being the only player in the affordable EV space and so they have created the Ariya.
Right off the bat, the Ariya beats the Leaf in range with a 300-mile range compared to the Leaf’s 226-mile range. Nissan also appears to have gone for a much sleeker and more minimal interior, not quite as minimal as the Tesla Model 3 but minimalist for a mainstream car. Plenty of tech makes the base $40,000 price an attractive option and customers can get AWD and even a bigger battery for just a few thousand more.
Many Americans may not be familiar with Vauxhall as the car brand is not sold in the US but is quite popular in Europe and parts of Asia. The Mokka-e carries the Mokka name but is nothing like the older gasoline-powered Mokka x. The new EV crossover is fresh-looking, clearly styled for the younger buyer in mind, and quite practical. The Mokka-e is wider and longer than the Mokka x but makes environmentalists happy with a 201-mile range. That may not sound like a lot of range but it only costs a touch over £30,000.
Like most other EVs, the Mokka-e has tons of advanced tech. The driver’s seat might as well be a plane’s cockpit as all the screens and instruments are driver-centric as if the passenger was simply an afterthought. The Mokka-e is an extremely important car in Europe and other markets where import fees can easily double the cost of a Tesla making this one of the most compelling affordable EVs outside the US.
It’s no surprise that China has dozens if not hundreds of EV startups trying to gain dominance in the EV market. Byton with its massive funding and amazing engineers is one startup that is leading the charge. It’s obvious they used Tesla as the blueprint for their designs with sleek styling and a huge emphasis on tech. The K-Byte features an absolutely outrageous 48-inch screen that takes up the entire length of the dashboard and serves as both the dash gauges as well as the center screen similar to Tesla.
The sedan shaped EV will be priced at $45,000, similar to a fully-loaded Tesla Model 3. How Byton can justify the higher price is because with the larger battery the K-Byte can reach 325 miles of range, greater than any version of the Model 3. The K-Byte also claims to be able to charge much faster than the Tesla, quickly becoming a weakness for the manufacturer. The K-Byte even has 470HP compared to the Model 3’s 258HP. The small price bump seems much more attractive now.
Byton knows the current market’s love of SUVs and isn’t just releasing the K-Byte sedan, the M-Byte SUV is also releasing at the same time. The most unbelievable thing about the M-Byte is the price, it will start at $45,000 just like the K-Byte but actually compares similarly with the likes of the Audi e-Tron, Jaguar I-Pace, and the Tesla Model X which all start in the $70,000 to $80,000 range.
For the money, the M-Byte is simply unbeatable as long as it can deliver its claimed range of 224 miles or 286 miles with the larger battery both batteries can be charged to 80% in just 35 minutes. The M-Byte also includes all the advanced tech goodies like the same insane 48-inch dashboard screen and a neat party trick which turns the front seats backward to enable chatting with the rear passengers a breeze. We’ll see if Byton can deliver on all the promises when it goes on sale in 2021.
Back to established players, Volkswagen is another sleeping giant that has decided to crank up the EV production. The company owns other luxury brands like Audi and Porsche which has proven to have some amazing EV technology and Volkswagen finally will come out with an affordable car using all that tech.
The ID.4 is just one of a line of EVs that Volkswagen plans to release in the next couple of years and is expected to be the volume seller as it is a crossover. The ID.4 has a range of 250 miles comparable to a base Model 3 and even features quick charging which can net 60 miles with just 10 minutes of charging at a DC fast charger. The ID.4 starts at $40,000 but can be much cheaper with government grants and subsidies. Any customer that is a fan of the more recent Volkswagen cars will love the ID.4.