Haven’t you heard? Petrol heads are out, tech geeks are in. I still remember the times when people used to mock electric cars and their comedic-like appearance. Nowadays, we hear about several new electric cars and crossovers quite often – even from brands that you would never dreamed would get involved in this game.
Sure, Tesla’s still the main character in this story but, if you’re considering making a switch yourself, there are other names worth considering.
European automakers have long set calendar dates for phasing out internal combustion engines, which is why it might pay out to study the market, as it were, and find out the electric car companies worth keeping an eye on. Please note we won’t be talking about hybrids or plug-in Hybrids in this article.
So without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the most important electric car brands that might change the world in the near future.
Electric car brands from the US:
With its headquarters now in Austin, Texas, Tesla proved to be a wild project from its early days, one that only the brilliant Elon Musk seemed to have foreseen the future of. It all started back in 2003 when this American electric vehicle and clean energy company decided to change the world.
Focused on the manufacture of electric vehicles, battery energy storage and even home or solar panel equipment, like solar roof tiles, Tesla Motors was always intended to honor inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla.
Eighteen years later, Tesla has plenty to brag about and everyone thinks about this company the minute they hear talk about electric cars. For good reasons too, as their models have proved to deliver impressive ranges, luxurious interiors and state of the art technologies that seem to come straight out of Doc Brown’s diary.
Since 2015, Karma Automotive is a US-based electric automaker that has set up shop in Costa Mesa, California – although it is actually owned by Chinese auto parts company Wanxiang Group. As such, founder Henrik Fisker and the brand were excluded.
Some of you may remember that back in 2011 Fisker Automotive released the Karma, a plug-in hybrid sports sedan that captured our imagination. However, Fisker’s battery supplier filed for bankruptcy and the automaker’s story was cut short ahead of time.
Wanxiang came in, purchased both Fisker and the A123 battery supplier and thus the new Karma Automotive was born. Feel free to look them up. Things are looking good.
Initially named Atieva, Lucid Motors is an American automotive company that’s focused on producing high performance electric vehicles. Founded in 2007, the company initially started out as an electric vehicle battery company and developed powertrains too.
Based in Newark, California, Lucid’s employees – at least some of them – started out as Tesla and Mazda engineers, which is to say that this company is perfectly equipped to handle anything.
By 2016, the company had officially announced the aim to develop an all-electric, high-performance luxury vehicle supported by a $700-million plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, that was designed to produce 380,000 units per year. But that becomes irrelevant once you get a glimpse of their incredible offering and outrageous vehicles.
Faraday Future is a California-based start-up technology company focused on the development of intelligent electric vehicles. Established in April 2014 and based in Los Angeles, this company is named for after one of the founding principles of electric motor technology – feel free to read about Faraday’s law of induction.
British scientist Michael Faraday is the man who discovered electromagnetic induction. Who’s to know if he had ever imagined technology and his invention would lead us to this moment in time?
Faraday Future, the automotive company, is keen on designing a shared intelligent mobility ecosystem – translated, this means an independent environment of AI-powered vehicles, capable of handling anything from traffic to notifications, all at the touch of a button and without human intervention.
American producer of electric traction motors and traction batteries, Brammo, Inc. entered the market sometime around 2002. Based in Ashland, Oregon, United States the company marketed motorcycles via its own website and sold them through dealers in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
At the beginning of 2015, Polaris Industries announced the acquisition of the entire Brammo electric motorcycle business and a rebadged electric motorcycle would shortly follow. Regardless of label or owner, Brammo’s electric bikes looked cool and had potential.
Obviously, we all strive for perfection; the sad story here is that the company didn’t have a to chance to really reach mainstream and thrill seekers. But they might start producing electric cars too in the near future.
Robert “RJ” Scaringe founded this company in 2009. Based in Plymouth, Michigan, this American automaker develops automotive technology and vehicles, products and services related to sustainable transportation.
Rivian went for truck and SUV development, probably inspired by Tesla’s recent projects, and it cannot be denied their vehicles look impressive. The two models were introduced to the world at the LA Auto Show in November 2018, and immediately grabbed everyone’s attention.
Designed for rough terrain and semi-autonomous driving, Rivian vehicles are definitely worth all the attention.
Lordstown Motors is an American electric vehicle automaker based in Lordstown, Ohio. Founded in 2018 by Steve Burns, former CEO of Workhorse Group, the company even purchased the former GM Lordstown plant.
Inspired by the Workhorse W-15 pickup truck, they acquired licensing rights to the intellectual property of the vehicle and went on to design their own electric pickup truck.
Part of the aforementioned deal was that Workhorse Group received a 10% equity stake in Lordstown Motors. With an automated manufacturing process, things were looking promising, although some discussions about vehicles catching on fire and pre-order issues regarding shell companies has left people a bitter taste when it comes to the company.
Dating back to 1998, this company was started by Stephen Burns. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Workhorse Group is a manufacturing company currently focused on manufacturing electrically powered delivery and utility vehicles.
By 2018, UPS announced that it would partner with Workhorse to develop and manufacture a fleet of 50 plug-in electric trucks – the King of Queens would have none of that. This delivery van would benefit from a 100-mile range, and the C-Series was born. Sadly, the contract went to Oshkosh Defense.
However, this was not enough to put this company’s research and development on hold. The van is still for sale, although the short range does not make it feasible for a wide selection of activities or transportation services. However, an urban environment would benefit from such concepts in the context of CO2 emissions and pollution.
Also worth mentioning is the HorseFly drone and its unmanned medical delivery capabilities – currently under development.
Actively teasing us with mad concepts and ideas, this company has been around since 2014. Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Nikola Corporation has revealed a number of zero-emission vehicle concepts – mainly focused on trucks or heavy-load trucks. Have you seen what their vehicles look like? Feel free to check out the official page, and be amazed.
Just think about it – a 645-long-haul truck with a 900-mile range and a refuel tie of less than 20 minutes. How do they actually plan to do it? Well, this company cheated a bit; it would seem they used Hydrogen as fuel to generate the electricity and power needed to motivate their vehicles.
By 2024 these incredible machines might be everywhere, on a road near you.
In 2017, Stefan Krause and Ulrich Kranz decided to start a new business – Canoo. Based in Torrance, California, Canoo Inc., was initially known as Evelozcity; this American manufacturer is all about developing electric vehicles.
The company aims to release affordable commercial electric vehicles, like minivans for vehicle rental and ride sharing services. Their bold innovations in design and pioneering technologies are enough to make us believe it will happen just so.
However, it will take some time. Although Canoo benefits from an experienced team coming from leading technology and automotive companies and a modular platform has been designed to offer maximum vehicle interior space and versatility – meaning it can be used for more than one type of vehicle – we are still quite far from such happy times.
Somewhere in San Jose, California, Drako Motors was founded back in 2013 and it all started from a Silicon Valley manufacturer that wanted to produce the ultimate electric luxury sports cars – at least in small numbers to start with.
Based around a proprietary DriveOS four-wheel torque vectoring system, and single-VCU drive operating system, the company’s GTE model was so interesting that it was even featured on CNBC’s Jay Leno’s garage in 2020.
Built around a Fisker Karma chassis and featuring a carbon-fiber bodywork, this vehicle will accommodate 4 passengers.
With a top speed of 206 mph (332 km/h) and acceleration times of under 3 seconds (0 to 60 mph), this thing is set to cost you US$1,250,000.
Chinese Electric Car Brands:
Shanghai is the home of NIO and has been since 2014. The Chinese automobile manufacturer is focused on designing and developing super cool electric vehicles. Even better, they have been known to build battery swap stations – 143 of them, across China – and have completed a lot of battery swaps.
Autonomous, electric sports cars hailing from China, taking over the world; for good reasons too. Feel free to check out their official website and you will quickly realize you weren’t prepared for such levels of coolness.
May 2021 saw Nio announcing a Norway expansion plan is in the works, meaning they would selling cars in Europe in the near future. Are we ready?
Guangzhou, China, is where XPeng has started its operations since 2014. You have noticed that all of these companies were started relatively recent, for two reasons: taking on Tesla is a big deal, that scares many other automakers, but not Chinese car startups, and the funding required to develop and put state of the art technologies to work well alongside customers is very difficult to attain.
This Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer built their Zhaoqing Smart EV Manufacturing Base in accordance with Industry 4.0 standards. It covers any and all required processes before releasing cool and extremely efficient EVs into the wild.
The Zhaoqing digital smart factory is virtually unknown, as are the company’s vehicles. However, that should change really soon.
Beijing, China. Here is where Li Auto has been located since 2015, although the company’s manufacturing facilities can be found in Changzhou. One twist, though: Li Xiang is focused on plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), which means these cars use both gasoline or electricity to put things in motion.
This may sound like cheating in this article, but the fact of the matter is that this kind of vehicles seem to enjoy the benefits of both worlds. Charging stations aren’t really found around every corner, which is why having a petrol-powered vehicle seems like a good idea.
Also, having an electric-mode only enables drivers to travel anywhere – at least, for as far as the range will take you – without out making an impact on the environment. This is ideal for urban traffic.
Although the name doesn’t hint towards that, we are dealing with a Chinese manufacturer that’s been actively involved with electric vehicles since 2015. Based in Shanghai, this company is an electric car brand owned by WM Motor Technology Co Ltd, in turn responsible for the creation of battery electric vehicles (BEV’s).
WM Motor was founded by a former executive at Geely – you remember the name from Top Gear, don’t you? With enough funds to research and develop anything they can imagine, Weltmeister employees aim to deliver affordable electric vehicles that still manage to impress.
The plant in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, has been mass-producing the company’s first vehicle model, the EX5, since 28 September 2018. Since then, the lineup has been improved and things are looking interesting – to say the least.
About three years ago, sometime in 2019, the people over at Geely thought up this independent pure electric sub-brand. Keen on developing sedans, SUVs, and MPVs driven by pure electric drives, the company put together nothing but the latest technologies within the group.
The Geometry brand was mainly designed for the Chinese market; however, a global reveal of the Geometry A vehicle took place in Singapore, on April 11, 2019. It seems the company believes redefining the standard for pure electric sedans is a world-wide priority.
Nonetheless, the line-up has expended since then, and the offering is incredible. Actually, it seems to be easier by the month to get your hands on a versatile and enjoyable electric vehicle.
Based in Nanjing, China, this is a Chinese-German all-electric vehicle automotive brand, co-founded by former BMW and Nissan Motor executives. The company’s cars feature names revolving around the term “Byte” – “M-Byte” and “K-Byte”.
Byton revealed their first concept car to the world in January 2018 and has since been working on transforming everything into reality. Drivable prototypes are being built and put through their paces, in an effort to reach customers by 2022.
By then, three models are expected to be ready for delivery and they will be available on U.S. and European markets as well.
In 2017, Chinese automotive giant BAIC Group decided to create a new car brand dedicated to the development of electric cars – Acrfox was born. Based in Beijing, this company started off by introducing a premium microcar called Lite.
At the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, Arcfox was revealed to the world and the goal to conquer Europe was already on their list. Needless to say, it’s all about aesthetics – meaning, this company’s vehicles will show off not but the most modern equipment and features.
It’s up to you to decide if you like what you see.
Founded in December 2014 in Beijing, Singulato Motors is the new energy vehicle brand of Chi Che-hung Technology Co., Ltd. Created to produce premium electric vehicles, this brand aims to make the competition worry.
Singulato Motors is bent on making a difference and fit its vehicles with technologies such as autonomous driving systems, automotive networking services with and cloud computing technologies.
By 2016, Singulato had revealed its first EV product, the mid-size Singulato iS6 SUV, and plans to expand their lineup were already in place. Feel free to visit the official webpage, you will be impressed.
Founded in 2013, Zinoro is a luxury automobile marque owned by BMW Brilliance – don’t forget the name. Focused on electric vehicles, the company aims to become a premium Chinese brand that could easily compete with more notable manufacturers.
Easier said than done, but one quick look at the Zinoro 1E model and you will understand more. The all-electric crossover was based on the BMW X1 (E84), something that becomes instantly apparent.
Unveiled in 2013, this was the brand’s first attempt at teasing electric vehicles fans. Meanwhile, things have changed – if for the better or not, it’s up to you to decide.
Famous Car Brands That Also Make Electric Cars:
Based in the US, Chevy has been known to tease our senses with some interesting cars. They were one of the first major car companies that seem to go with the flow and enter the EV market. Has everyone heard of the Chevrolet Bolt yet?
Bolt is known for some impressive distanced on a single charge, this particular model was introduced in 2016. But there’s also the Chevrolet Spark that surely deserves a mention, and there’s a lot more to come from Chevrolet.
What would you think about an all-electric Silverado pickup? It’s on its way, due to arrive sometime around 2023.
Who would have ever imagined Ford going electric? Definitely not me, although as brilliant as Henry Ford was, he would have probably taken over the development part himself. Now: are there any Ford Focus fans in the house?
Surely, the ST version will make Europeans and Americans alike go crazy – that’s one brilliant car, it has always been. The sound, the feeling, the overall sensations that car delivers are unforgettable. And it’s now going electric.
The company has planned to spend $22 billion by 2025 to make sure Ford stands out from the crowd. With that in mind, you should remember that an all-electric Ford Mustang is already rolling down the street, which purists consider a sacrilege.
Meanwhile, it is worth mentioning that Ford is working on an electric F-150 pickup, dubbed “Lightning”.
The Germans at Porsche need no introduction whatsoever. They cave been on top of their game and at the top for decades, when it comes to luxury, innovative and performance-oriented vehicles.
There is a long list of vehicles wearing the manufacturer’s badge that have left their maker on automotive history. Did the electric Porsche Taycan achieve similar high rankings on your list?
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear – there is no word on an electric 911, at least not yet. I guess the company’s management has realized it would get people excited, but not in a good way. Meanwhile, the incredible Taycan and Taycan Cross Turismo show off just how versatile and technologically advanced the Germans really are.
Have you seen the new Mercedes-Benz EQC? Make sure you do, it will rock your world. The innovative team from Mercedes have been teasing us with some wild electric car concepts in the last few years.
This is one safe way of telling everyone the company is perfectly capable to enter and possibly lead the EV market. To make its electric lineup easy to comprehend, Mercedes is giving all of its electric car models an EQ prefix – EQA, EQB, and so on.
By 2020, the Germans delivered the EQA with the EQS sedan soon to follow. The EQE and EQG are not that far away, either.
Who could forget the BMW i3? That cute little thing is more than a toy, and it marked a new era for the Bavarian company. BMW’s first attempt at EVs was a leap into the unknown, and classic BMW fans were definitely not happy, but if you ask me the BMW i8 was one of the coolest cars ever made.
Mainstream electric models are in the works, and this year is all about a new and improved version of the BMW i3. But the 2022 BMW i4 might be the real game changer, and it’s all set to make a difference thanks to its 500 electric ponies and 300-mile range.
However, I think it’s safe to assume most of you are waiting for the 2022 BMW iX.
Anyone else remembering that Iron Man went for an Audi E-Tron? Volkswagen Group‘s attainable luxury brand, Audi is having a tough time making a breakthrough, although all that Dieselgate action might have had a positive impact – the good, the bad, the ugly.
A $42 billion investment over five years was meant to allow Volkswagen to power up its subsidiaries and achieve the impossible: 70 all-electric models by 2030. All the while, Audi has some cool surprises in store for us.
The 2021 Audi E-Tron SUV is here, and so is the 2021 Audi E-Tron Sportback. However, all of the manufacturer’s lineup is set for an electric overhaul – the E-Tron GT, E-Tron GT RS, E-Tron Sportback and Q5 E-Tron are all on the way.
How can you cheat emission tests when the car is all electric? Volkswagen corporate leaders should now know the answer to that question. The German car group has pledged to spend $42 billion over the next five years to transform its lineup into an electric portfolio.
The all-electric VW list is interesting, although something seems to be missing – speaking as a classic-car guy myself, the lack of vibrations and engine sound seem to depress me.
Meanwhile, the Volkswagen e-Golf is here and begs to differ. Better yet, the Volkswagen ID3 and ID4 models also aim to please. But is the 2024 Volkswagen ID Buzz worth the wait?
British car makers have often released some pretty outrageous vehicles into the wild: the incredible McLaren F1, the Jaguar E-type, the Rolls Royce Wraith, and.. the Mini? That cute little winner is unforgettable.
Mini decided to go for it and try its hands at electric cars back in 2009. However, at that time, they only managed to deliver insufficient functional space and egregiously aggressive default regenerative braking.
The modern-day Mini Cooper SE is definitely a huge improvement, but the 110-mile range is not good enough to make us smile. An electric Countryman, on the other hand, just might do the trick and we’re pretty sure their next electric cars will have decent ranges.
This company sells its cars under the Nissan, Infiniti, and Datsun brands – don’t forget all about the Nismo performance-oriented in-house shop. The Japanese car manufacturer has plenty to say when it comes to speed, performance and petrol-powered machines.
What about the electric car world? Well, in 2010 the Nissan Leaf was revealed to the world and it quickly proved to be a viable mainstream production electric car – the first of its kind, actually. Aside from that, there isn’t much to be said about the model.
However, the Ariya SUV and its 300 miles of range aims to make a difference and put a bit of stress on the competition.
Founded back in 1948, Honda become the second-largest Japanese automobile manufacturer in just a few decades. Furthermore, Honda was the first Japanese car maker to release a dedicated luxury car brand, when Acura was revealed in 1986.
Looking towards the future and following the trend, fashionably late I might add, Honda hopes to electrify two-thirds of its sales by 2030. The Japanese have joined forces with GM to develop a Honda crossover. Have you heard about the new Honda E?
There are big and interesting things to come, although it doesn’t seem like the company is all that dedicated or focused on electric cars.
Toyota Motor Corporation was founded in 1937, and the multinational automotive manufacturer is the tenth-largest company in the world by revenue. Toyota is also the second largest car manufacturer in the world.
But did you know that the very same company is also the global market leader in sales of hybrid electric vehicles? It seems that Toyota has been developing vehicles under five brands – Toyota, Hino, Lexus, Ranz, and Daihatsu.
Toyota and Lexus recently previewed not one or two, but 15 different electric vehicles, including sports cars, that will shape the company’s future in the next couple of years.
Founded in 1922 and owned by Jaguar Land Rover since 2013, this company is actually a subsidiary of Tata Motors – that’s unexpected, right? The British car manufacturer is active on both the performance and luxury markets, which is to say there is plenty of competition to go around.
Their aim is to go all electric by 2025, and the 2021 Jaguar I-Pace is one good way to prove the company’s direction. There are plans for a few other models, but details are scarce at this moment in time.
The one thing we’re sure about: whatever Jaguar releases into the wild, you are going to love it. And, that’s that.
South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai, a division of the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group, is the country’s largest car maker. Founded in 1967, Hyundai’s subsidiaries include Kia Motors and Genesis Motors.
The Hyundai Ioniq is an electric spinoff, meant to offer customers an alternative to petrol-powered machines. The Ioniq 5 hatchback, the Ioniq 6 sedan, the Ioniq 7 large SUV – all sufficient reasons to consider Hyundai a powerful competitor on the EV market.
As mentioned before, this Hyundai subsidiary has quite some plans to get everyone looking its way. Seven new Kia EVs are all set to arrive by 2026, which is one sure way to tell everyone Kia means business – electric business, that is.
The 2021 Kia Soul EV and 2021 Kia Niro EV are making some waves, but it’s the 2022 Kia EV6 most fans are waiting for. Needless to say, if the electric variants are as reliable and efficient as the petrol-powered counterparts, things are looking really good for KIA.
Other renowned car companies that are making electric cars or have announced plans to go electric in the near future: FIAT, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Volvo and Jeep.
Which electric car of this list would you take home with you?