New Electric Cars In 2015 — I’m Counting 15

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Originally published on EV Obsession.

The new year is upon us, and it’s time to run down another list of the new electric vehicles that should be arriving in the US and Europe in the coming 365 days. Without much knowledge of the EV markets outside of North America and Europe, I’m sorry to say that this list of new electric cars is limited to those two continents*. In no particular order (other than the order my memory and Google skills have chosen), here are the new electric cars, SUVs, and crossovers that should be available to consumers in 2015.

Tesla Model X


The Model X is surely the most-awaited electric vehicle of 2015. Perhaps the most-awaited EV of all time… though, the broader accessibility of the Model 3 may have it beat. It is supposed to be a super-high-performance, utilitarian, luxury SUV or crossover with falcon-wing doors. If it matches the concept vehicle (and note that Elon Musk has promised it will be even better), no other SUV or crossover should compete with it. It’s greatest downside is that it will be priced similar to the Model S, which is to say, it will be out of the reach of most. Delayed a couple of years now, the Model X is supposed to hit the market in the second half of 2015.

BMW X5 eDrive

BMW X5 eDrive

Perhaps the closest competitor to the Model X, the BMW X5 eDrive is a plug-in hybrid electric SUV that will have its fair share of performance, luxury, and high-tech features. It will be able to learn your driving habits and teach you how to drive more efficiently, it will be able to avoid crashes that some drivers would fail to escape from, and it will probably have a bit more “luxury” than the Model X. On the other hand, it won’t have the acceleration, seating capacity, or looks of th Model X. In order to compete, I’d think the X5 eDrive would have to be quite a bit more affordable than the Model X, which might be hard to pull off.

VW Passat GTE Plug-in


The VW Passat GTE Plug-in, unveiled in 2014, is expected to go from 0 to 60 mph in under 8 seconds, which is respectable for an average-priced car. Of course, being electric, that will feel much faster than a gasoline car with the same time. It will also have a very high top speed of 136 mph. It’s all-electric range will be very good for a plug-in hybrid: 31 miles (though, that figure may be for Europe, and the US one would be quite a bit lower than the Europe one due to more rigorous testing). Sporty, sleek, and with decent specs, if the price is right, this one could sell. Unfortunately, the VW Passat GTE Plug-in is just set for release in Europe at the moment, probably in 2015.

Audi A3 e-Tron

Audi A3 e-Tron

The Audi A3 e-Tron is already on sale at over 100 German dealerships, but it is on this list because it is expected to make its US debut in 2015. There’s already a US webpage for it, and you can sign up for updates. It’s another plug-in hybrid electric car (this seems to be the theme in 2015, quite different from 2014). The electric-only range is estimated to be 18 miles, which is not spectacular, but is at least better than the Toyota Prius Plug-in. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in a 7.6 seconds. It has also landed a difficult 5 stars in Europe’s safety ratings. I think it’ll be hard for the Audi A3 e-Tron to compete with the Chevy Volt or Ford Energi models on value for the money, but some will prefer the e-Tron’s looks and the Audi brand, and the President of Audi of America, Scott Keogh, contends that this is not going to be a “compliance car.” We’ll see.

Audi Q7 Plug-in

Audi Q7

The Audi Q7 is another plug-in hybrid from Audi. This SUV/crossover will reportedly be able to go from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds — hard to beat in this class. The highly awaited luxury plug-in from Audi has a good shot of lifting Audi out of the doldrums of electric inactivity and toward the top of the list for EV enthusiasts. We’ll see.


Rimac Concept_One

rimac concept one

The Rimac Concept_One is no everyman’s car. It is an electric supercar out of Croatia that costs a fortune… as in, $1 million. Needless to say, most of us will be lucky to even see one of these, let alone touch one, let alone ride in one, let alone own one. Still, it’s a beauty worth mentioning, and I’m hopeful it will get produced in 2015. As of now, 88 initial cars are planned for production in 2015. The Rimac Concept_One can reportedly go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, and has a horsepower of 1,088. Yep, that’s a “supercar.” Rimac Automobili recently landed a good bit more investment in order to produce the initial 88 cars.

2016 Chevy Volt

2016 Volt

An updated version of the popular Chevy Volt is supposed to be sportier and should benefit from advancements in battery technology. Reportedly taking design cues from the C7 Corvette Stingray and adding a fifth seat, my guess is that an even broader portion of the market will find this version of the Volt fits their needs and desires. With the tremendous satisfaction of first-generation Volt buyers, the 2016 Chevy Volt (Volt 2.0, as many are calling it) could see great sales. I hope so!

Volvo XC90 T8


The Volvo XC90 T8 is yet another plug-in hybrid electric SUV expected to hit the market in 2015. (Are you noticing a trend?) As we reported previously, “Volvo claims that the new T8 ‘Twin Engine’ setup is good for 25 miles of pure electric driving, and delivers a total output of 400 HP with more than 470 lb-ft of torque while producing just 60 g/km of C02,” and Volvo claims that the 2015 Volvo XC90 T8 will offer the best performance and fuel economy in its class.

Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Plug-in, Mercedes-Benz E-Class Plug-in, & Mercedes-Benz C-Class Plug-in


It’s expected that a plug-in hybrid version of the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV (formerly called the Mercedes-Benz M-Class or ML-Class) will hit European and US showrooms in 2015. Not much is known about the vehicle so far, but it has been spied lapping the Nurburgring.

Word on the street is that Mercedes will also be releasing an E-Class plug-in hybrid and a C-Class plug-in hybrid. The E-Class plug-in was recently spied in snowy weather, and the C-Class plug-in was spotted earlier this year in Germany. Clearly, not a lot is known about these vehicles yet, but keep an eye on our Mercedes category for all of the latest Mercedes plug-in car news (we’re going to be obsessive this coming year).

Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in


The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in has been on the market in Japan (its birthplace) and Europe for a couple of years now. However, it should finally (after a couple of delays) come to the US in the second half of 2015. Furthermore, it is supposed to come with some notable changes, so it won’t really be the same vehicle as is found (and very, very popular) in Europe and Japan. If the price is right, this electric SUV/crossover could certainly steal buyers away from the Model X, BMW X5 eDrive, and plenty of other electric vehicles.

BYD Tang

BYD Tang

*OK, I lied: this one is just going to be available in China, but it’s such an attractive and promising plug-in that I thought it had to be mentioned. BYD was an unchallenged leader in the plug-in car market when it brought the e6 to town. After unveiling the BYD Qin plug-in hybrid about a year ago, that vehicle has really taken Chinese EV sales to another level. The Tang looks even more attractive and I think will help to mainstream electric vehicles in China. It is another plug-in hybrid, and accelerates to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. BYD is hoping to sell thousands of Tangs a month, a feat few electric vehicles have reached.

As a fun side note: The Qin beat 19 other cars in a race when it was launched, including the Porsche 911 and Golf GTI. The Tang will be launched in a similar fashion, and BYD writes: “If any challenger of any standard-stock luxury class Car beats Tang, BYD will provide a reward of 10,000 RMB per challenger.”

Volvo S60 Plug-In


A diesel-electric plug-in hybrid version of the Volvo S60 has been on the market in Europe for awhile, but the US and China don’t really do diesel, so it has been off limits in the world’s biggest auto markets. Volvo is reportedly working on a gasoline-electric plug-in version of the S60, which is aimed at China but could very well end up in the US… we hope!

BMW 3 Series Plug-in

BMW 3 Series plug in

As it promised, BMW is continuing the electrification of its entire lineup. It recently announced a plug-in hybrid version of the BMW 3 Series, which we are hopeful will hit the market in 2015. As covered over on Planetsave: “The drive system of the new PHEV prototype possesses an output of around 245 hp (183 kW), and maximum torque of around 400 N·m (295 lb-ft). The prototype averages about 2 liters/100 km (117.5 mpg US) with regard to fuel consumption, and about 50 g/km with regard to CO2 emissions. When in all-electric mode, the prototype can reach speeds of up to 120 km/h (74.5 mph), and possesses a range of around 35 kilometers (22 miles).” Note, however, that the range is probably based on European testing, and will likely be closer to 15 miles in the US.


Note that I just updated my full list of electric cars on the US & EU markets, and will do so throughout the year as more information is made available.


Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book

Holiday Wish Book Cover

Click to download.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

Zachary Shahan has 7136 posts and counting. See all posts by Zachary Shahan

102 thoughts on “New Electric Cars In 2015 — I’m Counting 15

  • So only Tesla X and the Rimac for new electric cars? To be honest, I don’t care for the hybrids that much.

    • You don’t enjoy traveling much. I ply the entire I-5 from Vancouver to Ensenada.

      • I do long distance travel by train here in Germany. Is it true that the railroad infastructure (including cable cars) crumbled in the US long ago and that you have to do everything by car? I seriously don’t know, but I never hear about trains in the US, just cars and going by plane.

        • I grew up in the San Francisco area, and in SF the public transportation is good, BART can get you a majority of places in the area as well. Other than there, for a majority of the rest of the country it is impossible to live somewhere and commute to work without a car. There are trains, yes, but the cost of going farther than an hour or two on one of the limited tracks quickly becomes more expensive than driving a car or flying a plane. Taking a train from the Detroit area where I live now to California is a 4.5 day journey and costs about a thousand dollars. I can fly round trip for about $500, six hours of flying each way. There’s no question that because of the huge size of the country and lack of railroad infrastructure it’s just not economical here. That being said, in metro areas it can work very well. Detroit, unfortunately, has no public transport save for some inconvenient bus routes.

          • To be honest, I thought about routes where right now you go by car. I would think that for these relatively long distance routes it is a shame that there is no alternative like high speed trains. I think it is not common to buy a car to travel through the entire US where it makes much more sense to fly, I agree.

        • “Long distance travel?” How cute.

          We have single states bigger than your entire country. Such widescale public transit systems are simply unreasonable and unaffordable. We do have busses and trains that can take you to the other side of the country… they just take 30+ hours to make the trip. That’s why air travel is cheap over here. (And it is cheap– you can buy a round-trip on many discount airlines for less than what it would cost a personal vehicle to make the trip in fuel alone… at the US’s generously low-taxed fuel prices.)

          For how much better your foreign education systems are supposed to be you all still seem to be pretty stupid when it comes to figuring out economies of scale.

          • Where do I start with this mess? Enough of the Ameri-centic Euro-bashing, King Shaun. You’ve embarrassed yourself enough. The Red State minions are already cheering you on, for sure, but please leave the rest of us sane-thinking Americans out of your rant.

            The United States used to have the finest passenger rail system in the world in the 1930s and it was beaten into the ground during WWII with overuse, when it suddenly had to be pressed into service carrying troops and materials all over the country. After the war, air travel became the new darling of government long distance mass transit funding and a comprehensive interstate highway system followed a few years later. It all worked very well through the end of the 20th century but it’s staring to look like a very misguided policy today.

            Why does it take an Amtrak train 30+ hours to cross the United States? It shouldn’t. But rail systems in this county are shared by the same lines that haul freight and the latter is given priority over passenger-carrying trains. Not only don’t we have the passenger trains that can get up to 200mph or more, we have to let our slow-to-medium speed passenger trains sit idle in switching yards for hours at a time to make way for the slower freight trains to gain uninterrupted passage. Only in America!

            The European and Asian countries who built their high speed passenger rail systems in the post-WWII years and balanced that with highways and air transit got it right. Here, we allowed the rail system to deteriorate to nothing and force air travel – which makes complete sense for traversing thousands of miles – become the defacto mode of transportation for medium distance hauling where driving wasn’t a desirable option.

            It’s complete insanity to load up a jetliner with 100 people and fly them 100 miles or so on the same route -day after day and several times a day – when it could be done so much more efficiently via high speed rail. Bean counting aside, I know of few who actually enjoy short hop passenger air travel these days. Cheap fuel and little regard for atmospheric pollution makes it possible – for now – but this will certainly change in the 21st century.

            Of course, the same ilk of politicians who were more than happy to let the rail system go to Hell 70 years ago are holding off on repairing all those crumbling highways and bridges. When we finally get the political will to get on with making those repairs and upgrades, time to install some modern high speed passenger rail infrastructure along
            with it.

          • So you have never heard of the Chinese high speed railway system? Or the Japanese? Or the pan-European one?
            Gosh, it is funny when Americans like you try to explain the world and know nothing about it.

          • Please excuse @disqus_osKrpeb1Bt:disqus, he represents a minority of the population that most of us Americans are embarrassed of.

          • The Japanese rail? You mean the one that travels in a wandering line down the middle of a single island-state that is smaller than California?

            Oh do go on.

            It’s almost as if our large cities already have systems of rail, subway, and busses.

          • Oh and one more thing: I thought it was obvious that I spoke about “long distance travel” that you would normally do by car, since this is an article talking about PHEV and EVs, not about the ones where you would fly anyway. Really amazing that I have to point that out here.

          • In order use cars, you need to build some roads in your country.

      • Sounds like someone needs to change their lifestyle and/or business model.

    • Why not? I can see why you’d not be a fan of a traditional hybrid, but a plug-in one drives fully on its batteries for short (30 miles or so) trips. For most trips in other words.

      A PHEV is the best of both worlds: a car that has the environmental and financial benefits of an EV for most trips, but deals with long trips or emergencies as well as an ICE. It’s not uncommon for Volt owners to go several months between getting a new tank of gas.

      Let’s be honest here: a pure EV – with the exception of the largest battery capacity Tesla – is not yet suited as an only/main car. You’d have to rent/borrow a car for long trips, and what if you need to get to hospital just after returning home with an empty battery?

      A PHEV, however, allows everyone to go electric. Now. Today. Not after years of improvements in battery tech. If you don’t care for that, you’re one odd bird.

      • What we’re witnessing now, however, is 30 or more PHEVs in all shapes and sizes with a very small selection of pure EVs to choose from . . . and many of the latter offered exclusively in compliance-only states, like California. And this is not because batteries “aren’t ready for prime time.” It’s because the auto manufacturers are still – for the most part – lacking in will to do the right thing.

        Yes, PHEVs have their place. But several years after those cars rack up some serious miles, they will deteriorate (needing, hoses, belts and various other ICE parts) just like their gasoline-only counterparts. But this perpetuates the current auto repair industry status quo. Sorry, Larmion, but you are drunk on PHEV Koolaid.

        • Volt owner drives 200,000 miles with NO repairs.

          • Do you mean to say that during that 200K mile run that not a single engine air filter got replaced and there were no oil changes or radiator fluid flushes? I find that hard to believe.

          • Those are wear & maintenance items. “Repair” is broken stuff like blown head gaskets, rusted – through exhaust, etc. Things which are expected to last for the life of the vehicle, but fail…

            That said, 200k miles without a major repair is an expectation with some brands. With GM that isn’t a truck, it is, unfortunately, exceptional. As a brand they have a lot of “old GM” history to overcome.

          • Oil / filter changes are NOT repairs.

          • Yes. Clarification noted. But a PHEV has an ICE associated with it . . . hundreds of moving parts enclosed within a cast iron block, supported by a bevy of lubricants and cooling fluids that have to be monitored and then replaced at some point. It also has filters for air coming in as well mufflers to address noise and catalytic converters to filter “air” (cough! cough!) coming out. But I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

            Some of these things might have to be addressed every few thousand miles and some might last tens of thousands of mile. Some will last100K miles or more. You can quibble over my semantics in regards to defining them and “regular maintenance” or “repairs.” But to deny they don’t exist or don’t happen is wishful thinking at best.

            Oh yes . . . if you “do the right thing” with a Volt and “trick” it into being an all-electric for too terribly long, it’s systems computer will eventually tell you that it’s going to burn off half a tank of gasoline, so the fuel won’t go bad from excessive shelf life (this recounted to me the other week in person by a Volt owner.) Hmmm . . .

        • I regularly get 58 EV miles on my old 2012 Volt. I hope I can push the next Gen Volt for over 80 EV miles per charge. My lease would soon be over. At least, I’ve never ran out of juice and can go camping to remote places, visit many friends and relatives beyond Tesla’s driving range, the whole I-5 route from Vancouver to Ensenada, you know, without scrounging for places to plug-it-in. And I can change route in the middle of trip in cases friends and relatives call me for some meeting, and not to worry where I can find chargers nor running out of juice. Such a very convenient life to have the best of both worlds. And yes, my daughter got hired because she did not stop to recharge during her interview and I forgot to plug it in the night before. The pure BEV’s i wouldn’t bet my life on them yet, but am excited with the new battery developments and charging stations deployment. Perhaps after 5 more years? I will purchase the next Gen Volt this time instead of lease, and after 5 years, I can go with pure BEV’s as by that time they might be affordable and have longer ranges, with quick charging stations all over, that is, if the electric companies will not fleece us out. Anyway, I will always recharge from my solar PV. In case the charging stations will charge more than the gasoline stations on a per mile basis, I still have my Volt which I will intend to keep for as long, as insurance against higher electricity when doing the usual long trips.

          • That’s great, Marion. I also obtained around 58 miles of uninterrupted electric driving during the 2 week period when I had a borrowed Volt. I know that the Volt works for a lot of people and I’m happy for them. I found it to be a pleasant car to drive, but was somewhat put off by the overly busy cockpit and lack of real useful cargo space.

            I also obtained around 70 to 80 miles per charge on both a Leaf and an i-MiEV when I had possession of those cars for similar live-in periods. All of those vehicles met my local (95% of my driving) range needs and I tend to think I’m not unique in that regard. I actually preferred the i-MiEV over the Leaf, since the example of the i-MiEV I was driving wasn’t loaded with a plethora of gadgets and the ergonomics simply suited me better. My next car will be all electric and I’m sure I’ll have one well before a decade elapses. If all goes well (barring significant economic emergencies,) I’ll have a clean used i-MiEV by the end of 2015.

            Due to my ongoing economic situation (ie: steady income with nice benefits and good retirement plan, but hardly flush from week to week,) I’ll never be able to afford a new car. So, I’m somewhat at the mercy of today’s well-heeled new car buyers to not to buy ridiculous and ostentatious junk on a whim.

            I remember reading a comment on a blog a few years ago, submitted by some particularly clueless individual who chastised the poor for buying big SUVs that got such terrible mileage. What that person failed to understand is that those were the vehicles purchased new en mass on the weeks or months when gasoline happened to be cheap – by people for who the price of gas probably didn’t matter one iota – and then traded in just as quickly a few months later for something that got marginally better mileage when the price of petroleum suddenly spiked. By extension, those at the bottom of the economic strata in the early 2000s didn’t have much else to choose from, other than big 1st generation SUVs, since used economy cars were in such high demand and garnering the best resale values when gasoline prices were at an all time high. We’ve actually seen this scenario repeat itself every few years since the first oil shortages of the 1970s.

            So, for most, the vehicles you read about today are not going to be in the hands of most until some years later. This is why I tend to be completely underwhelmed by the various cost-no-object EVs (see the completely pointless Rimac Concept_One, above) and the suddenly ballooning selection of PHEVs, since I also don’t commute 100 miles or more per day (is there some sort of law in California that requires everyone living there to work at least 60 miles from their home? I’m seriously beginning to wonder if this isn’t more that humorous speculation on my part.)

            Anyway . . . I’m glad that some with both economic resources and foresight have been purchasing or leasing real world EVs over the past several years. While I’ll be anxiously awaiting those affordable 200 mile range EVs to show up in the next couple of years, there won’t be one in my driveway for another 7 years or so beyond that.

        • Well, the traditional automakers just didn’t believe that people would buy expensive long-range EVs in large quantities. The Roadster sort of validated their view. But the Model S has proven them wrong. I think a few of them are now working on long-range EVs but it will take a few years. GM has confirmed that they are working on a ~200 mile range EV. NISSAN has said they will build a Leaf with a bigger battery. So they are coming. Eventually.

          • Yes . . . eventually. The larger point worth noting is that – excepting for Teslas, which are currently unaffordable to all but a sliver at the very top of the economic heap – there is not a single pure EV with an American badge that’s available in all 50 states. Kind of a sad commentary on things when framed that way. We can do better.

          • Really? I’ve seen the Ford Focus Electric in dealerships outside California.

          • Yeah, I forgot the Focus EV. Unfortunately (apparently,) so has Ford. Most dealer don’t have them in stock and will only special order them for a premium downpayment. One guy in our EV club was going to purchase an example in late 2012 and months of delays was followed by a sudden extra $5K upfront request at the last minute. He bailed at that point. Ford, in the meantime, would be more than happy to sell you a CMAX Energi and probably even happier to sell you an F150.

      • I still think owning one EV and one high MPG gas car is the best option environmentally, but if people think a PHEV works financially and with their lifestyle better than EV, I’m all for the gas savings. Unfortunately, it looks like most of these new PHEVs go 20 or fewer miles on electric. If the average trip is 30 miles, there’s going to be a lot of unnecessary gas burned in these cars, which is sad.

        • With the current EV/PHEV landscape, having one EV and one PHEV is about as good as it gets today (unless you can afford a Tesla or two. We have an EV and a Prius which is almost as good…and good to the point where it’s not worth trading in the Prius for an EV just yet. When EVs hit 150 or 200 miles of real world driving range, I’ll be on board and kick the prius to the curb 🙂

        • It’s true. There seems to be an undeclared race by manufacturers to build PHEVs with smaller and smaller battery packs. “How few cells can we put in there and still market it as an electric?” seems to be the most compelling question coming from those quarters.

          As long as the vehicle is going to equipped with batteries of some sort to supplement the gasoline system, it only makes sense to install enough cells to make the electric traction component useful in the most common of driving situations.
          Sadly, though, this doesn’t seem to be where we’re being directed by the OEMs.

      • I said I don’t care THAT MUCH. I prefer pure electric cars because even today they are sufficient for commuting and I travel long distance by train (don’t know about the USA, but you can do that here in Germany). But of course PHEV are better than pure ICEs. I never said otherwise, don’t twist words in my mouth.

      • Well for the purposes of correctly naming of this article and not click-baiting this list should be called ’13 new Plug-in hybrids and two Electric Vehicles’

        If I wanted to read about plug-in hybrids I’ll click that article.

        • I consider PHEVs as a subset of EVs. I understand that some people prefer keeping them completely separate, but I don’t for several reasons, and plenty of people are also in my camp.

          • Well the problem is EV can stand for the motive power or the power source. Usually BEV is used to differentiate between PHEV. So in that context yes this list is an EV motive powered list. My fault for thinking it was an EV power source list.

    • Yeah, from this list, I have to conclude that 2015 will be “The Year Of The Gasoline Plug- In With Smallish Sized Battery Car.” Wake me up in 2016
      or ’17, when we’ll (hopefully) finally get a selection of pure EVs.

    • Yea only two EVs on this list. Don’t get me wrong my wife had the Volt, though after getting the taste of an EV, plus my LEAF. My wife was sold on EVs, we both have Soul EVs now, waiting for two Tesla IIIs.

      • Yes, but notice that the Volt was a stepping stone. This is important for many people, including many who are probably much more mainstream and less informed than the two of you.

        I don’t think the bridge will be needed for long, but probably for the next few years. And people who buy these will still primarily drive on electricity.

        • Again if the purpose of the article was for bridges, then good list. Those of us, and they are many, would like to see more BEVs.

          • Oh, believe me, I’m in that boat! I’m about as vocal as it gets against the idea that the majority of people need more range than a LEAF. I personally don’t even own a car since my daily transportation needs are under a mile, and I almost *never* would have any use for a car. So the idea that people even need 50 miles of range sounds foreign to me. But I do think the PHEVs are important for easing people into pure EVs… for the next few years at least. Not long.

          • Oh of course PHEVs are important stepping stones, not arguing that. In fact all vehicles the next 5 years should be series hybrid (gas, diesel, cng, ethanol), PHEV or BEV. Then by 2020, all hybrids should be plugin. In time the PHEVs will give way to BEV. Of course this should be coupled with Cap and Trade emissions, all around. Making the field level.

            Don’t get me started on FCEVs.

    • Anyone living in a big city should care about plug ins immensely. Most commute is short range, so the benefits for the air are great with plug ins.

      • My wife used her volt almost exclusively under battery power for commute. For those longer trips of course it’s practical to have the gasoline generator. Though at what point is toting around a gas generator under battery power at all efficient? Now that we are a two EV garage our long trips will be for rented vehicles, it’s the sharing economy isn’t it?

        • Thats 100% percent what I have recommended probably dozens of times in the past few months. Either renting a car for those very occasional trips, or swapping with a friend or family member. I like the latter even more since it exposes more people to the benefits of an EV.

          • A very neat idea. I will likely still wait until BEVs have more range to replace the prius but it’s a great option just the same. Might be fun to do for a weekend just for fun (for them)

  • Only PHEVs? No real EVs? Quite disappointing. These may actually never be plugged in their entire lifetime.

    • Then they’d still be more efficient than a traditional ICE, especially in urban traffic.

      But do you have a reason to assume many PHEV’s are never plugged in? One would assume that the owner would at least let the car charge overnight.

      A PHEV is more expensive than a non-PHEV version of the same vehicle. Why would someone pay that surplus if he didn’t intend to use the electric motor at least some of the time?

      • With incentives from the state and good intentions from the comsumer I hope you’re right.
        I believe I read somewhere that in Netherland most PHEVs are almost never plugged in. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
        The reason for not plugging in: The buyer of the PHEV don’t want the hassle. Without incentives from the state, the car is expensive, so the buyer probably don’t care to save 1000 $ a year on gas.

        For many drivers, the PHEVs are said to not be even close to the factory given consumption numbers.

        The fossile engine turns itself on when you want to drive all electric etc. Hopefully I’m wrong about my pessimistic thoughts. It’s just so strange these car producers are not able to make more all electric cars now, like a nissan leaf with a 40kWh battery. That would sell a lot, and free us from the fossile destruction we are undergoing, much faster than this slow-down the PHEVs are.

        • My first response to this is #4 here:

          As far as factory numbers, yeah, the European testing for mileage is horrible. That’s well known for all types of vehicles, but should really be addressed.

          As far as the gas engine turning on in electric mode, that doesn’t happen with some models (like the Volt) but does with others (like the Toyota Prisu Plug-in). Somewhere in this thread, @kylefield:disqus mentioned that and suggested creating a table of the different types of drivetrains. It’s on my list now. 😀

  • I think this is great news. Ok, so almost no pure EVs. You guys are disappointed. I get that but, 2 years ago this was unthinkable. Could not be done. I don’t know, but, now I really think that maybe 2016 or 2017 will be a great year

    • We just need people to start buying these vehicles. We’re a long way from the tipping point where consumers won’t question a plug-in purchase.

    • I agree. It’s very good news. Getting people out of ICEVs and into PHEVs cuts oil use by about 85%. That’s an immense step forward.

      PHEVs are most likely placeholders and training wheels. People can drive a PHEV right now and go any where they could with an ICEV. They will learn the advantages of driving with electricity. When we get better battery prices they will be ready to cut their ties with the gas pump.

      • Agreed
        Prius got people used to using a battery When it is warm and car had warmed up and it was downhill or flat terrain the engine cuts out and you are driving electric! The next step was the
        Volt and other PHEV get people used to the plug each night, not being intimidated by new technology and seeing how cheap electrons are.
        The ultimate step is the 200-250 mile $25-35,000 pure EV with ample fast chargers.

  • Supercommuter here, still waiting for ~200EV miles < $40k. Could stretch some for one with a well-developed fast-charge network. Hopefully my Prius will make it to 2016… 216000 miles & counting…

  • 2015 will be another great year. It’s the Year of “Plug-in Hybrid SUV”. Enjoy the show.

    • I’m all for PHEVs as long as they are Electric drive, generator for the range extension. When the drivetrain is “both” like the prius, I call those pure hybrids…even if they have a larger battery capacity and can drive a few miles (I believe the PiP is 11 miles).

      • Indeed, it’s not only a pathetic 11 miles of electric range with a 4.4 kWh battery, but only a 60 kW traction motor — which is limited by the battery size. The gasoline engine kicks in every time you accelerate onto a highway, or take a hill. Alternately, if you try to restrict yourself to electric power, acceleration is anemic, and hill performance is awful.

        In contrast, the Ford plug-ins are much more capable, with nearly 50% more power (88 kW), and about twice the range (7.6 kWh). The Volt extends the range much further (16 kWh), and with higher power (111 kW). Prices are about the same, with the C-Max retailing for lower, and Volt’s available well below retail. That said, the Volt’s cabin is not much: short length, low height, and 4 passengers (Fords & Prius seat 5).

        After test driving all four vehicles, I can’t say I can understand why anyone would buy a Prius Plug-In. It’s performance is just so inferior to the others, at about the same price — or more.

        • Thanks for the great summary of the comparable mainstream cars out there. I agree with you fully that the other two are better values – especially the volt which is much more capable and a true electric car…with a gas range extender. 🙂

        • I honestly think the only reason people buy it is because they came in to buy a conventional Prius and got upsold or because they had a conventional Prius and felt comfortable sticking with that line. Or they simply don’t look at the details of the vehicles. Otherwise, I agree the Ford Energi models and Volt look like much better buys.

          We have seen sales of the PiP fall off in the past several months. So maybe people have caught on to its limitations, or have discovered there are other models on the market.

    • A year later, and I obviously missed something….

  • It’s a shame the Model X is two years late because now there will be some real competition. And those doors seem like a gimmick that Tesla may already regret.
    Ford has PHEVs that don’t really sell that well. And what’s going on with Toyota and the Prius? Are they sick with hydrogen?
    Consumers are an irrational bunch and price and convenience matter most. When a plug-in costs about the same as a fossil car with a similar range, average people will then take notice.
    If everyone drove a Volt, people would cut gas burning by 85%! Let the PHEV be.

    • Toyota, Ford and Honda, will still continue with their half-hearted foray into the EV sector. They will all have smallish batteries with the moronic logic that it recharges faster. Yeah, they’d like us to stop and recharge every 10 miles or so, then we will have more EV miles driven.

  • Even though it’s not in Audi’s best interest to push pure BEVs, their e-Tron powertrain is legit. Underneath it’s very similar to that of Tesla Motors. They *could* make a good line of pure BEVs off that power train even though they probably won’t.

  • It would be nice to have a table with the primary drivetrain (ie – volt is electric with gas backup, prius is gas with parallel electric drivetrain, etc) but I know this would likely be a pain to compile. It would also be nice to see all electric range as this is a big factor. Finally, all I think when I see the HUGE nose on the XC90 is Tedd Kidds comment about how fugly it is lol. It really does look a bit ridiculous with that monster hood but hey, who am I to criticize a successful car company…

      • I have an existing list of EVs including the volt and will take a cut at updating it with the additional metrics (EV only range, primary drivetrain) and the upcoming 2015 vehicles. I’ll get it up my Google Drive and share it with you (if I haven’t already) 🙂

  • Yeah, more than half of those won’t end up shipping in 2015. We’ll be lucky if we get 1/3 of those. :-/

  • The Rimac goes zero to 60 in 2.8 seconds?!?! The earth’s gravitational pull is only hair faster than that. It looks like the first casualties of the ev revolution may be the ultra expensive sports car manufacturers.
    A couple months ago when Tesla announced the coming of the P85D, and said it could do 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds, I remember thinking that they could probably make a new 4wd roadster that could beat gravity. They could make a hundred cars a year, and put them up for a second price auction (sometimes called a dutch auction), or just sell them for a million bucks each.
    I had know I idea that someone would actually beat Tesla to the punch.
    Note to Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, etc.: Ask not for whom the bell tolls.

    • Unless you’re on a quarter mile drags strip, there isn’t a responsible human on the planet who needs to accelerate that fast on streets shared by other cars obeying posted speed limits, bicyclist and those on foot. The Rimac is just as pointless as all the overkill ICE GTs. Because it is powered by batteries it’s declared “green” when compared to, say, a Lamborghini. But that’s like saying Ebola is a “harmless” disease in regards to numbers killed when compared to the bubonic plague of the middle ages.

      Yank the battery pack out of the Rimac, divide it up and use it to power 10 or more sanely proportioned EVs that can actually carry a useful load. Now we’re actually accomplishing something of value.

      • Even an absurd EV like the Rimac serves a useful purpose. EVs have long labored under a stigma of being pathetically slow and humiliatingly weak, self-imposed pain sought out only by zealots. Like it or not, automakers and dealers have long known that emotions including pride play a major role in enabling or deterring auto sales. A halo car like the Rimac helps dispel anti-EV notions and thus plays a role in opening minds to EVs among more mainstream buyers.

        • This is the argument I keep hearing: make an EV that’s got more grunt that the fastest gasoline car and you’ll suddenly garner respect from the Lamborghini/Ferrari cognoscenti. It’s been done or at least attempted (ie: Tesla Roadster.) For people who have been actually paying attention, it’s an argument that already been settled. Let’s move on.

          You’ll also find that supercar geeks – beyond being far too obsessed with speed and acceleration statistics – are probably even more impressed by the visceral noise of a
          V-12 with Weber carbs and the smell of oil that an EV can’t recreate. You’ll snag a few of these highly impressionable gearheads with something like the Rimac Concept_One, but who cares? It’s a pathetically small and esoteric audience to begin with.

          Most of this crowd doesn’t even own one of these supercars and probably never will. They just read about them in magazines, like I did when I was a teenager.
          Why make 88 Concept_Ones? The desired effect can be obtained by making just 8 or so. Maybe one is enough.
          The internet will take care of the rest.

          The other edge of this price-no-object performance-no-limit EV sword is that a rather large semi-ignorant cross section of the general population who never had a subscription to Road & Track funded by their paper route – the ones who actually go out and buy cars by the millions – thinks that all EVs are extremely expensive and will never be within reach of their pocketbook. Rimac’s outsized and outpriced offering only reinforces that unenviable and long-standing harmful stereotype.

          • There will always be people that buy supercars. If they buy an electric one instead of an ICE one that´s better, don´t you agree?

          • No, sorry, I don’t. It’s such a small percentage of car buyers that it almost doesn’t matter. It’s also not even all that environmentally responsible. The amount of electricity needed to charge those massive batteries are probably not going to come from home rooftop PV panels. Even an outsized mansion’s worth of roof acreage is probably not enough. Then, the electrons get burned off with wild abandon with the car peeling away from the stoplight at
            2-point-something seconds to get to 60MPH? It’s all greenwashing.

            EV supercars like this are simply an insecure reaction designed to appease those who still believe that all mainstream EVs are nothing more than golf carts. This is such a 2006 argument.

            One could legitimately complain that Tesla is doing pretty much the same with their luxury EVs, but even the most overkill example of a P85 is one tenth the cost of the Concept_One and can actually carry multiple passengers. So, they come off as frugal and eminently practical by comparison.

            Let’s get on with building sufficient quantities of decent real world performing EVs for the masses (Nissan being the one who gets the award currently) and get beyond this machismo silliness on a car that is supposed to squash all challengers on public streets. If people want to experience the ultimate grunt of what an electric motor with batteries can do, there is always NEDRA and Formula E professional racing events to attend or to participate within.

          • There will ALWAYS be supercars, because quite a few people want them. If there have to be supercars (which they do, because as long as someone wants it, someone will produce it) it´s certainly better to have an EV supercar than an ICE supercar.
            Just accept it, they will always exist, no matter if you like them or not.
            Humanity is able to develop different cars at the same time, you know? Rimac and Nissan have quite a different customer base. They don´t really interfere with each other.
            Those supercars are also a nice platform to test cutting edge techology that is still to expensive for mass production (similar to racing e.g. Formula 1). Does carbon fiber ring a bell for you?

            And I´d like your calculations on that mansion roof full of solar panels not being enough for such a car. I call bullshit on that, too.

            P.S.: I hope I made that more clear, I would write more, but my left hand is busted right now and typing one-handed is quite tiresome.

          • “There will ALWAYS be supercars, because quite a few
            people want them.”

            Really? Please quantify “quite a few.” As to how many people want them and how many of those sorts of cars actually get made/sold is probably two separate things. I’ll leave it to you to compile manufacturing and sales statistics for any given recent year on cars in the $200K and above price range and then lets compare that to all cars made/sold worldwide over the same time period.


            “Those supercars are also a nice platform to test cutting edge techology that is still to expensive for mass production (similar to racing e.g. Formula 1)”

            I’ve already stated that I have no problem with Formula E (that’s a pure electric Formula 1 type car . . . yes, they’re already here) and NEDRA (National Electric Drag Racing Association) style R&D in their own controlled environments. But it’s pure silliness to have cars like that on public streets.


            “Does carbon fiber ring a bell for you?”

            Yes, it does. Although you probably won’t be terribly impressed with my model airplane pursuits of a decade ago, I was crafting homemade composites from sheets of carbon fiber tow and balsa (pressed between waxpaper-lined glass plates with cyanoacrylate binders to make some very strong, flat and lightweight panels) – as well as using off-the shelf extruded pieces – for some high performance flying miniatures. I’ve – quite literally – gotten my fingernails dirty with this stuff . . . becoming very familiar with both it’s assets and limitations.

            Getting the carbon fiber discussion back to EVs, I note that BMW makes extensive use of it on the i3 . . . and that’s a car that can be purchased for around $45K. The purchase price of a single Concept_One will get you about 22 i3s.

            You don’t need a million dollar car to test carbon fiber components. You can get a decent quality carbon fiber front fork for a bicycle for around $250 these days.


            “And I´d like your calculations on that mansion roof full of solar panels not being enough for such a car. I call bullshit on that, too.”

            Rather than “call bullshit” on me for that, let’s get the figures and crunch our own non-bulslhit numbers. What is the kWh stats on the Concept_One and what sort of amperage does the car’s charging circuitry draw? I honestly don’t know, but one can bet the battery is easily in the 100kWh range or larger.

            Then, once we find out that, let’s compare this to the sort of grid tied PV installation you would find on a typical American dwelling (5kW of panels on top of a 2000 sq.ft. home is probably a good place to start.) I welcome input from anyone with all the numbers in front of them to do the calculations for us.

          • I agree that it would be better if all those billionaires would drive a leaf, but that will never happen. They will always demand cars like that. So if you are buying a supercar anyways, it´s certainly better to choose the Rimac than a Bugatti.

          • “This is the argument I keep hearing… you’ll suddenly garner respect from the Lamborghini/Ferrari cognoscenti.”

            I don’t think people are saying that the halo effect is there to impress supercar fans. On the contrary, it does a lot to dispel EV myths for average carbuyers. The Model S, though out of reach of 95% of people, made significant headway in this regard in the mind of the general public.

            “For people who have been actually paying attention, it’s an argument that already been settled. Let’s move on.”

            That, unfortunately, touches on why we can’t move on just yet. Many people have only barely been paying attention, don’t visit sites like Clean Technica, and most of their exposure comes from anti-EV headlines and biased cable news. We have only just begun dispelling the “golf car” myth.

            “The other edge of this… is that a rather large semi-ignorant cross section of the general population… thinks that all EVs are extremely expensive and will never be within reach of their pocketbook.”

            I think that is a legitimate downside, but it is worth it if it dispels the golf car myth. Convincing people of performance is more difficult because there are several variables, however convincing people of price is much easier: just show them the price tag.

          • I’ll agree that there will be no convincing the viability of mainstream EVs to the Fox News crowd. But I do spend a great deal of talking with more open minded and pragmatic people who have kept up enough to point out that Teslas (the currently iterations, at least) are beyond their economic

            These same people are also generally unaware that other manufacturers are already making – or capable of making, but currently not really trying very hard to make – EVs that they could probably afford. For these folks (and I tend to think they’re a majority demographic,) the concern isn’t so much the old “it’s just a slow golf cart” argument, It might have been in 2006. No, it’s 2015. It’s tnow he limited range issue. Which brings us back to the whole BEV vs. PHEV argument.

            I’m sure the folks at Rimac are smart and resourceful.
            I would be simply far more impressed with them
            if they put their vast resources into developing batteries and a matching car that would stretch range and not simply go faster than any person should in a car that is supposed to be street legal.

          • “I’ll agree that there will be no convincing the viability of mainstream EVs to the Fox News crowd.”

            Just like any demographic, they exist along a spectrum and some can be convinced while others can’t.

            Regarding the open minded, as you say…

            “…the concern isn’t so much the old ‘it’s just a slow golf cart’ argument, It might have been in 2006. No, it’s 2015. It’s tnow he limited range issue. Which brings us back to the whole BEV vs. PHEV argument.”

            And a niche car like the Rimac doesn’t affect that one way or the other. You may personally be more impressed if they waded into the already crowded list of automakers developing products for the low end, but it would be a far riskier venture from their perspective. Heck, as much as I love Tesla, I can still see that their future continues to rest on a knife’s edge.

          • If Rimac suddenly came on the scene to produce Leaf-like cars, I could certainly see how immensely risky that would be for them. They’re an unknown from Croatia who wants to make cutting edge stuff and, most assuredly, break a stereotype that cutting edge stuff doesn’t typically come out of very small eastern European countries. I get all of that. In that respect, I wish them well.

            Million dollar electric cars with aircraft-like acceleration stats that are being marketed as a “street” vehicles? I don’t think I’ll ever get that, no matter who is making them. Marginally “better” than similar offerings powered by gasoline, perhaps, but hardly a maven for those who truly want to be green and show off their extreme wealth all at once.

            If it was price no object for me, I’d go with Volkswagen’s XL1, which isn’t even a pure electric, of course . . .


            In my “billionaire dreams,” I’d have one of these cars paired with a small at-home biodiesel distillery, utilizing locally-sourced reclaimed vegetable oil exclusively for the diesel. Or, perhaps, some sort of on-site experimental algae biodiesel plant (who cares if I void VW’s “petro-diesel-only” warranty, if I had that sort of wealth?) and plenty of grid-tied solar on the roof for the batteries.

          • “In my ‘billionaire dreams,’ I’d have one of these cars paired with a small at-home biodiesel distillery, utilizing locally-sourced…”

            I think it is safe to say that you would be a rare breed of billionaire. =)

          • Well, that’s the point! Why would I want to be a “boring” billionaire? 🙂

  • BYD: The Poor Man’s Tesla. I hope they bring them stateside soon; they offer excellent performance for price at the cost of not being able to commit to pure EV-modes.

    • I think BYD attempted to establish themselves here in in 2012 or early 2013.
      The examples that arrived didn’t come up to the high expectations of the (spoiled?) professional auto journalism elite and it was generally banished at that point. For those of us who would have loved the electric equivalent of a Crown Victoria or Malibu, though, it would have been a Godsend. Maybe they’ll try again in another year or two.

      • They were announcing their intent to enter the US market in 2010, but the problem at the time was that their cars were terrible. They hit the fleet and bus market instead, and the rest is history. Their current declaration is that they want to hit the US market in late 2015, but they were supposed to hit the European market in early 2015, so I suspect they’ll be late by 6 months at the minimum. Hopefully the BYD Qin and Tang are up to snuff this time; both are designed to compete with entry-level Model S and Model X at a minuscule fraction of the price.

      • Their first cars were “crude” by western standards. The bodywork wasn’t that good.

        Since then BYD has been partnered up with Daimler. Daimler concentrating on building higher quality bodies.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if BYD is not that interested in the US market. There’s likely to be an enormous Chinese market that will purchase every car they can produce for a number of years.

        • Nope, it’s been tried, Qin sales in China proper have stalled at 1700 units per month; if sales continue at this rate they’ll hit 20,000 units moved per year next year, but they hit only 2/3rds of their planned sales this year.

          BYD’s PHEVs are not really viable in China, because price-point wise they’re sort of like Tesla’s cars in the United States; consider that their average income is 1/7th of ours, although the average price of a Chinese passenger car is closer to $17,000. Moving to the US market, BYD’s cars are a lot more affordable; the Qin will likely be around $28,000 after subsidies and import taxes, and the Tang will likely be around $40,000, although I do hold out hope that it will be closer to $35,000 if the Tang’s price more closely approximates that of the S7, which was launched at a lower price than originally estimated.

          Also, FYI, the BYD e6 was completely undrivable as a private car, which is why they had to sell it to fleet customers. Virtually no car on the market today has a 0-60 of 14 seconds; while it’s electric, the acceleration is still bus-like and terrible.

          • Hmm, good context and unfortunate to hear. But we have written a lot about China’s difficulties getting its residents to buy EVs & PHEVs. Even more incentives coming now.

            But that makes me very slightly hopeful that BYD will bring these vehicles to the US. Would be great to have more models on the market from a company that is actually behind the technology.

    • I think the e6 is a mediocre offering that is overpriced, but good on BYD to try to lead the way in that segment. The Qin & Tang are hot cars that consumers love, so it would be cool to see BYD bring them over here. I think they could do well… if priced right, of course.

  • I have a BEV but appreciate plug in hybrids for two reasons. First, it may get some owners to realize that they like EVs and that their daily trips may be satisfied on electricity alone. Second, if manufacturers can install both an ICE drive train and an electric drive train, then the volumes required to come to break even for a BEV may not be as large as some think, nor should be compared, with the volumes of ICE cars built as an apples to apples comparison of break even.

  • There are a lot of comments to reply to here, so I’ll just put a few responses in a new thread:

    1) Yes, PHEVs are not as ideal as pure EVs for most of us, but they are an important stepping stone at this point for many people not on the cutting-edge of tech and for whom a Nissan LEAF/Mitsubishi i doesn’t cut it.

    2) What we need right now are EVs/PHEVs that pull people in. SUVs/CUVs, while note the most ecological choices, do that. I think the net effect is going to be better than if every manufacturer aimed to compete with the LEAF or i3.

    3) 20 miles of electric range isn’t ideal, but it does the trick for the vast majority of driving. Even getting people in these SUV PHEVs will be a big step forward. (And, again, act as an important stepping stone.)

    4) There’s no logical reason why someone with a PHEV and a plug at home wouldn’t charge the vehicle. It’s a ton more convenient than going to the gas station, and also a ton cheaper. I’m assuming that NL reference to people not charging them is an urban myth.

  • Rimac should be revealing the production model of the “concept One” within the next several weeks. From my research, it should be the fastest 0-60 car in the world in less than 2.5 seconds.

    They are currently expanding their production capacity and hiring new empployees and they plan to introduce more affordable models soon.

    Mate Rimac said that they plan to manufacture 1,000 cars a year by 2020 and that he envisions the company to eventually be the size of Ferrari.

    Rimac Automobili is working on prototypes for other companies and licensing their technologies too. This company is destined to be come a multi-billion dollar enterprise within the next 5 years.

  • I think it’s hilarious that a list of 15 upcoming “electric cars” only includes two actual, honest-to-goodness electric cars, not hybrids! Tesla will become unstoppable if some other car companies don’t come up with some actually competing products at some point in time.

    • I do get the humor myself. That said, I’ll just restate what I’ve written elsewhere: “electric cars” include “plug-in hybrid electric cars.” plug-in hybrids are simply a subset. I am planning to write an article about this…

      • In that article, I’d be curious about what your take is on the “EREV” vs “PHEV” nomenclature debate. It kills me that some people want to put the Plugin Prius in the same category as the i3 Rex. In my opinion, if it covers the daily driving of most drivers, it is an EREV.

  • I can’t wait for the 2016 Chevy Volt reveal next Monday! If all the speculation is true, the improvements could be enough to make it a much higher volume vehicle. Once more sample EVs, well….once you go elec, you never go back!

Comments are closed.