We’ve been covering what I consider to be a lot of exciting electric cars that are about to hit the market or that just hit the market. As a result, it crossed my mind to highlight in listicle format what I think are the 8 best new electric cars in 2020.
Naturally, some of these 8 are more compelling — and will see a lot more sales — than others on the list. However, I will not explore in depth how each of them compares to the others here and am not ranking them (I’m putting them in alphabetical order). I think there’s a lot of room to choose one or the other based on personal preferences and tastes.
There’s much more info on each of these electric vehicles is in our archives, so I will link to the CleanTechnica archives of each one in the subheading/name. I’m also linking to the companies’ product pages for the models in the summary text about the EVs.
I’ve liked some BYD cars. I’ve loved its heavy-duty EV push across the globe. But I never looked at a BYD vehicle and started drooling … until the Han. This vehicle is stunning. Hawt. Cool. Worthy of being in a “best looking car” competition. (Though, I can’t say I like the red seats. Hopefully there’s a more sensible option.)
Even cooler, it doesn’t cost a million dollars, or even $50,000. To the contrary, “the long range Han EV will be available starting at 229,800 RMB ($32,800). For those looking for a more posh experience, the long range premium Han EV will set buyers back 255,800 RMB ($36,500). And for those who need to get around even faster, a 4 wheel drive performance build of the Han EV will sell for 279,500 RMB ($40,000).” Take my money now! (Not really. I’m happy with my own electric car. But if someone asked me to give them a list of top electric vehicles to consider, I’dd include this one. Oh, wait …)
How much range does the Han EV offer? The long range version includes a range of 376 miles (605 kilometers) per charge, according to the overly optimistic NEDC. That’s plenty. Want the sporty all-wheel-drive performance trim? It goes from 0–100 km/h (0-62 mph) time of 3.9 seconds. Lovely.
But really, I don’t want to drive it. I just want to look at it all day.
(The Han EV is only available in China for now, but it’s making its way to Europe as well — starting in Norway — and maybe one day will cross an ocean and get to the United States.)
An electric vehicle that I think anyone about to join the EV market (or replace and EV) should test drive — once it’s available for that — is the Ford Mustang Mach-E. It appears that it has copied (erm, created its own version of) what Tesla showed customers love, while also paying attention to the feedback/concerns of many customers.
Due to there being several compelling trims, there’s a lot of choice but it’s also hard to summarize the Mustang Mach-E’s specs in a short segment. I recommend this deep dive I did into it’s various specs, features, and trims. I also recommend comparing the cost of ownership of the Mach-E and the Ford Escape.
Ford didn’t go out on a limb for no reason and put the Mustang name behind a crossover, a very risky step. It knew the Mach-E would be one of its best products in history, and it knew the vehicle deserved the Mustang name. Generally speaking, the range is plenty adequate, the acceleration will be fun, the tech looks great at a glance (but we’ll have to see what it’s like in the production vehicle), comfort looks superb, and the price is competitive enough (particularly with the $7,500 federal tax credit).
Also, it’s beautiful, perhaps the best looking crossover on the market.
(The Ford Mustang Mach-E is only available in the US for now, but it should be sold overseas as well as production ramps up.)
NIO is happy to put its own contender up for best looking crossover on the market. (Plus, they’re available on different markets.) The EC6 is NIO’s third model (well, third real production model) and it brings the NIO brand to more potential upper-middle-class consumers via a coupe design.
The production line was just prepped for the EC6 last month. Its older and slightly larger sibling, the ES6, was the 7th best selling plugin vehicle in China and the 19th best selling plugin vehicle in the world in the first half of 2020. The EC6 offers a similar performance, similar tech, and similar appeal but in a somewhat compact coupe crossover package. It’s still not cheap a cheap vehicle, but it offers a lot of range for the money. “The starting price before subsidies will be RMB 368,000 ($53,000). The electric coupe SUV has an NEDC-rated range of 615 kilometers (382 miles).”
(For now, the EC6 is just available in China, but expect it to make it to the European market — I think before long — and hopefully the US market in time.)
The who? Škoda itself is probably a name most Americans don’t know, but it’s a popular, major automaker in Europe. The Czech brand is part of the giant Volkswagen Group auto party, and the Enyaq iV is being built on top of Volkswagen’s MEB platform for fully electric vehicles.
The Enyaq’s full reveal event is on September 1st, so we’ll have more details on the model in about a week. For now, though, we know it will come in three battery sizes — 55 kWh, 62 kWh, and 82 kWh — any of which will offer ample driving range on a full charge. We also know that it will have the option of an 11 kW onboard charger (quite powerful for AC charging) and will also be able to pull in an 80% recharge in 40 minutes via a 125 kW Level 3 charger. You will be able to choose a rear-wheel-drive version or an all-wheel-drive version.
From what I can tell from the pictures above and below of a camouflaged Enyaq iV, it is quite large, so I assume it could be a popular family mover at a relatively affordable price. (It’s a Škoda, not a Porsche.) As I wrote in my recent rundown of the model, which included more “spy pics” and concept drawings, lighting is a big deal for Škoda with this model. Check out more there.
(Being a Škoda, this is a European model. Sorry, Americans.)
Heard of this one? Yes, the Model Y made the list. As a Tesla Model 3 owner who absolutely loves his car, I don’t think there’s a better crossover on the market today than the Model Y, and if I was on the market for a vehicle right now, I’d almost definitely choose the Model Y over the Model 3. It offers a lot more space, an easier ingress/egress, a better sound system, and all the goodness you get in a Model 3.
There are definitely reasons people may prefer one of the other vehicles on this list (proximity to a dealer, personal taste regarding the interior or exterior, brand preference, or price, for example), but clear benefits the Model Y offers include: Autopilot, Tesla’s unique infotainment system, Supercharging, frequent and substantive over-the-air updates, and acceleration.
The Model Y will very likely gain the title of best selling electric vehicle in the world as production capacity ramps up, taking it from the currently dominant Model 3.
(Currently available in USA & Canada, soon in China and Europe.)
The Volkswagen ID.3 will be one of the 5 best selling electric vehicles in the world. It will most likely replace the Golf completely in time. It offers a super compelling package of good range, good tech, good size, good charging, and appealing design for a good price.
Compare its total cost of ownership to that of a Volkswagen Golf, Renault Megane, or Škoda Octavia and it should make those fossil fuel models toast. It offers better everything, pretty much, for lower cost.
There are many happy Golf owners today who will look to join the EV revolution in coming years, and they should definitely look into the ID.3. I think they’ll love it instantly.
(Unfortunately, this vehicle will not be available in the United States. It’s “too small” for Americans, apparently.)
The Volkswagen ID.4, to be revealed in coming weeks and produced toward the end of the year in Europe, is the crossover/SUV version of the ID.3. It’s going to be a big hit. Like the ID.3, it offers a compelling mixture of high quality, high tech, and somewhat affordable price.
I just covered the ID.4’s start of production 4 days ago. We’ll get more details soon, but, in my opinion, the ID.4 should have everything needed to make it one of the 5 best selling electric vehicles in the world. Hold onto your hats and call your local Volkswagen dealer now if you might want one of these.
(The ID.4 will be produced in Europe to start, and in the United States next year.)
The Xpeng P7 looks like it costs about twice as much as it does. It also has much more, and more advanced, tech than you’d expect for a new model that starts at 229,900 RMB (~$33,221) after subsidies. Seriously, just scroll through that link above and tell me the car doesn’t look like it costs way more than $33,000. Of course, the higher-range and higher-performance trims costs a bit more, but they’re still in the price range of a middle/upper-middle-class household.
The longest-range option is actually the longest-range electric vehicle on the Chinese market, offering 706 km (441 miles) of range based on the optimistic NEDC rating system thanks to a 81 kWh battery. It offer level 3 autonomous driving tech, an infotainment system comparable to a Tesla’s, and plenty of performance.
As you may have noticed, Xpeng has been the company that has been most intriguing to me lately, and I just wrote up long pieces on the Chinese startup as a result. I recommend checking them out if you are P7 curious:
- Who Is Xpeng?
- Xpeng Files For IPO On NYSE — Looking Through Xpeng’s History
- Xpeng IPO Update — Aims To Raise $1.1 Billion
- Xpeng Pros & Cons
(The Xpeng P7 is on sale in China and just hitting the Norwegian market as well. I expect it to spread in availability across Europe in the coming year and perhaps the US in a couple of years, but we’ll see.)
That’s my list of the 8 best new electric cars and crossovers hitting the market in 2020. I’m sure some of you will have others that you think should have been included here. And perhaps you’ll take issue with some of the highlighted models. Chime in down below and grow the discussion.
As a final note, while I wish there were more vehicles on the list, I was happy to see some geographic diversity this year (3 Chinese models, 3 European models, and 2 American models), and I definitely think this is by far the most compelling list of new EVs we’ve ever seen. I didn’t just decide to make a list and then find vehicles to stuff into the list. All 8 of these models are extremely attractive and offer a lot of tech, performance, quality, and practicality at mass-market prices. There is no non-electric model that holds a candle to any of them, and it will be hard for even the best selling electric vehicles on the market currently to compete with some of these models in future years. Much of their success simply depends on production capacity, availability around the globe, and how well the automakers do getting people to sit down and take a test drive. As far as I know, only a couple of the models have rollout plans across the Chinese, European, and North American markets, but I hope to see others make it to all of those markets and more in the coming few years.
If you want to have a healthy dose of extra fun, go ahead and take your best guess as to how many units of each model will be sold in 2021. I’ll do so myself after seeing your answers. 😉
Update: Commenters have several good recommendations to add to the list. I recommend scrolling down below and checking those out.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.