As the new decade continues to find its stride, so more manufacturers commit to an electric vehicle future. In this, the first of two articles, find out what the top companies will bring to market and discover some of the best electric cars as 2020 turns into 2021.
Audi Q4 e-tron
In the summer of 2021, Audi will release its latest SUV in all-electric form. The Q4 e-tron is the latest step in the German company's electrification programme and is part of its mid-size range.
Details are still sketchy, but this sportback should cost somewhere around £50,000 and be available in either two or four-wheel drive. They'll fit an 82 kWh battery pack, and you should get around 300 miles on a full charge.
Inside, find the MMI Navigation Plus touchscreen and virtual cockpit to guide you along and programmable, electronic climate control. You'll get 615 litres of storage space at the back and five-door access.
Audi will kindly give you a pod point wall box free of charge as well, so you will always be ready to hit the road.
"The future has arrived," says BMW in a somewhat predictable blurb. Yet the German company is making a bold attempt to rewrite the technology rules with its latest SUV. The iX will take its place as the category flagship, and use an upgraded electric drive system, with a new aluminium frame and structure made from carbon-fibre reinforced plastic.
You can expect two electric motors that will send power to all four wheels, together with a top speed of around 125 mph. Look for several battery options with a 100 kWh unit available and a range of 370 miles. That's a significant step up compared to previous electric SUVs from this manufacturer.
Autonomous driving capability and 5G technology should make this model cutting-edge in terms of driving experience and safety. Within, you will find seating for five and two separate digital screens for driver information and infotainment. You may or may not like the hexagonal steering wheel, however.
iX may appear in showrooms towards the end of the year, for an as-yet-undisclosed price.
The C4 is a well-established family hatchback with an ardent following. Therefore, it stands to reason that Citroen bosses should choose to electrify the model to capture their part of this emerging market.
Touchscreen functionality is front and centre inside the eC4, and the cabin is well laid out, with plenty of storage space. There is seating for five and a large boot with around 380 litres of space.
Underneath, Citroen fits a 130 bhp motor and a 50 kWh battery with an expected range north of 210 miles. You will be able to access rapid charging in around 30 minutes, should that range be on the low end for you.
Citroen will market four different versions, likely to start at £30,000, in February.
If most of your driving takes place in an urban environment, Fiat has the perfect electric car for you. The 500e hatchback will appear in the spring and feature a price of around £26,995 for the "La Prima" ragtop. You can look forward to several different versions, with that convertible for those rare, warm and sunny British days.
There are two different powertrain options, starting with a 92 hp motor that can speed you to 84 mph if you get out of town. You won't want to stray too far, however, with a maximum range of 115 miles. A chunkier battery pack and electric motor will undoubtedly improve your range anxiety, and there are three separate driving modes as well.
On the tech front, look for adaptive cruise control, lane assist, 360° sensors and semiautonomous driving capability. Different body styles include a neat door extension on the driver side, to make rear access a lot easier.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
The original "pony car" was, perhaps, the epitome of raw American power. Times change, though, and the latest Mustang from Dearborn is an all-electric crossover instead. Available as one of the most exciting new electric cars in the UK in late 2020, the Mach-E will price in the £40,000 range.
Version-wise, you will find rear-wheel and four-wheel drive options. The range will vary between 250 and 380 miles on a full charge, with between 265 and 350 hp from those electric motors.
Many purists may find it difficult to get past the fact that the Mustang is now an SUV, but it comes well-equipped out of the showroom, with plenty of driver aids and interior comforts. You can also choose performance mode and configure the onboard synthesiser so that it at least sounds like the old pony.
Two different screens provide driver information and infotainment with the latter looking more like a giant iPad than anything else.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Hyundai will launch the Ioniq 5 towards the end of the New Year, and this new all-electric SUV should cost north of £40,000. It will be part of a range of electric vehicles under the Ioniq tag, including saloons and SUVs.
This compact crossover will feature a longer wheelbase but a completely redesigned platform that should generate plenty of room inside. Hyundai has called this the E-GMP and claims that "smooth and stable driving performance" will be a key feature of this modular concept.
Although very few details are available, expect a range of more than 300 miles with fast charging capability. Launch models will likely be rear-wheel drive, with four-wheel capability down the road.
The British company is fully committed to electrification, and the XJ will line up alongside the existing i-PACE. This vehicle will likely have two-wheel and four-wheel drive options and feature the all-new MLA platform.
The XJ is a luxury offering with plenty of onboard space, up to 100 kWh from the battery and lots of range, but Jaguar has not talked about the price yet. However, company bosses have revealed that they will delay the launch, and while the XJ was due to be one of the most keenly awaited electric cars in 2020, it won't appear now until the middle of 2021.