June 25, 2018
It feels like auto companies, big and small, are announcing new Electric Vehicle (EV) models every day. Most of these new models have bold designs – reflecting the competitive pressure placed on the industry by the relative newcomer, Tesla. Here we take a look at some of the EVs that we’ve had our eyes on, both as auto enthusiasts and lithium analysts. Before we dive in, we’d like to note that these models might be out of the price range of mass market consumers, but we believe their aspirational appeal will go a long way in making electric vehicles “cool”, thus accelerating EV penetration.
Porsche, long known for their sexy sports cars, unveiled their first fully electric model earlier this year. The Taycan boasts two electric motors that will put out a combined power output of 600 horsepower. However, it’s not solely focused on speed and power. The car is also expected to have a range of over 300 miles. Users will be able to recharge 80% of that range in just 15 minutes with the available fast charger. With a starting price similar to the current Panamera line (~$90,000 base price), the Taycan will come in at a higher price range than Tesla’s Model S line when it goes on sale in late 2019.
In 2020/2021 BMW is expected to come out with their next generation of electric vehicles. The iX3 is derived from their conventional X3 model, and will be their first electric SUV. This model makes sense, as SUVs have rapidly risen in popularity over the past few years (with rival automaker Ford even discontinuing most of their sedan models). The model will boast a power output of 270 hp, and an estimated range of 250 miles on a 70 kwh battery.
The i4 is still more of a raw concept at this point in time, but has us excited nonetheless. Also expected to go on sale in 202, this model is about the same size as the current BMW model 3 and will be able to go from 0 to 60 in under 4 seconds. The biggest reason we are excited about this model though is that it may bring BMW closer to its broader stated goal of an EV with a 400+ mile range. While we think range anxiety is certainly overblown today, having a 400 mile or greater range should start to eradicate the debate altogether.
Tesla Model 3
We know what you’re thinking- the model 3 is already officially out on the market. However, given that deliveries have been delayed thus far, we’ve barely seen them on the streets. Furthermore, the company is finally hoping to reach their 5,000/week production milestone after many production issues. The reason we’ve decided to include it here is because the whole world is watching Tesla and their pursuit of a mass-market, affordable EV. So we are keeping a close watch on this and future mass-market models by Tesla. However, broader implications aside, the car itself is no slouch either. The 200-300 mile range, 270 horsepower, sleek design, and luxury yet sporty feel, all for a starting price tag of less than $40,000 makes the model 3 a compelling offering among currently announced EVs expected to hit the market.
Tesla rival and Danish automaker, Fisker Automotive is one of the more well known new entrants to the EV space. The company is looking to pack a 140 kwh solid state battery and multiple electric motors under the hood of their new Emotion, enabling it to put out over 700 hp, while still providing a 300+ mile driving range. The tradeoff for consumers however will be it’s steep price tag. Coming in higher than all of the other models mentioned here, this car will be expected to start at over $130,000 when it goes on sale in 2020. Given the models sleek design, enormous power output, and long range battery, we are very excited to see if the company does in fact come to market. However, the bigger storyline we’re keeping our eye on here is the solid state battery that the company expects to use, and whether it will in fact be ready in time. This breakthrough would be huge for both EV range and the lithium industry, as solid state batteries will presumably use more lithium than current batteries.
Whether you look at the more bold, sporty, and luxurious models shown here, or you prefer the more traditional and dependable models from companies like Honda and Toyota, the future of electric vehicles definitely looks promising. Uncool designs, poor battery range, and steep price tags have long been the argument against broader electric vehicle uptake. But after seeing all of visionary EV models being announced over the past year from both new and established automakers alike, we believe it is going to be tough for anyone to continue making the argument against large scale EV penetration. Like it or not, the one thing no one can take away from Tesla is the impact they’ve had in the auto world of driving bold, innovative, and out of the box thinking to accelerate an electric future powered by lithium.