Every new year brings a crop of new vehicles to tickle our automotive taste buds. After the horrendous year that 2020 has become, let's get the coming winter out of the way and hope for a brighter and more prosperous 2021. In any event, you cannot keep a determined motor industry down with the ongoing announcement of new models, many of them fully-electric. The EV market is growing, if not rapidly, then steadily, as the infrastructure builds and buyers become more confident in the technology. There's a growing number to choose from so here's a choice selection to be going on with, remembering that virtually all car makers have at least one in their range, to suit most budgets:
Skoda Enyaq iV
There's some very unusual names appearing on cars these days and, in this case, the latest EV from Skoda is called the Enyaq, the production of which begins at the end of this year; prices to be announced. The name, we learn, is based on the Irish name 'Enya', meaning 'source of life', but please, that's not an excuse to dig out those old Enya CDs, thanks.
Skoda cars have developed an excellent reputation for quality and value and the Enyaq iV is no exception. Typically Skoda of course, but this time with a completely new drive concept. The Czech manufacturer’s offering is ideally suited for distance journeys as it boasts long ranges of up to 300 miles (provisional data) and fast charging too. Due to the vehicle’s electric concept, the interior is styled in a completely new manner, resulting in more space for passengers and luggage. As we would expect the Enyaq iV offers state-of-the-art connectivity as well as infotainment solutions and the brand's 'Simply Clever' features.
When the Polestar company was acquired by Volvo, it began by providing performance and tuning upgrades for Volvo vehicles. Now it is a brand in its own right, although still under the Volvo flag, and the forthcoming Polestar 2 is their second foray into the EV market. It's a prestige vehicle priced around the £50,000 mark depending on specification including options such as the Pilot package and Plus package. The 300 kW all-wheel drive power-train has a large 78kWh battery pack which offers range flexibility and a dynamic drive. The car features a host of driver aids, including the highly advanced Pilot Assist, helping to ensure that the high-performance drive is also a safe one, as is expected from Swedish brands. The panoramic roof keeps the cabin light and airy, while pixel headlights provide maximum illumination when needed. The infotainment system delivers the best, they say, in-car digital experience with the Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Store2, promising a truly seamless digital experience. Early deliveries have started and the car is available to order now.
If ever a car's design hinted at a fun drive, it's this one. With funky styling this bang-up-to-date compact EV features cutting-edge technology and advanced intelligent connectivity to keep owners synchronised with everyday life. The Honda e sets new technology benchmarks with intuitive infotainment services and connected apps. The full width digital dashboard incorporates an 8.8" TFT meter instrument display in front of the driver presenting key vehicle information, including power and charge status, drive mode selected and safety feature details.
The Honda e high-performance electric motor provides outstanding torque which, in the entry-level 100kW Honda e, features 315Nm, accelerating to the benchmark 62 mph in just 9.0 seconds, while the Advance grade model ups the power (113kW), reducing that to 8.3 seconds. The 35.5 kWh Lithium-ion high-capacity battery contributes to an exceptional balance of low weight, fast-charging capability, and a range of up to 137 miles in the entry level version. Prices range from around £26,000, depending.
Audi Q4 e-tron
Launching in 2021 and with bold styling, this highly advanced and premium SUV has a battery pack that is almost the entire length of the underbody area. It has a capacity of 82kWh, giving a potential range of up to 279 miles that will, the company say, deliver a new benchmark in this class. Versions with rear-wheel drive only will push on even further, up to 310 miles, we are told.
Expect the usual sumptuous Audi quality and, with no need for a transmission tunnel, the Q4 Sportback e-tron will offer passengers unrestricted space and comfort, especially with regard to front and rear leg room. Interior innovations include, above the centre console, a 12.3" touchscreen tilted towards the driver provides access to the infotainment and vehicle functions. As the centre console does not need to hold functional elements such as a gear lever or hand brake actuation elements, it is repurposed as a spacious storage compartment that includes a mobile phone charging cradle. Prices to be announced.
These then are just four of the exciting fully-electric vehicles available over the next year or so and there's plenty more to suit all pockets. The future, as they say, is electric.