- Tons of startups are working tirelessly to launch new electric vehicles to the US market.
- They’re planning burly SUVs, six-figure luxury sedans, and pickup trucks.
- Some of the most exciting models come from Rivian, Lucid, Canoo, and Aptera.
Tesla virtually created today’s market for electric cars by proving battery power could be cool. Now a dizzying number of startups are trying to claim a slice of the pie.
Some, like Rivian and Lucid Motors, are decently far along, with factories already spitting out pickups and sedans. Others still have mountains of work to do before their vehicles will see the light of day.
Given how cash-intensive and challenging it is to produce a new vehicle at scale, there’s no guarantee that every current upstart will succeed. The chances of that are slim. Still, there are tons of exciting EVs that claim to be just over the horizon.
Aptera Motors’ story began in the 2000s with a three-wheeled prototype EV, but the startup ran out of money in 2011. It’s back with a new vehicle.
Aptera claims its new three-wheeler can travel up to 1,000 miles on a full battery, double the best EVs on the market today. The startup says that’s possible through a lightweight body and an extremely aerodynamic design. Plus, optional solar panels covering the vehicle’s exterior can deliver up to 40 miles of range per day in sunny regions, Aptera says.
The vehicle is open for preorders now with a starting price of $US25,900 ($AU34,730). That goes up to around $US50,000 ($AU67,046) if you add on the 1,000-mile (1,609km) battery and options. Aptera says the first customer vehicles will arrive in early 2022.
Bollinger’s B1 SUV is a rugged, retro take on newfangled technology. It sports exposed rivets, manual-crank windows, and an overall style reminiscent of a decades-old Land Rover. It’s also packed with tons of power for off-roading and plenty of useful features and cargo spots.
Production on the B1 and its pickup twin, the B2, is set to start in late 2022 after a couple of delays. They’ll run you $US125,000 ($AU167,615) and promise a range of 200 miles (322km).
Canoo Pickup Truck
Canoo has a handful of radical-looking EVs coming down the pike. But the raddest of them all has to be the Pickup Truck.
The pill-shaped pickup comes with innovative features like a fold-down work table in front and a built-in bed extender. It’ll also accommodate a camper shell and be available with all-wheel-drive.
Canoo says the stubby truck will go into production in 2023. There’s no word on pricing yet.
Faraday Future FF91
Faraday Future first unveiled the FF91 sedan in 2017 with plans to start selling it in 2018. Due to a host of financial struggles, that never happened.
Flush with cash after going public in July, Faraday Future is back from the brink of death. It aims to start delivering the FF91 next summer.
The company claims the FF91 will deliver 1,050 horsepower and sprint to 60 mph in 2.4 seconds. The sci-fi-looking vehicle is packed with screens in front and rear and sports big cushy seats in back that can lay flat. It’ll get at least 300 miles (483km) of range, according to the company.
Expect the FF91 to cost at least $US200,000 ($AU268,184).
Super-premium sedans and weird trikes are great and all – but reasonably affordable, good-looking SUVs are probably what most EV shoppers are after.
That’s what the Fisker Ocean, set to go into production in late 2022, promises to be. It starts at $US37,499 ($AU50,283) (just under $US30,000 ($AU40,228) once you apply the federal tax credit for electric purchases) and stresses sustainability, with solar panels integrated into its roof and an interior made from recycled materials.
Founder Henrik Fisker has succeeded at selling vehicles before, albeit briefly. His previous startup, Fisker Automotive, sold the hybrid Karma luxury sedan starting in 2011 and went out of business in 2014. Justin Bieber had a chrome one.
Irvine, California-based Rivian is kind of like Tesla’s crunchy cousin.
Its models are sleek and expensive – like Elon Musk’s – but they’re also aimed at people who like to get outdoors. They offer off-road capability, all sorts of optional racks, innovative storage solutions for all your gear, and even a built-in camping kitchen.
Rivian’s pickup truck, the R1T, is in production now. Its $US70,000 ($AU93,864) SUV sibling, the R1S, is scheduled to start shipping later this year. It has a range of 316 miles (509km) in its base configuration.
Lucid Air Pure
Lucid Motors has started producing the Air Dream Edition, the $US170,000 ($AU227,957), limited-run version of its debut luxury sedan at its Arizona factory.
But you can’t build a business on the back of 520 ultra-expensive cars. (That number pays tribute to the Air Dream Edition’s record-shattering 520-mile (837km) range, as estimated by the EPA.)
If Lucid is to challenge Tesla in any real way down the line, it’ll be thanks to the base Air Pure sedan. That car will cost $US77,400 ($AU103,787) – definitely not a bargain but a full $US13,000 ($AU17,432) less than Tesla’s Model S. The Air Pure promises 480 horsepower and 406 miles (653km) of range.