New electric cars 2020
If 2019 is set to be the year that manufacturers dip their collective toes into the world of electric production cars, 2020 should be the year when they fully take the plunge.
This list is filled with models that set the tone for the future electrified output of most major manufacturers, with some launching all-new line-ups to herald new directions, such as the e-tron badge from Audi and ID. moniker from Volkswagen.
Read on to see our list of the most important electric cars that are either confirmed or expected to arrive on sale in the UK in 2020.
Audi e-tron Sportback
Hot on the heels of the Audi e-tron SUV, the Audi e-tron Sportback is set to arrive in 2020 sporting the more dynamic coupe-like body seen here. It’ll be based on the same mechanical underpinnings as the standard e-tron, with two variants; a 50 quattro with a 71kWh battery capable of 216 miles of range, and a 55 quattro version with a 95kWh unit and 278 miles of range. The latter of those will harbour more power – 402bhp, to be exact – and will be capable of 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds.
BMW is another major German manufacturer with plans for an electrified future. The BMW iX3 – seen here in camouflage while winter testing in Sweden – is expected to be the first of many electric SUVs from the company, taking on the Mercedes EQC and Audi e-tron. While its styling isn't too far removed from that of the standard internal-combustion-powered X3, under the metal there’s a battery expected to measure over 70kWh, offering more than 249 miles of range and an electric motor with the equivalent of 266bhp. As with the majority of the German cars on this list, the iX3 will come ready for 150kW fast-charging when it goes on sale in 2020.
Citroen C4 EV
Citroen has confirmed that the C4 Cactus family hatchback will be returning in electric form. However, rather than being based on the current Peugeot 308, it'll sit on brand-new underpinnings specifically designed to accommodate large 60kWh batteries, in order to deliver 217 miles of range under the latest 'real-world' testing procedure. The electric Citroen C4 will be a rival for the Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback, using the same platform as the Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Corsa-e.
Fiat 500 electric
The new Fiat 500 is set to go all-electric in 2020: petrol versions of the previous-generation model will continue to be sold, but from hereon in if you want a new 500, it'll be electric. Don't be put off by the looks of the test car (pictured), the 500's iconic design will no doubt still be intact when the covers are pulled off the new car at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show. No performance details have been announced just yet, although it should compete with the small, premium Honda e.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford has somewhat hijacked its famous muscle car's name for the launch of its first electric vehicle: the Mustang Mach-E. Fortunately its promising the performance to justify the move, with the most powerful version set to be capable of producing 459bhp. Two battery sizes – 75 and 99kWh – will be offered alongside various power outputs, although the longest range model is targeting a figure of 370 miles. UK prices start at just over £40,000: order books are open now but sales won't begin fully until the final quarter of 2020. It can't come soon enough.
The Honda e will take a different approach to the electric-car recipe when it arrives in 2020: the company has gone to great lengths to make the car as light and as agile as possible in order to make it fun to drive. This means the battery – a 35.5kWh unit – is relatively small, and the 136-mile claimed range means the e will be best suited to urban buyers. The starting price of £26,660 isn't cheap, but the kit on board earned the electric city car our 'Best car technology' prize at the 2020 DrivingElectric Awards.
Lexus UX 300e
Late in 2019, Lexus revealed a battery-electric version of its UX SUV. It's set to be launched in 2020, although it'll be available to the Chinese market only to begin with, before heading for the UK in 2021. A 54.3kWh battery will return a claimed driving range of around 250 miles, although that's likely to fall to around 200 miles once the official WLTP test has been conducted. Drive will come from a single 201bhp electric motor (Lexus says its electric cars will be fun to drive) while charging will be capped at a maximum 50kW: at that rate, an 80% top-up will take less than an hour.
Polestar – formerly the performance tuning arm of Volvo – is now a standalone brand with a focus on sporty, electrified models. Its first car, the Polestar 1, has already set the tone with its 592bhp plug-in hybrid powertrain, but 2020 looks set to bring the company’s first electric car – the Polestar 2. The new car will be a four-door saloon to rival the Tesla Model 3; Polestar says the 2 will return a range of around 310 miles from a 78kWh battery, with prices to start at £49,900. Prices will then fall 12 months later, with a sum in the region of £35,000 likely. UK buyers will be pleased to note that the Polestar 2 will be available in right-hand drive.
When it was first revealed in 2019, the Peugeot e-208 caught the attention of the motoring world with its stylish, sporty design. Whether or not that translates into sales remains to be seen, but reservations are already open and first deliveries will take place early in 2020: when it arrives, the e-208 will offer 211 miles of range from a 50kWh battery, with a 134bhp electric motor promising punchy performance on urban roads. It’ll be compatible with 100kW rapid charging too, with an 80% top-up expected to take just half an hour.
Following the e-208 will be its bigger brother, the Peugeot e-2008 SUV. Closely related to the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense, the e-2008 will use the same 50kWh battery as the e-208, returning slightly less range – 193 miles – owing to its larger profile. Capability for 100kW rapid-charging technology will also feature, meaning recharging times will be up there with the best in class. Our recent drive in the e-2008 confirms that it feels ready to compete with the likes of the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro.
The Spanish manufacturer has confirmed that its all-new, electric SEAT el-Born will join its range in 2020, based on Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform, which will also underpin the Volkswagen ID.3. It has been announced that the new electric SEAT will have an effective range of around 260 miles from a 62kWh battery, with a 0-62mph figure of 7.5 seconds and 100kW rapid charging replenishing the battery in some 47 minutes. Prices have yet to be confirmed, but we’re hoping to see something in the region of £25,000.
New Tesla Roadster
The original Tesla Roadster was the first production car made by the now-famous US electric-car pioneer in 2008; 12 years later, a new Tesla Roadster is set to arrive as something of a hypercar. Tesla claims the car will do 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds, 0-100mph in 4.2 seconds and have a top speed of 250mph – figures which will make the Roadster one of the fastest cars ever made if they become reality. Those numbers come courtesy of three electric motors and a 200kWh battery pack, although a power figure hasn't been given. Tesla has also boasted of an as-yet-unverified 620-mile range. Production is slated to begin in 2020 and reservations can be placed now; the car should cost around £150,000 when it reaches the UK.
Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y – a small SUV based on the Model 3 – was originally intended to join the range in 2019, but has since been pushed back to 2020. The car should take many of its design cues from the larger Model X, although that car’s remarkable ‘falcon wing’ rear doors aren’t likely to feature. A Long Range version of the Model Y should allow 300 miles of driving on a single charge, with an entry-level Standard Range model managing 230 miles. Starting prices in the US should dip under $40,000; UK figures are usually similar, so expect something just under £40,000.
Order books for the Vauxhall Corsa-e have already opened and first deliveries will take place early in 2020. Including the UK’s plug-in car grant discount of £3,500, prices start from £26,490: that may seem a tad steep, especially given that the 50kWh battery only delivers 205 miles of range; six less than the Peugeot e-208. However, monthly finance of £270 could put the Corsa-e on plenty of buyers’ radars.
With 15,000 pre-orders within a week of reservations opening, the new Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback has certainly hit the ground running. Three trim levels will be available, although UK customers will be restricted to just one initially: the mid-range ID.3 1st Plus. It gets a 58kWh battery and 261 miles of range, as well as 2,000kWh of free rapid-charging on the fledgling IONITY network. Prices haven’t been announced, but the ID.3 1st will cost from €40,000 (£34,400) in Germany. Watch this space.
Closely related to the ID.3 hatchback above, the Volkswagen ID.4 will be the first all-electric SUV from the brand when it arrives in 2020. If you're disappointed by the styling in the image above, fear not: that's a test mule that's using faux exterior panels to disguise its true appearance. When it goes on sale, top-spec models should achieve a range of more than 300 miles, while power will be the equivalent of around 302bhp. The car also gets four-wheel drive and – in ID.Crozz concept form at least – features a 515-litre boot.