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 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 sub-brands to herald new directions, such as e-tron (from Audi) and I.D. (from Volkswagen).
Effective range, performance and charging times should take another step forward in 2020, with many cars here offering a combination that should make electric cars feasible for most. Even supercar and luxury-car buyers could be tempted by desirable machines like the Audi e-tron GT, Polestar 2 and Tesla Roadster.
Read on to see our list of the most important electric cars 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 a year afterwards sporting a more dynamic coupe-like body, as previewed by this concept version shown at the 2017 Shanghai Motor Show. It’ll be based on the same mechanical underpinnings as the standard e-tron, albeit with more power: three electric motors combine to give a power output equivalent to 496bhp, with a 0-62mph time of just 4.5 seconds claimed. The Audi e-tron Sportback should use a 95kWh battery, giving an effective range of 310 miles – although exact specifications could improve by the time the car hits showrooms in 2020.
Audi e-tron GT
Audi will continue its electric surge with this, the e-tron GT. A four-door luxury coupe set to do battle with the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S, the car has been described by Audi as the ‘sporty spearhead’ of its new electric range. Details are scant for now, but a single design image gives a preview of the rakish look buyers can expect. Power and range are likely to be on par with its VW Group siblings, so expect a an effective range of over 300 miles and a sub-four-second 0-62mph time.
BMW is another major German manufacturer with plans for an electrified future. The BMW iX3 – seen here in concept form at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show – 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 70kWh battery offering a claimed 249-mile 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 has confirmed that the C4 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 I.D. hatchback, while forthcoming electric versions of the Peugeot 208 and Vauxhall Corsa will sit on the same platform as the Citroen.
As a luxury brand with a reputation for innovation, it comes as no surprise that Lexus is expected to transition from its traditional standard hybrid systems to a focus on hydrogen fuel-cell and pure electric cars in the next few years (according to Alain Uyttenhoven, Lexus’ Europe boss). The year 2020 should see the arrival of a small electric car or SUV that takes styling cues from the Lexus LF-SA concept of 2015 (pictured), making Lexus one of the first luxury brands to offer a small, premium electric car. Lexus is also expected to offer fuel-cell or electric versions of its LS and LC models in the coming years.
Polestar, formerly a racing team and 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; technical details are yet to be released, but the most important news for UK buyers is that the Polestar 2 will be available in right-hand drive, unlike the brand’s first offering. The car will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2019, with prices starting around £35,000 when it goes on sale in 2020, according to Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath.
Peugeot 208 EV
The next Peugeot 208 supermini is set to be unveiled in 2019, but there’s an electric version on the horizon for 2020. The car will sit on the same mechanical underpinnings as the DS 3 Crossback and the next Vauxhall Corsa (see below), meaning it should have the same anticipated 280-mile range. We've yet to see the new car, but we suspect Peugeot will distill its distinctive modern design language into a supermini package.
Spanish manufacturer SEAT has confirmed that an all-new electric car will join its range in 2020, based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform, which will also underpin the Volkswagen I.D. (see below). It has been confirmed that the new electric SEAT will have an effective range of up to 311 miles, but there’s no news on a name yet; trademark applications suggest the car could be named after El Born, a district of Barcelona. The car has only been shown in teaser images, but looks to fit in with the brand’s sharp-edged design language. Speaking to our sister title Auto Express, SEAT's vice-president for research and development Dr Matthias Rabe suggested that the car will be SEAT Leon-sized, but with more interior space; he also suggested that prices should be roughly similar to those of the SEAT Ateca SUV – we’d expect something in the region of £25,000.
Skoda Vision E
Another sister car to the Volkswagen I.D. and the SEAT above, the Skoda Vision E – seen here in concept form at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show – looks set to join Skoda’s range as its first electric car in 2020. The concept is powered by two electric motors with a combined output of 225kW (equivalent to 302bhp) and four-wheel drive; range is quoted at 310 miles, but this figure could improve by the time production occurs. Although what you see here is an exaggerated show car, it’s not too hard to imagine a toned-down version sitting comfortably within – and offering an electric alternative to – the existing Skoda SUV range.
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, it’s set to return – this time 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 begins 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 forward to 2020. The car should take much of its styling cues from the larger Model X, with that car’s remarkable ‘falcon wing’ rear doors set to feature. Exact details are yet to be announced, but it’s expected that a range of battery pack sizes will be available, offering from around 220 to 310 miles of range. Four-wheel-drive and high-performance versions are also thought to be in the pipeline.
Vauxhall Corsa EV
The all-new Vauxhall Corsa will arrive with its standard range of internal-combustion engines in 2019, but 2020 will see the release of an electric version. The Corsa will share underpinnings with its Peugeot 208 and DS 3 Crossback relatives and should offer much the same performance from its batteries and electric motor, with a range of around 280 miles likely. Styling is also expected to take a step forward.
Volkswagen I.D. hatchback
While pre-sales should start before the end of 2019, the Volkswagen I.D. will be the German manufacturer's first purpose-built, all-electric family car when it arrives in 2020. Using the same underpinnings as the SEAT and Skoda on this list, the I.D. promises a range of around 300 miles. The car will around the same size as a Volkswagen Golf, but with more interior space, and should cost around £28,000 after the government plug-in car grant is applied; a range of batteries will be offered to give buyers a balance between cost and effective range. The car should be the first to arrive under VW’s new I.D. naming scheme, reserved for its all-electric vehicles.
Volkswagen I.D. Crozz
Closely related to the I.D. hatchback above, the VW I.D. Crozz will be the first all-electric SUV from the brand when it arrives in 2020. Featuring jacked-up styling that’s not too far removed from that of the also-related Skoda Vision E, the I.D. Crozz (shown as a concept here) is expected to offer more performance and range than the standard I.D. hatchback in production form. An effective range of around 373 miles should be achievable, while power will be the equivalent of around 302bhp. The car also gets four-wheel drive and – in concept form at least – features a 515-litre boot.