Electric cars are frequently referred to as cleaner and greener but they’re not always noted for their excitement factor. Granted, there are exceptions to the rule, with Tesla perhaps leading the way for injecting a bit of zing to proceedings. Those increasingly madcap models were recently topped by the super-powerful Plaid editions of its Model S and Model X EVs after all.
And, looking back, 2021 hasn't been a bad one for lively electric cars from other automakers either. The likes of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai IONIQ 5 and the Polestar 2, to name but three, all managed to raise our adrenaline levels. A combination of looks, performance and innovation has helped them to stir up the senses of the mainstream EV marketplace.
But, looking ahead, what if you’ve got a desire to own an EV next year? Have you set some budget set aside in order to make it happen? Sure, there are ongoing supply chain issues to contend with, but automakers are pressing ahead with a raft of new EVs of all shapes and sizes. Indeed, 2022 is shaping up to be a great year for exciting electric cars and we’ve assembled a selection of the best models to look out for. They may not be Batmobile-tier, but they're still pretty darn exciting.
BMW i4 M50
We’ve driven the BMW i4 M50 and it’s got to be one of the most exciting electric cars that’ll arrive during 2022. There’s blinding performance from a 537bhp twin motor, all-wheel drive setup plus an impressive range of 367 miles. Meanwhile, the interior is beautifully put together and features the eighth incarnation of BMW’s iDrive system.
On the outside there’s a distinctive front end dominated by a variation on BMW’s current kidney grille obsession while the rest of the car is slick, stylish and benefits from some super-cool paint options.
The Kia EV6 is already proving very popular in Europe and it’s set to arrive in the U.S. during 2022. And, boy, Korean automakers are currently knocking it out of the park with their design ideas. The car is built on an all-new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) while the styling gives it instant head-turning potential.
First Edition models will feature a 77.4 kWh battery delivering around 300 miles of range with lightning-fast 350kW charging capacity. Inside is where excitement levels really rise, though, with oodles of tech, a beefy audio system and an extensive list of infotainment and driver aids on offer.
BMW iX xDrive50 M Sport
While the jury is still out on the design aspect of the BMW iX, we’ve also driven this car in its xDrive50 M Sport incarnation. This one also delivers the excitement in spades, with 516hp on tap meaning you can hit 0-63 mph in just 4.6 seconds.
Plus, there’s an awesome interior that combines luxury, comfort and tons of tech to produce an effect that invites you to go and eat up the miles on a lengthy road trip. The range of 380 miles makes that thought even more appealing too, while rapid-fire 195kW charging capability will put less of a dent in your stop times.
Following on from the positive vibes surrounding the Polestar 2 sedan, the next model from Polestar is all premium SUV-like. Likely to have single and dual motor variants, the new car is expected to offer space aplenty, even though that swooping roofline suggests otherwise.
While its Chinese owners are keen to make Polestar even more of a separate entity from Volvo, the SUV will share the same SPA2 platform that’s also being used for the next Volvo XC90. The glimpses given so far promise much, while also telling us nothing about precise specifications. However, Polestar 3 will be built at Volvo’s South Carolina factory, delivering a boost to the U.S. economy.
Nissan has done a fine job in retaining much of what made its original Ariya concept so interesting. The all-electric crossover is now available to pre-order and boasts four different models, including the 63kWh battery-powered base-level Advance car. Also coming along are three 87kWh variants, the Evolve, the e-4ORCE Evolve and a premium e-4ORCE Performance edition.
The latter should provide very decent levels of excitement thanks to 394PS and 600Nm of torque with a range of up to 310 miles. There’s a sumptuous interior boasting a head up display, 10-speaker BOSE audio system and a panoramic roof too. Nissan is also offering a zesty range of new body colours embellished with 20-inch rims.
Another electric SUV that looks set to lift excitement levels when it arrives in 2022 is the Fisker Ocean. Keenly priced, though not as much as the upcoming Fisker Pear, with models starting at less than $40,000, the tastily designed Ocean has a forward-thinking look and feel with lots of recycled materials being part of the build plan.
A dual-motor, all-wheel-drive power arrangement is rumoured to offer zingy performance with a 0-60 mph time likely to be close to 3.6 seconds. Add on an innovatively styled interior, complete with a 17.1-inch central touchscreen and the car looks decidedly promising. Trim level options also include the mid-price $50k Ocean Ultra while the range tops out with the Ocean Extreme at just under $70k.
Toyota recently unveiled a raft of EVs as part of its electric future. However, the Toyota bZ4X is already a thing. It’s based on the new e-TNGA platform, which boasts a 150 kW electric motor, 0-60 mph time of 8.4 seconds and a top speed of around 100 mph. Not that exciting so far.
But, the good news is there’s an all-wheel drive model too, with dual 80 kWh motors that push the car to achieve a 0-60 mph time of 7.7 seconds. The 71.4 kWh battery should deliver around 280 miles of range plus there’s a 150 kW charging system. Styling borders on the futuristic, especially on the inside while party tricks include a quirky yoke-style steering wheel option and Skyview solar panel roof.
The Subaru Solterra may be the automaker's first EV but it’s starting out on great foundations because the compact crossover SUV is based on the same platform as Toyota’s bZ4X following collaboration between the two automakers. Naturally, thanks to Subaru being well versed in all-wheel-drive dynamics, the car should be well prepared for harsher conditions found in America’s outdoor spaces.
There’s 8.3-inches of ground clearance too, while power for ambling over the countryside is provided by a 71.4 kWh battery mated to twin electric motors. That results in 215 horsepower and a 248 lb/ft of torque. Around 220 miles of range isn’t amazing, but the X-Mode on-board tech promises some excitement and lots of extra grip on those backroads.
Volvo C40 Recharge
The current Volvo range has never looked better, with great designs matched by excellent specifications, while rock-solid build quality and safety are also a big part of the appeal. The Volvo C40 Recharge is expected to arrive at dealer outlets in the first part of 2022 and there’s much to get excited about.
We’ve already driven the dual-motor, all-wheel drive machine and can vouch for its torque appeal, while handling for an upright coupe-crossover design is surprisingly good. The agile C40 Recharge is definitely lively in the performance department with 0 to 60 mph delivered in 4.7 seconds. A battery range of 276 miles is decent enough, while the on-board tech and in-car comfort is, well, everything you’d expect from Volvo.
Those eager to own Cadillac’s first all-electric vehicle have already snapped up the initial allocation of Cadillac Lyriq Debut Edition cars. However, the standard Lyriq model looks set to be pretty popular too, with prices starting from $59,990 for the lavishly appointed SUV. Choose from a single rear-wheel drive option expected to produce around 340 horsepower and an all-wheel drive model with a range expected to exceed 300 miles.
The SUV will utilise GM’s new scalable battery technology that enables it to tailor batteries to suit a range of electric vehicles as its EV portfolio grows. This being a Cadillac it’s likely that the list of interior options will likely be extensive, which should also ensure that the price tag will be sure to grow depending on your requirements and, erm, taste.
America is expected to get its first taste of the Mercedes-Benz EQB in the early part of 2022 and it's a crossover SUV that promises plenty. A tech-tastic luxury interior is matched by performance from the four-wheel-drive EQB 300 4Matic model.
That gets you 225bhp, while a meatier 350 edition ups the power to 288bhp. Overall bulk could mean compromise is on the cards though, with a less exciting 0-60mph time of 6.2 seconds for the latter car. However, this MB EV is more about getting there in style thanks to a luxe-level interior that comes with the added benefit of a very cool infotainment system.
Ford F-150 Lightning
They’ve sold millions of the original Ford F-150 over the years and America’s passion for the pick-up truck continues with buzzing pre-orders for the F-150 Lightning. This all-electric model will start from around $40,000, but several specification and trim options will also push the price of this EV to twice that.
The twin-motor AWD setup should provide plenty of torque, a sub-4 second 0.60 time and there’s up to 300 miles of range on a charge. Unfortunately it’s been so popular Ford had to suspend pre-orders. But keep an eye out, because there’s bound to be another chance in the near future.
There’s much excitement surrounding the arrival of the Rivian R1S, an all-electric SUV that promises seating for 7. Specification-wise the quad-motor, all-wheel drive design should push the sleek design from zero to 60 mph in around 3 seconds.
Much like its R1T pick-up counterpart, the Rivian R1S should also provide some thrills off the beaten track, with a wading depth of over 3 feet. Crucially, a towing capacity of up to 7,700 lbs will add appeal for folks who want to do stuff as opposed to simply cruising around town looking cool in this seriously eye-catching machine.
What better vehicle to end this best electric cars of 2022 list than the Tesla Cybertruck. The design is ridiculously radical and, naturally, performance promises to match the crazed angular lines of the exterior.
Admittedly, this is a project that continues to be delayed, but the reality of a production-ready Tesla Cybertruck is creeping ever closer. Now set to arrive later in 2022 we could see thrills aplenty from the quad-motor powertrain with (possibly) a 0-60mph time of under 3 seconds, over 14,000lbs of towing capacity and a range in excess of 500 miles. Perhaps…