2019 Jaguar I-Pace electric car (crossover SUV)Enlarge Photo
In car terms, we're already getting rolling on model year 2019, and it's shaping up to be the year of the electric SUV.
Until now, pure electric cars have consisted mostly of small hatchbacks or expensive luxury cars, with one ultra-expensive SUV, the Tesla Model X.
With the rollout of the Jaguar I-Pace, consumers who want an electric car but need the practicality of an SUV have choices.
Analysts have long said one of the main things electric cars need to make the transition from early adopters to mainstream cars is more choices. With at least four and as many as nine new electric SUVs coming in the next year and a half, 2019 is gearing up to be the year of the electric SUV.
Here’s a roundup of the SUVs that have been announced for 2019 through the end of the 2020 model year, in order of the nearest to farthest from production.
2019 Jaguar I-Pace SEnlarge Photo
The I-Pace just went on sale in the U.S. with a 240-mile range from a 90-kwh battery and 394 horsepower from two electric motors.
A little smaller than a Tesla Model X, the I-Pace seats just five, and has conventional front and rear doors that swing open on the first try.
Early drives indicate the I-Pace has a better finished interior and may be a better dance partner on twisty roads than the larger Model X.
2019 Audi e-tron prototypeEnlarge Photo
Another five-passenger SUV a little smaller than the Tesla Model X, the e-tron uses Audi's (and parent Volkswagen’s) first dedicated electric car platform.
It will sit between Audi’s Q5 and Q7 in size. Its 95-kwh battery is expected to give the car a range of about 248 miles, and Audi says the e-tron will be the first electric car set up to use full, 150-kw charging, which can recharge the car from zero to 80 percent in a half hour. A 350-kw charge option is expected to be available later.
The production e-tron was scheduled to be revealed at the end of August but the introduction has been postponed following the arrest of Audi’s CEO as the latest complication from the diesel emissions cheating scandal.
Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept, 2016 Paris auto showEnlarge Photo
Mercedes has announced that its EQC electric SUV, expected to be built in France, will make its official debut on September 4, a week after the Audi e-Tron was scheduled to debut.
The company has already started taking reservations for the car in Norway and says it will go on sale as a 2019 model. We expect it will also have a range in the vicinity of 250 miles.
Mercedes also expects to take advantage of new fast-charging technology to replenish about 62 miles of range in as little as five minutes.
2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-DesignEnlarge Photo
We learned this week that Volvo’s first all-electric car will be the little XC40. Company officials expect it to deliver a range of about 240 miles and to cost as little as $35,000, though it’s not clear if the company is counting that before or after tax credits.
Volvo will also offer a range of plug in hybrids for all its other models, including some that may have more than one plug-in hybrid option.
BMW iX3 Concept front 3/4Enlarge Photo
BMW revealed its iX3 at the Beijing auto show in April. Like the Audi e-tron, it will deliver just shy of 250 miles on a charge. (That number reflects the new world driving cycle and exceeds the likely rated range in the United States.) Unlike previous BMW electrics, the iX3 will be based on the standard X3 with its steel (not carbon fiber) body. It will have a 270-horsepower electric motor and can charge at up to 150 kw, or a little faster than Tesla Superchargers today.