Is the future of the automotive industry electric?
In 2021, a growing number of automakers are betting big that the answer is “yes” — from stalwarts like General Motors, founded in 1908, to newcomers like Shanghai-based NIO, which got its start in 2014.
Behind this big shift: a dozen US states are now urging the Biden Administration to phase out the sale of new gasoline cars by 2035, and Tesla, which produces solely electric vehicles, remains the world’s most highly-valued carmaker, despite delivering just shy of half a million vehicles to customers in 2020. (GM, for comparison, sold 2.5 million.)
The following visualization documents the amount of money that the ten biggest auto companies, by market cap, are committing to electric vehicle development. The size of each bubble relates to the companies’ current relative market capitalization; inside each bubble is data about how much funding they’ve committed to EVs and over what timeframe.
The end result of this EV investment will be a wider range of options than car buyers have ever had before, from trucks like the Ford F-150 Lightning Pro to compact urban people-movers like the Fiat 500e. Here’s what the 10 biggest carmakers by market cap have just released, or have coming soon.
1. Tesla Model S | 406 mi top range | Top speed 200 mph | 1,020 peak hp
Pricing starts at $79,900.
Tesla’s Model S sports the longest range and quickest acceleration of any electric vehicle in production. Deliveries started in June 2021. The Plaid and Long Range models both feature lithium-ion batteries capable of being recharged at one of Tesla’s over 25,000 charging stations. Those “Superchargers” can provide up to 200 miles on a 15 minute charge. The Model S Autopilot, Autopark, and Summon features cement it as the flagship car of the next generation of driving. And later this year, Tesla plans to begin producing its long-awaited steel-sheathed Cybertruck pickup.
2. 2022 Toyota bZ4X BEV Concept | New AWD system standard within sleek SUV design
Pricing expected to start around $37,000.
This Battery Electric Vehicle concept is part of Toyota’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050, with an electric portfolio that could grow to 70 models globally by 2025. Toyota has pledged that 15 of these will be BEVs (versus the hybrid electric vehicles the company has been selling since 1997). The model sports a roomy interior, with subtle changes (such lowering the instrument panel and placing meters above the steering wheel), allowing for enhanced driver visibility and a more accessible driving experience. Sales are expected to start in 2022.
3. Volkswagen ID.4 GTX | 298 mi top range | Top speed 111 mph | 295 peak hp
Pricing starts at $59,613.
The flagship model of Volkswagen’s sporty performance EV series, labeled “GTX,” features two electric drive motors — one each near the front and rear axles, giving it all-wheel drive. Although these GTX models don’t have that many performance differences compared to their normal ID.4 counterparts, the effort here seems focused on drawing in a “sportier” crowd into the world of EVs. The model was launched in Europe this summer, and it may eventually be sold in the US, but specifics haven’t been announced.
4. 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS | 478 mi top range | Top speed 130 mph | 516 peak hp
Pricing starts at $96,000.
The first all-electric luxury sedan from Mercedes-EQ, the EQS will be entering the US market with two models, the 450+ and the 580 4MATIC — the latter featuring more horsepower. These vehicles are part of the Mercedes-Benz “Ambition 2039” initiative, with the aim of converting to a carbon-neutral fleet within the next two decades. The EQS will be able to plug in at 90 percent of US charging stations, the company says. The EQS will feature fingerprint recognition for distinct driver profiles and an optional 56-inch “Hyperscreen” glass-covered dashboard with multiple displays. The EQS is set to debut in dealerships in late 2021.
5. BYD EA1 | 310 mi top range | Sub 3 second 0-60 acceleration
Pricing starts around $26,000.
The first model of BYD’s new “e” product series, this call will feature the more affordable BYD Blade Battery, which can pull in 90 miles worth of charge every 5 minutes. The model is set to be sold in Australia, after its April 2021 unveiling in Shanghai.
6. 2023 Cadillac Lyric | 300 mi top range | 340 peak hp
Pricing starts at $59,990.
This is GM’s first publicly-revealed Ultium-powered vehicle, and is set to be built at their Spring Hill plant in Tennessee, which recently saw a $2 billion investment to transition it to an electric vehicle manufacturing facility. GM plans to invest another $2.3 billion into an all-new battery cell manufacturing plant in Spring Hill, partnering with LG Energy Solution to produce their Ultium cells. This call will first be available in the first half of 2022, and will be compatible with high-speed DC fast charging stations, potentially adding 76 miles of range in a 10 minute charging time. A braking system called “Regen on Demand” will allow drivers to control how quickly the car will slow or come to a complete stop, using a pressure-sensitive paddle on the LYRIQ’s steering wheel.
7. 2022 BMW i4 | 300 mi top range | 8 hour AC charging time | 536 peak hp
Pricing starts at $55,400.
The i4, BMW’s first fully-electric car, will be produced as two separate models: the i4 eDrive40 (the subtler model with higher fuel efficiency) and the i4 M50 (the sportier model with higher horsepower and acceleration). The all-electric, four-door coupe will feature three primary charging options: compatible with public charging stations, a home wallbox, and a portable “Flexible Fast Charger” compatible with any 120V or 240V outlet. Pre-orders have started for both models, with earliest available deliveries in summer of 2022.
8. NIO ES8 | 310 mi top range
Pricing starts at $65,000.
NIO’s ES8 all-electric SUV will feature their pilot advanced driver assistance system and the NOMI interactive AI system. The vehicle comes with swappable lithium-ion batteries for those looking to get on the road without the wait that comes with the charge. NIO’s new model comes in 6- and 7-seat options for maximum storage space. For those with young children, the second row of seats features “childcare mode,” allowing drivers to bring the back seats closer so that they can more easily reach their young passengers. The car first hit the Chinese market in June of 2018, but has since been upgraded.
9. 2021 Fiat 500e | 190 mi top range | Top speed 85 mph | 180 peak hp
Pricing starts at $19,551.
The all-new Fiat 500e arrives with a sleeker, sportier look than the classic, somewhat cartoonish, gas-sipping Fiats of the past. Roughly 96 percent of the parts used in the iconic car’s redesign are new, allowing for a near-complete overhaul of the previous look. The new 500e features level 2 autonomous driving, including Lane Centering and intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (iACC). Stellantis, the merged entity of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and the French PSA Group, vows to come out swinging with an investment of $35.5 billion into plug-in electric vehicles — a fervent effort to catch up with their competition. At the moment, Fiat does not intend to sell the Fiat 500e in the US.
10. 2022 F-150 Lightning Pro | 300 mi top range | 563 peak hp
Starting at $39,974.
This electric version of Ford’s best-selling F-150 truck is the first of their F-series to go completely gas-free. The model is available in standard and extended range versions (which can go up to 300 miles). Ford’s nation-wide network of charging stations can charge the truck’s batteries up to 80 percent in just 45 minutes. The battery’s “Ford Intelligent Backup Power” can also provide up to ten days of power to your home in the event of a blackout. They’ll start taking orders in fall 2021.