Based on the commitments of automakers around the world to move away from fossil fuels, it seems clear that the future of the automotive industry is clean, sustainable power. And while electricity isn’t as clean as we’d like to believe, there are enough hydro, wind, and solar stations to alleviate some of our guilt. However, eco-friendly vehicles like hybrids have garnered a reputation for being hippie cars which may make them undesirable to those with a hankering for speed or who want to command respect.
Luckily, since it seems that EVs are the future, many premium brands are starting to transform their gas-powered lineups into luxury electric cars. They bring the same style and comfort and combine it with the quiet power and unrivaled fuel economy that electric motors provide. And since luxury vehicles are usually a bit on the heavy side, the weight of the battery pack goes mostly unnoticed, so it is possible to achieve admirable maximum ranges.
Riding on cloud nine
All the big names are trying to get in on the EV trend, with Mercedes-Benz introducing an entire range of EQ variants to its standard A- to S-Class models. These are all plushly appointed vehicles that bring the same level of comfort and technology that we associate with the brand. However, the Germans have plenty of competition, both from the USA and further abroad. The Cadillac Lyric is arguably one of the best SUVs in the electric segment right now, and Hyundai’s premium division, Genesis, is close behind with the GV60.
Volvo already has a strong presence with its XC40 and C40 crossovers, and Audi has introduced the e-tron, which is also the name associated with the high-performance RS e-tron GT. Lastly, BMW has started dipping its toes in the water with the i4 and iX, a sedan and crossover, respectively. Each of these cars boast impressive interiors with more cargo space than you’d expect from a luxury vehicle, since the engine bay is now empty and serves as a front trunk, or frunk.
However, one of the newest entrants on the market is making big waves and may easily displace more established names as the go-to for electric luxury. The Lucid Air is available in multiple configurations, each affecting its power outputs and maximum range, but from beginning to end, it is one of the most plushly appointed cars money can buy. And to get the top-tier trims, you will need a lot of said green.
Mileage has always been one of the sacrifices buyers have had to accept when owning a large, heavy, and elegant car, but that is no longer the case. That is to say, these EVs are phenomenally frugal in comparison to their gas-powered predecessors. More economy-minded brands like Kia and Nissan still boast much more efficient cars.
The real Lightning McQueens
While sporty hybrids are not all that new, since many performance cars have made use of mild-hybrid assistance to boost their acceleration times, the EV sports car has not totally taken off just yet. Considering how easy it is to get insane levels of horsepower and torque out of just a few electric motors, though, we are likely to see a rise in their numbers.
Though it isn’t a traditional performance brand, Tesla has several high-speed offerings like the Plaid variants of its Model S and Model X. Both have in excess of 1,000 hp and can sprint from 0-60 mph in under two seconds. Meanwhile, Porsche, one of the go-to brands for good-looking go-fast cars, has been offering the Tayacan for a few years now. It doesn’t have the ludicrous outputs of Tesla’s tryhard models, but it has the looks we expect from a real sports car, and it handles like one, too.
The Audi RS e-tron GT is another spin-off of a well-known speedster, but if refined performance is what you’re looking for, then one of the Mercedes-AMG EQ models might also appeal to you. There are likely to be many new entries in the market in coming years, and while they may seem loath to abandon their raucous V6, V8, and even W12 engines, brands like Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, and Lamborghini will need to move with the times to stay relevant.
Large on recharge
Speaking of moving with the times, even the pickup truck industry has heard the rustling of leaves caused by the winds of change, and many electric trucks have been teased in the years to come. Of course, Tesla has its funky-looking Cybertruck, but more established names like the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado are now available with electric powertrains that match or exceed their old power limits.
However, the off-road applications of these pickups is still in question, as their maximum driving ranges are not all that impressive. With time, these problems will likely be ironed out, and the wide availability of recharging stations across the country certainly help to make drivers feel less vulnerable to running out of juice.
Writing on the wall
It’s clear now where the automotive industry is headed, so there’s no reason not to consider an electric vehicle as your next big purchase. In fact, with so many premium and performance automakers embracing the change, you really can have your cake and eat it. You can drive a green car while still making those around you green with envy.