After Tesla proved the EV is a viable option for large-scale commercial production in 2012, everyone raced to get into the EV market. Ten years later, those plans are coming to fruition, with traditional manufacturers like Ford and Chevrolet rolling out their own flagship versions.
Here are five of our top picks to consider when looking at the EV market in 2023 and beyond.
Volkswagen ID. Buzz
Volkswagen and sustainability go together like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches enjoyed tent-side at a Grateful Dead show. In fact, you could even relax and savor the haute cuisine inside the walls of the updated hippie van itself before traversing the festival wasteland once more and soaking in some mind-melting guitar solos.
The ID. Buzz is expected to hit the U.S. in 2023, and VW claims the electric vehicle could be fully autonomous by 2025, which is pretty exciting. You can also expect a roomy interior, high-tech cockpit and seating for up to five to seven adults, so you can carpool to Coachella in guilt-free, tech-savvy style.
However, with a range of 250 miles and an acceleration of 0-60 mph in 8.5 seconds, don’t expect to get there in record time. But remember, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey, man.
Ford F-150 Lightning
In a rare turn of events, Ford beat Tesla to the punch in creating a fully-electric truck. The 2022 base model has a range of 230 miles and front-wheel and all-wheel drive. The 2023 Lightning looks to build on that success.
With a total of 200,000 reservations already for the F-150 Lightning, Ford is aiming to ramp up its annual production rate to 150,000 in 2023.
At $47,000, the new model is priced similarly to the inaugural electric pick-up but will offer slightly more range.
The range for the Lightning’s standard-range battery is now 240 miles, up from 230, according to Ford (the EPA has not changed its official rating as of this writing). The standard-range battery is available in the Pro, XLT and Lariat trim packages. The long-range battery pack, available in the XLT and Lariat trims and standard on the Platinum trim, will continue to offer 320 (XLT, Lariat) or 300 miles (Platinum) of range.
Ford is also making the Pro Trailer Hitch Assist system, which controls steering, braking and acceleration to make hitching a trailer easier, standard as part of the Tow Technology Package. Already standard on the Platinum and certain versions of the Lariat, the feature will now be available across the lineup.
Ford has proven the Lightning is reliable, safe, and can handle heavy towing. Now that its EV truck is off the ground, the sky is the limit, with more range expected to be added with each subsequent rollout.
Chevrolet Equinox EV
Available fall 2023, Chevy is advertising the Equinox EV as an “EV for everyone.” It’s an accurate claim as the Equinox boasts a 300-mile range, making it competitive in the EV market, and will have a price tag around $30,000. It is a true “middle-of-the-road” option, in size, price, and range.
Last year Chevy sold 165,232 of its Equinox crossover, beating the likes of the Ford Escape, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Tucson, and Subaru Forester. It’s likely to continue this success with the fully electric model.
Henrik Fisker is well-known in the car manufacturing world as the man behind the design of the BMW Z8 and Aston Martin DB9. He wasn’t able to translate that success to his first self-named automotive company in the 2000s. The Fisker Karma he created during that time lived on as the Karma Revero and now the Karma GS-6, but the original Fisker Automotive is long defunct.
Now, the auto genius is back with what can rightly be called a revolutionary EV. The Fisker Ocean is the first of its kind to use a solar roof that can generate free energy to support the vehicle’s battery-powered motor. When fully exposed to the sun, the Fisker Ocean Extreme’s SolarSky can produce up to 1,500 clean, emissions-free miles per year, and under ideal conditions may increase to beyond 2000 miles. The Ocean is expected to start production in late 2022, and it’s expected to be followed by the low-cost and unique Fisker Pear.