Electric SUVs have quickly become one of the most popular forms of rechargeable vehicle. Although Tesla currently holds the podium, it may not for long.
Though Lucid Air sought to compete with Tesla in the electric car market, the U.S.-based startup isn’t the only core competitor to Elon Musk’s vehicle. Both Audi and Mercedes have debuted direct competitors to Tesla products and many more companies are racing to release their own.
There is even now a racing SUV in the works for an Arctic race. Why? To prove how capable and robust electric vehicles can be of course!
So how might these new electric SUVs dim Tesla’s electric car light?
Electric SUVs Take the Stage in New Mercedes Line
Debuted earlier this month, the new Mercedes EQC signals that Mercedes wants to topple Tesla as the top dog in the electric car game.
This line of electric SUVs marks Mercedes’ first fully electric car and it’s pretty impressive. Additionally, Mercedes may be trying to corner the millennial and luxury markets with the features of this new vehicle.
The EQC features a ~450-kilometer (250 – 280 mile) range, stylish interior, and a full-width rear light. It utilizes electric motors on each axle, delivering 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque.
With a much longer production history than Tesla, Mercedes may yet be able to oust Musk’s company as the leading name in electric vehicles. However, electric SUVs are the new hotness, so Mercedes isn’t the only competition out there right now.
A New Market for Luxury Electric Cars
Given that Tesla can’t quite meet the demands placed on it, Audi is taking the opportunity to fill some of the electric SUV-shaped voids in the market.
Audi took a unique approach to the release of the E-Tron: no one can test-drive it or even see it in a showroom. In fact, no one will have a car except dealer demos until summer 2019 deliveries.
Basically, you tender a $1000 USD deposit then choose the specs of your car, the dealer, and wait until your 30 days’ production notice.
The E-Tron also comes with a hefty price tag of around $75,000 USD.
Mysterious Promises of the Extreme E Project
It would be misleading to call the new Formula E project a direct Tesla competitor. After all, Musk didn’t design any of the Tesla models to act as Arctic racecars.
All the same, Formula E tapped some serious talent for the “Extreme E” project.
Gil de Ferran, current McLaren Formula 1 sporting director and 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner, leads the project with help from Alejandro Agag, the Formula E CEO.
With sparse details from various news outlets so far, we only know that the launch goal is 2020. Of course, Formula E also said they would launch a self-driving series over the last few years. This has yet to come to fruition, so the 2020 date may be a bit of a guideline.
Of course, there’s also the Jaguar I-Pace — an all-electric luxury car — to compete with. Maybe you can just do like LEGO did and build a Bugatti Chiron out of more than a million LEGO pieces and 2,304 electric motors.
However, it only goes about 18 mph, so you might want to plan your day accordingly.
It’s clear that all of these car manufacturers have seen the writing on the wall for the electric vehicle market demographic of today — wealthy families and professionals looking for a renewable vehicle that doesn’t require them to sacrifice comfort or performance.
It’s another stepping stone for the electric vehicle market, with this demographic often being the trendsetter when it comes to new styles, investments, and market trends. Other vehicle types, like the SUV itself, have all come from initial investments in this market.
These signs show that the future of electric cars is certainly bright, and it may be coming sooner than you think.