We see incredibly interesting electric vehicles from popular brands such as Tesla, Rivian and Polestar. The futuristic Rivian R1T truck is finally making its way to customers, Polestar by Volvo is launching the most beautiful electric vehicles on the market and Tesla is well known for having some of the most valuable electric vehicles on the market. But who are some of the more obscure and lesser-known electric vehicle manufacturers in the world?
Here are five of the most interesting companies that make electric vehicles that you should know about that aren’t getting mainstream attention.
Delorean is finally back and unveiled the Alpha5 Launch Edition. It’s a gorgeous EV with huge gullwing doors, a taillight, and even a few rear seats. Delorean says the Alpha5 will hit 60 mph in just under three seconds and have over 300 miles of range, so it’s got plenty of hype to match.
The vehicle picks up some design cues from the 1981 DMC-12, the famous vehicle featured in the Back to the Future series, but its heart seems to be a separate vehicle trying to find its own identity. Pricing information is not yet available, but Delorean encourages those wishing to reserve an Alpha5 to sign up for its mailing list.
Like many lesser-known EVs, NIO is a Chinese EV startup. There are plenty of EV startups seen on social media, showcasing awesome renderings of the car they’d like to make, and just waiting for investors and manufacturing to happen. Unfortunately, these startups often don’t even end up delivering a single car.
NIO, on the other hand, has already delivered more than 200,000 vehicles, according to a May 2022 press release.
NIO has some very impressive models in its lineup, consisting of sedans and SUVs. The ES7, for example, has impressive specs and features. The ES7 hits 60 mph in less than 4 seconds, has a range of over 570 miles, and can tow up to 4,400 pounds. It will be interesting to see how towing a heavy trailer can affect range in real world conditions. It also has a nice interior with ambient lighting and a large touchscreen; the ES7 even gives German luxury brands a hard time.
Prices start at around $70,000 and can currently only be purchased in China and parts of Europe, although they plan to add several new countries to this list by 2025, including Australia and the United States.
Those who have been long-time EV fans might recognize this one, but it’s been out of the EV market for a while. Fisker debuted in 2011 with the Karma, an interesting-looking all-electric luxury sedan. Although deliveries began in July 2011, the car was discontinued in November 2012 after its only battery manufacturer filed for bankruptcy. The Karma also sold poorly, with only around 2,000 vehicles sold worldwide.
However, Fisker is back with the launch of the Ocean, its all-electric crossover. Again, Fisker opts for a slightly offset design with a boxy look and unique features not found on many EVs. For example, its solar roof will use solar power to help charge the battery. On its website, Fisker claims its solar roof “can produce up to 1,500 clean, emission-free miles per year.” Solar panels cannot charge an entire car, but can help run the electronics inside, saving valuable battery life for range.
The Fisker Ocean will start at $37,999; however, only the taller versions will be manufactured and shipped first, costing you $68,999. It is expected to begin delivery by the end of October 2022.
The Aspark Owl is Japan’s first all-electric hypercar. Aspark claims its electric vehicle can hit 60mph in 1.69 seconds, which would make it one of the fastest cars in the world. That would be even faster than the current record held by the Koenigsegg Gemera, a Swedish plug-in hybrid, at 1.9 seconds. The Owl produces over 2,000 horsepower, has a top speed of 400 km/h (about 248 mph) and an estimated range of 450 km (279 miles).
While a hypercar like this is out of reach for many of us, it’s an incredible feat of engineering by any vehicle maker, especially in the world of electric vehicles. The owl went on sale in December 2020 in North America and Europe for around $3 million.
Byton is a Chinese electric vehicle startup, which unveiled the M-Byte, a beautiful all-electric SUV. Byton plans to sell its vehicles locally in China, parts of Europe and the United States. The M-Byte will have up to 286 miles of range with a 95kWh battery and aims to charge from 0-80% in 35 minutes. The M-Byte follows the trends of futuristic infotainment displays with a screen that spans the full length of the dashboard.
Other than those impressive specs, Byton doesn’t advertise the vehicle with supercar-level power. Byton says the RWD version will hit 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, while the AWD version will be slightly quicker at 5.5 seconds. This is good news for those who want to buy the Byton M-Byte in the future. Electric vehicle startups that design vehicles with incredible performance and extremely long range end up being harder to manufacture and less likely to ship quickly to customers. Byton creating a crossover for the everyday family may be more likely to gain investor support and be more affordable for the customers it serves.
No official price or release date has yet been announced for the M-Byte.
The 2020s should be a fantastic decade for electric vehicles
Although this decade has so far seen problems with chip shortages and a global pandemic, automakers are still pushing ahead and delivering electric vehicles to their customers. More affordable electric vehicles will come out over time, and the world will slowly trade in its internal combustion engines for cleaner all-electric vehicles.
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