Something as revolutionary as the electric vehicle movement was bound to cause large scale changes. However, not even the legacy car manufacturers themselves could have seen such an explosion in inventiveness and design that has opened the electric vehicle market up to many new car manufacturers.
It is safe to say that the dominance of the usual brands of motor vehicles is coming to an end. There are many new kids on the block, they are passionate and they are thirsty for the challenge. Tesla, for example, didn’t even exist 20 years ago and, yet, they are the biggest and most powerful car company in the world.
Here are just a few of the new manufacturer names from around the world that you need to look out for in the next few years.
Where better to kick off this list than in good old Blighty. Britain is a proud island with a rich history in the motorcar world. We also have a rich history in design and technology (we invented the internet for a start). Britain is primed and ready to make a difference in the electric vehicle world.
Based in Banbury in Oxfordshire, Arrival is focused on the commercial side of electric vehicle usage. Buses, trucks and electric delivery vans have all been through the Arrival research and development. It is, arguably, in commercial vehicles where the most work is still to be done for a carbon net zero future.
Arrival has put themselves in the body of the users of these vehicles. They have looked to build the perfect vehicles with the optimal user experience. Major companies, such as UPS, have already invested in vans from the company.
Commercial cars have also been produced. Arrival had many research discussions with Uber drivers in order to make the perfect car for both drivers and passengers. First opinions of the car are extremely positive.
Faraday Future (The United States)
If you said that the name Faraday Future sounded familiar then I am not surprised. Faraday Future was founded in 2014 and was slated to be a major rival to Tesla. Unfortunately, due to many financial problems and a mass exodus of key players, Faraday Future ran into a lot of trouble. In 2019 the CEO and founder of the company declared personal bankruptcy and gave up control of the company. It seemed that this was the end for a company that promised so much.
However, in the same year, Carsten Breitfeld took over as the CEO of Faraday Future and the fortunes changed. Work on the very first Faraday Future electric car went into overdrive and the result is the Faraday Future FF91. Stated to go into production within the next year, the FF91 is being released as an electric car at the height of luxury and performance.
The first production ready car has been unveiled to the public and it is quite incredible.
The outside reminds me of the Kia EV6 and the inside is beyond anything seen before. If Faraday Future can keep the price competitive with Tesla, Elon Musk will have some sleepless nights ahead of him.
Lucid Motors (The United States)
Staying in The United States (in fact, we are still in California), we have the Lucid Motor Company. Lucid has been around for a number of years. In fact, the company was founded in 2007 as Atieva before rebranding in 2016 to become Lucid.
Lucid Motors couldn’t have had a better team behind this startup. The CEO, Peter Rawlingson has previously held the positions of Principal Engineer at Jaguar, Chief Engineer at Lotus and, most importantly, as the Vice President of Tesla. The Vice President of Design, Derek Jenkins, was previously the Director of Design for Mazda in North America (even winning World Car of the Year for one of his efforts). And, finally, the Chairman of Lucid, Andrew Liveris, is a foremost expert in chemical engineering. This is a team that really know their stuff.
You may be wondering why Lucid has not brought out any cars before now. After all, they have been in business for 15 years. This is a very valid question that has an interesting answer. Lucid, or Atieva as they were formerly known, were originally a car battery specialist.
They also made drivetrains for other manufacturers, including Tesla. It is only since the rebrand that the company has looked towards the electric car market themselves.
With such a high pedigree of leadership you would probably be expecting something quite special to come from them. You would be absolutely correct. The first offering is the Lucid Air Dream. An electric car that comes in two models, the Range and the Performance.
There is a lot about the Lucid Air Dream that is very familiar. To the untrained eye it looks a lot like a Tesla Model S from the outside (and even portions of the interior). Again, this is hardly surprising when you consider that the CEO used to be Elon Musk’s right hand man and had a big say in the production of the Tesla cars.
Performance wise, the Lucid Air Dream actually beats Tesla in the big numbers. The Range model has a real world range north of 500 miles, making it the first production car capable of reaching that number in a real world environment. The Range model is also capable of hitting 0-60 miles per hour in just 2.7 seconds. Quite a frighteningly quick speed. Even more frightening when you consider that the Performance model has another 100 horsepower on top of the Range model as well.
There are many issues with this initial release. However, with a few over the air updates and some work on the build quality, the Lucid Air Dream has the potential to set the world alight. It can really beat Tesla at its own game.
Genesis (South Korea)
South Korea has already proven itself as being a real powerhouse when it comes to electric vehicles. Kia, for example, absolutely smashed it out of the park when they brought out the e-Niro, only to smash it out of the park again with the Kia EV6. Kia’s sister company, Hyundai, have also hit the ground running. The Ioniq 5 has been one of the most talked about electric cars of the last year, and it is easy to see why. The Koreans make well built cars that perform absolutely brilliantly.
Genesis, in case you are not too familiar with it, is a pretty new brand. However, it does have some fine pedigree behind it. The Genesis brand was created to be the premium arm of the well known Korean manufacturer, Hyundai.
Big things were expected from the first Genesis car based on the success of Hyundai and sister brand, Kia. That first effort has come in the form of the Genesis GV60 and it has taken the best of both worlds from the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6.
Sporty, comfortable, good looking, next level tech. The Genesis GV60 ticks so many boxes. Yes, the price label will be a bit higher than either the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or the Kia EV6; however, the quality of this car more than justifies it. I can’t wait to see what else Genesis brings out in the future. The German legacy manufacturers (BMW I am looking at you) will be worried. And, if they’re not, they should be.
Günsel (Turkish Cypriot)
Günsel are very new to the electric vehicles game. In fact, the Günsel B9 is the first car ever to be manufactured in Cyprus. This includes conventionally fuelled cars as well as electric. The company is rightly proud of this landmark for the country.
The Günsel B9 made its European debut at the London EV show in 2021 and I was lucky enough to get an early chance to walk around the vehicle. This is a very nice electric vehicle that I think will perform well on the European market. The specifications of the vehicle are very good as well. There is a range of 350km (about 217 miles) and it can achieve 0-100kmph in just 8 seconds.
Günsel has a team of 250 designers, engineers and technicians working to get the car into production. It is hoped that Günsel will be able to produce around 40,000 cars per year by 2027.
This is an impressive number for a small country. I wish them well and I believe they have a great electric vehicle on their hands.
Rimac Automobili (Croatian)
You may not have heard of the Rimac Nevera, however, you may be aware of a very famous incident involving the car. Richard Hammond drove this stunning vehicle in a drag race for the Grand Tour program and ended up being airlifted to hospital after sending it 30 metres over the edge of a hill. Richard Hammond is fully recovered, yet his insurance premiums may not be.
Okay, so this doesn’t sound like the greatest advertisement for the Rimac Nevera. However, stick with me and I will change your minds. The car is very good. Richard Hammond’s ability to drive it is what was debatable.
The Rimac Nevera is a hypercar. No, sorry, scratch that. The Rimac Nevera is THE hypercar. The attention to detail in maximising performance is absolutely astounding. Mane Rimac, owner and namesake of this vehicle, has gone into some incredible detail.
The Nevera is sleek, stylish, classy and comes with some earth shattering statistics. For instance, you have a top speed of 256mph! The car can achieve 0-60 in 1.8 seconds and it has a range of 650km. Even the braking is quite extraordinary. The regen on the Rimac Nevera is up to 350kW. That is absolutely insane. These figures are helped by the 120kWh battery, which is the largest you will find on any production vehicle.
There is no doubt that the Rimac Nevera is a technological and engineering masterpiece. However, if you want to purchase the fastest road car on the planet you will have to be willing to fork out a handsome £1.5m for the privilege. I think I will wait for the affordable version (there won’t be one).
These brands are all incredibly exciting in very different ways. Are you looking forward to seeing any of their cars on the road? Have you come across another brand that we haven’t mentioned here? Let us know on our social media channels. We would love to hear what you think.
* All information correct as of 09/08/2022.