Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A silver 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is shown from the rear with the tail lights illuminated and the silhouette of a man standing next to it.

Is Our Automotive Future Electric?

Yes, the evidence is pretty clear that the future of the auto industry lies in electric cars, trucks, SUVs, and more. Everything is essentially pointing in that direction: from current sales trends to the latest announced vehicles to government regulations and orders. No matter where you look, no matter what type of evidence you find most persuasive, it all adds up to the same thing: electric cars aren’t just here to stay; they’re taking over.

All you have to do is look at the vehicles being announced at major auto shows, at what the leading manufacturers are putting out there to stay competitive or try to get ahead of each other. It’s essentially all electric. Whether you’re talking about the latest Tesla models, cars, trucks, and SUVs coming from Ford and Chevy, or even the Porsche Taycan, everywhere you look, electric cars are taking center stage. Of course, that’s all to be expected, but to me, the real indicator that this is the direction the entire industry is headed in is that commercial vehicles are coming along too.

Shopping for Cars Right Now

Right now, if you’re in the market for a new vehicle, I’ll admit that electric cars can still seem very much like a luxury option. The price on them has been coming down pretty steadily with each passing year, but they’re certainly not in the “budget” category just yet. However, that’s going to change – just like any other technology, the passage of time will continue to make them less expensive and more accessible.

If you really want to be able to shop electric cars right now while on a pretty strict budget, then one of your best options is to check out the used market. Used electric models are often much more budget-friendly than brand-new EVs – due to improvements in technology, they can depreciate a lot more than you might expect. Even an electric car from just five years ago can be very reasonably priced when you find it used. Of course, that means you won’t find all of the latest technology, and its batteries won’t be as impressive as a brand-new model, but it’s still a great way to shop for electric cars today without breaking your bank account.

Even overseas, electric cars are clearly taking over the vehicle market. In Norway, electric vehicles made up more than 60% of the new cars registered in September 2020. While that’s not necessarily indicative of the market here in the US, it’s a pretty good example of just how popular these models are becoming.

A blue 2021 Rivian R1T is driving through the woods with surf boards loaded on the roof and bed.

Shopping for Cars in the Future

In the past, some of the major hang-ups people have had with electric cars are that they were considered underpowered, too expensive, and too limited in number. Every single one of these issues will be a memory in the not-too-distant future, thanks to changes in the auto industry. Performance is already not a factor. Just look at Tesla models or the Porsche Taycan to see just how powerful an electric vehicle can be. Instant torque, regenerative braking, and all-wheel drive can make EV models an absolute thrill to drive and just as heart-racing as any V8.

The price has definitely been an issue, but as I said, they’re becoming more and more affordable with each passing year. When the Tesla Model S was first released in 2009, its base price was $57,400. While the Model S is still pretty pricey, you can get a new Tesla Model 3 starting at $37,990. A Chevy Bolt EV starts at $36,620, while a 2020 Nissan Leaf has an MSRP of just $31,600 – these numbers are before any federal tax credits or other discounts. All of this clearly demonstrates two things: electric cars are becoming a much more affordable option, and you have more of them to choose from than ever before.

And that’s precisely my third point. Auto manufacturers aren’t blind, they can see market trends and what people are buying, and they’ll go after customers. So, as more and more people have wanted electric cars, more manufacturers have been happy to provide. And that’s not looking to change any time soon, with a lot of new EV models coming over the next few years for you to choose from. In fact, if you’re thinking about getting an electric car, truck, or SUV, then waiting a few years is not a bad idea at all…

A popular electric vehicle, a 2021 GMC Hummer EV, is parked on the beach with the infinity roof open.

Electric Vehicles to Watch For

A lot of different electric cars, trucks, and SUVs have been announced recently, and while not all of them might actually come to fruition, there are definitely some you should keep your eyes on and watch for. If you’re looking to buy an EV in the next few years, then these are the ones to know about:

  • Audi e-tron GT – With the same powertrain as the Porsche Taycan, this is going to be a very impressive electric car. It’s certainly not going to be an affordable option, but if you want performance and luxury, watch for this one to be released either at the end of this year or early next.
  • Chevy EV Pickup – While Chevy hasn’t revealed a ton about this model just yet, we know it’s in the works and will be a powerful and impressive machine. The only thing holding this one back is that it could be a few years away, perhaps as late as 2025.
  • Ford F-150 Electric – This truck, on the other hand, should be hitting the road much sooner and has already been shown off demonstrating awe-inspiring power. Ford has said it should be available in 2021.
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E – If you’re interested in an electric SUV, then this should definitely be on your radar. It’s a crossover model and the first new vehicle to be given the name “Mustang” in decades. It is powerful, gorgeous, and will be available either at the end of this year or early 2021.
  • GMC Hummer EV – This glorious monster is coming with your choice of one, two, or three motors and will deliver incredible power and torque. Although it was delayed slightly, it’s still expected to be released in 2021.
  • Rivian R1T – If you’re interested in a truck, and want to see something truly new, then keep an eye on this one. Rivian is a startup here in the US focused on a new generation of EV models. This one is their pickup, while the R1S is an SUV built on the same platform. Both models are expected in 2021 and should give other manufactures some bold competition.

There are many more options than these on the way, such as the Tesla Cybertruck, which really demonstrates just how much every manufacturer is leaning into electric vehicles as the future of the industry.

The Importance of Commercial EVs

Finally, the auto industry is about more than consumer vehicles like what we have in our driveways – commercial trucks and similar equipment are just as important. With manufacturers working on more powerful models, like trucks and SUVs, that design is carrying over into the commercial sector too. For example, Amazon has unveiled its new electric delivery van, designed with and built by Rivian, which will be hitting the road in 2021. They’ve committed to having 100,000 of these vehicles in their fleet by 2030 and to being completely net-zero carbon as a company by 2040. Where Amazon goes, many other companies will be quick to follow, so this kind of move is very important. It pretty clearly shows what the future of the auto industry, on every level, is going to be. It’s electric!

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