Top 10 EV manufacturers
The race to electric vehicle (EV) supremacy is ascendant in its competitiveness. The commercial viability for EVs, both in terms of affordability and charging infrastructure, has continued to grow at pace through 2019, and here we’ve taken a look at the current market leaders and the vehicles striking a chord for early adopters of the transport transition.
10 | Chery
Chery is a Chinese automotive manufacturer competing with other state-owned, larger brands in the region. The company has predicted sales of 20,000 units in 2020 as demand grows. In 2012, Jaguar Land Rover formed a joint venture with Chery to produce Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles for the Chinese market. Chery produced its first EV in 2009, the Chery S18.
The latest model of the Tiggo will have automated driving capabilities as well as an interactive steering wheel which can be folded to become a game controller while the vehicle is in automated driving mode.
Flagship Model: Chery Tiggo
Charge time: 8 hours at 220v
Range: 249 miles
9 | Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi is a Japanese multinational founded in 1970. In 2009, it started selling the i-MiEV a year ahead of schedule. The automaker had initially planned to lease the vehicle before its retail launch in 2010. Since then, the company has announced its intention to add five more EVs to its range and plans to cut the average price of its vehicles to around £16,500.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV includes an MiEV Power Box which enables the vehicle to power household devices in an emergency - an example of the way that EVs at large are envisaged as potential temporary batteries for grids themselves.
Flagship Model: i-MiEV
Charge time: 8 hours at 220v
Range: 62 miles
Price: From £18,000
8 | Kia
Kia, founded in 1944 and based in Seoul, became the second largest automotive manufacturer in South Korea in 2015. Kia is minority owned by Hyundai after the company bought a 33.88% stake valued at over $6bn. In turn, Kia holds more than 20 minority stakes in Hyundai subsidiaries.
In the EV space, the company supplies affordable yet robust EVs on a global scale. Its Kia Soul EV, a twin of its non-electric counterpart, the Focus Electric, holds a battery capable of 100-mile journeys in a relatively compact city vehicle.
Flagship Model: Kia Soul EV
Charge time: 9.58 hours at 220v
Range: 279 miles
Price: From £36,645
7 | Hyundai
The Kona EV currently has a waiting list of over 30,000 customers, and the rising demand has put Hyundai under pressure to invest in further battery production and resource acquisition.
The vehicle is an SUV designed around a rugged appearance and space enough to be used as a family vehicle. Hyundai’s website gives a wide array of optional extras to customise the vehicle to a user’s requirements.
Flagship Model: Kona EV
Charge time: 32 hours from 240v, fast charge in 44 minutes
Range: 279 miles
6 | Volkswagen
The German car manufacturer that created the VW Beetle has produced an electric variant of another of its most successful models, the VW Golf. In 2016, the company announced its intention to expand its line of vehicles to 30 EV models to meet the expected demand that new regulations and financial incentives will bring. Volkswagen develops its battery technology at the Centre of Excellence for Battery Cells in Salzgitter, Germany, with a team of 300 scientists.
The e-Golf has been praised as a strong entry level EV as its design and utility have based on more traditional vehicles, making it a small leap to move to EVs, according to Carmagazine. Familiarity, of course, will be essential for EVs to make an impact diverse across generations and markets.
Flagship Model: e-Golf
Charge time: 17 hours at 220v
Range: 80 miles
Price: From £25,575
5 | Nissan
Nissan released the first mass-produced EV aimed at families looking to become more environmentally responsible, the Nissan Leaf. It has used carryover mechanicals from traditional models, as well as keeping a more traditional aesthetic in its EV series. Nissan combined this approach with next-gen battery technology to afford its Leaf E+ model a much higher capacity.
The original Nissan Leaf has been the best selling EV across the globe up until recently, with sales reaching an all time high of 87,000 units in 2018.
Flagship Model: Nissan Leaf
Charge time: 20 hours at 220v
Range: 168 miles
Price: From £28,000
4 | BMW i
BMW i is a subsidiary of BMW founded in 2011 after BMW announced the development of its i3 and i8 series in 2009. As of November 2016, BMW i has released four models which share technology with BMW’s automotive line to ensure the vehicle manufacturer’s continued reliability and innovation.
Two years after reaching markets in 2016, the i3 became the third best selling all-electric vehicle in production. The vehicle has also been produced from 85% recyclable materials, and approximately 27 used plastic bottles go into the construction of seats and door parts.
Flagship Model: BMW i3
Charge time: 9.7 hours at 220v
Range: 193 miles
Price: From £34,445
3 | BAIC
BAIC Motor is a Chinese, state-owned enterprise. The company has made SUVs, commercial, agricultural and military vehicles under the BAIC Group umbrella and became incorporated in 2010. The company has worked with Nissan and Mercedes technology to develop its current line of vehicles.
BAIC generated $19.2bn during 2018 and has invested $2.8bn into developing intelligent, connected EVs for the near future under a new brand: BEIJING.
Flagship Model: BAIC EU5 R600
Charge time: 9 hours at 220v
Range: 259 miles
2 | BYD
Build Your Dreams (BYD) Auto is a subsidiary of Chinese multinational corporation, BYD Co Ltd, based in Xi’an, China. The company generated $18.6bn in 2018 and and it's been demonstrably in-demand as recently as early 2019. It was founded in 2003 after BYD Auto’s parent company bought Tshinchuan Automobile in 2002.
In September 2016, the company rose to become the third largest manufacturer of plug-in EVs and in the same year started production of electric sanitation vehicles for use in Beijing.
Flagship Model: BYD Yuan EV535
Charge time: 8.6 hours at 220v
Range: 256 miles
Price: From £12,623
1 | Tesla
The pre-eminent leader in EV manufacturing and development has defined the milestones for EVs since first opening in 2003. Currently, the company has a 12% share of all sales of plug-in EVs, generating US$21.46bn in revenue during 2018.
Tesla has also advanced the industry by being part of the open source movement, meaning that any developments Tesla has made in the EV industry are open to competing companies. Elon Musk, CEO and founder of Tesla, said this was following the example of Nils Bohlin who invented the three point seatbelt in 1955 and felt it too important not to share. The firm’s Model 3 is enjoying rampant success in the US, having become dominant in the premium car market and attaining the highest safety score ever delivered by the US’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Flagship Model: Tesla Model S
Charge time: 40 hours at 220v
Range: 370 miles
Price: From £81,000