Where Are All The Cool EVs We Were Promised In 2021?

Electric Vehicles / Comments

So many EVs have been promised in the last 5 years, but where are they now?

In the last few years, we've been promised a lot of cool cars. Everything from angular electric trucks in the shape of the Tesla Cybertruck to thruster-equipped sports cars that can do 1.1-second 0 to 60 mph sprints. There has been a swathe of manufacturers claiming Tesla-beating range from a luxury sedan, and some even claimed their trucks could produce clean drinking water on the fly. From many, we've seen nothing but renders, while others have produced proof of concept in the form of life-size models. From A(lpha) to Z, here's the complete update on the cool EVs we were promised and where they are now.

Alpha Motor Corporation

Twelve concepts, yes, 12, have come out of the Irvine, California-based Alpha Motor Corporation. The retro Wolf pickup, compact Ace coupe, Saga sedan and wagon, as well as several spinoffs based on these platforms, have all garnered plenty of attention. Thus far, the closest we've seen to a production model is a 1:1 scale model of the Wolf in the Petersen Museum, with working lights, but no drivetrain to speak of, and there has been no prototype development as yet.

The company line is that they "anticipate that the Wolf Electric Truck will be available by the end of 2023," but with no traditional form of development visible, that timeline seems optimistic. Joshua Boyt, head of business development at Alpha and barista of some renown says that, "All of the vehicles that we have released are in production process. In our production process. Every one of those is within our production process." We'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

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Apple Car

Apple has been eyeing a share of the EV market for some time now, but we've seen more rumors than physical evidence of a car existing. Originally, it was supposed to be arriving right about now, but whether it's been the pandemic or semiconductor chip shortage, things haven't gone the way of the iPhone maker. We've seen reports of Apple trying to woo everyone from Toyota through BMW to Hyundai, but none have bitten. Rivals have beaten Apple to the punch, and even the company that builds the iPhone, Foxconn, has had better luck. Earlier this year, Apple filed a lengthy patent document describing the full details of a car's interior, which points towards progress, but at this stage, the earliest we see an Apple car arriving is 2025.

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Fisker Ocean

Henrik Fisker may be renowned for designing icons like the BMW Z8 and Aston Martin DB9, but in recent years, his aim has turned towards building EVs under Fisker Incorporated, after Fisker Automotive failed to take off. After being founded in 2016, we've had to wait a while for the first Fisker EV to materialize, but materialize it will in the form of the Ocean SUV. The production model was revealed at the 2021 LA Auto Show, some two years after the prototype, boasting up to 550 horsepower in Extreme trim, a 0-60 time of 3.6 seconds, and all-wheel drive. Four trims will be available, including a special One edition, and order books are open with a $250 deposit. Production has a firm start date of 17 November 2022, but at least production facilities exist, as Magna-Steyr in Austria will build it for Fisker. This one is happening.

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Karma GSe-6

Unlike some manufacturers on this list, Karma actually produces cars. We've driven the Karma GS-6, and people have even bought them. But the first electric Karma is yet to materialize. What was one going to be called the Revero GTE was rechristened the GSe-6, a fully electric version of the GS-6 built on a new E-Flex platform capable of underpinning an 1,100-hp EV hypercar and with a claimed 300-mile range. The company even went so far as to announce pricing of the GSe-6 in 2020 - starting at $79,900 - and open up reservations ahead of a debut in 2021.

Subsequently, we've seen camouflaged prototypes, but the alleged reveal has not happened yet, and Karma has been relatively quiet. We have no doubt that Covid stymied the automaker's plans, but unless the financial backing runs deep, the order books are full, or a car materializes soon, we're beginning to think this one might quietly disappear. If not, we're hoping a reveal happens early in 2022.

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Lordstown Endurance

Elon may have revealed the Cybertruck before anyone else, but Lordstown was one of the automakers who planned to bring an electric truck to market the soonest. After setting up shop at GM's old Lordstown assembly plant, and then receiving substantial investment from GM, the Endurance was supposed to arrive in 2021, with production slated for September. But production has been pushed back on several occasions, most recently in November 2021 with the global pandemic and supplier issues blamed. Now, production is alleged to begin in Q3 of 2022, meaning a 2023 arrival at the very earliest. According to Dan Ninivaggi, company CEO, "This is a modest delay from earlier expectations as component and material shortages, along with other supply chain challenges, remain an issue for Lordstown Motors just as they are for the industry at large."

Lordstown's share prices have dropped, and it has even sold its Ohio plant to Foxconn, although some parts of the plant are not ready for Endurance production. Testing and validation models have begun assembly, but as time goes on, we see things deteriorating for Lordstown, and the SEC and Department of Justice have even been investigating the deal that saw Lordstown go public.

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Lotus Evija

Makers of lightweight sports cars, Lotus, stunned the world by revealing a 1,970-hp electric statement of intent named the Evija in July of 2019. Things were progressing well before a global pandemic hit, slowing down testing, development, homologation, and production, delaying the original 2020 delivery date. Original estimates said mid-2021 would be when things would resume, but further delays, amplified by a semiconductor chip shortage, have pushed things back even more. There's now no concrete date as the world hangs in limbo, but we expect to see the Evija reaching its 130 customers by the middle of 2022.

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Lucid Air

Lucid Motors has played the long game, teasing the Air sedan for years and years. But unlike other EV startups, Lucid seemed to make tangible advancements between updates, and prototypes were visible in California where the Lucid factory was based. Earlier this year, the full Air lineup was confirmed, and development prototypes have found their way into the hands of journalists, meaning actual cars have been driven. Production began earlier this year, and the first customers received their Air sedans in October. The Tesla Model S-rivaling EV that packs up to 1,111 hp has been met with praise thus far, and Lucid is even working on a second EV, an SUV called the Gravity. The fact that even Mercedes-Benz mentions the Air as a rival to the EQS Sedan proves that Lucid should be taken seriously.

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Nikola Badger

Nikola seemed to be onto something big, not only with an electric semi-truck but the Badger fuel-cell EV pickup. It looked great, yielded strong investment, and even managed to sway General Motors into investing heavily, buying up shares and striking up a deal to help develop and produce the Badger. The coolest feature was drinkable water produced by the hydrogen fuel cell. But then things started to unravel as rumors circulated that Nikola's founder, Trevor Milton, had engaged in fraudulent activity, that he had made false and misleading statements to entice investors.

The feds investigated, Milton handed himself over, and stock prices plummeted. Then it came out that the drinking water claims were a lie, that the alleged production prototype was nothing more than a model, and that the Badger's development was nowhere near as complete as had previously been suggested. General Motors pulled out, Nikola refunded all deposits, and the Badger is now dead in the water.

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Rimac Nevera

This is one of the success stories on this list, as Rimac has followed a logical process that has seen multi-year development and no rushing of false claims made. The C_Two concept eventually became the Nevera hypercar, revealed in June this year after a three-year incubation period. The specification reads like science fiction, with 1,877 hp, 1,731 lb-ft of torque, four electric motors, 0-60 mph in 1.85 seconds, and an 8.5-second quarter mile. The production version revealed wasn't just a model, either, but was fully functioning and was handed out to many testers who put it against the Model S Plaid, Ferrari SF90 Stradale, and anything else they could find, only for it to decimate everything.

The first deliveries were slated for December of 2021, and while we haven't heard anything further, suggesting a slight delay, we're led to believe production is underway. With substantial investment from many of the world's automakers, and a new partnership that sees Rimac take control of Bugatti, the Nevera is proof that Mate Rimac is a revolutionary figure in the automotive landscape, and the Nevera is simply the beginning.

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Rivian R1T and R1S

RJ Scaringe has been likened to Elon Musk, but unlike Musk, Scaringe has seemingly been transparent in his production and development processes, resulting in the R1T and R1S electric truck and SUV. Both share a platform and powertrains, as well as styling, and both have been in the pipeline for several years, suggesting thorough development and few corners cut. Proof of this came when the R1T was launched earlier this year, with the electric truck making it into three CarBuzz Awards finalist categories, and impressing everyone who drove it. First to the punch in the EV pickup truck segment, deliveries of the R1T have already begun, while the first two R1S SUVs rolled off the production line this December, for CEO Scaringe and CFO Claire.

Mainstream deliveries were scheduled for January 2022, but several delays have pushed back some deliveries to May 2022. Still, both vehicles are in production, with Rivian getting the jump on Tesla and Ford as the makers of the first full-size electric truck.

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Tesla Cybertruck And Roadster

Elon Musk revolutionized the automotive landscape when he launched the original Tesla Roadster, followed by the Model S and every other Tesla that has reached production since. These have been impressive products, but back in November 2019, Musk revealed something new, the Cybertruck. The first mainstream electric pickup was supposed to hit the streets in 2021, but so far we've seen nothing but a couple of prototypes driving around the construction site of the Texas Gigafactory where it will be built. That facility isn't complete yet, and there have been numerous reports - via Elon Musk's tweets - that redesigns and technological innovations have stymied the Cybertruck's progress.

Now, we're even told that it'll have four electric motors. Officially, Tesla says the Cybertruck will begin production in 2022, but the Tesla website has removed estimated delivery dates, and we're doubtful we'll see anything before 2023.

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That's still more likely than the new Roadster, which was claimed to have a 1,000-hp+ tri-motor configuration, optional thrusters, and a 1.1-second 0-60 mph time. It was revealed back in 2017, sent into space, and promised to be available to the man on the street in 2020. Musk has delayed and delayed, citing other priorities including the Cybertruck. Now, the Roadster's pricing has been removed from Tesla's site, as have estimated delivery dates, and Tesla has stopped taking orders, despite a hefty $50,000 deposit needed to secure a build slot. This one seems to be disappearing into the ether, as far as we're concerned, and we doubt we'll see it anytime soon, if at all.

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