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Best electric cars arriving in 2022

2022 will see more choice and more affordable electric cars arrive in Australia, such as the Kia EV6.

During the course of 2021, it felt as though electric vehicles (EVs) reached something of a turning point.

Many automakers released their first next-generation offerings or expanded on their catalogue of pure EVs in their line-ups, and the cost of entry for some of the more promising examples has gradually come down.

More consumers than ever are considering a pure EV for their next car, and our busy landscape of automakers look to build on the momentum with an exciting list of cars across many categories in the next 12 months.

So, how will the all-electric car landscape change during the course of 2022, and what does each model promise?

We’re taking a closer look at what you have to look forward to, but keep in mind timing is subject to change due to the global semiconductor shortage and other niggling factors.

Audi e-tron GT - Early 2022

If you love the Porsche Taycan but find just too unattainable, perhaps Audi’s take on the same drivetrain will intrigue you.

Sent to rattle the Tesla Model S, Audi’s latest EV offering is a low-slung GT four-door coupe, and a follow-up to the brand’s e-tron SUV.

The GT will be available in standard and RS versions able to make use of 350kW/630Nm and 440kW/830Nm of electric power respectively, with a range of up to 488km.

It also features flexible charging, with an 800-volt architecture. This allows it to charge at a rate of up to 270kW on a DC outlet, able to charge from five to 80 per cent as quickly as 22 minutes, 30 seconds.

It will also offer similar options to the Taycan range, with a long list of performance-enhancing additions like carbon-ceramic brakes.

Pricing and specs are yet to be announced, with the e-tron GT’s launch date shuffled back from a late 2021 launch to an early 2022 window.

Read more: 2022 Audi e-tron GT range detailed: Australian launch timing confirmed for Tesla Model S-rattling super electric car

BMW i4 - First quarter

BMW is on an electrification roll, with its latest generation of pure EVs rolling out rapidly across its range.

Following the iX3 and flagship iX SUVs, the i4 will be a brand closer to the brand’s ancestral heart in the visage of a four-door sedan.

The i4 wears familiar styling to the current 4 Series and will arrive in two variants, the eDrive40 and performance-tinged M50. 

It can make use of 250kW/430Nm or 400kW/795Nm powertrain for each variant respectively and sports a massive 84kWh battery good for a range of up to 590km.

The i4 is able to charge at either 11kW on AC charging (taking 8.5 hours for a full charge) or 200kW on DC, allowing a 10-80 per cent charge in just 31 minutes.

It will start with an MSRP of $99,900 for the entry level eDrive40, or $124,900 for the top-spec M50, and is slated to launch in the first quarter of 2022.

Read more: 2022 BMW i4 price and features: New Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2 rival to arrive with huge power, long range and cutting-edge technology

BMW i4

BMW i4
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

BYD Yuan Plus - First half

BYD and its local Australian importer, Nexport, have huge plans for the Australian market, bullishly suggesting a Top Five spot by 2023.

How can this be achieved? Six new models are slated for launch by then, and prime among them is the Yuan Plus electric SUV.

The Yuan Plus is in a hot SUV segment, smaller than a traditional mid-size SUV like the RAV4, but larger than the Kia Seltos, perhaps on par in dimensions with Mitsubishi’s Eclipse Cross, or Nissan’s Qashqai.

The Yuan Plus will be electric-only though, sporting a large 60kWh battery good for around 450km of range. Importantly, the brand claims to be able to significantly undercut rivals by offering the SUV from “around $40,000”.

BYD will forgo a standard dealer network and instead sell directly online to consumers.

Read more: The cheaper Chinese EVs coming soon: How BYD plans to take down Tesla in Australia

BYD EA1 - Mid-2022

Could this be Australia’s most affordable electric car? The EA1 will follow the Yuan Plus as part of BYD’s low-cost EV assault, slotting in to the mainstream hatchback segment.

It also promises keen pricing (although we’re not sure what this looks like yet) to take the fight to cars like MG’s ZS EV, and a 400km+ range to match its larger Yuan Plus sibling.

Wearing more city-car styling than traditional sporty hatch styling, the EA1 utilises BYD’s cobalt-free Blade battery as well as a highly digitised interior and the connectivity to be able to use your phone as they key in its home market of China.

We don’t have details on when the EA1 will hit Australian streets, only that its Australian importer, Nexport, plans to have it on sale in mid-2022.

Read more: The cheaper Chinese EVs coming soon: How BYD plans to take down Tesla in Australia

Genesis GV60 - First half

Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury spin-off brand, will launch its next offering in the first half of 2022, and it will be the brand’s first fully electric model.

The first Genesis on the E-GMP underpinnings, the GV60 SUV is the luxury marque’s take on the Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 formula, sporting coupe-like styling elements.

Its next-generation platform means hearty 800V electric underpinnings for fast charging, rear- and all-wheel-drive powertrain options, and healthy driving range.

Although only just revealed, the GV60 will be available in Australia remarkably quickly.

Read more: 2022 Genesis GV60 detailed! Korea takes Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 to next level to bring fight to BMW iX3, Mercedes-Benz EQC and Jaguar I-Pace

Hyundai Ioniq 6 - 2022

The Ioniq 6 will be Hyundai's second car on the e-GMP platform, and the brand has said it will be a mid-size sedan, as alluded to with the 'Prophecy' concept shown in 2020.

We don't know how close this new model will be to the Prophecy concept, although it might surprise us as the Ioniq 5 mid-size SUV did with how close it was to the 45 concept.

Perhaps it will be closer to the Stinger-like two-door shown in disguise as the brand's first hydrogen-powered performance vehicle, or could look entirely different to what we've seen so far...

The Ioniq 6's next-generation underpinnings will carry across the 800-volt architecture and large battery capacity, as well as a more flexible use of interior space.

Little else is known about the expanded Ioniq range, other than the Ioniq 6 will be closely followed by an Ioniq 7 large SUV in early 2024.

Read more: 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 takes shape! New Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2 rival charges up ahead of Australian launch next year - but will the price be right?

Kia EV6 - First half

Kia’s first take on the Hyundai Group e-GMP underpinnings and the brand’s first dedicated fully electric car outside of Korea will be the EV6.

A sportier alternative to the Ioniq 5, the EV6 can claim over 400km of range from a large battery pack and will also be available with both rear- and all-wheel drive.

It also shares its odd shape as a low-slung but long-wheelbase SUV with the Ioniq 5, although has a different design ethos applied to its interior.

The EV6 also has its first performance variant locked in, the 430kW/740Nm all-wheel-drive GT, although this version won’t be available immediately in Australia for its first half of 2022 launch.

It will be interesting to see how Kia positions its EV on the price-scale compared to the Ioniq 5, which will initially cost from $71,900 before on-roads. Stay tuned as we inch closer to its arrival.

Read more: 2022 Kia EV6 to launch in Australia without 430kW/740Nm GT - but don't worry, the new electric car's flagship is still coming to shade Hyundai Ioniq 5

Mercedes-Benz EQE - Second half

Mercedes-Benz has announced its intention to become an electric-only automaker sooner rather than later, and the EQE will be the first follow up to the flagship EQS in the brand’s efforts to electrify its more traditional sedan range.

Unlike BMW’s i4, the EQE is more of a radical overhaul of the sedan formula, forgoing the brand’s current styling language and proportions for something more futuristic.

The new design leans into its electric underpinnings by pushing the wheelbase out and expanding cabin space in the process, with the lack of combustion running gear allowing the brand to have short overhangs at either end.

Driving range is said to be plentiful with the launch 90kWh variant offering some 660km, and its architecture will support a 170kW max charging speed for a 10-80 per cent charge in just 32 minutes.

Refinements like air suspension from elsewhere in the Benz range will also be available, and the EQE will have the option of a dramatically digitised cabin consisting of a screen which nearly runs the length of the dash.

The EQE has yet to have its price locked in, but it is expected in Australia in the second half of 2022.

Read more: 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQE electric sedan detailed: Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Genesis G80 rival to undergo revolutionary change for the future

Polestar 2 - January

Polestar's long-awaited arrival to the Australian market will finally happen in January 2022 with the launch of the Polestar 2.

Sporting a high-riding sedan body, the Polestar 2 promises both sporty dynamics and luxury appointments, and will be available across three flavours.

The base car will be good for around 440km of range, the mid-tier version about 540km, while the top spec cuts it down to 480km thanks to a dual-motor set-up that prioritises performance over efficiency.

Read more: 2022 Polestar 2 price and features: Shock low starting price has new Swedish challenger undercutting Nissan Leaf e+, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and rivalling Tesla Model 3

Volvo C40 - Late 2022

Volvo’s first dedicated electric model will be the C40 small SUV, set to debut before the end of 2022. It shares much of its design with the XC40 SUV, although sports a lower profile and a more coupe-like rear.

The C40 can be equipped with dual-motor all-wheel drive and will have an estimated 420km range from a large 78kWh battery pack. It will also debut new connectivity features via a built-in sim card, and new Google-integrated software suite for its portrait multimedia screen.

Like its Polestar sister company, Volvo will be tracing precious metals used in the C40’s battery using blockchain technology. Like other automakers including Polestar, the C40 is intended to be sold exclusively in an online capacity.

Volvo’s local arm has confirmed the C40 will arrive in late 2022, although pricing and precise timing are still a mystery. Stay tuned.

Read more: 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Australian launch confirmed! New Mercedes-Benz EQA, Audi Q4 e-tron and BMW iX1 rival to put hatchback spin on SUV body-style