About 150 new cars with a plug are coming to US showrooms between now and the end of 2026. That might be a record expansion for the industry and a record opportunity for you to either find the perfect EV or get completely overwhelmed.
Below are the 5 plug-in cars that I’m most looking forward to in 2023, because they’re likely to make a mark on the electric car landscape. This list includes pure electrics and hybrids, but does not get into the weeds on range, as that’s becoming less different between pure electric cars at roughly 225-300 miles, ample for the average driver to charge once every few days most of the time. And be careful with the old assumption that you can cut any prices I mention with a tax benefit, as the byzantine new federal tax credit strategy needs some time to reshape the market.
Chevy Blazer and Equinox
The Equinox will be the less expensive of these two, which are often mentioned in the same breath, a compact crossover that looks either great or tacky depending on the paint scheme. It will start around $30,000 for the base configuration with 250 miles of range, though pricier versions can go 300 miles. That higher range model also has an important charger upgrade that can stuff 51 miles back into the battery in an hour, an important metric since it means the average person can get a day’s worth of driving even if they don’t plug in until they jump in the shower before heading to work.
The Chevrolet Blazer EV is more ambitious and slightly larger than the Equinox, inspired by the Camaro in an answer to Ford’s Mustang Mach-E. The electric Blazer is a completely different vehicle from the current gas-burning Blazer, not a retrofit. It will boast 557 horsepower and 648 pound-feet of torque and hit 60 mph in under 4 seconds when in WOW mode, which stands for Wide Open Watts. We’ll run into a similar fun-centric focus with Dodge in a moment.
BMW i cars began as niche oddballs in the nerdy early days of EVs, like the dorm fridge-shaped i3 and pseudo-supercar i8, but with the iX, i4 and i7 the company has done a 180 toward mainstreaming EVs. The i5 will be an electric version of its 5-Series which, being a sedan, would normally make it less of a bellwether in the US market. But the 5 Series is no ordinary sedan, still carrying a lot of BMW brand power. As of this writing, the i5 is (substantially based on rumor) hoped for in late 2023.
Hyundai Ioniq 6
The Ioniq 6 will move Hyundai out of the thin role of having just one electric-only model, the ioniq 5, which we call “hella impressive.” But the Ioniq 6 looks like it came from a completely different company that put a Panamera and Citroen DS into a juice press. I don’t love the result, but the latest Hyundai Sonata took a while to grow on me, too. Hyundai has a decent track record of proving skeptics wrong, from its emergence from laughing-stock status in the ’80s to the growing cred of its Genesis sub brand.
The EV9 is exciting because it’s bold. Looking very generally like an electric version of the smash-hit Telluride conventional SUV, it seems to be coming to market in a form close to the concept version that Kia says was inspired by water. The EV9 probably won’t arrive until late in 2023, pricing TBD.