Why This Could Be a Critical Year for Electric Cars

The New York Times has a great piece on the booming electric car market - even through battery scarcity and a microchip shortage.

While electric vehicles still account for a small slice of the market — nearly 9 percent of the new cars sold last year worldwide were electric, up from 2.5 percent in 2019, according to the International Energy Agency — their rapid growth could make 2022 the year when the march of battery-powered cars became unstoppable, erasing any doubt that the internal combustion engine is lurching toward obsolescence.

I've been looking at Electric Vehicles ever since we had our rooftop solar installed in March 2020.

A graph of solar production at our house.
Graph of our solar production - Solid Blue Bar = 2021. Dark Blue Line = 2020.

Options galore

There is no shortage of choice when it comes to which Electric Vehicle to purchase. I've narrowed down my option set to the following criteria:

  1. Not a Tesla. Sorry, I'm not supporting a company led by Elon Musk that has well-documented quality issues, high frustration with repairability, and generally terrible customer service.
  2. DC Fast Charge at < 125 kWh. Sure, I can top-off at home, but if I'm on the road / traveling with my family, I want to make sure I can recoup mileage quickly and not be tethered to a charger for hours.
  3. Eligible for the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit. I sure could use that sweet tax credit to help off-set what I owe the I.R.S.
  4. 250+ mile range. Range anxiety somewhat goes away knowing that you can fast charge to replenish lost battery, but I'd like to have a large hedge because of the loss of efficiency in the winter months.
  5. Comfort & convenience for my family. This will be a vehicle that I plan on keeping for a long time, so I want to make sure that it has creature comforts to withstand the desire to upgrade every 8-9 years.

The choices

2022 BMW i4 eDrive 40

What a damn mouthful, but it checks the boxes:

  • Not a Tesla
  • DC Fast Charge at 200 kWh
  • Eligible for the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit
  • 301 mile range
  • Roomy & comfortable for a sedan/coupe

2022 Audi Q4 E-tron

A sportier crossover, it also checks the boxes:

  • Not a Tesla
  • DC Fast Charge at 125 kWh (with rumored software upgrades to 135 kWh, per the Volkswagen ID.4)
  • Eligible for the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit
  • 255 mile range
  • Fully loaded for less than a base-model BMW i4 eDrive 40

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

Will this car ever hit a dealer lot? Who knows. It checks the boxes, though!

  • Not a Tesla
  • DC Fast Charge at 190 kWh
  • Eligible for the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit
  • 300 mile range (targeted)
  • Debut edition is absolutely loaded with options

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

If not for the dealer markups, this would be a fun one to buy/drive. I love the futuristic looks.

  • Not a Tesla
  • DC Fast Charge at 232 kWh
  • Eligible for the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit
  • 303 mile range
  • Futuristic as hell

2022-3 Rivian R1S

I don't know if this car will ever be produced with the backlog of R1T Trucks and Amazon electric vans, but it's striking and gorgeous.

  • Not a Tesla
  • DC Fast Charge at 200 kWh
  • Eligible for the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit
  • 316 mile range
  • Really big

2022 Polestar 2

Volvo Group's performance brand, Polestar is being spun-off as it's own electric brand by parent company Greely Motors. I'd have to fly to Detroit to buy one, though, becuase they don't have dealer centers in Missouri.

  • Not a Tesla
  • DC Fast Charge at 150 kWh
  • Eligible for the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit
  • 270 mile range
  • Interesting use of Android Auto to drive the infotainment system. Wireless Carplay is apparently "coming soon," which is a bit of a dealbreaker at the moment.

2022 Kia EV6

This is the dark horse, to be honest. It looks interesting, but there's something about the interior that just doesn't feel right. At any rate, it's wildly efficient, charges super fast, and sits on the same e-GMP platform as the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

  • Not a Tesla
  • DC Fast Charge at 232 kWh
  • Eligible for the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit
  • 310 mile range
  • Looks like it fits a lot of cargo, which is nice.
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