2024 New Electric Cars: More Choices Than Ever
2023 was a record year for electric car sales in the U.S. Collectively, over 1.2 million Americans made the switch to an electric car, attracted by a combination of performance, technology, zero local emissions, and lower fueling and maintenance costs. 2023 was also a year where the number of electric car choices available to buyers expanded significantly, with new entrants in many new market segments and price points. But if 2023 was a big year for EVs, 2024 is going to be an even bigger year, with dozens of new models coming to market. So far, we’ve detailed some of the exciting mainstream and luxury crossovers and SUVs arriving this year – but if you want a car, or a minivan, there’s plenty still to get excited about.
Dodge Charger SRT EV
The Dodge Charger is an iconic name in American muscle cars, known for its big, stylish body and its big V8 powerplant. Production of the Charger, and its closely-related siblings, the Challenger and Chrysler 300, recently ended at Stellantis’ plant in Canada, but not to worry: the Charger is coming back. But this time, it’s electric.
In 2023, Dodge previewed the fully-electric Charger with a concept car called the Charger Daytona SRT. Not only does it look like a Dodge and drive like a Dodge – somehow, Dodge has managed to make this electric muscle car sound like a Dodge. A “fatzonic chambered exhaust” –uses an amplifier and a chamber at the rear of the vehicle to generate bone-shaking synthetic sounds, which exit through huge exhaust pipes. They are the only emissions that the electric Charger will emit.
For a true performance car feel, there’s even an “eRupt” multi-speed transmission with electro-mechanical shifting that will provide drivers of this EV with a distinctive muscle-car driving experience. It gives up a bit of efficiency, but provides a lot more emotion. On the more practical side of things, the powerful Charger Daytona SRT will have an 800-volt charging architecture for faster charging speeds, all-wheel drive for maximum traction and all-weather capability, and multiple drive modes.
Because there’s no huge V8 engine up front, the Charger Daytona SRT features a sculpted grille and hood that not only reduce air resistance but generate actual downforce at the front of the vehicle; the ductwork nestles in behind the Charger’s familiar headlight and grille design. Inside, expect a huge interior that also incorporates a 12.3-inch center screen and a 16-inch curved instrument cluster and an 8-by-3-inch heads-up display. A starting MSRP has yet to be announced, but we expect the new electric Charger to land around the $60,000 mark before incentives.
Fiat’s cute little 500 city car, reintroduced in North America in the early 2010s, has been on hiatus for the last couple of years – but it’s coming back as an electric car, which will be called 500e. An all-new, all-electric take on the car that put Italy on wheels, the 500e will be the lightest electric passenger car on the market, designed for urban dwellers with busy lives. Fiat claims that the Italian-made 500e will offer an estimated range of 149 miles from its 42-kWh battery – not a lot, but more than enough for urban use if a home charging unit is installed. The 500e can fast charge at up to 85 kW.
Unlike the previous 500, the 500e was designed as a battery-electric vehicle from the start, with a brand-new platform that is actually wider and longer than the previous 500. That means it has much improved interior space for four, as well as improved storage capacity. Clever touches include front and rear LED lights, electronic door handles for better aerodynamics, and a gorgeous, thoughtfully-designed interior with body-color dashboard insert, rounded instrument cluster, two-spoke steering wheel, easy-to-use 10.25-inch touchscreen, and digital instrument cluster. The seats are upholstered in recycled materials.
While the 500 was never a fast car, it was always fun to drive with its compact dimensions and peppy responses – and the 500e should stay true to that driving experience. A digital melody welcomes drivers upon entry, and 118 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque give the 500e enough to reach 60 mph in 8.5 seconds. Drive modes include a “range” mode with more aggressive regenerative braking, and a “sherpa” mode for maximum range that limits the top speed to 50 mph and reduces the power output from the motor. From the outside, the 500e “sings” a melody at low speed to alert pedestrians to its otherwise silent presence.
Launching in the U.S in the first quarter of 2024, the first versions of the Fiat 500e will be the (RED) edition, which features distinctive red-painted exterior mirrors and front grille details, 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, and other enhancements. Every (RED) Fiat 500e purchased triggers a donation to the Global Fund to support life-saving prevention and treatment programs for communities in need. Starting MSRP is $32,500, with less-expensive 500e models to follow.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 N
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is one of our favorite EVs, thanks to its combination of space, range, and technology. The Ioniq 5 N is an all-new high-performance version designed to demonstrate the limits of electric technology on the road and racetrack. It adds huge power, advanced technology, and extreme cornering to the portfolio of the regular Ioniq 5 – and is distinguished by multiple visual upgrades including contrasting black trim, 21-inch wheels, a lower ride height, wider body, and large rear wing.
The Ioniq 5 N delivers on the promise of its visuals with twin electric motors that spin up to 21,000 rpm – and provide up to 650 hp in the most aggressive drive mode. Launch control is available, as well as a new “boost” function for more power in 10-second bursts. The brakes are the most powerful fitted to any Hyundai, and there is even a simulated manual transmission function, which mimics the function of an eight-speed gearbox by controlling the motor’s torque output and adding a jolt between shifts. An active sound module that incorporates internal and external speakers to deliver a choice of sounds, from a simulated internal combustion engine, fighter jet, or Hyundai’s RN22e concept race car. Use all of the power, and you’ll understand why the EPA range estimate for the Ioniq 5 N is only 205 miles with the 84-kWh battery.
Inside, unique upgrades include lower-set sport seats, metal pedals, a steering wheel with drive mode controls and shift paddles, and new door sill panels. Despite the more sporty feel, the Ioniq 5 N keeps the practicality and enormous rear seat space we love about the Ioniq 5, as well as its sustainable materials. While the cabin is decidedly upscale, it uses recyclable door trim, seat fabric that is woven from sugarcane and recycled plastic bottles, and ecologically-processed leather. There are also large twin screens, a wireless phone charger, and multiple USB-C ports for convenience.
At a starting MSRP in the U.S. of $63,000, the Ioniq 5 N is not cheap – but it offers performance that rivals significantly more expensive cars from Porsche, BMW, and others, for a lot less.
Mini Cooper EV
Small, spacious, and fun to drive in the city, the Mini Cooper has always been an ideal candidate for electrification, and we really enjoyed driving the previous-generation Mini Cooper S Electric. But, being adapted from the gasoline version, the old electric Mini didn’t have the range or flexibility for many customers; that’s about to change as the next Mini has been designed from the ground up for electric power. It packs improved performance, a whole range of digital enhancements, a more spacious interior, and a lot more range into a compact and attractive package. Expect to see it later in 2024, with a starting MSRP of about $35,000.
The all-new electric Mini will be available in two versions – the standard Mini Cooper E and the more powerful Mini Cooper SE. The Mini Cooper E has a front-mounted electric motor with 184 hp, powering it to 60 mph in about 7 seconds. It has a 40.7-kWh battery offering a claimed 189 miles on the European WLTP cycle – almost double the range of the old model. The more powerful Cooper SE generates 218 hp, gets to 60 mph in about six seconds, and has a larger 54.2-kWh battery to give 249 miles of range on the European WLTP cycle – or two and a half times the range of the old model. All mileage is EPA estimated. Both models can charge up to 11 kW on a Level 2 charger, and up to 95 kW on a Level 3 DC fast charger – not class leading, but not a hindrance, either, given their relatively small batteries and high efficiency.
In addition to a brand-new platform with suspension that promises an even more entertaining driving experience than before, Mini is also giving the now Cooper E and Cooper SE electronically-customizable “experience modes” activated by a switch on the dash. Not only do these modes alter suspension, steering, traction control, and drivetrain settings, but the modes also affect the look and feel of the dashboard displays, interior lighting, and other cabin features to give a more immersive experience. Modes range from a “green” setup to optimize efficiency and deliver maximum range, all the way through a “go-kart” mode that foregrounds the Mini’s motorsport DNA with stiff suspension, sharp steering, a more aggressive feel, and even red interior lighting. Each mode comes with a tailored sound profile that accompanies acceleration and braking, as well.
Volkswagen ID. Buzz
We might be saving the best for last. The Volkswagen ID. Buzz, an electric reincarnation of VW’s original and iconic people-carrier, is finally arriving in American showrooms later this year. It brings one of the automotive world’s most distinctive designs into the electric era and is sure to delight Volkswagen fans as well as design fans around the country. More importantly, we think the ID. Buzz is about to make vans cool again – this versatile people carrier has cavernous room for seven, but isn’t an SUV.
The ID. Buzz picks up design cues from the fifties original and brings them right into the 21st century. Its two-tone body, about the size of the Atlas Cross Sport, has all of the charm of the original VW Microbus, but takes advantage of its electric architecture with extremely short body to create the maximum amount of space inside. The Buzz’ platform is a longer, wider version of Volkswagen’s modular “MEB” electric drive kit, which also features in the ID.4 SUV. Longer than the European model, the ID. Buzz will have a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. The rear-wheel drive version has a single EV motor putting out 286 hp and a 0-60 mph time of about 8 seconds. The all-wheel drive version will up power to 339 hp with a 0-60 time of less than 7 seconds. We expect EPA range estimates between 250 and 300 miles, depending on specification.
The best part of the ID. Buzz is its interior. Remarkably spacious for its exterior dimensions, the cabin also has gorgeous colors and finishes. Driver and front passenger sit on individual thrones, and in the rear, you can choose captain’s chairs or a three-person bench for the second row; a third row of seats will also be available. The huge rear hatch reveals over 40 cubic feet of cargo space, which is easily expanded. On the tech side, there’s a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen, and plenty of chargers and USB outlets. An interactive “ID. Light” stretches across the base of the windshield and communicates with color – for example, signaling obstructions and navigation instructions.
Volkswagen has yet to announce pricing for the ID.Buzz, but we’d expect it to come in well over the top trim levels of the hybrid Toyota Sienna minivan, so expect a starting MSRP of around $60,000.