The 10 Best Cars to Lease in 2022

The 10 Best Cars to Lease in 2022

Buying a car is tricky in today’s market, and even leasing can feel like three-dimensional chess these days. Although 2022 isn’t the best time in history to buy or lease a car, some shoppers don’t have a choice. It doesn’t help that the average new car payment is a bank-draining $650 a month in 2022. Fortunately, leasing provides a window of opportunity for those who don’t mind what is essentially a long-term rental. These are the best car lease deals in 2022. All examples assume a 5% down payment at signing.

Not sure where to start? Head over to our YAA complete guide to leasing to find out what leasing a car is, and when it’s a good idea.

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

mitsubishi outlander lease

The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the Mitsubishi Outlander sells for an average MSRP of $40,356 depending on the trim. If leasing is an option, you can get into this versatile SUV for $412 per month with an allowance of 12,000 miles a year. How does a plug-in hybrid work? The Outlander can drive 24 miles on pure electricity (which is much cheaper than gas), and then can drive another 300 miles as a regular hybrid system with the help of a combustion engine. It’s kind of the best of both worlds, especially for a lease.

2022 Hyundai Kona EV

hyundai kona lease deal

The Kona EV made our YAA list of the five best electric cars you can get for under $50,000. The Hyundai Kona EV has an average MSRP of about $40,000, and you can lease one for just $401 a month. The Kona is a great alternative for those considering the Chevy Bolt. Plus, it comes with Hyundai’s unbeatable 10 year, 100,000 mile battery and electric powertrain warranty. This front-wheel drive subcompact crossover gets 258 miles on the charge, exceptional range for a budget EV. Some owners get over 275 miles on a single charge. 

2022 Toyota Tundra 4WD 

toyota tundra lease deal

If you can find one that’s not marked up, the 2022 Toyota Tundra 4WD is $51,400 at MSRP. If you’re open to leasing, you can sign up for $525 a month for 36 months and 36,000 miles. That’s $125 less per month than today’s average monthly finance payment. The downside? The Tacoma gets 14 miles per gallon when gas prices are well over $4 per gallon.

2022 Toyota Tacoma 

toyota tacoma lease deal

Last year, the Toyota Tacoma won Best Buy of the Year award from Kelly Blue Book in the mid-size truck category, and now you can lease a 2022 model for under $400 a month. If you buy, the 2022 Tacoma has an average MSRP of $36,300. If you lease, monthly payments are as low as $361. 

2021 Honda Civic Type R

honda civic lease deal

With an MSRP of $41,900, it’s a pleasant surprise that you can get into a Civic Type R lease for just $410 a month. Over 300 horsepower propels this budget racer to 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds. The challenge is finding one on a dealer lot.

2021 Chevrolet Bolt

2021 chevy bolt

Pre-facelift, the 2021 Chevy Bolt was the least ‘sexy’ electric vehicle on the market. It may look bland, have slow charging, and be subject to one of the most scrutinized recalls in recent memory, but you can lease one for cheap. The 2021 Chevrolet Bolt sells for $38,567 (average MSRP across trim levels), but you can lease one for $367.63 a month. Just make sure that you have proof from the dealer that your Bolt has already had the recall fix. Learn more about the Chevy Bolt recall and vehicle specs here.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

The 2022 model year gets a refreshed, modernized front fascia and improved interior. Sadly, driving range figures for the 2022 year remain the same. At least it doesn’t look like a cheap appliance anymore. Here’s the great news: the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt has a lower MSRP than the 2021 model. GM electric vehicles no longer qualify for the federal EV tax credit, so GM must have felt compelled to keep pricing competitive. Whether you go for a 2021 or 2022 Bolt, ensure that the car has had all of the mandatory fire-related recall fixes completed. 

You can lease a 2022 Chevy Bolt for $312 a month for 36 months. If you’re considering buying, remember that the $33,595 price tag will not get any help from the federal tax credit. State and local incentives may apply, depending on where you live. Here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

The Bolt EUV is the slightly larger new sibling to the regular Chevy Bolt EV. The EUV sells for $36,245, but you can lease one for just $341 per month. Range is 247 miles, but charging isn’t that great. Learn more about the Bolt here.

2022 Kia Niro EV 

kia niro EV lease

The 2022 Kia Niro EV has an average MSRP of $43,500, but it can be all yours (for 36 months) for just $395 with a lease. There’s generous lease support for the Niro for a few reasons. The Kia Niro is about to receive a major upgrade in 2022, and it’s being overshadowed by the new Kia EV6 electric crossover. The Niro can make it 239 miles on a charge, and charging from 0-80% takes about one hour at a DC fast charger. However, if you plug it in at home, it should work just fine for those who drive less than 50 miles a day.

2021 BMW i3 

bmw i3 lease

Why is the 2021 BMW i3 such a phenomenal deal in 2022? It was recently discontinued, but it’s still a great option if you’re looking for an affordable, low-emissions way to get around town. Keep in mind that it’s no Tesla. The i3 gets 200 miles of range, 153 of which are on pure electricity. Not to be confused with the new BMW iX3, the 2021 i3 has an optional range extender (on the BMW i3 REX version). All trims considered, the 2021 BMW i3 has an average MSRP of $48,970 while supplies last.

If you’re looking for an all or mostly-electric bargain lease, you can lease the 2021 BMW i3 for $425/month. That’s well under the budget-friendly 10% threshold for a smart lease.

Have questions or comments about the best car lease deals in 2022? Or maybe you’d simply love to connect with fellow car buyers and auto enthusiasts? Check out the YAA Community at joinyaa.com!

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2022 Consumer Reports Car Brand Rankings Announced

2022 Consumer Reports Car Brand Rankings Announced

Mazda CX-30 rankings

Every year, Consumer Reports sends dozens of car models through half a million miles of track testing and data collection. The non-profit organization buys all of its test cars anonymously from dealers and does not accept free samples from automakers. The Consumer Reports testing regimen includes more than 50 scientific tests on every vehicle it evaluates. 

The respected organization combines their findings with survey data from their 6 million subscribers to publish their annual Consumer Reports brand rankings. The pinnacle of the Consumer Reports’ annual rankings is the overall scores tallied for each brand.

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In 2022, Consumer Reports scored 32 automotive brands based on their overall scores in reliability, consumer satisfaction, road testing and safety. This year’s rankings bring surprising changes and a new leader.

Subaru Overtakes Mazda as the Top-Ranked Auto Brand

Subaru climbed two spots to number one in the 2022 Consumer Reports brand rankings. The Japanese automaker known for standard all-wheel drive dethroned Mazda with an overall score of 81. The 2022 Subaru Forester has ranked among Consumer Reports’ top picks for the 9th consecutive year. Fascinatingly, six of the top 10 brands in 2022 are Japanese automakers: Subaru, Mazda, Honda, Lexus, Toyota and Infiniti. 

The highest ranking American automakers in 2022 are Buick (72), Chrysler (71), and Dodge (67). Cadillac and Ford just barely passed the test, scoring 63 and 62 overall. Chrysler and Dodge have been known for reliability issues in the past, so it’s great to see them improving. Likewise, BMW’s luxury vehicles have long been known for their maintenance expenses, so to achieve #3 overall is a notable feat. 

As more automakers make advanced safety features standard on their models, the weight of Consumer Reports’ safety scoring is separating the winners from the losers.

The Best Car Brands in 2022

With Subaru now number one overall, Mazda falls to second place, followed by BMW, Honda, Lexus, Audi, Porsche, Mini, Toyota, and Infiniti. Here are the overall brand scores from Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports car brand rankings top brands
Consumer Reports car brand rankings
Source: Consumer Reports

Tesla Slips With Polarizing Steering Wheel 

Tesla fell seven spots to #23 in Consumer Reports’ overall brand rankings. In a press release, Consumer Reports cited the so-called ‘yoke’ steering wheel in the refreshed Tesla Model X and Model S as causes for concern and consumer dissatisfaction. Jake Fisher of Consumer Reports told Automotive News that Tesla’s tendency to push the limits is partly to blame. “It dropped more than any other automaker, kind of due to their own decisions,” he said.

Consumer Reports Green Choice Awards Remain Hybrid-Focused

2022 Toyota Prius
2022 Toyota Prius

Everyone’s talking EVs, however Toyota’s hybrid powertrains remain the top-rated low-emissions choice at Consumer Reports. As part of their focus on low-emissions transportation, CR included the Green Choice designation for the second year. Toyota (9th overall) leads the Green Choice awards with 11 hybrid and plug-in hybrid models on the list. 

What’s particularly interesting about this is the fact that Toyota has yet to release a single fully-electric vehicle. Their first, the 2023 Toyota bZ4X, is due to arrive later this year. 

You can access the detailed 2022 Consumer Reports brand rankings with a membership to the non-profit. 

Over-the-Air (OTA) Updates: How Automakers Are Betting on Software to Keep Up With the Pace of Innovation

Over-the-Air (OTA) Updates: How Automakers Are Betting on Software to Keep Up With the Pace of Innovation

2024 Silverado EV
2024 Silverado EV RST

At what point does a car become more of a computer on wheels? Computer integration in the automotive industry is nothing new, however it’s accelerating at breakneck speed. Both software and hardware become outdated in no time at all. Is there a way for car buying habits to steer clear of the two-year replacement cycle that smartphones have fallen into? 

As soon as computers grew wheels (in the form of electric vehicles), forward-thinking automakers launched over-the-air (OTA) update capabilities. Tesla was the first to do it, and now the likes of Ford, GM and Volkswagen are among the legacy OEMs marketing their vehicles as OTA-ready. Although, not all who’ve tried it have succeeded without hiccups. Here’s how OTA updates are changing car ownership, and what’s to come in the years ahead. 

What Is an Over-the-Air (OTA) Update?

EV charging costs

You know when your phone gives you a push notification about scheduling a time to install the latest software updates and bug fixes? Well, cars can do that too now. OTA updates are not just for software fixes. With OTA capability, vehicles can receive enhanced performance and safety improvements via a simple wireless internet connection. 

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OTA updates eliminate the need for making a service center visit for many simple fixes and updates. The updates are sent and downloaded via access to a cloud-based server with a wireless internet connection. Many updates are free of charge, and all safety enhancements are at no cost. However, we are entering a new era where OTA presents a new revenue stream for car makers. Everyone’s getting in on the subscription business, and the auto industry is no different. There are two kinds of OTA updates: those for infotainment, and those for vehicle performance and control. They may target either software or firmware, the latter of which required more advanced security protocols to implement.

Infotainment OTA Updates

Head up display Kia EV6
2022 Kia EV6

Infotainment updates improve the user experience. A classic example is how Volkswagen ID.4 owners are pleading for an improved infotainment performance after the original equipment was delivered with a laggy touchscreen and haptic buttons. Fortunately for ID.4 owners, the car is among VW’s first generation of OTA-capable models, and a fix is on the way. 

Sometimes, OTA revisions cause frustration and even anger from customers. Tesla recently pushed the Version 11 user interface to all of it’s vehicles via over-the-air download. The result was strong critical feedback from customers, most of whom were complaining about the automaker trying to fix something that wasn’t broken.

Vehicle Performance and Control OTA Updates

GM Ultium battery
GM Ultium Battery and Powertrain

How is it that the 2019 Tesla Model 3 has a quicker 0-60 time now than it had when it was delivered to customers? Or how Tesla vehicles can gain or lose access to the controversially-named ‘full self-driving’ based on driver safety scores? With OTA capability, automakers can send everything from a power boost to a pedestrian avoidance feature to cars already in driver’s hands. 

Vehicle performance and control updates can include updates to the vehicle’s powertrain, chassis systems, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Of course, updates to these critical components of a vehicle are only possible when the components are electronically controlled and operated. For this reason, an older car model can’t be retrofitted to become OTA capable. 

Examples of fixes and improvements automakers have installed via OTA

  • Tesla offers an ‘acceleration boost’ for the popular 2022 Model Y that lowers the 0-60 time from 4.8 to 4.2 seconds
  • Tesla regularly updates the ‘full self-driving’ upgrade, which is currently in beta testing
  • The Cadillac Escalade has received GM’s first big OTA update to improve the SuperCruise hands-free driver assistance (ADAS) technology
  • Ford delayed the release of a major OTA update for the BlueCruise hands-free driver assistance (ADAS) technology 
  • Volkswagen released the first of a series of promised software updates targeted at improving the infotainment experience

Which Automakers Offer OTA Updates?

Tesla was the first automaker to roll out over-the-air capabilities with the launch of the Model S in 2012. After years of skepticism from the competition, here are the other OEMs that have announced or commenced OTA updates in their vehicles:

AutomakerOTA-Upgraded Components
AudiNavigation
BMWInfotainment, optional features
FordADAS, several other components
General MotorsNearly every vehicle component on EVs, major components on combustion vehicles
HondaInfotainment
HyundaiInfotainment, voice assistance
Jaguar/Land RoverInfotainment, charging capabilities
LucidNearly every vehicle component and system
Mercedes-BenzInfotainment, navigation
NissanInfotainment
PolestarNearly every vehicle component and system
PorscheLimited functions
RivianNearly every vehicle component and system
Stellantis (FCA)Infotainment
TeslaNearly every vehicle component and system
ToyotaInfotainment
VolkswagenSeveral vehicle components and systems on EVs
VolvoNearly every vehicle component and system

Are OTA Updates Safe?

2023 Cadillac Lyriq
2023 Cadillac Lyriq

We’re used to having virus protection on our computers. If we don’t, bad guys will find a way to compromise the computer and access personal information. Are the same security and privacy concerns applicable to automotive OTA updates? 

Since OTA updates require a wireless internet connection to install, there are risks for malware and the unintended release of personal information. The best way to protect yourself from these risks is to only accept OTA updates while connected to a secure network, such as the wifi network at your home. Don’t try updating your car at the fast food or coffee shop drive thru!

What’s Next?

EV charging costs
2022 Volkswagen ID.4

Over-the-air updates are about to take the auto industry by storm. Now that major OEMs are proudly marketing their ability to improve the user experience (which itself sounds like they’re selling more of a tech product than a car), a paradigm shift is at hand. Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess recently told The Verge about VW’s plan for a reimagined future where the relationship between the automaker and customers is more intimate and dynamic with the power of OTA updates and new ways of customizing the ownership experience.

Imagine: for a long time, we did not have access to a customer as a company. The customer access was exclusively with our retail network. What we experienced over time was that people walk away from our retail outlets and go to third parties to substitute some of the spare parts or buy new tires. Now, we have a new opportunity to be in direct contact with the customer, which is totally new for us.

New Revenue Streams for Automakers

Not only is the largest automaker in the world committing to OTA capability, the likes of Ford, GM and even tech-cautious Toyota are joining the bandwagon too. Will OTA updates remain a free upgrade for millions of car owners? Unfortunately, that’s already slipping away. Tesla offers acceleration boost upgrades for its popular 2022 Model Y for $2,000, and Toyota recently tried making customers pay for remote start, a feature that is OTA-controlled. 

Even the CEO over at Volkswagen Group acknowledges the new money-making avenues made possible by software updates, telling The Verge that eventually, customers will have to pay for what they want.

We have that revenue in mind for sure as well. Customers will be prepared for some features they didn’t buy at the start, probably after a few years or after a few months — even if they consider taking another option or another software feature, the customers would be prepared to pay a monthly fee or a one-time expenditure.”

YAA’s Take

There are advantages and disadvantages of OTA update capabilities, but it seems that the advantages far outweigh any negatives that may come with this game-changing technology. As Tesla has shown the industry, there’s a future not too far away when most recalls may be fixed via a quick overnight update, and vehicles get better over time, helping them to retain resale value. Nevertheless, we’ll approach this industry change with caution and closely monitor how automakers roll out OTA updates in the months and years ahead. 

Are you ready to treat your vehicle more like a smartphone than a means of transportation? What do you think the outcome of this major industry shift will be for consumers, dealers and automakers? Will dealerships falter without the steady stream of vehicle service that they’re used to? Only time will tell. 

YAA Just Launched a New Search Engine to Make Buying Your Next Car Easier!

We have thousands of EVs (and other vehicles) listed today. Each listing includes industry insights, empowering data and the true TotalPrice that will make buying a car the transparent process it should’ve always been. Check it out here!

Every Electric Vehicle On Sale in 2022: Wait Times and Price

Every Electric Vehicle On Sale in 2022: Wait Times and Price

Hyundai IONIQ 5

(Updated for Summer 2022)

As anyone who’s fallen head over heels for one of the many 2022 electric vehicles and clicked that ‘Order’ button can attest, just because you can order an EV in 2022 doesn’t mean you can drive it home this year. This was a problem I faced myself, but I finally broke the code and got a Hyundai IONIQ 5 at MSRP (here’s how).

Soon after I began my online car search, it became clear that if I wanted a brand-new vehicle, my options were limited by availability. To make the most of the situation, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned about the availability and estimated delivery times for EVs on the market today. Here’s what we know as we kick off the new year.

Note: These are fully-electric models that can either be ordered now or purchased at a dealership today. Many more have been announced but are not yet officially available.

MakeModelClassStarting MSRPEstimated Delivery/Lot Availability*
Audie-troncrossover SUV$65,900Available Now
AudiQ4 e-troncrossover SUV$43,900Available Now
AudiRS e-tron GTsedan$103,445Available Now
BMWiXSUV$88,050Mid-2022
BMWi4sedan$55,400Mid-2022
CadillacLyriqSUV$62,990Late-2022
ChevroletBolthatchback$31,000Available Now
ChevroletBolt EUVcrossover SUV$33,500Available Now
FiskerOceancrossover SUV$37,4992023
FordMustang Mach-Ecrossover SUV$43,895Available Now
FordF-150 Lightningtruck$39,9742023-2024
GMCHummer EVtruck$99,995Mid-to-late 2022
HyundaiIONIQcrossover SUV$33,245Available Now (Discontinued)
HyundaiIONIQ 5crossover SUV$43,650Available Now
HyundaiKonacrossover SUV$34,000Available Now
JaguarI-Pacecrossover SUV$69,900Available Now
KiaNirocrossover SUV$39,990Available Now
KiaEV6crossover SUV$42,115Available Now
LucidAirsedan$77,400Mid-2022
MazdaMX-30crossover SUV$33,4702022 - CA Only
MercedesEQSsedan$102,310Available Now
MercedesEQBSUV~$55,000Late 2022
NissanLeafhatchback$27,400Available Now
NissanAriyacrossover SUV$47,125Late 2022
PolestarPolestar 2sedan$45,900Available Now
PorscheTaycansedan$82,700Available Now
RivianR1Ttruck$67,5002023
RivianR1SSUV$70,0002023
SubaruSolterracrossover SUV$46,220Mid-to-late 2022
TeslaModel Ssedan$94,990Late 2022 - 2023
TeslaModel 3sedan$46,990Mid-to-late 2022
TeslaModel XSUV$104,9902023
TeslaModel Ycrossover SUV$62,990Late 2022 - 2023
ToyotabZ4Xcrossover SUV$43,215Mid-to-late 2022
VolkswagenID.4crossover SUV$40,760Mid-2022
VolvoXC40 Rechargecrossover SUV$55,300Available Now
*For a vehicle ordered in May 2022, unless there's existing dealership supply.
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What Does It All Mean? Supply and Demand Are Out of Whack

A few things might stand out to you on this list. Not a lot of options are available if you need a new vehicle right now. VW Group’s new EVs are available at many dealerships, although there are reports of major dealer markups. It’s quite easy to find EVs of the previous generation on dealer lots. Think Kia eNiro, Hyundai Kona EV, Nissan Leaf and the like. 

The vast majority of 2022 electric vehicles are crossovers. No surprise there given the sales trends over the past decade. Honda doesn’t have a single EV arriving in the North American market until the 2024 Prologue electric SUV. That is surprising considering the popularity and good reputation of the brand. What will it take for automakers to catch up to demand? An end to the chip shortage would be a great step in the right direction. There’s also the supply versus demand factor. Ford, Rivian, Tesla and VW are all swamped with orders well into 2022, and even into 2023. All except Tesla are EV newcomers who are facing the same production ramp-up struggles that Tesla just barely survived a few years ago. We’ll update this page regularly as more information becomes available, so save it to your bookmarks!

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below, or shoot an email to justin@joinyaa.com.

OEM EV Investments and Roadmaps to Electrification

OEM EV Investments and Roadmaps to Electrification

Ford Electric Vehicle Center F-150 Lightning

This year’s LA Auto Show marks a turning point for the auto industry. What seemed unlikely a decade ago is now very real: like it or not, OEMs are committed to electrification. There are a whole host of reasons for the shift, from international climate initiatives and clean transport incentives, to simply responding to Tesla overtaking market share. Every automaker has its own strategy. Some are going it alone, while many are laying the groundwork for new partnerships with competitors. And as 2021 comes to a close, all OEMs have at least this in common: they’re planning to electrify and they’re spending a LOT of money doing it. Here are the latest updates on the major players in the North American auto market. 

Nissan, an Early EV Pioneer, Is Now Playing Catch Up

2023 nissan ariya

The 2011 Nissan Leaf changed the world and spurred interest in electrified transportation. The Leaf led EV sales for several years before falling behind the likes of the Chevrolet Bolt and the Tesla lineup. The turmoil of Nissan’s leadership surely didn’t do electrification any favors. But here we are, a decade after they brought EVs to the masses, and Nissan has unveiled the successor to the Leaf, the 2023 Nissan Ariya. This compact crossover is the start of something bigger. 

The Japanese OEM just announced ‘Ambition 2030’, a roadmap for electrification. In just five years time, Nissan says it will spend at least $17.6 billion in EVs and battery tech. That includes the engineering and production of its own solid-state battery by 2028, which would be a major feat for any automaker. Another part of the investment is a new $1.3 billion electric vehicle hub in England where it will build an all-electric crossover. By 2030, Nissan says that half of their lineup will be EVs. Will it be enough to reclaim EV dominance? 

Ford Keeps Upping Its Commitment to Electrification….and Teasing Us with Retro Concept EVs 

Ford is determined to catch up to Tesla, and they’re not afraid to say that publicly. Having acknowledged their status as an EV underdog, Ford isn’t making any excuses. Instead, they’re writing checks. The Detroit giant is spending $22 billion through 2025 to electrify its lineup, starting with the 2021 Mustang Mach-E, a controversially-named top seller and Tesla Model Y competitor.

Next up, the F-150 Lightning. Ford is so confident in its electrification strategy that it’s giving its best-selling model the EV treatment. With over 200,000 reservations in the books, it looks like Ford has their work laid out for them. Ford says that F-150 Lightning reservations placed today may not be delivered until 2024 due to order backlogs. 

In an even greater leap towards an EV future, Ford announced BlueOval City, which they call Ford’s “largest, most advanced, most efficient auto production complex.” The massive facility will be constructed on a nearly 6-square-mile site in Tennessee. It will produce F-series electric trucks and Ford’s future battery platforms. Moreover, a new BlueOval SK Battery Park is to be built in Kentucky with the goal of powering a new lineup of Ford and Lincoln EVs.

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GM Is Spending Big Money, but Where Are the Cars?

Chevy Silverado EV teaser

GM plans to stop selling combustion vehicles by 2035, so that means one of two things: GM is either going all-in with EVs, or they plan to go out of business. Jokes aside, the General is playing the long game. GM has been investing heavily in the development of its proprietary Ultium battery technology as it prepares to launch a slew of EVs.

Unless you’ve been living under an automotive rock for the past year, you probably know that the Chevy Bolt has been going through some rough times to say the least. Battery fires have been traced to problems with how LG Energy Solutions engineered the battery pack for GM. There’s a stop-sale on new Bolt’s, and all Bolt owners are advised to park away from buildings and limit charging to 80%. The automaker has to spend $1.8 billion fixing the Bolt recall, so I’m sure they will want to avoid similar problems going forward. GM’s Bolt blunder is certainly going to turn a lot of folks away from EVs, so here’s hoping that their new Ultium platform can convince the public that their EVs are worth a test drive.

2021 has arguably been the turning point for the automotive industry. Now that the future points towards electrification, OEMs like GM are increasing their planned investments in EVs and their infrastructure ecosystem. For example, GM recently announced that they are increasing their commitment to develop EVs and autonomous vehicles by $8 billion additional dollars by 2025, amounting to a total commitment of $35 billion. In a recent press release, GM shared that they intend for combustion-powered sales to fuel their growth strategy. The roadmap includes working with partners to build new battery facilities, creating a charging network, and converting the entire Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly center into ‘Factory Zero’, an all-EV production center with over 4 million square feet. 

The Cadillac brand will be exclusively electric by 2030, and the highly-praised Cadillac Lyric EV is almost here. And of course there’s the $100,000+ GMC Hummer EV coming out next year. But we’ll know Chevrolet is serious about EVs when there’s an electric Silverado, which is scheduled to arrive in 2023-2024. The automaker is relying on the new Ultium batteries to produce a desirable electric truck with a range of up to 400 miles on a charge at a compelling price point.

Stellantis: It’s Complicated

Now that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and PSA Group (European brands Peugeot, Citroen and more) have merged to create Stellantis, the conglomerate is trying to agree on a path forward towards electrification. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares recently complained to Reuters about the added costs of engineering and building EVs, which isn’t surprising considering that subsidiary Ferrari publicly says they aren’t very interested in electrification. 

Despite the dread of some of the leadership, Stellantis is far more committed to EVs than FCA was on its own. At ‘Stellantis EV Day 2021’, the group announced $35.5 billion in EV investment through 2025. Every Jeep will have an electrified option by 2025, and an electric Ram 1500 pickup truck and Dodge performance EV will hit the roads by the same year. Their target for North America is 40% electrification (including plug-in hybrids) in 2025. 

The Korean OEM’s are On a Roll

2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5

Not only is Hyundai-Kia on a roll, they are investing heavily in American manufacturing for their rapidly electrifying lineup. They recently shared a $7.4 billion investment in America between now and 2025, with the goal of producing American-made battery electric vehicles. Hyundai-Kia is also investing heavily in autonomous vehicle development and urban air mobility. You know, as in flying cars. By 2025, they plan to have 23 EVs and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the market, with more to follow. So there’s a lot to look forward to from the group. 

Hyundai’s retro-inspired yet very futuristic IONIQ 5 has garnered attention at the 2021 LA Auto Show along with its sibling, the Kia EV6. Hyundai’s Kona EV has sold well, but it doesn’t turn any heads. The next generation of electric Hyundai’s and Kia’s are sure to change that if the Kia EV9 and Hyundai IONIQ 7 are any indication of what’s to come. 

Honda, Mazda and Subaru are Making Incremental Changes

2023 Subaru Solterra 2023 first look

Honda doesn’t have a single dedicated EV in the North American market, but has had success with its funky Honda ‘e’ in Europe. Nevertheless, Honda has big plans. CEO Toshihiro Mibe recently shared that the automaker is aiming for 2040 vehicle sales to be 100% EVs and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. They expect that figure to reach 40% by 2030. As far as investment goes, Honda is putting their money where their mouth is and investing $46.3 billion in research and development initiatives, including electrification, over the next six years. But there’s a long way to go. In 2020, Honda sold 4.46 million cars globally, but only 14,000 were electric. 

When will Honda begin to make a splash in the American EV market? Well, no sooner than late 2023. Honda’s pride and joy is the upcoming 2024 Prologue EV, a SUV that will use GM’s Ultium battery platform. You read that right. Honda is depending on GM to deliver the most important part of their most important car of the decade. The EVs in development will surely have Acura-branded counterparts too.

In 2025, Mazda plans to introduce a unique EV platform, ‘SkyActive EV Scalable Architecture.’ For now, Mazda only intends to bring three full EVs to the American market by 2025. The company’s first, the MX-30, is out now in California and includes a very insufficient estimated range of 100 miles. For perspective, a 2013 Nissan Leaf got better miles than that. We’ll see if Mazda gets serious about EVs with an accelerated timeline. 

Subaru has been receiving plenty of attention as of late for its fruitful collaboration with Toyota to produce a new EV platform that both automakers will use for the time being. The 2021 LA Auto Show has featured the unveiling of the first all-electric all-wheel drive Subaru, the 2023 Subaru Solterra. It’s the sister to Toyota’s new bZ4X EV. Subaru is playing a bit of catch up in the electrified all-wheel drive space, but they have a plan. They recently announced plans for a new $272 million dollar R&D center in Tokyo that will employ some 2,800 people with the goal of facilitating the push to EVs.

And Then There’s Toyota, Slowly Moving From Hybrids to EVs

Toyota bZ4X

In 1995, Toyota made headlines when it unveiled a concept car at the Tokyo Auto Show that was powered by both combustion and electric motors. This concept would go on to become the first mass-produced hybrid, the 1997 Toyota Prius. 25 years later, the hybrid pioneer is lagging behind other automakers in the push to further electrify. As recently as this year, Toyota and Lexus have frequently trash talked EVs. From claiming that they prefer “self-charging hybrids” (there’s no such thing!!!), to investing heavily in the incredibly inconvenient hydrogen-powered Mirai, Toyota has kicked the ball down the road for the last decade when it comes to electrification. But things started to accelerate in 2019 when Toyota expanded its existing partnership with Subaru to include the development of a battery electric vehicle. 

At the 2021 LA Auto Show, we got our first look at the fruits of the Toyota-Subaru collab. On Toyota’s side, the result is a compelling EV with an eye-rolling name: the 2022 Toyota bZ4X. Apparently bZ stands for beyond zero, as in zero emissions. Subaru simultaneously unveiled its first all-electric all-wheel drive vehicle, the Solterra. 

So Toyota is off to the races. What’s next in their roadmap to electrification? In October, Toyota announced plans to invest $3.4 billion in US-built batteries through 2030. Globally, Toyota says it’s investing $13.5 billion in battery development, with the headline goal of reducing battery costs by 50% by 2030. They’ve also established a partnership with Panasonic for battery R&D. Toyota plans to expand the Beyond Zero line of cars into seven different models by 2025, and an additional eight EVs will be introduced into other Toyota segments. If all goes as planned, Toyota’s lineup will be hardly recognizable five years from now.

German Automakers Are Leading the Way in Europe, Is America Next?

2022 Volkswagen ID.4

In Europe, German EVs are arguably the face of electrification. While it’s true that Tesla and Asian EVs are quickly making inroads, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche are doing very well in the European EV market. The irony? Volkswagen Group’s electric leadership came directly out of the dieselgate emissions scandal. Following the debacle, VW intended to rebrand itself as an automaker committed to righting wrongs and going green once and for all. And to a large extent, the rebranding has been a success. 

VW Group has allocated over $86 billion for technology development between now and 2025. CEO Herbert Diess says that nearly all of it will be spent on electrification initiatives. In fact, he recently shared with CNBC that VW aims to have at least 50% of total vehicle sales to be electric by 2030. 

Here in the US, VW has already started converting a large portion of its Chattanooga, Tennessee factory into a production facility for American-made ID.4 electric crossovers. The conversion will cost about $800 million. The Chattanooga factory recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, and over 3,800 people are employed there. 

The Porsche Taycan has seen immense success and rave reviews. It’s the top-selling non-SUV Porsche of 2021, despite a sticker price that stretches from $94,000 to $188,000. Porsche, a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group, has led the electrification of luxury performance in Europe. They’re also investing in a network of public fast-chargers and destination chargers. At least 7,500 charging points are going to be available worldwide by 2025. This is all part of Porsche’s plan to spend about $17 billion on electrification through 2025. 

BMW has been a bit of an internal combustion holdout. Not long ago, CEO Oliver Zipse declared that gas engine development will continue and that demand for internal combustion “will remain robust for many years to come.” However, even Zipse says that he expects BMW’s EV sales to grow by at least 50% year-over-year for at least the next few years. By 2025, they expect 25% of BMW’s sales to be EVs. What about investment? The latest tally shows BMW has plans to invest $23.8 billion in battery technology and EVs. They seem to be dabbling in hydrogen fuel cells too, a technology that has yet to show scalable promise. 

Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler announced in July that it intends to invest $47 billion in electrification by 2030, with the explicit goal of taking on Tesla. Daimler says that the overhaul of operations could result in job cuts. Most notably, the transition will result in an 80% drop in combustion engine investments by 2026, just five years from now. In essence, Mercedes-Benz is going all in for EVs. Daimler recently purchased British electric motor engineering firm YASA Limited, and is making strides towards battery development. 

Is It Enough to Catch Up to Tesla?

Legacy OEM’s have a solid shot at catching up to Tesla, but there’s also the possibility that we’re witnessing a great realigning of sorts in the North American auto industry. As it stands today, Ford, Volkswagen Group, GM and Hyundai-Kia are best positioned to dominate the EV industry alongside Tesla, but all OEM’s are throwing money and infrastructure at electrification. What do you think the outcome will be? Will the big three and German giants be as powerful in a decade as they are now? Only time, money and a battery-powered arms race will tell.