Between now and the end of 2026, around 150 new plug-in hybrid vehicles will be available in US dealerships. That might be a record-breaking expansion for the industry – and a record-breaking chance for you to either locate the right EV or become hopelessly overwhelmed.
The 18 plug-in cars listed below are the ones I’m most excited to see in 2023 since they’re likely to have an impact on the electric car scene. This list contains pure electrics and hybrids, but doesn’t delve into the weeds on range, since it’s getting less different between pure electric vehicles at around 225-300 miles, which is plenty for the average driver to charge once every few days most of the time. And be wary of the old idea that you can reduce any pricing I specify with a tax break, as the new federal tax credit plan takes time to influence the market.
The Cadillac Lyriq slips into my list since it will be available in late 2022 but will truly make its presence felt in 2023. This midsize SUV will be GM’s first car to use the revolutionary Ultium battery technology, which employs novel pouch cells in a modular skateboard configuration rather than the standard cylinder cells that dominate the EV market. According to GM, this and other factors will enable Ultium to scale up and down its lines. GM also need Ultium to create a significant gap between itself and the radically different battery design that supports the Chevy Bolt and all of its bad press. The Lyriq is the first step on that journey, with prices starting about $63,000.
Chevrolet Equinox and Blazer
The Equinox, a tiny crossover that looks beautiful or tacky depending on the paint choice, will be the least costly of these two, which are frequently described in the same sentence. The base configuration with 250 miles of range will cost roughly $30,000, with fancier variants going up to 300 miles. That higher-range model also has an essential charger improvement that can recharge the battery 51 miles in an hour, an important number since it implies the typical person can get a day’s worth of driving even if they don’t plug in until they get in the shower before leaving to work.
The Chevrolet Blazer EV, inspired by the Camaro in response to Ford’s Mustang Mach-E, is more ambitious and somewhat bigger than the Equinox. The electric Blazer is a whole new vehicle, not a conversion of the present gas-powered Blazer. When in WOW mode, which stands for Wide Open Watts, it will produce 557 horsepower and 648 pound-feet of torque and accelerate to 60 mph in under 4 seconds. In a minute, we’ll see a similar fun-centric mentality with Dodge.
Because you can’t have a fight of one, the Silverado EV will kick off the plug-in truck conflicts when it comes in 2023 to compete with Ford’s F-150 Lightning.
Chevrolet Silverado Electric Vehicle/GMC Sierra Electric Vehicle
These are significant since Ford has already arrived, and we all want to see how GM can capitalise on its second mover advantage. The introduction of these two electric full-size trucks will officially put to rest the old notion that such cars would be difficult to sell in America. The electric Silverado powered by Ultium will join the market in spring 2023, followed by the electric Sierra later that year, if the supply chain cooperates. Ford has already raised the price of the F-150 Lightning twice, so any pricing on the GM trucks would appear to be premature speculation at this point.
It’s difficult to know where the Cybertruck stands three years after it was debuted and mistakenly trashed on stage, much like a Twitter acquisition on wheels. Elon Musk just stated that it will be available in 2023, and while I remain sceptical that it will appeal to enough people to be a major factor, it may be the most exciting new EV story of 2023 based on buzz and interest.
This famous depiction of an electrified 5 Series was drawn by BMW enthusiast @BMW43.
BMW I vehicles began as niche oddballs in the geeky early days of EVs, such as the dorm fridge-shaped i3 and pseudo-supercar i8, but the brand has done a 180 toward mainstreaming EVs with the iX, i4, and i7. The i5 will be an electrified version of the company’s 5-Series sedan, which would ordinarily make it less of a bellwether in the US market. The 5 Series, on the other hand, is no average sedan, and it still carries a lot of BMW brand strength. As of this writing, the i5 is expected (mostly on hearsay) around late 2023.
The Hornet will be Dodge’s first electric vehicle, and the R/T trim aims to set a new standard for low-cost plug-in thrills.
R/T Dodge Hornet
The Hornet R/T is a sport crossover that aims to make your tree hugging more enjoyable. Dodge claims it will be the fastest and most powerful small utility vehicle under $30,000. The R/T has a captivating gimmick: PowerShot, a paddle-and-pedal-activated 15-second injection of 25 more horsepower and torque to shave a second off a 0-to-60 sprint.
Ioniq 6 Hyundai
The Ioniq 6 will push Hyundai out of its rut of just having one electric-only car, the “hella stunning” Ioniq 5. However, the Ioniq 6 appears to be the result of a separate business putting a Panamera and a Citroen DS through a juice press. I don’t like the outcome, but the current Hyundai Sonata took some time to grow on me as well. Hyundai has a good track record of proving naysayers wrong, from its rise from laughingstock to the rising clout of its Genesis subbrand.
The EV9 is thrilling because it is daring. It appears to be heading to market in a form similar to the concept version that Kia says was inspired by water, and it looks very much like an electric version of the smash-hit Telluride conventional SUV. The EV9 is unlikely to be released until late 2023, with price still to be determined.
The GV60 is an electric vehicle with sassy appearance that is helping Genesis establish strong reputation in the premium automotive sector.
GV70 and GV60 Genesis Electrified
The GV60 is a battery-only luxury small crossover, whereas the GV70 is a somewhat bigger crossover with an electric version available, although not solely. The tiny GV60 looks great and gets our recommendation. When combined with the electrified GV70, you get a tight one-two punch from a firm that has recently been considered seriously as a premium rival.
This speculative vehicle is worth keeping an eye on because Volvo has many plug-in hybrids but just one pure EV, the C40 Recharge and its perplexingly identical XC40 stablemate. The remaining Volvo electric vehicles are plug-in hybrids. According to the rumour mill, Volvo will soon launch a huge electric SUV similar to the XC90, which I expect will find plenty of takers among the brand’s existing consumers.
The Mazda MX-30 will debut in 2023 with an electric range extender powertrain paired with a rotary engine, which will be difficult to explain to most people.
This new PHEV requires some explanation since it is a range extender, which means that its combustion engine is utilised to power a generator that recharges the battery rather than driving the car directly. That’s what the Chevy Volt pioneered, but Mazda’s car’s generator will be powered by a rotary engine that will be lighter, smaller, quieter, and smoother than a comparable piston engine. I’m worried that the electric MX-30’s tech story will be as difficult as the Volt’s, so it has to arrive with fantastic baseline specifications, which are yet unknown.
Toyota Prius Prime
A redesigned Prius Prime should arrive in 2023, maybe as an SUV with a coupe roofline and a more powerful plug-in hybrid drivetrain. Nobody can popularise PHEVs more than Toyota, and the firm expects them to play a larger role in the future than the present EV craze implies. I’m hoping the new Prius Prime has a battery-only range of at least 45 miles, up from the present range of 25 miles, since this would allow the car to take on enough pure electric range for most people’s daily driving – even if you forget to plug in until an hour before you leave for the day.
The Lexus RZ 450e will be the company’s first all-electric vehicle, using the same basic architecture as the unpronounceable Toyota bZ4x and Subaru Solterra. Its design has more sharp edges than your kitchen knife drawer, and the cockpit defies the current trend of extreme simplicity. The RZ claims to raise the standard for head-up display and direct access buttons on the steering wheel synchronisation.
Polestar 3 and 4
Volvo’s electric subbrand will release its most significant vehicle to date in 2023. The Polestar 3 will be a genuine crossover, which is long overdue for a company that began with a PHEV luxury sedan you’ve never seen in the wild, followed by the all-electric Polestar 2, which simply looks ugly to me. Under a curtain, a forthcoming electric utility car with a coupe roofline and the insanely fast Polestar 5, due in 2024, are both revealed. Polestar has a busy few years ahead of it.