More electrified car choices expected next year


Iñigo S. Roces

The past year has seen our lives return to nearly pre-pandemic levels of normalcy. Workers have returned to their offices, face-to-face classes have resumed, and as expected, so has the traffic.

Perhaps the only thing that hasn’t gone back down are fuel prices. Not surprisingly, this has been one of the motivating factors for many to look into buying an electrified vehicle (fully-electric or hybrid-electric). It helps that a number of major malls have already installed vehicle charging stations. Another incentive is the recently-passed Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA) law that also offers number coding exemption to hybrids and fully-electric vehicles. As a result, the number of electrified vehicles on the road has grown.

It's not too late to reap the benefits, as traffic will no doubt get worse and fuel prices may still rise. As such, if you’re looking to get an electrified vehicle, you’re spoiled for choice, particularly when 2023 comes around.

BMW electric vehicles

BMW currently offers the iX electric car, but they hope to add four more in 2023. While they haven’t mentioned which ones specifically, we’re sure it will include at least two electric SUVs, the iX3 and the iX1. As the name suggests, these two models are based on the current X3 and X1 crossovers. The only difference is that, instead of the usual combustion engine, they will be powered by batteries and an electric motor. Best of all both may come at even lower price points than the iX. The other two could be sedans, such as the i4 and i7. These are electric vehicles based on the 4 series and 7 series sedans, powered by electric propulsion.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Announced just recently was Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 electric crossover, set to arrive in January 2023. While it looks like a hatchback from afar, it’s actually classified as a compact SUV in neo-retro styling. When it arrives next year, Hyundai will offer it in a choice of two variants: the Standard Range (₱3.068 million) and the Long Range (₱3.698 million) models. The Standard has a maximum range of 352 kilometers between charges, while the other one has a range of 481 kilometers. It’s also compatible with many of the charging stations already present in major shopping malls.

Kia EV6

Another Korean brand, Kia, will be putting up a fight against Hyundai with its upcoming EV6. The EV6 boasts of a range of up to 520 kilometers of driving from a full charge. Kia Philippines says it will be on sale in early 2023. While there’s no price yet, you can expect it to be close to the Hyundai.

Electric Mini Cooper

The lovable, British-made mini car will also be going green. Mini Philippines announced just recently that it intends to offer its first electric model, the Mini Cooper SE. Of course, Mini says this car may still arrive sometime in 2024, but we’re hopeful it arrives a little earlier, like late-2023. The Cooper SE is fully-electric with a range of around 235 to 270-km.

Hybrid Land Rovers

Land Rover already offers a hybrid version of the Range Rover Sport. Come next year, they hope to expand it with hybrid versions of two more models, the flagship Range Rover, and the rugged Defender. What’s unique about Land Rover’s approach is that their vehicles will be plug-in hybrids (PHEV). They work exactly like gasoline-electric hybrids but also have a wall-charging feature that allows drivers to fill up the battery when at home or at a charger. This allows them to operate in fully-electric mode for a short distance, then the gasoline engine will automatically power up and charge once it’s depleted. Naturally, these vehicles will be quite pricey, but may be well worth it in terms of reduced fuel consumption.

These are just some of the cars announced next year. There are many more that could make a surprise entrance. So if you’re already in the market for a new car, consider electrified. The choices are getting better by the month.

(Iñigo S. Roces is the Motoring Editor of Manila Bulletin)