There’s a lot going on in the world of electric vehicles these days, with growing consumer demand, and governments adopting stricter new climate targets. Zero-emission EVs, SUVs, and even EV pickup trucks are also on the minds of automakers new and newly established. We’ve written previously about the best hybrid SUVs, and the electric cars with the longest pure electric range (and the best chargers to charge these EVs), but what about what’s coming next?
Which are the best American-made EVs to watch in 2022? (To find out more about how to tell whether a car is American-made or not, see below.)
#1. Tesla Roadster
It’s been a long time since Tesla made Roadsters, but they’re back on the production roster for late 2021 and should be available in 2022. Made at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, the Roadster Second Generation is set to run for up to 620 miles on a single charge and to hit 60 mph in just 1.9 seconds. Top speed for the next level Roadster is said to be 250 mph, with some rumors there may be spacecraft-inspired thrusters on this beast.
Prices are set at $200,000 with $50,000 down as a deposit. Or, if you’re super keen to stand out, choose the Founder’s Series limited edition Tesla Roadster and pay $250,000 up front.
#2. Chevrolet Corvette EV
Good old Chevy looks set to introduce a Corvette EV as well as the Chevy Bolt EV Crossover and Chevy Cadillac Lyriq EV (see below) in the next year or so, with the Corvette’s cover blown by none other than President Biden! The all-electric Corvette may be able to reach speeds of 200 mph and will most likely be built at the Bowling Green Assembly along with all other Corvettes.
The Kentucky facility has made more than one million Corvettes since it started in 1981 and is super green. It boasts a large solar array, LED lighting, dry scrubber technology in the paint shop, and other endeavors aiming to reduce the plant’s environmental footprint, making the Corvette EV not only American-made but quite a bit more eco-friendly than many other EVs. Chevy Corvettes (non-EV) are also near the top of the Made in America Auto Index 2020 with 64% American-made content.
#3. BMW iX
Expected in early to mid 2022, the BMW iX is a midsize, crossover, SUV EV. It has an expected range of 285 miles per charge, thanks to a 63-kWh battery pack that boasts 335 horsepower. Production looks set to start in November or December 2021 with entry-level and mid-tier models first on the line. There’s also a top-level model that looks slated to go into production in Spring 2022. Global production may begin as early as July 2021, but US factories will only start later in the year.
Some exciting potential features of the BMW EV include Natural Interaction technology, with touch-sensitive materials inside the car enabling a new way of communicating with the vehicle. The iX is expected to be 4WD, with optional two-axle air suspension, and soft-close doors.
#4. Bollinger B1 and B2
Not nearly as well known as most other car makers on this list, Bollinger is a startup EV company with plans to release two EVs – an SUV (B1) and a pickup truck (B2) later this year (2021). These EVs will have an aluminum frame, all-wheel-drive, and a rather boxy appearance. They should offer a 200-mile range, get up to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and be able to tow up to 7,500 pounds.
Practical, rugged, and without pretention, the Bollinger B1 and B2 will be big trucks with big battery packs (142-kWh) and dual electric motors. They offer a whopping 15 inch ground clearance and are the only Class 3 electric trucks on the planet, according to Bollinger. These EV trucks offer off-road performance, excellent torque and horsepower, and 50/50 weight distribution.
The Bollinger EV trucks are built in Detroit with the company aiming to build locally but have a global impact.
#5. Chevrolet Bolt EV Crossover / EUV
Another Chevy! Set to be built at GM’s Orion Assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan, the Chevrolet Bolt EV Crossover (or EUV) is benefiting from a $160 million upgrade for Bolt production. This EV SUV will be taller and roomier than a regular Bolt and offers GM’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system. Connectivity to Super Cruise is included free of charge for three years if you purchase the Premier trim, after which a paid plan is required.
The current Bolt EV gets 259 miles on a charge, and the Chevy EUV is estimated to get 250 miles range, which is pretty good for an SUV, if not as good as the BMW iX is expected to get.
The better news though is that the Chevy Bolt EUV is priced at $33,000 to start, which is far lower than a BMW!
#6. Lucid Air
Made in Casa Grande, Arizona, the Lucid Air is a midsize electric sedan expected to get a massive 406 miles of range on a single charge. Formerly know as Atieva, Lucid is an American car company specializing in EVs. It also handles energy storage, making it something of a one-stop-shop for EV tech. The company was founded in 2007 and has headquarters in Newark, California, with talk of plans to build a manufacturing plant in China.
The Lucid Air Dream Edition is the company’s first car set for release this Spring and will feature a dual-motor, 1,080-horsepower all-wheel-drive architecture said to achieve a 9.9 second quarter mile time, setting it apart from other electric sedans. It has an estimated EPA range of up to 517 miles and looks set to be the fastest charging EV on the market. When connected to a DC Fast Charging network, the Lucid Air Dream Edition could charge at up to 20 miles per minute, with 300 miles of travel time in just 20 minutes of charging. This EV may get up to 235 mph when pushed and has a slick interior to rival an Audi.
You’ll pay for all those firsts, fastests, and fanciness though. The Lucid Air Dream Edition could cost you well over $150,000 even after a tax rebate. It does come with three years of free high-speed charging though, and toned down, more affordable options are coming soon. Here are your current pre-release options, according to the company’s website:
- The all-inclusive, limited-volume Air Dream Edition, available spring 2021, at $169,000
($161,500 after USA federal tax credit)*
- The fully equipped Air Grand Touring, available mid 2021, from $139,000
($131,500 after USA federal tax credit)*
- The well-equipped Air Touring model, available late 2021, from $95,000
($87,500 after USA federal tax credit)*
- The Air, the starting point for the lineup, available in 2022, from $77,400
($69,900 after USA federal tax credit)*.
#7. Ford F 150 EV (2022)
The Ford F 150 EV is set to be built at a new EV factory in Dearborn, Michigan and will be available in 2022. The batteries will also be made there at Ford’s Rouge Center, making this one of the most ‘made in America’ EV pickups out there.
Because Ford already have an F 150 Hybrid, there’s been a bit of confusion over this electric pickup truck. The F 150 EV will be all EV though, but is priced very similarly to a gas-powered pickup. Factor in the eligibility for the federal tax credit of $7,500 and the Ford F 150 EV is easily one of the most affordable electric pickup trucks available in the US, compared to Tesla’s Cybertruck, the Rivian R1T and GM’s Hummer EV pickup.
The Ford F 150 EV entry model starts at $39,974 and is designed with commercial users in mind. For a more souped-up mid-series (XLT) you’re looking at a starting price of $52,974, offering additional comfort and technology. Prices range up to around $90,474, depending on your chosen specifications. You can reserve one of these trucks for just $100 (fully refundable) right now and will be able to place your order beginning fall 2021. The first shipments are set to begin in the spring of 2022.
The F 150 EV is not just a shiny showtruck. This thing is set to be a real workhorse, with a targeted towing capacity of 10,000 lbs., a targeted maximum payload of 2,000 lbs., and superior control over a variety of terrains and road conditions. These include Normal, Sport, Tow/Haul or Off-Road, and each drive mode customizes the 12-inch digital productivity screen.
The expected range for the F 150 EV is 230 miles for the base model, with the extended range version (priced in the mid $50,000s) expected to go for 300 miles. The F-150 Lightning with the extended-range battery has a targeted 563 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque and will accelerate faster than any F-150 yet, targeting 0-60 mph in the mid-4 second range.
All four variants of the Ford F 150 Lightning will have Ford’s four-door SuperCrew cab, and like its gas and hybrid counterparts, this EV pickup is set to have a fold-out center console work surface and plenty of space thanks to its more traditional boxy pickup design. There’s also set to be an onboard payload scale, Pro Trailer Hitch Assist to make it easier than ever to hook up your Airstream or whatever else you plant to tow, and a trailer reverse assist system to make backing up a breeze.
Another attractive feature of the F 150 EV is the (in my opinion) unfortunately named Mega Power Frunk. Where you’d typically find the internal combustion engine in a regular Ford, the front trunk of the EV pickup model offers both accessible power outlets and 14.1 cubic feet of cargo space (enough for eight 50 lbs bags of concrete mix, according to Ford).
The frunk boasts four Pro Power Onboard 120V outlets for a total of 2.4kW of exportable power, plus one USB-C outlet and one USB-A outlet. That means you can run power tools, your laptop, and even a microwave or a TV should you wish. Basically, for the down payment on a house, you could probably just live in the new F 150 EV and be pretty happy about it.
#8. Rivian R1T
The Rivian R1T is one of the best American made EVs I’m most excited about this year. I can see the R1T being my electric pickup of choice when it’s time to add such a beast to the family. Why? Because this pickup has a battery system able to handle anything from 130 F to -25 F (pretty handy for Canada!), and is set to increase its range from 300 or more miles to 400 or more in January 2022.
The R1T has a quad-motor, can reach 60 mph in 3 seconds, has a towing capacity of up to 11,000 lbs. and a wading depth of more than 3 ft. It also boasts matte-black finishes throughout and vegan leather seating, and specially tuned audio with removable (i.e., portable) Bluetooth speaker. There’s a fantastic panoramic all-glass roof, with an open-air removable roof option to be offered in mid-2022.
The Rivian EV truck offers storage in the bed, front trunk, rear storage bin, under-seat compartments, center console and gear tunnel, amounting to more than 68 cubic feet of storage. It even boasts a pull-out camp kitchen, which is why I’ve included it in my best conversion vans for mobile living (despite it not being available yet!). The R1T limited run Launch Edition costs $75,000 and is slated for delivery in June 2021. The main R1T line starts at $67,500 however and is set for delivery in January 2022. These trucks are built at the former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois.
#9. Rivian R1S
Also built in Illinois, the Rivian R1S is the company’s flagship EUV. Starting at $70,000 with 300-plus miles of range, the R1S can handle driving in up to 3 feet of water, can rock crawl at a 100% grade, has 14 inches of ground clearance, reaches 60 mph in 3 seconds and handles like a sports car. I’m sold!
The R1S boasts the same quad-motor (one for each independent wheel) as the R1T truck but a little less towing power (up to 7,700 lbs.). It has an ultra-low center of gravity for safer handling, boasts that same panoramic roof as the R1T (with open-air option for 2022), and can seat up to 7. The second-row seats fold 60/40 with the third-row splitting 50/50, making it easy to optimize seating and storage as needed (there’s a solid 108 cubic ft. of storage available!).
One other feature I love, given that I’m not overly tall, is the R1S’s automatic height adjustment capability. When parked, you can lower the height to just 8.1 inches off the ground, making it far easier to get a squirming child into a car seat, load your groceries, or persuade bulky gear into the storage space. This, to me, is the kayaking/camping/soccer mom EV of my future. And since the seats fold nearly flat, there’s plenty of scope for stargazing in comfort.
The R1S Launch Edition starts at $77,500 and is scheduled for delivery August 2021. The Adventure and Explore models are priced at $77,500 and $70,500 respectively and set for delivery January 2022.
#10. Tesla Cybertruck
If you’ve been salivating over a Cybertruck since seeing that amusing demo of its bulletproof glass a while back, you’re probably a bit peeved that the release date has now moved back even further to 2022 for full-scale production. There’s a chance some earlybirds might get their much coveted Cybertrucks in late 2021, but given that the design seems to still be being tinkered with, I wouldn’t hold my breath. Indeed, there are significant concerns that as it stands the design won’t pass US or European road safety tests, in part because it provides very little pedestrian protection.
Still, once it does get to the production stage, the Cybertruck will be built in Austin, Texas, at the Gigafactory. The wedge-shaped stainless steel truck looks set to have a 7,500-14,500 lb. towing capacity, depending on if you go for the single-, dual-, or three-motor model. Again, depending on which motor you choose, the Cybertruck has a range of 250 to 500 miles on a single charge. It can also seat 6, has 100 cubic feet of storage space and you can raise or lower the 16-inch clearance suspension by 4 inches.
The two-motor all-wheel-drive is priced at $49,000, rising to $69,000 for the three-motor AWD. There’s also talk of a rear-wheel-drive Cybertruck for just $39,000.
#11. Cadillac Lyriq
The Cadillac is set for an electric upgrade. The Cadillac Lyriq will be a crossover station wagon style EUV and will be one of the first of GM’s cars to use their Ultium battery technology. Orders will open in September 2021, with availability currently scheduled for 2022. The EV Cadillacs will be built at the Spring Hill Manufacturing factory in Tennessee for models sold in North America and at a plant in China for customers in Asia.
The Cadillac Lyriq can seat 5, offers a range of 300 miles on a single charge, and has a dual on-board charging package available. The Lyriq can charge at up to 52 miles per charging hour on a Level 2 (AC) charger or 76 miles in just 10 minutes at a fast-charging DC charger.
The Lyriq comes with Chevy’s SuperCruise system for hands-free driving on certain roads and has an interior full of wizardry, including a 33-inch diagonal advanced LED display. The Lyriq starts at $58,795.
#12. Volkswagen ID4
Volkswagen got themselves in some hot water this month after an April Fool’s prank was deemed misleading, but the sentiment behind it – that VW is committed to an electric vehicle future – seems legitimate. In the first of an anticipated series of affordable EVs from VW, the ID4 will be a hatchback with a range of 250 miles per charge.
Starting at $39,995 (or $32,495 with the federal EV rebate), the ID4 includes three years of fast charging for free at Electrify America DC charging stations (found on most major highways across the US). At a DC fast charger, the ID4 can add 60 miles of driving time in about 10 minutes.
The Volkswagen ID4 is set for production at the VW Chattanooga plant in Tennessee later this year or early 2022. The 1st Edition ID4 is already sold out, but you can still pre-order the Pro edition. Volkswagen aim to pump out some 20 million EVs by 2029.
#13. GMC Hummer EV
The Hummer EV pickup and SUV will also be produced in Detroit, Michigan, with potential for early rollouts in 2022 for the pickups. You’ll have to wait until 2023 for the SUV though.
This beast of a pickup will boast 1,000 horsepower, reach 60 mph in 3 seconds, handle off-roading like a champ, and have Super Cruise (included for 3 years). The Hummer EV pickup offers 350 or more miles per charge (300 miles for the SUV) and can snag a quick 100 miles extra range in 10 minutes of fast charging. It will also have removable roof panels for some spectacular off-road, back country stargazing fun.
For the downside, the Launch Edition is already sold out ($112,595), but the 2023 model year sees options at $79,995-$99,995.
#14. Lordstown Endurance
Finally, the Lordstown Endurance is another American-made EV to watch for 2022. Made in Lordstown, Ohio, at an old GM factory location, this consumer-friendly work truck was meant to hit the production line in 2020 but got hit by pandemic problems and has been delayed to this year.
The Endurance has four hub-mounted electric motors, an expected range of 250 miles, and a 109 kWh battery. It is set to be able to tow up to 7,500 lbs. and have 600 horsepower, with a top speed of 80 mph.
The Endurance will cost an affordable $52,500 before any tax rebates and such. Impressively, Lordstown Motors says it has “received 50,000 non-binding production reservations from commercial fleets for its Lordstown Endurance all-electric pickup truck, with an average order size of approximately 500 vehicles per fleet.”
Is this car made in America?
The ‘made in America’ question is a bit complex when it comes to cars and trucks. Sometimes, a lot of the content of a vehicle is made in other countries and then undergoes final assembly in the US. Other times, parts are made in the US and final assembly happens elsewhere. And in a handful of cases a company will have their HQ in the US but not actually make cars in America.
So, what’s a consumer to do? One way to tell if a car is assembled in the US is to check the VIN. The US is usually a number starting with one, four, or five (a two for Canada and a three for Mexico). Japan and Korean start with the letter J and K respectively.
Beyond that, you can check AALA data (the American Automobile Labeling Act). This has to be displayed on all new cars sold in the US, with data available on the National Highway and Transportation Administration’s website. This information is updated quarterly, but is often incomplete, unfortunately, especially if companies (ahem, Tesla) don’t always provide info in a timely manner.
Arguably the best way to check just how ‘made in America’ a car really is, is to check the American University Kogod Made in America Auto Index. The 2020 index is a good indicator of which automakers are likely to be producing their cars in the US, although it’s worth bearing in mind that EVs may not be made on the same lines as a company’s gasoline or hybrid models.
To meet ambitious climate targets, governments are looking to rapidly increase EV charging infrastructure in the next few years. I’m also hopeful that the incentives for the average consumer looking to buy an EV will be expanded, beyond the increase in sales threshold brought in recently by the Biden administration (making Teslas eligible once again for EV rebates!).
Battery prices are falling and battery recycling is gaining speed, while chargers are becoming more common too. And, happily, the mileage/range for EVs has improved dramatically in recent years, with even greater distances on the horizon.
Now is a great time to buy an EV or start saving towards one. And with the American made EVs coming in 2022 or late 2021, you’ll soon be spoilt for choice!