If the Super Bowl was any indication, our electrified future is already here. These EVs are the game changers.
By Simon Murray
There are few things that bring people together like the Super Bowl. I watched the 57th annual occurrence of this gladiatorial championship draw to its epic conclusion at a friend’s house in Poughkeepsie. After the dust had settled and the last piece of red confetti spun slowly to the ground, what I came away thinking about wasn’t the physical prowess of the larger-than-life athletes or the physics-defying antics of Kansas City Chiefs demigod/quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. What left an indelible impression—between mouthfuls of high-end appetizers—was the Big Game’s seemingly unskippable filler, which now goes for a cool $7 million for just 30 seconds of air time.
I’m talking about the ads, of course.
Or really, just one: Ram Trucks’ hilariously tongue-in-cheek “Premature Electrification” for the Ram 1500 REV, marking the company’s first electric pickup truck. And Dodge is no outlier. In the past two Super Bowls, there have been a combined ten commercials for electric vehicles, or EVs. A skeptic would surely point to the abundance of crypto currency commercials last year, which has since been dubbed the Crypto Bowl—and the dearth, only a year later, following the infamous downfall of FTX effectively cratering the market. Whereas crypto’s future is ethereal at best, EV architecture has already been established. It’s here, in your neighbor’s driveway or in line at Starbucks. Good luck trying to pull the rug out from under a three-ton vehicle.
Which is why there’ll never be an EV Bowl. Instead, love or hate them, these vehicles will slowly become adopted by us all, until the day arrives when a combustible engine seems as unrecognizable as a Model T.
At least, that’s the thought I had somewhere between Jack Harlow ting-ting-tinging a triangle and the channel-changing accusatory hijinks of Tubi. To help prepare you for this electric future-turned-present that we now find ourselves in, we went to the trouble of putting together a list of superlatives that cut through the noise and assist you in making the best decision for the road. Not unlike the Super Bowl, pulling up in one of these beauties on wheels will give your friends and family something to really talk about for weeks to come. Game on, sports fans.
MOST ANTICIPATED: 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning
Not even a faulty battery issue can slow down the excitement for the newest iteration of Ford’s inimitable pickup truck. The Ford F-Series has been America’s best-selling truck for 46 years in a row(!), and the Michigan automaker would like to keep it that way.
You won’t find many differences between the Lightning and a standard gasoline-powered F-150, but for most that’ll be a good thing. Like the regular F-150, you can configure the Lightning in different versions (Pro, XLT, Lariat and Platinum), which add more equipment and features. But the biggest difference maker is the three extended range versions. With longer-range batteries come expensive upgrades—adding another $20,000 to $40,000, depending on the package.
The EPA-estimated driving range varies between 240 miles with the base battery to 320 miles with the larger one, but a towing trailer quickly depletes the battery. If you’re a truck owner that tows infrequently or only for short distances, that shouldn’t be an issue. Just good luck trying to get one. Ford is seeing unprecedented demand, with more than 200,000 reservations already, not surprising for this perennial best-seller.
MOST FAMILY-FRIENDLY: 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5
The first thing you’ll notice about Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 is a distinctive design to go along with a whimsically fun-to-say name. But styling only tells a part of the story. In fact, it’s what you can’t see with the naked eye that’s far more compelling—the Ioniq’s 350-kW DC EV Ultra-Fast Charger enables charging speeds as quick as those offered by far more expensive and luxurious EVs, including the Porsche Taycan and Lucid Air. When it comes to charging, Hyundai says the larger battery (you can choose between a 58.0-kWh and 77.4-kWh battery pack) can be replenished from 10 to 80 percent in around 18 minutes when plugged into an 800V DC fast-charging system. They also said it can add 68 miles in about five minutes.
This paltry down time is entering the realm of doable for families with little to no time to spare. Couple this fast-charging ability with a roomy interior, and the Ioniq 5 makes a compelling choice for anyone taking the first swing at EV ownership.
BEST SUV: 2023 Kia EV6
A slew of new electric off-road capable EVs is something to look out for, as anywhere from a dozen or so automakers are developing a model in the next few years. While we wait for a Land Rover Defender and Ford Bronco to be electrified, the lean, zippy 2023 Kia EV6 more than holds its own. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and for some, that’ll be enough—but the all-wheel drive models are punchier and can be had with a larger battery pack offering a maximum of 310 miles of driving range. That’s more than enough juice for a local off-roading adventure.
The EV6’s dramatic curves and unsubtle flair also add to its charm. If you opt for the top-spec GT-Line, it’ll come with a little green button on the steering wheel. This button is deceiving, just like the EV6. Press it, and you’ll unlock the propulsion system’s 576hp, which is powerful enough to send the EV6 flying out the gate to 60mph in as little as three seconds. That’s a lot of daring zip for an SUV. And like the Ioniq 5, it too has fast-charging capability to get it from 10 to 80 percent in less than 20 minutes.
MOST LUXURIOUS: 2024 Lucid Air Sapphire
Lucid quietly already made the most powerful sedan in the world. The 1,111-hp Air Performance should enjoy such laurels while it still can, because there’s a new king in town. Lucky for Lucid, the Air Sapphire will knock their own car off that pedestal when it debuts sometime this year. At 1,200 horsepower, Lucid claims its new tri-motor roadster can hit 60mph in less than two seconds. If that’s true, it’ll out accelerate a Bugatti Chiron Super Sport. That’s no small feat, friends.
Inside, there are sport seats that have large side bolsters and an integrated headrest, which is a good thing, since the torque is going to send your head careening backwards. An Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, and the digital gauge cluster now has a blue hue. Orders have already begun, and customers are required to put down $25,000 for a spot on the list. The Sapphire is expected to debut later this year and is the first of what’s expected to be a performance brand within Lucid.
AUTHOR’S PICK: 2024 DeLorean Alpha5
MSRP: $120,000 (estimate)
I think Newsweek said it best in their headline: “What is the DeLorean Alpha5 and How Can I Buy One?” You and me both, Newsweek headline writer person. The Alpha5 looks like the DMC DeLorean of old that Doc Brown infamously outfitted with a flux capacitor, only given a full-blown makeover by 31st century designers. Which is to say, this roadster is indeed back from the future but also from the past, and is satisfyingly bold in all the right ways.
Like its predecessor, the Alpha5 has gullwing doors that Tesla’s Model X appropriated, but I daresay they look better on the sleeker DeLorean. Modern sensibilities, courtesy of Moncalieri, Italy-based Italdesign, like millions of waves over a jagged rock, have rounded the decidedly ’80s DMC’s boxy frame. The result is an EV in a league of its own, with no official MSRP yet released. Its announcement heralds the rebirth of a company that has always gone against the grain. To reserve a production slot, interested customers need only join DeLorean’s Alphas Club by purchasing a lifetime membership for $88. That seems like a paltry sum for what’s assuredly going to be a head turner. Including mine.