New car manufacturers don’t arrive too often, certainly not in the mainstream markets. Most newer names are either off-shoots of familiar brands - think Genesis, which is part of the Hyundai Group - or have been established for decades in other countries before arriving here, such as Dacia.
But the rapid growth of the electric car market has opened the door for a number of new brands arriving in the UK within a short amount of time. We take a look at the most intriguing new names set to be seen on our roads in the next year or so.
Chinese manufacturer BYD - Build Your Dreams - is actually returning to the UK car market, though you would be easily forgiven for not knowing it was selling cars here before. The BYD e6 was aimed at taxi drivers and didn’t prove popular. Now though, it’s a very different proposition, and BYD is looking to expand on its established success in the electric bus market.
The Atto 3 is the launch model for the UK market and is already available for leasing customers to order. A compact family crossover, the BYD Atto 3 focuses on technology and interior style, aiming to attract customers with excellent value for money and a good electric range.
Capable of covering around 260 miles on a charge, the Atto 3 is the vanguard of a brand launch in this country, with the more compact Dolphin and sporty Seal due to arrive in the next few years.
Fisker is not a new name, but it is a completely relaunched one. Some will remember the Fisker Karma from a decade ago, but the range-extended electric grand tourer never sold in any great numbers. The same name behind Fisker has reinvented the company, and is kicking things off with a long-range electric SUV.
The US-based Fisker Ocean is aiming directly at Tesla customers, and is due in the UK towards the end of 2023. The premium model will likely come with a premium price, but also a premium-level driving range. Fisker is quoting around 440 miles on a charge, though the Ocean will be available with a variety of battery sizes and power outputs for cheaper versions in due course.
Chinese manufacturer NIO has already launched in Europe, giving it strong foundations for UK expansion. As such, we know that the ET5 mid-sized saloon - a Tesla Model 3 rival - will arrive before the end of 2023, and will be joined shortly after by at least one other model.
This is likely to come from one of the other currently available European models - the ES8 SUV, ET7 saloon, EL7 SUV, or ET5 saloon.
Greatest attention will be on the ET7 saloon, which has a claimed driving range of 620 miles on a charge, considerably more than even the Mercedes EQS and Tesla Model S it’s aiming at - longer even than many petrol-powered driving ranges. More on Gateway2Lease as soon as we know.
Another Chinese manufacturer to expand into the UK market is Aiways, which again will be arriving towards the end of 2023 with the U5 kicking things off.
A mid-sized SUV that looks set to compete with the likes of Skoda’s Enyaq iV, the U5 has a range of around 250 miles on a charge, and like BYD is expected to offer a high specification, loaded with tech, for a relatively low price.
Top-up times should be kept down with high-power charging capability too, and there is a huge suite of driver assistance systems to tempt customers to lease this electric car.
It may be taking its time to get to the UK properly - the Lucid Air made its UK debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2022 - but expect the Air electric saloon to be available by the end of 2023.
A long-distance EV, the Air packs in huge amounts of power under the metal too.
Top-spec models get 1,100hp and over 520 miles of range, though more accessible models will arrive too with less power and shorter range.
It will be followed by the Lucid Gravity in 2024, which uses the same technology as found in the Air, as the Silicon Valley start-up looks to take on Tesla with a spacious and long-range SUV.
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