The Future Is Electric
Electric Vehicles At The Los Angeles Auto Show
2021 is the year of the Electric Vehicle at the LA Auto Show, and beyond. Here are nine of my favorite EVs at the show this year.
By Glenn Oyoung
Wed, Dec 1, 2021 12:44 PM PST
Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo
The Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo may have the longest name ever. It’s the longest, fastest, and most sustainable wagon ever – so it can have fifteen more surnames as far as I’m concerned. This year’s LA Auto Show is all about EV’s and evolved Taycan deserves a gander. Expected range is over 300 miles, but it all depends on how heavy your lead foot is. Actually, it’s lithium foot isn’t it?
Porsche Mission R
Electric vehicles embrace the future, and heartening to see that Porsche has no intention of dropping its racing heritage or emphasis on performance in the electrified world. The Mission R is equal parts sustainability, speed, and sexiness.
Many of the Mission R’s parts are made from sustainable natural fiber-reinforced plastic, made from flax. Instead of a steel roll-over cage, the Mission R features a unique carbon fiber “exoskeleton.” The EV GT racecar sits on beautiful 18-inch magnesium centerlock wheels, wrapped in Michelins made out of bio-based and renewable materials. Be sure to budget a good 20 minutes to really soak in the design greatness that is the Mission R.
In the future humanity will apparently still like racecars, pick-up trucks, and crossover SUVs. Enter Mullen Technologies, a Brea, California-based EV start-up. Their Mullen Five is a premium luxury EV SUV that promises a range of 325 miles and a 3.2 second 0-60 time. To this reporter’s eye the Mullen Five would fit seamlessly into Tesla’s product offering, which is meant as a compliment. It’s an attractive SUV, irrespective of drivetrain. Like other start-ups in this space, it will be interesting to see how the service and support aspect of ownership goes.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
If an automotive anthropologist, say 100 years from now, were to unearth a museum of EV’s the diagram of the EV eras may go something like this: Tesla; Chevrolet Volt/Bolt + VW/Porsche/Audi (for a minute), and then Hyundai/Kia. At least that’s what our friends from Seoul are aiming for. Exhibit A: Hyundai’s Ionic 5.
It’s the first Hyundai to be all-electric, so they had to come out swinging. Color me sold, from a design perspective. I’m loving the Blade Runner vibe it’s exuding. In particular, I’m obsessed with Hyundai’s “pixel-design” LED headlights and taillights. (Note: this design is used on the insanely cool Hyundai Grandeur EV resto-mod. If they make that even close to the concept, I’ll be heading over to my nearest credit union!)
Not to be outdone by its corporate sibling, Kia makes a big electric splash with its first EV – the EV6, which rides on the same E-GMP platform as the Ioniq 5. The Ioniq5 cuts an angular profile whereas the EV6 is more of a slippery shape. The CUV looks absolutely stunning in matte silver, as displayed. It promises up to 300 miles of range, 5.2 second 0-60 time, and in true Hyundai/Kia fashion a 10-year/ 100,000 miles to dispel any doubts about quality.
The name Fisker should sound familiar if you’re even remotely into cars. Henrik Fisker is Denmark’s answer to the legendary Bob Lutz. Fisker’s achievements are too numerous to do justice to. Let’s just say the guy who designed the BMW Z8 and Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage has some skills. He also designed the eponymous Fisker Karma (now just Karma) which started life as an ICE vehicle and is currently Karma’s flagship all-electric, and still gorgeous sedan. Suffice it to say when Henrik Fisker starts something you should pay attention. His latest venture is Fisker Inc. which unveiled the Fisker Ocean, the “world’s most sustainable vehicle.”
As you would expect, this SUV is beautiful like everything Fisker touches. It’s SolarSky roof helps power the Ocean’s motors, its interior is vegan and ethically sourced, and it’s wheels are made of aluminum and recycled carbon fiber. With a range over 300 miles and anticipated pricing under $40,000, Fisker’s latest venture is one that should keep the bigger OEMs up at night.
Toyota br4xV & Subaru Solterra
The Scion FR-S/Toyota GT86 and Subaru BR-Z went so well that the Toyobaru mash-up is extending into the world of electrified vehicles. Meet the Toyota br4xV and Subaru Solterra, the EV identical twins to the aforementioned sportscar fraternal twins. Who wore it best? Take a trip down to the auto show floor and see for yourself. I’m not a fan of plastic cladding, but if you’re going to do it then the off-road adventure ethos that the Solterra exudes seems to match more.
That said, this is a huge step forward for Toyota – which up until recently took the position that hydrogen fuel cells were the more sustainable technology. The fact that Toyota is jumping into the BEV (battery electric vehicle) fray is one of the most significant developments in the EV adoption saga. The br4xV’s front is a little, how shall we put it… busy… but the back is nicely executed and in line with the RAV4’s design cues. Toyota reliability and service will no doubt make this a winner for Toyota, Subaru, and the EV cause in general.
Ford F-150 Lightning
There are countless EVs at the LA Auto Show. Of all of these, the Ford F-150 Lightning is the most important in terms of helping EVs go fully mainstream. Ford has had to revise its estimates due to overwhelming demand, to the tune of about 200,000 reservations – of which 75% are new to Ford.
By now you’ve read the countless articles on the Ford F-150 Lightning. Sub-$40k starting price. Mega frunk. The ability to power your house for three days (three days!). Seeing this e-truck online is one thing. Seeing it in person is totally different, and totally worth the stroll over to West Hall. While you’re at it, check out the Mustang Mach-E on the test track.
About The Author
Glenn Oyoung is a marketer based in Los Angeles. Glenn’s lifelong passion for cars is rooted in playing with Hot Wheels, and has continued into 1:1 scale. He’s the former marketing director of American Racing, author of ‘vehicular alphabet books’ “C is for Car” and "P is for Petersen" in collaboration with the Petersen Automotive Museum. His passion for cars extends to his role as the founder of the monthly car meet Carcadia at Route 66, the most diverse car meet in the San Gabriel Valley.