This story is part of our end-of-year series This Year in Gear rounding up the most notable releases of 2022. For more stories like this, click here.
Electric motoring isn’t a fad. It’s the automotive future. And in 2022 we began to see that future take shape. America’s most important vehicle went electric — and it’s better than the original. And we’re starting to see the market proliferate with convertibles and family-sized crossovers.
And that future is not just limited to cars. Electric motorcycles have a long way to go. But there were still some exciting, adventure-themed debuts this year. And the camping world produced some EV concepts that could be absolutely game-changing.
Here are our favorite electric vehicles we saw (and in some cases drove or rode) in 2022.
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning
The F-150 Lightning is not a credible pickup despite being electric. It’s the superior F-150 because it’s electric. It’s a value proposition that will attract truck buyers who never thought they would buy an EV — and EV buyers who never thought they would buy a truck. It was a no-brainer choice for our game-changing vehicle of the year.
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2022 BMW iX
The i3 (and i8 plug-in hybrid sports car) were niche vehicles, and the i4 is based on the same chassis as the gas-powered 3 Series, making it more of a Frankenstein than a true-blue EV. The iX, on the flip side, only exists as an electric vehicle. It also comes — not coincidentally — as a midsize crossover, exactly the sort of vehicle that luxury car buyers in America can’t get enough of these days.
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2023 Zero Motorcycles DSR/X
If battery-powered innovation is an art form, consider Zero Motorcycles the AI of creation. For 15 years, the California-based electric motorcycle manufacturer has rolled out bike after bike that shatters molds and expectations of what an electric vehicle is capable of. Today, Zero continues the march of progression with its latest release: the DSR/X adventure motorcycle.
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2024 Jeep Recon
Jeep is not giving us an electric Wrangler yet. But we are getting the “Wrangler-inspired” Recon. It’s an all-new product, one that’s all-electric and will be the first Jeep-branded EV to launch in America. And all indications are that it will be pretty off-road capable.
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5
The Ioniq 5 is a brilliant all-around car, electric or not. It does so in a way most buyers are going to want. Like its corporate sibling, the all-new Kia EV6, the Ioniq 5 is one more sign that the EV future will be revolutionary — and a revolution car people will want to be a part of. It’s no shock it took home three World Car of the Year awards.
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Airstream unveiled their new eStream camping trailer concept. It is a revolutionary electric camping trailer with an integrated motor that can propel itself to reduce strain on the tow vehicle and maneuver itself in low-speed situations without the tow vehicle’s involvement (no more awkward backing in). Alas, it remains a concept for now.
Polestar 6 Convertible
Polestar provided us with another glimpse of the electric future with the O2 concept, which they call their “vision of a new era of sports cars.” That vision is a stunning electric convertible. And it’s going into production as the Polestar 6. The production car won’t have a built-in cinematic drone like the concept. But it will pack nearly 900 horsepower.
Cadillac’s latest reinvention is being the spearhead for GM’s EV push. A key component of that movement will be a new flagship vehicle for the brand, the Celestiq. It will be a long, low-riding four-seater vehicle with styling that blends the electric future. With Cadillac hand-building them, the price will start north of $300,000.
2024 Volvo EX90
Volvo has made clear that it will convert to an all-electric vehicle manufacturer by 2030. And the brand just unveiled a pivotal vehicle for that transition, the all-new 2024 Volvo EX90. The seven-seater EX90 is not the first electric car in the Volvo lineup. But it should be a popular one, serving as an electric counterpart to Volvo’s popular three-row flagship, the XC90.
2024 Polestar 3
Volvo’s performance EV brand Polestar has ambitious plans to increase its sales tenfold by 2025. The vehicle that’s going to help them achieve that is the new Polestar 3 SUV, which they call “the SUV for the electric age.” Polestar just unveiled the midsize crossover fully after a protracted tease over the summer. It looks absolutely brilliant. But it’s also going to be pricey.
2024 Jeep Wagoneer S
Jeep’s premium Wagoneer sub-brand is taking a different tack with its first electric vehicle, the Wagoneer S, which will not be a boxy luxury barge. We know it will be a sporty, 600-horsepower crossover that packs about 400 miles of range. We also know it will go by a different name.
2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV SS
General Motors is rolling out new electric vehicles on its new Ultium platform at a brisk pace with plans to go all-electric by 2035. Chevrolet just unveiled the new 2024 Blazer EV crossover, which is GM’s answer to the Ford Mustang Mach E. And it will have an SS version that packs 557 hp and 648 lb-ft of torque.
2022 Hummer EV SUT
You don’t change skeptical minds with a milquetoast crossover, which is why GMC opted for the moonshot — the new Hummer First Edition’s lunar design theme isn’t a coincidence — instead. They threw everything into a 1,000-horsepower electric beast of a truck to take on anything combustion-powered and let the price tag soar into the six figures.
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2022 Rivian R1S
Rivian’s second vehicle is the R1S. And while the pickup stands out as a gear hauler, the R1S boasts generous seating for up to seven people — plus the ability to accommodate up to five child seats, although the prospect of driving a starting five’s worth of toddlers around is vaguely terrifying.
Cake revealed its fourth electric motorcycle platform, the Bukk, meant for off-road use. As you would anticipate with a motorcycle named after a Ram, the Bukk delivers substantial oomph. The 16 kW motor can deliver about 310 lb-ft of instant electric torque on a bike that weighs 187 lbs unladen. Cake says its top speed is above 62 mph.
2024 Honda Prologue
Prologue will not become Honda’s first EV in America; that honor rests with the departed 89-mile range Clarity EV sedan. But the Prologue will be Honda’s first full-fledged mass-market offering. Whether you’re looking at powertrain, market positioning or manufacturing, the Prologue will be unlike any other Honda on the road.