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The 5 most exciting EVs that could change the game in 2023

From Tesla's Cybertruck to Polestar's first SUV, 2023 is shaping up to be another big year for EVs.

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This year was a big one for electric cars. Sure, adoption in the U.S. is still relatively low at just 5 percent as of the end of June, but that's twice what it was in 2020 — a rate that will only accelerate from here.

In order for EV awareness and adoption to continue the hockey-stick trend, it's going to take some great choices for consumers who want to electrify their lives. While 2022 saw the release of amazing cars and trucks like the Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1S, Audi Q4, and Genesis GV60, plus the mighty GMC Hummer EV, there's an even broader portfolio coming next year with more options for more people at more price points. Here are five that should whet your appetite.

TESLA CYBERTRUCK

Tesla’s delayed Cybertruck should make a splash this year once (or if) it’s finally on the road. Tesla

This one just had to be at the top of the list, not because it holds the most promise of the five here, but frankly because it's the one we've been waiting on the longest.

Elon Musk unveiled the Cybertruck at a bombastic event in late 2019 and, back then, promised that we'd see it in production within 24 months. That would have meant by the end of 2021. Today? Tesla is saying to expect the truck by the end of 2023, or two years late. We'll believe it when we see it.

Part of what makes the Cybertruck so interesting is the fact that it looks unlike anything else on the road. Musk said it was inspired by the Lotus Esprit of all things, with a strong dose of Syd Mead's vision for a future LA in Blade Runner, too. Cybertruck's most notable feature is its exposed aluminum skin, but with self-leveling suspension and an integrated, locking bed cover, there's a lot of practicality beyond the wild styling.

Back in 2019, Musk promised the Cybertruck would be a $39,000 truck with up to 500 miles of range and enough horsepower to sprint from 0 to 60 in less than three seconds. Given Ford, gurus of mass production, had to raise the base price of its 230-mile range F-150 Lightning from $40,000 to just under $52,000, it's hard to imagine Tesla sticking to Musk's initial MSRP. But then we're still waiting on that $35,000 Model 3 so...

POLESTAR 3

The Polestar 3 is the first-ever SUV in Polestar’s electric lineup.Xinhua News Agency/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

Polestar is Volvo's electrified, country cousin and it's not hard to see the shared Swedish DNA in the two brands' styling. The company's first EV, the Polestar 2, impressed last year with sharp looks, a clean interior, and remarkably good performance. Now, Polestar is getting what it really needs: an SUV.

The Polestar 3 has a radically more aggressive look than the 2, far more creased and angry with a dramatic, sloping roofline that still offers SUV practicality. It'll have more room inside than the 2, with comfortable seating for five and, perhaps most importantly, more range: Polestar is promising 300 miles on a charge for the Long Range version.

Polestar will offer two flavors: the aforementioned 489-horsepower Long Range model and a Performance option that raises the bar to 517 ponies. But opt for the quicker of the two, and the range will drop to 270 miles. Both offer all-wheel drive thanks to dual motors and both will have adaptive suspension, which should offer great handling and a comfortable ride.

It's all theoretical since nobody's driven one yet, but given how well-tuned the previous Polestars have been, expect this one to be engaging and fun when it hits the road in 2023. The base price on the Long Range model will clock in at $83,900, while the Performance version will demand a $6,000 premium.

CHEVROLET EQUINOX

Chevy is diversifying its electric lineup with trucks and SUVs, including the all-electric Chevy Equinox.Chevrolet

There are not one but two Chevrolets on this list and, given the EV onslaught that General Motors has planned for the next few years, there honestly could have been more. We'll start with the cheaper of the pair, the all-new, all-electric Equinox.

How cheap? Try under $30,000. That's assuming you don't mind a front-drive, compact SUV with a maximum range of around 250 miles and 210 horsepower. Opt for the higher trims and you can have up to 290 horsepower from a dual-motor, all-wheel drive setup. Maximum range is said to be 300 miles with the bigger battery pack, but the price will rise as well, probably into the mid-$40,000 range.

With fresh styling, a suite of fun colors, and practical packaging, the Equinox should be a winner when it drops toward the end of 2023. All that should make it a big upgrade over the outgoing, gas-powered Equinox, which wasn't really notable for much of anything.

CHEVROLET SILVERADO EV

Sure, the 1,000-horsepower GMC Hummer EV is a mighty impressive rig, but it's also mighty in every other way — it’s not only massive but costs upwards of $100,000. Chevrolet is now hoping to bring a little of that DNA to something a lot more attainable: a new Chevrolet Silverado EV. It starts at just $42,000.

While Ford kept the Lightning looking almost exactly like a standard F-150, Chevrolet is opting for something significantly different for its all-electric, mass-market truck. It's a far more futuristic look than the Silverado, with an angular nose and tiny headlights up front, a wedge-like C-pillar, and short bed out back. That means the Crew Cab configuration, which should seat five comfortably in an interior that looks fresh and is dominated by a massive, 17-inch touchscreen.

Range is up to 400 miles thanks to a great, big, 200-kilowatt-hour battery pack, while the RST trim will pack 664 horsepower. If you want all that range and performance, though, you'll be back to spending Hummer money. Better values can be had if you don't mind losing some of the luxuries. That $42,000 version will be the WT trim, which stands for Work Truck and should come with about as many posh features as your average toolbox. Expect to see these hitting dealerships towards the very end of 2023.

HYUNDAI IONIQ 6

Hyundai will look to follow up its successful Ioniq 5 with a curvy electric sedan.Hyundai

Last but certainly not least is the Hyundai Ioniq 6, an all-electric streamlined sedan that offers a healthy 340 miles on a charge. That's impressive not just because it's 37 more than the Hyundai Ioniq 5, but because it goes that much farther on exactly the same drivetrain.

How does it work that kind of magic with the same motors and the same, 77.4-kWh battery pack? Aero, baby. The Ioniq 6 has just a 0.21 coefficient of drag, which puts it on par with the Mercedes-Benz EQS and Tesla Model S for the slipperiest sedans on the road.

But you know what it doesn't share with either of those? A six-figure price tag. Hyundai hasn't set a formal MSRP on the Ioniq 6, but expect it somewhere in the $40,000 range, or not far from the bigger, boxier, and rather less aerodynamic Ioniq 5.

The only drawback with the Ioniq 6 is the styling. Not everyone is going to love the resulting look of the thing, but Hyundai had to follow some extreme lengths to help this thing cut through the wind. It's not easy being slippery.

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