The best new car companies: Driving toward and beyond an electric future
New car companies are appearing rapidly in the automotive market right now. Back when the motor industry first began, countless new car manufacturers joined the landscape, innovating with the latest tools and technologies to create passenger, sports, and luxury cars.
Now the industry is changing again, thanks to the introduction of new technology, fuel sources, and customer trends, we’re seeing an increase in transformative new car brands.
While many of these organizations come from China and the Asian market, there are also a handful of new car brands in the UK, EU, Scandinavia, and the US worth mentioning. Some are focused on the electric vehicle industry, while others are experimenting with AI.
Today, we’re taking a look at just some of the new car companies to emerge in recent years.
The rise of new car companies
Why are there so many newcomers?
Before we dive into our list of the new car companies to watch right now, it’s worth exploring why so many brands have appeared in recent years. Since 2020, the global car industry has faced a number of challenges, from decreased demand to supply chain issues.
The global chip shortage even led to 11.3 million vehicles cut from worldwide production. However, while challenges still exist in the automotive world, various trends are paving the way for new companies to thrive.
- Electric vehicle adoption: Electric motors are taking the world by storm. EV startup companies are appealing to eco-conscious consumers on a massive scale. In 2020, EV sales exceeded more than 3 million units, and numbers continue to grow.
- AI and autonomous vehicles: Many innovators creating luxury vehicles are experimenting with AI and self-driving cars. By 2040, some experts predict there will be 33 million cars on the road, capable of driving themselves (typically with electric power).
- IoT and 5G: The rise of the internet of things and 5G have allowed for the creation of more connected vehicles. Innovators like Elon Musk have already created Tesla model cars with connected components, and AI elements.
- Increased access: The rise of online shopping in the automobile industry has given new brands an opportunity to reach customers everywhere. New electric car manufacturers can easily ship products overseas, to a wider audience.
- Automotive parts: The automotive parts market is also growing at a healthy rate, allowing customers to purchase everything from add-ons for new cars (like solar panels), to critical components for vehicle repairs.
- New fuel sources: New fuel sources, like battery-powered electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles are growing more common among new vehicle models. Once again, these help companies fight back against emissions and climate change.
New car brands in the UK, EU, and Scandinavia
While demand for innovative new car companies is increasing worldwide, some markets are evolving faster than others. The number of new electric car companies, and new car brands in the UK, EU, and Scandinavia is quite low.
But there are still some brands worth watching.
Although Polestar was officially founded in 1996, it took a long time to enter the market. One of the most innovative new electric car companies, Polestar spun off from Volvo in 2017, and launched its first vehicle, the Polestar 1 hybrid couple in 2019.
Polestar followed up with the Polestar 2, an electric crossover in 2022, and a mid-sized luxury crossover SUV in 2023. The brand has also produced a variety of prototype cars, such as the C30 Polestar Performance Concept.
2. Lynk & Co
Though most people refer to Lynk & Co as a Chinese automotive company, the brand was originally founded in Sweden. It’s owned by Geely Automobile holdings, and was created in Gothenburg in 2016. The “Co” in the company’s name apparently stands for “connected”.
In the coming years, Lynk & Co plans to produce multiple different models of intelligent vehicles, with integrated AI and internet connectivity. The brand has produced a variety of cars in recent years, including the Lynk and Co 01, a compact SUV, and the Lynk and Co 03, a compact sedan.
Founded in Croatia in 2009, Rimac develops and produces electric sports cars, battery systems, and drivetrains. The first model every made by the company, the “Concept One”, was the world’s fastest electric vehicle ever produced at the time.
During 2019, at the Geneva International Motor show, Rimac unveiled its second car, the Rimac Nevera. Currently, Rimac operates as a subsidiary of the Bugatti company, placing it among other luxury car brands with a relatively high starting price for vehicles.
4. Ineos Automotive
The Ineos Group is a British multinational chemicals company, and the fourth largest chemical brands in the world. It’s the parent brand of around 20 standalone business units, including Ineos Automotive, which was conceived in 2017 by Jim Ratcliffe.
The company’s first vehicle, the Ineos Grenadier was designed as a spiritual successor to the Land Rover Defender. It’s an off-road utility vehicle which officially went into production in 2022. A second version of the vehicle (an electric model) is scheduled for production in 2026.
New car brands in the US: American automotive brands
Unlike the US, UK, and Scandinavia, the US landscape has introduced quite a lot of new car brands in the last few years. Options range from sports utility vehicles to electric van and SUV options.
Here are some of the most interesting new car companies in the US automotive sector.
1. Bollinger Motors
Introduced in 2014, Bollinger Motors was named after entrepreneur, Robert Bollinger. He wanted to create a full-sized electric off-road vehicle, and went on to launch one of the most innovative new electric car companies in the U.S.
Bollinger produced the “B1” in 2017 as a prototype, and followed up with the B2 in 2019, with a handful of cosmetic changes. In 2020, Bollinger started introducing ideas for the “Deliver-E”, a panel van intended for package delivery companies.
2. Lucid Motors
Like many of the other new car brands in the U.S. Lucid has officially been around for a little while, launching in 2007. The company created its first “Lucid Air” vehicle in various trims, including Touring and Grand Touring models.
So far, Lucid has yet to release its second vehicle, the “Lucid Gravity SUV”, which is scheduled to launch in 2024. Lucid showcases its innovative nature through its sleek branding, with a unique wordmark as the company’s logo.
The brand is currently involved in a deal with Aston Martin.
American vehicle manufacturer Rivian first launched in 2009. It created a handful of innovative vehicles, such as a pickup truck with a “skateboard” platform, capable of supporting various vehicles. Currently, Rivian is also working on producing an electric delivery van for Amazon.
Rivian is based in California, and has plans to develop an exclusive charging network in the U.S. and Canada by the end of 2023. The company’s logo draws attention to its focus on the electric power landscape, with a bright yellow geometric graphic on the left-hand side.
4. Alpha Motor Corporation
One of the newest additions to the battery-powered vehicle market, the Alpha Motor Corporation was founded in 2020. Created by Edward Lee, a man who worked for various car companies (including Toyota), Alpha Motors teased its first vehicle, the “Icon” in 2020.
Unfortunately, the initial design was never released. However, the company did introduce its first passenger car in the same year, the Ace coupe. In 2021, Alpha introduced the Jax crossover quad coupe, and the Wolf 2-door pickup truck.
Currently, the Alpha Motor Corporation is partnering with Hinduja Tech on the production and development of new electric vehicles.
5. Workhorse Group
Formerly AMP Electric vehicles, the Workhorse Group is an original equipment manufacturer, creating electric delivery vans, telematics software, and drones. The initial version of the company was founded in 2007, by Steve Burns of Lordstown Motors.
In 2015, AMP changed its name to the Workhorse Group, and started focusing more heavily on the development of electric vehicles. The company has produced the W4 CC 4-cab chassis, the W750 4-step commercial vehicle, and the W56 last-mile delivery vehicle.
6. Faraday Future
Developed by a Chinese businessman named Jia Yueting in 2014, Faraday Future is one of the most exciting new car companies in the US, focused on the development of electric vehicles. The brand is named after a fundamental principle in electric motor technology.
All of the electric cars produced by the brand include the letters “FF” at the beginning of their name. Current designs and concepts include the FF ZERO 1 sports vehicle, the FF 91 top-of-the-line model, and the FF 91 2.0, the first flagship product of Faraday Future.
7. Lyons Motor Car
The old-fashioned logo of the Lyons Motor Car company might make it seem like an old-fashioned brand. However, it’s actually still in the process of producing its first vehicle. The new car, known as the LM2 Streamliner was introduced as a concept in 2015.
Unlike many new car brands, the new models introduced by the Lyons Motor Car team don’t focus on electric or battery-powered engine. The Streamliner will feature a full carbon fiber structure, dual overhead cam, and a V8 engine, making it ideal for racing and sports utility.
8. Karma Automotive
Karma Automotive is an American producer of luxury electric vehicles, although it is Chinese-owned. Headquartered in California, the company was developed after the Wanxiang Group purchased the assets of Fisker Automotive, an innovative brand created by Henrik Fisker.
In recent years, Karma Automotive has produced a number of well-known cars. The Revero, named the Luxury Green Car of the year in 2018 is the company’s flagship hybrid vehicle. The Revergo GT, another award-winning vehicle, was introduced in 2020.
In 2021, Karma introduced the GS Series, featuring battery-powered electric sedans. The company has also produced a variety of concept cars, such as the Karma GT and SC1 Vision Concept.
New car manufacturers in China and Asia
The Asian region has been massive for the automotive industry in recent years. With access to some of the most innovative technology in the market, Asian luxury brands and motor experts are producing countless new passenger cars, electric SUV options and more every year.
Here are some of top new car brands from Asia and the Chinese market, worth watching in the near future.
9. BYD Auto
One of the better-known Chinese brands in the automotive space today, BYD Auto is a subsidiary of the publicly listed Chinese manufacturing company, BYD Co. The company was founded in 2003, and focuses on the production of passenger cars, electric batteries, trucks, busses, and more.
In 2022, BYD Auto actually overtook Tesla as the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer. It was also the first carmaker in China to create one million new energy vehicles. Plus, in 2021, BYD became the fourth largest plug-in electric vehicle company in the world.
Although the company mostly sells products in China, the company has begun expanding into markets throughout Southeast Asia, the European Union, Latin America, and Oceania.
Owned by Geely Automobile Holdings, Zeeker is a premium electric automobile brand from China, first founded in 2021. Unlike many other new car brands, Zeekr went into production quite quickly, delivering “001” electric vehicles to customers in 2021.
Since then, the company has expanded its partnerships with companies like Mobileye, to produce one of the world’s first consumer autonomous vehicles. Additionally, the company has a long-term cooperation with CATL, a company known for producing long-range electric batteries.
Genesis Motor is technically the luxury vehicle division of one of the world’s top legacy automakers, Hyundai. It was established in 2008, and branched out as a stand-alone brand in 2015. Since then, the company introduced its first model, the G90 in 2015, and began selling in the U.S.
In 2021, Genesis also moved into the European market, alongside the debut of a new Genesis G70 shooting brake. Alongside official vehicles, Genesis has introduced a number of concept cars in collaboration with Hyundai.
It also has an all-electric vehicle on sale, known as the GV60.
Introduced in 2014, Nio is a Chinese automobile manufacturer, with ambitious plans to deliver unique electric options to automotive consumers. Unlike many major companies in the Chinese market, the company doesn’t just create electric models of high-performance cars.
Nio also develops battery-swapping stations for its vehicles, as an alternative to the standard charging station. The company raised more than $5 billion from investors in recent years, and announced its plans to expand in to 25 different countries by 2025.
Notably, Nio is also experimenting with autonomous vehicles, capable of driving themselves, though an autonomous model has yet to be revealed by the brand.
13. XPeng Motors
Commonly known simply as “XPeng”, XPeng Motors is a Chinese automotive company, focused on the production of electric vehicles. It’s one of the most interesting new electric car manufacturers in the world.
After launching in 2015, it introduced an XPeng G3 electric SUV in 2018.
The company’s second model, the P7 electric sedan was introduced in 2019, and began shipping to customers in 2020. Later in 2021, XPeng started exporting its sedan to various international markets, starting with Norway.
The XPeng P5 electric sedan was introduced in 2022.
The unique thing about this vehicle is that it featured autonomous capabilities, such as the ability to automatically read traffic lights. The brand is even working on a “flying car”.
Introduced in 2017, VinFast is a Vietnam-based multinational automotive company. Not just one of the most exciting new car brands, Vinfast is also among the largest private conglomerates in the region. The company was the first in the region to expand into the electric vehicle market.
Owned by the Vingroup parent brand, Vinfast announced its first two car models at the 2018 Paris Motor show, the LUX A2.0 and the LUX SA2.0. Both models are based on BMW products, with various enhancements and changes.
In 2022, Vinfast announced it would end production of its internal combustion engine vehicles, focusing exclusively on battery electric vehicles.
Ora is a subsidiary of the Great Wall Motor brand, also known for companies like Haval (SUV production), and Tank (off-road vehicles). The marque was launched in 2018, with the first model, “Ora IQ” specifically designed for female consumers.
Ora has taken quite an interesting approach to marketing its battery-powered vehicles, giving each model a feline name. Options range from the Ora Black Cat to the Ora Lightning Cat, and the Ora Good Cat, all with a compact design.
The premium division of the state-owned Chinese automaker, the Dongfeng Motor Corporation, Voyah was launched in 2020. Like many of the new car companies on this list, the company focuses on electric vehicle manufacturing and design.
Similar to most new electric car manufacturers introduced in the last couple of years, Voyah is still in the early stages of production. It launched the Voya Free midsized SUV in 2021, followed by the Voya Dreamer in 2022, and the Voyah Passion mid-sized Sedan in 2023.
Founded in 2017, Aiways is yet another competitor in the auto industry with a focus on developing electric vehicles. The company’s name comes from the Chinese phrase “Ai” meaning “love”. It’s intended to tell customers “love is on the way”.
One of the first EV models produced by the company, the Aiways U5 was released in 2018, and has since been approved for sale in the European market. The company went on to showcase two concept cars, the Aiways U6 ion, and the U7 ion, featuring intelligent autonomous components.
Likely to be one of the lesser-known new car companies on this list, Techrules was actually introduced in 2018. It specializes in producing sports cars, and emerged in the market with the AT96, its first car, in 2016. This vehicle uses a multi-fuel turbine engine.
The second vehicle to appear from the Techrules marque was the “Ren”, introduced in 2018. This high-performance sports car has a top speed of 199 mph, and is not street legal in either Europe, or the US. It also comes with options for diesel or electric energy.
19. W Motors
Founded in Lebanon in 2012, W Motors is a sports car company, and one of the first developers of high-performance luxury cars to emerge in the Middle East. The company both develops its own cars, and creates designs for other brands, like ICONIQ Motors.
So far, W Motors has produced three vehicles independently, and three in partnership with ICONIQ Motors. Its independent vehicles include the Lykan HyperSport, a 6-cylinder sports car, the Fenryr SuperSport, a limited edition sports car, and the Ghiath, a mysterious “special project”.
The top new car companies in the world today
As you can see from the list above, countless new car companies and brands have emerged in recent years, producing innovative solutions to address the needs of everyday consumers and luxury buyers.
While Asia and the United States have introduced the most new brands in recent years, there are plenty of companies worth noting worldwide. These organizations are transforming the transportation industry as we know it, offering new, more eco-friendly ways to travel.
Some are even unlocking the power of AI, creating autonomous vehicles intended to make the roads safer, and more convenient to traverse. In the years ahead, it’s definitely worth watching these companies, to see how they build their audience, and their brands.
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