CES is going to play host to the world’s leading tech brands, and the largest number of automotive exhibitors in its history.
As with previous years, expect to see electric vehicles on display at every opportunity, battery power being the norm. Organizers also tell us that things like the digital cockpit (more on that later) and autonomy will be high on the agenda.
A few years ago, EVs still felt a bit novel, but perhaps the biggest expectation of CES 2022, is that seeing electric cars should all start to feel a bit more normal.
With more auto exhibitors than ever, expect some unexpected announcements too. The event is no stranger to headline grabbing reveals that no one saw coming, remember when Sony unveiled its Vision-S electric concept car? A good tradeshow is never without surprise.
Update, 30 December 2021: Since writing and publishing this article a number of high-profile names in the tech industry have decided to pull out of CES and to not proceed with their in-person presence at the show. The overarching motivation behind their decisions is to protect the health of their employees and anyone they would have met at the show. Many are pivoting to a virtual event. Even so, the event's organizers are steadfast in their claim the event will go ahead.
Big EV announcements and deliveries
On the theme of announcements, there are a host of new EVs that we should expect to hear more about next year. While EV headlines in recent years have been taken by new startup brands, it seems that 2022 will be the year that traditional automakers enter the space in a big way. This is undoubtedly the main theme of the past 12 months.
Unveiled in March 2021, Volvo’s C40 Recharge is slated for deliveries to begin at the end of the year. This is alongside the company’s XC40 Recharge that will start hitting the road in January next year.
Popular German marques like BMW and Audi are also further dipping into the EV waters. Audi is expected to bring even more vehicles to its e-tron lineup, including an A6, Q5 and Sportback. BMW’s high-end electric i7 is also likely to steal many a headline as it goes into competition with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz EQS and Tesla Model S for the high-end electric car market.
Over in the U.S., Ford has been laying down its electric intention too, recently stating that it wants to be the world’s second largest electric vehicle maker in two years.
For a company that has one notable EV in its lineup right now, that’s quite a statement, but the company has a trump card: the electric F150 Lightning pickup truck. While there are other electric trucks coming from the likes of Rivian, Lordstown and Tesla, none carry a name with the gravitas of the F150.
According to Ford Authority, the Blue Oval sold nearly 800,000 F150 trucks in 2020 in the U.S. alone. Figures from car industry analysts Edmunds show Ford’s F-Series of vehicles is the most popular vehicle in most of the US. The popularity of the F150 cannot be underestimated, and an electric version is surely going to make waves.