Monday, June 19, 2023

The Convertible EV Search: Four Years Later

Today marks exactly four years since my search for a little EV convertible ended with my purchasing a gas-powered Miata. If I were starting my search today, it'd end the same way. For the American market in 2019, there were no electric models to choose from. There are none to choose from now.

It's a little different in Europe. (I don't know about the rest of the world.) Even in 2019, the Smart Fortwo Cabrio was available, though I stand by my assessment of its range as laughable (57 miles per the EPA in 2019, 80 miles per the manufacturer now). Nearly as laughable is the range of the other EV ragtop in Europe, the limited-edition electric MINI Convertible. Its WLTP range is 125 miles, which roughly equates to an EPA rating of 102 miles. The MINI complements this paltry range with an eye-popping price: some $65,000 to start. That kind of money buys two Miatas and leaves enough cash in your pocket for a very nice vacation pretty much anywhere in the world. 

The Miata's range is 357 miles, so the electric MINI convertible offers less than a third of the range at more than twice the price.

Although there are no EV convertibles for the American market right now, a few have been announced. They make the MINI look like a bargain. Maserati and Fisker have announced the GranCabrio Folgore and Ronin, respectively. The former is purported to ship this year, the latter in 2024. Starting prices are around $200,000. (Update 4 August 2023: The Ronin web site lists a starting price of $385,000, and, per this article, it won't ship until the end of 2025.) The Polestar 6 costs the same, but it's not slated to ship until 2026.

Those for whom the prices above are too low and the details too specific may prefer to focus on the Genesis X Convertible, a car that's been announced for production, but not for when or for how much. Pricing is speculated to run somewhere between $200,000 and $300,000.

The days of the affordable little EV convertible don't look to arrive anytime soon.


Lucas said...

Sadly I think we're a long way from there being remotely affordable convertible EVs offered here. They're far too niche since most EV buyers are looking for practicality which is at odds with all convertibles except arguably Wranglers and Broncos. We're even running out of cheap gas-powered convertibles - by my count there are just 4 you can by new under $40k: Mustang, Camaro, Mini Cooper, and Miata. 20 years ago there were probably twice this number of affordable options. As a fellow convertible owner and enjoyer I feel your pain.

I think the best convertible EV option, for those who can afford it, will be the Porsche Boxster EV expected next year. Still not affordable per se, but you'll at least be able to get one for under $100k, and if anyone can make an EV version of a convertible that keeps the same fun and sporty character that that convertibles are known for, it's Porsche.

Scott Meyers said...

@Lucas: Somehow I had overlooked the Boxster EV. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. As you say, it won't qualify as affordable, but we live in a strange era where the prospect of an EV convertible for "only" $80K counts as a glimmer of hope.