There are tons of great options when looking to buy a new electric vehicle. Buyers can choose from electric cars, trucks, SUVs, and even premium electric supercars are on the way. You won’t find a convertible EV, however, and here’s why.
Sure, you can get an expensive $110,000 GMC Hummer EV or a Jeep Wrangler 4Xe hybrid with removable roof panels or a top, but that’s not a true convertible.
Imagine enjoying the fresh air, sunshine and wind in your hair on a warm summer day without the noise of a gas powered vehicle. Sounds nice right? So why are manufacturers not offering convertible electric vehicles? For one thing, it’s probably a security issue. Also, convertibles aren’t as popular as you think.
The problem with convertible electric vehicles
There’s probably a big reason electric convertibles aren’t available yet, and that’s weight. Electric cars are much heavier than traditional vehicles, with massive lithium-ion battery packs under the car. This is a significant safety risk in the event of an accident or rollover.
These battery packs are typically located under the floor, giving EVs a better (and lower) center of gravity, not to mention extra cabin space for comfort and legroom.
And while a lower center of gravity can help prevent rollovers, accidents do happen. In this unfortunate event, the heavy lithium-ion battery poses a huge risk to the occupants. All that extra weight could easily crush the windshield A-pillars or, more importantly, the flimsy top of a convertible, crushing passengers or injure.
Even a convertible with a motorized hard top has multiple breakpoints or weak points that can potentially cause damage. And although many convertibles have reinforced metal brackets around the headrest, all that extra weight is still an issue.
An electric vehicle’s weight is probably just one of many reasons we’re not seeing convertible options just yet. Another is popularity. According to a report by CNBC In late 2022, convertible sales are steadily declining and now account for less than 1% of all U.S. vehicle sales.
Not only are consumers these days not interested in convertibles, but most manufacturers have turned their attention to off-road vehicles, SUVs, compact CUVs (Crossover Utility Vehicles), or the rapid expansion into electric vehicles. Convertibles aren’t a priority and the interest isn’t there.
Can I buy a convertible electric vehicle?
As of early 2023, there are no readily available commercial electric convertibles. I’m sure we’ll get there fairly soon, but not yet.
However, buyers have several options for “open-air” EVs, but again, that’s a little different than a convertible. Tesla’s second-gen roaster is reportedly coming sometime this year, and it’ll have a removable hardtop, and it’s not the only one.
As you can see above, manufacturers have adjusted the overall design of some vehicles to offer a near-convertible experience. Even the language on the GMC Hummer EV’s website explains it as an open-air convertible-like experience.
A few hybrid vehicles closer to a traditional convertible are available or coming soon, but they’re not sports cars. The Jeep Wrangler 4xe Hybrid has a much smaller battery, so weight isn’t that important, and it’s available with a removable top. However, Jeep uses a sturdy metal cage with fully functional roll bars that would protect passengers in the event of a rollover, on or off the road.
You’ll even be able to get the Hummer SUV EV in the coming weeks now that production has started, and it has the same removable glass roof panels. Again, this probably isn’t the full convertible experience you’re looking for, but it’s close.
Convertible electric vehicles coming soon
With the trend down for the last decade if not more, don’t expect many options if you’re looking to buy a convertible EV in the next few years. That said, it’s not all bad news, and there are several convertible electric vehicles coming.
First off, the all-electric Mini Cooper SE Convertible made its formal debut last month, which will be available in Europe this spring, with more likely to follow. The Volkswagen ID.3 should eventually come with an optional convertible model, not to mention the Fisker Ocean and Jeep Recon, and those are just a few that come to mind.
Also, I expect that at some point in the next 18 months, after having launched several EVs, most manufacturers will look for differentiators, e.g. B. after the offer of a convertible. The Chevy Corvette E-Ray should have the option, and we’ve seen teasers for a Mazda MX-5 Miata. However, the concept Miata had Lamborghini-style doors and wasn’t convertible, but the company will likely make one at some point.
The Polestar 6 (formerly Polestar O2 Concept) is a hardtop convertible EV that will be launched in 2026. BMW is planning a true i4 convertible convertible for launch in 2027, and later in the future look for convertible EVs from Maserati, Porsche, Mercedes. Benz and others.
Keep in mind that removable roof panels might give you the enjoyment of a convertible, but if it doesn’t have a quick-release top or a retractable hard top, I don’t know if I would call that a convertible. Right now it’s the next best thing.
If you’re looking for a classic convertible to cruise the coast or take a weekend trip through the canyon that runs on electricity, you’re out of luck, at least for now.
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