Not too long ago, manufacturers offered only a limited selection of electric vehicles in their lineup. Today, the market is filled with a multitude of EV options, each with its unique flavors and capabilities.
Navigating through this vast array of choices can make the search for a new electric vehicle a bit challenging but also exciting. Let us be your guide in finding the perfect electric vehicle that seamlessly aligns with your needs.
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Best electric cars in different categories
Car manufacturers place significant emphasis on electric SUVs, resulting in a wide array of options in this category. However, it’s important not to limit oneself to a single body type when considering an EV.
Let’s explore the finest electric cars across different segments, ensuring that you’ll be able to have a comprehensive overview of the best choices available.
Best small electric car – Fiat 500e
Small city cars are an excellent option for individuals seeking agile and practical urban runabouts without the burden of hefty maintenance expenses. The electric Fiat 500e fits the bill just about perfectly.
Beneath its stylish exterior, the Fiat 500e offers a range of essential technical features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, as well as Level 2 autonomous driving.
Additionally, its charging capabilities of up to 85 kW enable you to charge it rapidly when needed. Adding to its allure, the 95 or 118 horsepower electric motors deliver punchy performance, which helps to effortlessly navigate the tight streets of any metropolis.
Best electric hatchback – Renault Megane e-Tech
The Renault Megane e-Tech breaks away from the traditional hatchback design and offers a unique blend of coupe, crossover, and hatchback elements. This combination results in a vehicle that stands out from the crowd while still maintaining a practical and functional appeal.
Moreover, the Megane e-Tech is equipped with advanced safety features and driving assistance technologies, positioning it as a leader in its class. These cutting-edge innovations have contributed to the vehicle’s impressive performance in Euro NCAP safety tests, often matching or surpassing larger and bulkier SUVs.
In addition to its impressive safety features and design, the Renault Megane e-Tech is one of the most efficient electric cars available. Despite the relatively modest battery options of 40 kWh and 60 kWh, the Renault Megane e-Tech surprises with its remarkable range, reaching up to 310 miles (500 kilometers).
Best electric SUV – Škoda Enyaq
By leveraging identical components to Volkswagen, Škoda has consistently demonstrated its prowess in crafting superior vehicles. The Enyaq iV stands as a prime example of this trend.
Although the Enyaq iV and the Volkswagen ID.4 share the same battery pack and technological features, Škoda holds the advantage in several crucial aspects.
To begin with, the Enyaq iV surpasses its Volkswagen counterpart in terms of length, providing slightly more rear space and a larger trunk capacity.
Additionally, Škoda has implemented a more thoughtfully designed interior featuring a traditional gear lever and an instrument layout that is intuitive and user-friendly.
However, the standout feature of the Škoda Enyaq iV is its remarkable value for money. As an electric family SUV, it effortlessly meets all the essential criteria to be recognized as a complete and compelling package for buyers who search for a safe, practical, easy to use, and comfortable EV. This is especially true when equipped with the larger 77 kWh battery pack, which significantly extends the range to 338 miles (545 kilometers).
Best electric sedan – BMW i4
Despite the Tesla Model 3’s consistent reign as the best electric sedan for several years, the BMW i4 has emerged as a more favorable choice to claim the prestigious title.
What sets the BMW i4 apart and gives it a distinct advantage is the German manufacturer’s unwavering dedication to delivering top-notch technology, exceptional build quality, dynamic performance, and other critical factors.
Although the BMW i4 doesn’t offer as many diverse versions as some of its competitors, it makes up for it with 2 distinct and compelling offerings.
Firstly, there’s the efficient rear-wheel-drive variant, which can cover a distance of up to 366 miles (590 kilometers) on a single charge. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s a truly exhilarating configuration that delivers an astounding 586 ft-lb (795 Nm) of torque to all 4 wheels, resulting in a thrilling driving experience.
Best electric luxury car – Mercedes-Benz EQS
With Mercedes-Benz being a longstanding symbol of luxury, it’s no surprise that the electric S-Class (EQS) maintains an unwavering commitment to uncompromising high-end luxury.
Mercedes-Benz has equipped the EQS electric sedan with cutting-edge technology, transforming it into a vehicle that resembles an electric spaceship rather than a mere mode of transportation to the local supermarket.
The car incorporates 2 acoustic dividers in the tailgate to minimize booming noise, while a newly implemented insulation part with welded-in foam effectively prevents unwanted vibrations – and these are just 2 examples of how the Mercedes-Benz engineers go the extra mile to make one of the best new electric cars available.
In addition, the electric Mercedes-Benz EQS emerges as a trailblazer by being one of the earliest production vehicles globally to secure official approval for Level 3 autonomous driving technology. This remarkable feat enables the EQS to legally navigate public roads, placing it ahead of Tesla, which currently relies on Level 2 systems despite their vocal claims.
Best overall electric car – Hyundai IONIQ 5
If you’re struggling to decide which electric car you should buy, consider one of Hyundai’s latest offerings to the EV market – the IONIQ 5.
Hyundai’s electric car has made a remarkable debut in the EV segment, exhibiting a design reminiscent of a concept car rather than a conventional production vehicle. Beyond its impressive exterior aesthetics, this model conceals a highly capable EV, making it a promising all-rounder in terms of performance and functionality.
The IONIQ 5 presents a wide array of choices to suit various needs and budgets. With options for 58 kWh or 77 kWh batteries and the availability of rear or all-wheel drive, EV drivers can select the version that best aligns with their preferences – whether prioritizing efficiency with a single electric motor or seeking the thrill of the addictive acceleration, which boasts an impressive 446 ft-lb (605 Nm) of torque.
The interior of the IONIQ 5 leaves a lasting impression with its clever minimalist design and ergonomic layout, offering a host of state-of-the-art safety and comfort features. Combining elements of a traditional hatchback and an SUV, the interior space of the IONIQ 5 is simply stunning.
The rear seats are equipped with a sliding function, allowing for customization of legroom or trunk space based on individual needs. Moreover, the IONIQ 5 offers an impressive maximum braked towing capacity of 3,527 pounds (1,600kg), which is more than the Ford Mustang Mach-e or the Volkswagen ID.4.
Comparison of the best electric vehicles
With an array of cutting-edge technologies, luxurious comfort features, and enticing extras, each new electric car exudes a smartphone-like appeal. Nevertheless, despite their shared set of features, it’s advisable to take the following factors into consideration when purchasing an electric car.
The range of top electric cars
How far can an electric car drive? It’s one of the most common questions when searching for an EV. While the long range and the battery capacity play a crucial role, a bigger battery pack doesn’t necessarily result in fewer charging sessions.
Buyers who consider replacing their cherished gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles with an EV often prioritize battery capacity and the longest possible range. However, a more crucial aspect to consider is how many kWh an electric car draws per mile. The energy efficiency of an EV is a key factor that directly influences its real-world range.
Traditionally, SUVs tend to be less efficient due to their weight and less aerodynamic body shape. These factors hamper their ability to achieve optimal aerodynamics and minimize energy usage.
It’s no surprise that the most efficient electric car models available are the Fiat 500e, Kia EV6, Hyundai Kona, Renault Megane e-Tech, and Tesla Model 3. Despite not boasting the largest battery capacities, these models excel in delivering an excellent balance between range and energy consumption.
A better illustration of energy efficiency could be observed in the comparison between the Tesla Model Y and the Volvo XC40 Recharge.
The cheapest Volvo XC40 Recharge model comes with a 69 kWh battery pack and a single electric motor, which develops 238 horsepower. In theory, the Volvo SUV offers an all-electric range of up to 286 miles (461 km).
However, due to its bulky shape, kerb weight of 4,319 lbs (1959 kg), and not the most efficient electric motor, the real-world range varies between 124 miles (200 km) to 248 miles (400 km), depending on weather conditions and speed.
In contrast, the Tesla Model Y with a smaller battery pack (60 kWh) offers a real-world range between 150 miles (240 km) to 310 miles (500 km), while being more powerful, taller, and roomier. Furthermore, Tesla is cheaper, offers better connectivity features and charging speed.
The cost of the best electric cars
Understanding how much does an electric car cost can be influenced by various factors, such as the brand, model, battery capacity, and available features. However, the dramatic shift in the market means that it’s no longer necessary to have a large budget to buy the best electric car in a specific category.
In fact, many excellent electric vehicles are priced similarly to their internal combustion engine counterparts. Let’s take a look at the following example.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E starts at $42,995, while a similarly sized Ford Edge has a starting price of $37,945. However, the Ford Mustang Mach-E qualifies for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, making it a considerably better value than the gasoline-powered Edge SUV.
The comparison of other important EV features
While many people are impressed by the futuristic interior design, quiet operation, and blistering acceleration of electric cars, they’re not the sole reasons why to buy an electric car. There are several additional EV features that could help one understand how an electric car works.
With the rapid advancement of technology, car manufacturers are continually improving the charging speed of electric vehicle batteries. However, it’s still crucial for future electric car owners to consider how fast an electric car can charge.
While it’s true that many modern EVs can achieve charging rates of 200-350 kW, these figures can typically be attained only at specific and often rare and expensive charging stations. Even if you plan to primarily utilize powerful charging stations, take a test drive and evaluate the charging curve between 20% and 80% battery capacity to gain a more realistic understanding of the charging performance.
Typically, the highest charging rate is reached at around 30% battery capacity, after which the rate gradually decreases. For example, the Volkswagen ID.Buzz has a maximum battery charge rate of 175 kW. However, in real-world scenarios, the charging rate at a powerful charging station typically falls within the range of 100 to 135 kW.
When purchasing an electric car, carefully consider the manufacturer’s warranty and its advantages and disadvantages. Since each manufacturer’s warranty conditions differ, understanding them is essential. Additionally, evaluating the frequency and cost of scheduled maintenance over a 5-year period is also important.
Of course, the battery warranty should not be overlooked, either. While most manufacturers offer a battery warranty of at least 8 years or 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers), some manufacturers are going above and beyond to eliminate any doubts about how long the battery lasts in an electric car.
For example, Mercedes-Benz EQE SUVs come with a remarkable 10-year 155,000 miles (250,000 km) warranty on their batteries.
The overall impact on the environment
Due to the absence of an internal combustion engine, electric cars don’t emit pollutants that are harmful to human health. However, the absence of direct CO2 emissions in electric cars doesn’t automatically make them environmentally friendly.
The most significant environmental impacts stem from the extraction and processing of rare earth metals for EV batteries, as well as the production process of the batteries themselves.
If you genuinely care about the environment, examine the production practices of the electric car you are interested in. For instance, the Audi e-Tron SUV is manufactured in a climate-neutral facility, ensuring that its production doesn’t have a negative impact on the environment.
Furthermore, Tesla uses cobalt-free batteries, a step that helps reduce environmental concerns associated with cobalt mining and its potential negative impacts.
Researching how much CO2 an electric car emits should be a priority when compiling a list of EVs you may consider purchasing, as the environmental impact of each electric vehicle can vary significantly.
How to choose the best electric car for my needs?
To simplify your electric car search, start by outlining 5 desirable features that match your preferences. Consider factors like reliability, charging speed, manoeuvrability, practicality, and an extensive manufacturer’s warranty. Incorporating these criteria will help you find an electric vehicle that precisely meets your needs.
Why consider an electric car for the next vehicle purchase?
The standout advantages of electric cars lie in their smooth and quiet operation, expansive interior space, instant and exhilarating acceleration, as well as considerable savings on running costs.
What is the biggest disadvantage of an electric car?
EVs have 3 notable drawbacks: a steep purchase price, unreliable charging infrastructure, and extreme sensitivity to weather conditions. Strong headwinds can reduce an EV’s range by up to 20%, while colder temperatures may diminish it by as much as 50%.