Best electric cars on the market in 2024

Aivaras Grigelevičius

Aivaras Grigelevičius

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.

The vast array of choices can make searching for a new electric vehicle challenging. Nowadays, car manufacturers focus mostly on electric SUVs, but it doesn't mean you must stick to a single body type when considering an EV.

Let's explore the finest electric cars across different segments, ensuring you'll have a comprehensive overview of the best choices available.

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Best small electric car – Vauxhall Corsa

Red Vauxhall Corsa-e
Source: Rutger van der Maar / Flickr
  • Price: from $41,033 (€38,000)
  • Driving range: 246 miles (396 km)
  • Pros: Well-equipped, spacious, appealing design
  • Cons: Pricey, firm ride, less fun-to-drive than rivals

Small city cars are an excellent option for individuals seeking agile and practical urban runabouts without the burden of hefty maintenance expenses. If this is your case, you can't go wrong with the 2024 Vauxhall Corsa Electric.

It's not as stylish as the Fiat 500e or as exciting as the Peugeot e-208, but it certainly appeals to a wider audience.

This model often appears among the top-selling models in Europe because it seems like one of the safest options for many drivers. A color touchscreen with smartphone projection, high beam assist, speed sign recognition, cruise control, and other neat features come with the entry-level Design Electric trim.

The new Corsa Electric doesn't stray far from petrol and diesel versions, but the 51 kWh battery pack does have an impact on some design features, such as an extended wheelbase to fit battery packs or tuned suspension to withstand more weight.

Last year's best small electric car: Fiat 500e

Fiat 500e
Source: Dennis Elzinga / Flickr | Fiat 500e

The Fiat 500e is a much more stylish option. It offers a range of essential technical features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity and Level 2 autonomous driving. It supports a rapid 85 kW charging and features up to 118 horsepower electric motors, which helps to effortlessly navigate the tight streets of any metropolis.

Best electric hatchback – MG4 EV

Orange MG4 EV
Source: peterolthof / Flickr
  • Price: from $34,176 (€31,650)
  • Driving range: 218 miles (350 km)
  • Pros: Affordable, well-equipped, fun to drive
  • Cons: Quirky design, slow and unresponsive infotainment screen

MG is one of the lesser-known car makers. However, during the past few years, it has stormed the EV market with dependable and affordable models, such as the MG4 EV.

While its design won't appeal to everyone, low pricing and a rich list of features makes the MG4 EV the perfect family hatchback, especially for first-time EV buyers. The entry model is equipped with a 51 kWh battery that can provide you with 218 miles (350 km) without interruptions (and 281 miles (453 kilometers) in the 64 kWh version). Moreover, LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, and a 10.25-inch color touchscreen come as standard. The touchscreen, on the other hand, may disappoint you as it feels like a complicated and unresponsive owner's manual.

Unlike most smaller EVs, this one is really fun to drive both inside and outside the city limits since the car's a bit larger, has rear-wheel drive, and boasts 170 horsepower (202 hp in the 64 kWh version). The Euro NCAP proved that it's also safe by rewarding the MG4 EV with a 5-star rating.

Last year's best electric hatchback – Renault Megane e-Tech

Renault Megane e-Tech
Source: Peter Olthof / Flickr | Renault Megane e-Tech

The Megane e-Tech breaks away from the traditional hatchback design and offers a unique blend of coupe, crossover, and hatchback elements.

It's equipped with advanced safety features and driving assistance technologies – 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. Despite modest 40 kWh and 60 kWh battery options, it still boasts a surprising range of up to 310 miles (500 kilometers).

Best electric SUV – Hyundai Kona Electric

Grey 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric
Source: peterolthof / Flickr
  • Price: from $44,273 (€41,000)
  • Driving range: 234 miles (376 km)
  • Pros: Great design, impressive range, lots of room
  • Cons: Not exciting, interior materials could be better

The Hyundai Kona has been among the best-selling electric cars for the past few years, and it's easy to figure out why. For starters, it does many things better than its rivals, such as charging up to 80% in less than 45 minutes, offering a higher seating position and ground clearance, an impressive 234-mile range, and a tasteful spaceship-like design.

The Kona Electric is offered with two battery options: 48.4 kWh (156 horsepower) and 65.4 kWh (218 horsepower). Both variants are decent all-rounders, but since the driving experience is only mediocre, you should opt for the more powerful version if you want more happy moments.

Many owners of the older Hyundai Kona Electric were probably annoyed after discovering this new design because one of the worst things about the older model was its cramped interior. Luckily, this version is built on a bigger platform, ensuring more room and sleeker design.

Last year's best electric SUV – Škoda Enyaq

Škoda Enyaq iV
Source: Peter Olthof / Flickr | Škoda Enyaq iV

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 are searching 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

 BMW i4 
Source: Peter Olthof / Flickr | BMW i4 
  • Price: from $52,200 (€48,637)
  • Driving range: up to 307 miles (494 km)
  • Pros: Very quick, good range, practical
  • Cons: Controversial design, limited room for rear occupants

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.

Last year's best electric sedan – Polestar 2

White Polestar 2
Source: andreboeni / Flickr

Even though Polestar is under Volvo's wing, it seems that the Polestar 2 has acquired only the upsides from this brand, such as minimalistic design, high-quality materials, and safety.

However, the fun factor is unique here: the Polestar 2 is a true performance sedan with 455 horsepower and only a little over 4 seconds to reach 60 mph. The only downside is that these numbers come with a performance pack, raising the starting price to $63,000 (€58,663).

If performance isn't your priority, you can get a Long Range single motor version, boasting 320 miles (515 km) of range and a starting price of $49,900 (€46,549).

Best electric luxury car – Porsche Taycan

White Porsche Taycan
Source: Alexandre Prevot / Flickr
  • Price: from $99,400 (€92,590)
  • Driving range: 208 miles (334 km)
  • Pros: Lots of options, exciting performance, lovely design
  • Cons: Crazy expensive, hard to get in or out

If money isn't an issue and you want the Belle of the Ball, it's hard to find anything better than the Taycan. It's an awesome machine, and there's no room for skepticism – it looks, drives, and feels like a proper Porsche.

To get an idea of how special the car actually is, let's take a look at the base version. It features an electric motor on the rear axle, providing you with 402 horsepower and 302 lb-ft (409 Nm) of torque. It can do 0-60 in 4.5 seconds with launch control and drift without breaking a sweat.

Standard equipment includes electric front seats, LED lighting inside and out, a huge 16.8-inch curved display, and 19-inch alloy wheels. However, there are tons of additional luxury options, such as adaptive air suspension, rear axle steering, massage seats, BOSE Surround Sound system, and many more.

As you'd expect, all this comes at a cost. The cheapest Taycan costs $99,400 (€92,590), but since most small design details and optional features cost at least $1,000 each, you'll be looking at a much larger price with a few additional boxes ticked.

Last year's best electric luxury car – Mercedes-Benz EQS

Mercedes-Benz EQS
Source: Alexandre Prevot / Flickr | Mercedes-Benz EQS

Mercedes-Benz has equipped the EQS electric sedan with cutting-edge technology. 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 feature 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 – Tesla Model 3

White 2024 Tesla Model 3
Source: Shutterstock
  • Price: from $40,240 (€37,490)
  • Driving range: 341 miles (548 km)
  • Pros: Great range, many improvements, affordable
  • Cons: Typical Tesla issues, lack of physical buttons

Tesla is going through a rough patch at the moment, and people aren't as attached to the brand as they used to be. However, with updated models and lower prices on sight, now is a great time to get yourself a Tesla Model 3.

This is the cheapest model of the Tesla's lineup, with a starting price of $40,240 (€37,490). It can do 341 miles (548 km) on a single charge, and you can add up to 175 miles (281 km) of range in 15 minutes of charging at one of Tesla's public Superchargers.

The Model 3 had its ups and downs, but the latest version has many issues resolved. Some of the most notable ones are the improved quality of interior materials, revised exterior design, added ventilated seats, and reduced wind and road noise.

Overall, the Model 3 rides very well for an entry model, providing you with great specs, lots of room, and innovative features for daily commuting.

Last year's best overall electric car – Hyundai IONIQ 5

Hyundai IONIQ 5
Source: Andrew Bone / Flickr | Hyundai 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 post-modern 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.

Top 3 used EVs on the market

The prices of new electric cars are still sky-high, which is the main reason why people still choose their gasoline counterparts. However, those who want to go electric without spending a fortune can consider a used EV.

You can find loads of different used electric cars on the market, but some are better than others. Let's take a look and see why so many people choose them.

Tesla Model 3

As the best overall electric car, the Tesla Model 3 is also an extremely popular choice among used EV buyers.

The Model 3 was first introduced in 2017 and has been going strong since. It has many things that convince regular car owners to go electric, such as long range, an ordinary design, a minimalistic interior, and some cool features. The price of a used Tesla Model 3 starts at around $20,000.

BMW i3

The i3 often receives hate for not being a "true BMW," but it doesn't mean that this car isn't a worthy option when looking for a practical and comfortable electric vehicle.

It was launched in 2013 as BMW's first mass-produced zero-emissions vehicle. Bear in mind that its range varies from 72 to 153 miles (115 to 246 km), so think about it twice if you like longer road trips.

Nowadays, you can buy a used BMW i3 starting from $8,000.

Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf has been on the market since 2010 and attracted lots of people who wanted to go electric without looking like a weirdo. The Leaf was one of the best choices in the EV market, and it still is today.

Nissan introduced the second generation Leaf in 2017, offering a better range (up to 170 miles (274 km)), more comfortable rides, better materials, and one-pedal braking feature, which is rare in this price range.

Used 2nd-gen Nissan Leaf cars start at around $12,000.

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.

The war between internal combustion and electric cars is still ongoing, so 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, the curb 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.

Should you buy an EV?

While many people are impressed by the futuristic interior design, quiet operation, and blistering acceleration of electric cars, those are not the only reasons to buy an electric car.

There are several additional EV features that could help one understand how an electric car works and decide whether you should buy it or not.

Charging speed and costs

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 and how much it costs.

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 use 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.

You'll need a lot of energy to juice up these powerful batteries, which doesn't come out of thin air. Depending on EV's power usage and electricity price in your area, calculate the cost of charging an electric car to find out how much cheaper it is than filling a regular car with gas.

Manufacturer's warranty

Before 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 go above and beyond to eliminate 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.

Depending on the model, the price of the replacement battery for an electric car is often 20-30% of the car's MSRP.

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 and the production process of the batteries themselves.

If you're interested in an electric vehicle, you probably care about the environment, too. In that case, 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.

Buying a used EV? Check its history first!

Regardless of how much research you do or how much time you spend inspecting the car, the actual condition of a car mostly comes down to its past.

Fortunately, you don't have to rely solely on a seller's word because a vehicle history report can reveal many things that used car sellers often try to conceal.

Damaged white Tesla Model 3

Getting a vehicle history report helps you find out about damages, previous titles, mileage rollbacks, and other essential facts. For instance, 7.5% of all cars checked on carVertical in 2023 had fake mileage.

Damages are even more common – 67.4% of all checked BMW cars had damage records. As a result, you have to be very lucky to dodge these bullets without checking the car's history.

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Aivaras Grigelevičius

Article by

Aivaras Grigelevičius

Aivaras has been excited about cars since he was a little kid. Later, this passion for drivable objects (and everything that surrounds them) grew into work as an automotive journalist. Since then, Aivaras has written for several different magazines, covering anything with an accelerator pedal. He has a soft spot for cars with an Alfa Romeo badge.