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March 9, 2022
Today, there are EVs of all sizes, body types, and capabilities, with pricing ranging from $30,000 to nearly $200,000.
There is an EV for every buyer, but with so many options, someone who is new to the electric world might have a hard time knowing where to start shopping.
To help with that effort, we have put together this piece looking at the best electric vehicles in many different categories.
Table of Contents
|Longest Range EV||Tesla Model S LR|
|Most Affordable EV||Mini Cooper SE|
|Best Used EV||Nissan Leaf|
|Best Electric SUV||Tesla Model Y LR|
|Best Small EV||Chevrolet Bolt EUV|
|Best Electric Truck||Rivian R1-T|
|Best Luxury EV||Lucid Air Dream Edition|
|Best AWD EV||Ford Mustang Mach-E|
|Best EV Sports Car||Porsche Taycan Turbo S|
|Best Overall||Tesla Model X|
The electric vehicle segment is growing like no other group in the automotive industry.
See the latest EV stats & trends here >>
While some automakers are hesitant to go all-in on EVs, the combination of government regulations, environmental concerns and the popularity of the all-electric Tesla brand have led every company that sells vehicles in the United States to develop battery-powered models.
The upsides to the boom in the number of electric vehicles on the market include an increase in range capabilities, more different types of EVs, and more affordable models.
The first EVs were predominantly compact cars with a relatively low range like the original Nissan Leaf. The first higher mileage EVs were Tesla sedans, which were far more expensive and far too expensive for many drivers.
For quite a while, if you were buying an EV, you were either buying a low cost, low range compact or a high priced, high performance and high range sedan.
Many models offer at least 250 miles of range on a single charge. That allows even those folks with the longest commute the option of an all-electric daily driver that won’t require a midday recharge.
Tesla offers a collection of electric vehicles which yield greater than 300 miles on a single charge, but the Model S LR leads the pack.
The Model S is the car that really launched Tesla’s entry into the mainstream and when properly configured, the Model S LR will travel 412 miles in the right driving situations.
There is a collection of Tesla sedans and SUVs at the top of our list of the highest range electric vehicles, but the first outside of that EV-only brand is the Ford Mustang Mach-E California Route 1 Edition.
As Ford's first vehicle to truly rival Tesla, the Mustang Mach-E offers impressive performance and range, with the California Route 1 Edition going 305 miles on a single charge.
See all our picks for the longest range EVs >>
The key concern for many prospective EV buyers is the purchase price, as battery-powered vehicles generally have a higher price tag. Fortunately, with more and more new models coming to market, we have seen lower prices with higher mileage range capabilities.
The Chevrolet Bolt is an all-electric 5-door with a solid amount of passenger space and a range of 259 miles on a fully charged battery.
While it is not the least expensive EV on sale today, it is the least expensive with a range of over 250 miles, beating every other similarly priced EVs by at least 89 miles.
The Mini Cooper SE is the lowest price EV on our list of the most affordable models in the segment, with a price starting at just $29,900.
The downside to the electric Mini is that with a range of just 114 miles on a single charge, it has one of the lowest ranges in the segment.
See all our picks for the most affordable EVs >>
The early EVs had much lower range numbers and far lesser performance capabilities, but for someone looking for an inexpensive commuter car, there are some very affordable used electric cars available in growing numbers.
Offered from 2011 through 2017, the first-generation Nissan Leaf was the first high-volume all-electric car in the United States.
In the early years, the Leaf offered between 73 and 84 miles, but in 2016, the range climbed to 107 miles. You can get these models for as little as $6,000 and many will cost you less than $10,000.
If you want a far greater electric range than the first-generation Nissan Leaf and you can bump your budget up around $16,000, the Chevy Bolt is the best option on the used car market.
It has a roomy cabin and a range of 238 miles, while average used prices range from $14,000 to $18,000. Realistically, this is the lowest price, high mileage used EV available.
See all our picks for the best used EVs >>
Most automakers that offer electric vehicles have an EV SUV in their lineup, so there is a large spread in pricing. Some of the most affordable electric vehicles on the market are SUVs, but at the same time, you can pay big money for a luxurious Tesla or Audi.
The Model Y is the smaller of the two Tesla EVs, but it outshines the competitors in several key areas. It offers 68 cubic feet of cargo space, a 3,500-pound towing capacity, and a range of 326 miles – beating all other vehicles in our electric SUV comparison.
Best of all, Model Y LR AWD pricing starts below $60,000, so while it is more expensive than the options from Ford or Volkswagen, it offers more capabilities of every kind.
The Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S has 64.2 cubic feet of cargo space, it can tow 2,200 pounds, and it has a range of 250 miles.
Those figures are all well below the Tesla, but they exceed the capabilities of other SUVs on the market and most importantly, you can get into the all-electric VW for around $45,000.
See all our picks for the best electric SUVs >>
As you might expect, the smallest EVs are generally the least expensive, but automakers know that drivers want to enjoy the benefits of modern technology. As a result, these small EVs are packed with content while offering interior space for at least four people and some cargo.
The Bolt EUV is the newest small electric vehicle from Chevrolet, but it is slightly larger than the original Bolt.
It has a range of 247 miles, a price starting in the $35,000 range, and it can be equipped with GM’s Super Cruise hands-free driving technology. As the largest and most heavily appointed of the small, affordable EVs, it is an easy pick.
If you are looking to get into a small SUV with the smallest purchase price and you aren’t worried about a big range number, the Mini Cooper SE is the perfect option.
It has one of the smaller cabins and one of the smallest range numbers, but it is also one of the least expensive EVs on sale today.
See all our picks for the best small EVs >>
The popularity of trucks and the popularity of EVs would suggest the need for electric pickups, but there are a few issues. They are everything that the average EV is not, but several automakers have figured out a way to make it work.
The Rivian R1-T was the first large truck to come to market and the young company set the bar high. Their truck delivers 835 horsepower and 908 lb-ft of torque with four electric motors that send power to all four wheels.
The truck has achieved around 315 miles of range on a single charge in media testing, but more importantly, it has a 4.5-foot cargo bed and the ability to tow 11,000 pounds with a price starting at $67,500.
The Ford F-150 Lightning is expected to hit dealerships later this year and when it does, the Rivian R1-T will have its first real competitor. The all-electric F-150 is expected to offer around 300 miles with the extended range battery and a 10,000-pound towing capacity, but it should cost far less than the Rivian.
Ford will have commercial models starting under $40,000 while nicely equipped consumer models will start in the low-$50,000 range.
See all our picks for the best EV trucks >>
In seeing Tesla’s success in moving their higher-priced models, other luxury brands were quick to get in on the action. Mercedes Benz, Audi, BMW, and Porsche all offer great EVs, but another electric-only brand tops our list of the best electric luxury cars.
The Lucid Air just began reaching owners around the United States late last year, but with a range of over 500 miles and a drivetrain output of over a thousand horsepower, it has both the highest range and the most power of any electric vehicle on sale today.
The only downside to the Lucid Air Dream Edition is the starting price of $169,000. Fortunately, more Lucid Air models are on the way with a slightly lower range and a much lower price.
Many early electric vehicle owners like the idea of getting in on the ground floor of a budding company like Tesla or Lucid, but others prefer to spend their money with an established automaker.
If you want a combination of performance, luxury, and range from a legendary brand name, the Porche Taycan is a beautiful option. It is everything that you would expect from a Porsche, except with battery power.
See all our picks for the best luxury EVs >>
The best performing EVs are all all-wheel-drive, allowing the automaker to run multiple motors and use four tires to get traction. Of course, all-wheel-drive electric vehicles appeal more to those folks who live in areas that get snowy winters.
Whether you want range, performance, or capabilities, the Tesla Model Y LR AWD is one of the best EVs that you can get with all-wheel-drive.
It has a roomy cabin, a range of 326 miles, 426 horsepower, and all-wheel-drive with a price starting below $60,000.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E is the first real competitor for the Tesla SUVs and the best EV from one of the traditional American automakers.
The Mach-E with the extended battery will go 277 miles on a charge while a combination of 346 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque makes it a ton of fun to drive.
Most importantly, it is priced similarly to the Model Y.
See all our picks for the best EVs with AWD >>
The key focus points for many electric vehicle buyers are range and purchase price, but for some, performance capabilities are paramount. For EV drivers who want impressive handling, braking, and acceleration, check out our top picks.
The Tesla Model S Plaid will sprint from a stop to 60 miles per hour in less than two seconds, it will run a 9-second quarter-mile and it will go 200 miles per hour. This is achieved with a 1,020 horsepower, all-wheel-drive drivetrain setup that still yields nearly 400 miles of driving range.
With a price starting around $130,000, it is one of the more expensive performance cars on the market, but it is also one of the quickest and fastest.
While the Porsche Taycan has “Turbo” in its name, the range-topping electric sedan has no turbocharger. It is powered by a 750-horsepower electric all-wheel-drive system that yields 201 miles of range, but with a price starting at $185,000, it costs quite a bit more than the quickest Tesla.
On the other hand, for someone who wants the premium luxury feel and the driving dynamics of a proper German performance car, the Taycan has the clear edge.
See all our picks for the best EV sports cars >>
Tesla has sold more electric vehicles than any other automaker in the past decade and while they don’t have a truck yet, they offer models in the other key American segments. With their four core models, they cover midsize SUVs, large SUVs, midsize sedans, and large sedan groups, while every other company works to catch up.
They have higher prices than many other EVs, but Tesla models offer the best electric range and performance in each of their respective segments.
The Tesla Model X is the best all-around electric vehicle on the market today. It has seating for up to seven people, the seating can be configured for a ton of cargo space, it has a range of up to 351 miles, it can tow up to 5,000 pounds, and in its premium form, the Model X Plaid packs 1,020 horsepower and the ability to sprint to 60 in just 2.5 seconds.
Room for passengers, room for cargo, premium luxury amenities, over a thousand horsepower, and the ability to tow most common trailers all come together to make the Model X the best all-around EV.
The Chevrolet Bolt EV has a price starting around $31,000 and a range of 259 miles, making it the most affordable of the higher range models. When you add interior space and available technology, this is the best EV to buy for the daily drive.
The Mini Cooper SE has a price starting under $30,000, making it the most affordable EV on sale today.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E is one of the highest-ranked EVs in terms of reliability, with the Motor Company’s dealership network providing ease-of-access for owners who do run into issues. At the same time, there have been a few common issues with the new SUV, which carries the controversial Mustang name.
The Lucid Air has the highest driving range of any electric vehicle, offering 520 miles with 933 horsepower.
The Chevy Bolt is the best-used EV for anyone with a budget in the $15,000 range, offering far greater range than any other low-priced used electric car.
The Tesla Model X offers 37.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row of seats and 85.1 cubic feet with the second row folded down.
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