There’s more to electric vehicles than saving money by avoiding the gas station, and these EVs offer a mix of driving verve, innovation, and quiet operation.
Electric vehicles are no longer the punchlines of the past. Limited driving range, tiny dimensions, and long charge times are largely things of the past. These days EVs come in all shapes and sizes, with a number of automakers selling electric cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks (with the likes of Rivian and Tesla strictly selling EVs). Many of these options are capable of traveling more than 200 miles on a full charge—and a number are capable of going even further.
Plus, with the advent of DC fast charging, adding enough electricity to bring a battery-electric vehicle’s pack’s charge up to 80 percent takes minutes, as opposed to hours. Mind you, filling up a gas vehicle’s fuel tank still takes less time than fast-charging an EV, but it’s a small price to pay to drive a zero-emissions vehicle while also avoiding the expensive cost of gasoline or diesel fuel.
Remember, the cost of electricity often varies. Regardless, fully charging an EV ought to cost a fraction of the price of filling up at the local gas station.
Each year we test hundreds of new cars and trucks, including those powered by electricity. Our extensive testing means we dive deep into what makes certain vehicles better than others. Read on to see the the best EVs available for 2022.
*above was originally published on Car and Driver
from Car and Driver: The 2022 BMW iX is the brand’s first battery-electric SUV—and it’s a mighty compelling one at that. The iX offers an EPA-rated driving range of up to 324 miles. The model’s two electric motors mean this Bimmer comes standard with all-wheel drive. Plus, the use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic body panels helps keep the iX’s weight in check. Count the cabin as this BMW’s most compelling feature, as it packs plenty of space, stylish wares, and a slick curved digital instrument panel screen. No wonder we think it’s one of the best EVs available.
- Car and Driver rating: 8.5/10
- EPA-rated maximum range: 324 miles
Ford Mustang Mach-E
from Car and Driver: The 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E blends popular elements of the past and present in a highly desirable package that bodes well for the future of electric vehicles, which is why we gave it an Editors’ Choice award. While it seems sacrilegious that Ford would call an electric SUV a Mustang, the automaker’s decision to pair the iconic nameplate with an in-demand body style is smart marketing. Along with its attention-getting appearance, the Mach-E has a handsomely appointed interior that’s brimming with the latest tech. It also has nifty storage solutions, a spacious back seat, and lots of cargo space. Get behind the wheel and the electrified Mustang feels agile and quick. The sportiest version hits 60 mph in 3.7 seconds (quicker than a Mustang Mach 1) and the rangiest versions are estimated to travel more than 300 miles per charge. All that and more makes the 2022 Mustang Mach-E one of the best EVs available.
- Car and Driver rating: 9.5/10
- EPA-rated maximum range: 314 miles
Hyundai Ioniq 5
from Car and Driver: The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 brings advanced technology, futuristic styling, and a versatile interior to the electric SUV segment. The vehicle features impressive charging speeds (up to 350 kW) and has an EPA-estimated driving range of up to 303 miles. Available with rear- or all-wheel drive, the EV ute makes between 168 and 320 horsepower. Its eco-friendly interior boasts a tech-centric dashboard, reclining front seats with footrests, and generous passenger space, making the Ioniq 5 among the best electric cars available and a worthy recipient of our Editors’ Choice award.
- Car and Driver rating: 8.5/10
- EPA-rated maximum range: 303 miles
Hyundai Kona Electric
from Car and Driver: Turns out the Hyundai Kona is a fine basis for an electric vehicle, as the 2022 Kona Electric retains everything we like about its gas-powered counterpart. Instead of a four-cylinder engine, the Kona Electric employs a 201-hp electric motor. A 64-kWh battery pack allows this SUV to travel an EPA-estimated 258 miles on a full charge. Furthermore, the Kona Electric delivers perky acceleration, spry handling, and an unbeatable standard warranty and complimentary maintenance package, all of which make it plenty deserving of our Editors’ Choice award.
- Car and Driver rating: 8.5/10
- EPA-rated maximum range: 258 miles
from Car and Driver: The 2022 Mercedes EQS sedan is the flagship of the brand’s electric model range. It’s also one of the fanciest EVs on the market. No surprise, we named it to our 2022 Editors’ Choice list. Its curvaceous body effortlessly slips through the air for maximum efficiency, and its palatial cabin boasts luxurious appointments and state-of-the-art features for the all-important wow factor. That’s made most obvious by the optional glass-covered Hyperscreen dashboard. The sizable electric sedan is offered with a 329-hp, rear-drive powertrain (EQS450+) or a 516-hp, all-wheel-drive setup (EQS580 4Matic). Both utilize a large 107.8-kWh battery that offers up to 350 miles of driving range, according to the EPA. Those in search of more oomph can opt for the AMG-badged EQS, which packs a maximum of 751 horsepower (however, the all-wheel-drive Mercedes-AMG EQS typically makes a more mundane 649 ponies). While calling the 2022 EQS an electrifying luxury car is an easy pun, it’s also entirely accurate as it’s one of the best electric cars currently available.
- Car and Driver rating: 8.5/10
- EPA-rated maximum range: 350 miles
Chevy Bolt EV
from Car and Driver: The 2021 Chevy Bolt EV isn’t as interesting as the Hyundai Kona Electric or as sexy as the Tesla Model 3, but its smooth ride, roomy cabin, and popular standard features make it an appealing option to mainstream-brand shoppers. The Chevy has an EPA driving range of 259 miles, which is nothing to sneeze at, and its fast-charging capability allows it to replenish up to 100 miles of range in 30 minutes. Sure, the Bolt’s design borders on dorky, and its interior quality doesn’t qualify as premium despite a starting price close to $40,000 (before federal tax credits), but its electric motor sends 266 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels, providing zippy acceleration. We also appreciate its one-pedal driving and satisfying-to-use hand-brake function.
from Car and Driver: The 2021 Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback are all-electric luxury crossovers that straddle the line between the present and the future. While their battery-powered, all-wheel-drive powertrains deliver up to 222 miles of EPA estimated driving range and foreshadow the death of internal-combustion engines, their refined driving manners and serene interior spaces are similar to the non-electric Audi models currently occupying showrooms. These recognizable traits as well as their traditional exterior designs make the e-trons appear less revolutionary than luxury EV rivals such as the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X. Although the 2021 e-tron and e-tron Sportback have shorter driving ranges than the Jaguar or Tesla, Audi believes this more conservative approach will make the transition from traditional gas-fed models to all-electric vehicles easier for buyers.
Tesla Model 3
from Car and Driver: Among the more affordable options in the electric-vehicle marketplace, the 2021 Tesla Model 3 is, without doubt, the one with the most name recognition. It borrows some styling cues from the company’s Model S sedan and Model X SUV, but goes its own way with a unique interior design and an all-glass roof. Acceleration is quick, and the Model 3’s chassis is playful as well—especially the Performance model‘s, which receives a sportier suspension and a track driving mode. But EV buyers are more likely interested in driving range than speediness or handling, and the Model 3 delivers there too. The base model offers up to 263 miles of driving range according to the EPA, and the more expensive Long Range model can go up to 353 per charge.
Tesla Model S
from Car and Driver: Tesla’s Model S sedan was the first mass-market car to prove that electric vehicles could be fun-to-drive, eco-friendly, viable as everyday transportation, and even useable for long trips. The Model S does all that even better for 2021. Depending on which trim you choose, the Model S can travel between 390 and 520 miles on just one charge and deliver blistering acceleration performance that rivals some of the world’s best supercars. Tesla now sells more practical and more affordable models such as the Model Y SUV and the Model 3 sedan, but the Model S remains the flagship of the brand. Its interior is spacious for four adults but doesn’t live up to the luxury price tag. With increased pressure from rivals such as the Porsche Taycan and the upcoming Lucid Air, the 2021 Model S is no longer in a class of one, but for some buyers, the car’s athletic chassis, Ludicrous driving mode, and exceptional range are enough to sell them on the Tesla EV lifestyle.
from Car and Driver: With electric vehicles becoming more commonplace, the electron-fueled 2020 I-Pace adds some excitement to the mostly sedate segment. Its alluring exterior makes a statement that rivals don’t, while its interior supplies an excellent mix of luxury and technology. The all-electric Jaguar SUV accelerates with quiet gusto and actually manages to engage its driver with a surprising amount of athleticism. While every model has a claimed driving range of 253 miles and DC fast-charging capability, we found it hard to achieve that range and regular charging was on the slow side. Still, the 2020 I-Pace interrupts EV innovation in favor of making the species more desirable.
from Car and Driver: Porsche’s first electric car is a sleek sports sedan that fully lives up to the brand’s high-performance reputation. The 2020 Taycan (pronounced tie-kahn) delivers incredible acceleration, precise handling, and aggressive styling. There’s some interesting engineering under the skin, too. The Taycan is the first production electric vehicle to use a two-speed transmission and an 800-volt electrical system, which allow for quicker acceleration and shorter recharge times, respectively. In theory, the Taycan is the first real challenger to the Tesla Model S. In practice, the Porsche and Tesla have unique advantages that should steer buyers toward an easier decision. The Model S offers a much higher range rating—but, our real-world testing showed it only has a tiny advantage over a Taycan Turbo S—a more practical package, and access to a sprawling network of fast-charging stations.
from Car and Driver: Available as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or pure electric vehicle, the 2019 Niro offers a little bit of everything. This Editors’ Choice crossover puts it right in the crosshairs of shoppers who want big mileage numbers without feeling like they settled for something too small. The base hybrid offers up to 52 mpg, but we suggest getting the Niro LX, which adds basic features. Step up to the plug-in and earn up to 26 miles of electric-only range before the engine kicks in. Go all out for maximum green cred and choose the Kia Niro EV. It boasts a claimed range of 239 miles.
Kia Soul EV
from Car and Driver: This all-electric hatchback can’t match its competition when it comes to range, but the 2019 Soul EV is still one of our favorite EVs. Its boxy shape gives it a unique look that translates into a more spacious interior than you might expect. Add a surprisingly long list of features, and the Soul EV starts to look like a real bargain in this segment. The only thing to give us pause at this point is that it’s only sold in a few states. But an all-new Kia Soul EV is on the way for 2020 with a huge range boost—from 111 miles to 243 miles—and a wider range of availability across the U.S.
from Car and Driver: It may not be the sexiest electric vehicle around, but the truth is that Nissan has sold more EVs than any other manufacturer with the Leaf. It helps that this compact hatchback has been on sale for almost a decade now. Back in 2010, the Leaf arrived with funky styling and usable, but not overly impressive, range. A full redesign last year made it a little easier on the eyes, while a new Leaf Plus model offers up to 229 miles of range along with quicker acceleration. All versions of the 2019 Leaf have spacious cabins and useful technology, but the driving dynamics still leave us a little cold.