The Best Electric Car To Buy
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We've driven just about every permutation of every current-production electric vehicle in the US today, so at CNET Cars we have a better-than-average view of what's good and what's not in EVs right now.
Mini might be new to the EV game, but the brand's first effort is a great one. What it lacks in overall range, it makes up for in being fun to drive and great to be in, all at a surprisingly reasonable price. And we love those electrical outlet-style wheels.
The Mach-E is currently available in several flavors. There are hotter (and more expensive) GT versions on offer, but even the base model is fun to drive and deserving of its Mustang badge. With 290 horsepower on tap in RWD form, or 346 hp in all-wheel drive trim, the Mach-E easily gets out of its own way. The chassis is great and the cabin is a pleasant place to be. The Mach-E is one of the best all-rounder EVs on sale now.
On paper, the Porsche Taycan is kind of a tough sell. It's expensive (it's a Porsche, after all) and its range estimate looks straight-up bad. Driving a Taycan tells a completely different story and we're confident that this is the best EV you can buy right now. Its real-world range is totally adequate for all but long road trips and its build quality and driving dynamics are basically unassailable.
Presently, the best you're going to be able to do officially with a Taycan is 227 miles and that's in the 4S trim with the performance battery option. Even if that were totally accurate in the real world, that's still plenty for most people on most days. Even the base Taycan offers a driving experience that's leaps and bounds beyond most other EVs on sale right now and does so with just 400 horsepower.
Many people shopping for their first electric vehicle are going to be looking for something affordable. While EVs still haven't reached price parity with internal combustion vehicles, there are tons of great examples under $50,000. Our favorite among these is the Hyundai Kona Electric. We picked the Kona because it offers great range, a practical small-SUV-style body and a stellar warranty.
The Mercedes-Benz EQS is, simply put, an amazing electric luxury car. It takes all the coddling comfort found in the gas-powered S-Class and gives it a dash of electromobility. Even in its EQS450 Plus trim, there's more than enough acceleration on tap, and it doesn't mind tackling corners with aplomb -- although an upcoming AMG variant does offer something sprightlier from the factory. And then there's the tech, featuring the dashboard-spanning Hyperscreen, which needs to be seen to be believed.
First and foremost, the Lucid Air is one of the longest-range EVs you can buy today, with a max range of 520 miles in the right specification. Throw in a whole load of solid design elements inside and out, mix that with a cushy ride quality and some comfortable seats, and you've got quite the luxury electric stew goin'. We'll have to wait and see if Lucid can come through with its promise to deliver as many trims and configurations as it wants, but for now, we remain pleased with what we've experienced thus far.
Maybe you're specifically shopping for an electric SUV. There just aren't that many to choose from yet and many of those that are currently available are kind of small. That's why we're once again recommending Ford's Mustang Mach-E. It offers plenty of cargo space, lots of room for passengers, a good range, great driving dynamics and good infotainment. It's also priced very competitively.
Rivian beat the legacy automakers to market with the R1T electric pickup. Thankfully, in addition to being the first battery-powered light-duty pickup on the market, the R1T is also a great EV overall.
After tackling the Rebelle Rally in a specially outfitted R1T, we finally drove the R1T in more traditional settings late last year, and we walked away impressed. Its quad-motor layout generates some impressive acceleration, while its 314-mile battery isn't too shabby for those looking at longer road trips. Whether in the dirt or on the road, the R1T impressed us with its ride and build quality. It'll be interesting to see how the R1T stacks up once the legacy automakers get their electric trucks to market.
This Croatian electric hypercar offers some mightily impressive specs, including a four-motor powertrain that produces a prodigious 1,914 hp and 1,740 lb-ft. It'll blast past 60 mph in less than 2 seconds while hustling to its 258-mph (!) top speed. Its 120-kWh battery pack should provide a range of about 300 miles in the US. It also helps that it's a stunner inside and out. Then again, for $2.45 million, it'd better be.
Legacy automakers have always cherished their light-duty pickup lineup, so it didn't come as a surprise when Ford announced the F-150 Lightning. It's not just an electric pickup, it's loaded with tech and creature comforts that should appeal to buyers, and it should beat its primary competitors to dealership lots by years.
Picking a car isn't the only consideration when making the jump to an electric vehicle. Not being able to just zip over to the gas station around the corner does complicate things a bit, but we can help you with this too.
The first thing you should consider when shopping for an electric vehicle -- hell, even before you start shopping -- is figuring out how you're going to charge it. The fact is that while every EV comes with an adapter that will let you plug into any old 110-volt outlet (in the US, anyway), the size of modern EV batteries means that you could spend days waiting for a decent charge.
Finally, be prepared to talk about your electric car. People will ask you about it -- friends, family and strangers -- especially if you live somewhere EVs aren't super common yet. Some of those questions might seem silly or even dumb, but you're going to hear them, and depending on how you answer, you might just help convince those people that an EV could work for them too.
The reality is that most electric car owners will rarely have to charge up in public; if you have off-street parking and the ability to charge at home, the latest EVs will manage most of your day-to-day driving needs just by charging your battery pack domestically overnight.
EVs might cost more to buy in cash than their petrol or diesel counterparts today, but the gap is narrowing. Vauxhall, Peugeot, and Mini all have models that can run on petrol or electric and comparative prices are pretty similar.
Leasing prices are even more eye-opening. Costs vary wildly depending on the car, but broadly speaking cheap electric cars are the same amount to lease as cheap petrol cars. Renault Zoes and Renault Clios are both in the market for around 200 per month with the same terms.
Gas prices are astronomical these days, and it's time to consider going electric. While the initial investment cost might be steeper with an electric car for certain options, the long-term payoff is worth it. Not every EV is expensive, either.
Electric cars are convenient, cost less to drive, and are much quieter to operate than other types of vehicles. They're also one of the best options on the road to environmental sustainability because they do not emit exhaust gases. Electric vehicles have the potential to transform transportation and mitigate air pollution in cities.
Whether your reasons are environmental, economic, or anything in between, we got you covered with the best electric cars. There are many options out there, so my priority is to highlight innovation as well as efficiency.
The Tesla Model 3 was one of the top-selling electric cars of 2022, with good reason. It combines functionality with innovation at a higher price point. Cars usually depreciate in value over time but used Tesla prices show the opposite.
If you want something different from a Tesla Model 3 but with similar specs and a comparable driving experience, look no further than the Polestar 2. This sleek electric vehicle has a panoramic roof and an Android tablet screen that connects seamlessly to Google Maps with no need for a phone connection -- and it features Spotify, a radio, and a \"Hey Google\" function, too.
The only downside is the luxury price range for this line of electric vehicles. The Lucid Air Pure starts at $87,400 while the most expensive option of the lot, the Lucid Air Dream Edition, starts at an eye-watering $169,000.
Still, this car won came out on top compared to other cars, electric or otherwise, to secure the car of the Year award. The criteria included efficiency, value, advancement in design, engineering excellence, safety, and performance.
The Kona Electric is a formidable all-electric SUV that prioritizes safety and comfort. The steering wheel has mounted audio and cruise controls, the basic package comes with an 8-inch color touchscreen display for audio, and there's a push-button to start.
The convenience package is $3,500, and it gives you access to some of the perks that higher-end electric vehicles have, including heated front seats, a sunroof, LED interior lighting, and the Hyundai Digital Key, which is an app on your phone that you can use to control your car.
Maybe you need an SUV or an affordable car or maybe you're in the market for something more luxurious. The right electric car for you depends on your budget and the features you absolutely cannot live without.
An electric car battery usually lasts 10-20 years before it needs to be replaced, but EV manufacturers usually guarantee a shorter time frame of up to eight years. The battery is the most important aspect to consider, followed by special parts for EVs that may not be readily available at repair shops.
Following a notable price cut in late 2022, GM recently raised prices slightly on the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV. Despite the recent price bump, the pair still claims the top two spots among the most affordable all-electric vehicles you can buy, with a starting price of $27,495 for the Bolt EV. Parent automaker GM also offers to help buyers with the cost to install a 240-volt home charger when they purchase or lease a new 2022 or 2023 Bolt EV or Bolt EUV from a qualifying Chevrolet dealer. 59ce067264