Just about every automaker in the industry is making a move towards greener, all-electric propulsion. As such, there has been an influx of EV models in the last few years. These started with hatchbacks and sedans but quickly grew to include coupes, crossovers, and now even pickup trucks. With so many new entrants to the market, it can be a bit overwhelming, but much like with gasoline-powered or hybrid cars, there are essentially only a few specific categories that all these electric vehicles fall into.
Electric propulsion is the natural progression of hybrid technology, which was initially developed as a more fuel-efficient and greener alternative to gasoline or diesel. As such, it stands to reason that a large number of EVs focus on improving fuel economy and saving you a fair chunk of change over the total lifetime of the vehicle. Compact electric cars are particularly adept at this since their small size and low weight makes the inherently more frugal when it comes to efficient operation.
However, you are no longer limited to the likes of the Chevrolet Bolt if you are looking for a car that will quickly pay for itself with lowered fuel bills. Competing hatchbacks include the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3, but it’s the sedans and small crossovers that will most likely appeal to shoppers in the USA. Names making a splash in these classifications include the Tesla Model 3, X, and Y, the Toyota bZ4X, and the Hyundai Kona EV.
Tesla has the most experience in electric motors and battery packs, so its cars are able to travel much further on a single charge than most rivals’, but they do cost a lot more than more economical brands like Hyundai and Toyota. The Kona EV is a very efficient small crossover, boasting incredible mileage figures and a modestly powerful 201-horsepower powertrain, all for a little over $30k. The Toyota bZ4X, meanwhile, is set to replace the Prius as the brand’s go-to green machine. It looks great, boasts extremely high safety ratings, a capacious interior, and available all-wheel drive.
The lightning chasers
Many automakers see electric power as not just an opportunity to lower running costs and reduce strain on the environment. In fact, EVs have some amazing performance potential. Tesla has already been trying to break into the sports car market with its Plaid variants and Roadster, but now more established names like Porsche, Ford, and BMW are entering the fray.
The Porsche Taycan has been around for a while now as an electric sedan with impressive power outputs and refined German handling dynamics. The BMW i4, i7, and iX are all electrified examples of existing models, boasting all the same levels of luxury and driver engagement that we have come to expect from the automaker.
Looking at more local brands, the Ford Mustang Mach-E is a reimagining of a classic American muscle car, trading out a boisterous V6 engine for a silent but highly capable electric setup. Up to two motors can be installed for a total of 480 hp and 634lb-ft, allowing the EV SUV to sprint form 0-60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. Every model in the range brings the practicality we have come to expect from the brand, which is now further improved by the SUV body style. However, traditionalists might not see the appeal of a high-performance high-rider when they grew up loving the hunkering muscular coupes of old.
The quiet cruisers
Lastly, there are the luxurious electric cars. This seems like a natural evolution of the first EVs, which were all surprisingly powerful but also delightfully quiet. Shoppers looking for performance and engagement may find this disappointing or even a little disconcerting, but those with a taste for refinement will appreciate it. Automakers like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and Volvo certainly seem to think there is enough interest here to introduce a number of new models.
Mercedes has an entire line of EQ models based on its popular A- to S-Class, while Volvo has electrified its XC40 and C40 SUVs. Audi straddles the line between refined luxury and engaging athleticism with the e-tron on one end and the RS e-tron GT on the other. There are even some new names in the game, like Karma, Polestar, and Lucid.
Each has a singular but exciting model on offer, but it’s the Lucid Air that best embodies the ideals of electric luxury. It is available with up to four motors, maxing out at a ludicrous 1,111 hp and 1,025 lb-ft, while the maximum range is 520 miles, beating out even the most advanced Tesla on the market. The fact that is opulently appointed inside and looks stunning from the outside just seems like icing on the cake and seals the deal to make it one of the most impressive luxury EVs money can buy.