The best electric cars can get you around without leaving a cloud of pollution in your wake, and choosing between them is harder than ever. If only because there are so many quality electric cars available to buy right now. That includes the likes of the Ford F-150 Lightning, Kia EV6 and others.
Tesla might be the best known electric carmaker, but it's far from the only player in the business. In fact several different rivals offer a range of all-electric cars for you to choose from. So whether you want a simple urban runabout or a performance-tier EV, here are the best electric cars on sale right now.
Granted there's a lot you need to decide on before you choose an electric car. Including whether you should opt for one of the cheapest electric cars, or if the model you want is one of the few electric cars still eligible for the federal tax credit. Plus, if you're still really struggling, ber sure to check out our guide to 11 electric cars with the longest range and our guide to whether you should buy an EV or hybrid.
There's an awful lot to like about the Kia EV6. It may not be the fastest electric car out there, nor does it have the longest-lasting battery, but it has just about everything else you could hope for — including 310 miles of EPA rated range.
In our time with the car, we were happy to see Kia has outfitted the EV6 with a stylish exterior, and a smart interior that's bursting with class and hi-tech features. Not to mention the 350 kW charging, an augmented reality heads-up display, smart parking, vehicle-2-load capabilities, and 17.6 cubic feet of trunk space. That's without the seats being folded down too.
Combine all that with a very reasonable $40,900 starting price, and you have the recipe for an electric car that's almost perfect. In fact the only faut we can find is that the back window's a little small and there's no rear wipe.
Read our full Kia EV6 review
While not the most spectacular EV on the market, the Nissan Leaf is an ideal car for people new to EVs, or who simply don't want to spend a lot of money. The 2022 model of the car is even more appealing in that respect, since its starting price is just $27,800 — and that's before you take federal and state incentives into account. In fact, the Nissan Leaf is one of just nine electric cars to still be eligible for the federal tax credit — meaning it can cost as little as $20,300
The Leaf also offers a roomy interior with plenty of hi-tech options, including the semi-autonomous ProPilot driver assistance software, and the 'ePedal' that offers a one-pedal driving mode for those that want it. It also supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
There are downsides, mainly the fact that the cheaper 40 kWh battery models only offer 149 miles of EPA range. Likewise the Leaf includes a CHAdeMO rapid charger, rather than the CCS favored by every other automaker that isn't Tesla. But if you're looking for an EV that doesn't need to be too big, and you have a tight budget, this is one to consider.
Read our full 2022 Nissan Leaf review
The Tesla popularity contest was long-dominated by the Model 3 — on account of its solid performance and lower price tag. But the Model Y has swooped in and stolen its thunder. It may be slightly more expensive than the Model 3, but it makes up for that with practicality and interior space.
The Tesla Model Y has all the parts you need to make a Tesla, including up to 330 miles of range, a 3.5 second 0-60 time, Autopilot, access to the 250kW Tesla Supercharger network, and more. of course all the usual Tesla caveats apply, like the extreme minimalism and the fact everything is centralized in a single touchscreen display. Teslas are popular, but if there's one thing we've learned driving them it's that Elon Musk's cars are an acquired taste. (In fact, after more than 1,000 miles of test drives, our automotive editor still has issues with Tesla's EVs.)
If you want all the benefits of a spacious Tesla, without having to pay a Model X price tag, then the Model Y might be the EV for you.
Read our full Tesla Model Y review
The age of the electric truck is already kicking off, and Ford may have just perfected the formula right out of the gate with the F-150 Lightning. Ford's F-Series trucks have been the best-selling vehicles in America for decades, so the pressure was on to get this one right. Fortunately Ford has taken everything people love about the regular F-150 and given it an all-electric boost.
Not only does the pickup look and drive almost identically to its gasoline and hybrid-powered siblings, it's got all the same features — and more. A spacious frunk, more power outlets than you can handle, the BlueCruise autonomous driving system, 230-320 miles of range, and a drive that is smoother and sturdier than gasoline could offer.
So if you want an electric truck, and are willing to handle the lengthy wait period, the F-150 Lightning is the one for you. Especially since it's eligible for the federal EV tax credit.
Read our full Ford F-150 Lightning review (opens in new tab)
For fans of big luxurious sedans is the Mercedes EQS. It may be an expensive car, even by electric car standards, but this is the perfect blend of fantastic design, advanced technology, top tier performance and some of the longest non-Tesla range on the market. We even go so far to say that it's a masterpiece of German engineering.
But as exotic and luxurious the car is, there's also a lot of practical elements as well. up to 62.5 cubic feet of trunk space, 350 miles of EPA-rated range, the triple-display Hyperscreen dash, a panoramic sunroof and some of the most comfortable seats around. Pure Mercedes style and class, powered by pure electricity.
Read our full Mercedes Benz EQS Sedan review
Every car company in the world seems to be gunning for Tesla, but its Model 3 remains one of the best electric cars available, with excellent range, features, and a price that demonstrates that Teslas aren't just for the 1-percenters.
Indeed, the Tesla Model 3 is still one of the best mass-market electric car out there. The Model 3 can go up to 262 miles on a single charge (with the standard battery), and while this car is stubbier and plumper than Tesla's Model S, it's about half the price.
While critics point out that Tesla continues to overstate the technical abilities of its driver-assist Autopilot feature, we think it's still worthwhile, within limits. Software updates offer continual improvements, but if you want more range and better handling AWD, pricing on the Model 3 starts at $41,990.
Read our full Tesla Model 3 review
Polestar is a car company founded by Volvo, but kept as a completely independent entity. So while Polestar can benefit from its founders safety technology and other resources, it's free to push the boundaries of electric vehicle performance and engineering. Polestar 2 is the company's first five-door electric car, with a great mix of looks and safety.
Polestar 2 offers dual motor performance, alongside an EPA range of 270 miles per charg and a 0-60 time between 4.6 and seven seconds. It's not industry-leading, but it's still pretty impressive. Polestar also included an infotainment system based on Android Automotive OS, alongside self-cleaning headlights, a Harmon Kardon sound system, and Volvo's Pilot driver assistance system. That includes emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane centering, and all the other bells and whistles you'd expect.
Read our full Polestar 2 review
If you're looking for a good all-round electric car, then the Hyundai IONIQ 5 is a great option. The SUV packs in loads of space for you, your family and whatever you may need to transport, and packs in an impressive 300 miles of range to get you where you need to go.
Better still the IONIQ 5 comes with plenty of tech options, should you want them. There's a built-in heads-up display, wireless charging, mood lighting, and up to 350 kW charging speeds.
Most importantly, however, is that the IONIQ 5 is fun to drive. Not only does it have the instant torque all EVs offer, it's a speedy beast that can jump from 0-60 in just 5.2 seconds. That may not be Tesla-level acceleration, but it isn't bad going - especially for an SUV.
Read our full Hyundai IONIQ 5 review (opens in new tab)
It may not be the Mustang you were expecting, but Ford's Mustang Mach-E is still the first all-electric car Ford has built. The SUV design might put some people off, but Ford has added a solid mix of technology and performance. That includes a 15.5-inch touchscreen, CarPlay and Android Auto support, and a luxury interior that should keep everyone happy.
It may not be as powerful as a Tesla Model X, or offer quite as much range as other electric cars, but it's still a great option for someone hoping to get all these features for a slightly lower price than the competition is asking for.
Still, Ford recently announced a new Mustang Mach-E GT model that takes things a step further. Boosting power from 346 hp to 460 hp and covering the 0-60 in 3.8 seconds (3r o.5 secs for the Performance Edition).
Read our full Ford Mustang Mach-E review
What to look for in an electric car
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Buying a new car is a very personal thing, and electric cars are no exception to that. What you want to look for is all very dependent on your circumstances and what you need the car to be able to do. That'll help you narrow things down and work out which EV is right for you.
If you have a large family, and need to move a bunch of kids and their stuff around on the regular, you're not going to want a compact vehicle. Likewise if you only need something for short trips and getting groceries home, you don't necessarily need a big long-range SUV.
As for range, it's easy to insist that more range is always better but that's not always the case. Having that option is helpful, but if you commute under 50 miles a day and rarely take long road trips, then a car with 300 miles of range isn't essential. It's nice to have if you can afford it, but it shouldn't put you off. The same is true for performance. super-quick cars are fun to drive, but how often are you going to take advantage of that?
Finally, supply chain issues may limit your choice and force your hand. Automakers have been struggling to produce cars, especially as demand picks up, but that doesn't mean they're impossible to buy. Some dealers and automakers will have new models in stock, you just won't get much choice in what features are included.
Next: Here's how you can keep your electric car's battery healthy.
The Model Y is #8 on the list of 10. The S and X are suspiciously absent given that the list includes vehicles that are more expensive than both, as well as the generally-disappointing e-Tron.