How We Test Electric Cars
When it comes to electric cars, we layer on additional assessments, including battery capacity and charging speed, driving range, ease of accessing the charging port, price relative to equivalent standard model or hybrid variants where applicable and infrastructure compatibility. Before making our final picks we leverage expert insights from our friends at Car and Driver . These are the best electric cars for 2021.
Electric Cars Vs Hybrids
Hybrids use an electric motor to assist a gasoline engine, improving fuel efficiency while maintaining the freedom of a gas-powered car. They’re more mechanically complex, but owning a hybrid really isn’t much different from owning a traditional gas-powered car, which is definitely part of the appeal.
Plug-in hybrids can be charged up like an all-electric car and driven for a short distance on full electric power before switching over to normal hybrid operation. Most plug-in hybrids won’t go more than 20 miles or so on electricity, though. An electric car with a range extender, such as the BMW i3, is different from a hybrid in that its gas engine is only used to generate electricity and can’t drive the wheels.
Best Electric Vehicles In Canada
With electric vehicle charging infrastructures growing, including DC fast charging that takes minutes on the charger instead of hours, you may feel it’s time to switch from gas to electric.
On top of the growing infrastructure, today’s electric vehicles have more horsepower than ever, have stellar ranges rivalling gasoline-fueled cars, cost a fraction to keep fueled and maintain, and produce no direct emissions. So now may be the right time for you to finally buy an electric vehicle.
Which electric vehicles are best for you? To help you decide, weâve outlined the 12 best electric vehicles in Canada across a few categories, including what to look for in an electric vehicle.
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Best Small Electric Cars 2021
As a traditional combustion-engined supermini, the Peugeot 208 is only a little above average. However, in all-electric guise its one of the most appealing small cars there is, thanks to its mix of usable range, performance, value, practicality, style, perceived quality and driver appeal. Essentially, it deserves to figure highly if youre shopping for your first electric car this year.
Unlike more low-rent-feeling EVs, the cars materially rich interior distinguishes it just as clearly as the stylish bodywork. Practicality is on a par with the Renault Zoe and better than in a Mini Electric. Refinement beats both of those key rivals too, and performance is fairly strong. Certainly, you get an adequate dose of that electric-motor-enabled zip.
The car also rides with a suppleness missing from some smaller EVs, which often struggle to contain their body mass on the road, while in its higher-speed body movements it doesn’t feel as heavy as key rivals. The steering is striking for its directness, although body control deteriorates a little bit if you drive more enthusiastically. Even so, its the roundedness of the e-208s driving experience that really impresses.
Hot New Electric Cars That Are Coming Soon
Automakers are offering new models in all shapes and sizes
The coronavirus pandemic has slowed auto development and production, but manufacturers plans to introduce electric vehicles continue unabated. In fact, dozens of pure electric models are set to debut by the end of 2024.
On the menu are cars and an increasing number of SUVs and pickups. And there will be a broader array of plug-in hybrid models, which can run on mostly electric power for a stretch before a gasoline engine kicks in and operates the vehicle more like a traditional hybrid.
The rollout of new EV and plug-in hybrid models across different segments is good news for consumers looking for an alternative-fuel vehicle that will fit their needs.
Below is a rundown of some of the models that are worth watching for in the next couple of years. The list is alphabetical by automaker. Prices are estimates in most cases.
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Whats The Difference Between An Electric Car And A Hybrid
The main difference between an electric car and a hybrid car is that a hybrid gets some power from conventional gas whereas an electric car is powered entirely by electricity. The price of purchasing and maintaining a vehicle is the largest distinguisher for many. If you can’t decide which type of car to buy, keep this in mind too: Electrics cost a lot more upfront, but over time they usually cost less to maintain. Plus, you never have to fill up the tank, so you won’t ever pay for gas. Here’s a quick cheat sheet to some common car terms:
- Battery-Electric Vehicles are powered by electricity alone. The vehicle has a battery and an electric motor. They have zero tailpipe emissions and offer smooth, quiet rides.
- Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles run on both electricity and gas. They have a much larger battery than a gas-powered hybrid so they can function as an EV during typical drives. If they do run out of electricity they can be driven using the gas engine.
- Hybrids Electric Vehicles use gas for propulsion, but use technology like regenerative braking to supplement. They are easy to fill with gas, and the least expensive of the electrified vehicle options. These vehicles have the least upfront costs of the three.
Lucid Air Dream Edition
The only Lucid Air you can get your hands on in 2021/early 2022 is the Dream Edition, and then only if you already reserved one. Lucid started production in late October 2021, and the Dream Edition is limited to 520 vehicles. It comes in two variants, the Dream Edition R that focuses on efficiency and achieves 520 miles of EPA-rated range, and the Dream Edition P focused on driving enjoyment and capable of going 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds. Lower-priced versions are planned to go on sale throughout 2022. For now, you can put down a refundable deposit to reserve an Air Pure, Air Touring, or Air Grand Touring.
2022 Lucid Air Driving Range, Pricing*Air Pure: 406 miles, $77,400Air Touring: 406 miles, $95,000Air Grand Touring: 516 miles, $139,000Air Dream Edition R with 19-in wheels: 520 miles, $169,000Air Dream Edition P with 19-in wheels: 471 miles, $169,000
*Prices do not include destination. Air Pure, Touring, and Grand Touring ranges are factory-projected EPA estimates.
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Why We Picked It
The Tesla Model 3 blends range, performance, and an unparalleled fast-charging network in a way no other EV can match. Tesla has far fewer stores than other makers have dealerships, and servicing in remote areas may be a challenge. But it remains the best value in EVs years after its launchthats how good it really is.
Read Our 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Review
We’re not sure if the Ioniq 5 looks like it came from the future or from a “Back to the Future Part II”-style vision of the future, but either way, it sure is different. Although it looks like a compact hatchback, in reality, it’s as long as the quite-large 2022 Hyundai Tucson with a wheelbase longer than the very-large Hyundai Palisade. It’s not very tall or high off the ground, but inside, its deceptive dimensions provide a surprisingly airy, spacious and versatile cabin. We also love its user-friendly and well-executed technology, both in terms of infotainment and safety, plus the clean, minimalist look that still maintains some physical controls. Yes, that’s a knock on Tesla. Every Ioniq 5 features the same 77.4-kilowatt-hour battery pack , and like other EVs, it feeds the rear wheels or all four thanks to an additional motor up front. This results in multiple performance and range figures, though the gap in performance is far more pronounced . Importantly, every Ioniq 5 has 800-volt electrical architecture, making it possible to charge from 10-80% at a 350-kW charger in just 18 minutes. It’ll speed things up at less powerful chargers as well.
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How Kelley Blue Book Rates Cars
Rather than pulling random numbers out of the air or off some meaningless checklist, KBBs editors rank a vehicle to where it belongs in its class. Before any car earns its KBB rating, it must prove itself to be better than the other cars its competing against as it tries to get you to spend your money buying or leasing.
Our editors drive and live with a given vehicle. We ask all the right questions about the interior, the exterior, the engine and powertrain, the ride and handling, the features, the comfort, and of course, about the price. Does it serve the purpose for which it was built?
We take each vehicle we test through the mundane parking, lane-changing, backing up, cargo space and loading as well as the essential acceleration, braking, handling, interior quiet and comfort, build quality, materials quality, reliability.
Is 2022 A Good Year To Buy An Ev
It’s probably not a great year to buy if you’re eyeing an EV that costs less than $40,000, as the major advances in EV technology launched this year are largely the domain of pricier options. Lower-end EVs largely still suffer from reduced battery capacity, lower efficiency due to extreme weather, and slow fast-charging capability, and are on the verge of being replaced by newer models with newer tech. That said, those compromises are not much of a problem when charging infrastructure is widely available in your area. However, in 2022, the expansion is still a work in progress. Unless you can reliably charge at home, you may be better off waiting to purchase a lower-priced EV.
On the other end of the price spectrum, EVs that cost $45,000 and up are rapidly being introduced and offer an ownership experience more akin to that of a mainstream vehicle, thanks to larger battery capacity for longer range and higher-power charging capability where charging can be done within 15 to 30 minutes. On top of that, the current tax credits program does not have a MSRP price cap.
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Land Rover Range Rover Sport
This redesigned luxury midsized SUV follows the trail blazed by the larger Range Rover, with a variety of powertrains including a hybrid, premium amenities, and ultra-smooth styling. The Range Rover Sport launches with two inline turbocharged six-cylinder engines that use a mild hybrid setup, a plug-in hybrid based on that same engine , and a twin-turbo V8. All use an eight-speed automatic transmission. An all-electric version joins the lineup for 2024. Within the minimalist interior are numerous available features to pamper, such as massaging seats, a premium audio system, and sophisticated noise canceling.
Price: $83,000 to $121,500
Learn more about the 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport.
The Uk Electric Car Market: History And Future
Electric cars have been around for well over a century but its only recently that theyve started to gain a market foothold. In the early noughties, the Reva G-Wiz led the electric car craze, although that model was hardly a car at all, as it was classed as a quadricycle. It used basic lead-acid batteries, similar to the electric milk floats that once frequented British streets in the early hours, and was slow, cramped and not very safe. It wasn’t until the original Nissan Leaf came along that the process of electric car development went into overdrive.
As a five-door, five-seat hatchback, the Leaf offered the practicality of a conventional family car, and became the best-selling EV, albeit with sales figures significantly lower than its petrol and diesel counterparts. Initially the Leaf’s range was 80 miles at best, but constant development and improvement have seen that range increase, while the arrival of the Leaf Mk2 in 2018 saw the car gain a range closer to a conventional petrol car.
Looking into the future, you can only see the electric car market expanding, and fast. With comprehensive manufacturer buy-in fuelled by tightening emissions regulations from governments, electric car technology is improving fast – along with the infrastructure that makes running one easier. You might not be considering an electric car now but its a safe bet that you will be in the future.
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Top 10 Best Small Electric Cars 2022
If an electric car ought to excel anywhere, its in the supermini segment. Typically used for shorter journeys or as a second car, these machines aren’t as reliant on a long legged range as larger models, while the combination of compact dimensions, silent running and zero emissions at the tailpipe makes them perfect inner city assault vehicles.
Admittedly, a small platform means less space for batteries, so the range of the following cars will never match the potential of larger alternatives. But a small battery also means a lower asking price, especially important now the Government has completely scrapped its Plug-in Car Grant and if were talking about urban runabouts that do only the occasional longer journey, its debatable just how many owners would need more than, say, 180 miles of driving range.
Our Updated List Featuring The Latest New Evs Pros And Cons For Each And Links To Reviews
Like our planet’s endangered climate, this list is subject to change. There are so many electric cars, SUVs and even trucks on the horizon that it’s only a matter of time before we get a chance to drive something great enough to be included on this list of best EVs . Again. We’ve already updated this list once.
We have broken our recommendations down alphabetically and within price segments, because obviously, as great as a Porsche Taycan, Mercedes EQS, Hummer EV and Rivian R1T are, only a tiny fraction of car buyers can afford them. Thankfully, many of the new and/or upcoming EVs are of the more affordable variety, including the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 that we’ve finally had the chance to drive, plus the future Nissan Ariya and Chevrolet Equinox EV. We look forward to testing them all as soon as possible not to mention more expensive upcoming offerings like the Cadillac Lyriq, Chevrolet Silverado EV, BMW iX and Mercedes EQE.
For now, though, these are the electric cars and SUVs that earn our top recommendation based on our testing:
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How We Test Cars
At the Good Housekeeping Institute, our experts drive thousands of miles each year on city roads, country roads and highways. Over the last several years, we have performed test drives on hundreds of vehicles. In our initial evaluations we ensure cars, trucks and SUVs excel in their primary function of, well, driving well. Our performance assessments take into account the quality of the ride, engine performance, fuel economy, how well the car handles and responds, smoothness over bumps, noise when cruising, braking capabilities and driver assist features.
From there, we look holistically at the vehicles to ensure not only do they drive well, but that they are also going to be vehicles that will thrill and delight drivers and passengers. We look at convenience features like how comfortable the seats are and how much space there is for the driver, front-seat passenger, back seat passengers, and possibly third-row passengers, as well as things like the size of the center console and the placement and abundance of cup holders and charging ports. We make sure that individuals can easily get in and out of the cars, whether they are 5’3″ or over 6 feet tall. We see how easy it is to adjust the seats, how easy it is to fold seats down, and how much storage there is in the trunk space. Since many of our readers have children, we physically install car seats in every vehicle, seeing how easy that is and how many we can fit.
Consider This Before Buying An Ev
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 , the size of modern EV batteries means that you could spend days waiting for a decent charge.
If you own your own home, you’ll need to look into getting a Level 2 charger installed. Luckily, these aren’t that expensive on their own. While getting one put in does require a contractor’s services , there can be tax breaks for doing so — especially if you decide to make the jump to solar at the same time.
If you don’t own your own home, you’ll be using a charging network. You should look into which ones are the most well-established where you live and drive most often. If you have a Tesla, this is pretty easy. If you have other EVs, you’ll have to do a little research, but the most common nonproprietary networks are Electrify America, Chargepoint and EVGo. They all have different apps and pricing, but they all work more or less the same. These charging networks will offer Level 2 charging or DC fast-charging. The latter is considerably more expensive, but it’s much faster.
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