Check out our electric car comparison and decide on your next purchase. Electric vehicles are not new. Trolleys and commuter rail lines have long powered their cars and trains with electricity, either via a direct connection to an overhead source or a “third rail” running parallel to the tracks. However, the individually-operated electric vehicle (EV) is a relatively new phenomenon.
These cars have many perks: 59-62% of electrical energy converts to vehicle power (compared to approximately 17-21% for gasoline-powered automobiles). EVs are also quiet, need less maintenance, can accelerate quickly, and are comfortable to ride in. They give off no pollution. What’s more, electrical plants run on solar, wind, hydro, and nuclear fuel are non-polluters. Generous tax incentives make EVs an even more economical choice.
Electric Car Comparison – Top 10 EVs
Trading in a conventionally-powered vehicle for an EV sounds like a win-win situation. However, with so many on the market, making an educated electric car comparison can be a daunting task. Here are ten high-quality EVs that are friendly both to the environment and the wallet.
The Ford Focus Electric has the amenities of its gasoline-powered cousin. Heated seats, Ford’s quality infotainment system, a comfy interior, and automatic climate control are standard. The 2017 model has an even longer battery life than its immediate predecessor: it can go 100 miles before needing to be plugged in. The base price is an attractive $20,120.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV may not be the most attractive electric car on the road or the longest-lasting between charges, but it has definite advantages. Four can sit comfortably inside. The MiEV boasts heated front seats, has quality steering and brakes, provides a comfortable ride, and also has a very attractive base sticker price ($23,800). The MiEV is ideal for short-distance commuters and city drivers.
3. Kia Soul
The Kia Soul ($32,800 MSRP) is another electric car that keeps the best features of its conventional counterpart. The traditional Soul’s younger brother is chock full of amenities. Regenerative braking, a 109-horsepower motor, and a lithium battery make for a range of 91 miles. There is an option for heated and cooled leather seats and features not found in the original Kia make this a whole new car. There is one drawback when making an electric car comparison: the Soul EV is only available in ten states at the present time.
Building on the success of its gasoline-powered sibling, the Smart Electric Drive is one of the smallest and most economical (base price $15,400 without options) EVs around. This diminutive car is lightweight enough to enable it to travel 68 miles (combined city and highway driving). What it lacks in passenger room and storage space, the Smart EV makes up for in standard amenities: keyless entry, cruise control, and air conditioning. Furthermore, factor in a generous tax credit and the buyer who does not need a roomy vehicle or one for long-distance travel can get a lot of benefits for the money.
The Chevrolet Spark is another economical blockbuster (starting at $25,995), and it can travel an impressive 82 miles between charges. The spacious interior adds to the EV’s attractiveness. A push-button starter, Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system, and air conditioning are only a few of the Spark’s attractive standard features. However, this comfortable, fun, and very reasonably-priced car presents a difficulty when a buyer is making an electric car comparison: it is only available in three states.
The Volkswagon e-Golf is popular with drivers who appreciate the appearance and features of its liquid-fuel counterpart. Able to go 83 miles when fully charged, this EV (base price $28,995) is an attractive option for buyers making an electric car comparison. What’s more, the battery’s unique packaging does not limit passenger room. Parking assist and automatic emergency braking add to the car’s value. Like with all such vehicles, a generous tax credit makes the e-Golf a worthy consideration.
7. Fiat 500e
The Fiat 500e is another EV that is a younger sibling of a gasoline-powered car. It boasts many of the traditional hatchback’s desirable features, including a stylish, well-appointed interior and fun-to-drive maneuverability. Its base MSRP is $31,800, a bit more than some choices but worth the investment. People making an electric car comparison will lament the fact that the 500e is unfortunately only available in California.
The Tesla Model 3 is not even on the market yet, and it is already a potential game-changer. This innovative EV will have room for five adults, go 215 miles on a charge, accelerate from 0-60 within six seconds, and come with standard autopilot. At $35,000 base price, the Model 3 is not the most economical plug-in vehicle out there. Nonetheless, federal credits and state rebates or credits will make it an affordable choice for buyers making an electric car comparison. Production gets under way in mid-2017, and delivery on new orders is scheduled for the middle of 2018. Tesla’s first 100% electric car designed for the general market promises to be worth the wait.
Even though the Chevrolet Volt is not an exclusively electric car, it fits into the category. Its primary source of power is electrical with a gasoline engine to provide backup. This vehicle can go 53 miles when fully charged (after which the engine kicks in to recharge the battery). Since this range covers a good deal of distance, little gasoline is needed. It’s a fun car to drive and accelerates quickly. The icing on the cake? The federal government classifies the Volt as an electrical vehicle—qualifying the car for a $7,500 tax credit. Base price is $34,490.
The Ford Fusion Energi, while technically a hybrid, offers drivers a choice of electric, gasoline, or a combination. The roomy interior is only the beginning. This EV boasts a quality navigation system, voice-activated SYNC-3, and blind-spot sideview mirrors. At $31,120 base MSRP (minus an available tax credit), the Fusion Energi is a lot of car for the money.
These ten cars prove that vehicles can simultaneously be good for the environment, a pleasure to drive, spacious and comfortable, and economical to buy and maintain. Electronic equipment does not need periodic maintenance, brakes do not experience much wear and tear, and EVs have fewer moving parts and fluids. When buyers begin electric car comparison shopping, they will happily discover that the choices—and possibilities—are endless.