When the first wave of electric cars hit in the ’90s, people were extremely skeptical. In fact, the public was so put off by them that the whole trend died off shortly thereafter. That is, except for in the minds of a few researchers, scientists, and the kinds of folks that had the foresight to realize the opportunity and eventual necessity behind alternative fuel cars.
Now back in full swing, the trend is more popular than ever and is actually starting to dig into the profits of more traditional fossil fuel vehicles. And it’s with good reason: electric cars are generally cheaper to run, more environmentally friendly, and even have some performance benefits (like a flat torque curve and incredibly quick acceleration speeds). In fact, nowadays there are even some high-end luxury vehicles and supercars that use all-electric powertrains. So whether you’re looking for a fun weekend ride, a daily commuter vehicle, or an insane sports car, you can get one with a renewable fuel source. And you can find the absolute best all-electric cars right here on the following list.
Though we’d hardly call it a daily driver, the eMoke is certainly an excellent weekend ride – especially for those who live in smaller beach communities. Based on what was originally intended to be the British version of the Jeep, this little cruiser first acquired a cult-like following in the ’60s, when it was used to tool around the shores of the Caribbean. Now, this tiny 4-seater has been brought back by an American company and loaded with an all-electric engine. There’s also a gas-powered version, if you’d rather go old-school, too.
Charge Time: 6-8 Hours
Range: 40-90 Miles
Performance: 25 MPH Maximum Speed
If you’re familiar with and fond of hot hatches, you know it’s hard to do better than the VW Golf. Luckily, for those thinking about going a bit more environmentally-friendly, there’s an all-electric version of the little rocket, too. What’s even better is that, despite the eco-engine, it still has a lot of the same pep you’d find in its gas-powered counterparts – and a good deal more torque, as well. It could also help you save potentially thousands of dollars a year on fuel – which you could put to better use going on a road trip.
Range: 83 Miles
Performance: 115 Horsepower, 199 Foot-Pounds of Torque
Ford Focus Electric
Though they were not early adopters, legendary American brand Ford was not content to be left out of the newest wave of electric vehicles. As such, they’ve released a battery-powered version of one of their most popular cars, the Focus hatchback, for purchase. And apart from the obvious benefits of the vehicle – a relatively low entry price, savings on fueling up, and more – this one also has regenerative braking, which is a technology that feeds power created by the friction of the car’s brakes back into the onboard batteries. That means, this one can go just a little bit further than it otherwise might.
Range: 115 Miles
Performance: 143 Horsepower, 184 Foot-Pounds of Torque
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
Sadly, Hyundai’s Ioniq Electric is currently only available to California residents – but we imagine that will be changing as the popularity of all-electric vehicles grows. Still, even with that big downside, the Ioniq is one of the best possible non-gas offerings out there, because – on top of the more eco-friendly engine and associated savings – it’s also equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Blue Link Connected Care, and fast-charging capabilities.
Range: 124 Miles
Performance: 118 Horsepower, 218 Foot-Pounds of Torque
One of the coolest features that comes along with every purchase of a Nissan Leaf is the ability to connect the car’s system to your smartphone. That means, via Nissan’s app, you can communicate with your car remotely, check the charge status while it’s plugged in, and see how long it will take until the batteries are full without having to actually go out to where the car is parked. Nissan also offers 25,000 public charging stations nationwide and an easy-to-use home charging kit.
Range: 107 Miles
Performance: 107 Horsepower
Kia Soul EV
Say what you will about Kia’s older models, but the brand seems to be headed in the right direction. And though the styling of their Soul EV is certainly a question of preference, the tech under the hood and in the cockpit are definite examples of progress. That tech includes a 3.5-inch OLED display screen, smartphone connectivity, a fully featured entertainment system, and (most importantly on hot summer days) climate control.
Performance: 109 Horsepower
You wouldn’t know at first glance that this Fiat 500 is the all-electric version. And we like that the brand didn’t feel the need to change the styling of their most popular car just because everyone else seems to be doing it. Truth be told, we wish more manufacturers were making their electric cars look like regular cars and not bulbous futuristic things that stick out like a sore thumb. That being said, this car does also have some neat electric-only features, like LED lights that indicate charge, a Pedestrian Warning System that is audible from outside of the car, and more.
Range: 84 Miles
Performance: 111 Horsepower, 147 Foot-Pounds of Torque
Chevrolet Bolt EV
The Bolt might actually be the best all-around electric car for two undeniable reasons: it’s fairly cheap and it has an incredibly impressive battery-only range of up to 238 miles per charge. That’s double the range of most other offerings on this list. Sure, it’s not a head-turner, but who needs looks when you’ve got that kind of performance from a non-fossil fuel electric vehicle. But it’s more than just range, because a 0-60 time of less than 7 seconds and a torque rating of 266 foot-pounds is definitely nothing to scoff at from a car that’s so small and lightweight, either. You could theoretically take this guy down to the race track and actually have a bit of fun.
Range: 238 Miles
Performance: 200 Horsepower, 266 Foot-Pounds of Torque
Sure, the B-Series electric hatch from Mercedes-Benz isn’t quite as good looking as the brand’s high-end sedans and coupes, but it’s still got the same DNA and is, therefore, still worth a second glance. And that goes double when you consider that, for the driver and passengers, the inside is a lot more plush than the outside. That includes the option for a wood-trimmed interior, an optional fully-featured sound system, and a whole host of other tech from Bluetooth connectivity to Garmin map plotting. And it still has a respectable amount of pep, too.
Range: 87 Miles
Performance: 177 Horsepower, 251 Foot-Pounds of Torque
BMW i3 All-Electric
BMW’s i3 might have a face that only a mother could love, but it’s still a formidable entry in the electric car industry. It offers a lot more space than most of it’s competition, has a healthy range of up to 114 miles on just the battery, and has a secondary package with a Range Extender 2-cylinder gas engine that boosts the drive distance up to 180 miles total. The electric alone is already 40% better in regards to distance than the previous iteration and the option for a little extra security in the form of an emergency gas engine gives the i3 an edge over cars with similar batter capacity and range.
Range: 114 Miles
Performance: 170 Horsepower
Tesla Model S
Tesla is the name to know in the all-electric car business. And that’s because they have a clear grasp of what it takes both in regards to performance and style. Literally all of their offerings have been impressive in their own way. We just happen to like the Model S the best. And that might be, in part, because the P100D is a member of the S’s available packages and also happens to be a record-setting monster of an electric vehicle, doing 0-60 in 2.28 seconds. If you want an electric car and money is no object, do yourself a favor and get the P100D.
Range: 210-315 Miles
Performance: 382-691 Horsepower
Dubuc Motors Tomahawk
Based out of San Diego, California, the folks at Dubuc Motors are taking a very interesting approach to their electric car. Specifically, it’s angled toward extreme performance – in the same vein of supercars and hypercars, like the ones offered by long-standing brands such as Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, and more. What’s most interesting, however, is that the Tomahawk sits in a very unique place amongst its competitors, that being it’s the only 2-seater all-electric that can hit 0-60 in under 4 seconds and costs less than $150,000. That’s something to be proud of.
Range: 370 Miles
Performance: 800 Horsepower, 1,000 Foot-Pounds of Torque, 160 MPH Top Speed
You may have heard of Fisker’s first attempt at an electric vehicle, the Karma. Interestingly enough, the high-end luxury vehicle was actually considered a failure, as – after limited sales – the original Fisker Automotive filed for bankruptcy and sold off their remaining assets (including the Karma name). Now, Henrik Fisker has returned with a new company and a second attempt, the eMotion, which is set to head to market this year. Let it be said that, though the company failed, the Karma was an amazing vehicle and we’re glad to see Fisker return with a new, upgraded offering – boasting new tech such as driving automation, a “super battery,” and more.
Range: 400+ Miles
Performance: 161 MPH Top Speed
Faraday Future FF 91
Since April of 2014, people have been waiting for and wondering about what enigmatic automotive startup Faraday Future was going to bring to the table. Now, it seems we’ve finally found out: the FF 91. To say that this futuristically-styled all-electric SUV is beautiful is a definite understatement. But it also has some very impressive performance figures – like that its 3 electric motors can produce over 1,000 horsepower or the onboard Dynamic Vehicle Control system which ensures both top performance and extreme comfort simultaneously. But, while you can reserve a spot on their customer list, the car still isn’t available for a closer look just yet.
Range: 378 Miles
Performance: 1,050 Horsepower, 0-60 MPH in 2.39 Seconds
It’s likely that you’ve never heard of Genovation. And that’s because they’re a relatively new company. Still, they’re making waves in the car world in more ways than one. For starters, they have chosen to use the Chevrolet Corvette as the base for their own GXE. Secondly, they actually set a world record with this very same car; more specifically, it was the first all-electric street-legal vehicle to hit a speed of 200 mph. And now, they’re selling 75 of these beautiful performance cars to a few very lucky (and likely very well-to-do) people. You could be one of them.
Range: 130 Miles
Performance: 700 Horsepower, 650 Foot-Pounds of Torque, 209 MPH Top Speed
Best Cars Under $30,000
Sometimes, it’s the up-front cost of a car that gets us and not the long-term gas purchases. Luckily, there are still a wide variety of excellent cars for under $30,000 out there today. Check it out and you might find something you like.