Best electric cars for every budget and lifestyle in 2021
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Only a few short years ago, electric vehicles were considered a less-exciting driving option, with only a handful of models to choose from. Now, electric cars are gaining popularity, thanks in part to Tesla, which has showcased cool electric cars and took the lead in shifting towards more eco-conscious lifestyles.
Now that there are so many electric cars to choose from, the hardest part is deciding which one suits you best. In this article, we compiled the best options to fit your budget and lifestyle.
Our top electric car choices were rated for their quality, mileage, and practicality. After all, there is no point in having an electric car that you do not enjoy to drive or does not offer the right mileage range for you. We broke down the cars into two categories: luxury and practical.
If you are in the market for a smooth driving, luxury electric car, with fast pickup and numerous features, there are many to choose from. We’ve rounded up 4 of the best:
Tesla has become one of the biggest names in the electric car manufacturing industry since the debut of the Model S in 2012. Tesla offers a few models but the luxury SUV Model X includes all the exciting features Tesla has to offer, from driver assist to the thoughtful internal and external styling.
Tesla is the top brand name for luxury EVs, offering the furthest mileage range. Image source: Tesla
The Tesla Model X is a bit pricey, starting at $89,990 for the Long Range model, but it has a mileage range of 360 miles after a single charge. The Long Range model can also reach a speed of 60mph in 3.3 seconds and has a 670 horsepower rating.
Wherever you need to get to, the Model X offers speed, luxury, and quality, with interior features like a touch screen monitor and HEPA filtration air conditioning systems.
Learn more: All Tesla models & prices in 2021
Porsche is finally making the leap into producing fully-electric cars, starting with their Porsche Taycan.
Porsche’s first all-electric vehicle does not compromise on aesthetic appeal. Image source: Porsche
The base model Taycan is a luxury electric sports car that boasts a 0-to-60 time of less than 5.1 seconds, rear-wheel drive, and a 402-horsepower electric powertrain engine. The base model starts at $79,900, while more advanced options like the Turbo S Cross Turismo model will cost around $187,600.
Jaguar is also adding to the electric car luxury model lineup with its well-received I-Pace SUV model.
Electric SUVs offer customers the space they need without the high gas prices. Image source: Jaguar
The high build quality of the I-Pace includes a 90kWh battery pack and dual electric motors, producing 394 horsepower. It can reach an EPA-estimated 234 miles of range on a single charge, with pricing starting at $69,850.
The Audi e-tron is the first purely electric car from Audi, and as an SUV, it offers rear seat space, comfort, and all-wheel-drive.
The Audi e-tron is a great all-electric luxury car option. Image source: Caranddriver.com
The Audi electric car does not skimp on performance, reaching 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds, and offers 4,000 pounds of towing capacity. Starting at $65,900, the e-tron can drive up to 222 miles after a single charge, and offers an exciting driving experience.
If you are looking more for an EV that does not need to be super fast or include fancy features, there are many practical options available.
The vehicle that comes to mind for most people when they think “electric car” is the Nissan Leaf. Debuting in 2010, it was the first mass-marketed electric car, and at a price point starting at $31,670, it is more budget-friendly than its luxury counterparts.
The Nissan Leaf was the first mass-marketed electric vehicle. Image source: Nissan
As of April 2021, there are five models available, the S, SV, S PLUS, SV PLUS, and the SL PLUS. They range in price, from $31,670 for the base model to $43,970 for the SL PLUS. The driving range of each car is different but you can expect 149 miles per charge for the basic models and up to 215 miles for the SV PLUS model and 226 miles for the S PLUS.
The Nissan Leaf offers a certain confidence in purchasing since it has been in production and used by drivers for over 10 years, and not many other electric car models can say that.
Hyundai's original Kona vehicle is considered one of the best subcompact crossovers on the market, so it comes as no surprise that their new electric version will likely end up being one of the most popular electric options on the road.
The Hyundai Kona electric car is sleek and affordable. Image source: Hyundai
The Hyundai Kona is an electric hatchback that can reach a range of 258 miles.
As of April 2021, the Hyundai Kona Electric is only available in limited markets throughout the United States at a price point of $37,390 for the SEL model. Hyundai says it will soon expand availability to the rest of the country.
The Chevy Bolt offers 259 miles per charge at a great starting price point of $36,500.
The Chevy Bolt is a compact electric car with an impressive mileage range. Image source: Chevrolet
Although the Chevy Bolt is small, it offers great torque and pickup, with 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds. The Bolt EV charges at a rate of 25 miles per hour with the at-home charger versus 4 miles per hour with the portable charging cord, so charging at home is ideal.
Compared to the Tesla Model X, the Tesla Model 3 is a little more affordable. So if luxury and the appeal of driving a Tesla are important to you, a Model 3 is a great choice.
The Tesla model offers luxury at an affordable price. Image source: Tesla
The Tesla Model 3 has a starting range of 250 miles for the Standard Range Plus model, but the Long Range Model can reach 322 miles. The Standard Range Plus model costs $33,690 (without any add-ons). The car is also outfitted with an all-in-one touchscreen and an all-around 5-star safety rating.
The future of cars is electric and there are plenty of new vehicles to be on the lookout for.
More and more manufacturers are producing electric cars as part of their yearly lineup of vehicles, ranging from the Volvo Polestar 2 to the new Volkswagen ID. Some of the most exciting electric cars are not yet available, but include the electric Hummer and the Tesla Cybertruck.
The future holds endless possibilities as more people start searching out and buying electric cars. For now, there are many manufacturers that are build electric cars in addition to their more well-known combustion engine counterparts, including companies not listed above, like the BMW i3, Ford, Kia Niro EV, Hyundai Ioniq, Toyota, Mercedes, and Honda.
Electric cars are becoming more desirable, more affordable, and easier to own and charge. Charging stations are popping up nationwide and cars' electric range per charge is increasing. 2021 is a great time to purchase a new electric vehicle and install solar panels to charge your new car CO2-free.
Once you've made the decision to purchase an electric car, you'll want to make sure to do your research on the models that are currently available on the market - there are plenty of options, not just what we listed above. A few things to take into consideration include:
Just like shopping for a gas-powered car, your best option is to compare the different types of electric vehicles that you are interested in, including their features and warranty options. Ultimately, test driving a potential electric vehicle is the best way to pick one you will like.
Once you determine the right option for your needs, consider installing solar panels to save even more money by reducing your electric bills and completely eliminate your CO2 output by charging your car with clean energy.
Some solar installers use inflated estimates of utility price growth to make it seem like savings will be higher than they likely will. It’s time to stop.