Best Electric Cars

Best Electric Cars

Top-Rated Electric Vehicles for 2019

Jump To: Affordable Electric Cars | Luxury Electric Cars | Best Electric-Car Range

Electric vehicles aren't a new phenomenon. In fact, the first fully electric car was developed in the 1830s. What's new is that EVs now compete for market share with traditional fossil-fuel models. Thanks to recent advancements in battery and charging technology, electric cars have finally become a feasible alternative to gasoline cars.

Today's best EVs make a compelling pitch to commuters: They're practical, easy to drive, inexpensive to run and packed with technology. And if the sticker prices look daunting, just remember that tax incentives and rebates can knock thousands off the cost of an EV, whether you're buying or leasing.

But shopping for an electric vehicle requires a different mindset. While a gasoline car can be refueled in just a few minutes, electric cars take longer to recharge, making them less than ideal for long-range driving. The trick is to think about how far you drive in an average day and how often you'd have a chance to charge up. If you can plug in at work or at home, an EV could be a great fit for your life.

To simplify your shopping process, we've put together a list of the best electric cars on the market right now. The electric-car segment keeps growing, and buyers have more choices than ever. Our list of the best EVs will help you find the electric car that's right for you.

Best Electric Vehicles for 2019

At Edmunds, we put every vehicle we rate through a rigorous testing process that involves both objective tests conducted at our test track and a subjective evaluation on our 120-mile real-world testing loop. We then assign scores to specific characteristics and features to arrive at an overall rating for the car. The eight electric cars listed here received the highest marks from our experts. We think these are the best electric cars you can buy today.

It's worth noting that, in our experience, most manufacturers' range estimates are realistic — except in very cold climates, which, for several reasons, decrease range. So even if you drive 100 miles on an average day, the best electric cars will provide more than enough range to get you from charge to charge.

Affordable Electric Cars

Tesla may have captured consumers' imaginations with its futuristic and pricey cars, but mainstream automakers have been trying to crack the electric-car nut for a long time, with increasing success as of late. These affordable EVs have enough range to get most people through their daily commute, along with all the features you expect from a modern car.

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

All-new for 2019, the Kona Electric has taken this segment by storm. Its eye-popping range rivals that of higher-priced luxury models, and its interior is a pleasant place to spend time while you rack up all those miles. For quicker charging between drives, an SAE combo charger is standard on all trims, which allows DC voltage to go directly into the Kona's large battery. The Kona EV also has adjustable regenerative braking, though you can't drive with one pedal as you can in the Bolt or the Leaf. Throw in rapid acceleration and a generous roster of features, and it's no wonder the Kona won our Editors' Choice Award for the top EV of 2019. See the Kona Electric in our EV rankings

Starting price (including destination fee): $37,495
EV range: 258 miles

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Review and Pricing

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV

The Chevrolet Bolt hatchback is a surprise in more ways than one. Before the Kona came along, it was the only non-Tesla to offer electric driving range in the neighborhood of 250 miles. The Bolt's claimed cargo space isn't that impressive, but in the real world we've found it more useful than the numbers indicate. Unfortunately, the front seats are a bit firm and won't be to everyone's liking. The interior's also rather plasticky, and the Bolt's unique infotainment setup is slightly clunkier than Chevy's norm. The bottom line, though, is that the Bolt delivers downright exceptional range and performance for the price. See the Bolt in our EV rankings

Starting price (including destination fee): $37,495
EV range: 238 miles

2019 Chevrolet Bolt Review and Pricing

Read Edmunds' long-term test of the Chevrolet Bolt EV

2019 Nissan Leaf

The Leaf was redesigned last year, and it's a significantly better electric vehicle than the previous-generation model. It's quieter, more comfortable and more rewarding to drive, and it offers plenty of range for almost any commute. The Leaf's steering wheel doesn't telescope, making the car less comfortable for taller drivers, and the steering feels artificial. But, overall, the Leaf has far more strengths than weaknesses, especially if you don't need the chart-topping range offered by the Kona and the Bolt. And if you do, consider that the Leaf Plus variant cranks up the range to a competitive 226 miles. See the Leaf in our EV rankings

Starting price (including destination fee): $30,885
EV range: 150-226 miles

2019 Nissan Leaf Review and Pricing

Read Edmunds' long-term test of the Nissan Leaf

2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Compared to the Kona, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric has a much lower cost of entry, yet it offers all the user-friendly tech we expect from a Hyundai. It also has the most efficient electric drivetrain on the market, per the EPA's miles per gallon equivalent (mpge) metric, which means you'll pay less to keep it charged. That said, it's not the best-driving EV, and the rear seat isn't particularly comfortable or roomy. Still, we like the Ioniq Electric for offering a lot of features at an appealing price. See the Ioniq Electric in our EV rankings

Starting price (including destination fee): $31,235
EV range: 124 miles

2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Review and Pricing

Compare Affordable Electric Cars

Luxury Electric Cars

Luxury electric cars bring advanced driving dynamics and upscale design to the EV class. For now, not many luxury manufacturers have fully electric cars on the road, but that's set to change in the years to come. Although Tesla models dominate today's market with their incredible speed and futuristic technology features, stiffer competition is right around the corner.

2019 Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S might be the oldest Tesla in production, but it's still our favorite of the company's three offerings. It combines a roomy, attractive cabin with excellent driving dynamics and outstanding range. Depending on how it's equipped, it can also be staggeringly quick in a straight line. The price tag, however, is equally intimidating. And compared to similarly priced sedans, it feels a bit unpolished. Additionally, it lacks some of their luxury features, such as massaging seats. But if you're after something with a Tesla badge, the S is the best of the bunch. See the Model S in our EV rankings

Starting price (including destination fee): $75,000
EV range: 285-370 miles

2019 Tesla Model S Review and Pricing

Read Edmunds' long-term test of the Tesla Model S

2019 BMW i3

The BMW i3 has the shortest range of any luxury EV on this list, but it offers the option of a gas-powered range extender, which provides some peace of mind to buyers with range anxiety. The i3 also has one of the best interiors on the road — it's stylish and modern with novel materials yet still user-friendly. Furthermore, the i3 drives the way you'd expect a BMW to drive. So if you're looking for a sporty electric car, the i3 gets extra credit. See the i3 in our EV rankings

Starting price (including destination fee): $45,445
EV range: 153 miles (200 miles with gas-powered range extender)

2019 BMW i3 Review and Pricing

Read Edmunds' long-term test of the BMW i3

2019 Tesla Model X

The Tesla Model X is currently the only all-electric vehicle you can get with three rows of seating. It also has the most personality of any Tesla, which is a mixed bag. The falcon-wing doors and panoramic windshield set it apart, but these features could also be viewed as gimmicks that don't add functionality. Either way, the Model X's firm-to-rough ride doesn't do it any favors. But there's no denying that this is one quick SUV — our long-term Model X launched to 60 mph in a truly "ludicrous" 3.5 seconds — and you can get all the futuristic tech that makes Tesla models special. See the Model X in our EV rankings

Starting price (including destination fee): $81,000
EV range: 255-325 miles

2019 Tesla Model X Review and Pricing

Read Edmunds' long-term test of the Tesla Model X

2019 Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 encountered some early growing pains, as our own long-term Model 3 road test underscores. Moreover, the elusive $35,000 model didn't exactly live up to its advance billing. But if you don't mind the teething issues, you'll find the Model 3 to be a remarkably sporty electric car with a healthy amount of space for its small footprint and an interior that pushes the definition of "modern." Its near-complete reliance on the touchscreen interface for vehicle controls is a bit distracting, but the Model 3 performed so well in our testing that we had to give it its due on this list. See the Model 3 in our EV rankings

Starting price (with currently available equipment): $39,900
EV range: 240-310 miles

2019 Tesla Model 3 Review and Pricing

Compare Luxury Electric Cars

Best Electric-Car Range

Right now, Tesla is winning the range game. Depending on how they're equipped, Tesla models can cart around a stunning amount of electricity. With new battery technology on the horizon, though, and more automakers joining the EV fray, Tesla may not be able to hold onto the crown forever. The models listed below are the specific versions with the best electric range.

Tesla Model S Long Range — 370 miles

Equipped with a massive 100-kWh battery pack and lacking the extra weight of the Model X, the Tesla Model S Long Range boasts the best range of any electric car currently on the market.

Tesla Model 3 Long Range — 310 miles

The Tesla Model 3 Long Range comes with a 75-kWh battery pack and is lighter and more efficient than its siblings, which means it can go a longer distance with a smaller battery pack.

Tesla Model X Long Range — 325 miles

The Model X is a heavy vehicle. So even though it uses the same enormous 100-kWh battery pack as the Model S, it can't go quite as far. Still, all that battery means the Model X easily outpaces its nearest non-Tesla competitor.

Hyundai Kona Electric — 258 miles

The Kona Electric smashes the Bolt's record for affordable EVs, and it also happens to be functional, comfortable and pretty quick when you put your foot down.

Electric Cars vs. Gas Cars

Gas-powered cars are comforting in their familiarity. With gas stations easily accessible across the country, they provide unparalleled freedom, and in some cases a dramatic exhaust note to boot. Sadly, they also produce a lot of air pollution. EVs are a friendlier alternative and a great match for many drivers' day-to-day needs.

Electric cars drive differently but not necessarily in a bad way. They provide instant torque, making them feel zippy around town. And with regenerative braking, drivers can practice "one-pedal driving," in which simply lifting off the throttle pedal results in significant deceleration. Electric-car ownership means adopting new habits as a driver and owner. Luckily, one of those habits is never having to visit a gas station. If you can install a charging station at home or have access to one where you work, there's a strong chance an electric vehicle would make a good commuter for you.

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 and driving 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 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. (The Chevrolet Volt is a shining exception with its electric range of 50-plus miles.) 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.

Electric Vehicle Benefits

If you can access a charging station at your home or office, you can likely rely on an electric car to replace your gas car for everything but road trips. All you have to do is plug it in at either location, and it'll charge up while you're doing other things. Electricity is also cheaper than gas, meaning you'll save money on energy over the life of the car. For more details, check out our "The True Cost of Powering an Electric Car."

Electric cars also have fewer moving parts that can break. Most maintenance will likely involve wear items such as tires, brakes and windshield wipers. You'll never have to pay for a belt job with an electric car. And there are big tax incentives available, which can help cushion the upfront cost of an electric car. If you lease, you'll see those incentives taken out of your payments right away, saving you some paperwork.

Choosing the Right Electric Car for You

For many households, an electric car makes a lot of sense as a second vehicle. Electric cars provide a clean commuting alternative, requiring less maintenance and zero trips to the gas station. The trick will be figuring out where and when you can charge and how many miles you need to be able to drive between charges.

Make sure to check out our "9 Steps to Easier Plug-In Car Shopping" to help you take the first steps on your electric-car journey. You may be surprised to find out that an electric car could fit your lifestyle.

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