With gas prices topping $6 in many places, consumers are desperate for relief at the pump; California is even giving out $400 debit cards to all vehicle owners. Some are finally deciding to turn to electric cars as a solution.
Many Americans have been slow to warm to electric cars. The lack of easy charging stations and limited number of models has kept them away. They still make up less than 2% of U.S. sales; many credit “range anxiety” as a top reason for not buying. There have been reports of many leftover models remaining unsold, such as the Kia Niro and the Nissan Leaf.
Despite all of this, J.D. power now says 20% of new vehicle buyers are considering an EV – and with gas prices through the roof, you should too. Newer in-home “level 2” electric car chargers can make charging from home a cinch. The overwhelming majority of trips made in a car are under 25 miles — well under the 250-plus mile range easily made possible by a wide variety of electric vehicles. So, here’s a look at some of the most compelling electric SUV and car offers this year.
Kia Niro EV
Kia’s NIRO EV starts as low as $32,490 after a still-available Federal Tax Credit (a credit which has been exhausted for manufacturers such as Tesla and General Motors). It has a whopping 291 pound-feet of torque, and can add 100 miles of range in about 30 minutes on publicly available fast-chargers. It has an overall range of 293 miles, which is well within spitting distance of your average gallon of gasoline. With a 10.25 inch touchscreen and command center, the Niro EV feels every bit as space-like as the Tesla Model S. Kia tops J.D. Power’s 2021 long term dependability study, blowing memories of 1980’s Korean cars to yesteryear. If you aren’t ready for the EV jump, the Niro is also available as a plug-in hybrid.
The Chevrolet Bolt, starting at $31,500, has received a tepid response from the American public; it is heavily rumored that it is slated to be discontinued as of 2023 or 2024 to make way for new electric trucks and SUVs from GM. But, the Bolt is a truly phenomenal car. It is Chevy’s first all-electric five-door hatchback, a reincarnation of the unloved Chevrolet Volt hybrid. One deal on the Bolt enabled people to get a $14,000 off of the sticker price; another deal was found for $107 a month lease for 36 months, according to Green Car Reports, a deal that comprised a number of manufacturer, state, and city shopping incentives. The Bolt comes in a variety of colors and trims, from more basic whites, blacks, and silvers, to bright blues and lime greens; its more luxurious 2LT trim has leather seats and electric seat warmers. If you need a bit more room, be sure to check out the new “EUV” trim, which is six inches longer.
What list of electric vehicles would be complete without the car that started it all, Tesla. Despite the brash Twitter hot-takes from its brazen founder, no one can dispute that Elon Musk has done far more for electric cars than the likes of the GM EV1 or the Toyota Rav4 electric. Tesla’s Model 3 has a whopping 358-mile range (in some trims) and can do 0-60 in just 3.1 seconds; that is new Corvette and V8 Mustang territory, not to mention exotic cars. Unlike with many competitors, you won’t find yourself at a traditional dealer to buy a Tesla; all of their vehicles are sold direct-to-consumer in stores which mimic Apple’s. In other words, good luck finding a “deal” on a Tesla, though buying a Tesla itself at full-price still might be the best electric car bang for your buck out there. The Model 3 starts at just $41,940.
Arguably one of the most incognito electric cars, with no badging to speak of, the new Polestar 2 (ultimately from Volvo) is leasing for $449/month, and starts at $38,400 after rebates. With agile handling, a luxurious interior, and a Google-designed infotainment system, the Polestar is a little something different in a sea of Teslas. Per Car and Driver, Polestar has lowered prices by $14,000 or more to spur sales, and has also added a front-wheel-drive configuration to cut costs. Higher trims have 476 horsepower and 502 pound-feed of torque, which enable this Crossover vehicle to dust most anything else on the road.
Mustang Mach E
The new Mustang Mach E, from Ford, is not your average Ford Mustang. With a zero to sixty time of 3.5 seconds (in GT trim) and a 314 estimated mile range (in RWD trim), this electric SUV is amongst the most stylish electric vehicles available. Right now Ford is advertising that some models lease at $514/mo. The Mach-E select starts at $43,895, with GT trims starting in the $61,995 range. From its sleek exterior to its stunning and tech-focused interior, it clearly takes aim at Tesla’s Model X. Ford even has a “Blue Oval Charge Network” to help keep your battery topped up on the go.
Nissan’s Leaf has a starting MSRP of $27,400, but this drops to as low as $19,900 per Nissan USA’s website after potential Federal tax credit. That makes it one of the cheapest electric car deals currently available. Leaf comes in 40kwh and 62kwh trims, so be sure to choose the “engine” (battery) choice that best suits your day-to-day needs. The former supports commuting around town, while the latter has a range of up to 226 miles to get you on a longer trip.
This list of electric cars is far from comprehensive, with many other offerings from Nissan, Hyundai, and other manufacturers bringing electric vehicles to the mainstream. Be sure to do your homework locally on the variety of state, local, and even federal incentives available (depending on manufacturer) for the electric vehicle of your choice.