Skip to main content

A Hyundai Kona Electric, boasting the best range-per-dollar of any EV, sits at a charging station.

ULI_SONNTAG

It’s 2019, and electric cars are still prohibitively expensive compared with their gasoline equivalents, but there are deals to be had. Some electric vehicles offer significantly better range-per-dollar than others.

In general, if you want more range, that means a bigger battery, which means a higher price tag. The enormous lithium-ion batteries that power these cars account for roughly one-third of the total manufacturing cost, according to Audi technology spokesperson Christoph Lungwitz. The battery is a key reason EV prices are still so high.

Obviously, there are other considerations beyond range when choosing a car. Does it look good? Can it haul your stuff? Does it come in your favourite colour? But without adequate range for your daily commute, it doesn’t matter how nice a car looks. If it leaves you stranded by the side of the road, it might as well be lawn furniture.

Story continues below advertisement

Using official range-estimate data from Natural Resources Canada, combined with automakers’ pricing info, we found the electric vehicles that offer the most range for your money. The results take into account the $5,000 federal EV incentive, but not any of the provincial incentives offered in Quebec or British Columbia. Those will knock an additional $8,000 or $3,000, respectively, off the price of eligible vehicles.

Ranked by the cost per kilometre of range, these EVs offer the best value:

1. 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

ULI_SONNTAG/Handout

The Kona Electric is all-new this year. Hyundai calls it a sub-compact SUV but don’t be fooled – this is a hatchback. The cabin is nice for the money, and its combination of range and price can’t be beat.

  • Price per kilometre of range: $96
  • Range: 415 km
  • Price: $39,999 (after federal incentive)
  • See latest price, discounts or rebates here.

2. 2019 Kia Niro EV

Handout

Compared with its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Kona, the Niro is larger and more conventional looking. You sacrifice a bit of range in the Niro for extra interior space.

  • Price per kilometre of range: $104
  • Range: 385 km
  • Price: $39,995 (after federal incentive)
  • See latest price, discounts or rebates here.

3. 2019 Chevrolet Bolt

The Associated Press

It’s expensive for a small Chevy with a plastic-y interior, but you get a lot of range for your money. For the new 2020 model, Chevy says it has tweaked the battery to get 417 km for every charge.

  • Price per kilometre of range: $104
  • Range: 383 km
  • Price: $39,800 (after federal incentive)
  • See latest price, discounts or rebates here.

4. 2019 Nissan Leaf S Plus

Brendan mcaleer/The Globe and Mail

This is the second generation of the Leaf. The first was frumpy and unpleasant, but the new one is more stylish. It’s worth noting that the S Plus is much better value than the basic SV, which has significantly less range.

  • Price per kilometre of range: $110
  • Range: 363 km
  • Price: $39,898 (after federal incentive)
  • See latest price, discounts or rebates here.

5. 2020 Kia Soul EV Limited (180 Ah)

kia Canada

The 2020 model is based on the all-new third-generation Soul, which means it’s slightly larger than before with more space for rear passengers and a more upscale cabin.

Story continues below advertisement

  • Price per kilometre of range: $122
  • Range: 383 km
  • Price: $46,595 (after federal incentive)
  • See latest price, discounts or rebates here.

6. 2019 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus

Handout

You miss out on all-wheel drive and some luxury options, but coming in at a whisker under $50,000, it’s a tempting proposition, assuming Tesla has indeed fixed the poor build-quality issues that plagued early Model 3s.

  • Price per kilometre of range: $130
  • Range: 386 km
  • Price: $49,990 (after federal incentive)

7. 2019 Tesla Model 3 Long Range

No EV anywhere close to this price can offer 500 kilometres of driving range. Tesla still has an edge when it comes to squeezing more kilometres out of a given battery. The Long Range model has standard all-wheel drive, but it’s priced a bit too high to quality for the federal incentive.

  • Price per kilometre of range: $132
  • Range: 499 km
  • Price: $65,990 (not eligible for federal incentive)

These results show mainstream automakers are leaders when it comes to EV value. Teslas offer more range, but that comes at a corresponding higher price.

What’s surprising is that traditional luxury automakers are demanding a significant price premium on EVs – even compared with Tesla – despite offering only mediocre range. The new Audi e-tron SUV has a great sci-fi interior design, but starting at $90,000, its cost per kilometre of range is just $274. The Jaguar I-Pace isn’t much better, at $238. The recently unveiled Porsche Taycan may well embarrass every other EV on a race track, but at $173,000 with an estimated range of 483 km, it’s far from a bargain. The cost per kilometre of range is an abysmal $360, and that’s only the base model. If you want the Taycan S, it’ll cost you $213,900.

With luxury brands, electric or not, you’re paying a hefty premium for the badge.

Shopping for a new car? Check out the new Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest discounts, rebates and rates on new cars, trucks and SUVs. Click here to get your price.

Story continues below advertisement

Stay on top of all our Drive stories. We have a Drive newsletter covering car reviews, innovative new cars and the ups and downs of everyday driving. Sign up for the weekly Drive newsletter, delivered to your inbox for free. Follow us on Instagram, @globedrive.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies