Searching for an electric vehicle? Here are five popular EVs – from sedans to hatchbacks to SUVs – to add to your shopping list. Some are brand new; others are top-selling electric rides. They’re all making their mark on the electric front.
2021 Nissan Leaf S Plus, $46,898
When it comes to hatchbacks, the leader is the Nissan Leaf. After all, Nissan introduced the Leaf in 2010; it was the world’s first mass-market all-electric vehicle. Over the years, it has improved, adding more technology, extra power and a longer electric range. While there’s still a small, 40-kilowatt-hour battery pack with 240 kilometres of range available on the base SV model at $44,298, I’d skip it. To ease range anxiety, pay an extra $2,600 to get the S Plus with a bigger 62-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and a longer driving range of up to 363 kilometres. It has 214 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. Sure, it’s not the fastest EV on the market, but it’s spacious, practical and compact, so it’s easy to drive and park in crowded areas. No wonder more than half-a-million Leafs have been sold globally since the car was introduced.
2021 Polestar 2, $69,900
Polestar is a new EV player on the block. Jointly owned by Volvo and Chinese automaker Geely, the Polestar 2 is the company’s first all-electric car. And it’s impressive. The Launch Edition all-wheel-drive sedan pumps out 408 horsepower from its dual electric motors. Its 78-kilowatt-hour battery also has a range of 386 kilometres on a single charge. Inside, it’s filled with the latest technology, including Google’s new Android Automotive Operating System with Google Assistant and Google Maps built-in and an interior that’s finished with animal-friendly, vegan upholstery and carpeting. Starting at nearly $70,000, this EV newcomer is expensive. But Polestar just introduced two new trims with more range and a lower price – a cheaper dual-motor Polestar 2 with fewer bells and whistles and a single-motor version with a longer range of up to 418 kilometres. Prices for the other two trims aren’t available yet, though the longer range trim will likely be more expensive.
2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge, $64,950
There’s no shortage of two-row electric SUVs coming to the market, including the Audi Q4 e-tron, Volkswagen ID.4, and the GMC Hummer, slated down the road in 2024. Some, like Ford’s Mustang Mach-E, are already trickling into dealerships. Although a fan favourite, it’s concerning to see the car already facing its first recall. The recall, which deals with subframe bolts that may become loose, affects more than 1,250 Mach-Es in North America.
So for now, the better bet is Volvo’s first all-electric vehicle, the XC40 Recharge. Based on Volvo’s gas-powered XC40 compact SUV, it looks strikingly similar in design. Subtle differences include no tailpipes, a body-coloured and solid grille, and tiny Recharge badges on its body. The electric motors deliver 402 horsepower and 486 lb-ft of torque and the vehicle has a range of 335 kilometres. What’s impressive about the XC40 Recharge is its exceptional ride and handling – it feels solid and secure, like its gas-powered sibling, but it’s whisper quiet. However, it does cost nearly $25,000 more than the gas-powered XC40.
2021 Tesla Model X Long Range, $124,990
When it comes to three-row SUVs, Tesla dominates the electric market with the Model X. Not only does the Model X have seating for up to seven passengers, it features remarkable falcon wing doors and impressive power and range. As its name implies, the Long Range has the longest electric range on the road. Thanks to its dual-motor all-wheel-drive system, it can travel 580 kilometres on a single charge and go from zero to 100 kilometres an hour in 3.9 seconds.
Incidentally, the top Model X Plaid trim does even better. With a whopping 1,020 horsepower, it can reach 100 kilometres an hour in only 2.6 seconds. But it costs $159,990. Also impressive is Tesla’s Autopilot system; it is one of the best and most advanced on the market. The vehicle can steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane, it can change lanes on its own on the highway, and it can parallel or perpendicular park itself with the touch of a button. But it’s not completely autonomous so drivers have to pay attention when using these systems. A recent fatal crash in Texas in which no one was found sitting in the driver’s seat of a Tesla Model S has authorities investigating whether the car’s autopilot feature was engaged. Founder Elon Musk has tweeted that it was not.
2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo, $173,900
If you think you can’t have fun in an electric sports car, you’re wrong. Porsche’s Taycan sedan is proof. Fast, furious, and fun to drive, it feels and handles like a true Porsche sports car. The base Turbo AWD trim – don’t let the name fool you, there is no turbo – is all electric, delivers 670 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque and has a range of 323 kilometres; while the top Turbo S AWD has a gut-wrenching 750 horsepower and 774 lb-ft of torque and a range of 450 kilometres. Keep in mind, these high-performance sedans don’t come cheap: The Taycan Turbo starts at $173,900, while the top Turbo S trim is a whopping $213,900.