Well, it would be an understatement to say that this guide is a bit out of the ordinary for us. Our general stance has been “the more cylinders the better,” with an exception made for small-displacement turbocharged engines. High-power, peak-efficiency dinosaur burners hold a special place in our hearts and will always continue to. With that being said, it is 2022 and times are a-changin!
And, it’s hard to argue with the progress that has been made in the EV realm, in the past couple of years especially. At this point, EVs are the most practical, versatile, and efficient as they have ever been. With an open mind and a bit of reluctance, we have to admit that there are some pretty solid EV options out there. That is both in terms of performance and overall driving experience.
Beyond the cutting-edge tech within modern EVs, infrastructure is beginning to scale with them. Fast chargers are beginning to become less of a rarity and the time it takes to charge a modern EV is decreasing dramatically. On this trajectory, charging your EV will soon take the same amount of time it takes to fill your tank now. And you won’t be shelling out a quarter of your paycheck to do so.
In this guide, we’ll cover some of the most popular EV options available currently and discuss their pros and cons. While you won’t get a visceral V8 soundtrack from anything on this list, EVs make up for noise in other notable ways.
Best EVs of 2022 – Considerations
Since EVs have really only taken the world by storm in the last 5 years, save the Prius, it is fair to say that the EV format is still in its infancy. With that being said, EVs have expanded in scope and have become extremely versatile in recent years. In the past, EV options were extremely limited in terms of size, shape, and function. Nowadays, you can have options in terms of cars, SUVs, and trucks.
Beyond simply having more EV options to choose from, EV are starting to become a bit more affordable. The average cost of a new EV in 2022 is around $54,000, which is around $10,000 more than the average price of a new gas-powered car. However, the US federal government, and many state governments as well, offer significant rebates and tax credits to new electric vehicle owners.
In the spirit of organization and keeping everything neat and tidy, we’ll discuss the best EVs of 2022 by category. Everyone is looking for something different when it comes to a new EV, and there are enough options out there now to be able to break them down into segments.
Best EVs of 2022: Electric SUVs
SUVs are unquestionably one of the most popular types of vehicle in today’s day and age. A continual gripe amongst the green crowd concerning SUVs has always been their fuel inefficiency, especially concerning full-sized SUVs with beefy V8s.
Numerous manufacturers in the past couple of years have made huge inroads toward providing the general public with a number of quality EV SUVs to choose from. The overall mission is the same despite having electric power. As with most traditional SUVs, EV SUVs are aimed toward the family dynamic. Comfort, practicality, and plenty of seats are the golden trifecta that most manufacturers are focused on with their EV SUVs.
In addition to performing SUV duties well, quite a few of the EV SUVs on our list also have a periphery focus on performance as well. That generally isn’t the case for traditional, gas-powered, modern SUVs. The ludicrous amount of torque that battery power allows presents all kinds of opportunities for all-terrain driving and on-street performance. For that reason, you’ll find that most manufacturers are attempting to take advantage of that. Here are our Best EVs of 2022 top picks in the SUV category.
1) Best EVs of 2022 – BMW iX xDrive50
Base MSRP: $84,195
EPA Fuel Economy (Combined/City/Highway): 86/86/85 MPGe
Range: 315 miles
BMW has been on top of the EV trend since the beginning. It might come as a surprise to some that BMW has been on the electric wave since the early 1970s. Their first all-electric creation was an electric 1972 BMW 2002, powered by 12, 12-volt batteries, providing a 37-mile range. Since then, BMW has been working to perfect the electric car and a compelling case can be made that the iX is the result. This EV has the best tires.
BMW iX Range and Notable Features
Overall, the BMW iX does everything that you’d expect from a BMW SUV. It’s luxurious and spacious and sporty and flashy. Beyond being a good BMW, it’s simultaneously a great EV. To touch on perhaps the most important aspect of an EV SUV, the iX xDrive50 features a large 105.2-kWh battery pack that allows the iX a 324-mile range on a full charge. That’s enough to comfortably get from LA to Las Vegas with an extra 50 miles to spare. The iX uses two electric motors to put down a whopping 516 horsepower to all four wheels. That makes for a 4.0 second 0-60 time.
DC fast charging is an included feature with the iX, which can charge from 10% to 80% in less than 35 minutes. It can also be charged at BMW dedicated EVgo charging stations, numerous other charging networks, or at home with a Level 2 home charging station.
Of course, you’ll get all the modern amenities that you have come to expect from BMW, including a massive 14.9” infotainment display and 12.3” programmable digital gauge cluster. The iX is fitted with so much gadgetry and safety equipment that we can’t even fit the list into this article. Just know that BMW has you covered on that front.
In terms of size, the iX is a similar size to BMW’s other large SUVs, especially the X5. That means that there is not only plenty of room for passengers but also cargo. The iX’s interior can be shrouded in either faux or premium leather and it really is everywhere. In terms of luxury, the iX is hard to beat.
2) Best EVs of 2022 – Ford Mustang Mach-E
Base MSRP: $46,695
EPA Fuel Economy (Combined/City/Highway):
Base: 90/96/84 MPGe
Performance: 82/88/75 MPGe
Range (Base/Performance): 270 miles / 220 miles
This one is certainly surrounded in a bit of controversy, and we understand why. Really, Ford? Mustang is the name you chose? Oh well, that’s on their marketing department. Without thinking too much about the nameplate, it’s hard to argue with the Mach-E’s actual stats and performance. It is mighty impressive, actually.
Ford Mustang Mach-E Range and Notable Features
There are a few trim levels available for the 2022 Mustang Mach-E including a standard, GT, and GT Performance model. The standard power pack is a 70.0-kWh battery pack that is good for around 211 miles of range. If you are looking for a bit more range, there is also a 91-kWh pack available in the GT and GT Performance models. The larger pack increases range by a healthy amount, allowing around 305 miles on a single charge. Base model Mach-Es produce anywhere between 266 and 346 horsepower and 317-428 lb-ft of torque. GT and GT Performance models can pump out 480 horsepower and 634 lb-ft of torque. Those are some Mustang numbers right there.
Additionally, the Mach-E is available in either all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive depending on the configuration. You’ll get more range from the rear-wheel drive Mach-E, but it has generally been concluded that the all-wheel drive model is the one to go with. The Mach-E can be charged with either the included 120-volt household charger or at a public Level 2 charging station. The Level 1 household charger is agonizingly slow, only gaining about 3 miles of charge in an hour. For that reason, it is much more efficient to charge at a public Level 2 station.
In terms of the Mach-E’s interior, it is clear that a bit of Tesla’s influence seeped in. That isn’t a bad thing. The Mach-E features a large digital instrument cluster and an even more massive vertical touch-screen infotainment screen. Since the Mach-E’s battery is located under the floor, there is an excess of cargo and people space. The Mach-E has 60 cubic feet of storage space in the back with the seats folded down. With the seats folded up, there’s plenty of room for 5 full-sized humans.
3) Volkswagen ID.4
Base MSRP: $41,203
EPA Fuel Economy (Combined/City/Highway):
Rear-Wheel Drive: 97/104/89 MPGe
All-Wheel Drive: 96/103/88 MPGe
Range (RWD/AWD): 280 miles / 240 miles
Volkswagen has always been a car for the masses, and that’s exactly the sentiment that they are attempting to capture with their new electric crossover SUV. The ID.4 is meant to capture a very specific audience in the US: those looking to make the switch to electric without sacrificing practicality. Price is also a solid incentive to go with the ID.4. With a starting price of $41,203, there aren’t many cheaper options in the segment.
In terms of performance, the ID.4 does leave some to be desired. It is available in both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive trim, with the latter being the much more powerful option. The rear-wheel drive ID.4 features a single electric motor that produces 201 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque. Most people that have driven the rear-wheel drive model agree that it feels underpowered for the amount of weight it’s lugging around. The all-wheel drive model adds another motor and an extra 100 horsepower. That’s the one to go with.
The base model, single-motor ID.4 is EPA rated at a range of 260 miles, while the all-wheel drive ID.4 Pro is rated at a range of 240 miles. While there are certainly other EV SUVs that can outpace the ID.4 for longer, the ID.4’s range is still competitive. DC fast charging comes standard with the ID.4 which can provide up to 70 miles of range in around 10 minutes. Obviously, the standard 120-volt home charger can’t even get close to touching those numbers.
At such a low starting price, you aren’t going to get the same level of luxury and attention to detail as you would in the BMW iX or Mach-E even. However, the ID.4 still has a contemporary interior with plenty of modern features and amenities. There’s plenty of cargo space too, with 64.3 cubic feet available in the back with the seats folded.
Best EVs of 2022: Electric Cars
First, it was the Prius, then it was Tesla, and now, it seems like every manufacturer has an EV sedan in production or on the way. We’re definitely not complaining, more choices for us, right? While electric SUVs and trucks are all the rage right now, there are still quite a few options for those looking for EVs with a smaller form factor. Here are our Best EVs of 2022 top picks in the sedan/car category.
1) Polestar 2
Base MSRP (Single/Dual Motor): $47,200 / $67,400
EPA Fuel Economy (Combined/City/Highway):
Single Motor: 107/113/100 MPGe
Dual Motor: 130/135/125
Range (Single/Dual Motor): 270/230 miles
Polestar is no stranger to luxury. As a result, the Polestar 2 is one of the most intriguing EVs on our list, both inside and out. It certainly has an interesting shape. It’s considered a compact SUV, but we were reluctant to put it in the SUV category because, well, it doesn’t really seem like one. With that being said, it is a four-door with a hatchback, so it definitely has some usability.
The 2022 Polestar 2 introduces a new front-wheel drive arrangement to the mix. The single motor format has a longer 270-mile range than the all-wheel model, but is significantly down on power. The dual-motor Polestar 2 has a 249-mile range, but has an extra 177 horsepower. I’d say that trade-off is worth it. The Polestar 2 Performance package comes with some additional goodies like Ohlin adjustable suspension and Brembo brakes. That’s really only worth it on the dual-motor model though.
In terms of on-paper performance figures, the Polestar 2 in front-wheel trim produces 231 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. The all-wheel model has 408 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque. With a price difference of only $4,000 between the two, it’s hard to see why anyone would spring for the FWD version. Especially since the FWD model only gives 21 extra miles on a full charge. Charging is similar to the rest of the vehicles on the list, with 150-kilowatt fast-charging available. On a Level 2 fast charger, the Polestar 2 can charge from dead to 80 percent in 40 minutes.
The Polestar 2 definitely recycles quite a few Volvo assets in the interior, but that isn’t a bad thing. Overall, the Polestar’s interior is understated but elegant with eco-friendly fabric and a large central display.
2) 2022 Lucid Air
Base MSRP (Pure): $89,050
EPA Fuel Economy (Combined/City/Highway): 111/111/110 MPGe
Range: 451 miles
When Lucid arrived on the scene, they were mocked by Tesla fanboys around the globe. In the eyes of many, they were seen as a dollar store Tesla clone company, doomed to fail. Boy, were they wrong. In 2022, Lucid is providing the EV community with one of the most powerful EVs with the longest range. The Air isn’t a laughing matter.
Lucid Air Range and Notable Features
The Air comes from some serious pedigree as far as performance is concerned. Lucid has been supplying Formula E with batteries since 2018 and has worked with McLaren and Sony to do so. Their advanced battery tech is not being put into practice on a commercial scale with the Air. Beyond the ludicrous power and unparalleled range, the Lucid Air is also one of the most agile and performance-oriented sedans on this list. The Lucid Air makes use of batteries that vary in size from 112-118-kWh which provide ground-breaking range.
It really is the Air’s range and impressive power figures that set it apart in our minds. Even the base model “Pure” trim comes with an impressive 480 horsepower and 406 miles of range. The Pure is the only model with a single, rear-mounted motor. The other three available trims have dual motors and even more impressive power and range figures. The all-wheel drive Touring model produces 620 horsepower and retains the same 406 miles of range. The top Air models, like the Dream Performance, brought the word power to a whole new level, with 1,111 horsepower on tap and a 520-mile range. That’s as good as it gets for EVs currently.
In terms of charging, Lucid does a good job of incentivizing electric power by giving new owners three years of free fast charging with their purchase. DC fast charging is obviously a standard feature with the Air. Plugged into a DC fast charger, the Air can recoup 300 miles of range in 20 minutes.
The Air is unquestionably aimed at the luxury market, as evidenced by the interior. The glass roof and expansive digital cluster/infotainment screen scream refinement. Overall, it is a very nice place to be.
3) Tesla Model 3
Base MSRP (Long Range / Dual Motor): $49,690 / $66,190
EPA Fuel Economy (Combined/City/Highway): 116/120/112 MPGe
Range: 310 miles
Well, you had to have seen this one coming. There’s a reason that the terms EV and Tesla are synonymous with each other to most people. They’ve been doing it a long time and it’s really paying off at this point. The Model 3 is the first opportunity for most people to buy into the Tesla name without selling their firstborn, so it’s an enticing prospect. The good news is that it’s actually a really solid option, especially for the price.
Tesla Model 3 Range and Notable Features
Since the Model 3’s release, it has been a fan favorite in the EV and luxury sedan markets alike. Beyond being a good EV, the Model 3 is a good car overall. While it would be hard to forget that you are driving an electric vehicle, the Model 3 does everything that you’d expect from a regular gas-powered sedan. Its range is definitely a strong selling point as well. The Model 3 Long Range edition, which starts at $59,400, has an impressive 358 miles of range. The base Real-Wheel Drive model, which has a single electric motor, still provides a decent 272 miles of range as well.
Tesla is known for their state of the art vehicle technology, and that carries into the Model 3 as well. All Model 3s come standard with heated seats and navigation. But those aren’t the features that Tesla has gained a reputation for. Like the Model S, the Model 3 also comes with Tesla’s Autopilot system, which is a huge draw for quite a few people.
In terms of performance, the Model 3 is a good example of what a well-balanced EV can do. Since the batteries are located below the Model 3’s floor, it has a very low center of gravity that allows it to change directions smoothly and predictably. Adjustable steering weight is another welcomed addition that adds another level of customizability.
The Model three has multiple charging solutions and likely has the most support around the US. Of course, the first option is to use one of Tesla’s Supercharging stations. Otherwise, they provide an adapter to be used with other public DC fast chargers. Lastly, home charging stations are also available.
Best EVs of 2022: Electric Trucks
You know that the electric wave is really starting to take shape when even pickup trucks are receiving the EV treatment. Trucks have always been America’s workhorse go-to, and with the battery power, more interesting truck applications are starting to arise. While there aren’t quite as many EV trucks available as SUV and Sedan options, there are still a couple of quality mentions. Here are our Best EVs of 2022 top picks in the truck category.
1) Best EVs of 2022 – Ford F-150 Lightning
Base MSRP (Pro): $41,769
EPA Fuel Economy (Combined/City/Highway):
Standard Range: 68/76/61 MPGe
Extended Range: 70/78/63 MPGe
Range (Standard/Extended): 230 miles / 300 miles
Some might find an all-electric pickup truck a shocking revelation from Ford. After all, they are a company known for their high-displacement V8s. With that being said, those familiar with Ford will know that they have been leaning in this direction for a while now. Ford received a good deal of backlash when they introduced the EcoBoost F-150, but it seems like the community as a whole is responding well to the electrified version.
Ford F-150 Lightning Range and Notable Features
The F-150 Lightning is very familiar. That’s because externally and internally, it’s just like a standard F-150. The F-150 formula is firmly established at this point, as the chassis has been in production for nearly 5 decades. The Lightning is available in multiple different trim levels, from the base Pro model to a Platinum Extended Range variant. Range and creature comforts are the main differentiating factors between the models. All F-150 Lightning models come standard with all-wheel drive.
The Lightning actually does truck things better than most regular, gas-powered trucks. With electric power, torque is always on tap. Since torque is one of the most important aspects of towing, the F-150 Lightning is actually a really solid performer. The more powerful Extended Range model produces up to 775 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. It’s hard to argue with those numbers. Extended range models are capable of towing up to 10,000 lbs.
Overall, its range is pretty impressive too. The standard 98.0-kWh battery provides range of up to 230 miles per charge, while the upgraded 131.0-kWh extended range battery provides 320 miles of range. With a fast charger, the F-150 Lightning can be charged from 15 to 80 percent in 44 minutes. The included 110 and 210-volt home chargers will charge the Lightning at a dramatically slower rate.
2) Best EVs of 2022 – Rivian R1T
Base MSRP (Pure): $89,050
EPA Fuel Economy (Combined/City/Highway): 70/74/66 MPGe
Range: 314 miles
If you’re in the market for an all-electric truck and have been perusing your options, chances are that you have stumbled across the Rivian R1T. Rivian has certainly made an impact on the EV scene since they unveiled their R1S and R1T electric trucks to the world. They have become one of the most talked about EV trucks on the market due to their unique design and capability on and off-road.
The R1T can be considered a mid-sized truck at 215.6 inches long. With that being said, its bed is certainly long enough to store plenty of cargo at 55.1”. In addition to the bed itself, the Rivian also has storage under the front hood and behind the rear seats. There’s certainly an emphasis on off-road performance as well, with air suspension included on all models as standard.
As with the Ford Lightning, the Rivian provides all of the rugged, truck-like performance that you’d expect. Towing capacity is one of the Rivian’s strong suites, with a towing capacity of 11,000 lbs. Power is delivered to all four of the Rivian’s wheels using individual electric motors. The Rivian’s all-wheel drive system sends all 835 horsepower to the ground very efficiently, leading to a 0-60 time of 3.3 seconds. In the coming years, Rivian intends to release a dual-motor version which will likely have less power but will be cheaper as well.
As far as range is concerned, the Rivian is currently only offered with a single battery pack size of 128.9-kWh. The EPA rates that pack as good for providing 314 miles of range on a single charge. That figure is certainly debatable, especially when towing heavy loads. Regardless, even if the R1T gets close to that projected range, it’s still workable.
Best EVs of 2022 Summary
Ushering in the early 2020s is a slew of very good electric vehicles that show that it isn’t a fad, it really is the future of motoring. At this point, we have come to terms with that and are okay with admitting that there are quite a few rad EVs out there now. Previously, electric cars weren’t efficient enough, only came in a particular arrangement, and weren’t versatile in the slightest. With the introduction of EV SUVs, EV trucks, and better-performing electric cars, there’s something for everyone now.
If you are still undecided as to what the best EV is for you, some additional resources might be of benefit, especially as far as comparing on-paper stats is concerned. The EPA is responsible for giving electric cars their range rating based on their battery pack size. All of that information is filed on their website, which also provides a handy tool for direct comparisons between models. If you are interested in doing further research, take a look at fueleconomy.gov, which provides some additional tools. As always, safe driving!