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ELECTROMOBILITY Autotrader names 10 best electric cars for 2021

Editor: Nicole Kareta

Faced with an ever-growing number of EV choices, there are several factors for first-time electric car buyers to consider in their journey of going green, including costs, incentives, battery life and driving range. With this in mind, the experts at Autotrader recently named the 10 Best Electric Cars for 2021.

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Electric vehicles are more accessible than ever before.
Electric vehicles are more accessible than ever before.
(Source: gemeinfrei / Unsplash)

The electric vehicle (EV) boom is about to go into overdrive as auto manufacturers increasingly prioritize the electrification of their vehicle fleets and shoppers express their openness to making the switch. In fact, as many as 30 % of consumers indicate they are more likely to consider purchasing an EV in 20211). "Shopping for an EV in 2021 is an exciting prospect, from the variety of new vehicle options to the range of features offered across multiple price points," said Brian Moody, executive editor for Autotrader. "While EVs historically are more expensive than traditional gas-powered vehicles, the rapid advances in battery technology and increased manufacturer efforts to roll out new models are making EVs more accessible to purchase—and more fun to drive—than ever before."

Autotrader editors selected the 10 Best Electric Cars based on a range of criteria that included the following: vehicles must be priced under USD75,000; the car must have a plug or a way to run on electricity only for fifteen miles or more; and the car must be available for sale to the public within the next six months. Check out the latest selections for 2021, unranked and listed below in alphabetical order:

  • 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV: The redesign of the Chevrolet Bolt brought with it a compelling compact crossover variant. It's mechanically the same as the updated Bolt EV electric car but it has a more rugged, SUV-like appearance and more back seat space, making it a little more family-friendly. The Bolt EUV is the first Chevrolet model available with the excellent Super Cruise semi-autonomous hands-free driving tech.
  • 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E: Ford's first all-electric crossover SUV is a winner. With an impressive range of up to 300 miles, the latest tech features, and the style and performance to back up its iconic name, the Ford Mustang Mach-E does just about everything well. It also helps that it's functional as a practical, everyday driver with plenty of space for people and cargo.
  • 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric: The Hyundai Kona is an awesome subcompact crossover no matter what is powering the wheels. The EV variant has a nice range of up to 258 miles, plus 250-kWh of free charging from Electrify America. Unfortunately, it's not available nationwide, but if you live in a state that sells the Kona EV, it's a great choice in affordable electric SUVs.
  • 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric: Another compelling electric car in the Hyundai lineup is the all-electric version of the Ioniq. The electric Ioniq has a stellar 133 combined MPGe rating, which makes it more efficient than the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt. That translates to an estimated annual fuel cost of only USD500, according to the EPA. However, its range is a bit limited at 170 miles.
  • 2021 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring: The Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring is a plug-in hybrid midsize luxury SUV. This stylish and upscale three-row crossover has plenty of room to transport the family in a quiet and comfortable sanctuary. It also can be a blast for the driver thanks to its PHEV powertrain, making 494 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque. The trade-off is that it sacrifices efficiency for performance, but it does manage an all-electric range of up to 21 miles.
  • 2021 Nissan Leaf: The Nissan Leaf was the original mass-market electric car. Now in its second generation, it's still a strong contender on the more affordable side of EVs. The styling is sleek, the interior is roomy, and the base price is within reach of a wide range of shoppers. The base model has a 150-mile range, but if you upgrade to the Leaf Plus, it achieves up to 226 miles of range.
  • 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime: Toyota has long been the king of hybrids, and now the Japanese brand has finally come out with a plug-in hybrid version of its most popular SUV. It's well-equipped with standard features including AWD, and it has a good all-electric range of 42 miles.
  • 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge: Volvo is getting serious about electric cars. Part of this move is the XC40 Recharge, which is an all-electric version of the excellent XC40 subcompact SUV. This Volvo has the safety ratings and features you'd expect from the brand, plus high-quality interior materials and head-turning style. The electric range of 200 miles makes it a practical commuter for many drivers.
  • 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge: The Volvo XC60 Recharge is the plug-in hybrid variant of the Swedish brand's compact SUV. It benefits from a 57 combined MPGe rating, up to 19 miles of all-electric range, and electric all-wheel drive adding to the SUV's practicality. It also delivers pretty muscular performance, making this crossover both fun and efficient in one stylish and safe package.
  • 2021 Volkswagen ID.4: The Volkswagen ID.4 not only is the brand's first electric SUV, but it's also a showcase of what to expect from future electric cars from the brand. A new design language is on display inside and out, and we like the simplicity of the high-tech interior. We also like the 250-mile range, the generous standard safety tech features, and three years of free charging with Electrify America.

1) Cox Automotive 2021 Predictive Study

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