One third of American drivers are seriously considering going electric as generous tax credits, fuel savings and reduced emissions lure the masses towards EVs. My own household made the switch in early 2022, and we’re never going back to ICE. In hopes of adding clarity to the current EV market, we’ve created this resource to share what we think are the BEST electric cars, trucks and SUVs in 2023. We’ve also shared what we think are the worst.
The Best Electric Cars in 2023
These models are stand-outs for their value. Range, charging speed and available features are given priority over performance in our analysis.
2023 Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive
Range: 272 miles
Fast charging (adding 200 miles in 20-30 minutes)
Why it’s great: The Tesla Supercharger network makes cross country travel hassle-free. Tesla charges are very reliable, and with 1,500 locations in all 50 states, finding one is rarely an issue.
Plus, the price you see on Tesla’s online configurator is the price you pay (before taxes and required fees, of course). While legacy automakers continue to struggle with out-of-control dealer markups, Tesla and other direct-to-consumer EV makers have the upperhand on pricing.
Why it’s great: The Model Y is the larger, more family-oriented version of the Model 3. Last year, the Model Y overtook the 3 as the best-selling EV in America. Although it is the most expensive model on this list, if you can afford it, the ease of public charging, great range, spacious interior and exhilarating performance all make this the sweet spot for many buyers. Plus, there are no dealer markups.
But wait, there’s more. Both the Model Y and Model 3 are available for delivery soon after placing an order. Tesla wait times are between one and three months as of late 2022. That’s about as good as it gets in today’s EV market.
Should you ever decide to sell, both of these Teslas have amazing resale value.
Fast charging: Add 200 miles of range in 20 minutes
Why it’s great: The 2023 IONIQ 5, Kia EV6, and Genesis GV60 are the first models powered by Hyundai Motor Group’s Electric Global Modular Platform. This is next-gen 800-Volt architecture at (relatively) affordable prices, and that’s awesome.
Plus, the IONIQ 5 is spacious, and looks really cool. Sadly, Hyundai has had a very difficult time scaling up production due to supply chain constraints, so expect to either wait for at least six months, or battle outrageous dealer markups to get your hands on a rare allocation.
Fast charging: Add 200 miles of range in 20 minutes
Why it’s great: Kia’s version of the IONIQ 5 looks completely different, with very similar specs. That’s because both models share the e-GMP platform with great range and even better charging.
The 2023 EV6 has slightly more availability than the IONIQ 5 right now. For the 2023 model year, Kia decided to drop the “Light” base model, kicking the entry-level price all the way up to nearly $50,000.
As always, I recommend everyone take a test drive before dismissing EVs. They’re quiet, efficient and fun. The EV6 would be a great one to take for a spin.
Fast charging: Add 190 miles of range in 28 minutes
Why it’s great: The VW ID.4 is now made in America at Volswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee factory. That means it will qualify for the revised EV tax credit (up to $7,500), as long as your VIN confirms that it is an American-made ID.4. I was impressed during my test drive of the ID.4. It rides like a luxury crossover, and has plenty of acceleration when you need it. However, it’s definitely the least sporty of this bunch, but it’s also the least expensive.
Now made in America, there is also a new cheaper option starting at $37,495. However, with public charging infrastructure slow to build out, the expected 208 miles of range is not enough for us to confidently recommend it to anyone but those who expect to stick around urban areas 95% of the time. The ID.4 Pro, on the other hand, is exceptional value with the EV tax credit.
Price: $90,000-120,000 (before markups of up to $100,000)
Range: 329 miles
Why it’s horrible: Where do we start? The Hummer EV costs $100 to charge (because it has a MASSIVE 212 kilowatt-hour battery pack), weighs 9000 pounds (that’s 2x the weight of the typical F-150), and is horrible for the environment. If you’re looking to go green with your EV purchase, this isn’t it. It’s also very expensive, but that’s less surprising these days.
At auction, we’ve seen many Hummer EVs selling for over $200,000. No thanks.
2023 Mazda MX30
Range: 100 miles
Why it’s horrible: If you’re considering the Mazda MX-30, send me an email at justin@CarEdge.com. I’d like to talk you out of it. I have nothing against Mazda as a brand (they make some awesome cars), but I am very against anyone buying an electric car with just 100 miles of range in 2022. Sure, maybe it’s just for around town. Have you thought about resale value? With barely 100 miles on a charge and slow charge times of around one hour, I’m afraid Mazda’s first EV won’t be worth its scrap metal value in a decade.
Other options to consider at this price point? The Nissan LEAF, base Volkswagen ID.4, Chevrolet Bolt, and soon-to-come Chevrolet Equinox EV are all far more capable for under $40,000.
2023 MINI Hardtop
Range: 110 miles
Why it’s horrible: I sure hope CarEdge’s own Ray Shefska forgives me for bashing the electric MINI, but with 110 miles of range and slow charging, I don’t see a single reason why anyone should consider this EV. It’s one of the last ‘compliance cars’ in the EV market.
2024 Cadillac Celesiq
Price: $300,000+ (yes, count those zeroes)
Range: 300+ miles
Why it’s horrible: Would you pay Rolls Royce money for a Cadillacl? GM seems to think you would. I’m all for going all-out on EV design and innovation, but when Cadillacs cost more than houses, I can’t help but shutter. But hey, it will be hand-built.
Your opinion of electric vehicles likely depends on which side of the news you’ve seen. If you know anything about the Chevy Bolt hazard, you might even scurry to the other side of the street when you encounter one. But does the data support EV skepticism, or is the big picture something different altogether? Do we even have enough data to draw firm conclusions? It’s important to get down to the facts, and that’s our goal today. Here’s what crash test ratings, vehicle fire statistics and real-world data can tell us about electric car safety in 2022.
EV Crash Test Ratings
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conduct standardized crash testing for vehicles that possess the potential to become popular and sell in big numbers. If it’s popular, they’re going to crash it and collect data. These two crash testing programs don’t treat electric vehicles any differently than they would a traditional combustion-powered vehicle.
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As a refresher, here are the crash tests conducted by the NHTSA and IIHS:
Frontal Crash Test
Side Pole Crash Test
Side Barrier Crash Test
Rollover Resistance Test
The following additional tests are conducted by the IIHS:
Driver’s-Side Small-Overlap Front
Passenger-Side Small-Overlap Front
How do electric vehicles perform in these crash tests? Take a look at the limited data we have.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) does not provide overall ratings. They instead provide dozens of ratings for many different safety metrics. You can check out their ratings here.
Takeaways From Crash Test Results
This data from the NHTSA and IIHS shows that while data is limited (but growing), all EVs tested so far have received excellent solid ratings. In fact, all eight electric models tested by the NHTSA in 2021-2022 earned five-star ratings. Considering that over 70% of EVs sold in the US are Tesla models, these ratings do represent the vast majority of EVs on American roads today. Still, far more testing is needed with so many electric models coming in 2022.
“Evidence is growing that electric vehicles are at least as safe as conventional ones, with two more vehicles that run exclusively on battery power earning safety awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In addition, an updated analysis of insurance data shows injury claims are substantially less frequent for such vehicles.”
Those are powerful words from an insurance-minded crash-tester. We definitely need more electric car safety testing. EV sales made up 6.5% of American auto sales in 2021, and that figure is expected to reach or exceed 40% by 2030. One useful safety test would be comparing how long it takes to extinguish a fire for each EV model. I’d love to see that testing implemented for the safety and preparedness of our first responders.
Are EV Batteries Safe?
Whether you prefer a vehicle that requires gasoline, diesel or battery packs, all vehicles are built to haul around what are essentially concentrated energy sources. That’s how the vehicle converts potential energy in the form of combustible carbon or electrons into kinetic energy to get you from A to B. The latest and greatest battery chemistries pack more power than ever before into battery cells, but they also claim to be safer. However, any concentrated energy source is volatile under certain conditions. That’s why we don’t light matches at the gas pump. What about EV batteries? Are they a fire hazard worthy of extraordinary caution?
The CarEdge team recently dug deep into the latest EV battery fires that have made the news, and our findings certainly shed light on the facts. Here’s a summary of what the data and engineering investigations featured in our EV battery fire report reveal.
Firefighting and DOT Fire Stats
Data compiled by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the US Department of Transportation shows that among all vehicle types, there’s an average of one vehicle fire per 19 million miles driven. Both the NFPA and the Center for Auto Safety say there is not yet a centralized database for electric vehicle fire statistics. In an effort to address the lack of information surrounding EV battery fires, Tesla decided to begin releasing statistics in their annual impact reports.
Data From Tesla
Tesla’s 2020 Impact Report says that from 2012-2020, there’s been one Tesla fire per 205 million miles traveled. The fact that Tesla models made up 79% of American EV sales in 2020 highlights the relevance of their data. Unfortunately, other automakers haven’t released comparable data (we’re looking at you GM!). We’re hopeful that will change soon.
This comparison doesn’t hide the fact that one other EV model has had major problems. The ongoing Chevrolet Bolt recall is costing GM and battery supplier LG a few billion dollars to resolve. There have also been sporadic incidents with other EVs. The Hyundai Kona briefly made headlines with multiple fires, but a fix was quickly implemented. It seems like every Tesla fire makes it into the news, even though there are not many.
Despite the statistics showing just how rare and isolated the events are, EV fires are real, and every one is worthy of proper investigation. The same goes for any vehicle fire.
Electric Vehicle Fire Hazards: First Responders
Although Tesla’s data suggests that EVs are less prone to car fires than combustion vehicles, there are major safety concerns for the firefighters who extinguish the flames when an EV fire does occur. Firefighters need special training to learn how to safely approach EV-related incidents, but only two-thirds of departments have had the opportunity due to funding constraints. Automakers need to come forward and support our first responders with training and resources to prepare for the electrification of the auto industry.
EV fires require A LOT more water to extinguish. Tesla’s First Responders Guide recommends 3,000 to 8,000 gallons of water on hand to put out a Tesla fire. Some fires have needed 30,000 gallons of water to extinguish. Basically, firefighters have to do whatever it takes to cool down the battery, and that’s really hard to do with so much energy densely packed into the pack. Once the fire appears fully extinguished, there’s a chance it could still flare up, even days later. Towing services and junkyards are advised to park damaged electric vehicles at least 50 feet from other vehicles in the yard. As EVs become more popular, that might not be feasible in just a few years.
EV Unintended Acceleration: What We Know
When cars launch full-speed ahead without warning, we have a major problem. Fortunately, that has not been proven to have occurred following dozens of investigations over the years. A number of serious accidents involving EVs have resulted in drivers claiming that the car accelerated on its own. Tesla vehicles have faced these accusations for years, but investigations have never found evidence of unintended acceleration. Plus, Tesla EVs are computers on wheels, and they maintain very detailed logs of all driver inputs. These logs are thoroughly inspected in every investigation.
The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determined that reports of sudden unintended acceleration involving four different Tesla models were due to user error. In other words, the driver mistakenly smashed the accelerator pedal. With so much torque and instant feedback, that’s enough to launch a Tesla like a rocket. Depending on where that rocket is aimed, it could go launching right into harm’s way. The lesson here? Powerful EVs demand more attention than some drivers are used to. Electric car safety features can only go so far if drivers are careless or over confident.
Hyundai recently recalled 2,700 2017-2019 Ioniq electric vehicles (the generation prior to the all-new Hyundai IONIQ 5) to correct a rare but scary defect that may cause the Ioniq to accelerate after the driver releases the accelerator pedal when in ‘limp mode.’ With no accidents reported, it appears as though Hyundai got ahead of this issue before anything tragic happened. As far as we (and the US government) know, no EVs have accelerated on their own without driver input.
Tesla Autopilot Safety
This is another headline grabber for Tesla. Anytime there’s a crash involving a Tesla on autopilot, it’s sure to make the news. Tesla Autopilot certainly has its faults, notably ‘phantom braking’ and difficulties with poor visibility. However, Tesla keeps track of their accident data from all Tesla vehicles worldwide, and this is what they’ve found as of December 2021:
“In the 4th quarter, we recorded one crash for every 4.31 million miles driven in which drivers were using Autopilot technology (Autosteer and active safety features). For drivers who were not using Autopilot technology (no Autosteer and active safety features), we recorded one crash for every 1.59 million miles driven. By comparison, NHTSA’s most recent data shows that in the United States there is an automobile crash every 484,000 miles.”
Although this is not independently verified, it’s intriguing data to say the least. Could Tesla Autopilot really be safer than human drivers? Considering that 15% of motor vehicle accidents in the US are attributed to driver distraction, it may not be all that surprising. More automakers are offering level 2 autonomous driving features. As Autopilot-like technology increases, electric car safety will be under the microscope. Learn more about Tesla’s annual safety report here.
Our goal at CarEdge is to provide you with factual information that’s useful for your decision-making process as you consider your next vehicle purchase. Why do we cover EVs so intently? Because industry insights show that major automakers are dead set on electrifying their entire lineups by 2035 at the latest. From Ford to GM and everyone in between, the story is the same. With hundreds of billions of dollars going towards EV development, it’s important to hold automakers accountable with such a nascent technology.
Over 2 million EVs are already on American roads and global EV sales totaled 4.5 million in 2021 alone. This is just the beginning. Sales of electric vehicles are expected to rise 75% to more than 8 million in 2022. Electric car safety is more important than ever. Are EVs safe? So far, it looks like electric vehicles are at least as safe as combustion vehicles. But when things go awry, EV fires are far more difficult to extinguish than what we’ve seen in the past, and that’s a concern worth addressing promptly at all costs. If you’re thinking about going electric for your next vehicle purchase, rest assured that EVs from Tesla, Ford, Volkswagen, Hyundai-Kia and others are ranked up there with the very best in the entire industry.
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As anyone who’s fallen head over heels for one of the many 2022 electric vehicles and clicked that ‘Order’ button can attest, just because you can order an EV in 2022 doesn’t mean you can drive it home this year. This was a problem I faced myself, but I finally broke the code and got a Hyundai IONIQ 5 at MSRP (here’s how).
Soon after I began my online car search, it became clear that if I wanted a brand-new vehicle, my options were limited by availability. To make the most of the situation, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned about the availability and estimated delivery times for EVs on the market today. Here’s what we know as we kick off the new year.
Note: These are fully-electric models that can either be ordered now or purchased at a dealership today. Many more have been announced but are not yet officially available.
Estimated Delivery/Lot Availability*
RS e-tron GT
Available Now (Discontinued)
2022 - CA Only
Late 2022 - 2023
Late 2022 - 2023
*For a vehicle ordered in May 2022, unless there's existing dealership supply.
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What Does It All Mean? Supply and Demand Are Out of Whack
A few things might stand out to you on this list. Not a lot of options are available if you need a new vehicle right now. VW Group’s new EVs are available at many dealerships, although there are reports of major dealer markups. It’s quite easy to find EVs of the previous generation on dealer lots. Think Kia eNiro, Hyundai Kona EV, Nissan Leaf and the like.
The vast majority of 2022 electric vehicles are crossovers. No surprise there given the sales trends over the past decade. Honda doesn’t have a single EV arriving in the North American market until the 2024 Prologue electric SUV. That is surprising considering the popularity and good reputation of the brand. What will it take for automakers to catch up to demand? An end to the chip shortage would be a great step in the right direction. There’s also the supply versus demand factor. Ford, Rivian, Tesla and VW are all swamped with orders well into 2022, and even into 2023. All except Tesla are EV newcomers who are facing the same production ramp-up struggles that Tesla just barely survived a few years ago. We’ll update this page regularly as more information becomes available, so save it to your bookmarks!
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below, or shoot an email to justin@CarEdge.com.
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