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. However, going electric is not as simple as perusing dealer lots. As with any emerging technology, there’s a very wide range of prices, capabilities and reliability ratings in today’s electric car market. And then there’s the challenge of availability. In hopes of adding clarity to the current EV market, the team at CarEdge has 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.
Have a bone to pick with our lists? Let us know in the comments, or better yet, join us at the internet’s fastest-growing EV forum, the CarEdge Community.
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.
Update: The average transaction price for an EV dropped in October! Details below.
Car buying is the second biggest expense most consumers will ever make, and more drivers are getting squeezed into $1,000/month car payments. With an EV, you can save hundreds of dollars per month in fuel costs, but the upfront cost of getting into an electric car is substantial. Here’s the average price of an electric car today, and how much prices have increased over the past three years.
Wondering when EVs will get cheaper? We’ll dive into that too.
The Average Price of an Electric Car Is 33% Higher
In October of 2022, the average transaction price for a new car (of any powertrain) was $48,281 according to Kelley Blue Book. At the same time, the average electric car price was $64,249 (for new cars). The average price paid for a new EV declined by 2%, compared to September, but was up by 7% compared to October 2021.
Why did the average price of an EV drop? It’s likely due to the comeback of the Chevy Bolt. After many months off the market, the Bolt is back as the most affordable EV in America.
Although the average EV sells for 33% more than gas-powered models, here’s a breakdown of the starting MSRP for the top 10 electric car models on sale right now. As you can see, not all EVs are quite this expensive:
The average starting price for the top 10 best-selling electric cars in America is $60,500, but all except the Tesla models are subject to dealer markups.
This information could be interpreted in at least two different ways. You could either conclude that the most popular EVs are more affordable than the market average, or you could see these numbers through the eyes of someone who’s browsed EV listings for years. These prices DO NOT include the all-to-common dealer markups. The Hyundai IONIQ 5 starts at $40k for the base trim, but there’s not a single one available for under $45,000 in my region. The story is the same for the Kia EV6 and Ford Mustang Mach-E. Good luck finding a used Tesla for anything less than the original sticker price.
EV Price Trends
In January 2020, the average electric car price was $54,668, or 42% higher than the overall market average. In 2022, the average cost of a new EV is $65,291, or about 37% higher than the overall new car market. Would you call that an improvement? Certainly not. All new cars are getting more expensive, whether electric or not. Here’s how the average cost of an electric car has changed monthly since January 2020.
Sadly, right now price increases are here to stay. Why are EVs so expensive? Batteries aren’t cheap. The average price of a lithium-ion battery pack dropped 90% from 2010 to 2020. One kilowatt-hour of lithium-ion battery storage cost $1,200 in 2010, but prices had fallen to $384 per kWh in 2015, and down to $137 per kWh in 2020. The long-awaited $100/kWh milestone that would bring affordable EVs to all was just around the corner when the pandemic hit.
2021 and 2022 have seen a sharp reversal in battery prices. Industrial grade lithium carbonate sourced from global mines has seen a 400% increase since mid-2021. All of the EV price increases we’ve seen in 2022 hadn’t factored in the most recent lithium price spike. In 2020, the average EV contained just under $4,000 worth of raw materials.
By early 2022, that number had climbed to $8,300, and the next update will surely see that figure surpass $10,000 considering the runaway lithium markets. Could this be the final nail in the coffin for cheap electric cars? It’s possible.
Smaller Battery Packs, More Affordability
However, I think there’s another possibility that I suspect we’ll be hearing more about. Automakers and their supply chain partners (not to mention governments) have invested nearly $1 trillion dollars in electrifying global transportation. It’s been called the second industrial revolution, and one that will largely determine the world’s ability to combat man-made climate change. Automakers don’t want the EV revolution to fail.
But with rising production costs forcing EV prices higher, what could they do to return affordability to the consumer? I expect automakers to begin announcing lower range, more affordable electric vehicles. Less range might leave you skeptical, but remember that $7.5 billion was allocated to creating a national charging network in America.
Aside from federal money, Tesla, Electrify America, EVgo and even automakers themselves are also quickly installing fast chargers throughout the country. In 5 years’ time, range won’t matter nearly as much because chargers will be commonplace.
How might this play out? We’re already starting to see it happen. Volkswagen announced a new version of the ID.4 electric crossover that starts at just $37,495 with 208 miles of range. Plus, it’s made in America and qualifies for the new EV tax credits! That’s well below the longer-range option with 275 miles of range, but it costs at least $4,000 less. Hyundai says it will soon offer a standard range version of the IONIQ 5 with less range at a lower price. I expect General Motors and Ford will soon do the same, especially with future electric crossovers like the impressive Equinox EV.
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The best EVs under $50,000 are more capable than ever before. But that doesn’t mean that they’re equally suited for the diverse needs of today’s drivers. Whether you’re hauling a family or looking for your next ridesharing car, these are the best EVs under $50k that are available now.
2023 Volkswagen ID.4
To qualify for federal EV incentives, ensure you purchase a Tennessee-built VIN.
Price:$37,495 – $53,995
Range: 208 – 274 miles
Charging Speed: 130 kilowatts (standard) to 170 kilowatts (Pro); Add 200 miles of range in 28 minutes
Tax Credit: The U.S.-built ID.4 qualifies for at least half of the new EV tax credit. Make sure yours is built at the Chattanooga, Tennessee factory! See full details here.
Did You Know? The 2023 VW ID.4 includes three years of free 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America. For those who travel often, this incentive could be worth hundreds of dollars.
The new IONIQ 5 may have stolen the show, but the Kona EV is thousands of dollars cheaper. It’s one of the best EV values well under $50k.
Price: $33,550 – $41,550
Range: 258 miles
Charging Speed: 100 kilowatt max (180 miles added in 47 minutes)
Federal Tax Credit: In August of 2022, the new revisions to the EV tax credit took away this incentive from the Kona EV. See full details here. State incentives may apply.
Did You Know? The all-new Hyundai IONIQ 5 has stolen the show with more range, MUCH faster charging, and better looks. Although MSRP starts closer to $45,000, dealer markups make it hard to find one under $50,000. More on that below.
Polestar is the fully-electric brand backed by Volvo. This car looks unmistakably Nordic, yet not as minimalist as a Tesla. Pricing is right under $50k, but direct-to-consumer sales means no dealer markups.
Price (front-wheel drive): $49,800 with destination fees, but there’s no haggling with Polestar’s pricing
Range: 270 miles
Charging speed: 150 kilowatt max charging (adds 160 miles of range in 25 minutes)
Federal Tax Credit: In August of 2022, the new revisions to the EV tax credit took away this incentive from the Polestar 2. See full details here. State incentives may apply.
Did You Know? The Polestar 2 is the closest competitor in terms of size, price and specs to the Model 3 rear-wheel drive.
2023 Kia EV6 (base trim)
If you can go without the bells and whistles, a lower-trim EV6 brings ultra-fast charging and longer range to buyers willing to get close to $50,000.
Price: $41,400 – $56,400; Light and Wind trims are most likely to fall under $50k.
Range: 232 – 310 miles
Charging Speed: 235 kilowatt max at a DC fast charger (adds 200 miles of range in about 18 minutes)
Federal Tax Credit: In August of 2022, the new revisions to the EV tax credit took away this incentive from the EV6. See full details here. State incentives may apply.
Did You Know? The Kia EV6 is based on the same e-GMP electric platform as the Hyundai IONIQ 5. If the looks of the EV6 are too much for you, maybe the IONIQ 5 is up your alley. The EV6 comes with 1,000 kilowatt-hours of free charging at Electrify America. That’s about 15 charging sessions from 10% to 80%.
If you’re thinking about hauling the kids off to school with zero emissions, today’s EVs offer more range, faster charging and greater fuel savings. The best electric cars and SUVs for families are available in a wide range of options to meet your needs, and an even wider range of price points. These are the best electric crossovers and SUVs on sale in 2023, and the ones we’re looking forward to in 2024.
Electric Crossover SUVs for Families
These electric crossover SUVs and full-size SUVs are the highest-rated, most-loved EVs for families today. Spaciousness, pricing, range and charging speeds vary from one electric model to another. We’ve also included NHTSA safety ratings if they’re available. Let us know which EVs you have your eye on!
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The Model Y is the best-selling electric vehicle in America, however prices have increased over 20% since 2020. Although it’s known for autonomous driving, the full capability (known as FSD) is a $15,000 package.
Price: $65,990 to $84,990
Range: 303 to 330 miles
Charging (Public fast charger): can add 200 miles in 15 minutes
I can confidently say that the IONIQ 5 is a great family car, and that’s because my wife and I haul our own kiddo around in this segment-bending electric crossover with hot hatch flavors. The IONIQ 5 has won many awards, including Car and Driver’s 2022 EV of the Year.
Price: $40,925 to $57,400+
Range: 256 to 303 miles
Charging (Public fast charger): Adds 200 to 240 miles of range in 20 minutes
The spaceship-styled EV6 is Kia’s version of the Hyundai IONIQ 5, which shares the e-GMP electric powertrain. The Kia EV6 has slightly less passenger and cargo space than the Hyundai, but it’s better range and equally fast charging make it an obvious feature on this list of best electric cars for families.
Price: $41,400 to $55,000+
Range: 274 to 310 miles
Charging (Public fast charger): Adds 200 to 240 miles of range in 20 minutes
Starting in late 2022, the ID.4 is now made in Tennessee. The newest American-made EV is equipped with decent range, okay charging, and a comfortable interior that’s designed for families. However, don’t expect Tesla-level infotainment. The ID.4 is best for those who are content with the simpler things in life.
Price: $38,790 to $55,000
Range: 208 to 275 miles
Charging (Public fast charger): Adds up to 190 miles of range in 30 minutes
When the e-tron first debuted in 2019, it was ahead of its time. Today, the e-tron remains a solid choice for families with a large interior, acceptable range and average charging capabilities. The premium styling and interior comforts make up for what it might lack. The original larger e-tron has recently been joined by the Q4 e-tron crossover.
Price: $53,000 to $94,000
Range: 218 to 244 miles
Charging (Public fast charger): can add 135 miles in 35 minutes
Where are all of the suburban-sized electric SUVs at? Unfortunately for larger families, large SUVs and minivans are not very aerodynamic, and therefore require larger battery packs to travel the same number of miles. As traditional and startup automakers ramp up their EV production, they’re increasingly left with no choice but to ration their batteries. The vast majority of EV automakers rely on battery manufacturers like Panasonic, LG and CATL to produce the batteries they need for their electric vehicles. If an automaker like Ford has signed supply contracts for X number of batteries, does it make sense for them to make 100,000 compact crossovers, or 20,000 full-size SUVs?
However, it looks like electric full-size SUVs are coming due to popular demand. There are just two quite expensive options now, but others are nearing production soon.
If you’re open to plug-in hybrids, the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV is a great vehicle, if you can find one at a fair price.
Tesla Model X
It’s not cheap, but the Model X is the most popular fully-electric three-row SUV today. With gull-wing doors and a massive glass roof, there’s no hiding the fact that the Tesla Model X is a luxury SUV.
Price: $120,990 to $150,000+
Range: 351 miles
Charging (Public fast charger): can add 200 miles in 15 minutes
This three-row SUV has a starting price nearly $30,000 below the electric competition in this segment. VinFast is building a massive factory to build EVs in North Carolina. There’s a catch: Batteries are sold separately. VinFast offers two battery subscription plans. The VF9 also has a smaller sibling, the VF8.
The Hyundai IONIQ 7 will be Hyundai’s first three-row electric SUV. It will be joined by Kia’s version, the Kia EV9 electric SUV. Both of these should bring somewhat more affordable electric full-size SUVs to the American market. The IONIQ 7 and EV9 remain concept cars for now, with production details to be released this year.
NIO is a Chinese automaker very likely on a path to North American auto sales. With a corporate headquarters already open in California and US-market job postings, it’s all but certain. The NIO ES8 is a three-row electric SUV likely to make an American debut in 2024.
Electric Crossovers That Didn’t Make the List
These EVs are great around town, but not recommended for family road trips.
With disappointing fast-charging capabilities, the bZ4X would be a real hassle on a road trip. The most capable all-wheel drive variant is rated at just 228 miles on a charge. That would be a non-issue if it wasn’t restricted to 100 kW at a DC fast charger. In the real world, the bZ4X and its sibling the Subaru Solterra would require 45 minute to hour-long charging stops every 175 miles or so on the interstate. That’s a lot of waiting around with a family!
The Solterra is the Subaru-branded sibling to the Toyota bZ4X. It’s essentially an electric Crosstrek. While standard all-wheel drive stays true to its Subaru roots, once again it’s the pitifully outdated charging capabilities that keep the Solterra off of our recommendations. Range is below average at 222 to 228 miles of range. It could be worth a look if you never hit the highway. Learn more about the Subaru Solterra.
You’re probably starting to see what makes or breaks an EVs suitability for families. Range, safety, interior room and charging speed are all important. If you travel, range and charging speed matter a lot. If you plan to stick around home, you have many more affordable electric vehicles to consider. The Bolt really only fails in one of these categories, but it fails in a big way. The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt has the same 55 kW DC fast charging limitation as the original Bolt did way back in 2017. With 259 miles of range (that’s not bad!), that means you’d be stopping to charge for 45 minutes to an hour every 180 to 200 miles on a road trip. About 90% of EV charging is done at home on average, but the Bolt requires a lot of patience on road trips. We covered the 2023 Chevy Bolt in detail here.
The Leaf was the first mainstream EV to go on sale in North America. It’s been a much-appreciated affordable option since 2011, but Nissan has failed to update the Leaf as competitors entered the scene. A top-of-the-line 2023 Nissan Leaf is rated for 212 miles on a charge, but the peak charging speed is outdated. In a best case scenario, it takes 40 minutes to add 175 miles of range. Plus, the Leaf has an outdated charge port style known as CHAdeMO. You’ll have to haul an adapter around with you to charge in public.
Will Electric Vehicles Get Cheaper in 2023?
It would be a welcome surprise if electric car prices dropped in 2023. Right now, EV prices are headed in the opposite direction. It seems like every week automakers from Tesla to Ford are announcing price increases for their electric models. In 2022, the average transaction price for an electric vehicle was $66,000, more than $11,000 higher than traditional vehicles. Fuel savings add up, but higher prices can bite into fuel and maintenance savings for years. See break even times for today’s most popular EVs.
Simply put, the more you drive, the quicker you will reach a break-even point with your EV purchase. If you drive less than 10,000 miles per year, going electric just doesn’t make sense right now when it comes to cost. However, it sure is great eliminating tailpipe emissions.
A new analysis by iSeeCars finds that used electric car prices are rising much faster than their combustion counterparts. The report finds that EV prices are up 54% year-over-year. ICE vehicles were up 10.1% during that same period. There are more signs that used car prices are beginning to drop, but it’s within the realm of possibility that EV and PHEV prices will remain elevated even as the overall used car market softens. People are scrambling to buy EVs, and demand continues to exceed supply.
The New EV Tax Credit Helps Some, But Not All
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 eliminated the original EV tax credit and replaced it with a completely revised tax credit. For vehicles that qualify, up to $7,500 in tax credits are available. However, the incentive is based on battery sourcing, which will be determined by the automakers. Income limits restrict buyer eligibility, too. See the full details on qualifying models here.
There’s also a used EV tax credit for the first time, but a price cap of $25,000 eliminates every single family EV on this list. See what does qualify.
When the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law in 2021, $1.2 trillion in federal funding was earmarked for dozens of projects ranging from bridge repair to internet access. Included in the massive package is $7.5 billion for National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI), also known as the national charging network. States were tasked with submitting a plan for how they would spend NEVI funding, with a submission deadline of August 1, 2022. Now that states have turned in their EV charging proposals, we decided to create this resource with every state’s plans for how they’ll spend NEVI funding.
There’s a lot to unpack here. Phase one of this five-year initiative will prioritize DC fast chargers every 50 miles along Alternative Fuel Corridors, which are usually interstate highways. Once state NEVI plans are approved by the Federal Highway Administration, the contract bid process and construction will kick off in early 2023.
Fiscal year 2022 (FY2022) funding is based on the state’s population, size, and number of major highways. We’d love to hear what you think about how your state is planning to build out their portion of the national charging network.
With electric vehicle market share recently rising above 5%, it’s not too late to get the ball rolling on a national charging network. But time is of the essence. Sales data from Europe saw accelerated adoption once the 5% market share threshold was surpassed, and half of American drivers are interested in EVs.
Of greater concern is the many ways in which the build out of a national charging network could fall short, and this is what’s on my mind. Anyone who’s ever frequented Electrify America charging stations is well aware that malfunctioning charging stations are a lot more common than they should be. In my experience with my Hyundai IONIQ 5, it seems like one out of five chargers has issues.
Can states, the U.S. Department of Transportation and private partners install 500,000 chargers that are more reliable and less confusing than the status quo? Perhaps they could learn a thing or two from Tesla, whose Supercharger network is the gold standard. In many ways, the success of electric vehicles in America will rely on the success of the state plans shared here. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t feeling a bit of anxiety about how this could go!
Drop us a comment below. What’s your take on these state plans for the national charging network?