Top Five Electric Vehicles


As more and more of us begin to adopt the point of view that it’s important to take personal responsibility for our carbon footprint, electric vehicles have seen a staggering rise in public popularity as well as corporate investment.

Part of this surge in interest is thanks to the number of high profile celebrities who have adopted the technology including George Clooney, Kirsten Bell, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio. The aforementioned celebs drive sporty and slick electric cars like the Tesla Roadster or the Fisker Karma, both vehicles that prove electric cars aren’t just environmentally friendly eyesores. It seems that the age of the gas guzzlers might finally be coming to an end.

While some electric vehicles strive to push the technology to its limits with a high number of miles per charge, excellent top speeds and trendy aesthetics, others simply fail to compete with more conventional alternatives. Here, with the expert help of JT Hughes, we take a look at some of the best electric vehicles which are currently on the market and discuss what exactly makes them so good.


Nissan Leaf

Miles per charge: 84

Efficiency: 116 combined MPGe

Base cost: $28,800

Tax credit: $7,500

This superb offering from Nissan is first on the list simply because it’s the best-selling electric vehicle ever, and it’s easy to understand why. While some might question its round and bubbly appearance, for the Leaf it’s what’s on the inside that counts. The Leaf comes fully equipped with the most modern and cutting edge entertainment and safety features, a fully computerised dashboard and a respectable distance per charge.

If you weren’t already sold on the idea of the Nissan Leaf, perhaps the price will sway your mind. Coming in at only $28,000 (and that is before tax incentives mind you) the Leaf is a great choice, and one that won’t dent your wallet to much either.


Toyota RAV 4 EV

Miles per charge: 103

Efficiency: 76 combined MPGe

MSRP: $49,800

Tax credit: $7,500

The Toyota RAV 4 EV was built in association with, arguably the best electric vehicle company in the world, Tesla Motors. What this means for the end user is an incredibly powerful and capable machine, one which will easily make 100 miles off one charge, boasts 273 lp-ft of torque and commands an impressive 154 horsepower, all coming from its reasonably modest 115 kW motor.

This truly is a car for those who strive to be environmentally responsible but don’t want to let go of the feeling of safety, power and stability that comes from driving a top of the range 4×4. Tom Hanks was an early adopter of this car, and in 2009 sent a letter to the New Yorker stating that he had racked up over 50,000 miles, all off the original battery. This is a good sign for those wishing to purchase this car on the used market.

This certainly isn’t a cheap buy though, coming in at $50,000 (before tax incentives are taken into account), and similar cars which use conventional engines can be snapped up for almost half the price. The car is a great choice for the likes of Hanks.


Ford Focus Electric

Miles per charge: 76

Efficiency: 110 city/99 highway/105 combined MPGe

MSRP: $39,200

Tax credit: $7,500

Although this car has the lowest mileage per charge of any on this list, the Ford Focus has set its sights firmly upon being the most comfortable, stylish, spacious and affordable electric hatchback on the market. This ethos mirrors the cars ever present non-electric twin and results in a package just as appealing as the original Ford Focus was when it was first introduced.

At the heart of this car is a magnetic electric traction motor which can effectively deliver 143 horsepower and 185 lb-ft. torque, making the Focus speedy, economic and silent.

Despite the reasonably low range, the incredibly quick 3.5 hour charge time, as well as the $31,000 price tag (post tax credits) make the Focus Electric a great option for those looking to pick up an electric version of one of the most popular cars ever made.


Honda Fit EV

Miles per charge: 82

Efficiency: 118 combined MPGe

MSRP: $36,625

Tax credit: $7,500

Despite not being overwhelmingly different from the traditional Honda Fit, Honda really did a great job of bringing one of their staple models into the future with a fully electric refit. Where this car shines in particular is the quality of its construction and the superb level of driving stability.

Despite being billed as a “city car” first and foremost, the 82 mile range is still plenty for those wishing to do a little bit more exploring than simply stopping off at the supermarket. Besides, as more and more electric vehicles hit the road, charging points are going to become increasingly common, allowing for much longer journeys.

The fully electric motor boasts 123 horsepower and 189 lb-ft. of torque, and zooms from 0-60 in just under 9 seconds, an impressive figure coming from an EV.

The Fit EV is also one of the most efficient  electric cars on the market, helping to keep energy bills down to a minimum. This makes the Fit a great choice for those investing in electric to save on gas bills.


Tesla Model S

Miles per charge: 225+

Efficiency: 89 combined MPGe

Base cost: $69,900

Tax credit: $7,500

The Tesla Model S truly is the pièce de résistance of current electric vehicle manufacture. Boasting the most pleasing exterior aesthetics, luxurious interiors and technologically advanced gadgets (we like the automatic doors the most), the Model S brings these together to offer one of the most complete and stylish packages to hit the market in a long time, electric or otherwise.

The Model S comes with a huge range of battery, motor and feature choices, making it difficult to offer exact figures for the Model S’ performance, but the entry level model can  reach 60 in just under 6 seconds (more expensive variants take this down to 4.2), a top speed of 130 mph (limited) and a whopping 250 miles per charge.

The price point is high, but is redeemed by an 8-year unlimited warranty as standard. Tesla is clearly trying to build and retain a dedicated customer base with this tactic. With the Tesla Model S, you really can’t go wrong.





Jamie Waddell
Jamie Waddell is a men's lifestyle, technology and fitness writer based in London.