5 Best Electric Cars For 2018

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There are many advantages to owning a fully electric-powered car. For starters, they’re the greenest rides on the road, generating zero tailpipe emissions. Since an electric motor delivers all of its torque immediately, EVs are quicker than many motorists might expect. It’s cheaper to run a car on electricity than petroleum, and you can charge the vehicle at home and spare yourself a weekly trip to the gas station. They’re less costly to maintain and are eligible for federal tax credits (and perhaps state incentives) to help subsidize the cost. In some areas, electric cars are eligible for free street-parking, and specially reserved spots in municipal and/or airport lots.

You might be sold on the technology, but there’s still the matter of deciding which EV is right for you.

To that end, we looked at all of the full-electric cars sold in the U.S. for the 2018 model year and narrowed the list to what we feel are the five entries most worthy of your EV dollars. We’re featuring them with commentary and key specs in the accompanying slideshow.

We’re basing our picks on an amalgam of critical considerations. Being able to run for the most miles on a charge is arguably the most important item on an EV buyer’s shopping list, with perhaps the vehicle’s sticker price coming in a close second. Aside from those critical factors we looked at each model’s equivalent fuel economy (“MPGe”), whether or not it’s offered in all 50 states, its projected reliability, and of course, the vehicle’s overall performance, utility, and styling.

Though the current crop of full electric vehicles is limited to just 13 models, the competition is expected to heat up to the boiling point for 2019 and beyond, with a long list of new battery-powered cars and crossovers headed for dealers’ showrooms. Expect ground-breaking new models next year from the likes of Audi, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo.

As they say, stay tuned.

Operating range and energy consumption estimates noted in the slideshow come from the Environmental Protection Agency’s fueleconomy.gov website; the manufacturers’ suggested retail prices (MSRPs) are for base models and include the destination charge, but not options, taxes. or fees.

Source: MYEV.com

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Range: 124 miles

MPGe: 150 city/122 highway

MSRP: $30,385

The newest entry in the EV market, the compact Hyundai Ioniq Electric hatchback delivers a useful operating range that makes it practical as a daily driver for most commuters. With 118 horsepower, it’s not the quickest EV on the road, but its 218 pound-feet of instantaneous torque assures quick launches and admirable passing abilities. It’s sufficiently roomy inside and is sleekly styled on the outside. Standard high-tech features include adaptive LED headlamps and full smartphone connectivity, and the car can be fitted with a forward auto-braking system, blind spot monitor, a lane keeping system, and a smart cruise control system that can operate in stop-and-go traffic.

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Range: 151 miles

MPGe: 125 city/100 highway

MSRP: $30,885

Launched in 2010, the Nissan Leaf is one of the “oldest” EVs on the market. For 2018 Nissan boosted its operating range by about 50%, with added horsepower and a lower sticker price. It’s now up to an eminently practical 151 miles on a charge, with 147 horsepower on tap. New technology available for 2018 includes a full array of accident avoidance systems and the automaker’s ProPILOT Assist system. The latter combines technologies to afford near-autonomous highway driving. The car’s e-Pedal system allows it to be driven in “one pedal” mode, with the Leaf’s regenerative braking amped up to bring the car to a halt under most circumstances just by easing off the accelerator.

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Range: 238 miles

MPGe: 128 city/110 highway

MSRP: $37,495

The Chevrolet Bolt EV is the longest-range electric car this side of a Tesla, and it’s much more affordable. It’s a small tall-roofed car with crossover SUV-like styling, and it’s roomier inside than it looks and its hatchback design makes it especially practical. With 200 horsepower, the Bolt EV is sufficiently peppy. Like the Nissan Leaf, the Bolt EV affords one-pedal driving with maximum regenerative braking, though the car can still be driven conventionally according to a motorist’s preference. Its estimated 238-mile operating range should suffice for long daily commutes and weekend day trips alike.

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Range: 310 miles

MPGe: 136 city/123 highway (120/112 with all-wheel-drive)

MSRP: $50,200

Though we have yet to see a promised $35,000 base version of the midsize Tesla Model 3 sedan, the $50,000 version impresses with its clean and sleek exterior styling, futuristic cabin and its overall performance. With a range on a charge that beats the 300-mile barrier, it can reach 60 mph from a standing start in a sports car-like 3.5 seconds; top speed is 155 mph. A dual-motor all-wheel-drive system is optional for those facing wet or snowy winters. Tesla’s optional Autopilot system is as close as it gets to autonomous operation, but the driver still needs to keep a hand on the wheel and be ready to take over if necessary. Most of the car’s controls are operated by a 15-inch tablet-like touchscreen on the dashboard.

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Range: 249-335 miles

MPGe: 92-102 city/100-105 highway

MSRP: $75,700

Though it’s the costliest model on our list, the mighty Tesla Model S sedan is still the car to beat among electric vehicles. With a choice of battery packs, the top version excels as the longest-distance EV on a charge for 2018 at 335 miles. Its long range and Tesla’s extensive network of DC fast-charging units makes long road trips practical, at least with the proper planning. Even after a few years on the market, it’s stunning styling still turns heads. Tesla’s dual motor all-wheel drive system comes standard. Performance ranges from impressive to unbelievable, with the top model able to sprint from 0-60 mph in a mere 2.5 seconds. Inside, a 17-inch tablet touchscreen dominates a still-futuristic-looking dashboard. Autopilot and a rear-facing third-row seat for the kiddies are optional.

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17 Comments on "5 Best Electric Cars For 2018"

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Has anyone done a real world comparison of Model 3 Long Range, Model 3 Dual Motor, and Model S 100D to see which one goes furthest on a full charge? I wouldn’t be surprised if the Model 3 Long Range ends up going furthest… I regularly end up getting 5 miles per kWh or even better (I have aero wheels), which translates to 375+ miles. I think Tesla has way undersold the range that the car gets.

Definitely not hearing the same from people with Dual Motor… sounds like they get pretty close to 310 miles on the dot, and I haven’t heard much from people about how far they can go with the Model S 100D.

was posted here on Insideevs : https://insideevs.com/estimate-tesla-range-highway-speeds/

And indeed the Tesla-3 RWD-LR is outperforming the P100D on range.
Also the EPA range is the max which can be stated from car companies, most companies state 20% below max.
Tesla used the EPA range to understate the RWD model, so they state the same 310 miles for all LR models, even the performance-D range is much shorter than the RWD range.

I can tell you that my TM3 Dual Motor gets very close to 290 miles and my wife’s TM3 LR with aero wheels gets about 330 miles. This is average monthly mixed use of highway/city driving.

I live in hilly terrain with temperatures in the 40-60 deg F range, drive 70-75 mph on the highway, and average about 2.8 miles per kWh in my 3LR AWD with Aeros. Is my car defective?

“I live in hilly terrain”. — my guess is no.
How did your gas burn compare to EPA numbers?

In my experience *net* elevation change has a significant impact on miles/kWh. However climbing and descending a hill with no net elevation change results in nearly the same efficiency as driving on flat ground.

Driving style is a big factor.

I go up and down one mountain with a 7 mile, 7 percent grade, with an elevation change of about 2,500 feet. Going up, my range decreases 17-20 miles. Going back down I gain 3-4 miles. Not quite the same as flat ground, but a LOT better than the gasmobile.

I do a 10 mile round trip with a ~1,000′ climb/descent. In my eGolf it results in 10 miles range used and ~4,4 mi/kWh which is typical for the same type of roads on level ground.

I think what we will see is that all the EV SUVs and especially the PHEV SUVs will be slow sellers, compared with any sedan, fastback or coupe EV. Other than price, it will be the basic geometry that keeps the higher riding SUVs from offering the major handling/performance benefits of going EV. This is especially true for the PHEV EVs, since the much higher price tag can never be recovered by fuel savings alone, when the owner still has all the other ICE maintenance and lower crashworthiness as well. Even now many of the suv owners are figuring out that the perceived better vision gets canceled out when another big SUV or pick-up truck is ahead of them or on the side of them. I do find it not so surprising that the industry knowing the tremendous consumer demand for the Model 3 which is a sedan, they each launch a big clumsy, energy inefficient, aerodynamically inefficient SUV as their first entry, and will want to complain about their production costs and lack of profitability at such a low volume. Or early on offer an EV that looks sub-premium, when they know the pricing puts whatever they offer into… Read more »

I love your wishful thinking and wish it was true…
But the only real hope is actually China where the same SUV over car phenomenon was happening but switched two months ago…
Plus auto makers want you to buy an SUV as on average they charge 7,700 more for the CUV version of a car built on the same platform…

Automakers are Laughing All the Way to the Bank at CUV buyers…

On a side note people buying 5,000 pound high performance SUV BEVs and calling them green is kinda funny…
But without them this growing BEV market would not be happening today…

A Diet Coke with your rack of deep fried, barbecue ribs dipping into gravy.

What people are NOT factoring into the Green equation…is longevity. If these cars are truly going to last out to 300,000+ miles (motors out to 500,000) then the CO2 per lifetime mile is a much more relevant stat. The BEV’s on avg DO produce more CO2 upon creation. However their electricity (especially with home solar package) is vastly more green then gas. This isn’t nearly as close as the FUD would try to make it since these EV’s will far outlast.

It isn’t that relevant. Charged by grid electric cars reach their break even to ICE cars at 60-120k miles. Most modern ICE cars last longer than that anyways, so even if we calculate with the normal lifetime of ICE cars, EVs win out

If you have solar panels today, you would know that kind of math is completely wishful thinking. Batteries have a shelf life. They degrade over time, eating into usable capacity. The maintenance requirements for an EV don’t just vanish. Whether it is a stationary house, or a moving piece of machinery, the entropy in the universe is constantly trying to break it apart. We just haven’t seen the long term maintenance needs because most EVs on the road today, barring really old Leafs haven’t reached the point where batteries need to be replaced. EVs are great. They will require care and regular maintenance, just like any other piece of machinery. By the time you have reached 300,000 miles (!. That’s a lot of miles) pretty much everything in your car, except for the chassis, will likely have been replaced at least once.

One of EV dogmas is maintenance-free operation. The modern automobile (regardless of its propulsion method) is a very complex electro-mechano-electronical device that is required to operate safely, reliably and economically in all kinds of harsh conditions.

On other, more nitty-gritty forums, populated by actual EV owners, there always is the “Problems and Troubleshooting” section, with abundant proof that EV’s indeed need maintenance and attention. My anecdotal experience from the past 4 years driving a HEV, a BEV and an ICE in approx. 5:4:1 ratio suggests that hybrids offer the best $/mi overall.

Looks like the ICE industry will have even MORE competition eating away at their numbers next year. Bring on the new lineups of ICE killers.

I just want to say, someone here needs. to BUY a Consumer Report subscription.
Your last article about the 5 Worse in Reliability falter the BMW i3, the Volt and the Tesla Model 3.

However, reading the actual article on Consumer Reports:
The BMW i3 gets a 5/5 rating for the 2017 model.
The 2018 has insufficient data.
Every year improvement since 2014.

The Volt’s reliable has been improving year over year for the last 4 years.

And the Model 3 also looks like it has good numbers.
And I seem to remember a “Recommended” Rating.

I’ll dig deeper tonight.