The Best Electric Cars in 2022
Every year, the electric vehicle (EV) market grows larger and larger. Still, of the 250 million vehicles on the road today, less than 1% are electric. However, that number is growing rapidly.
With dramatic improvements in technology and performance, more and more people are looking at electric vehicles as a better alternative. If you’re looking to reduce your emissions, save money on fuel, and be the talk of the neighborhood, then let’s talk about the best electric car in 2022 for every type of driver!
How to Choose the Best Electric Car in 2022
Before we discuss each new vehicle, we first need to understand some of the potential challenges and factors to consider in electric vehicles. Here’s what you need to know before choosing your new car!
If you live in a city and commute to work on the other side of that city, the range may not be a top priority for you. However, if you plan to take long drives out into the country, you have a longer commute, or you want more freedom to roam, then look for a vehicle with a longer range.
This is one of the greatest challenges facing the EV market as a whole because it takes longer to charge a battery than it does to fill up a tank. The longer your range, the less often you’ll have to charge.
On average, EVs will last for just under 200 miles, but this can vary widely. Some will only allow for 80, while some will last for 400. Gas-powered drivers are used to ranges near 350 miles, so if that’s important to you, always look at the vehicle’s range.
Let’s be clear, we’re not talking about the duration of the battery on one charge, as that will directly correlate with the range. Instead, we’re talking about its longevity. How many life cycles is the vehicle’s battery designed to last?
Generally speaking, you want to avoid lead-acid batteries, the type used in gas-powered vehicles. They are less expensive to replace, but they won’t have the same range, and they won’t last nearly as long.
Most electric vehicles will use some type of lithium-ion battery. Lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries tend to be the longest-lasting, sometimes for over 6,000 lifecycles before losing capacity.
Each life cycle is defined by a 100% charge down to empty, which you probably won’t be doing every day. If you are getting close to that, like 100% to 10%, the average battery will last between 1,500 and 2,000 lifecycles.
Essentially, that means that if you drive the car to near-empty and recharge it every day, you can expect the battery to last for around 5 years before noticing a significant drop in battery capacity. This decline could be anywhere from 20% to 50%.
Of course, we want our batteries to last forever and we don’t ever want to stop and charge during a road trip, right? Well, that brings us to the balancing factor; price.
You get what you pay for on an electric vehicle. You will save a small fortune on fuel and some of the routine maintenance that comes with an engine, so remember that. However, not everybody has the money for a large downpayment.
For that reason, set an initial (but realistic) budget for an electric vehicle. The prices are going down significantly, but the average cost of a new electric vehicle is over $56,000, so keep that in mind.
Now that we know what to look for, let’s talk about some of the highest-rated electric cars based on each of these categories!
Best Affordable Electric Car: Nissan Leaf
If your primary factor is price, then nothing even compares to the Nissan Leaf. The average price for a new 2022 Leaf is $28,345. However, it doesn’t feel like a budget car!
The Nissan Leaf has a very nice interior packed with new technology. You wouldn’t know it was the cheapest from sitting in it.
However, the range isn’t perfect, averaging 149 miles on a full charge, and the charge time is fairly long, at 8 to 11 hours with a 220V charge and 35 hours at 110V. If you use a fast charger (440V), you can charge it in under an hour, and bringing it to 80% should be even quicker.
For a commuting car, there isn’t a better option. 149 miles is more than enough for most people to get to and from work, as well as stopping to pick up their children from school or meet up with friends. It’s not a huge vehicle, but it is spacious for a light hatchback, making it a great option for families, just not road trips!
Best Range: Lucid Air Dream Edition R
The base range for this model is 471 miles, with most vehicles able to reach 520. For context, the Tesla Model S dual-motor model is said to be one of the best mainstream EVs for range, maxing out at 420 miles. This puts Lucid 100 miles ahead of second place.
If you’ve never heard of Lucid, they’re an impressive new luxury EV startup that won car of the year with one of their premier vehicles. They attempt to rival Tesla as the hottest luxury EV brand, and they started off strong with their 2022 lines.
However, there’s a reason this model isn’t our winner in the “most affordable” category, as the MSRP is $169,000 for this vehicle. If you want a long-range vehicle that’s more affordable, we’d recommend the Tesla Model S, averaging 395 to 405 miles at just under $100,000. Trading in your current car could be enough for a down payment for that!
Best Value: Toyota Mirai
Toyotas are known for being the most reliable, durable, and well-rounded vehicles on the affordable side of the market. Well, they’re finally entering the world of EVs.
The 2022 Mirai comes at an average price of $49,500, which is less than the average for its kind. For the price, it comes with a lot of luxury, offering a futuristic look not seen before by the Toyota brand.
The lithium-ion fuel cell can carry this vehicle for a battery-only range of up to 402 miles, which is unparalleled for the low price. For a comparable size to the popular Camry or Avalon models, the Mirai offers 182 horsepower and a sleek, luxurious interior.
Best Luxury Value: Tesla Model Y
If you want a luxury electric car without breaking the bank, then this is the one for you. For what it offers, the Model Y is very impressive. The MSRP for this vehicle is around $63,000, which isn’t too far from the average price.
The 2022 Tesla Model Y offers a battery-only range of 330 miles and a surprising amount of room in the cabin. It comes with all of the luxuries of any other Tesla, but for a more affordable price.
It’s also consistently one of the highest-rated electric cars on the market for 2022 for safety, performance, and more. It’s just as practical for families as it is for a business person.
Best Performance: Ford F-150 Lightning
If you’re surprised to see a pickup truck on here, so are we. In such a short time, the EV market has changed dramatically, and a large pickup truck like the F-150 Lightning is a shining example of how far EVs have come.
The F-150 Lightning has a battery that can power the average American household for up to 10 days, offering a minimum range (battery only) of 230 miles, going well past 300 with certain expansions. With 426 horsepower, the towing capacity stands at an impressive 7,700 pounds, making it a perfect option for anybody in need of a truck for work.
For comparison, the 2020 gas-powered F-150 has a base towing capacity of 5,000 pounds and between 250 and 450 horsepower. The new F-150 Lightning is an impressive electric alternative to one of the most popular vehicles made in the United States, which should turn any engine lover into an electric fan.
Believe it or not, the F-150 Lightning starts at a price of just under $40,000. However, if you want the long-range option or anything special, the price will increase. Still, for its high performance, that’s an incredibly reasonable price.
Choose the Best Electric Car of 2022
Now that you know the best electric car in 2022 for each category, you can make an informed decision based on your needs. The world of electric vehicles is changing dramatically and there’s never been a better time to switch. Assess your needs, find the right car, and start reducing your carbon footprint!
Stay up to date with our latest auto news and feel free to contact us with any questions or for help with financing!
Recommended reading: The Best Family Cars of 2022