A recent study by AAA estimates more than 30 million Americans are considering an electrified vehicle for their next car purchase.
While fuel economy and environmental concerns are big reasons interest in electric cars remains steady, another reason is that these cars are perceived to have the most cutting edge technology and coolest features.
And they often do.
We’ve recently tested three all-new electric vehicles that should be on your must-test list if you’re thinking EV for your next car.
Chevrolet Bolt EV
While we question the whole Volt-Bolt nomenclature thing, we think Chevrolet hit a homerun with the Bolt EV itself. This is the first vehicle to hit the market that is not only affordable but also able to compete with Tesla’s range. In fact, it’ll go up to 238 miles on a single charge.
We like the over-large infotainment screen and the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto inclusion. Bolt EV is both comfortable and easy to drive, and the bigger range all but nullifies range anxiety.
The coolest cutting-edge feature in the Bolt EV is the rearview mirror that doubles as a rear camera. One to note: Fast charge capability is a $750 option.
Hyundai Ioniq electric
The all-new Ioniq is Hyundai’s first foray into electrification, and Hyundai went all in with a three-prong vehicle structure that includes a hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicle. Since the plug-in is still in prototype, we’ll focus on the EV here.
During our test, we found the Ionic Electric to be quite competent and fun to drive. Heated seats worked well, but we missed having a heated steering wheel option.
The EV will go up to 124 miles on a single charge, which is better than the Nissan Leaf, but a far cry from the aforementioned Bolt EV.
However, Hyundai has done a couple really cool things with its EV that Chevrolet and Toyota aren’t doing, which sets it apart from the other two newbies. First, the Ioniq is only available via subscription (aka lease), and the price of charging is rolled into the cost of the car. Second, fast-charge capability is standard.
Toyota Prius Prime
Toyota currently lacks a completely electrified vehicle, and instead, it’s opted to take a second foray into the plug-in hybrid arena. The Prius Prime is the second-generation Prius Plug-in Hybrid, and it comes with a 25-mile all electric range.
This is a great option for those who would like to have the benefit of an EV during a short commute but don’t want to deal with the range anxiety. It has a total range of more than 600 miles, which means it could be someone’s only vehicle.
Another bonus: It’ll charge from a regular outlet in less than 6 hours.
Prime is incredibly quiet, and the switch from EV to hybrid mode is nearly imperceptible. While the Prime drives well as an EV, you get the best pep using the power mode when it’s switched over to hybrid model.
Sure, the exterior design is beyond quirky, but we kind of liked the bow-tie shaped back end. The coolest feature on Prime, however, is inside: the vertical Tesla-like infotainment screen.