Top performing electric vehicles

As electric vehicles gain popularity nationwide, many car manufacturers are creating new electric models to appeal to consumers. Electric vehicles may have higher sticker prices than traditional gas-powered vehicles, however, their lifetime costs can end up being less due to lower maintenance and fuel costs.

Since electric vehicle technology is constantly improving and prices keep decreasing, consumers are starting to consider electric vehicles for their next purchase. There’s an electric model out there for everyone, depending on your priorities and preferences.

One of the most popular and relatively most affordable electric vehicle options is the Nissan Leaf. The 2020 Nissan Leaf has a Manufactured Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $31,600. Photo Credit: Nissan

For many, affordability is most important when purchasing a new vehicle. There are several budget-friendly options for those that want an electric vehicle but don’t want to break the bank. One of the most popular and relatively most affordable electric options is the Nissan Leaf. The 2020 Nissan Leaf has a Manufactured Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $31,600, according to the U.S. News & World Report, and an older Nissan Leaf can be purchased for an even cheaper price. As with conventional vehicles, used (or older) electric models will typically cost less than the newest ones.

Although not available in Illinois, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric has one of the highest MPGe ratings compared to other electric vehicles, at 133 MPGe, meaning it uses electric power very efficiently, thus needing fewer charging sessions. Additional benefits of the Hyundai Ioniq Electric include high safety scores and a long warranty.

For those interested in a luxury vehicle while still keeping it relatively budget-friendly, the 2020 Tesla Model 3 could be an option to consider. With a starting MSRP of $35,400, the car provides a sophisticated interior while delivering great efficiency and 220 miles of range.

Some consumers may instead prioritize a greater mileage range on their electric vehicle to eliminate range anxiety. Several new electric vehicle models have an especially large range. The 2020 Tesla Model S Long Range Plus has the largest range currently available on the market at 402 miles of maximum range. Using a Tesla Supercharger for only 15 minutes can get you about 130 miles of range on the 2020 Tesla Model S, but this car comes with the hefty MSRP price tag of about $80,000. Another option that’s a little more affordable but still provides a modestly long driving range is the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt, with a maximum range of 259 miles and an MSRP of roughly $36,600. The Chevrolet Bolt is a strong competitor among many electric vehicles, making it a solid choice as an everyday car.

Many of the electric vehicles discussed in this article can be found in U.S. News & World Report with additional details and buyer reviews. Before purchasing any new vehicle, be sure to appropriately research which model will work best for you and your family.

Check the current market price for the vehicle you’re interested in to make sure it’s within your budget. If you’re buying through a dealer, ask any important questions before finalizing the purchase. Having a plan for charging your new vehicle will also be critical, either at home or at public charging stations. Once you purchase an electric vehicle, let your local electric cooperative know. Some electric co-ops offer one-time rebates or special rate plans for electric vehicle owners that can help you save additional money over time when charging your new car.

Electric co-ops generally welcome the idea of more members owning electric vehicles, and proper planning will be necessary to make sure you and your co-op are prepared to meet your charging needs.