A decade ago, the idea of driving an electric car seemed inconceivable to most Americans, but these cars with plugs are definitely here to stay. Technological improvements, stricter emissions standards, and changes in consumer tastes are driving electric cars further into the mainstream, and while they still aren’t close to replacing their gas-powered cousins, their ever-increasing ranges and penchant for quick acceleration make them a far better option than they once were.
Many of the most promising cars are still trucking down the long road toward production (we’re looking at you, Tesla Model 3 and Chevy Bolt EV), but there are plenty on the market right now. These are the best EVs you can buy.
Why should you buy this: It’s one of the most entertaining EVs to drive and it won’t break the bank.
Who’s it for: An eco-conscious driver seeking a fun way to get to work
How much will it cost: $29,000
Why we picked the Volkswagen e-Golf:
If you want to build a great electric car, starting off with a great gas-powered car is a pretty good idea. That’s exactly what Volkswagen have done with the e-Golf, an emissions-free version that features almost everything we love about the long-running and charming hatchback.
Given its solid foundation, it should be no surprise to learn that the e-Golf is comfortable, fun, and pleasantly familiar. Everything is exactly where you expect it to be, and driving it is just as easy and hopping in a GTI or hopped-up Golf R. However, the vehicle returns up to 126 MPGe in the city, features 83 miles of range, and costs just $28,995 before the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit is factored in. Fun fact — this credit applies to every vehicle on this list.
The e-Golf packs plenty of tech as well, especially if you bump up to the $35,585 SEL Premium model. That particular version offers an upgraded 8.0-inch infotainment screen, navigation, and smart safety features such as automated emergency braking, forward-collision warning, and hands-free park assist.
Looking for something with a bit more under the hood? Keep an eye out for a production version of Volkswagen’s I.D. concept, which is expected to have a range of more than 300 miles when it launches alongside the Golf in 2020.