A few trends stood out. New EV drivers want cars with decent range, with the most popular models easily getting at least 200 miles per charge. Certain comfort and convenience features were shared by the most popular models, including one-pedal driving, regenerative braking, and efficient charging speeds. The other common trend: price. Making the switch to all-electric vehicles is a big enough leap without breaking the bank. Mid-priced cars were the most ordered EV by first-time buyers, with manufacturer suggested prices for base models ranging from $26,500 to $47,240. 

There are many great makes and models on the market these days, but new EV drivers gravitated toward a few choice picks:

Tesla Model 3 & Model Y

Red Tesla Model Y
Tesla Model Y

Price: Starting at $40,240 for Model 3 and $47,240 for Model Y

Tax breaks: $3750 to $7500 for Model 3, $7500 for Model Y

Range: Starting at 272 mi for Model 3 and 279 mi for Model Y

Charging Speeds

  • Level 1 - 3 mi per hour
  • Level 2 - 44 mi per hour 
  • Level 3 - 400 mi per 30 min

What Drivers Love: Teslas have become iconic, and remain the most popular EVs today. 

Ask a Tesla driver what they love about their car, one of the first things they’ll say is that it’s fun to drive. 

With near instantaneous acceleration and smooth, responsive handling, even a basic Tesla drives like a sports car. Robust autopilot features can help control the car, maintaining speed, managing turns, and keeping a safe distance from the car ahead of you. Teslas are also comfortable, with spacious interiors and plenty of storage space. Most of the car’s features are controlled by the central touchscreen, giving the car a sleek, minimalistic feel. Everything is high-tech, and, thanks to over-the-air updates, there is a constant stream of new features. Teslas are some of the safest cars on the market, and drivers get access to the Tesla supercharger network with the most charging stations in the country. Drivers can sit back and enjoy movies and games on the Tesla’s infotainment screen while charging, not that they’ll need to wait long.

What Could Be Better

  • All that fancy tech comes with a cost. Some drivers find it distracting. 
  • Virtually all the amenities are controlled by the touchscreen, even opening the glovebox or changing the wiper speed. 
  • While the car may be agile, its suspension is lacking and can give drivers a rough and bumpy ride. 
  • Autopilot is not fully self-driving, and some Tesla owners have been waiting years for the expensive extra feature that they’ve already paid for. Full self-drive, as its inaptly named, is the center of many lawsuits. 
  • While all electric cars make little noise, Teslas don’t insulate sound well, so highway driving can get pretty loud. 
  • Some drivers have complaints about rear visibility, and the finishes are lower quality and less durable than drivers expected for the price. 
  • The actual range tends to be significantly less than the advertised range.

Chevy Bolt EV & EUV

Red Chevy Bolt EV
Chevy Bolt EV

Price: Starting at $26,500 and $27,800

Tax breaks: Up to $7,500

Range: Starting at 259 mi for the Bolt EV and 247 mi for the Bolt EUV

Charging Speeds

Chevy will cover installation of Level 2 charger with purchase or lease of a new vehicle.

What Drivers Love: The Chevy Bolt EV is the most affordable electric car on the market in the U.S., making it more accessible to the widest pool of drivers. And, there’s a lot of value for that price. Bolts aren’t the fastest of all EVs, but they still boast a perky acceleration and are a pleasure to drive. The cars are comfortable and quiet, and some drivers appreciate the physical knobs complementing the infotainment touchscreen. All drivers will appreciate the over-the-air updates that allow the Bolt to keep up with the latest technology.

What Could Be Better

  • Sadly, though the infotainment system has many features drivers love, some have complained about the Chevrolet app and its available features, not to mention a lack of tech support. 
  • The Bolt gives a rough ride on a bumpy road. 
  • The seats are only moderately comfortable and there’s not much difference between the EV and the EUV in terms of storage space and backseat legroom. 
  • Some drivers report the on-board range estimate is inaccurate, which is especially disappointing on road trips because… 
  • The Bolt has one of the slowest charge times of EVs on the market

Volkswagen ID.4

Blue ID4

Price: Starting at $38,995

Tax breaks: VW will not yet advise potential buyers whether or not they qualify for a federal tax break, but other sources indicate the ID4 may qualify for up to $7500 in tax breaks.

Range: Starting at 275 mi

Charging Speeds

  • Level 1 - 2 to 5 mi per hour
  • Level 2 - 24 to 36 mi per hour 
  • Level 3 - 267 mi per 30 min

Unlimited 30 min charging sessions for 3 years at Electrify America

What Drivers Love: The ID.4 offers a smooth and quiet ride with a tight turn radius. The car has a roomy, comfortable interior, foregoing the high-tech, minimalistic style for a more classic look that will be familiar to gas car drivers. While not the flashiest or sportiest EV on the market, the ID.4 has a competitive range and a focus on practicality and safety.

What Could Be Better

  • The ID.4 just doesn’t have the same zing many popular EVs have. The acceleration is fine, but nothing to brag about. 
  • What’s more, it lacks one-pedal driving, a feature many EV drivers love. 
  • The car has an infotainment screen, but the controls aren’t intuitive and left many drivers feeling frustrated. 
  • It’s a solid vehicle, but it’s hardly awe-inspiring.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Rear view silver Ioniq 5

Price: Starting at $41,450

Tax breaks: Unfortunately, the Ioniq does not qualify for federal tax breaks because it is not assembled in North America.

Range: Starting at 303 mi

Charging Speeds

  • Level 1 - 3 to 5 mi per hour
  • Level 2 - 25 to 33 mi per hour
  • Level 3 - 408 mi per 30 min

Unlimited 30 min charging sessions for 2 years at Electrify America

What Drivers Love: The Ioniq 5 has style. Drivers love its bold, futuristic design. The look of the cabin is more classic than futuristic, but it boasts plenty of room for drivers and passengers. The interior is open and spacious, built for comfort, even incorporating foot rests to use while the vehicle is charging. Not that you’ll have much time to sit back and relax. The Ioniq 5 has one of the fastest DC charging speeds on the market, capable of getting you back on the road in a matter of minutes.

What Could Be Better

  • Be careful backing up in the parking lot. The Ioniq 5 has thick rear roof pillars that create large blind spots and the lack of rear wipers makes driving in the rain particularly challenging. 
  • The car has a pretty wide turning circle, too. 
  • Some drivers had complaints about the Blue Link mobile app and the lack of wireless connectivity options. 
  • One of the biggest gripes is that rapid charging speed disappears in cold weather. The car can’t be preconditioned, seriously curtailing battery efficiency.

Aptera - The Surprise Hit

Preproduction image of Aptera
From aptera.us

Price: Starting at $25,900

Tax breaks: Unlike most cars, the Aptera has only 3 wheels. Unfortunately, this means the Aptera does not qualify for the federal tax credit. The manufacturer has a team working in D.C. to convince legislators that the Aptera should qualify for the tax credit.

Range: Starting at 250 mi

Charging Speeds

  • Solar Charging - up to 40 mi per day
  • Level 1 - 13 mi per hour 
  • Level 2 - 30 mi per hour 
  • Level 3 - 300 mi per 30 min

What Drivers Love: The solar powered Aptera car totally breaks the mold. The three-wheeled, aerodynamic vehicle with butterfly doors looks more like a spaceship than a car. It’s a two-seater, but the unusual shape means it has more cargo space than many popular sedans. The ultralight chassis helps make it four times as efficient as a typical electric car and in-wheel motors free up onboard space. The “car” has plenty of legroom and an infotainment system to compete with the best of electric vehicles. The longest range option boasts a whopping 1000 miles per charge. Perhaps most exciting is that it can get up to 40 mi of charge from solar power while driving or parked outside, meaning most drivers will never have to plug in. Just in case your daily driving exceeds that, it can use standard EV chargers if needed. 

The Aptera is getting a lot of attention, with 50% of new to EV homes reserving one of the futuristic vehicles.

What Could Be Better

  • So far, very few people have actually driven an Aptera and delivery dates have been pushed back to 2024
  • Even with sufficient cargo space, the Aptera only has two seats, making it a poor option for families. 
  • The most affordable option has only a 250 mi range, about as much or less than you could get from any electric car. It’s certainly an innovative ride, but we’ll have to wait to find out if it’s worth the hype.

New EV drivers are looking for reliability, comfort, swift charging, and range at an affordable price. Manufacturers are rising to meet the challenge, updating their existing models and expanding into new features and technologies. Reservations and pre-orders are helping car buyers get exactly the car they want, even if they have to wait awhile before it actually arrives in their driveway. For those who don’t want to wait, there are plenty used EVs with many of those desirable features available at a bargain price. You can even get federal tax credits for them.