Through government subsidies and tax credits, public opinion increasing awareness of our carbon footprint, an informative defensive driving course online, and expensive gas prices, electric cars are bursting to the forefront of consumers’ appeals. Once deemed impossible and somewhat scoffed at, these vehicles are now some of the hottest items young drivers crave. Here’s a list of five of the most game-changing electric cars.
But it could have been any Tesla, really. Elon Musk’s company, just now questionably turning a profit, is a darling for investors that see a quality vehicle backed by a brand power that might soon surpass Apple. These slick, zippy rides are arguably the first mass-marketed consumer-priced electric vehicles with the sex appeal of any gasoline-fueled counterpart.
The base model boasting a 220-mile range on a full charge and 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds and potential for full self-driving capability, Tesla’s most affordable vehicle is starting to give conventional automobiles a run for their money. Buy one of these to celebrate NY Insurance Awareness Day.
Like most other electric cars catching up to Tesla’s extensive mileage, the Nissan Leaf is a compact, simply solution to high gas prices in the inner city. Its base model pushes about 124 miles of range and seats five, albeit a tight fit (though not as tight as the Prius). For drivers looking to save tremendously on gas prices commuting to and from work in urban and moderately suburban terrain, the Nissan Leaf will provide everything and more than a gas-powered vehicle would do in its place.
This vehicle’s a different beast. While it sports an electric motor, that motor is powered by Toyota’s faithful investment into hydrogen fuel cell technology. It boasts a slick exterior, merging sharper edges and bold front vents matching the audacity of its gamble into the fuel cell scene. While it may be a groundbreaking vehicle within the context of alternative sources of fuel and energy (the only byproduct of this car is water), the lack of hydrogen refueling stations and its high price tag will most likely turn consumers off. Though plug-in electrics and hybrids dominate the alternative fuel market, the application of this technology will no doubt be utilized elsewhere or perhaps more efficiently further down the road.
Cranking out a whopping 200 miles (well within range of the Tesla Model 3 to give it a scare), the Chevy Bolt’s friendly price tag might be what wins consumers over in the end. Though it lacks the sex appeal and advanced tech of the Tesla brand and presents a compact, less sporty look than some of its similarly-priced counterparts, its quiet, spacious interior give its passengers a luxurious ride for a fraction of the cost. Vehicles like this, marketed to budget-weary drivers, will finish the job Tesla started—providing the market a terrific option to a broader base.
It’s an exciting time for drivers currently in the market for a new vehicle. Higher-end manufacturers like Tesla will drive traditional luxury automotive companies like Mercedes and BMW to produce electric flavors of their cars, setting the stage for more affordable, higher quality vehicles to sweep the stage for many consumers. Like any new technology, the next few years will see a staggering drop in prices for electric and hybrid vehicles as fierce competition for market share drives companies into continuous innovation to get as many drivers as possible turning heads to their shiny metallic emblem as it silently whizzes by. Once a fantasy of the past, the future seems to be electric.