The 5 best electric cars on the market

Electric cars face challenges as we move into 2024.

Audi recently postponed its move to electric power until 2030. Jaguar is struggling to survive until it can make the expected transition next year. Ford and GM appear to be scaling back their electrification efforts, and other automakers are talking about shuttering dealerships to stem their financial bleeding, much of it due to weak demand for electric cars.

I’ve had two electric cars and have one more on order that will be on this list, but we’re a world in transition right now. While all transitions are ugly, this one is especially so because the ecosystem was not and is not ready for this twist.

There’s no doubt in my mind that this will all be settled by the end of the decade, but we’ll likely have a whole new slate of automakers, and many of those that currently exist may be bought out or shut down due to this transition.

Let’s talk about the five best electric cars in the world right now – some of which aren’t available in the US

We’ll wrap up with my first Product of the Week for 2024, the best electric car charger on the market.

Understanding the practicality of electric cars

When choosing a “best of” list, it’s important to understand how the reviewer sets the “best of” bar. As I noted, I’ve owned two fully electric cars and still have a plug-in hybrid, which currently makes more sense for most people than a fully electric car because you’re not dependent on existing charging infrastructure to drive long distances.

To date, electric cars are best used as secondary vehicles for round trips of less than 200 miles, so you can charge at home and avoid public charging. This limitation arises mainly because Level 3 chargers have been unreliable, with the exception of Tesla. However, those of us who can charge mostly from home don’t experience this inconvenience and have the advantage of never having to go to a public charging station that might be down or unavailable.


Most electric cars on the market mix internal combustion engine (ICE) and electric technology, which are often in conflict. Developers did not design these two types of technology together, and they may not even originate from the same century. Electric cars are supposed to be relatively reliable, but often aren’t because of this legacy technology mixed with newer technology, and the two don’t seem to get along well.

So, for the best, I’ll pick from a list of electric cars from the ground up that lack much of this legacy technology and have a range of at least 300 miles, which for most is enough to rely on at home for basic charging.

If your trip is longer than 200 miles round trip, you may want to increase your minimum range; cars with over 600 miles are coming. With this mileage requirement, I’d recommend sticking with an ICE or plug-in hybrid car until 2026, when electric vehicles with longer ranges and more advanced batteries are expected.

While only Tesla has this now, I would prefer cars with NACS (Tesla’s North American Charging Standard) over the non-Tesla J1772 port whenever possible, given that the industry seems to be moving towards the NACS standard. This will also likely increase the car’s resale value when you’re done with it.

The following are my picks for the five best electric cars.

The new Tesla Model 3

(Image courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

Tesla has just updated its Model 3. While it’s not as modern as the Tesla Cybertruck, it’s more practical, better priced, and much better looking than its larger, more advanced sibling.

As Tesla’s lines are updated, the improvements are worth the wait. The Model 3 is currently the most affordable updated offering and sets the bar for reasonably priced, engineered electric cars. It can be configured with a range of 333 miles, which exceeds my minimum range bar and has decent performance.

Tesla’s fit and finish have improved recently (early Model 3s often shipped incomplete), and it remains one of the best values ​​on the market.

Tesla is also in decent financial shape, so of the electric-only suppliers, it’s the most likely to be around in five years, which is always a consideration given that we’ve already had several electric car companies fail. Although the price starts at $30,000 fully configured, they are closer to $45,000, which is still a decent value.

Lucid Air Sapphire

Lucid Air Sapphire electric car

(Image credit: Lucid Motors)

If I were rich, I’d get the Lucid Air Sapphire. With up to 1,234 horsepower, this thing is in the top tier of supercar performance (1.89 second 0-60 time). It’s in the Tesla Model X range in terms of size and price, which means it’s not cheap, with a fully configured price pushing $250,000. But if you want a no-compromise electric car in the US, this is it.

The Lucid Air Sapphire was one of the first cars to use 900V charging systems (good luck finding a 900V charger today), making it somewhat future proof. Can be configured with a range of up to 427 miles.

There was a recent Gumball rally with this car and the only reason it didn’t break the record was that it couldn’t use Tesla chargers yet, again highlighting the benefit of this charging network. This is another basic design that highlights what you could do if cost was hardly an issue.

Fisker Ocean Extreme

Fisker Ocean Extreme

(Image credit: Fisker)

Not being rich, I recently ordered a Fisker Ocean Extreme, which is far more affordable at nearly $65,000 (prices start at a more affordable $38,000). It also has a basic design, and with about 364 miles of configurable range, it easily meets my minimum.

This Fisker is not only a decent-looking car, but it provides several unique features, such as an airline-style folding driver’s table. I tend to eat burgers when traveling in the car and having a table to put my food on would be extremely helpful. It’s also handy when you need to sign a payment slip.

As one of the best-looking electric cars on the road, I put my money on the Ocean Extreme, even though the company is in dire financial straits.

Rivian R1S/R1T

Rivan R1s SUV and R1T pickup electric vehicles

(Image credit: Rivian)

The Rivian R1S SUV or R1T pickup (there are two potential configurations), with a range of up to 410 miles on the pickup and up to 390 miles on the SUV, is one of the first electrics with a four-motor option, which should be much better than the two-motor electric for off-road or on snow or ice, because you can infinitely change the power of the four wheels individually.

The four-motor option makes the Rivian one of the most advanced electric cars on the market, and it has some interesting, unique features like a sliding RV-type tray under the truck’s rear bed. This vehicle is priced in the mid-$80,000 range, depending on configuration, but the delta is worth it for those four engines.

I’ve seen this truck race a Ford Raptor while pulling a trailer. It’s an impressive vehicle, at a lower price and much more practical than the Tesla Pickup.

Zeekr 001

Zeekr 001 electric car

(Image credit: Zeekr)

I’ll close my list with one of the Chinese cars we can’t buy here. This vehicle is one of the most beautiful electric cars on the market. For example, you could mistake it for a Porsche Taycan from a distance.

With a massive mileage of around 640 miles, an impressive interior and prices reduced to under $40,000 (a similar Porsche starts around $90,000 and can top $160,000), it’s one of the best bargains on the market right now. While you can’t buy the Zeekr 001 in the US, it’s expected to be very similar to the Polestar 4, which will be available here this year for around $60,000, and it’s also a stunning car.

I chose this over the BYD Denza N7 because it’s a bit cheaper and I think it looks better and foreshadows a car to be offered here. (Note: BYD either has or is expected to overtake Tesla as the best electric car company in the world.)

China has some highly competitive electric cars coming to market, and the market protections currently keeping it out of the US won’t last indefinitely.

Summarizing

As I noted, I chose the Fisker Ocean as the electric car that best suited my needs. None of the legacy US car companies have vehicles that I consider competitive, mainly because they continue to approach this market with cars that are derivatives of their ICE vehicles. This approach makes them more expensive and less efficient than cars marketed by more focused electric car companies.

Ironically, I sat down with the then CEO of Ford about a decade ago and told him that if he didn’t move more toward the Tesla model, he would lose his job and Ford would fail. He really lost his job and Ford just isn’t competitive with Tesla let alone the Chinese car companies.


I often speak with technology suppliers to American vintage car companies. Suppliers complain that these automakers just don’t understand that now they’re in a technology business where you do major projects around the technology, you cycle that technology much faster than the traditional three to seven year time frames ICE cars typically have and you you simplify the design to avoid unnecessary complexity to increase reliability and reduce costs.

A common comment from suppliers is that these car companies just “don’t get it”. If they don’t fix this, I expect some, if not all, of these automakers to be gone by the end of the decade. The trend does not look good for them at all.

America’s legacy car companies better step up or they will probably go out, as they are not currently competitive with any of these listed electric cars.

Tech product of the week

ChargePoint Home Flex EV Charger

ChargePoint Home Flex EV charger

(Image credit: ChargePoint)

At $549, the ChargePoint Home Flex EV charger isn’t the cheapest Level 2 charger on the market, but it is the most capable. It has a decent charge management app and can provide more power in a shorter period of time than any other home charger I’ve tried. It looks good on the wall and has had no problems in the months since I installed it.

Generally, you’ll need the wired version and two dedicated 75 amp breakers to get full performance. But aside from a Level 3 charger, which is simply too expensive for home use at well over $20,000 when installed, it provides the fastest and most reliable charging of any home charger I’ve tested.

I suggest getting the NACS version to make it future proof, but then get a J1772 adapter for it if you don’t have an electric car that still supports the NACS standard (going the other way is a bit uglier) because most car companies have announced that they will switch to NACS this year.

Well priced, very reliable and with decent performance, the ChargePoint Home Flex EV charger is my product of the week.

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