Working notes on compelling EVs

Update(2023/01/18): Added section on Mach-E and Toyota bZ4x

In another post, I laid out some specifications for what we’re looking for in a new electric vehicle.

These are my in progress notes about vehicles we’ve been looking at and considering. All of these are cross-over body styles with a descent amount of cargo space and 5-seats. We’re aiming to primarily consider all-wheel drive models. I’ll continue to update these notes as we learn more and narrow our choice.

The Contenders

Kia EV6

The EV6 is so far the leader in my mind. It looks cool, feels futuristic inside without coming across as a concept, and has lots of neat technology baked in. It also users Kia/Hyundai’s new 800v charging system that enables 18 minute quick charging up to 80%. (I misheard this from the salesperson on the sales floor as 80 minute fast charging, whoops). The Wind trim gets 278 miles of range on a full charge, but the quick charging just about competes with refueling a gas vehicle

We’ve been looking at the AWD version of the EV6 with the base Wind trim. The GT trim has better performance but sacrifices range for it and I’m not driving in any street races any time soon. On top of that, we’re really sold on the technology package that adds 360 cameras, blind spot cameras, and adaptive cruise control with lane keeping. It’ll even park or back up for you with the press of a button on the key fob. Lots of neat tricks.

To be fair to the field, this is the only one of the vehicles we’ve been able to test drive, so our position is probably slightly biased.

  • Range: 278 miles
  • Price: $55,425

Key features:

  • Fast charging: 18 minutes for 200 miles.
  • Futury styling,
  • Lots of neat tech

Hyundai Ionic5

The Ionic5 sports the same fast charging tech that the EV6 does, making it a clear contender. I have a little less love for the style of the Ionic 5, as it falls prey to the classic trap that EVs have to look like an EV that, in my opinion, makes has made hybrids and EVs look weird and dated quite quickly.

We’re considering the AWD version here, likely in the SEL trim. The Limited trim, with all the snazzy technical features, comes at a considerable premium.

  • Range: 266 miles
  • Price: $53,245

Key features:

  • Fast charging: 18 minutes for 179 miles

Volkswagen ID.4

I know the least about the ID.4 here. The most expensive ID.4 AWD Pro is the only trim that gets you all wheel drive, so we have to start there.

The VW has a fairly meager range of 255 miles. Of the vehicles considered here, the VW looks the most like a conteporary vehicle. Looking from the outside, you might least consider that it’s powered by a battery. That’s a bit of a pro in it’s own way.

As for fast charging, the ID.4 claims to charge from 10 to 80% in 30 minutes. That’s not bad, but not nearly as good as the Kia or Hyundai options. Still, a 30 minute stop should net around 180 miles. That’s relatively reasonable for planning a trip around.

  • Range: 255 miles
  • Price: $49,090

Key features:

  • Sleeper electric
  • Assembled in Tennessee so it qualifies for federal tax credit, dropping the price to $42,000

Chevy Bolt EUV

The Bolt EUV is under consideration because we already have a Volt and are familiar with the styling and experience. However, it lacks an all-wheel drive option, which will make it a tough sell.

The Bolt EUV has the shortest range of all of the vehicles considered, at 247 miles. The fast-charge is also unremarkable with 30 minutes of charging only netting 95 miles of range. However, it also has by far the best pricing for an EV with any reasonable range at around $38k fully loaded.

  • Range: 247 miles
  • Price: $37,990. Without SuperCruise, closer to $32,000.

Key Features

  • SuperCruise - hands-free highway driving
  • By far best pricing.
  • Assembled in the US, qualifying for the federal tax credit, dropping the price to around $30,000.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

I’ve wanted a Mustang since I was in high school. The Mach-E is the first time a Mustang might be practical. It looks great. It’s performance forward. It may have 4 doors and a hatch back, but when you drive it, it feels like a Mustang.

Range is complicated on the Mach-E since it has an optional extended range battery. The extended battery requires at least the Premium trim. Price and range quoted here are for the extended range, AWD option. Like the ID.4, it’ll charge from 10% to 80% (200 miles) in about 30 minutes.

Unfortunately, the Mustang is well outside of our price range and, even though it’s assembled in the US, it’s too expensive as we’d appoint it to qualify for Federal EV credits.

  • Range: 290 miles
  • Price: $66,275

Key Features

  • It’s a mustang!

Toyota bZ4x

I spotted the bZ4x on a list of EVs to look out for. It’s competitively priced and has exterior styling similar to the EV6, which I love.

The fast charging results on the bZ4x are challenging to parse. But reports on the AWD version of the vehicle say it takes over 1 hour to charge to 80%. Apparently, the front-wheel drive version charge to 100% in 30 minutes.

Range: 228 miles Price: $45,415

What about PH-EV?

I’m not super excited to consider a PH-EV for reasons stated in my last post. However, I’m willing to be convinced. These are the most promising options:

Toyota RAV4 Prime

For plug-in hybrids, I’m most concerned with the all-electric range and highway milage. I’d like to use battery for most day-to-day tasks. But, when we do have to take longer trips, I’d like to make sure I’m not overspending on fuel.

The 42 miles of electric range are pretty good, but trips to the suburbs for apple picking or christmas tree shopping are likely to still hit the gas tank. The 36 highway mpg is much better than our Jeep’s 22mpg. However, the $50k price tag puts it in spitting distance of the all-electric EV6.

Range: 42 miles all-electric range Highway MGP: 36 mpg Price: $50,814