8 Best Electric Cars For Commuting In The City

best electric car for commuting

Are you a commuter who’s fed up with the increasing prices of fuel? If you’re planning to get a more efficient car, you might as well consider the best electric car for commuting. Electric vehicles or EVs are on the rise as more and more people are switching to more economical, practical, and eco-friendly options.

Thanks to the latest advancement in battery technology, electric cars can now match fuel vehicles on long commutes. While EVs are yet to prove their prowess in off-road use, it’s definitely starting to rule the commuter lane.

Although Tesla is the most popular name in the world of electric cars, there are more contenders you can choose from. Below, we listed and discussed the features of 8 EVs that can be your next ride.

Electric cars vs. gas-powered cars

Electric cars have long amazed enthusiasts because of their futuristic appeal. Although the first electric car was invented in the 1800s, it’s only in the modern-day that EVs became widely available to consumers.

While gas-powered cars are still here to stay, it’s undeniable that electric vehicles are making their own name in the automotive industry.

Below, we discussed a quick comparison of electric cars and fuel cars to help you see the difference.

Electric cars

From battery-powered toy cars to actual electric vehicles hitting the road, the auto industry has come a long way. EVs are now popular with commuters and car enthusiasts alike.

The appeal of these modern cars heightened due to the rising costs of fuel. Also, there’s an urgent call to cut emissions in order to help slow down the increasing temperature of our planet.

Moreover, there’s a study that by 2033, electric vehicles will overtake their gas counterparts in many countries. This isn’t surprising as car manufacturers are now producing cheaper EVs that a typical commuter can afford.

Upsides of electric cars

  • Low operation costs. EVs are cheaper to run since electrical costs are lower than fuel costs. While energy costs vary in different countries, it’s still way cheaper than the money you’ll pay for gas on a regular basis.
  • Zero emissions. Electric cars are the future because it has zero emissions. It doesn’t burn fuel, so there’s no smoke of any kind. There’s literally no waste material in driving an EV.
  • Tax benefits. Some countries provide road tax exemptions to those driving electronic cars. For example, buying an EV that costs less than £40,000 in the United Kingdom qualifies the owner to free road tax.
  • Comfort. Many owners of EVs who used to drive gas cars notice smoother drives, lesser cabin noise, and an overall more comfy experience.
  • Quick acceleration. Electric cars can accelerate fast in a split second. In fact, Tesla’s Model S can accelerate from 0 mph to 60 mph in just 2.4 seconds. It’s much faster than any supercar you can find on the market.

Downsides of electric cars

  • Charging anxiety. One of the challenges of driving EVs is the risk of running out of power. You always have to plan the distance and look for charging points, which are only available in select areas.
  • Charging time. Unlike gas cars that only take minutes to fill with fuel, electric cars can take hours before they can hit the road. This is the price you have to pay for lower costs and zero emissions.
  • Cost. While EVs are getting cheaper every year, it’s still substantially more expensive than a premium gas car. Depreciation is also a big issue as electric cars are just starting to boom.
  • Range. Electric cars are only as good as the distance they can travel per charge. This is why such cars are more reliable for daily commuting than for long-distance travel.

Gas-powered cars

If you’re unsure whether to get a gas or electric car, it’s best to settle for the traditional option. There are still a few things left to be liked on EVs, so a gas-powered vehicle is the safest choice.

Gas-powered vehicles have been available since time immemorial. It saw world history unfold and it’s not going anywhere even with electric cars around.

Upsides of gas-powered cars

  • Reliability on long drives. You can take long drives with gas-powered cars with no worries since there are countless gasoline stations everywhere.
  • Lower purchasing cost. While it’s true that gas-powered cars are more expensive to operate, it still has a cheaper upfront cost. This is more appealing to those who can’t afford an EV right away.
  • Faster speeds. Unlike EVs, gas-powered cars can cruise at high speeds just about anywhere. It doesn’t accelerate as fast as an expensive Tesla, but it offers reliability and solid performance.
  • Less guesswork. Gas-powered cars are the norm, so it’s easy to find a shop that can provide repairs and upgrades. It takes a lot of guesswork out of owners.
  • Fewer downtimes. Unlike EVs, gas-powered cars will be back on the road minutes after refilling with fuel.

Downsides of gas-powered cars

  • Emissions. The biggest downside to gas-powered cars is their emissions. Still, manufacturers are trying to come up with the cleanest engine possible.
  • High maintenance. Gas-powered cars are more prone to wear and tear, which translates to higher maintenance costs.
  • Expensive fuel costs. As fuel costs continue to soar, running a gas-powered vehicle becomes more painful to the pocket.

Best Electric Car For Commuting – Top 8 Picks!

Are you planning to invest in an EV as your commuter car? If so, here are eight models you should consider:

1.    Nissan LEAF

If you want an electric car with a friendlier price tag, Nissan LEAF won’t disappoint. It’s actually one of the cheapest EVs in the United States with over half a million sold all over the world since it was first introduced.

With Nissan LEAF, you’ll get up to 226 miles per charge with a 0 to 60 acceleration of 7.4 seconds. Newer models are now equipped to reach 300+ miles.

For a price tag of roughly $27,400, these specs are far from shabby. In the U.S., buyers are even entitled to a tax credit that can slash the Nissan LEAF’s price by as much as $7,500.

Inside the car, there’s a roomy and comfy 5-seater design. However, there’s a limited foot room at the back middle seat due to the battery. With this, it bests sits four adults and a child.

Overall, Nissan LEAF can take the beating of the daily commute in the city. While not as spectacular as its expensive counterparts, this EV gives the best bang for the buck. It’s the perfect pick if you’re not ready to splurge on an all-electric car.

However, I also want to point out that Nissan Leaf uses the CHAdeMO connector to use DC fast chargers. This is an aging connector, which isn’t always available in every charging station.

2.    Tesla Model S

With a base price of $96,190, the Tesla Model S 2022 is set to become a head-turner both as a commuter and luxury drive.

For a car with Tesla as its banner, it’s not surprising that buyers are up for major surprises. It’s tested to deliver up to 412 miles on every charge. Above all, this has a 0 to 60-mile acceleration of just 2.4 seconds. Its 1020 horsepower version can zoom faster at 2.1 seconds.

Aside from its agility, the Tesla Model S delivers a treat of displays on the dashboard and the gauge cluster.

When it comes to interior comfort, Tesla Model S has an air of luxury, but not as plush as what you’ll see on the likes of the Volvo S90 or Mercedes Benz E-class. Still, this car remains luxurious while having that comfy vibe for city drives.

If there’s one downside to this car, it’s the absence of door compartments. It can’t have a roof rack either, which isn’t really a big deal if you’re just using this as a commuter car.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this car is slightly wider than typical vehicles. It’s not really a big deal, but parking can be slightly tight.

3.    Tesla Model 3

If you’re looking for a more affordable Tesla, the Model 3 is a good pick. It starts at $35,000, which is way cheaper than the luxurious Model S.

In terms of range, this bad boy can churn 358 miles on every charge. Also, a 15-minute charge is enough to take you to 175 miles.

Moreover, the Tesla Mode has a 0 to 60 acceleration of 3.1 seconds. While it’s slower than the Tesla Model S, it remains a speed monster if compared to its non-Tesla counterparts.

Aside from that, the Model 3 is designed for all-weather use, making it a reliable commuter car. And since there are over 30,000 Tesla superchargers worldwide, there’s less anxiety driving a Tesla.

Overall, Model 3 has excellent features, range, and a reasonable price that’s easier on the pocket of middle-class buyers. The features are also pretty straightforward, which is an added perk.

However, the Model 3 has a center-only display, which can be pretty distracting. It takes some time to get used to, especially if you’re transitioning from a traditional gas-powered vehicle.

Aside from that, this car has an app-based startup and entry, which is something left to be liked by other buyers.

4.    Hyundai IONIQ 5

Another non-Tesla EV you can consider is the Hyundai IONIQ 5. This promises to deliver 300 miles per charge and a decent 0 to 60 acceleration of 5.2 seconds. While it can’t match Tesla’s lightning-fast acceleration, this car compensates for the features.

Unlike most EVs that are sedans, the IONIQ 5 is actually a crossover. It has a bold exterior with slick and strong body lines that boost its premium look.

Inside the car, there are a lot of techs to explore. It has a dual-screen dashboard with an onboard navigation system. Connectivity is also a champ across devices, which makes the splurge worth it for this all-electric vehicle.

You’ll also enjoy four driving modes: Snow, Sport, Normal, and Eco. It’s paired with four regenerative braking modes for the safest and smoothest rides. This has stable handling and quite a nice pull for a crossover.

However, I want to mention that the Hyundai IONIQ 5 has limited availability in the United States. It’s also on the expensive side, which is more expensive than some Tesla models.

But if you want a solid range and a workhorse as a commuter car, this Hyundai model will not disappoint.

5.    Ford Mustang Mach-E

A Mustang as a commuter car? Well, if you want to make luxury and functionality meet, you should consider the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

This exquisite EV has 314 miles of the average range and is extremely agile in terms of acceleration. It only takes 3.5 seconds to achieve a 0 to 60 zoom.

Although it’s big on the outside, driving the Mach-E feels smoother than its looks. It also has excellent visibility with no blind spots, which is great for busy city drives.

Since this is a Mustang, it’s not surprising that the build is solid and the space inside is generous. It’s also fairly easy to park.

Moreover, there’s a large display on the dashboard that makes it easy to find routes. It also projects the distance pretty accurately.

However, it’s also important to note that the Ford Mustang Mach-E isn’t perfect. For one, it’s priced steeply, which is an issue for those on a budget.

Aside from that, the display takes quite a while of pecking to understand how it works. Some drivers also find the screen too big and distracting.

In addition, the cargo area isn’t that tall and the front seats aren’t ventilated. For this price range, we surely expected more on these frills.

6.    Kia EV6

Do you want a commuter car that turns heads in the city? If so, you might love the Kia EV6.

This electric vehicle has a range of 310 miles and a 0 to 60 acceleration of 5.2 seconds. It’s not as nimble as Tesla at first, but it does well on the road.

Moreover, this Kia model has a fast-charging technology. An 18-minute charge will give you 217 miles, which is quite impressive at this price range.

On the dashboard, Kia EV6 has a panoramic display that reduces distractions as you drive. It’s even tow-capable for up to 2,300 pounds!

Another excellent feature of this car is its Heat Pump which works well in cold weather while preserving range at the same time. If that’s not mind-blowing, the EV6 has an onboard power generator, which is a lifesaver during power outages.

While Kia EV6 has an intimidating price tag, it’s easy to fall in love with this car. The only thing I can consider a downside is that the back window is smaller than my liking and it’s not equipped with a rear wiper. Nevertheless, both are reasonable trade-offs.

Besides, you’re going to get a large discount due to federal tax credits. That makes this vehicle more attractive.

7.    Polestar 2

Polestar 2 has a decent promise: 270 miles per charge and a 0 to 60 acceleration of 4.6 seconds.

While Polestar itself may not ring a bell for many people, it’s actually a company under Volvo. Nevertheless, it remains a different entity, which is actually a wise move from Volvo as they continue to experiment with new technologies.

Inside the car, you’ll be treated to a Harmon Kardon sound system, which is characteristic of a Volvo car. There’s also a panoramic roof for immersive commutes around the city.

Moreover, this car has frameless mirrors, which look sleek. You can also tilt the mirrors downward when reversing. It’s also foldable to prevent damage.

When it comes to display, the Polestar 2 delivers a stunner. It has built-in Google on its 11.2-inch center display. We like that the display isn’t too bulky and it’s recessed in front of the gear stick, making it easier for the driver to reach.

This car has a lot of bells and whistles, which makes its $40,900 starting price worth it. Take note that this is already the price after applying for Federal tax credits.

Overall, the Polestar 2 is seen as the closest rival of Tesla, and rightfully so. However, it’s short in terms of standard safety tech. This vehicle doesn’t have adaptive cruise control or blind-spot monitoring. And if you want to enjoy the advanced driver-assistance features, you have to pay for Polestar’s Pilot package.

8.    VW ID.4

The Volkswagen ID.4 has a decent range of 275 miles and a fast-charging technology that can add 70 miles in just 10 minutes.

In terms of speed, the VW ID.4 has a 0 to 60 acceleration of 5.7 seconds. Sure, it’s not the most exciting, but it makes a great commuter car around the city.

Overall, this has solid features for a lower price than other electric cars. There’s also plenty of space for both cargo and passengers, so the VW ID.4 is a total comfort on the road.

Aside from that, you can also avail of Electrify Home’s HomeStation where you can charge this car. With this, you won’t have to look for a charging station outside. Also, this service is free for three years.

Inside, the VW ID.4 also has a 12” touchscreen display with a 3-month free subscription to SiriusXM Platinum Plan.

In addition, this vehicle isn’t the most exciting in terms of appearance, but it’s serviceable and does the basics better than its competitors. However, the infotainment can be improved to make it more intuitive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are electric cars good for road trips?

A: Overall, electric cars thrive on city driving and not much on highways and long stretches of roads. If you’re keen to try, make sure that you plan out the distance and look for charging points. Otherwise, your electric car may die on you, god forbid it’s in the middle of a backroad or a desert highway. Nowadays, EVs are best used for commuting around the city.

Q: Are electric cars good for short trips?

A: Electric cars are perfect for short trips that are not exceeding a distance of 70 miles for old models. One charge should get you through multiple short trips. Also, you should try to keep your EV within an area that has charging points.

Q: Is a hybrid car better than an electric?

A: If you’re not yet ready to take a quick jump to electric cars, you can try a hybrid vehicle first. Basically, it’s a car with both an electric motor and a gasoline engine. It will give you a taste of what electric cars feel like to some extent. Just keep in mind that the batteries of hybrid cars need to be taken out of the vehicle to charge. It doesn’t have a direct plug as electric types do.

Q: How many miles can an electric car run?

A: Early models of electric cars, those produced in 2016 and earlier, can run for up to 100 miles per charge. Meanwhile, newer models can pack up to 250 miles on every charge. There are also elite models from Tesla that can give you 350 miles before charging is required. So if you’re purchasing an EV, make sure that you check its mileage per charge.

Q: Do electric cars pay for themselves in the long run?

A: According to a study, electric cars will pay for themselves over time since it’s cheaper to operate than their gas-powered counterparts. On average, a gas-powered vehicle will cost around $1,100 to operate a year. In contrast, EVs only cost around $500 a year in operations. This is half the cost you’ll incur if you drive a traditional gas vehicle.

Final words

The best electric car for commuting will give smooth rides at a lower operational cost and with zero emissions. While there are a few things still left to be liked, there’s no doubt that EVs offer an attractive alternative to gas-powered cars.

The good thing is that there are now multiple options in the market. You can now peruse models from Tesla, Nissan, Ford, Hyundai, VW, Volvo, and more!