Easily one of the most common questions I get asked is, “What’s the best EV out there?”
Even with fewer electric vehicle choices on the market compared to gas-powered cars, there’s no simple answer. If price is no object, from a pure numbers and engineering perspective, the most advanced EV sold in Canada right now is one many consumers won’t even have heard of: the Lucid Air Dream models.
The California-based company opened its first retail location in Ontario in late March, and Lucid is now rolling out $200,000-plus versions of its Air super-luxury sedan. This sleek four-door offers the most EV range (837 kilometres with its Dream models) and the fastest quick-charging speed of any EV sold in Canada (an ability to add 350 kilometres of battery range in 15 minutes), according to a Lucid rep at its Yorkdale Shopping Centre location.
But critically, Lucid doesn’t offer the same extensive and easy-to-use Supercharger network that Tesla does. Plus, Tesla’s Model S Plaid full-size sedan takes a mere 2.1 seconds to launch from rest to 100 kilometres per hour, roughly half a second faster than the quickest Lucid Air. Both performance stats are key vehicle metrics for some buyers.
However, the cost for all these EV models starts well above $100,000, with some surpassing $200,000.
That price tag is not typically what folks are thinking when they ask your opinion about the best EV. They usually want to know what EV will provide the most value (range, room and recharge speeds) for the fewest dollars.
It’s a question I pondered often during the recent Automobile Journalists Association of Canada’s annual EcoRun event, where I drove seven new EVs back-to-back from Toronto to Manitoulin Island and Espanola. It was all to test the charging infrastructure in Ontario’s north as much as a chance to experience some of the latest EVs and hybrids.
There was no Ford F-150 Lightning, unfortunately, nor any $120,000-plus vehicles, but the event provided some new “best EV value” perspective that I’ll be exploring in the weeks ahead.
Michael Bettencourt bought his first EV in late 2011 and has followed the Canadian EV scene ever since. Follow him on Twitter @MCBet10court
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