2020 Kia Soul EV

Every electric vehicle in the U.S. ranked by speed

2020 Kia Soul EVBeing “green” doesn’t mean you’re a hippie. Electrification in the automotive world usually translates to increases in efficiency. Sometimes those gains equal better economy and cleaner air, and sometimes they equal raw power.

To celebrate Earth Day 2019, we looked at all the BEV (battery electric vehicles) on the market today and ranked them according to their zero-60 times, using top speed as a tiebreaker when necessary. While this might not be the greenest use of electricity out there, it is ridiculously fun.

More green vehicles from Motoring Research:

Ford Focus Electric

Ford Focus Electric

  • Starting MSRP: $28,120
  • Zero-60: 10.0 seconds
  • Top speed: 84 mph

Ford has abandoned its Focus lineup, but the Electric model is still *technically* for sale. Though the car is well-reviewed, the 143-horsepower drivetrain takes 10 seconds to hit 60 and range is just 115 miles.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

  • Starting MSRP: $29,815
  • Zero-60: 9.7 seconds
  • Top speed: 103 mph

The Ioniq Electric has the highest efficiency rating of any electric vehicle in the U.S., a stellar 136 MPGe. Power comes in at 118 horses and 218 lb-ft of torque, while the 28 kWh battery provides 124 miles of range.

Volkswagen e-Golf

2019 Volkswagen eGolf

  • Starting MSRP: $31,895
  • Zero-60: 9.6 seconds
  • Top speed: 85 mph

Volkswagen made sure the e-Golf retained its fun-to-drive handling when installing the “e” portion of its name, but it is a tick on the slow side compared to the competition. Range is low by today’s standards at 125 miles from a 35.8 kWh battery. There’s 214 lb-ft of torque to play with, but only 134 horsepower.

Honda Clarity EV

2019 Honda Clarity Electric

  • Starting MSRP: $36,620
  • Zero-60: 9.4 seconds
  • Top speed: 94 mph

The Honda Clarity is not actually for sale, but can be leased in California and Oregon (on approved credit, of course). The smallish 25.5 kWh battery is only good for 89 miles, however, so perhaps it’s not such a great loss. Horsepower is 161, torque 221 lb-ft.

Fiat 500e

2019 Fiat 500e

  • Starting MSRP: $32,995
  • Zero-60: 8.8 seconds
  • Top speed: 88 mph

The Fiat 500e is undeniably cute, but the current generation was introduced in 2013 and is quite long in the tooth. Performance specs are definitely last-generation EV: 111 horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque, with a 24 kWh battery providing just 84 miles of range.

Thankfully, an all-new Fiat 500e is expected in 2020.

Nissan Leaf

2019 Nissan Leaf

  • Starting MSRP: $29,990
  • Zero-60: 7.9 seconds
  • Top speed: 90 mph

The Nissan Leaf is officially the best-selling EV in the world. Power comes from a 40 kWh battery combined with a 100 kW motor that translates to 147 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. Range is 150 miles.

Hyundai Kona Electric

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

  • Starting MSRP: $36,950
  • Zero-60: 7.6 seconds
  • Top speed: 104 mph

The electric version of Hyundai’s Kona is proving to be a big hit with the press, and in no small part to its peppy handling. There is a stout 201 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque on tap from the company drivetrain. Range is 258 miles from the 64 kWh battery stack.

Kia Niro EV

 2019 Kia Niro EV

  • Starting MSRP: $37,500 (est.)
  • Zero-60: 7.5 seconds
  • Top speed: 104 mph

Kia unveiled the new Niro EV at the Los Angeles auto show in November last year. A 64 kWh battery is combined with a 150 kW motor. Horsepower comes in a 201 and torque at a large 291 lb-ft. Range is an estimated 239 miles.

The Niro EV will go on limited sale in Spring.

Nissan Leaf Plus

2019 Nissan Leaf Plus

  • Starting MSRP: $36,550
  • Zero-60: 7.3 seconds
  • Top speed: 98 mph

Adding a “Plus” to the Nissan Leaf beefs up the battery to 62 kWh and motor to 160 kW. Horsepower climbs to 214 and torque to 250; range is extended to 226 miles.

The Leaf Plus went on sale in March 2019.

2020 Kia Soul EV

2020 Kia Soul EV

  • Starting MSRP: $35,500 (est.)
  • Zero-60: 7.3 seconds
  • Top speed: 104 mph

Like its Niro cousin, the Soul EV is powered by a 150 kW motor and 64 kWh battery. Horsepower is the same 201 and torque identical at 291. The Soul weighs over 100 pounds less than the Niro, which might account for quicker acceleration.

Range has not yet been announced. The Soul EV will appear in dealerships later this year.

BMW i3 and i3s

 2019 BMW i3 and i3s

  • Starting MSRP, i3: $44,450 (i3S: $47,450)
  • Zero-60, i3: 7.2 seconds (i3S: 6.8 seconds)
  • Top speed, i3: 93 mph (i3S: 99mph)

BMW’s adorable i3 got bigger batteries for 2019 and now offers a full 42.2 kWh, good for 153 miles of range. The standard i3 will sprint to 60 in 7.2 seconds thanks to a 170 horsepower motor, while the sporting i3s has 181 horses on tap and makes the jump in 6.8.

Chevrolet Bolt

2019 Chevrolet Bolt

  • Starting MSRP: $37,495
  • Zero-60: 6.5 seconds
  • Top speed: 91 mph

The Chevy Bolt was revolutionary when it appeared in 2017. Thanks to its powerful drivetrain with 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, 60 mph came up (and still does) in a mere 6.5 seconds—heady stuff in a sub-$40K EV. Range was (and is) 238 miles.

Jaguar I-Pace

2019 Jaguar I-Pace

  • Starting MSRP: $69,500
  • Zero-60: 4.5 seconds
  • Top speed: 124 mph

The Jaguar I-Pace just took three major awards: World Car of the Year, World Green Car of the Year, and World Car Design of the Year.

In addition to good looks, there’s also thrilling all-wheel drive performance: 395 horsepower and 512 lb-ft of torque. The powerful 90 kWh battery delivers up to 240 miles of range.

Tesla Model 3 Long Range and Performance

2018 Tesla Model 3

  • Starting MSRP, Long Range: $46,500 (Performance: $59,500)
  • Zero-60, Long Range: 4.5 seconds (Performance: 3.2 seconds)
  • Top speed, Long Range 145 mph (Performance: 162mph)

Tesla’s wildly popular Model 3 has impressive performances numbers thanks to dual motors and all-wheel drive. Range in the two available models is 310 miles.

The Long Range model will zip to 60 in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 145.

The Performance model will do the 60 hustle in a blistering 3.2 seconds and cruise on up to a top speed of 162.

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

  • Starting MSRP, Long Range: $89,500 (Performance: $104,000)
  • Zero-60, Long Range: 4.7 seconds (Performance: 3.5 seconds, Ludicrous: 2.8 seconds))
  • Top speed: 155 mph

Idiotic, brash, completely pointless, and utterly desirable, the only way the Tesla Model X could be more American is if it burned coal. The performance of the ultra-luxury SUV speaks for itself.

Ludicrous mode needs to be added to the Performance model to unlock maximum acceleration. The cost? $20,000.

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

  • Starting MSRP, Long Range: $85,000 (Performance: $99,000)
  • Zero-60, Long Range: 4.1 seconds (Performance: 3.0 seconds, Ludicrous: 2.4 seconds)
  • Top speed: 155 mph

The Model S could arguably be called the car that started the world trending towards EVs. Its legendary performance combined with an exclusive price tag make it the epitome of eco-luxury.

Adding Ludicrous mode to the Performance model adds $20,000 to the bottom line.

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