As we look to the future, the focus is clear. The auto industry is going green.
Luxury auto manufacturers are now releasing portfolios of luxurious, powerful, and all-electric vehicles. No longer do you have to consider whether you’d like to be comfortable – or sustainable; to go fast – or have a low environmental impact. Now, you can have both.
Electric vehicles can be more expensive, but, often, government incentives and tax benefits can help shoulder the cost. Additionally, you’ll find that electric cars are usually easier to maintain – and certainly more efficient.
2021 doesn’t disappoint: Its new class of speedy, stylish EVs brings new features, faster accelerations, and more awe-inspiring price points than ever before. Here’s your list of the most luxurious electric cars to keep an eye on in 2021.
The 17 best electric cars of 2021
|1||Porsche Taycan||Overall best|
|2||Tesla Model S Plaid||Best long-range|
|3||BMW i4||Best small electric|
|4||BMW iX3||Best midsize electric|
|5||Tesla Model X||Best large electric|
|6||Rivian R1S||Best off-road|
|7||Tesla Cybertruck||Most futuristic|
|8||BMW Electric i8 Roadster||Most sporty|
|9||Audi Q4 e-tron||Best for families|
|10||Lordstown Endurance||Best electric pickup truck|
|11||Jaguar I-Pace||Most high-tech|
|12||Mercedes-Benz EQC||Most comfortable|
|13||Polestar 2||Most distinctive|
|14||Tesla Roadster||Fastest acceleration|
|15||Lotus Evija||Most powerful electric car|
|16||Ford Mustang Mach-E||Best budget|
|17||Mercedes EQS||Most anticipated|
Take a look after our ranking of the best electric cars of 2021 at our buying guide to see what you should pay attention to when shopping for a luxury EV. We also explain the methodology behind our ranking of the top cars of the year.
1. Porsche Taycan: Overall best electric vehicle
Porsche’s very first entry into the EV market features incredible acceleration – 0-62mph (0-100kph) in 2.4 seconds – as well as aggressive power. As the first production electric vehicle that uses a two-speed transmission and an 800-V system, if you’re driving a Taycan, you can expect it to be fast.
Fast acceleration. Fast charging times – 5%-80% in just over twenty-two minutes. Fast top speeds, too, particularly if you opt for the Turbo S: the sporty, most powerful version of the Taycan can reach 260 km/h, or 162 mph.
Just as important, however, is this EV’s styling. Whether you opt for the 4S, Turbo, or Turbo S, you’ll find that the Taycan is delightfully reminiscent of other cars from Porsche’s line, with its sleek, sinuous look.
Price: starting from $150,900 Website: www.porsche.com
2. Tesla Model S Plaid: Best long-range electric car
At Elon Musk’s highly-anticipated Battery Day, Tesla announced that it had begun preorders for the very newest Tesla Model S: The Plaid make, one with an upgraded range, heightened power, and incredible acceleration for a luxury electric vehicle – 0-60mph (0-100kph) in less than two seconds, according to a claim from Musk himself.
Its range, however, is what makes it truly stand out: On a full charge, you can make it 520 miles with the Model S Plaid – double the range of other high-end electric cars. The convenience this allows is unparalleled.
In October of 2020, Musk also confirmed that the Model S Plaid will be equipped with the most efficient battery and cells the forward-thinking company has innovated to date.
The Model S Plaid can attain a claimed top speed of 200 mph (or 321 kilometres per hour).
Price: starting from $139,990 Website: www.tesla.com
3. BMW i4: Best small electric vehicle
BMW has released electrified models as addition to its portfolio before – each with its own flair and focus. With the i4, BMW is providing a tiny vehicle with lots of power.
Seeking to rival Tesla’s Model 3 and Audi’s e-tron GT, this sedan will feature low-slung doors and a slim, subtle facade. It features a 530-hp motor, an 80.0-kWh battery pack, and a driving range of 372 miles (almost 600 kilometres). Its acceleration is 0-62 mph (just over 0-100 kph) in 4 seconds – making it not quite as fast as others on this list, but considering its low-scale profile, it packs quite a punch.
It’s dynamite; it comes in a small package.
The looks of the i4 are sophisticated and geared to attract an aesthetics-focused consumer, with white leather upholstery, rose-gold trim, and light wood accents throughout the cabin.
Price: starting from $50,000 Website: www.bmw.com
4. BMW iX3: Best midsize electric luxury vehicle
Need something just a little bit bigger than the i4’s petite frame? With the iX3, BMW proves that its electric vehicle lineup isn’t restricted by size. With this very practical midsize electric vehicle, BMW has focused on impressive stats and luxury components – in a very utilitarian size.
As an electric version of BMW’s popular X3 model, this car is expected to do very well. There are, in fact, few differences between the iX3 and BMW’s beloved gas-powered variant.
Why mess with a good thing, if it’s working? Clearly, that’s what BMW thought when designing the iX3. However, the manufacturer did introduce a few subtle, clever upgrades with the iX3, including new, more aerodynamic wheels. With a 249 mile range, rapid charging, an acceleration of 0-60 mph (0-100kph) in 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 124 mph (or just shy of 200 kilometres per hour), this midsize EV is sure to be a hit.
Price: starting from $67,000 Website: www.bmw.com
5. Tesla Model X: Best large electric vehicle
Until recently, one might not have equated EVs, necessarily, with power. That was then. This ultra-utilitarian SUV with practical features and luxurious details marries the best of both worlds: Sustainability – in an inherently usable model.
A high-tech cabin; a long range; enough roomy seating for seven people. With elements of Tesla’s go-to flashy design and fun perks like the infamous Tesla ‘Ludicrous Mode’ (which enables a 0-60mph/0-100kph acceleration of 2.7 seconds), this Tesla is certainly the most fun large electric vehicle on the market.
More examples of this flair are exhibited in the Falcon doors, the self-driving features, seemingly-omniscient sensors, and even the simple yet suave nature of the smooth ride offered by the Model X.
The Model X can attain a top speed of 155 mph (or 249 kph).
Price: starting from $79,990 Website: www.tesla.com
6. Rivian R1S: Best off-road EV
The Tesla Model X isn’t the only electric SUV that can seat seven passengers.
Rivian’s second production vehicle, the R1S, seeks to unseat Tesla’s all-electric SUV with this powerful off-road vehicle. Sharing many elements with Rivian’s other offering, a strong EV pickup, the R1S will come with three different battery sizes: 105, 135, and 180 kWh, respectively. With the largest battery, the R1S will have a claimed range of 410 miles – perfect for your next (completely sustainable) offroading adventure.
0-60 mph (or 0-100 kph) in 3 seconds; 700 horsepower, and a top speed of 125mph (or just over 200 kilometres per hour). This SUV has a larger range than other similar vehicles, such as the Bollinger B1 (with a 200 mile range – and only 614 horsepower).
All of that power, and an attractive price tag: The Rivian R1S will seek to undercut the Tesla’s sticker price by just a little – a direct hit at a huge competitor.
Price: starting from $72,500 Website: www.rivian.com
7. Tesla Cybertruck: Most futuristic electric car
When first you see a picture of a Tesla Cybertruck, it’s hard to tell precisely what it is: A comic book version of a futuristic car? A vehicle moving so fast it looks strangely pixelated?
Tesla’s most avant-garde vehicle is built with myriad practical capabilities, making it a very usable pickup truck (as well as something that onlookers will definitely look twice at when passing). It’s tough, it’s strong, and it can work for a long time – this EV truck has an estimated driving range of over 500 miles. Its low center of gravity and powerful drivetrain give it some seriously impressive stats.
The Cybertruck can tow up to 14,000 pounds; it has an acceleration of just under 3 seconds for 0-60mph and 0-100 kph; and its most expensive variant boasts a top speed of 120 mph (or 193 kph).
Price: starting from $39,900 Website: www.tesla.com
8. BMW Electric i8 Roadster: Most sporty electric car
It’s one of the best-looking cars on the road; it pays tribute to a car that’s considered a modern classic; it performs well, and it looks good. What more could you want?
BMW continues its trend of offering electric or hybrid versions of its bestselling gas-powered classics with this EV version of the original BMW i8. However, because it’s BMW, the Electric i8 Roadster is full of subtle upgrades that makes driving this car a completely exquisite experience.
Added butterfly doors; a sleek silhouette; an augmented-yet-quiet engine. The Electric i8 Roadster can go from just over 0-60mph (and 0-100) in 4.2 seconds. When powered solely by electricity, the Roadster only has a range of 33 miles, so using the various power options strategically is key.
However, the enjoyable driving experience of the Electric i8 Roadster offers a more sustainable way to rev a BMW – which, it’s fair to say, many believe is a fully adequate trade-off.
Price: starting from $163,300 Website: www.bmw.com
9. Audi Q4 e-tron: Best for families
Many luxury vehicles promise a swift ride, a powerful one, or princely interiors. However, many times, they do so in a way that isn’t exactly realistic for people with young children – or families with more than a few members.
Enter: The Audi Q4 e-tron, a compact crossover that’s luxurious-and practical.
Audi is investing in its all-electric portfolio, and this crossover will be a fine addition. Utilizing Volkswagen’s MEB modular electric vehicle platform – one that’s well-known to be meticulously engineered – this EV will give other luxury electric SUVs a run for their money. That race will likely be a quick one: the Audi Q4 e-tron can reach a top speed of 111 mph, or 180 kph, and accelerate from 0-60mph (or 0-100kph) in 6.3 seconds.
This crossover has an 82.0-kWh battery, a respectable range of 280 miles, and comfortable seating for four adults. Along with this 2021 model, Audi will introduce an electric SUV, sedan, and a Sportback version of this model.
Price: starting from $73,000 Website: www.audi.com
10. Lordstown Endurance: Best electric pickup truck
Lordstown, a brand-new American startup, will be debuting their first vehicle shortly – and it’s an EV pickup truck, another in a quickly-growing club. The company claims that it’ll be the first of its kind to actually hit the market, leaving car enthusiasts wondering: What stats or features will it boast that we haven’t already seen in the Cybertruck or the recent Rivian R1T Truck?
This American EV pickup will have a 250 mile range, 600 hp, and the ability to tow up to 6000 pounds; it will also be priced solidly in the mid-range for vehicles of its type, at just over $50,000. Its acceleration will be 0-60 mph (0-100 kph) in 5.5 seconds, and its top speed is claimed to be 80 mph (or 128 kilometres per hour).
Beyond that, as production has recently been pushed out to late 2021, the auto world waits for more information about this new entry in the EV truck lineup.
Price: starting from $52,500 Website: www.lordstownmotors.com
11. Jaguar I-Pace: Most high-tech
While many of the EVs entering the market are close mirrors of their competitors, or homages to past beloved cars, Jaguar has decided to do things differently. When designing their electric vehicle, Jaguar prioritized uniqueness and impressability.
This car promises luxury and delivers on tech. It’s got a rapid-charge time of 45 minutes for a 0-80% battery – a far cry from the many hours it can take for mid-range electric vehicles to obtain a working charge. This ease of battery renewal may make up for its standard driving range of approximately 250 miles.
This car is speedy for its genre, seeking to bridge the gap between a standard sporty vehicle and an electric car. To make this happen, Jaguar has amped up the torque this car delivers the moment a driver leans on the gas.
The I-Pace boasts an acceleration of 0-60 mph (0-100 kph) in 4.5 seconds, a top speed of 124 mph (200 kph). Further, it has engaging tech features like hill climbing and descent scanners, a near-silent engine, keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, automatically adjusting LEDs, and more.
Price: starting from $69,500 Website: www.jaguar.com
12. Mercedes-Benz EQC: Most comfortable
Your focus may not be on performance. You want sustainability – and style. You want your environmentally-conscious, eco-chic car to offer you plush interiors, soft leather, and immersive infotainment systems.
Mercedes-Benz’s EQC may be just what you need. With more luxury details than many others on the market, it stands out in the electric car world – one more generally focused on racing forward to the next tech milestone.
The EQC invites you to take a moment to relax from that headlong sprint. With sophisticated styling and tasteful brushes of color, this car will look good wherever it goes. It has room for five passengers, offers a driving range of 200 miles, and can accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-100 kph) in 4.8 seconds. Its top speed is 112 mph (180 kph).
Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot: It’s all there. Mercedes-Benz doing what it does best – provide luxury and style, wrapped up with a sustainable focus.
Price: starting from $67,900 Website: www.mercedes-benz.com
13. Polestar 2: Best infotainment system
When you’re looking for a modern car, you want one with a good infotainment system: One that connects automatically to your devices, syncs up flawlessly with your life, and enables you to control your car with intuitive ease.
The Polestar 2 has that system – one that some car enthusiasts are terming revolutionary. This is the first car, ever, which has an infotainment system that’s Android-powered. If you enjoy using services like Google Maps, Google Play Store, and Google Assistant, you’ll find that using this car is more seamless than you could imagine.
Its hardware is impressive, as well. Inside, you’ll find a large touchscreen that handles most of the car’s functions. Google Maps is a fully-integrated navigational system. Satellite radio comes with each car, there’s a truly impeccable sound system, and USB ports abound in both front and back of the vehicle.
The Polestar 2 can accelerate from 0-60mph (0-100kph) in 4.7 seconds; it has a top speed of 127 mph (just over 200 kilometres per hour).
Price: starting from $61,200 Website: www.polestar.com
14. Tesla Roadster: Fastest acceleration
Performance vehicles bring with them that special, thrilling, powerful edge – you turn them on, you step on the gas, and you want to feel that heart-stopping thrust as you go, suddenly, from a standstill to full speed in an impossibly short time.
Looking to maximize that feeling? Check out the newest Tesla Roadster. The original Roadster was the one that made Tesla famous. In 2021, a second-generation model returns – with significant upgrades.
A higher driving range; room for two passengers; a 250 mph top speed, or just over 400 kilometres per hour. Where the Tesla Roadster truly shines is its acceleration: Elon Musk has boasted that it will be able to go from 0-60 mph (0-100 kph) in just 1.9 seconds.
When this sports car arrives, that’ll be the first thing the auto world wants to see – making this definitely a car to watch.
Price: starting from $200,000 Website: www.tesla.com
15. Lotus Evija: Most powerful electric vehicle
Many people don’t equate EVs with power.
The Lotus Evija would beg to differ. Where its rivals have kept their performance levels high by opting for hybrid powertrains, the Evija remains committed to an all-electric system – and its mission to push the boundaries of technology for modern hypercars, as far as they will go.
The Evija takes inspiration from track-focused race cars for its exterior design, with almost muscular curves and an aerodynamic hood. It also incorporates butterfly doors, as well as a prominent wing on the rear.
It also contains not one but four electric motors. From these, it delivers an astonishing – particularly for an EV – 2000 horsepower. According to the manufacturer, this makes it the most powerful production car on the planet. That force has resulted in a few more equally impressive stats: The Evija’s acceleration is 0-60mph (0-100kph) in less than three seconds, and it has a top speed of 186 mph (300kph).
Price: starting from $2,000,000 Website: www.lotuscars.com
16. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Best budget electric car
For a truly solid, comfortable, and impressive value-for-money budget electric car, we can turn to the Ford Mustang – or its 2021 reboot, the Ford Mustang Mach-E.
Inspired by the original Mustang but powered entirely by electricity, this car is a nod to both the past and the future.
When you see this car, you’ll recognize some subtle styling cues from the historic Mustang, but it’s definitely an all-new vehicle.
Choose between two available battery sizes; opt for rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Either way, the Mach-E is equipped with 300 miles of driving range, as well as all the features one might expect of a modern luxury vehicle: An intuitive infotainment module, smart storage options, and a comfortable 5-person cabin.
While it may not be as fast as its gas-powered predecessor, the Mach-E has stellar stats for a low-priced luxury EV. It can accelerate from 0-60mph (0-100kph) in 5.1 seconds, and it has a top speed of 160 mph, or 257kph.
Price: starting from $44,000 Website: www.ford.com
17. Mercedes EQS: Most anticipated electric car of 2021
As we look towards the next year in auto innovations and new car releases, it’s clear that there’s a lot to look forward to. This EV might just take the cake. Mercedes-Benz has only released tantalizing concepts of this late 2021 anticipated release, but the features we can see – a roomy, quiet car with a dazzling grille and an almost-glowing pinstripe design – leave us only wanting more.
It is rumored to have a driving range of 300 miles, two electric motors, all-wheel drive, and (excitingly!) the ability to self-pilot on certain easier types of roads – for example, on the highway. No one’s seen inside, but one thing’s for certain, we’re all excited to do so.
As far as statistics, we’ve heard that the EQS can hit a top speed of 124mph (or just shy of 200 kilometres per hour), and can go from 0-60 mph / 0-100 kph in 4.5 seconds.
Price: starting from $135,000 Website: www.mercedes-benz.com
Choosing the best type of luxury electric car for you
When you’re looking for a top-tier electric car – and, more importantly, the right car for you, your preferred aesthetic, and your unique lifestyle, there are many considerations to take into account. Just a few factors to take into account might include:
- The number of miles you drive per day
- How much room you need – personally, or for passengers
- Your proximity to a suitable outlet or charging station
- Your storage needs
- How you plan to use the car (for commuting? For longer journeys?)
- Your budget
With an electric vehicle specifically, you’ll need to think about some of these points in a different way. For example, electric vehicles often make fantastic commuter cars, particularly if your company is among the growing number of employers who have invested in EV charging spots.
However, unless you have a plan for recharging easily, EVs might be difficult to dedicate for adventuring far away – for now. (We’ll get back to you in a few years on that one – auto manufacturers are introducing longer driving ranges all the time!)
Ultimately, it’s your choice – and the choice to make a sustainable impact with your vehicle is certainly a commendable one. Luckily, the luxury auto market is making it easy for that choice to be a fun and comfortable one as well.
Methodology: How we select, test, and rank the best options on the market
Range and charging time: Although comfortable interiors and fast accelerations are nice, in terms of daily use, those two factors are going to be the most important. They’re also factors unique to electric cars, which made them a prime focus as we put together our 2021 guide.
We spent time studying the websites and recent offerings of the best auto manufacturers the world over; we read reviews, watched videos, analysed statistics, and took into consideration our previous rankings to see what has changed over the years. After putting together our short list of the best electric cars of 2021, we selected the unique value point for each vehicle, and awarded each their title for our 2021 rankings.
Frequently asked questions about luxury electric cars
The most luxurious electric car is the Mercedes-Benz EQS. It truly offers a comfortable, upgraded experience in a sustainable package.
The best overall 2021 electric car to buy is the Porsche Taycan; it has a good amount of power, a lightning-quick recharge time, and sophisticated styling.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E is the best budget electric car of 2021; we’ve found that its power and styling are, for its comparatively low price, a fantastic value for the money – particularly when you factor in the American brand’s sustainable focus.