Perhaps more so than any year so far, 2022 defined electric vehicles (EVs) as the future of the auto world. Although high price tags may prevent many consumers from shelling out for EVs, the EV takeover now feels more like a “when” than an “if.” From major automakers across the globe announcing desires to electrify their production lines – and not on a slow timeline, either – to regulations in California and the EU barring the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles starting in 2035, the time of the EV is nigh. So, let’s look at some of the best EVs of 2022 – or at least some of our favorites.
Ford’s Enters the Market with the Mustang Mach-E & Ford F-150 Lightning
Of all the established automakers attempting to make a splash with EVs, Ford may have caused the most ripples, taking two of its most recognizable and popular models – the Mustang and F-150 – for an electric spin.
While the midsize Mustang may have irked muscle-car lovers and the F-150 lacks some of the power its gas counterpart is so known for, these models demonstrated Ford’s willingness to bring its sacred cows into the EV market. The automakers further emphasized its commitment to electrification by rolling out their “Model e Certified” tier program for dealers, requiring dealers who wanted full access to Ford’s EV lineup from 2024-2027 to invest an estimated $900,000 in EV-focused renovations.
Ford received a lot of scrutiny for those maneuvers, and stayed steadfast through it all. Let’s look at why these cars made our list as some of the best EVs of 2022:
Why the Mustang Mach-E?
Launched in 2021, the Mustang Mach-E is Ford’s first model built from the ground up as an all-electric vehicle. More a people mover than a sports car, the Mach-E offers the choice of either a 70 or 90-kWh battery pack, giving it a range of 247 miles (with rear-wheel drive) and 224 miles (with all-wheel drive) on standard battery models. A Mach-E with GT trim can hit 60 mph in under four seconds, making it among the sportier midsize crossover EVs. Decked out with premium quality-of-life and safety features, including a 15.5″ central touchscreen, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning systems, and lane-centering assist, the Mach-E has a lot to offer for families and single drivers that want a stylish, premium EV.
Why the F-150 Lightning?
One of the most attention-grabbing EV debuts of 2022, the F-150 Lightning offers 98 and 131-kWh battery pack options, giving it a range of around 230 miles for a standard model (and 320 miles for models with the extended battery pack). With a maximum towing capacity of 10,000 pounds, a maximum payload of 2,000 pounds, and a 5.5′ truck bed, the F-150 Lightning loses out to its gas-powered counterpart as a workhorse. However, a quieter ride and quick acceleration – the Extended Range will get you from 0-60 mph in under five seconds – makes it a great car for anyone who wants a more environmentally friendly truck that can still put in the work from time to time.
Hyundai Offers Something for Everyone with the Ioniq 5 & Kona
Hardly content to let Ford lap them in the EV market, Hyundai also made a strong showing this year. Models like the Ioniq 5 and Kona offer reliability and reasonable price points – which for most consumers can only be a positive. Still cutting-edge by any means, let’s look at what some of the best EVs of 2022 have to offer:
Why the Ioniq 5?
Hyundai’s Ioniq line has a lot to offer. While the Ioniq Electric makes for a great budget-friendly hatchback that should interest anyone wanting a smaller car, the Ioniq 5 is the standout. The base trim features a 58-kWh battery and gets around 220 miles of range out of it, while other trims offer more powerful batteries and longer ranges. The interior is wickedly efficient, offering more rear-seat legroom than larger midsize alternatives like the BMW X5. Combine all that efficiency with one of the best graphic interfaces in the market and a suite of cutting-edge safety systems, and you’ve got a great everyday driving car.
Why the Kona?
The Kona excels in many of the same areas as the Ioniq 5, acting as a smaller, more budget-friendly alternative in most aspects. With a range of 258 miles, it comes standard with the same cutting-edge information, entertainment, and safety systems as the Ioniq 5. For couples or drivers who want an everyday car but don’t make constant use of passenger seats or trunks, the Kona is a great entry EV.
Polestar 2 & Mini Cooper SE: Cornering the Small Car Market
As more and more automakers plunge into EVs, they’re discovering that bigger cars mean more space, and more space means more range and charge – there’s a reason midsize and crossover models seem to be the EV standard. Polestar and Mini Cooper have made moves to buck that trend, manufacturing smaller vehicles that don’t have the breakneck price tags of other EV sedans and sports cars. Let’s take a closer look:
Why the Polestar 2?
The Polestar 2 has a lot to offer for anyone wanting a premium electric sedan. The single-motor version has a range of around 270 miles. Polestar also offers a more powerful dual-motor version that can hit 60 mph in only 4.5 seconds, at the expense of some range – it’ll travel between 233 and 260 miles before needing a charge. A clean, tech-forward interior speaks to the car’s place in Volvo’s premium EV division – as does the slew of luxury features, ranging from dual-zone climate control to state-of-the-art infotainment systems and a digital instrument cluster. The Polestar also comes standard with safety systems such as forward collision mitigation and blind-spot monitoring. If you want a premium, tech-focused sedan that will hold up to everyday use, look no further.
Why the Mini Cooper SE?
The Mini Cooper SE is almost on the other end of the spectrum when compared to Polestar. With just 110 miles of estimated driving range, the SE may not be your road-tripping vehicle of choice – but what it lacks in range, it makes up for in style and affordability. Quiet, smooth, and zippier than one might expect, the SE is a fantastic vehicle for single drivers and couples that don’t need a lot of passenger space and want something capable of getting them around a town (or city) at an affordable price point.
In the Lap of Luxury: BMW iX & Mercedez-Benz EQS
Tesla established EVs as a viable luxury alternative. Now, automakers are coming for that crown – and they’re making a good show of it, too. Between BMW and Mercedes, consumers who want the cream of the zero-emissions crop have a lot of options to choose from – let’s dive deeper into some of the Best EVs of 2022:
Why the BMW iX?
The BMW iX brings luxury to the Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) niche, but it offers more than just good looks and a futuristic infotainment system. With 516 horsepower in the xDrive50 version, an impressive 610 for the M60 version, and a battery pack capable of ranging over 300 miles per charge, the iX more than matches performance expectations. If you’re looking for something luxury that can hold passengers comfortably, zip from 0-60 mph in seconds, and packages all the information, infotainment, and safety systems you could ever want into an attractive, futuristic package, the iX should be at the top of your list.
Why the Mercedez-Benz EQS?
If you’d rather a luxury sedan than SUV, the Mercedez-Benz EQS an attractive option. One of the most tech-forward models on the market, the EQS almost entirely does away with physical knobs and buttons – which may be a positive or negative, depending on your preferences. An impressive touchscreen is only the most noticeable of the EQS’ many features – it also comes with multiple USB-C ports and fingerprint profiles for drivers. Headrest pillows? Check. Massage functions? Check. Neck and shoulder heating? Check. Are those only a few of its many features? Also check. While it may not be as powerful or dynamic as some would like on the road, it’s a great vehicle if you want to feel like you’re living in the lap of luxury from point A to B.
The New Kids on the Block: Lucid Air & Rivian R1T Show Out
Lucid and Rivian may have different focuses for their vehicles – Lucid, sports cars and sedans, Rivian, trucks – but both made headlines this year as auto industry upstarts. With Lucid and Rivian models getting rave reviews and bringing a much-needed new perspective to what it means to make an EV – and run an automaker – let’s look at their most notable models this year:
Why the Lucid Air?
With one of the most futuristic chassis in the EV market, a range of 516 miles, and the ability to jump from 0-60 in just 2.6 seconds on some versions, it’s no surprise the Lucid Air turned heads this year. The Lucid Air also comes equipped standard with the touchscreens, infotainment options, and safety systems that have become par for the course for premium and luxury EVs. While most consumers would probably agree that Lucid could stand to improve the quality of its interior materials and user interfaces, the automaker is still making some of the most advanced – and striking – EVs on the market right now. Investing in the future may be costly, but it’s hard to complain when it looks this good.
Why the Rivian R1T?
While the F-150 Lightning undoubtedly caught eyes in the electric truck department, many consumers and auto industry insiders alike will come away from 2022 naming the Rivian R1T as their pickup of choice. Equipped with 600-835 horsepower and 11,000 pounds of towing capacity, the R1T can put in plenty of work when needed. Add excellent handling on and off-road, and you’ve got an impressive truck. The R1T’s range stands between 314-400 miles depending on the version, but – as expected – that figure drops when the car’s towing something. Combine all that functionality with a distinctive chassis and state-of-the-art infotainment, information and safety systems, and it’s not hard to see why Rivian was a standout this year for so many.
There you have it! Some of our best EVs of 2022, in a year full of stand-outs for every market and niche. Want more car news, tips, and tricks? Stay tuned!