This year is expected to be the most important for electric vehicles, as almost every car brand is launching a battery-powered option. But while we await those mainstream and more affordable releases, most EVs are still high-end and expensive. The average cost of a new electric vehicle is over $63,000, which is closer to what luxury car buyers spend.
Newer companies dominate the top of the list, while older automakers are carving out a slice of the luxury EV market. Most brands have built all-new vehicles with electric powertrains, but others, like Volvo, are converting existing models.
The luxury EV market is fairly limited in the first half of 2022 but is growing rapidly as more basic, everyday options enter the market. We’ve looked at the high end of pure electric vehicles, which doesn’t include hybrid models. But the list of all-electric luxury sedans and sports cars is impressive, with some of the best range and performance of any EV.
1. 2022 Clear air
Why we chose it
For those on a big budget, the Lucid Air is an enticing alternative to electric vehicles like the Tesla Model S and Mercedes-AMG EQS. No electric car has ever gone further on a charge, with an EPA-rated range of up to 520 miles, and no electric vehicle can charge faster. The performance is also exceptional with up to 1,111 hp, all-wheel drive and confident handling. The benefits continue with a striking exterior; a gorgeous, spacious and tech-laden interior; lots of cargo space and the latest driver assistance features. Read the full review.
- Unbeatable range of up to 520 miles; the fastest charge in the industry
- Warp speed performance, confident handling
- Airy, chic interior; Enormous cargo and passenger space
- High prices, long waits for cheaper versions, limited availability
- Unproven company; young, limited service network
- Screens and software could use some ergonomic improvements
2. 2022 BMW i4
Why we chose it
While the BMW i4 looks the same as the 4 Series Gran Coupe, it has been redesigned and redesigned with electric motors instead of petrol engines. The i4 is a powerful electric vehicle that’s housed in the old bodywork of a 3 or 4-seat combustion engine sports sedan. The handling of the BMW i4 can hardly be topped. Read the first ride.
- More than adequate range up to 300 miles
- Simple wireless connection for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Fast performance with front and rear electric motors for a combined 536 hp
- The trunk is tight, but both rear seats fold flat
- Supercharged infotainment system on a 14.9-inch touchscreen
- Striking front design with double kidney
3. 2022 Tesla Model S
Why we chose it
The all-electric Tesla Model S offers the performance of a supercar with the legroom and comfort of a five-passenger luxury sedan. Today, the Model S is available with dual-motor 4WD or the amazingly fast tri-motor 4WD Plaid. Plaid will cost you more than $135,000 and won’t be available until later this summer, but its 1,020 horsepower and 200 mph top speed might be worth the wait.
- Plaid upgrades are impressive: zero to 60 mph in less than 2 seconds
- Revision of the display and the interior, including screens in the rear seats
- The advanced Autopilot driving system comes standard with a range of safety features
- The large touchscreen still doesn’t connect to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
- Yoke steering wheel, almost total lack of fixed controls
- The range has fallen, the price has risen
4. 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS
Why we chose it
The Mercedes-AMG EQS is an outstanding electric sedan with a range of 277 miles, setting the benchmark for other luxury automakers looking to create a powerful, quiet and luxurious battery-powered sedan. It offers cutting-edge technology with a 56-inch hyperscreen and strong performance in a relatively good-looking package. Read the full review.
- All-electric luxury sedan with up to 751 hp
- Incredible 56-inch hyperscreen featuring augmented reality
- Industry leading ADAS systems
- The exterior looks a bit pod-like
- Big and heavy on winding roads, even when driving in Sport+ mode
- Less horsepower than some of the luxury rivals like Lucid and Tesla
5. 2022 Porsche Taycan GTS
Why we chose it
The Taycan and Taycan Sport Turismo 2022 are the first electric GTS models in the history of the brand and mark a defining moment in history as Porsche’s electric vehicles continue to differentiate themselves to appeal to more battery-powered enthusiasts. But instead of decking them out with top-notch performance numbers, Porsche wrapped up sporty features but positioned the cars for buyers looking for a mid-level value proposition. The Taycan GTS features powertrains that place it between the $103,800 Taycan 4S and the $150,900 Taycan Turbo. Read the first ride.
- Exceptional handling
- Two-speed gearbox for quick acceleration
- All-round fast: charging and time from zero to 60 mph
- Loud startup sound, aggressive synthetic sounds while driving
- Low 200s range
- No single pedal riding for brake regeneration
6. 2022 Audi e-Tron GT
Why we chose it
Audi is known for sporty cars and great styling, and its first electric sedan, the e-tron GT, doesn’t disappoint. The e-tron GT is a beautiful coupé-style four-door with low, sleek lines, plenty of power, sporty handling combined with comfortable ride and a tasty, driver-centric interior. Unfortunately, “coupe-like” also applies a lot to the cargo area and the rear seat, both of which are constricting. While it will put a smile on the faces of enthusiastic drivers, its powerful electric drive system is one of the least efficient in its segment. Read the review.
- Horizon-blurring acceleration
- Sensuous coupe-like exterior and thoughtful, well-appointed interior
- Comfortable for driver and passenger
- Less range than most competitors
- Coupe-like rear seat and trunk
- Just as expensive as the Taycan
For 2022 our rating categories are:
- Range, energy consumption and charging
- comfort room
- Cargo Space & Storage
- Style & Design
Total: 100 points
- Achievement (15 points) The performance score is a subjective rating of a vehicle’s handling, braking, acceleration, ride quality, and other qualitative performance metrics such as horsepower, torque, zero-to-60 time, and top speed. Towing capability for trucks and SUVs is also considered. The performance of the vehicles is compared to the identified competitor set. During the drive, reviewers look for attributes related to manufacturer expectations and consumer expectations.
- Range, energy consumption & charging: (15 points) The range, energy use and charge score for pure electric vehicles is based on range on a single charge, kilowatts consumed per 100 miles and the comparison mile per gallon equivalent or MPGe.
- Security (15 points) The safety rating is based on crash test results from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Vehicles that have not yet been rated by one of the agencies receive zero points. Also included in the safety rating are points awarded for certain advanced driver assistance safety features offered as standard equipment in the base trim level. There are nine safety features that Forbes Wheels deems mandatory on the standard offering: Forward Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Automatic High Beam, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Departure Warning or any of its higher-level variants, Lane Departure Warning or Lane Centering. Vehicles must have at least four of these in their standard offering to earn points. Vehicles that offer a Level 2 self-driving system (a combination of adaptive cruise control and lane centering) are eligible for a bonus point.
- Infotainment (15 points) The infotainment score is based on points awarded for specific features offered as standard equipment in the base trim level. Forbes Wheels identifies certain features that are becoming increasingly popular and have therefore been adopted by both premium and mainstream automakers. Some of these features include a minimum 7-inch touchscreen (or premium vehicles that use a rotary knob, touchpad, or other mechanism to control a non-touchscreen display), wired Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, a customizable, digital driver information display or instrument panel and at least two USB ports. Additional points are awarded for popular features not yet widely available in mainstream vehicles, such as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and wireless charging capabilities.
- Comfort & Rooms (15 points) The comfort and space rating is based on points awarded for the assessor’s assessment of the vehicle’s comfort, ergonomics and overall interior feel, as well as effective use of space. Points are also awarded for measuring rear seat legroom and comparing it to the identified competition set. Vehicles offering the best legroom in the segment, either in the rear seat or in the optional third row, are eligible for a bonus point.
- Cargo & Storage (15 points) The Cargo Space and Storage score is based on points awarded by the assessor for evaluating the vehicle’s large and small cargo spaces (as well as small item storage) and how well they serve their purpose and effective use of space. Reviewers also consider innovative storage solutions and flexible loading capabilities. Points are also awarded for the cargo space measurements for the rear cargo area or trunk and how they compare to the identified competitive set. Vehicles that offer the best cargo or trunk space in the segment are eligible for a bonus point.
- Styling (10 points) The Styling Score is a subjective assessment of a vehicle’s overall styling and design, inside and out. Reviewers also consider the configuration of the interior and how well the design flows into function. The processing quality also plays a role.