Electric cars are out of the infancy phase and there are now plenty of new electric cars to get excited about that aren’t from Tesla. One category in particular that’s worth paying attention to? Electric SUVs that can fit the whole family inside. Even better, car companies are putting real effort into designing futuristic-looking SUVs that turn heads on the highway and get people in your neighborhood asking questions.
These are the coolest electric SUVs you can buy right now.
Hyundai Kona Electric
Range: 258 miles
The Hyundai Kona Electric isn’t cool because it’s such a sweet ride. It’s cool because it’s proof positive that electric cars can be built for average customers. Sure, most major car manufacturers have some all-electric offering these days, but they tend to be either tiny little golf carts that are only really viable for city dwellers (who should probably be on public transportation at that point anyway) or luxury sedans or sports cars that look and feel great, but have price tags that mean you’d need to refinance your home, take out a massive loan, and probably pick up a second job just to afford the first few payments. The Kona is a normal car for regular people who have ordinary needs and ordinary money, which is a huge step forward in electric car viability.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Range: 303 miles
As opposed to the Kona, Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 is designed and built with the futuristic cool factor and luxury in mind. It’s a slick design all around, with a slit design for its headlights, sharp edges and points at the ends of the exterior, while the interior has a dual screen dashboard and instrument board and clean leatherette interior. It’s also available with a two-way charger, which makes the car’s battery available as an exterior power source. With proper planning, you could actually use the car for what all those SUV commercials promise. Namely, an impromptu picnic somewhere at the point where civilization fades into forest or desert. The Ioniq is meant to be the first of Hyundai’s EV series, and given the success of the last time Hyundai took a single car release and spun it off into a whole other company with Genesis, it’s easy to be optimistic for the brand’s future development.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Range: 314 miles
Any hesitation that you might have felt about Ford making an electric version of the Mustang was understandable. Half the reason you buy a Mustang is to rev the engine too loud and feel it rumble when you blow past the speed limit. But judging by the Mach-E’s popularity — the 2022 model is so popular it’s currently unavailable for retail order — Ford got it right. Anyone who wants one is going to have to follow the old fashioned method of calling around to dealerships and asking about inventory.
The Mach-E comes with the slick interior features you’d want in an electric car: massive touch screens, wireless charging for devices, and plenty of space for people and cargo. There’s four models in the 2022 lineup. Listed in ascending price, they’re the Select, Premium, California Route 1, and GT. Each one comes with different specs, and it’s the California Route 1 that’s able to achieve that noteworthy 314 mile range.
Tesla Model Y
Range: 330 miles
In many ways, Tesla is the company that proved electric cars can be cool in the first place and pushed other companies to invest further in electric (something a long time coming in the century-and-change history of electric vehicles). Tesla isn’t trying to adapt existing vehicles or persuade existing customers to switch, both of which come with their own set of challenges. The company is instead building new products for a seemingly ever-growing customer base, resulting in the Model Y. This is an old story for anyone interested in electric vehicles. These have been around long enough that you’ve definitely seen them on the road and may have even taken one out yourself, but they’re still an eye-catcher.
Range: 324 miles
Pushing into real luxury price ranges, the BMW iX comes in two models separated by more than $20,000. The “affordable” one, the xDrive50, is the one with the range (up to 324 miles on a single charge), while the M60 emphasizes luxury and sportiness. Honestly, with these two, it seems like BMW’s more trying to prove it has a future in the electric game than trying to bring any kind of exciting innovation. The switch to a new power source isn’t going to stop BMWs from being fun to drive or great to look at, and sometimes that’s all you really need in a new car.
Range: 320 miles
Another sign of the maturing electric vehicle market is the emergence of new names. Newer companies are often where the most exciting designs and innovations come from. The R1S, an electric vehicle designed explicitly for long road trips and outdoor adventures, is the perfect example. Its battery can handle the hottest and coldest environments you can drive through. It’s also not held back by terrain: the R1S can wade through 3 feet of water, crawl up a 100 percent grade (a staggering 45 degree slope), and tow more than 7,000 pounds. The design of the car is also an exciting take on the traditional offroad aesthetic established by Jeep, Land Rover, Mercedes, and Toyota. It’s very much a unique design, but fits in with what’s come before.
Rivian is also building a network of chargers, similar to Tesla’s. Hopefully that’s not the sign that drivers will be faced with a hundred different proprietary chargers spread across the country, kind of like when cell phones were first getting popular.
Admittedly, the I-PACE looks a little dated compared to some of the others on this list, but a Jaguar looking dated isn’t the same as when other companies look dated. It’s still a beautiful car with a slick interior, streamlined and futuristic exterior, and a host of luxury features inside. Inside is a mix of digital and analogy technology, which always seems to reduce potential issues, like if your touchscreen malfunctions and you can’t adjust the volume of your music or the temperature of the AC. And this all comes in a car that proves Jaguar knows people come to them for sports car performance.
Faraday Future FF-91
Range: 378 miles
The FF-91 has been plagued with production issues since its announcement in 2017, but things are finally looking up for the car. It seems this is the year cars will finally be delivered to the public. For those who haven’t been following the company, you should know it’s incredibly design focused. The car comes with Tesla-equivalent specs in power, acceleration, and range, and doubles the battery capacity of most other electric vehicles. It’s supposed to be fully autonomous and should come with a driverless valet function. Faraday even meticulously designed the seats, which are meant to imitate what NASA calls Neutral Body Posture, the position our bodies adopt in zero gravity, to make for an even more comfortable autonomous experience.
Cool Material has been covering the journey of this car for a long time, and this is the closest it’s come to a real release.