Buying Advice

AutomotiveMap Picks: Best Plug-In Electric Vehicles

Hyundai, Kia, Tesla, and Honda make the list for the best plug-in electric vehicles.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The future is now. Hybrid, plug-in, and all-electric vehicles are becoming more prevalent on dealership lots. However, there are big differences between them. While some are adequate people movers or comfortable commuters, others are built for speed and sublime serenity.

The models on this list run the gamut from the aforementioned speedsters to full-on family haulers. And, not all of them are Teslas.

Here are the plug-in vehicles AutomotiveMap's team prefers.

​2020 Honda Clarity

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Jesus Garcia: The 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybird delivers a ride that feels like cloud in a Gulfstream. With surprisingly responsive handling and performance the Clarity is one of the most entertaining PHEVs to drive for under 40k.

​​2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Sue Mead: There is so much to like with the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E beyond fuel economy and torque. It has stunning tailoring outside and within the "fully vegan", tech-laden cabin are a massive touch screen; a clever, drainable stowage under-hood compartment to supplement rear cargo-carrying for road trips and tailgating; and seating for five.

​2019 Kia Niro EV

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Harvey Briggs: I spent a week with the 2019 Niro EV this summer and was able to get more than 300 miles of range from a full charge. Everything about it feels like a normal economy car, except it's quiet and has great acceleration.

2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Perry Stern, AutoNXT: With excellent use of space as well as innovative entertainment options, the 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid may be the most useful plug-in on the market.

​2020 Hyundai Ioniq

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Nicole Wakelin: With the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq's latest round of updates, the model is more stylish than ever. it remains affordable and has a good list of standard safety features.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Eileen Falkenberg-Hull: I hear you, I hear you. Yes, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime isn't on sale yet, but it's a model that's already worth taking notice of. This isn't your grandma's hybrid. Toyota says that they're upping the power on the RAV in this new variant making it the closest thing to a RAV4 performance model that we're likely to see outside of SEMA.

2020 Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

Photo courtesy of Tesla

Chad Kircher: The Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus is the one you want. Skip the all-wheel drive and the $7,000 full self-driving option that doesn't exist IRL and you'll have an EV with as much range as most of the competition, standard safety features, and luxury features not offered for $40,000 or less.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The 2021 Ford F-150 will come in a hybrid variant

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

If Ford is making anything clear these days, it’s that the future all-electric F-150 won’t just just a mundane street car. The future model will be capable of achieving the same feats as the rest of the company’s family of full-size pickup trucks, if not with more gusto than its relatives.

Ford has confirmed that the battery-electric (BEV) F-150 will be on sale in just a few years. To get to that point, there’s a lot of work that isn’t just going into product development, but also into facilities development. Demand for the F-150 BEV is expected to be high and Ford’s Rouge Complex can’t absorb it as the plant stands now.

Ford Rouge Complex The Ford plant in Dearborn will be the home of the F-150 electric truck.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The company will invest $700 million in the Dearborn, Michigan plant to include a new high-tech manufacturing home for the model. The investment will add 300 jobs. This $700 million is on top of the $1.45 billion that Ford is spending to equip its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan to produce the Ranger and Bronco.

"We are proud to once again build and innovate for the future here at the Rouge with the debut of our all-new F-150 and the construction of a modern new manufacturing center to build the first-ever all-electric F-150," said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. "This year's COVID-19 crisis made it clear why it is so important for companies like Ford to help keep our U.S. manufacturing base strong and help our country get back to work."

The all-electric Ford F-150 is expected to come to market in mid-2022. The redesigned 2021 F-150 will come to market later this year and include a new hybrid powertrain option dubbed the F-150 PowerBoost.

Recently, the company captured video of the F-1500 BEV testing in the wild.

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The teaser image of the 2027 Kia lineup includes numerous cars and SUVs.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has revealed plans to launch seven new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2027 in numerous segments. The first, code named CV, will launch in 2021 and serve as the kickoff to a new Kia design direction. The move is known internally as the “Plan S" strategy. Under Plan S, Kia's BEV line will include 11 models by 2025.

The announcement coincides with the company's stated goal of having 25 percent of Kia's global sales come from BEVs by 2029. To do that, the company plans to work to expand the world's electric vehicle (EV) charging network. Kia has sold over 100,000 BEVs worldwide since the company introduced its first model in 2011, the Kia Ray.

Kia Ray EV 2011 The Kia Ray was the company's first production EV.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Plan S includes a company-wide business transformation that will include production, sales, and services. Dealerships will likely be required too invest in equipment to handle the influx of EVs. In the U.S, Kia will increase the number of EV work bays at dealerships to 600 by the end of 2020 and increase the number to more than 2,000 by 2023..

The product plan includes a diverse number of models. The vehicles will include BEVs that are “suitable for urban centers, long-range journeys, and performance driving". They will be based on the company's new adaptable Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). The platform will allow for best-in-class interior spaciousness, according to Kia.

Though subscription services have not gained widespread popularity in the U.S., the company is exploring the creation of subscription services, as well as EV battery leasing and rental programs. Other “second life" battery-related businesses may be part of the plan as well.

Kia also plans to add around 500 charging stations in North America, partnering with its dealer networks. Further, the company is seeking a partner in North America to support a larger infrastructure buildout.

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