It's a mark of the maturity of electric car technology that there is now a very fast-growing market for premium-branded luxury EVs. It was a segment created a decade ago by Tesla, but plenty of manufacturers are now desperate to be seen to be at the very forefront of it and competition is growing fierce.
Some of those manufacturers are offering a luxury angle, others more of a performance bias, some the capability and convenience of a SUV bodystyle – and some a combination of all of those things. Some cars charting here are big, others not so big. And while some come from established automotive industry powers, others are from newer and more disruptive' outfits you might not have heard of.
If you're looking for the some of the longest-legged and most usable electric cars in the world, this chart is where you'll find them. This is where Teslas do battle with Mercedes EQs, BMW i cars, Audi E-trons, and even new-groove Porsches. If you've got a bigger budget to spend on an electrically powered family car to use and rely on for any kind of trip, then, with claimed ranges of up to 400 miles and beyond, these are your main contenders.
Best Luxury Electric Cars 2023
1. BMW i7
It's a measure of the increasing preeminence of EVs that the first version of BMW's all-new 7 Series flagship to hit showrooms is the all-electric i7. Plug-in hybrids will follow in due course, but in terms of setting the tone for the future (certainly in Europe) and setting out your luxury car stand, then batteries take the lead. Yet perhaps even more significantly for the brand, the all-new seventh generation version of its range-topping saloon is the first to properly hit the luxury car bullseye and prove a real alternative to the otherwise dominant Mercedes S-Class.
One things for certain with this 7 Series - onlookers aren't going to miss your arrival. This isn't and elegant or even a particularly aesthetically appealing car, but there's no doubt the monumentally proportioned i7 attracts attention. Bluff-fronted and slab-sided it visually dominates any slab of tarmac its sits on, but if you're a plutocrat wanting to flaunt your success the car's imposing presence will only be a positive. It's even more impressive inside, although happily this is down to the beautifully crafted finish and jaw-dropping tech rather than any gaudy brashness in the design. Rich materials are used through out, while the slick screens sitting on top of the dash can be accessed using an iDrive rotary controller. For rear set passengers there's the option of an incredible drop down 31.3-inch screen, which in combination with the Bowers & Wilkins sound system delivers a drive-on rather than drive-thru cinema experience.
Like previous 7 Series models, the i7 is pretty good to drive. At nearly 2800kg it's no lightweight, while there are smaller cross channel ferries; but thanks to four-wheel steering and all-wheel drive the big BMW feels surprisingly biddable, with accurate steering, precise handling and strong grip. What's new is the big saloon's ability to waft and cosset with the best of them thanks to the engineers' clear decision to focus as much energy into delivering the ultimate soothing machine as much as the ultimate driving machine. In this regard it's helped by that twin motor set-up that provides 536bhp for ample performance, while a 102kWh battery promises 367 miles between plug sockets, at which point you can charge at up to 195kW for 106 miles of range in just 10 minutes.