It’s a mark of the maturity of electric car technology that there is now a small but very fast-growing market for premium-branded EVs – and that every manufacturer is desperate to be seen to be at the very forefront of it.
Some of them are offering a luxury angle, others a performance bias – and some a bit of other. Some cars within it are big, others not so big. And while some come from established automotive industry powers, others are from more ‘disruptive’ outfits. Whatever you’re looking for, if you’re looking for the longest-legged and least compromised 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. As a result of the infancy of this segment, a few of the cars we’ve listed aren’t quite on the market yet but are expected very soon – and where that’s the case, we won’t rank them until we’ve driven them. Whether here or not quite here, however, they are all reasons for the early-adopting EV crowd to get very excited.
Best Premium Electric Cars 2020
Porsche has hit the electric car market with exactly the sort of impact you’d hope that an industry powerhouse of its stature might make. The Taycan, a four-door fast grand tourer that’s slightly smaller than the company’s existing Panamera model but is certainly not the lesser car of the two, inspired Editor-at-large Matt Prior to acclaim it as “the best electric car in the world” when he drove it in September – although he counselled readers “not to think that there’s all there is to it.”
Tested in top-of-the-range, 751bhp, near-£140k Turbo S specification, the Taycan impressed us with its deft and well-controlled handling, its super-responsive and urgent performance – but mostly for its clear driver focus, which remains rare to find among electric cars. Surprisingly tight body control (considering it’s a 2.3-tonne car), fine steering response and beautifully tuned controls really distinguish the car’s dynamic character which, claimed Prior, “is enough to make it more enjoyable to drive than any other current four-door Porsche.”
Due to be available in several less powerful versions, with WLTP-certified battery range of up to 280 miles and capable of charging at up to 270kW, the Taycan represents the state of the electric-car art in so many ways. UK driving impressions and more in-depth tests are coming soon.
An outright triumph in our electric SUV group test in September heralded the arrival of a new all-electric champion for people looking to combine practicality with performance, and luxury with sustainability in their next big car purchase – while also securing a car that can easily be used on a daily basis on UK roads. The Mercedes EQC 400 brushed aside challenges from Jaguar, Audi and Tesla on route to its big moment, overcoming all by virtue of its technology-laden and upmarket interior, its impressive blend of comfort and driver appeal, and its first-rate infotainment and navigation systems.
Sharing its platform with the related GLC, the EQC has twin electric motors, torque-vectoring four-wheel drive, and combined peak ouputs of 402bhp and 564lb ft. WLTP-verified battery range is 259 miles officially, with our tests suggesting that at between 80- and 90-per cent of that is reproducible in mixed real-world driving.