With electric vehicle charging infrastructures growing, including DC fast charging that takes minutes on the charger instead of hours, you may feel it's time to switch from gas to electric.
On top of the growing infrastructure, today's electric vehicles have more horsepower than ever, have stellar ranges rivaling gasoline-fueled cars, cost a fraction to keep fueled and maintain, and produce no direct emissions. So now may be the right time to finally buy an electric vehicle.
Which electric vehicles are best for you? To help you decide, we’ve outlined the 18 best electric vehicles in Canada in 2023 across a few categories, including what to look for in an electric vehicle.
Certain qualities make a great electric vehicle. Sure, there are super-fast ones and those with ranges reaching the 500-km area. While these are great for bragging rights, they aren't always qualities that make an electric vehicle the right choice for you.
Some of the variables that make up the best electric vehicle in Canada are as follows:
Yes, driving range is a factor in choosing an electric vehicle, but not everyone needs a 500-km Tesla Model 3 Long Range. Look at your daily commute and the number of kilometres you drive outside that commute to get an idea of your base range requirements.
For example, the average Canadian's commute is 57 km, which means 114 km round-trip. If your workplace has a charging station installed, great, but assume there will be no nearby charging options.
Imagine after work you grab groceries or shuttle the kids around, adding around 50 km to the odometer. That's only 164 km before the car is parked and charging in your garage.
At 164 km, that makes pretty much every electric vehicle manufactured in the past few years an option.
Remember, you’ll also want to account for the cold Canadian winters and their impact on electric driving range. Research shows temperatures below -6.7 degrees Celcius can cut an electric vehicle's range by 40%. This range drop is due to the battery's liquid becoming so cold that it impacts its ability to take and retain a charge. Using the cabin heater to keep you and your passengers comfortable also puts an extra drain on the battery.
So, make sure to hack 40% off any range to account for wintertime driving.
Remember, electric vehicles aren't free to fuel. Charging your electric vehicle will cause your electric bill to tick up, eating into some of those fuel savings. Granted, you'll rarely surpass — or even come close to — the cost of refueling a traditional car, but it's not a free-for-all.
Every electric vehicle has a Le/100 km rating, which looks at the energy consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per 100 km and converts it to a fuel equivalent. In this equation, one litre of gasoline is equal to 8.9 kWh of electricity.
Just because a vehicle has a very long electric driving range doesn't always mean it'll have a low fuel-consumption equivalent. For example, the 2021 Tesla Model S Performance with 21-inch wheels has a super-long range of 538 km, but its combined fuel-consumption equivalent is 2.5Le/100 km, which is among the worst ratings of all electric cars.
On the flip-side, the 2016 Chevy Spark EV has just a 131-km driving range, but its combined 2.0Le/100 km is among the best of all electric cars.
So, finding a vehicle with the right range is great, but you also want an efficient one. An inefficient electric car may negate a portion of your fuel savings in charging.
Of course, your budget matters too. Sure, we'd all love a $100,000 Tesla Model X, but that's not in the cards for most shoppers.
As of late 2022, the average used car online was $37,141. Considering the average Canadian keeps their vehicle for nine years and spends $1,510 per year on fuel, you could budget upward of $50,000 for an electric vehicle and still save money when you account for fuel savings.
But not every Canadian lives by these averages, so look at your budget and average fuel expenses to determine what price range suits you.
Now that you know what to look for, let's look at some of Canada’s best electric vehicles (EVs) in specific categories.
These are models with super-low fuel-consumption equivalent ratings (Le/100 km). These may not always have the best range, but they will maximize your overall savings.
2022-2023 Hyundai IONIQ 5
Fuel Consumption Equivalent: 2.1 Le/100 km
Hyundai took a big leap into the EV pond with the release of the all-new IONIQ 5 in 2022. As Hyundai’s first dedicated EV platform, the IONIQ 5 opened eyes with its up to 488 km driving range in the long-range model and Le/100 km fuel consumption rates as low as 1.8 city, 2.4 highway, and 2.1 combined. If you opt for all-wheel drive (AWD), the consumption jumps to 2.1 city, 2.7 highway, and 2.4 combined.
The IONIQ 5 is still fairly new, so the used market is thin, but you can find them starting at just shy of $43,000 for the base model.
Fuel Consumption Equivalent: 2.0 Le/100 km
If the IONIQ 5 makes the cut, so must its cousin, the Kia EV6. Also the brand’s first-ever dedicated EV, the EV6 arrived in 2022 with up to a 499 km driving range on a single charge and has a sportier body than the IONIQ 5. Its Le/100 km checks in as low as 1.7 city, 2.3 highway, and 2 combined. Upgrading to the dual-motor AWD setup increases the consumption to 2.0 city, 2.5 highway, and 2.2 combined.
Like the IONIQ 5, the EV6 is still fairly new, so the used marketplace is still scarce. However, if you do find one, you can expect to pay around $44,000 for the base model.
Fuel Consumption Equivalent: 2.0 Le/100 km
Another one of the most efficient electric vehicles is the 2019 to 2023 Kona Electric. This all-electric subcompact crossover looks great and delivers Le/100 km ratings of 1.8 city, 2.2 highway, and 2.0 combined. And with a 415-km range, the Kona Electric can handle just about any commuter's daily route.
Fuel Consumption Equivalent: 2.0 Le/100 km
When the Bolt EV debuted, it was revolutionary in its combination of drivability, price, and driving range. Today, this carries on, and it makes our list of the most efficient EVs with Le/100 km ratings of 1.8 to 1.9 city, 2.1 to 2.2 highway, and 2.0 combined. Plus, with a 383- to 417-km range, the daily commute will be no issue at all. General Motors made the decision to discontinue the Bolt EV and halt production by the end of 2023 in favour of focusing on its next generation of electric vehicles.
With a typical dealer asking price of up to $38,011 for the 2022 base model, the Bolt EV is priced right. However, if you extend your ownership beyond nine years, the fuel cost offset will improve.
Fuel Consumption Equivalent: 1.9 Le/100 km
The Tesla Model Y Long Range is one of only a few EVs to have a combined fuel consumption equivalent below 2.0 Le/100 km. It achieves this with Le/100 km ratings of 1.9 city, 2 to 2.1 highway, combining to 1.9. It also has impressive range, coming in at 509 to 531 km, as well as a spacious interior that boasts 2,041 litres of cargo room with the seats folded down. With its standard all-wheel drive, it will also come in handy on snowy Canadian roadways.
The sticking point for the Model Y is its typical dealer asking price of up to $72,220 for a 2022 model.
Fuel Consumption Equivalent: 1.9 Le/100 km
The 2018 to 2020 Tesla Model 3 Mid Range is the king of low consumption in Canada with Le/100 km ratings of 1.8 city, 2.0 highway, and 1.9 combined. On top of that, it has a spectacular range of 418 to 425 km. It's not as great as the Long Range model, but it'll satisfy virtually any commuter's needs.
With a typical dealer asking price of up to $49,434, you’ll need a slightly higher budget to fit this model in.
For some EV shoppers, all that matters is kilometres. These high-range vehicles are sure to appeal to these shoppers but be aware of their higher prices and reduced efficiency in some cases.
Range: 505 km
Ford rattled some cages by releasing an all-electric Mustang and making it a sporty crossover. While it’s a polarizing vehicle for Mustang enthusiasts, EV buyers have gobbled it up thanks to its great range in select trim levels.
In its lower trims, the Mach-E has a sub-400-km driving range, but the California Route 1 RWD trim has a 505 km range in the 2022 model year and a 491 km range in the 2021 model year.
You can expect to pay around $61,000 for a 2021 Mustang Mach-E California Route 1 RWD and $62,200 for a 2022 model.
Range: 547 km
Mercedes has upped its interest in electric cars and SUVs recently, and its flagship electric sedan is the EQS. Not only are you getting a legitimate luxury sedan, but the EQS 580 4MATIC also offers up to a 547 km driving range,
In addition to its great range for such a feature-heavy full-size sedan, it also boasts respectable Le/100 km ratings of 2.6 city, 2.4 highway, and 2.5 combined. The big issue is the used EQS market is thin and you can expect to pay upwards of $138,000 for a used model.
Range: 531 km
Tesla’s first entries on this list are the 2020 through 2022 Model Y Long Range and Performance models. These cargo-friendly crossovers pack 507-531 km of range, meeting virtually any commuter's needs.
Range: 576 km
Again, Tesla takes a huge chunk with tons of Model 3 variants from 2020-2022 topping the list. From 2020 through 2022, the Model 3 Long Range and Performance models offer all-electric driving ranges of 507 to 576 km.
The Model 3 is also the most economical Tesla model, but it's still pricier than most EVs. The 2022 Long Range model carries a typical dealer asking price of $64,523, while the 2020 Performance model's typical dealer asking price is $68,996.
Range: 597 km
There is clearly a pattern here, as another Tesla model — the Model X — takes up another chunk of real estate atop the maximum range category. At the top of the list of Model X variants is the 2021 Long Range Plus model at 597 km. Some of the lower-trim Model X variants are in the 300- to 400-km range, so watch out for these.
While these range-heavy midsize electric SUVs will deliver on your daily commute, they will set you back a pretty penny. The 2021 Model X Long Range Plus carries a typical dealer price of $109,290, and the 2019 Model X Performance carries a typical dealer asking price of $106,250.
Range: 652 km
Is it obvious yet what automaker revolutionized the long-range electric vehicle? It all started with the Model S, which has had an impressive range since its release in 2012. The introduction of the 100kWh battery for the 2016 Model S P100D delivered 507 km of electric driving range, and the 2020-2023 models have increased that to 652 km, making the Model S more than capable of taking on long road trips. Plus, they are quite efficient at just 2.0Le/100 km combined.
There are lower-range Model S versions in this era that dipped into the 300s and 400s for range, so watch out for these. These will include the P85D, P90D, 70D, 60D, and base models.
Opting for a 2022 Model S Long Range will set you back an average of $117,050 but the 2016 model will likely be far more affordable.
Range: 837 km
Lucid remains a relatively small boutique automaker, but it has toppled Tesla as the leader in range with its luxurious Air lineup. The 2023 Lucid Air comes in a handful of trim levels and packages, but its driving range is insane in every model, starting from 726 km and topping at 837 km. The Air is also very efficient with a 1.8 to 2.1 Le/100 km combined fuel consumption specs.
Lucid Airs are not common on the road, and they are even less common in the used market. It’s so rare that Kelley Blue Book and Canadian Black Book have no used pricing information. With new prices hovering in the $87,400 to $138,000 USD range, you can easily expect to shell out nearly $100,000 CAD for a lower-trim used model.
Now, sometimes range and fuel economy aren't the main focus when shopping for all-electric vehicles, but overall value is the name of the game. This is when the buyer must consider all variables: price, range, and efficiency. In some cases, they may also look at features as a potential tiebreaker. We go over some of the most affordable used electric vehicles below, but if you’re more interested in new vehicles, we review them in our blog the Cheapest Electric Cars in Canada.
Price (used): $22,055-$25,976
The 2017 to 2019 Hyundai IONIQ Electric won't set any records with its 200-km range, but with a typical dealer starting price of just $22,055 to $25,976 and a fuel-consumption equivalent of 1.7L/100 km, it will save buyers with shorter commutes and tons of cash. And at this low price, you also get a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, further boosting its value.
According to NRCAN, this hatchback will cost just $403 per year to charge, saving you an average of $1,107 per year. This EV will start paying dividends the moment you drive it off the lot.
Price (used): $27,778-$28,323
The 2015-2017 BMW i3 also won't overly impress with its 130-km driving range, but its efficiency is top-notch with a 1.9Le/100 km combined consumption rate. Plus, it’s well below budget with an average dealer starting price of just $27,778 to $28,323.
Also, its $437 in yearly fueling (charging) costs is $1,073 per year below the average fueling costs in Canada.
Price (used): $22,155-$29,893
The 2017-2020 Volkswagen e-Golf often falls through the battery electric vehicle (BEV) cracks, but it's a solid option for any EV shopper seeking simply the best all-around value. Its batteries offer 198- to 201-km of range, and its powertrain allows it to deliver a 2.0 to 2.1Le/100 km combined fuel consumption rate.
The e-Golf is also quite affordable with a typical dealer starting price of just $22,155 to $29,893, so it fits nicely under the budget. Speaking of the budget; your fuel budget will thank you for its $452 per year in fueling costs, which is $1,058 under the yearly average.
Price (used): $14,596-$18,857
The Nissan LEAF essentially launched the rebirth of the all-electric car after other automakers failed to socialize electric motors as the sole propulsion system in modern cars. Though it's fallen way off the lead in driving range, it remains a good value, especially in the earlier years.
Plus, the ongoing savings are incredible with a combined fuel consumption rate of 2.1Le/100 km and just $478 in yearly fuel costs. Keep in mind, it does have a very limited range of just 135 km, and with its age, look out for battery degradation which will eat up some of that range.
Price (used): $9,500-$13,500
If you’re looking for a cheap EV, one of the cheapest in Canada is the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. It’s not pretty. It lacks modern features. It only has a 100 km driving range. However, you can snag one for $9,500 to $13,000, depending on the model year.
The i-MiEV may not offer a ton of driving range, but it remains among some of the most efficient EVs in Canada, with Le/100 km ratings of 1.9 city, 2.3 highway, and 2.1 combined.
When buying a used electric vehicle in Canada, there are a few rebates you may qualify for. Sure, the big rebates are the federal incentives on new models, but these smaller used rebates from local governments can also help the overall cost.
If you purchase a qualifying used 2019-2020 electric vehicle still under the manufacturer’s warranty in Quebec, you may receive up to a $3,500 government rebate.
Eligible models include the:
Ontario has also launched an incentive program for used electric vehicles. This incentive is a $1,000 check for any personal-use EV with a resale sticker price below $50,000 before taxes. They can double this to $2,000 if they scrap their old gasoline vehicle in the process.
To receive your $1,000 incentive, you must attend a free seminar on Canada's electric vehicle industry. Plug-in hybrid vehicles aren't eligible for this rebate.
No matter which electric vehicle is best for your situation, you can find your ideal match at Clutch, Canada's first online vehicle retailer. Whether it's a range-heavy Tesla or a wallet-friendly LEAF, you can shop Clutch’s large inventory of quality pre-owned vehicles.
All our pre-owned electric vehicles undergo a 210-point inspection and reconditioning process to ensure they're in prime condition. We also include a 90-day or 6,000-km warranty for peace of mind.
Adding even more reassurance to the online vehicle-buying process, we include a no-risk 10-day or 750-km test-own period. If you don't love your new electric vehicle within that period, you can return it for a full refund or exchange it for a different model.
Check out our range of quality pre-owned electric vehicles today and choose the one that suits you best. You can complete the purchase process online, and we'll deliver the vehicle to you.