More Canadian shoppers than ever are curious about electric vehicles and today’s growing market offers more green options than ever before. As battery technology advances, driving range is on the rise and charging times are getting faster.
As a result, EV, hybrid and plug-in hybrid ownership is being considered by more Canadians than ever, and the options available in this segment will continue to grow in the coming months and years.
Whether for a primary vehicle or a second family car that never needs to visit the gas station, your green car options are plentiful.
Our team of automotive experts have considered every new electrified model under $50,000 available to Canadians to buy in 2020, and we’ve voted to shortlist the following list of finalists based on the models we’d most likely recommend to friends and family or park in our own driveways.
On January 20, 2020, we’ll be announcing our category winners.
When we do, the following list of finalists will produce just one winner that gets the most votes after another round of evaluation across 12 different criteria, each of which are weighted to reflect what’s important to in-market green vehicle shoppers today.
In our Green Vehicle Under $50K category, attributes like innovation, technology and features, and efficiency/range are weighted heavily, helping to declare the winner as the model that represents the best overall value for the shopper.
Here are some more details on the finalists.
With seating for five, 200 direct-drive horsepower, and all-electric operation, the Chevrolet Bolt is a popular choice amongst EV drivers. What helps set the Bolt apart is a suite of Chevrolet’s latest connected-car features, including advanced OnStar capability, remote Smartphone control, in-car Wi-Fi, and full multimedia compatibility.
A starting price of $44,800 (pre-rebate) provides a generous list of features, as well as a highly flexible cabin with storage space to spare. The top-line Bolt Premier comes in from $49,800 and has additional high-end features.
Drivers can travel up to 383 kilometres per charge in ideal conditions, and with quick acceleration from a standstill and fast-charge capability allowing 40 kilometres of recharging in an hour, the Bolt EV is ready for life both in and out of the city.
An advanced driver control interface allows for easy monitoring and adjusting of vehicle systems and recharging parameters, and the cabin is set off by a 10.2-inch central touchscreen that puts plenty of functionality within easy reach.
Hyundai’s EV combines all of the buzzworthy features and driving attributes of the conventionally powered Kona crossover, but swaps out the gas engine for a 356-volt electric motor, powered by a 64 kWh battery pack, embedded within its floor.
The battery pack lowers the Kona EV’s centre of gravity for pleasing handling and enables output of 201 horsepower and a generous 290 lb-ft of torque. In addition to spirited performance, the Kona EV also offers up 1,296 litres of cargo volume with its seats folded, enhancing flexibility for busy families. With 415 kilometres of all-electric range, the Kona EV is ready to get families off of gasoline for their weekly commuting and errands, and can handle many out-of-town trips with range to spare.
With a starting price of $44,999 (before government rebates) opening the door to an extensive list of features, shoppers will find standard adaptive cruise control, a drive-mode selector, heated front seats, Smartphone control integration, a heated steering wheel, and more. The top-line Kona Electric Ultimate clocks in at $52,000, with an extended list of upscale features.
Kia Niro EV / Hybrid / PHEV
The Kia Niro is not a single model, but a family of vehicles where shoppers can find Kia’s most efficient models. Available as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV), or full EV, Niro has electric-curious shoppers covered.
The Niro Hybrid requires no plugging in and uses gasoline and self-generated electric power to maximize efficiency. The Niro PHEV takes this a step further, with extended all-electric range, larger battery, and full gasoline hybrid backup. The Niro EV is fully electric, capable of 383 kilometres of driving per charge.
Common to all models is a generous range of standard features, upscale styling, and an interior that hits above its price point. Premium feature content includes climate-controlled seats, a heated steering wheel, automatic highbeams, premium audio and lighting systems, and plenty more.
With three core models and a variety of trim grades available for each, it’s easy to devise the perfect electric (or electrified) driving experience to match your tastes and budget.
For years, the Kia Soul has been one of the Korean automaker’s most iconic styling statements, with a shape and design that defy convention to attract a shopper who refuses to blend in. An all-electric powertrain is now available, and the result is the Kia Soul EV.
With pricing starting in the low-$40k range, this all-electric hatchback is tall, versatile, and packs nearly every trick in Kia’s styling arsenal. Upscale and modern looks wrap around a high-flexibility cabin with generous headroom and legroom.
A head-up display (HUD), Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a bright and vivid central touchscreen interface give the cabin a techy flair that compliments its unconventional shapes and textures. Fully digital instrumentation rounds out the package.
With pricing starting at $42,595 before rebates, drivers get 248 kilometres of range, and 134 horsepower. The $51,595 Soul EV Limited dials things up via a 201-horsepower electric drive system that’s capable of 383 kilometres of driving on a full charge.
With plenty of selection, a full range of accessories, and a highly adaptable and spacious cabin, the Soul EV is ready for shoppers from many walks of life.
The Nissan Leaf has long been one of the world’s most popular electric cars, and it has seen significant advancements on all fronts for its latest-generation model. With years of EV experience adding confidence, many shoppers will find the Nissan Leaf a compelling package.
Pricing from $42,998 gets you a 147-horsepower electric motor, 243 kilometres of range, and standard features including 17-inch wheels, full Smartphone integration, and an array of advanced safety features.
The Leaf is also available as an extended-range Plus model, with 214 horsepower and a bump in driving range to 363 kilometres in ideal conditions. Priced from $47,998, the Leaf Plus is available in several trim grades. It’s always nice to have choices.
Look for a Bose audio system, heated mirrors, leather seating, and an Intelligent Around View Monitor parking system that takes the guesswork out of maneuvering in tight spaces. With split-folding rear seats and adult-friendly rear-seat legroom, the Leaf is ready for virtually any job that comes its way.