Cars and Drivers

The 5 Best EVs To Drive Forever

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For some people, a car is a status symbol or a collector’s item. For others, though, a car is an investment in transportation—a way to get from point A to point B—and the best return on this investment is a car that can reliably turn the odometer over time after time. When it comes to electric vehicles (EVs), though, there is not much of a track record. Not many cars on the market have been around for a decade or more. However, each iteration has improved range, battery life, and performance. EVs have fewer moving parts to wear out, and battery life is beginning to creep upward of 300,000 miles—Tesla has even set a battery goal for 1 million miles! For this article, 24/7 Wall St. looks at vehicles with projected long lives, focusing on models and companies with proven performance. Recent studies on battery longevity and reviews of anecdotal accounts will also inform this overview. We’ll also consider depreciation, as reported by the Motley Fool. The five best EVs to drive forever are listed below, ranked by upper mileage limit. (Check out See The 25 Best Selling Electric Vehicles This Year).

5. Chevy Bolt

Chevy Bolt EV
Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Chevy Bolts, though discontinued, may reach more than 350,000 miles over their lifetimes.
  • MSRP: Starting at $26,500 for the 2023 model
  • Range: EPA estimate, 259 miles
  • Estimated lifetime mileage: 100,000-300,000 miles
  • 3-year depreciation: 47.5%

Since its introduction in 2016, the Chevy Bolt was an affordable entry-level workhorse for the EV movement. It is believed to be capable of reaching 300,000 miles on the odometer, has a decent range of 259 miles, and is one of the most affordable EVs on this list. Fires and recalls plagued this generation of Chevy Bolt, leading GM to recommend that the car not be parked within 50 feet of other vehicles or structures. Production ceased in 2023, and there are uncertain plans for a new model, but used models are a bargain if you’re willing to risk the uncertainty related to the recalls.

4. BMW i3

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Though the BMW i3 was small and had limited range, the battery was more than capable of allowing it to reach 450,000 miles.
  • MSRP: The average list price for a 2021 i3 is $27,449
  • Range: EPA estimate, 153 miles
  • Estimated lifetime mileage: 100,000-450,000 miles
  • 3-year depreciation: 60.4%

Though the BMW i3 was discontinued after the 2021 model due to its small size and limited range, you may still get a deal on a used model if you can find one. If you can deal with these limitations, the i3’s engine, battery, and drive train can last up to 450,000 miles. Though the models have been pricey on release, the 2021 models can be had for an average price of about $27,500. Part of this is due to the car’s high 3-year depreciation rate.

3. Kia EV6

Source: Clive Brunskill / Getty Images
Based on the same battery platform as the Hyundai Ioniq, the Kia EV6 boasts a greater range and a potential limit of 500,000 miles.
  • MSRP: Starting at $42,600
  • Range: EPA estimate, 310 miles
  • Estimated lifetime mileage: 100,000-500,000 miles
  • 3-year depreciation: 58.7%

The Kia EV6 is a compact SUV that marks Kia’s entry into the EV market. At about $43,000, the EV6 has an excellent range of 310 miles and a 100,000-mile warranty. The battery platform is similar to that developed for the Hyundai Ioniq, though the Kia manages to get a much greater charge range. Analysis of the battery, engine, and drivetrain suggests that the car could reach the 500,000-mile mark in its lifetime. Depreciation was high for the first model, though.

2. Tesla Model S

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The Tesla Model S has a great range and potential mileage of 500,000.
  • MSRP: Starting at $74,990
  • Range: EPA estimate, 405 miles
  • Estimated lifetime mileage: 100,000-500,000 miles
  • 3-year depreciation: 36.3%

The Tesla Model S Sedan rolled out in 2012, shortly after the company’s IPO, and has been a mainstay of the EV scene ever since. It has an excellent range of 405 miles and a warranty for up to 100,000 miles. Tesla vehicles’ ever-improving battery technology and customer anecdotal evidence suggest that the car could push the odometer to 500,000 miles in its lifetime. That being said, it is pricier than the other EVs on this list and has a 3-year depreciation record that pales in comparison to the Model 3.

1. Tesla Model 3

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The Tesla Model 3 is a great value with excellent range and the potential to reach a million miles on the odometer if Tesla’s batteries continue to develop as advertised.
  • MSRP: Starting at $47,740
  • Range: EPA estimate, 341 miles
  • Estimated lifetime mileage: 100,000-500,000 miles
  • 3-year depreciation: 10.2%

At under $48,000, the Tesla Model 3 is one of the more affordable Teslas on the market. It has an excellent range of 341 miles on a full charge and boasts a 100,000-mile warranty. It also has an amazing 3-year depreciation record of only 10.2%. Customer anecdotes and battery analysis indicate that the car could be driven up to 500,000 miles, though Tesla claims they can push that to 1 million. If true, this could almost make the car a family heirloom.

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