Electric cars are coming down the road. Volvo recently announced that it will sell only electric cars beginning in 2030. In a move that will have even a greater impact on the automotive industry, massive General Motors has committed to going all-electric by 2035. And 2035 is also the target date by which California — the state that practically defines American car culture — will require all new passenger vehicles sold within its borders to be electric.
Powered by motors drawing power from rechargeable batteries, electric cars produce no exhaust emissions. They’re also quieter than conventional cars — so quiet, in fact, that they can pose a danger to pedestrians, especially those with limited eyesight. (Some manufacturers are beginning to build in systems producing artificial noise to deal with this issue.)
Vehicles run on electricity have lower maintenance costs, too, and while recharging them, whether at home or at a public charging station, isn’t free, their “fuel” is a lot cheaper than gasoline. An added attraction, as anyone who has ever punched the accelerator pedal of a Tesla will know, is that they can go blindingly fast.
Tesla has become the most visible electric car in America today. It’s hardly the only one, however. The Chevrolet Bolt EV, Ford Focus Electric, Hyundai Electric, and Nissan Leaf are just a few of the other options. Luxury manufacturers like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz are in the electric game, too. (These are America’s best and worst new cars.)
Then there are the outliers, including the forthcoming Hummer-like Bollinger B1 SUV out of Michigan and the Aspark Owl, a Japanese “hypercar” that will come equipped with a $3.2 million price tag. (These are the most intriguing concept cars that never saw the light of day.)
Based on 11 metrics, including number of charging stations per 100,000 residents, electricity cost, local electric vehicle laws and incentives — and drawing on data from such sources as the U.S. departments of energy and transportation, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and carinsurance.com — the lawn care company LawnStarter recently ranked the 200 largest U.S. cities for owning an electric car. These are the top 25.