Best luxury electric cars
When Tesla launched the Model S in 2012, it was pitched right into the middle of the luxury-car market, offering refinement, exclusivity and elegance with zero emissions.
And it came with a hefty price tag to suit its luxury performance-car status. Since then, other carmakers have been playing catch-up, keen to take a share of Tesla’s success.
As a result, the luxury electric-car segment is now one of the fastest growing of them all, with most major luxury car manufacturers launching high-end fully electric models to appeal to well-heeled early adopters.
These are our picks for the top luxury electric cars, either available now or coming soon...
Aston Martin Rapide E
The Rapide E is a seismic shift for Aston Martin, a brand more famous for its powerful V12s than electric technology. But its lack of electric credentials hasn’t stopped buyers flocking to the Rapide E – all 155 cars have already been sold for £250,000 each.
Power for the four-door, four-seat Rapide E comes from a pair of electric motors, giving 602bhp, a 0-62mph time of under four seconds and a top speed limited to 155mph. Its 65kWh battery will return around 200 miles between charges and, with 100kW charging capability, the Rapide E will top up from 10-80% in around 30 minutes. Read more about the Aston Martin Rapide E.
Inside, it’s unmistakably an Audi. Fusing the high-technology with the beautiful, it feels every inch a luxury SUV. Power comes from electric motors on the front and rear axles, giving four-wheel drive and 302bhp – rising to 402bhp if you use the boost function that gives an eight-second burst of acceleration.
This results in a 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds and a top speed of around 125mph. The e-tron is capable of 150kW charging and has an official range of 248 miles. Read our Audi e-tron review.
The Jaguar I-Pace’s fun, dynamic drive has set the benchmark for luxury electric cars. It’s playful and agile, making it one of the most enjoyable electric cars to drive. Its styling, too, is a radical departure for the sporty SUV market, while the inside is every bit as slick as the exterior.
Performance is strong, too, with 396bhp from an electric motor on each axle. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes 4.8 seconds, while the top speed is limited to 124mph. A 90kWh battery gives an official range of 292 miles, but expect closer to 230 miles in the real world. While capable of 100kW charging, most UK locations at the moment have 50kW chargers, so it’ll take just under 90 minutes to get to an 80% charge. Read our Jaguar I-Pace review.
Jaguar’s next XJ will be electric-only as the brand phases out the use of petrol and diesel engines for its luxury sports saloon.
While the new XJ hasn’t officially been revealed, it was teased at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show and is expected to go on sale sometime in 2020. It'll be built in the UK. Jaguar says this XJ won’t be conventional, with a focus on beautiful design, luxurious materials and an engaging drive. Read more about the electric Jaguar XJ.
Lagonda All-Terrain Concept
Aston Martin is reviving the Lagonda nameplate for its electric spin-off brand, with the first model out of the starting blocks set to be based on this All-Terrain Concept. The All-Terrain follows on from the Lagonda Vision Concept four-seater (shown at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show) and takes its inspiration from superyachts.
One of its luxury highlights is its key, which uses an electromagnet to float inside the car. The All-Terrain is expected to share the Aston Martin Rapide E’s 65kWh battery and is likely to cost £300,000 when it goes on sale in 2022. Read more about the Lagonda All-Terrain Concept.
The EQC is Mercedes’ first purpose-designed pure-electric car and one of its key selling points is its elegant interior, with a simple but sophisticated layout, a variety of tactile materials and a bonanza of technology.
The EQC’s 80kWh battery gives it a range of 259 miles and with 110kW charging capability, it can go from a 20-80% charge in around 25 minutes. While it’s engineered more for comfort than fun (it’s supremely refined), with 402bhp and 765Nm of torque, it'll hit 62mph from rest in 5.1 seconds. Read our EQC review.
Polestar, Volvo’s standalone electric performance brand, has launched the Polestar 2. It's available to buy now online, production starts next year in China and first UK deliveries will take place towards the end of 2020.
Highlights include a vegan interior, phone-as-key functionality and an 11-inch touchscreen. Two electric motors produce 402bhp and 660Nm of torque via four-wheel drive, giving a 0-62mph time of less than five seconds. Polestar hasn’t revealed charging information yet, but the 2 will have a long- and mid-range battery options. Read more about the Polestar 2.
It may be expensive, with prices starting at around £80,000, but we reckon the Porsche Taycan is one of the best electric cars yet. Porsche’s first fully-electric car features a 93kWh battery and is available in three guises: 4S, Turbo and range-topping Turbo S.
With 671bhp, the Turbo will hit 62mph in 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of 161mph. The Turbo S, with 751bhp, has the same limited top speed but will hit 62mph in just 2.8 seconds.
As you’d expect from a Porsche, the Taycan’s handling is sublime. As for range, it will hit between 256 and 279 miles depending on which model you choose. The Taycan is capable of 270kWh rapid charging, though you’ll struggle to achieve this in the UK. This allows it to charge from 10-80% full in 23 minutes. Read our Porsche Taycan review.
Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S has been around for a few years now, but it’s still the car to beat. The Model S Long Range comes with a 100kWh battery, which gives it the longest range of any electric car on sale, at 375 miles.
There’s also a Performance model, which gives 365 miles on a single charge. Tesla’s Supercharger network allows owners access 120kW public charging points, which will give you 170 miles of range in only 30 minutes.
Acceleration from the top-spec 751bhp Performance model is astounding: 0-62mph takes 2.4 seconds while the Long Range takes 3.7 seconds. The Tesla Model S is spacious and luxurious, but we have a few concerns over the fit and finish. Read our Tesla Model S review.
Tesla Model X
The Model X is Tesla’s luxurious sports SUV, but beneath the sci-fi styling is a car that’s very practical and spacious, with up to seven seats and both front and rear luggage compartments.
Yet despite its size and weight – the Model X weighs 2,300kg – with 611bhp, it goes like a rocket. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes just 2.7 seconds (the Long Range version does it in 4.4) with instant acceleration available the whole way to its 155mph top speed.
The Model X can travel 315 miles between charges and can be charged from one of Tesla's 120kW rapid chargers in 40 minutes (to an 80% charge). Read our Tesla Model X review.