The Ultimate Guide to Electric Cars in 2023

Buying a new car has always been a complex, high-stakes decision, and the influx of electric vehicles certainly hasn’t made it any simpler. There are now more fuel and engine types than ever—gas, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, EV, and even hydrogen fuel cell. Inside the vehicle, dash screens are getting larger and more numerous, complete with their own apps, monthly subscriptions, and over-the-air updates.

The Technological Marvels: Best Electric Vehicles Tested

As confusing as these next-gen vehicles can seem, it’s hard to go wrong. EVs tend to be some of the most technologically advanced, smooth-driving cars on the road. They’re essentially smartphones on wheels, with the potential to save you hundreds of dollars on gas and maintenance bills (e.g., no oil changes). With that in mind, these are the best EVs we’ve tested. Make sure to read to the end for an overview of key points to consider when it comes to electric driving.

Should You Get a Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid, or Full Electric Vehicle?

If you’re interested in moving away from a fully gas-powered vehicle, there are multiple ways to do so depending on your lifestyle.

Hybrid Vehicles: The Efficient Transition

Hybrid vehicles are a great entry point: They are essentially a more efficient version of a fully gas-powered vehicle. Their small battery complements the gasoline engine, improving the miles per gallon and overall efficiency though not providing enough power to travel on pure electricity.

Plug-In Hybrids (PHEVs): Bridging the Gap

Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) sit in between a pure electric vehicle and a hybrid. They have a full gas tank but can also go a certain distance on pure electricity (usually around 25 miles, give or take), thanks to their larger battery that must be charged through an external port.

Electric Vehicles: The Silent Revolution

Electric vehicles drop the gasoline engine entirely and rely on electricity alone. They run nearly silently, accelerate more quickly, and don’t spew unpleasant exhaust out of the tailpipe.

Key Questions for Going Electric

There are a few key questions to ask yourself when considering a purely electric vehicle.

Considering Alternative Fuel: Hydrogen Fuel Cell

An alternative fuel vehicle you might consider is a hydrogen fuel cell, which offers great range and refuels in just five minutes. However, hydrogen fuel cells are in their fledgling era, even compared with hybrids and electrics.

The Changing Landscape: Buying EVs Online vs. at Dealerships

Electric vehicles are shaking up the dealership model. Tesla and Rivian both take orders online only, foregoing dealerships entirely. Instead, they have set up service centers around the country exclusively for maintenance.

How Do EV Tax Credits Work?

The US government offers a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for eligible buyers and vehicles. Only a handful of EVs qualify, and the buyer must make under a certain amount of money, though there are loopholes for leasing.

Navigating the Dashboard: Dash Screen 101

Most new vehicles these days—and EVs in particular—come with a slew of new dash features.

The Evolution of Controls: Physical Buttons vs. Touchscreens

Some automakers are replacing physical buttons with reprogrammable touchscreens. On the Ford F-150 Lightning, for example, the volume dial also adjusts temperature. Brands like Hyundai say they won’t fully get rid of buttons, as studies show physical contact with a reliable knob is still safer.

The Crucial Test: Seeing is Believing

The vast array of dashboard designs means it’s even more crucial to see the vehicle in person to find a cockpit you’re comfortable with. This also applies to gas-powered vehicles.


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