Top 11 Best Electric Cars in Canada

By Arthur Dubois | Published on 18 Aug 2023

Top 11 Best Electric Cars in Canada
Share with FacebookShare with FacebookShare with TwitterShare with TwitterShare with Twitter

    Climate change isn’t slowing down.

    Between 2013 and 2022, the planet’s temperature rose by an average of 1.14 degrees Celsius, and it’s clear that something needs to be done to curb those increases. That desire to help the planet may be what pulls you toward electric vehicles (EVs). Or you may just like the look of EVs, and especially like the fact that charging them costs far less than fuelling your current gas guzzler.

    Whatever the case may be, you want to know about the best electric cars Canada has to offer. Once you’ve finished this article, you’ll have 11 on your shortlist that all offer something different.

    A Word on EV Car Insurance

    Before getting into the meat of the list, let’s discuss something that every motorist has to deal with: car insurance.

    You may have heard that the best electric cars Canada has will cost you more than an equivalent petrol-powered vehicle. And you’d be right – mostly.

    Indeed, it tends to cost more to insure an EV than it costs to insure a traditional car. The reasons are numerous, including the comparative lack of mechanics who specialize in fixing EVs compared to regular cars, and the vehicles themselves costing more, thus making them potentially more valuable to thieves.

    You’ll always face a balancing act between the benefits of your EV in terms of fuel efficiency and its insurance costs. But that act is becoming a lot easier to perform as EVs continue to grow in market share, and you’ll likely see premiums coming down as electric cars become more popular.

    The 11 Best Electric Cars Canada Has to Offer

    In creating this list, the goal was to ensure that everybody who reads finds an EV that suits their needs. For some, that means finding an EV that can match traditional cars when it comes to speed and power output. For others, it may mean finding an EV that’s available for relatively little money while still offering the planet-saving benefits associated with this type of vehicle.

    Our list covers the 11 best EVs in Canada, divided into different categories, ensuring you find something that suits your particular needs.

    1. Tesla Model 3 – Best for Pure Speed

    Tesla does a lot of things right when it comes to electric cars, with one of their biggest advantages being that their cars can hit speeds similar to gas-powered cars. In fact, the Model 3 goes beyond that, hitting a top speed of 261km/h, and accelerating to 100km/h at the breakneck pace of just 3.3 seconds.

    It’s a great choice for travelling long distances, too, with a starting range of 438km that you can boost to 534km if you’re willing to pay a little more. Given its price, (less than $55,000) that’s one of the best ranges in the EV market. Beyond that, there’s something about the Model 3 that other EVs can’t emulate – it’s simply fun to drive. You’re not going to get the roar of an engine to satisfy the speedster inside, but the power and fluidity on offer mean you won’t be disappointed with the performance.

    Granted, the central console can be finicky. It has so many commands and controls built into it that EV newbies may find themselves getting lost. And we still aren’t seeing the self-driving that Tesla so often promises. But those are minor flaws when you realize that the Model 3 is simply one of the best EV driving experiences around.

    Starting Price: $54,990

    2. Polestar 2 – Best for Range

    While the Tesla Model 3 can get up to 534km in range, you’ll pay the price to get there. The Polestar 2 breaks the 500km barrier, too, only this time you get that spectacular range as standard. Capable of reaching up to 514km before it needs recharging (with the long-range single-motor model), assuming you choose the single-motor model, the car is ideal for anybody who likes the thought of an EV but worries about running out of juice during long journeys.

    That’s not to say it doesn’t shine elsewhere. It’s a sleek-looking car, at least on the inside, and offers solid acceleration compared to other EVs. Ride handling is good, and you’ll generally have fun behind the wheel of this one.

    Sadly, there are those who might believe that the Polestar 2’s beauty is under the skin. It’s not an ugly car, by any means, but it just looks so standard. Even the curvature built into the doors doesn’t do much to set it apart, though that’s not going to worry you when you’re enjoying the ride.

    Starting Price: $54,950

    3. Ford Mustang Mach-E – Best Electric SUV

    The problem with SUVs, particularly the electric kind, is that they weigh more and thus require more power to run. Ford solves that problem with its Mach-E by creating a car that’s part SUV and part sedan, giving you the best of both worlds while tackling one of the biggest drawbacks of SUV design.

    It has solid acceleration, being capable of hitting 100km/h in just 6.6 seconds, and its 402km (with a 72kWh battery) range means you’re not going to get stuck in the wilderness without power as long as you’re recharging properly.

    It’s a good-looking car, too, though handling can suffer if you choose the base model. Forking out a little more nets better performance, though you’ll find some pretty big variances may price you out of the high-end Mach-E model market.

    Starting Price: $56,995

    4. Chevrolet Bolt EUV – Best Electric Compact

    There’s a lot to love about the Chevrolet Bolt. As a compact, it costs substantially less than most other EVs, though it’s not quite the cheapest on the list. Performance is solid for a small car, too, as it can hit 148km/h and has a 397km range. Neither is spectacular, but they get the job done if you’re looking for a small urban runaround that isn’t going to spend a lot of time on highways.

    The interior also impresses, especially given that it offers far more space than its more costly compact contemporary in the Mini Cooper Electric.

    Just remember that compact comes with compromises. The Bolt EUV isn’t premium, by any stretch, and it’ll feel like the cheaper option it is when you put your foot down.

    Starting Price: $43,179

    5. Toyota Prius Prime – Best Electric Car for Canadians on a Budget

    At almost $2,000 cheaper than the Chevrolet Bolt, the Prius Prime tops the list of best electric cars Canada offers for the budget conscious. But there’s a little cheating going on here – the Prius Prime is actually a hybrid.

    Still, it makes the list because the electric part of that hybrid equation is pretty solid. You get a 72-km range – enough for quick trips and general urban driving. Yes, you will need to switch to petrol for further on the highway, but for short trips, the Prius Prime is a great choice.

    That hybrid setup is also the reason why it’s so cheap, and you can reduce the price further with regional and national incentives. As for downsides, they’re mainly cosmetic. A cluttered gauge cluster can get confusing and there are some space issues (lack of center armrest storage and poor rear headroom). But at the cheaper end of the EV market, there aren’t any better.

    Starting Price: $41,364.50

    6. Genesis GV60 – Best Sporty Electric Car

    Let’s get the obvious downside out of the way – the Genesis GV60 doesn’t come cheap. You’ll spend over $80,000 on the base model, though that’s repaid with a sporty little number that’s capable of offering 483bhp when in its “Boost” mode.

    That power leads to a solid top speed of about 185km/h, which combines with a solid range of 378km to give you a car that’s good for urban and highway driving. Plus, it looks cool. Really cool. The quirky design stands out compared to comparable models that cost less and offer equivalent performance. And the electric powertrain packs enough of a bunch for you to feel it when you put your foot down.

    There are rangier EVs available for less money. Still, if sporty is where it’s at for you, and you’re willing to pay a premium, the Genesis GV60 is a slick little number.

    Starting Price: $80,650

    7. BMW i7 – Best Luxury Electric Car

    For its eye-watering six-figure price, you better believe that BMW has something special up its sleeve with the i7. This beefy sedan does extremely well on the range front, topping out at 512km (only 2km less than the Polestar, though at double the price).

    And it’s just so beautiful. Everything aspect of the i7’s design screams “deluxe,” from the beautifully crafted exterior to the tech-packed interior. Yes, the tech may feel a little overwhelming. Those wanting a simple drive may get dazzled by the digital displays dotted around the car. But for a tech whiz, that’s just part of the fun.

    Near-silence envelops you in the cabin, too, making this one of the best electric cars Canada has for people who simply enjoy luxuriating while they drive.

    Starting Price: $147,000

    8. Audi Q8 E-Tron – Most Improved Electric Vehicle

    We know what you’re thinking if you’ve already scrolled down to the price – $95,000 is a lot of money for a sedan. And you’re right. The Q8 E-Tron absolutely lands closer to the luxury end of the EV scale than other cars on this list. But it makes up for that by improving on everything that the old versions of the E-Tron offered.

    Horsepower and range have seen the biggest boosts, with the 2024 model reaching 402bhp and a 459-km range respectively. That puts it in the running as the best electric car Canada offers for family, as it’s long-lasting enough to get you almost anywhere you need to go.

    The downside – huge charging times. Expect to spend about 13 hours bringing the battery up to full charge. This is the only area where the 2024 model falls flat compared to the 2023, which took 10 hours to charge. But given the boosts in range and engine power, it’s unsurprising that a bigger battery is needed, resulting in higher charging times. Perhaps upgrading the 40-amp charger would have solved that problem, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Audi do that with the 2025 model.

    Starting Price: $95,950

    9. Ford F-150 Lightning – Best Electric Truck

    Anybody who knows about Ford’s reputation with pick-up trucks, especially its beloved F-150 range, can already guess why the F-150 Lightning makes the list. It’s a behemoth in the EV world, looking every bit as bulky (and slightly intimidating) as its petrol-driven cousin. That’s not to say it’s ugly. The F-150 Lightning has curves in the right places, especially on the front end, and a cool LED lighting strip that frames the grille.

    Of course, storage is always a big benefit of pick-up trucks, and the F-150 Lightning offers plenty of that. Add to that a 4,536kg maximum towing capacity, more than enough for most trailers and even some small boats, and the Lightning offers the pulling power you’d expect from a solid pick-up.

    Unfortunately, as much as it’s a heavy-duty tower, it’s in towing that you also see the biggest problem with the truck – range. Dragging a heavy weight around puts a ton of strain on the battery, which comes back at you in the form of having to pay for an expensive battery upgrade. But that’s a common problem with EV trucks, and it’s one that Ford hasn’t quite figured out yet.

    So, if you’re planning on towing regularly, the traditional F-150 is still a safer bet. But if towing isn’t your thing and you just want a solid truck that offers great performance when not dragging a heavy weight, the 580bhp engine is more than capable of impressing.

    Starting Price: $69,000

    10. Mazda MX-30 – Best for Low-Cost Insurance

    The Mazda MX-30 is far from the best electric car Canada has to offer.

    Its 161-km driving range is tiny compared to its contemporaries, putting you in mind of older EVs rather than a 2023 model. It’s pretty slow, too, though it can reach a top speed of 140km/h. It’ll just feel like you’re spending an age to get there. It’s not even the best-designed electric compact around because adults will feel cramped in its rear seats.

    But if the MX-30 has all of these issues, why does it make this list?

    The simple answer – there’s no better EV when it comes to insurance in Canada.

    Before making this list, we ran every vehicle we checked through Surex’s car insurance comparison tool. Using, as a base, a married 36-year-old driver who has no claims on their insurance and drives about 15,200km per year, the tool showed us that you can insure the MX-30 for $199 per month. The next best was $206 for the Hyundai Kona EV (which didn’t make the list).

    So, you’re getting an underpowered EV in the MX-30. But you’re also getting one that’ll save you hundreds of dollars a year on insurance premiums, assuming you’re happy to only use it for short trips and city driving.

    Starting Price: $40,769

    11. Mini Cooper Electric 3-Door – Best for Short Drives

    The Mazda MX-30 may be okay for short drives, but it’s the Mini Cooper Electric that takes the crown in that department. Why? On the purely aesthetic level, it’s just prettier than the MX-30, bringing that classic Mini to the EV market. The front is clean (with the classic “Beetle” headlamps), and the car looks sleek and stylish when it’s on the road.

    It has a better range than the MX-30, too, offering 183km per charge versus Mazda’s model’s 161km. And with its 181bhp engine capable of getting you up to 60km/h in less than four seconds, it’s got a little more going on under the hood. Combine that with solid affordability and the fact that it’s simply a ton of fun to drive (a Mini staple) and you have a brilliant city EV.

    It’s not perfect, of course. The short driving range means you won’t be taking the Mini Cooper Electric out on the highway often. It’s also absolutely tiny in the back – a common issue with Minis. Still, it makes up for that shortcoming with some nice features, including heated front seats and steering wheel, which come as standard with the car.

    Starting Price: $48,190

    Find the Best Electric Cars Canada Offers for You

    Electric cars improve with every year that passes.

    Ranges are increasing, with some of the rangiest models on this list now able to crack 500km before they need recharging. And one of the more common issues with EVs – their power – is slowly creeping up to meet the standards of traditional cars.

    By working your way through this list, you’ll see what compromises you have to make in some areas to reap benefits in others. No matter which of the cars you choose, all have the shared advantage of being better for the environment. Only now, a lot more EVs couple that shared advantage with long battery lives and designs that make them attractive to anybody who considers themselves a “car person.”

    But as always, your decision comes down to one thing – what works best for you?

    If you’re shopping on a budget, the Prius Prime and Bolt EUV both drop into the $30,000 to $40,000 range with incentives attached. If you have a little more to spend, BMW, Audi, and Ford all offer fun twists on their classic cars that deliver power, style, and luxury. Think about what matters most to you in your EV driving experience and use that as the light that guides you toward the best electric cars Canada offers for your needs.

    FAQs about the Best Electric Cars in Canada

    Are electric cars worth it in Canada?

    As with all things, there’s a balance to strike with electric cars when it comes to whether or not they’re worth it. They cost more than equivalent gasoline-driven cars, though that high cost can be mitigated with grants and incentives. You’re also doing more to help the environment, making them attractive to the environmentally conscious. As for ongoing costs, you’ll pay less to charge an EV than you would to refuel a regular car, but you may find your insurance premiums are higher.

    Why do electric cars have less range in winter?

    It’s all to do with heating your cabin. As electric cars rely on electricity both for driving and to power all of the gizmos inside your car, you’re pulling from one power source for everything. The result is that winter can lead to an EV’s range dropping by up to 30% because you have to use some of the battery’s charge to warm up your car.

    How long does it take to charge an electric car?

    It depends on the car, with most offering a fast charge that can get you up to 80% of a full battery in less than an hour. Beyond that (and depending on the model), a full charge can take anywhere between a couple of hours and 15 hours.

    How long does an electric car battery last?

    Answering this question is a little tough because EVs haven’t been around long enough for us to see batteries dying. It’s common for manufacturers to offer five- or eight-year warranties on their batteries, giving you some indication of how long they’ll last. But some estimates say the average EV battery could last for between 10 and 20 years before it requires replacement.

    What is the cheapest electric car in Canada?

    With all incentives included, the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime is the cheapest electric car in Canada. You can pick it up for less than $30,000, with the right incentive, and even its starting price of $41,364.50 is better than almost anything else on the market.

    Can you trickle-charge an electric car?

    Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that you can trickle charge if you absolutely have to do so. But no in that manufacturers generally don’t recommend doing it for anything other than emergencies. This isn’t to do with battery performance issues you might expect. Rather, it tends to cost more to trickle charge an EV using your home’s electricity supply than it does to charge it at a docking station.

    Share with FacebookShare with FacebookShare with TwitterShare with TwitterShare with Twitter
    Arthur Dubois is a personal finance writer at Hardbacon. Since relocating to Canada, he has successfully built his credit score from scratch and begun investing in the stock market. In addition to his work at Hardbacon, Arthur has contributed to Metro newspaper and several other publications