These innovative electric vehicles can power through harsh winters. We researched and rounded up the best electric SUV, best electric cars under $100k, and best value electric cars in this list.
Electric vehicles can take on winter weather, and the best EVs offer an all-wheel drive for better traction in snow and harsh conditions. They also have considerable range so you have more peace of mind on the road.
Electric cars do lose driving range in winter, up to 20% according to some sources and as high as 41% with the heater turned up high according to others. However, to say that electric cars are practically unusable in winter is untrue.
In January 2022, a winter storm in Virginia shut down Interstate 95 for more than 24 hours, causing a traffic jam in subfreezing temperatures. How long would an electric vehicle last in those conditions compared to a gasoline-powered vehicle? Car and Driver ran a cold weather test on a 2019 Tesla Model 3 Long Range and a 2022 Hyundai Sonata N-Line when the average outside temperature was around 15 degrees Fahrenheit. They found that the Tesla could last a maximum of 45.1 hours and the Hyundai could last 51.8 hours, with the Model 3 outperforming the Sonata in efficiency. The results suggested that EVs lost range at a comparable rate to gas-powered cars.
The best electric vehicles for winter include electric SUVs, electric trucks, and electric cars. The two criteria emphasized on this list are range and all-wheel drive, since they contribute most to performance. I’ve included the price of the vehicle with all-wheel drive and noted any other weatherproof features included with it. The prices listed here are the manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP), which do not include destination and delivery charges, tax, title, and registration fees.Also:
These are the best electric cars for winter driving, from highest to lowest price.
- Lucid Air Grand Touring
Best electric car overall
- Super quick charge time
- Long range minimizes worry during the winter
- 20-way massaging seats
- 21-speaker Surreal Sound™ Pro audio system
- Full-grain Nappa leather interior
- Glass Canopy panoramic views
- Considerable price tag
Tech specs: Range: 516 miles | Max power: 1,200+ hp | Charge: 200 miles in 12 minutes when connected to 350 kW DC fast charger and equipped with 19-inch wheels | Acceleration: 0-60 mph in less than 2 seconds | Price (with dual-motor all-wheel drive): From $154,000
Lucid Motors advertises the Air as the “longest range, fastest charging luxury EV in the world” — that’s the Air in a nutshell. If you have the money to spend, this is worth it for the 516 mile range alone. The specs on this car make it the stuff of dreams: 1,200 hp, acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in under two seconds, and super quick charging. Compared to other electric vehicles, and even other luxury vehicles, the price tag is hefty. However, the attention to detail in all aspects of the Lucid Air, from the 21-speaker system to sustainably sourced Nappa leather interiors, places it a cut above the rest.
The Lucid Air Grand Touring and the Lucid Air Touring offer dual-motor all-wheel drive types at price points of $154,000 and $107,400, respectively. The Lucid Air Pure starts at $87,400 with the option to upgrade to dual-motor all-wheel drive. The Air comes with a built-in, superfast Wunderbox boost charger that works at almost all public charging stations. It can fill up your Air with up to 300 miles of charge in about 22 minutes.
- Tesla Model S
Best aerodynamic electric car
Tech specs: Range: 405 miles | Acceleration: 3.1 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph | Charging time: 200 miles in 15 minutes at a Tesla Supercharger station | Peak horsepower: 670 hp | Price: From $96,590
Tesla’s electric cars continue to unlock a considerable amount of range, power, and control perfect for any weather. The Model S features dual motor all-wheel drive and more range than any other vehicle in Tesla’s current lineup. The Model S Plaid offers even better acceleration (less than two seconds) and power (1,020 hp) but with less range (396 miles) and a higher price.The Model S lets you navigate on autopilot, change lanes automatically, autopark, and more. Tesla emphasizes that the Model S has a low drag coefficient, “the lowest on the planet,” for better speed and overall performance.
- Audi e-tron
Best luxury EV for winter
- All-season tires included in standard package
- Enough space for the whole family
- Intelligent thermal control system
- Pre-air conditioning for the summer months
- Range increases with some software updates
- Safety pick
- The heaviness of the car (almost 6,000 pounds) holds back its range
Tech specs: Range: 226 miles | Charge time: From 5% to 80% in 30 minutes at a public fast charger | Power: 402 hp with boost engaged | Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds | Price: From $70,800
The Audi e-tron is tried and tested in the cold, with four-wheel drive, pre-heating interior, and increased range. One Norwegian family of five shared how the vehicle continues to hold up well, even after three years: “For our part, the range has always been sufficient, even in winter. We have a charging option both at home and at the cabin and can start every morning with a ‘full tank’. Normally, we only charge to 80 percent, and that gives us an everyday life completely free of range worries,” Liselotte Lunde told Audi.
The family has driven 30,000 km, or 13,641 miles, in the e-tron since they purchased it in 2019. Their story showcases the capabilities of this electric SUV to get families where they need to be, during everyday commutes or for long road trips. The Audi e-tron tackles uphill drives through snow and slippery winter roads with ease. And its range increases with updates to its software.
- Ford F-150 Lightning
Best electric truck for snow
- Two inboard motors
- Mega power frunk with four 120V outlets, a USB-C outlet, and a USB-A outlet
- 7,700 towing capacity
- Automatic software downloads
- Price is higher than $60,000 at some dealerships
Tech specs: Range: 240 miles | Charging: 15%-80% in 41 minutes with the extended range battery | Acceleration: 0-60 in 4 seconds | Price: From $55,974 (with all-wheel drive)
The Ford F-150 Lightning offers versatility down to its frunk, or the front trunk afforded to electric vehicles. It has four 120V outlets, a USB-C outlet, and a USB-A outlet in the frunk that allow you to power a laptop, power tools, or even a microwave if you wanted to. Its range is impressive for such a large vehicle, and it comes standard with a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system. The extended range battery would be best for winter driving, as it pushes the range from 240 miles to 320, but that also pushes this car into a higher price range.
- Subaru Solterra
Best EV with symmetrical all-wheel drive
- 72.8 kWh battery capacity
- Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
- 8.3 inches of ground clearance
- X-MODE with Downhill Assist Control
- All-electric drivetrain with 72.8 kWh battery capacity
- Less cargo space than competitors
Tech specs: Range: Up to 228 miles | Charging: Up to 80% charged in an hour | Price (including all-wheel drive): $44,995
The Subaru Solterra is the first all-electric SUV to have symmetrical all-wheel drive, which is for all types of weather and terrain. This offers balance in all weather conditions, through evenly dispersed stability and power distribution. The dual electric motors help create a smooth driving experience when combined with X-Mode, which has settings for snow, dirt, and mud, so that you have the best traction possible even when you’re going downhill. An innovative part of the Solterra’s design is the high 8.3 inches of ground clearance, so that you can navigate through rough terrain. The Subaru Solterra also comes with some essential safety features, like the blind spot monitor system.
- Bonus! The Chevy all-electric Silverado RST
Best electric truck to come
- 100 miles of range in only 10 minutes on fast chargers
- Towing capabilities from 8,000 to 20,000 lbs
- Advanced Trailering System with up to 14 different camera views
- 4-Wheel Steer
- Long wait
- Prices can increase depending on the dealer
Tech specs: Range: 400 miles | Horsepower: 754 hp | Power: All-wheel drive | Estimated MSRP: Starting at $39,900
The Silverado EV will be available starting in the summer of 2024, but if you’re excited by the specs and the projected price, you can reserve one in advance. You have to pay $100 with your reservation, which is refundable if you decide you no longer want the vehicle. When it’s time to place an order, your selected dealer will contact you and you can confirm your order details then.
Are electric cars good for winter driving?
Electric cars are good for winter driving and they have an advantage that gasoline-powered cars do not: Higher-end models have automatic software updates that increase range.
How long do electric cars last?
EV manufacturers have to warranty batteries for 8 years or 100,000 miles, and California pushes that to 10 years or 150,000 miles. Researchers at Tesla and other companies are working on extending battery life to much longer than that.
How long does it take to charge an EV?
It depends on the vehicle. The size of the battery, the vehicle’s charging capability, the charging station, its power output, and the current charge level of the vehicle are just some of the factors that determine how quickly an EV charges.