Top 9 All-Wheel-Drive Electric Cars to Consider
One of the major hesitancies drivers have when considering an electric vehicle is how the car will drive compared to the gas-powered vehicles they’re used to.
There are a lot of myths out there regarding how electric cars perform in certain driving conditions and on different roads, particularly in relation to acceleration and control. It’s hard to imagine an EPA-friendly vehicle that can offer tough all-wheel-drive performance without coughing up any harmful emissions.
In fact, automakers have gone a long way to ensure that electric cars don’t just offer a driving experience similar to gas-powered vehicles, but a more improved one.
Whether you’re looking for an all-wheel-drive electric SUV, upgrading from a plug-in hybrid, or just wanting the traction and control of an all-wheel-drive (AWD) powertrain, there are plenty of all-electric options for you.
Let’s dive into what makes AWD effective, and briefly go over some popular all-wheel-drive electric cars so you can find the best one for you.
Benefits of an All-Wheel Drive Electric Vehicle
Just what exactly is all-wheel-drive? Vehicles with an all-wheel-drive powertrain provide power to all four wheels at the same time, either constantly, or when the driver chooses to. This is different from many traditional powertrain setups.
In front-wheel-drive powertrains, power is distributed to the front wheels only, meaning the vehicle’s two rear wheels are quite literally just along for the ride. In rear-wheel drive powertrains, power from a car’s engine is sent only to the rear wheels, with the front wheels utilized solely for steering.
The only major difference between all-wheel drive in gas-powered vehicles and electric vehicles is that in gas-powered vehicles, the wheels are mated to the drivetrain mechanically. In electric cars, this connection is electronic.
An all-wheel-drive system in an electric car gives drivers more instantaneous and direct control at each wheel, which is incredibly effective for traction in wet, snowy, or icy conditions. This is because the weight of both braking and acceleration power are centered at four corners of the vehicle, as opposed to one end of the vehicle.
The required mechanical connections for all-wheel-drive powertrains in gas-powered cars can often inhibit cargo and passenger space in some models. With these connections now gone, automakers are free to design all-wheel-drive vehicles unencumbered.
Thinking about buying an all-wheel-drive car with an electric motor? There are plenty of great options to choose from, whether you’re a student, commuting professional, carpooler, or driver with a big family.
All-Wheel Drive Electric Cars: Sedans
If performance is your passion, there’s no shortage of all-wheel-drive electric cars that will help you go fast while maintaining control on the road in bad weather. Whether you’re used to escorting clients, carpooling, or need space for friends and family, these all-wheel-drive electric cars are great options.
Tesla Model 3
Miles of range: 262 miles
The Tesla Model 3, a five-passenger fastback sedan, is one of the best-selling all-electric vehicles in the world. While Tesla’s claim to fame is luxury all-electric sports cars like Tesla Model S, a vast majority of drivers have chosen the more modest Model 3 for its affordability, wealth of innovative onboard technology, and all-wheel-drive option. In addition, Tesla’s eight-year, 120,000-mile battery and drive unit warranty gives buyers considerable peace of mind
Miles of range: 265 miles
The rise of the crossover was a great contributor to the decline in popularity of large sedans in American automotives. But electric car automaker Polestar is insisting the large four-door sedan is back and better than ever.
With features like a panoramic glass roof and pixelated LED headlamps, the five-passenger Polestar 2 is packed with new technology. In addition, the car’s environmentally friendly design extends to its interior, where vegan leather and reconstructed wood paneling create a luxurious experience. The Polestar 2 is available with both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive powertrains.
Audi e-tron Sportback
Miles of range: 222 miles
Audi’s “quattro” all-wheel-drive system has been beloved by drivers for decades. The Audi-e-tron Sportback brings its trademark precision and control to you in a new all-electric package. This all-wheel-drive car features Audi’s unmistakable styling, as well an impressive 355 horsepower to make emissions-free highway driving that much more fun.
Critics have lauded the luxurious materials of the car’s spacious interior, which features a flat floor thanks to the design of the car’s battery pack. And with a spacious 57 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, the Audi e-tron is capable of carrying a lot more luggage than its class rivals.
All-Wheel Drive Electric Cars: SUVs
Looking for an all-wheel-drive EV that can help get the family around? There’s a wide variety of all-wheel drive electric SUVs that offer plenty of advanced technologies and passenger room for all your trips and errands.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Miles of range: 305 miles
Drivers looking for an all-wheel-drive electric car with high-performance pedigree can’t go wrong by getting behind the wheel of the Ford Mustang Mach-E. The famed muscle car is now an all-electric SUV set to thrill a whole new generation of drivers.
The Mustang Mach-E’s sleek curves aren’t its only appeal to performance lovers. The car also comes with three distinct driving modes: Whisper, Engage, and Unbridled.
Hyundai Kona Electric
Miles of range: 258 miles
While Hyundai‘s Ioniq is an all-wheel-drive vehicle designed to suit trips around town, the Hyundai Kona is its more adventurous cousin. The car’s touchscreen infotainment system is accessible via an accompanying app, allowing drivers to lock and unlock the vehicle, review upcoming maintenance tasks, and see the remaining charge time while they’re away from their vehicle.
The Hyundai Kona Electric is also no slouch for drivers looking for a long-range all-wheel-drive electric car so they can cruise without worry about the location of the nearest charger. The vehicle has a range of 258 miles on a full charge, or enough to drive from Los Angeles to San Diego and back.
Volvo XC40 Recharge
Miles of range: 208 miles
With a range of just 208 miles, the Volvo XC40 can’t go quite as far as some of its all-wheel-drive electric car rivals, but it makes up for it with Volvo‘s venerated suite of safety features and on-board technology. It’s also pretty impressive when it comes to acceleration, topping out at 402 horsepower.
The XC40 Recharge is powered by dual-motor all-electric powertrain and all-wheel drive, helping it combat difficult driving weather with ease.
All-Wheel Drive Electric Cars: Pickup Trucks
Looking for an all-wheel-drive electric car that will stand up to the off-road elements? Battery electric pickup trucks are set to make a big statement in the near future. Whether you’re hauling materials to work, or simply eager to take the family camping with an all-electric vehicle that can handle the elements, check out these all-wheel-drive electric pickups.
Miles of range: 314 miles
While Jeep has long dominated the American automobile market as the vehicle for adventurers, Rivian is coming for their crown. Whether you’re interested in towing the boat to the lake or simply spending a weekend outdoors mountain biking, the Rivian R1T might be the all-wheel-drive electric car for you.
What makes the Rivian R1T stand out among all-wheel drive electric cars is its vast array of accessories, among them an on-board kitchen and camping platform.
Miles of range: 200 miles
Despite its hefty price tag and comparatively short all-electric range, the Bollinger B2 offers a unique box body style and plenty of all-wheel-drive towing power, which give it potential for both everyday and commercial use.
The truck’s removable rear seats and rear wall allow it to carry cargo like few trucks that have preceded it. In fact, the truck’s doors and windshield can also be easily removed, whether you’re hauling a lot of cargo or simply want to let the air into the cabin for a nice day off-roading.
Miles of range: 300 miles
With a breathtaking design, anti-corrosion body, and impressive 3,500-pound towing capacity, the Tesla Cybertruck will bring all-wheel drive electric capability into one relatively affordable package.
While the Cybertruck’s reasonable pricing sets it apart from all-wheel-drive electric car rivals, the all-wheel-drive version will be approximately $10,000 more than its rear-wheel-drive counterpart. From “cold-rolled” stainless steel structural skin to Tesla armored glass, the Cybertruck will offer both advanced passenger safety and incredible durability that’s prepared for any adventure.
Get on the Road With an All-Wheel Drive Electric Car
Getting behind the wheel of an all-wheel-drive electric car can be even more affordable when you take advantage of rebate programs and federal tax credits.
And remember, while all-wheel-drive powertrain technology can be helpful when driving in bad weather, it’s no substitute for safe, conscientious driving habits.
Choosing an electric car doesn’t mean sacrificing the all-wheel-drive control you’re used to. With these fun, high-tech, and stylish vehicles to choose from, you’ll be ready to continue your adventures on the road while only sacrificing harmful emissions, not control.