• Did you know that electric vehicles (EVs) are set to overtake gasoline vehicles by 2023? That’s right - in the United States more people will be buying EVs soon enough. This is probably a good thing for most US consumers. 

    Gasoline prices don’t seem to stop rising and people are using clever tricks such as combining an electric vehicle, a solar installation, and a home battery to never pay a gasoline or electricity bill again. 

    So let’s look at the top electric vehicles that you can purchase in California. This list isn’t in any particular order, but rather highlights the cars that are the best combination of performance, design, and efficiency. Let’s check out the best in class:

    Chevrolet Bolt

    Not all EVs are flashy - many are solid all rounders that are perfect for the average driver. The Chevrolet Bolt has an EPA-estimated 259 miles of range and can go 0 to 60 mph in the mid six-second range. Currently, the 2021 Bolt costs $37,890 and is known for having a roomy interior despite being a smaller vehicle. 

    The Chevrolet Bolt has high ratings for spacious cargo capacity, smooth handling, and quality acceleration. The vehicle isn’t known for having a luxury interior, but it has a 10.2-inch touch screen, smartphone connectivity, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. 

    Nissan Leaf

    Often known as the former world’s best-selling EV, the Nissan Leaf is a solid option for those who want a spacious interior, extra cargo space, and solid handling. The Nissan Leaf costs around $31,620-$38,620 and has 226 miles of range. 

    The 2021 version of the Nissan Leaf has strong ratings for safety and has a wealth of advanced driver-assistance systems. The car is a compact five-door hatchback battery electric vehicle (BEV) and also features a user-friendly 8-inch touch screen and smartphone app integration.

  • 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

    You can get a Hyundai Ioniq Electric as a traditional hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and a fully electric vehicle. The car has a $33,245 cost and a maximum range of 170 miles. It’s known that the Ioniq Electric has strong cargo capacity and strong off-the-line torque. 

    On top of this, the Hyundai performs very well in crash tests and comes with an excellent warranty. The 2021 version of the Ioniq Electric features a 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, heated front seats, and a selection of driver-assistance aids.

  • BMW i3

    The BMW i3 is almost like a cross between a car and a crossover: the 2021 version of the i3 is equipped with a 6.5-inch display screen, Apple CarPlay, heated front seats, adaptive headlights, rain-sensing wipers, a hands-free power liftgate, plus front and rear parking sensors. 

    Additionally, the car has a DC Fast Charging capability, fast acceleration, smooth driving ability, and is perfect for city driving. It’s rated as having a nice interior, seating for up to four people, and a spacious cargo hold. 

    On the negative side, the car is noted for being more expensive than many EVs with more range, and some critics say it’s not an ideal option for highway driving due to looser handling at top speeds. Currently, the car can be found at $44,450 and at a 153 mile range. 

    Mini Cooper SE

    The 2021 Mini Cooper SE Electric Hardtop is virtually identical to the gas-powered Mini, and it’s one of the most affordable EVs currently on the market. With 110 miles, the car has less range compared to many electric cars but is known as being fun to drive and featuring plentiful cargo space. 

    Downsides are that it costs more than a ‘regular’ Mini Cooper and the backseats are sometimes seen as cramped. The car costs $29,999 and is a solid option for people with reasonable commutes. Standard features include: synthetic leather upholstery, heated seats, a 6.5-inch infotainment display, Apple CarPlay, navigation, and driver-assistance aids.

    Tesla Model 3

    This is undoubtedly the most popular electric vehicle in the world, and Tesla’s Model 3 is a fun drive that is fast and geared towards performance. Tesla’s 2021 version of the Model 3 has an improved 353-mile range and has a price tag for just under $40,000. 

    Additionally, the car has semi-autonomous driving capabilities and is known for a potent acceleration, athletic handling, spacious interior, and first-rate crash test ratings. The Model 3 can go up to 360 miles which is a greater range than most EVs aside from the more expensive Tesla models.

    As it happens, Stellar Solar is a certified Tesla Powerwall installer and can install the fully-integrated battery system for residential use. With backing up your solar installation with the Tesla Powerwall, you can feel secure during blackouts. Contact us if you want to get a Tesla Powerwall to create and store clean reliable power.

    2021 Porsche Taycan

    Porsche released the Taycan as an electric vehicle that stands on its own as a competitor against Tesla. The vehicle costs $79,900 and has around 227 miles of range. Impressively, the Taycan can go from 0 to 60mph in 2.6 seconds and is rated as a dynamic and performance-driven vehicle.

    On top of this, the Taycan has a spacious interior and has leather upholstery, a 16.8-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.9-inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay, wireless device charging, a wealth of advanced driver-assistance systems, and more. For the price tag any drive would hope that there would be some frills!

    Ford Mustang Mach-E

    This electric vehicle starts at $43,895 and reaches 260/270 miles when it comes to maximum range. It’s a vehicle that is known for satisfying performance and nice technological features and is faster, more spacious, and better equipped than many of its competitors. 

    Many people are comparing the Ford Mustang Mach-E to Tesla and it’s creating a healthy debate which comes down to taste in electric vehicles or cars in general. Overall, the Mach-E is a sports car that is stylish, powerful, and emissions free. You could say there’s something for everyone there!

    2021 Polestar 2

    The Polestar 2 is a luxury fastback EV that seeks to directly compete with Tesla. It’s rated as a powerful vehicle that is engaging to drive and features a spacious cabin. The car costs $59,900 and has a range of 233 miles. 

    It comes with an aesthetic interior and a range of features which include a 11.2-inch touch-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 13-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless device charging, and many more. It also has a Pilot Assist partially autonomous driving system and even all-wheel drive.

    Toyota RAV4 Prime

    This is not a fully electric vehicle but we listed it as an honorable mention. The Toyota RAV4 Prime is a plug-in hybrid that has electric capability that can be used fully electric for moderate distances.

    Overall, the Toyota RAV4 Prime has a $39,275 range and up to 42 miles in EV mode. It’s an all-wheel drive vehicle and has full plug-in functionality and can travel 600 miles with a full tank and fully charged batteries. There are a range of drive modes to give the vehicle a boost for any type of terrain.

    EV Charger Installation San Diego

    Overall, if you need EV charger installation in San Diego and beyond, we can help. We are fully licensed electricians with a C-10 license, and have been installing car chargers and solar panels in southern California for 20+ years. 

    We are consistently voted Best Solar Company in San Diego and we can install your car charger, and solar panels  if you need it. We enjoy giving customers a thorough tutorial on how to install an EV charger in San Diego, simply contact us to get started.

  • About the Author

    Michael Powers


    Michael is one of the founding partners of Stellar Solar. In 2001, he helped launch The Home Depot’s national solar energy program which is now offering home solar through hundreds of stores in nearly a dozen states. He is a writer and marketing professional with over 30 years’ experience in the fields of energy, market intelligence and leadership training. He currently serves as treasurer and board member of Global Energy Network Institute (GENI), a San Diego-based non-governmental organization that advocates linking renewable energy resources around the world using electricity transmission.