Characteristics of AWD Electric Vehicles
An electric car with all-wheel drive is defined by more than just its drivetrain. Here are some of the qualities you can expect from the best AWD EV models:
- Electric power: Obviously, EVs are set apart by their all-electric powertrains. There is no combustion or gas involved, which means switching out fuel bills for the cost of recharging - but the trade-off is no emissions.
- Versatility: One of the main reasons anyone buys an AWD car, SUV or otherwise, is to handle various road conditions. The extra traction is not just good for light off-roading if you have the ground clearance, but also for overcoming wet or slippery roads caused by rain, snow, or mud.
- Performance: Though not every all-wheel-drive EV is designed with this in mind, having power sent to all four wheels can increase acceleration. Along with the improved handling, this means an overall enhancement of driveability.
- Range: A prime factor in a new electric car, even AWD models need to have sufficient all-electric driving range to warrant their purchase. However, weight negatively affects this, and a larger and heavier battery is often needed to supply power to multiple motors rather than just deliver the longest range.
- Price: Unlike gasoline-powered cars, the addition of all-wheel drive on electric cars doesn’t necessitate an increase in cost. So long as the vehicle inherently comes with more than a single motor, AWD is likely standard. That being said, more electric motors will generally mean a higher asking price; single-motor EVs are usually the cheap option in the lineup.
What to Consider When Buying an EV with AWD
While electric cars may be the future of the automotive industry, or so we are led to believe, that does not mean they are without faults or drawbacks. Every brand brings something different to the table, but these are the primary strengths and weaknesses of EVs with AWD:
- Improved versatility
- Better traction over various surfaces and improved handling through corners
- Some performance qualities
- No fuel bills, just the cost of recharging
- No emissions
- Extensive warranties on EV parts
- High weight affects range and handling
- More motors increase the price
- Long charging times
Are there any EV or hybrid cars with four-wheel drive?
AWD is not the same as 4WD, and in this regard, there aren’t that many 4WD cars with electric assistance - yet. The Jeep Wrangler 4xe is a good example of how 4WD can be combined with hybrid powertrains while retaining superior off-roading capabilities.
What electric cars are AWD?
There are a lot more AWD EVs than you may think. They range from affordable brands like the Kia EV6 to more premium names like the Audi e-tron. The list also included the Tesla Model 3 and Y, the Volvo XC40, and the Hyundai Ioniq 5.
How does EV AWD work?
In ICE cars with AWD, the engine sends power through differentials in the front, rear, and center to drive all four wheels of the car. In AWD EVs, the electric motors are mounted onto the axles, which supply power directly to the wheels by individual transmissions.