Are All Electric Vehicles AWD? Do all EVs have AWD? Does an Electric Car Need AWD?

Last Updated on January 15, 2023 by

Not all electric vehicles are all-wheel-drive (AWD). Most EVs have a single electric motor that drives just 2 wheels. A common AWD configuration for electric vehicles is to have two motors: one motor for the front wheels and one for the rear wheels.

An AWD electric vehicle with 2 motors may also have two battery packs to improve performance. It is quite rare to have an AWD EV with a motor for each wheel: it’s not efficient.

Most EVs do not have a motor at each of the four wheels. Not only would that be expensive but it would also shoot up the overall un-sprung weight at each wheel. 

Are There Affordable AWD Electric Vehicles?  

AWD refers to All-Wheel Drive electric vehicles. It has become a universally acceptable description for the car that runs all four wheels all of the time. 

Although the initial purchasing cost of AWDs could be out of one’s budget (they’re not the most affordable electric cars) there are various rebates & tax concessions provided by the government to shoot up their affordability. 

As per a survey, companies that sell AWD electric vehicles in order of their affordability include- 

  • Mitsubishi – 38.5%
  • Tesla – 30.7%
  • Chevrolet – 25.7%
  • BMW- 5% 

AWD Electric vehicles may not be something that all potential call buyers could afford. The demand is high, both for commuting and electric SUVs, the supply is low and the technology is new. On the performance front, gas-powered vehicles can’t compare with instant torque provided by the best electric cars: the lb-ft of torque available at lower speeds is much higher than most gas models in general.

While AWD electric vehicles are not the norm, they’re desirable in countries with difficult weather conditions – can you afford one?

So, what’s expected to be called the most affordable should rather be quoted as the least cheap at the base price. Expect prices to vary for a new electric car according to trim levels and estimated miles of range on a full charge (battery pack size). Various options include driver-assist features and adaptive cruise control.

Rear Wheel Drive Electric Car in Snow

A lot of EVs have an effective thermal management mechanism that allows them to be warmed before driving while it’s snowing. The windows will be frost-free so that there is better visibility. 

In fact, there is no additional time needed for the engine to heat up so that defrosting could start at the earliest. 

Some hybrid models are conditioned to have the conditional drive to the front wheels. 

Whereas, some are electric rear-wheel drive. This mechanism makes driving easier and safer when the roads are slippery. 

Compare RWD Vs AWD Electric Cars 

While looking for the perfect vehicle, one of the most important factors that we keep into consideration is the drivetrain. All of them have their advantages & disadvantages and it’s important to be familiar with them. 

Of all the four drivetrains, RWD and AWD vehicles are the most preferred. Let’s understand the two in-depth. 

Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) Electric Cars

  • The engine power is transmitted to the rear wheel which pushes the car forward in turn. 
  • There is a better balance of weight since the weight of the vehicle is evenly spread in comparison to a lot many front-wheel vehicles. 
  • The fact that they are prone to traction loss makes them a less preferred choice for areas with extreme weather conditions like snow, and rain. 

All-Wheel Drive (AWD) Electric Cars

  • AWD employs a front, rear and centre mechanism to transmit power to all four wheels of a vehicle. 
  • Since the torque is sent to all four wheels, the main advantage of an AWD lies in its easy functioning in slippery areas. 
  • High-performance cars use AWD for their ability to exit the corners without spinning. 

Best Front-wheel drive Electric Cars 

Ever since the inception of Mini Cooper in the late 20th century, front-wheel-drive vehicles have been solidifying their hegemony in the market for gas-powered cars. The Mini Cooper SE follows on in this tradition. Volkswagen was the main proponent behind the front wheel when it shifted from the rear-wheel-drive.

Let’s have a look at one of the most highly recommended front-wheel-drive electric cars. 

Tesla Model 3 FWD

Valued at almost $40,000, this car is a five-seater and guarantees eight years, 120,000-mile battery. Many consider it the best EV for the price.

Polestar 2 

Priced at $38,400, this model comes with features like a panoramic glass roof & pixelated headlamps. This model is available for both front-wheel and all-wheel drivetrains. 

Audi e-tron Sportback 

Priced at $69,100, this car is noted for the luxurious materials that have been used for the interiors of the cars. Besides this, the vehicle is capable of carrying a lot more luggage than its rivals. 

Which Is the Longest Range Electric AWD SUV? 

EVs do not disappoint when it comes to the range. There are numerous SUVs that with a diverse range and metric keeps on rising over time. 

The following is a list of one of the longest ranged electric AWD SUVs-: 

Ford F-150 

This car has a range of 320 miles and the commercial variant is valued at $40, 000. In case you need extended range then ‘XLT or the Lariant’ are the ones for you if you’re looking for a long range AWD electric car.

Tesla Model Y 

In 2021 the company released its first variant which could last only for months. Recently, the model Y was released which could go on for 326 miles on a single charge. 

GMC Hummer EV 

This truck is one of the most light-duty trucks available out there. Crab mode & suspension mechanism is one of the key features of this vehicle. It can cover 329 miles in one go when fully charged. 

Polestar 2 

Polestar 2 has got a bold and heavy look that makes it stand out from the rest. Its design looks a bit like its sister brand Volvo. If it is more battery power that you require, then the model possesses a dual-motor system boasting of 408bhp, 298 miles. 

Key points video:

Are all electric vehciles all wheel drive?

FAQs Related to Electric Vehicles & AWD 

EV & AWD are one widespread buzzword all across the globe. The technology is new, and buyers & potential customers are often confused with a lot of questions. 

Here is a compilation of one of the most commonly asked questions

How many types of electric vehicles are there? 

There are three types of EVs including an exotic variant. Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, Fuel Cell EV. 

What charger is the best for home charging? 

It’s not always advised to prefer the biggest & the highest-capacity charger. Every 2-level charger that runs on 240 volts will refill the battery overnight. The important thing to note is that the device must comply with safety and personnel standards. 

What are AWDs bad at? 

Long-distance travel into remote areas, high inefficiency in extreme cold and hot areas, inability to tow weight without altering the driving range. 

Is EV the same thing as hybrid? 

Well, not exactly. An EV, as the name suggests, depends entirely on electricity to power its battery: they are pure electric vehicles. A hybrid vehicle, on the other hand, uses both electricity & gasoline to power itself. Take a test drive and you’ll quickly see the difference.

What are the standard features of an EV? 

Most of the EVs have the same standard features like, bird-view camera, blind-spot monitoring, air suspension, cruise control etc. Also, EVs are way more spacious than their petrol-powered counterparts because of the fact that the latter is made of bulky machinery. 

Do Electric Vehicles Have AWD? 

Elective Vehicles certainly have AWDs. If you are shopping for AWD electric vehicles, there is a wide range of cars that you can pick from. 

Here is a list of the leading AWD electric models that you surely need to consider based on their pros & cons. 

  • Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo
  • Jaguar I-Pace
  • Volkswagen ID.4
  • Mustang Mach-E
  • Polestar 2
  • Volvo XC40 electric
Car Top Speed (mph) Range (miles) Battery Size (kWh)
Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo 161 Up to 300 93
Jaguar I-Pace 124 Up to 292 90
Volkswagen ID.4 112 Up to 250 77
Mustang Mach-E 112 Up to 300 75.7
Polestar 2 112 Up to 233 78
Volvo XC40 electric 112 Up to 208 78

Each of these vehicles provides an updated traction technology to make the journey easier & safer on slippery surfaces. The newer models being rolled provide comfortable seating for up to five people, unlike the older ones. 

The AWD EVs let you enjoy travel for longer without draining out the battery. Besides, the vehicle is completely emission-free & the interiors are super comfortable. 

Which Electric Car Is Best in the Snow? 

Image Source

 Here is a list of the top ten EVs that work efficiently in the snow. 

  • Polestar 2 Arctic Circle EV
  • Jaguar I-Pace BEV
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E
  • BMW iX
  • Audi E-Tron Quattro
  • Mercedes-Benz EQC
  • 2022 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV
  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Car Top Speed (mph) Range (miles) Battery Size (kWh)
Polestar 2 Arctic Circle EV 112 233 78
Jaguar I-Pace BEV 124 234 90
Ford Mustang Mach-E 111 230-300 75.7-98.8
BMW iX 112 286 100
Audi E-Tron Quattro 124 222-241 71-95
Mercedes-Benz EQC 112 259 80
2022 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV N/A 17 electric, 343 combined 11.6
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 106 22 electric, 310 combined 13.8

These models possess a higher driving range and longer battery sustenance to deal with the snow and its after-effects. These top EVs run with the least extra effort during snow without putting any undue pressure on the battery. 

Can Electric Cars Drive in Snow? 

Driving in the snow can be a very disturbing affair. When it snows, then it’s transportation that suffers the most. 

Numerous instances of road casualties are reported due to the inefficiency of the vehicles in dealing with snow. But ever wondered if EVs could run on snow-clad roads? 

Well, manufacturers have come up with EVs that are completely capable of running in harsh winter conditions.

Are Tesla’s Four-wheel Drive or All-wheel Drive?

The only Tesla model that comes with an all-drive mechanism includes Model S, Tesla Model X and Long Range Model 3. The Tesla Model 3 configuration supports both AWD & RWD mechanisms. 

Although the default arrangement is Rear Wheel Drive only, the all-wheel-drive alternative can also be opted for as an additional recourse. But in the long-range model 3 version of Tesla, AWD comes as a default option. 

Tesla’s drivetrain in all its models gives remarkable performance with additional features like air suspension & dual motor. Besides, the Tesla AWD model is one of the best when it comes to ploughing through harsh weather. 

While it is safe to drive AWS under extreme weather conditions, it shall also be noted that the technology is no alternative to safe driving habits. With these fun, high-tech and environment-friendly EVs, you shall be ready to experience an on-the-road adventure. 

Key takeaways about AWD electric vehicles and some popular AWD models

  • Car brands and models with an AWD option include: Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV 6, Nissan Leaf, Bolt EV, Toyota BZ, Kia Nero EV, Volvo XC 40, Hyundai Kona Electric, BMW IX Xdrive, Tesla Model S Plaid, and the Audi Q4 e-Tron
  • The retail price of AWD EVs is higher and more common in luxury brands but the base model of new cars may include an all wheel drive system as standard in the future
  • Dual motor systems are more common than a single motor and provide a more responsive driving experience in all road conditions
Derek Bruce
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