Today we’re looking at cars that start with R. And not just any cars; electric cars! In recent years, brands like Tesla that exclusively manufacture electric vehicles have started to compete—and in some cases even outshine—fossil-fuel car manufacturers. It wasn’t that long ago that pundits doubted if the electric vehicle would ever be able to really take off in its own right, the reason being that EVs apparently had too many limitations to make them viable for most consumers.
Fast forward to 2023, though, and we no longer need to wonder if EVs can compete with gas-powered vehicles. Pretty much all the major car manufacturers either have plans to release an EV or already have one on the market. Whereas the question for consumers used to be, “Should I buy an EV?” the question now is, “Which EV is right for me?”
In other words, the EV market is exploding, has exploded, and will only grow larger in the future. Already there are hundreds of EVs to choose from. Too many, in fact, to discuss in a single article. So instead, we narrowed it down to just the models that start with R. We found 8 without breaking a sweat. These cars run the gamut from practicality to luxury and to high-end performance.
Before we hit you with some of the costlier, high-end models on our list, we wanted to share with you an EV designed for practical, commuter-minded folks: the Renault Zoe. This French-made electric car first came to the market in 2012 and has since received upgrades to its battery and motor. According to Top Gear, it’s one of the most popular compact EVs in Europe.
Well, here we take “popular” to mean that it’s one of the most frequently purchased electric cars in Europe. Why? For one thing, American consumers may not be familiar with the brand, but in Europe, Renault has a reputation as one of the most dependable car manufacturers. Oddly enough, people like a car they can rely on.
While it may not be a warhorse of a car, the Renault EV upholds the brand’s reputation for reliability and practicality. With a solid range of 245 miles per charge, a compact build with relatively sizeable storage space, and a small turning radius, this is just about the perfect car for the everyday driver. Especially if most of your driving involves navigating narrow European city streets.
The car also comes with a good host of safety features, including automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and traffic sign recognition. It also comes with driver assistance features, such as adaptive cruise control and parking sensors.
The drawbacks? While it does seat up to five passengers, not everyone in the backseat is going to fit comfortably. Plus, while the battery is mostly up-to-date, it’s not the most competitive out there. Better stick to city driving with this one, or be prepared to wait a while when having to pull over to charge.
Ram 1500 E
Given that the Ford F-150 Lightning was starting to get lonely as one of the few American electric pickups on the market, Dodge has decided to give Ford some company by way of friendly competition. Slated for a 2024 release, Ram 1500 E, or REV, will be the first all-electric pickup made by Dodge.
During the 2023 Super Bowl, consumers finally got a first glimpse at the production version of the truck. It’s a hefty-looking work hog, albeit with some slick LED headlights and a curved body. Like the F-150 Lightning, it appears that Dodge pretty much aims to take the components of their popular gas-powered model and make it electric.
This electric pickup is a master of both power and efficiency, with a range of up to 500 miles on a single charge. The Ram 1500 E’s high-capacity battery pack will also apparently take only 30 minutes to charge if using a fast charger. If you’re concerned that an electric truck won’t be able to handle heavy loads, we’ll also add that the truck is said to have a towing capacity of up to 10,000 pounds.
In addition to its impressive performance capabilities, the Ram 1500 E will also come with all the bells and whistles one expects out of a modern EV. These include a state-of-the-art infotainment system with a large touchscreen display, as well as advanced safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking.
If you’re looking to get behind the wheel of this environmentally-friendly pickup truck, you’ll have to wait a little longer. In the meantime, though, you can already reserve yours today with just a $100 deposit.
No list of cars that start with R is complete without mentioning Rivian. This sleek pickup truck designed by a tech startup is an esteemed member of Car and Driver’s 10 Best Trucks and SUVs for 2023. And mind you, we’re not talking just about the best electric trucks and SUVs—we’re talking about any and all trucks and SUVs regardless of what’s powering their engine.
What makes the Rivian R1T especially fine is its top-of-the-line suspension and handling, which makes this fully-electric pickup perfect for rugged adventures well off the beaten path. You do have to pay a hefty price for its appealing design and performance, though, as the 2023 R1T starts at $74,800.
Maybe you’ll be ready to throw down that kind of cash once you hear about the Rivian’s specs, though. If you opt for the four-motor version, you get a whopping 835 horsepower and a maximum tow of 11,000 pounds. Depending on the battery you go with and any cargo you might be carrying, the Rivian gives you anywhere from 260 to 400 miles of range. That battery-power engine also enables you to go from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds, making it quite zippy for a pickup truck.
Rivian decked out the interior with comfortable leather and polished wood. Good suspension and a spacious cabin make for a pleasant journey—and so does the infotainment system. Oddly enough, though, the infotainment is not compatible with Apple or Android, which, apart from the price, is probably the Rivian R1T’s biggest drawback.
If you like the sound of the Rivian, but are not sure a pickup truck will meet your needs, well, we’ve got good news for you: Rivian also makes an SUV! Offering not two but three rows of seats in the cabin, the Rivian R1S is a great option if you’ve got an extended family unit that enjoys off-road venturing just as much as you do.
As with the R1T, the R1S’s all-electric powertrain hits 60 mph in 3 seconds, has rugged air suspension, and an electric motor for each wheel—if you opt for the Quad-Motor edition. You do get slightly less range at 260 to 316 miles, though, and the handling is not quite as optimized as the pickup truck version. While it’s lacking somewhat in the steering department, it does come out ahead in terms of cabin space and room for storage. You get even more storage, still, when you put the third row down.
Range Rover EV
While we’re on the subject of electric SUVs, we should mention a brand that’s been around far longer than the young and brash upstart we mentioned above. Land Rover is gearing up to roll out a fully-electric Range Rover in late 2023 so that you can go green with your luxury exploring.
Most of the vehicle’s specs remain a secret, but it appears certain that the cabin will offer three rows of seating, and that it will undoubtedly be as plush and luxurious as the gas-powered and hybrid models already on the market. Thanks to a multi-link suspension system, the Ranger Rover EV will also likely have extra room for the battery, which ought to result in maximized range and power.
As far as style goes, the Range Rover EV’s exterior is all smooth surfaces and rounded edges, making for a very trendy look. Inside the luxurious cabin, you won’t need to worry about hitting your head on the ceiling, or about your legs getting crushed by the dashboard or by the person sitting in front of you. And because Land Rover is known for delivering suspension systems designed for pleasant driving regardless of road conditions, you can likely be assured of a gentle ride.
If this luxury SUV fits in your budget, it’d be worth keeping the Range Rover EV on your radar.
Nothing can fit the definition of cars that start with R more than one that is named precisely that. While Volkswagen is usually known for practicality over performance, the German company enters our list here as a high-performance electric vehicle. Once it launches in a few years, the Volkswagen R EV will be the first of many electric additions to the company’s R-branded performance-oriented cars.
In fact, Volkswagen vows that by 2030, all the new Volkswagen R’s will be fully electric. As such, the Volkswagen R EV is a larger part of Volkswagen’s push towards more sustainable private transportation options.
Whatever the final product turns out to be, we can be sure that Volkswagen R EV will boast a sleek, race-car-esque, modern design optimized for both style and functionality. Thanks to the lightweight materials and aerodynamic principles with which the car’s body is designed, the Volkswagen R will also surely deliver exceptional handling, significantly reduced drag, and overall top-of-the-line performance.
Beyond some tantalizing hints about the Volkwagen EV’s racecar performance capabilities, we don’t know much about the precise range, battery, horsepower, or even which model Volkwagen will start with. It seems certain, though, that the R EV will have fast-charging capabilities and Levl 3 autonomous driving. Volkswagen is also determined to make its electric R affordable for most drivers: 25,000 euros or less.
What would a conversation about EVs be without at least some mention of this EV giant?! Say what you will about Musk’s messy management of Twitter, but Tesla remains a key innovator in the EV space.
The original Roadster, which hit the market in 2011, was actually the first Tesla available to buy. Though it certainly never became the most common Tesla to see on the road, it did show what kind of engineering prowess the nascent company was capable of. More importantly to the rest of us, though, the Roadster’s speed and surprising range revealed the true potential of a fully-electric engine.
Now, almost a decade later, Tesla continues to tease an update to the original Roadster. Musk alleges that this edition will go 0 to 60 in 1.9 seconds and be capable of reaching speeds of 250 mph. If that turns out to be true, it would mean that this electric sports car can reach 0 to 60 a full second faster than the gas-powered McLaren 570S.
The company also claims that the Roadster’s 200-kWh battery will provide 620 miles of range—which might hold up in theory, so long as you don’t drive it like a sports car.
It’s anyone’s guess at this point what the Roadster’s full suite of features will finally end up being, but for now, we can safely assume that the Roadster will possess similar qualities to the Tesla 3. Its interior—which will have seats in the back—appears to follow the same minimalist style seen in other Tesla EVs. The infotainment system will also likely come with onboard Wi-Fi and popular apps like Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube.
Let’s close out our journey into the world of cars that start with R with this 1813-horsepower Croatian beast. Known to some as the Rimac C_Two (Concept Two), but known officially as the Rimac Nevera, this is an electric vehicle that, due to its $2 million price tag, will remain out of reach for most of us.
If you’re lucky enough to see one of these unicorns out in the wild, you might not even notice it zipping by you. Why? it’s capable of reaching 258 mph. Powered by four motors—one for each wheel—the Rimac Nevera is also supposedly capable of reaching 60 mph in just 1.85 seconds. In actuality, though, this is only possible in the most ideal of road conditions.
Though performance takes priority here, the engineers didn’t fail to neglect the Rimac’s interior. And because it’s such a rare and pricey gem, consumers have the freedom to customize the interior as they please. Either way, though, the bespoke interior is guaranteed to be designed with elite materials—including carbon, billet aluminum, and suede seating.
It should probably come as no surprise that the Rimac’s incredible speeds come with a trade-off: less range. And for the record, the same would be true for gas-powered cars. Rimac has attempted to make up for its low 205-mile range by providing super-fast charging, but most public charging stations can’t yet accommodate that kind of power.