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If you’ve looked into buying an EV, you most likely know about the advantages, such as the tax credit ranging from $2,500-$7,500, fewer emissions making them eco-friendly, and the fact that most are just cool to look at and drive. However, one annoying quirk is that they have notoriously low ground clearance, a side effect of the battery location and efficient design.

While low ground clearances are common when you think about sports cars like Corvettes and such, it can be quite annoying in a daily driver or an off-road adventure vehicle. Add in the fact that bottoming out an EV could cost you thousands in damage and you’ve got yourself a real concern. 

If you are considering purchasing an electric SUV for possible off-road adventures, here are three SUV models to consider.

1. The 2023 Toyota bZ4X

A 2023 Toyota bZ4X Limited EV/electric SUV model in Elemental Silver Metallic parked on a cliff near crashing waves
2023 Toyota bZ4X Limited in Elemental Silver Metallic | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Although Toyota took a while to develop an EV offering, it came out of the gate strong with its only EV offering to date. The 2023 Toyota bZ4X has a ground clearance of 8.1 inches. With a starting price of $42,000, this all-electric SUV also boasts a payload capacity of 1,169 lbs if you plan on bringing gear on your next outdoor adventure. With an estimated MPGe as high as 131 MPGe in the city and up to 107 MPGe on the highway, according to Edmunds, you will spend less time at the charger and more time adventuring.

2. The 2022 Rivian R1S

With a sleek design reminiscent of the Range Rover, the 2022 Rivian R1S is the much-anticipated predecessor of the R1T truck. The R1S has a minimum ground clearance of 8.8 inches but a maximum ground clearance of over 14 inches due to its adjustable suspension, according to Kelley Blue Book. As for performance, the R1S is available in two powertrain options, a quad-motor AWD system with one electric motor per wheel and a dual-motor AWD system with one electric motor per axle. Quad-motor models produce 835 horsepower and 908 lb-ft of torque, while the dual-motor R1S models produce 600 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. The Rivian R1S has a starting price in the mid-$70,000 range.

3. The 2023 BMW iX

The 2023 BMW iX has a ground clearance of 8.8 inches. With a starting price of $83,200, it is the most expensive option on our list. The BMW website includes a map illustrating that you can drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on a single charge with the iX. This clever marketing addresses one of the main concerns of consumers who have resisted the switch to EVs, the fear that they will run out of charge and be stranded.

The iX can go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, an impressive time even among EVs, let alone electric SUVs. Its AWD dual-motor setup delivers 610 horsepower and 811 lb-ft of torque. 

If you want to get more ground clearance out of an EV, you’ll want to look for an electric truck, like the Ford F-150 Lightning, which offers 8.9 inches of ground clearance. However, you won’t be able to order the Lightning until next year. Consumer demand for the EV has forced Ford to suspend orders until at least 2023.

The EV market is bursting at the seams with new EVs being introduced seemingly on a daily basis. Car manufacturers are poised to begin shifting their lineup to focus on EVs instead of gas-powered engines.

Purchasing an EV doesn’t mean having to give up your adventurous side. These three SUV EVs will do nicely for any off-road experiences you can dream up and serve as a great daily driver to get your family around town. 


The Chevy Equinox EV Already Beats the Toyota bZ4X