Electric vehicles (EVs) have the main advantage of using sustainable forms of energy to operate and can be integrated into electrical power grids for better energy management. An essential part of the EV propulsion system is the type of motor used to propel the EV. Permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSMs) have found extensive use due to various advantages such as high power density, excellent torque-to-weight ratio and smooth speed profile over the entire torque range. The objective of this paper was to improve the dynamic response in the speed profile for different driving conditions essential in EVs. This was done by using the finite control set model predictive control (FCS-MPC) algorithm for PMSM and by comparing and evaluating the control strategies of a PMSM used in an EV by taking two case studies. The classical control, namely field-oriented control (FOC), of PMSMs is slow to adopt the dynamic changes in the system. The proposed FCS-MPC algorithm for PMSMs provides an improved dynamic response and a good steady-state response for the different driving conditions shown in both cases. In addition, the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) is used to evaluate the FCS-MPC-controlled PMSM to depict its superior performance by matching its speed profile. The results are verified in the hardware in the loop strategy using OPAL-RT. Both the results confirm that the FCS-MPC algorithm, when compared with the conventional FOC, is superior in aspects of steady-state and dynamic responses for various torque and speed profiles. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.