There’s no doubt that you’ve heard of Tesla, the company famous for making high-quality electric-only vehicles, but did you know that there are over 15 other electric cars currently for sale in the US? With the Tesla Model S turning four this year, let’s take a look at how the market has evolved and what new additions have been brought out of the concept room and onto the roads. These cars come from manufacturers all across the automobile industry, and all have varying degrees of affordability and functionality. So let’s take a look at the top four most popular and recommended models.
Tesla Model S, 3, and X
The Tesla line of electric cars set the precedent for all-electric transportation. The original Model S was sold for around $70,000, with prices going up as more advanced features like 4-wheel drive are added. The Telsla Model X, an SUV, runs for around $80,000 and draws attention with its passenger falcon-wing doors. And the Tesla Model 3 is the upcoming addition to the line, which promises an all-electric car with 200 miles of range for only $30,000. All models feature 200+ miles of driving on a single charge, as well as software updates to increase performance and add new features.
The Model S was remarkable because of how “modern” it felt, with things like an all glass roof, pop-out door handles, and a front-trunk for double the storage. All Tesla models come with an 18inch panel in the center console that controls everything from navigation to the air conditioning. Another feature of the Tesla line of cars that have made them so popular and newsworthy, is the automatic driving technology. This allows the car to drive by itself on highways and freeways, making lane changes and adjustments to speed. But while the Tesla line of vehicles is constantly evolving and growing, there are plenty of other options to consider.
Kia Soul EV
The Kia Soul EV has one of the best ranges and prices for an electric car. It sells for around $34,000, or $26,000 after federal tax incentives. The Kia Soul EV features a practical driving range of 93 miles on a single charge, which is the longest range of other cars currently in its class. What makes the Kia Soul EV unique is the practical sub-compact SUV design which is rarely seen with other electric vehicles and especially at this price range. The design of the car allows it to charge from multiple different charging stations without worrying about compatibility. And, similar to the Tesla, the Kia Soul EV also features advanced tech in the cockpit for navigation and comfort. The Kia Soul EVs main drawback however, is the fact it is only available in 10 US states, which could be an issue for many prospective purchasers.
Nissan Leaf SV (2016 with QuickCharge)
Nissan is another one of the car manufacturers testing the demand for electric vehicles. Its offering is also quite affordable for an electric sedan, at $36,000 not counting federal tax credits. The newest model features a battery with 107 miles of range, as well as quick charging to allow for shorter rests at charging stations. For an electronic vehicle however, the Leaf is starting to seem a little dated. With a smaller interior and limited cargo space, the Leaf can’t compete with the likes of Tesla or the Kia Soul in terms of comfort. On the bright side, the Leaf is available in all 50 states, meaning that anyone can get an electric car on a budget.
Chevrolet Spark (2016)
Chevrolet is aiming for budget buyers with the Chevrolet Spark. Costing only $26,000 without factoring in any sort of tax break, the Spark is the cheapest four seat option available. It is currently only available in California, Oregon, and Maryland however, but in those states tax breaks can bring the price down to almost $19,000. Its range is the shortest of the ones on our list, at 82 miles on a single charge. Mentioning the battery, the Spark also does not feature any quick-charging capabilities meaning that overnight charging is a must. It is still a capable car, and if you live in the right area it could be an incredibly affordable option
When considering all the electric cars on the market, it is also important to look at the effect these cars are having on countries all over the world. Charging stations are becoming more and more frequent, with countries like Japan having more electric charging stations than gas stations. Urban areas are also seeing a rise in electric transportation as it becomes more viable for the everyday driver. Stores and retail establishments are also catching on, with retailers like Walgreens adding charging stations to several of their stores.
In conclusion, there are more quality electric vehicles on the market today than there were 4 years ago, and many of them are viable options for personal transportation. When looking at how far all this technology has come, it’s safe to say that range and affordability can only go up from here. It’s always important to consider all the factors when purchasing an electric vehicle, as some people may have better access to chargers in urban areas, and the price is always a roadblock for newer cars. But who knows, one day electric vehicles may be the primary mode of transportation across the world, and by then they could be affordable than any gas driven car.