As of January 1st, the new EV tax credits won’t be some nebulous benefit that only applies “later” (if at all). Instead, those 7,500 juicy dollars will be applied at the time of purchase, making it easier than ever for Americans to “make the switch” and “go electric.” Still, a lot of people still equate “electric cars” with Tesla and its … let’s go with “problematic” Technoking Elon Musk. So to help that group look beyond Elon’s alt-right antics, we thought we’d put together a list of the best new electric cars you can buy in 2024, that aren’t Teslas.
Readers familiar with my lists already know that this is likely to be a highly subjective list, with a few different definitions of “best” thrown in throughout. That said, I’ll try to make any personal biases clear enough in the article, and we’ll be looking forward to hearing your thoughts on my picks — and learning more about your picks! — in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Tesla Model Y Alternatives
The Model Y isn’t just the best-selling electric car in the world, it may just be the best-selling car in the world, period. With more than two million of the things sold, it’s clear that Tesla is doing something right with its five-passenger electric crossover, but they’re not the only ones with a modern-looking, fast-charging, long-range EV that’s roomy enough for five adults and sporty enough to make you yell, “Just leave me alone, I know what I’m doing!”
Hyundai IONIQ 5
The 2022 World Car of the Year brings a crisp, almost Italian rally-inspired look to the midsize crossover segment, and just about matches Tesla’s Model Y in terms of comfort, 200+ mile range, quick charging speed, and everyday performance while edging out the American car with a superior 10-year warranty and objectively better fit, finish, and build quality.
If you’re really looking for downsides, the Hyundai uses the CCS charging standard, which (for now) limits its access to all but the very newest Tesla “Magic Dock” chargers. That said, more of those are coming online every day, and the patchwork of chargers from Electrify America, ChargePoint, and others will do a fair enough job of getting you where you need to go with minimal downtime.
- Kia EV6, if you want maximum performance.
- Ford Mustang Mach-E, if you still want an “American Made” vibe.
Tesla Model 3 Alternatives
So the Model Y is the best-selling electric car in the world? The car it took that title from is its Model 3 sibling, which is still selling strong in Europe and China (even if it has plateaued, a bit, in the ‘States). With more than two million of these things sold, too, Tesla obviously got something right — but even more than the Model Y, it seems like even the Tesla Faithful are looking for Model 3 alternatives that offer something a bit more different than the latest Highland update can deliver.
To them, I’d recommend the Polestar 2.
Polestar 2 RWD
As our own Steve Hanley pointed out, the Polestar 2 just isn’t as efficient as the Tesla Model 3. That said, unless you’re one of the very, very few Americans who actually buys cars based on efficiency, the Polestar 2 and Tesla Model 3 turn out to be remarkably similar vehicles. They both have starting price tags in the mid-high $40K range, go between 265 and 270 miles on a full charge, and have been engineered be super safe.
If you want a mid-sized, capable, and sporty electric sedan that isn’t a Tesla, the award-winning Polestar 2 is probably your best alternative and one that got even better this year with the addition of a sporty RWD variant that’s not just lighter, more nimble, and more fun to drive than before. The best part? The best Polestar 2 is also the most affordable Polestar 2!
Tesla Model S Alternatives
The big Tesla Model S sedan, much more than the original Lotus-based Roadster, is the one that started it all. Nearly fifteen years after it was first shown to the public (back in March of 2009), the car looks crisp and sharp, thanks to slight visual tweaks to the car itself have allowed the Model S to keep aging gracefully while the market adapts to it, and not the other way around.
Despite its trend-setting status, however, the Model S carries around a lot of Elon’s emotional baggage. What should you buy if you demand a sedan that’s big, fast, and electric, but decidedly not a Tesla?
When Tesla launched its Model S, it took aim squarely at Mercedes’ own S and BMW’s big 7 series sedan. Mercedes’ electric effort, the EQS, is competent, but somewhat uninspired — looking more like a big cough drop or Dove bar than a luxury sedan. The new BMW 7, though? It’s stunning.
The first good-looking BMW 7 since the original Transporter transformed Jason Statham from a greased-up backup dancer into an action movie icon more than twenty years ago, this latest i7 is every bit as competent as Mercedes’ electric effort, maybe more efficient, and about a bajillion times cooler. Neat details abound in the cabin, which manages to feel light, airy, futuristic, and decidedly BMW. If you’re ready to drop six figures on an electric sedan this year, this is the one.
- Lucid Air Sapphire, if you like cars styled by engineers.
- Cadillac CELESTIQ, if you’re Lenny Kravitz.
Tesla Model X Alternatives
The big SUV/minivan alternative from Tesla wowed the world with its wild-looking falcon-wing doors, and has remained somewhat popular since its launch, with new models, features, and visual tweaks keeping the biggest passenger Tesla (yet) relevant — but only just. New three-row electric vehicles seem to be coming out of the woodwork these days, and those headline-grabbing doors might be seen as a liability in the type of suburban garages young families will be filling with SUVs, and one in particular seems to have the winning edge.
If you’re a mainstream buyer shopping for a three-row SUV, the Kia EV9 is the one. Like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Model Y it competes against, the EV9 offers superior build quality, a better warranty, and a fresh new look compared to the aging Model X — and that’s on top of the fact that it has normal doors that aren’t constantly threatening to fail, slam down and decapitate your toddler (if they’ll fit in your garage at all).
Whether you’re in the market for a 3-row SUV or not, get ready to see legions of new Kia EV9s taking over the suburbs in the coming years.
Tesla CyberTruck Alternatives
What can you say about a vehicle that’s been promised since 2019 and perpetually delayed? Will it finally arrive in 2024? Will anyone still care, if it does? It’s hard to know — but I’m sure you have opinions. Scroll on down to the comments and let us know!
Original content from CleanTechnica.
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