Tuesday, November 29, 2016

10 Great Electric Cars Similar to Tesla Model 3 that You Should Buy

Under the influence of global eco-trends the idea of producing electric cars has become popular seemingly fast. And car manufacturers try to make a profit on this trend by producing their vision of the electric vehicles.

But, while for some people such cars seem to be a good solution, there are many consumers, who understand that most electric cars on the market today suffer from three major setbacks:

- driving range;
- battery charging time;
- and the price.

But the official presentation of Tesla Model 3 in March 2016, became a breath of fresh air to the automotive community. The newest Tesla car seems to have everything that every electric car owner wants to have – a higher-than-average driving range, quick acceleration and, most importantly, a comparatively affordable price.

Cheaper than Tesla Model 3? Top 10 Alternative Electric Cars with Good Battery Range

Model 3 ($35,000)

Model 3 seems to combine all features of the ideal mass-produced electric car – it has a range of up 215 miles on a charge, decent performance characteristics and the ability to accelerate from 0 to 62 miles per hour in about 6 seconds and the affordable price of only $35,000, while providing the Tesla build quality. As a result, Model 3 is designed to seat 5 adults comfortably and attain the highest safety ratings in every category.

The vehicle production is scheduled to begin in 2017, while the deliveries are expected to start as early as mid 2018. Up to date there are over 400,000 Model 3 reservations and it seems that Model 3 is the best upcoming electric vehicle. But are there any cars capable of competing with such a tempting offer, let’s take a look!

Mercedes B250e ($39,900 MSRP)

Mercedes B250e, a 3800-pound electric vehicle, is brought to motion by an advanced 177 horsepower electric motor with the torque rated at 251 pound-feet. This electric motor is powerful enough to push Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive to the speed of 62 miles per hour in just 7.9 seconds and drive at speeds up to 100 miles per hour.

Mercedes-Benz B250e has a decent driving range – it can go up to 87 miles on a charge, courtesy of 28 kW/h lithium-ion batteries. When a 240-volt charger is used, the battery can be fully charged in just 4 hours.

Apart from having good technical characteristics, this EV has many premium features that we usually expect from a Mercedes-Benz, including a radar-based regenerative braking, a stylish design and pleasant interior materials.


All-right, many of these cars do look weak compared to the Model 3 with its performance characteristics, but this EV is still several years away from being mass produced, so to be fair we decided to add some great upcoming all-electric cars, which may become great alternatives to Model 3 in the future.

After getting a massive reputation hit by the emissions scandal, Volkswagen seems to be working on the recovery plan that is supposed to help them regain international approval but this time in the electric vehicle segment.
They plan to use the newest MEB platform to produce one million electric cars a year, once they get the technology right. This very platform can be adapted to producing all-wheel-drive vehicles of much higher performance and much bigger sizes.

The first vehicle to use this platform will be the VW I.D. Scheduled to hit the market less than 2 years after Model 3, the I.D. shows very similar technical specifications. By using a 125 kW (167 horsepower) motor this electric car is expected to travel up to 370 miles on a charge, and, as the manufacturer claims, "provide the level of comfort as in Passat, but be sold at the price of a Golf."

In terms of design, the futuristic traits can be spotted both outside and inside. In the high tech interior the most crucial data is either shown on the 10-inch display or projected onto the windshield. The car will also be equipped with an advanced autopilot, which can be activated by pressing the Volkswagen logo.

Bolt EV ($37,495)

As of today, Chevy Bolt EV is one of the best compact electric cars that can travel over 238 miles on one charge. A nickel-rich lithium-ion 60 kWh battery is the main reason why this vehicle has a bigger driving range, compared to other EVs in this market segment.

By using a DC Fast Charging option this very battery can get up to 90 miles of range after just 30 minutes of charging. But if you are using the standard 240 volt charging option, the full battery charge will take almost 9 hours.
A lightweight construction and a 200 horsepower motor, capable of making 265 pound-feet of torque, helps Bolt EV to show zippy acceleration and reach the speed of 62 miles per hour in just 7 seconds.

BMW i3 (MSRP: $43,396)

In 2016 BMW started producing their i3 car with a 94 A/h (Ampere-hour), 33 kWh lithium-ion battery. With a denser battery pack, the car’s 170 hp engine that produces 250 Nm of torque can keep the vehicle running for up to 114 miles. Apart from getting a better range, in this i3 you can enjoy the agile driving experience and the 0-62 acceleration of just 7.3 seconds.

The latest model also comes with a more efficient charging technology. As a result, with an i-Wallbox setup, the i3’s battery can be charged to 80% of its capacity in less than three hours.

Now BMW also comes with a range extender option: an additional 2-cylinder 38 hp internal combustion engine is mounted over the rear axle and without compromising the cargo space, so this engine can produce enough power to charge the batteries and boost overall driving range to 180 miles.

e-Golf ($28,995)

VW e-Golf is an all-electric version of the internationally popular German hatchback. e-Golf comes with a 115-horsepower electric motor that makes about 200 pound-feet of instant torque. This is enough to show the acceleration of about 10 seconds from 0 to 62 miles per hour.

The 24.2 kWh (kilowatt-hour) batteries are positioned underneath the car, which helped the engineers to make the car’s interior even more spacious and practical. The installed battery-pack can guarantee up to 83 miles of pure electric driving.

The battery can be juiced up by activating one of the three regenerative braking modes or via a universal charging port, which works with both household outlets and CCS charging stations. But, while charging the vehicle at home can time hours, the CCS technology can boost the charge to 80%-level in about 30 minutes.

KIA Soul EV ($31,950 MSRP)

Under the hood the electrified version of Kia Soul hides a compact electric motor, capable of making 109 horsepower and 210 lb.-ft. (pound-feet) of torque. With such lightweight setup KIA Soul EV is capable of accelerating from 0 to 62 mph in about 11 seconds.

The latest generation Soul EV is equipped with an ultra-dense battery that is placed under the vehicle in order to provide more interior space for passengers. With a fully charged 27 kWh (kilowatt-hour) battery and active well-engineered regenerative braking system that helps to recharge the battery, you can enjoy the all-electric drive for up to 93 miles.

And finally, when the battery charge runs low, the DC Fast Charge technology enables this EV to get a boost to an 80% charge from an empty battery in about 30 minutes.

Toyota Mirai ($57,500 MSRP)

Although Toyota Mirai is not technically an electric car, as it uses hydrogen fuel-cell technology to power its electric motor, we couldn’t resist adding to the list a car, which had won the 2016 World Green Car Award.

Equipped with a 152 horsepower electric motor that makes 247 pound-feet of torque, Toyota Mirai can drive up to 312 miles on a tank, while showing good performance characteristics for a daily commuter. The vehicle finishes the 0 to 62 sprint in 9.6 seconds and can be well handled at speeds up to 108 miles per hour.

Toyota Mirai is a pricy alternative but with such range, a refueling process, which takes just five minutes, and free fuel provided by Toyota in the first three years of ownership, Mirai may have future after all.

If you are running on a smaller budget but still would like to get a compact electric car for city driving you can learn more about:

Chevrolet Volt ($33,220), which is a hybrid-electric car that gets 53 miles of pure electric driving but also can use 1.5-liter gasoline engine as a generator for extended trips. In total, Volt can travel up to 420 miles with a full charge and a full tank of gas.

Or get the latest generation Nissan Leaf ($29,010). It has an upgraded 30 Kwh (Kilowatt hour) battery, an efficient 80 kW (Kilowatt) AC synchronous electric motor that can get up to 107 miles of pure electric driving range.

Or get a pre-owned Tesla Model S, before the newest Model 3 rolls off the production line. Today the cheapest Tesla Model S60 modification costs about 66 thousand dollars. It has a driving range of 218 miles and can accelerate from standstill to 62 miles per hour in just 5.5 seconds. So Tesla Model S is still the best electric luxury sedan that you can buy, even if you get a pre-owned one for a lower price.