5 Electric Vehicles (EVs) You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
The past few years have seen a flood of new EV brands hit the market. With automakers across the globe racing to electrify their fleets, some offerings have become instant hits, while others are still struggling to become household names. Here’s a quick look at a few quality EVs you may not have heard of yet, but are worth considering before you sign on the dotted line for a new Tesla.
1. The Ford E-Transit
First up is a vehicle you won’t find on dealer’s lots – consumer lots, that is. The Ford E-Transit is a passenger van designed for commercial fleets, so if you’re running a business, this may be the vehicle for you.
With a starting MSRP of approximately $50,000, the 2023 model comes in multiple heights, lengths, and body designs. The standard powertrain leverages a single motor and a 68 kWh lithium-ion battery that generate 198 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. Depending on the configuration, the E-Transit can haul up to 4,428 pounds.
This vehicle also provides passengers with 2.4 kWh of power, allowing them to charge devices and equipment as necessary. Furthermore, front-seat passengers enjoy amenities similar to those in consumer vehicles, such as a 12-inch touchscreen, built-in navigation, Co-Pilot 360’s advanced safety systems, and over-the-air updates to ensure they have the latest available features.
2. Hyundai Kona Electric
If you’ve thought about a Hyundai EV, chances are the Ioniq 5 is what you’ve looked at. It’s little wonder, as the Ioniq 5 launched to considerable critical and commercial success. However, its Hyundai family member, the 2023 Kona Electric, is also worth a look.
With a 64 kWh battery pack and a 150 kW motor, the Kona Electric gets 201 hp, 291 lb-ft of torque, and 258 miles of range. That’s a respectable range for the price, and with a starting MSRP of $33,550, the 2023 model is certainly an affordable crossover.
The base model SE trim features an 8-inch touchscreen with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth integrations, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster display, heated front seats, push-button start, privacy glass, and a host of advanced safety features. It may not have the buzz of the Ioniq 5, but for about $10,000 less, it’s definitely a vehicle to consider.
3. Mazda MX-30
While first-time EV buyers fret about range anxiety, the Mazda MX-30 has distinguished itself in exactly the wrong way. Subject to widespread ridicule because of its low range, the MX-30 can only take you about 100 miles on a single charge, as per Car and Driver.
Compare that to Tesla, many of whose models are close to or over 400 miles of range. Or, just compare that to the Hyundai Kona Electric from above. You’ll quickly wonder why the MX-30 is even on the market – or what its resale value will likely be.
Despite the range issue, Mazda has manufactured an attractive and affordable car with a wealth of well-designed entertainment and advanced safety tech features. A 7.0-inch touchscreen and 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster come standard in the base model, along with heated front seats and more. That’s not bad for a vehicle with a starting MSRP of $33,470 – before a potential federal tax credit for the purchase.
4. Volvo XC40 Recharge
The Volvo XC40 Recharge is another EV that the competition has eclipsed in mainstream headlines. That’s unfortunate as this five-seater is quite a stylish-looking luxury SUV with performance and features that put it squarely in contention with its bigger-name peers.
With a starting MSRP of $53,550, the XC40 provides a dual-motor setup that provides responsive handling and steering. While its range is on the lower end for modern EVs (228 miles), the powertrain provides a quick 0 to 60 mph acceleration of 4.7 seconds. Additionally, its 402 lb-ft of torque offers 2,000 lbs of towing capacity.
The XC40 Recharge also comes fully equipped with a power tailgate, an eight-speaker audio system, a 12-inch instrument panel, a 9-inch infotainment display, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integrations. Volvo doesn’t balk at advanced safety features in keeping with its reputation for safety. The base level comes with Front and Rear Automatic Emergency Braking, Blind-Spot Monitoring, Auto High Beams, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane-Keeping Assistance, and Forward Collision Warning.
5. Volvo C40 Recharge
For a coupe-like XC40 Recharge, Volvo offers the C40 Recharge, which is configured similarly. However, the C40 Recharge’s dual-motor powertrain offers up to 402 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque. It’s slightly more expensive, with a starting MSRP of $55,300, but it may be worth it to performance enthusiasts.
The base model trim won’t get you more range than the XC40 Recharge. The C40 Recharge tops out at 226 miles. Still, you’ll also get the same infotainment and advanced safety systems of the XC40 Recharge, which are quite compelling. Although, if you really want to enjoy the C40 Recharge (or its crossover cousin), you’ll splurge on the Ultimate trim level that includes goodies like Adaptive Cruise Control, Volvo’s Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving tech, heated rear seats, and more.
Tesla isn’t the only game in town. Far from it. So, if you’re a first-time EV buyer, there are a lot of quality EVs out there to choose from. Make sure to look closely at multiple options to find the right fit.