Cheaper Than a Tesla: 4 Less Popular EVs to Buy Instead

Tesla vehicles are the most popular electric cars available. Last year, nearly 70% of EVs registered in the United States were Teslas. However, Teslas are expensive. The cheapest Tesla vehicle is the 2022 Model 3, which has a starting price of $46,990. There are some more affordable electric cars that are lesser-known, though. Here are four less popular EVs to buy instead of a Tesla.

Buy the Chevy Bolt EV, the cheapest electric car in the US, instead of a Tesla

Front angle view of light blue 2023 Chevy Bolt EV, highlighting its release date and price
2023 Chevy Bolt EV | Chevrolet

The 2023 Chevy Bolt EV subcompact car is a good alternative to a Tesla for budget-minded EV buyers, for it’s the cheapest electric car in the U.S. It has a starting price of $26,595 MSRP, which is a $5,900 cost reduction compared to the 2022 model. 

One of the reasons for the price reduction might be that Chevrolet is trying to earn some goodwill following the recent fires with the Bolt. While some EV buyers might shy away from the Bolt due to the fires, something to keep in mind is that the fires are rare. In fact, EV fires are less common than for gas-powered vehicles. Also, Chevrolet appeared to address the fire issue.

For a crossover SUV version of the Bolt, you can get the 2023 Chevy Bolt EUV, which has a starting price of $28,195 MSRP. Like the Bolt EV, the Bolt EUV is cheaper for the 2023 model year, with a cost reduction of $6,300 compared to the 2022 model.

The Nissan Leaf is a less popular but more affordable EV alternative to a Tesla

Another less popular but more affordable EV alternative to a Tesla is the 2023 Nissan LEAF, which has a starting price of $27,400 MSRP. Despite debuting over 10 years ago, the Nissan LEAF has mostly flown under the radar, as it’s been overshadowed by Tesla and other, more flashy electric cars.

However, as detailed by Greener Ideal, the LEAF has long proven to be a solid choice for an electric car. It has pleasing driving dynamics, comfortable seats, and advanced driving assistance technologies. Plus, its low price is a big selling point as well.

Buy a Hyundai Kona Electric instead of a Tesla

The third choice for a less popular but cheaper EV alternative to a Tesla is the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric subcompact crossover SUV, which has a starting price of $34,000 MSRP. Along with its relatively affordable price, the Kona Electric has many things going for it. This includes perky acceleration, competitive driving range, nimble handling, and generous warranty coverage.

Instead of a Tesla, purchase the lesser-known Fisker Ocean

Front angle view of orange 2023 Fisker Ocean, a less popular but cheaper EV to buy instead of a Tesla
2023 Fisker Ocean | Fisker

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Probably the least known car on this list of less popular electric cars to buy instead of a Tesla is the 2023 Fisker Ocean compact crossover SUV, which has a starting price of $37,499. The Ocean is also the best-performing EV on this list. With a 0-60 mph time as low as 3.6 seconds, the Ocean delivers Tesla-like acceleration — but at a more budget-friendly price. 

Plus, the Ocean has some innovative features. This includes a touchscreen that can rotate to both portrait and landscape configurations. The Ocean also has a unique “California Mode” feature. When you select California Mode, the side windows, rear glass, and roof retract for a convertible-like layout.

Tesla has long dominated the EV landscape. However, there are many less popular but more affordable electric car options to consider. This includes the Chevy Bolt EV and EUV, Nissan LEAF, Hyundai Kona Electric, and Fisker Ocean. 

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