Ford Mustang Mach-E - The Tesla Alternative

Top 10 Tesla Alternative Electric Cars in 2020

As of today, Tesla is the best selling electric car automaker in North America and Europe. Their highest volume vehicles, the Model 3 and Model Y, provide buyers a clean alternative to traditional gas-burning luxury cars. Some of the legacy OEMs have released their attempt at a compelling electric vehicle (EV), however, none have truly come close to Tesla.

Nevertheless, some buyers are interested in EVs, just not Tesla. Whether it is build quality that has surfaced in the news every once in a while or need for a cheaper EV alternative, some individuals look to the legacy carmakers instead for their EV purchase. 

In efforts to help you sift through the 50+ available EV models (as demonstrated with our Comprehensive Electric Car List), here are the top 10 best Tesla alternative electric cars in 2020:

Top 10 Tesla Alternative Electric Cars:

1) Ford Mustang Mach-E

top 10 Tesla alternative electric cars
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Image Credit: Ford
Range:210-275 Miles (estimated)
Cost:$36,395 (post EV tax credit)
DCFC to 80%:40 minutes
Most Comparable Tesla:Model Y
Third-Party Review:Car and Driver

First, on this list of the top 10 Tesla alternative electric cars is the upcoming Ford Mustang Mach-E. The future is electric and Ford is finally releasing its first real effort of an electric car. The Mustang Mach-E will go on sale later this year and looks to directly challenge the Model Y.

With a number of trims, the Mach-E will cover both affordability (starting around $33,000) as well as performance (AWD, 275 mile range, DCFC under 30 minutes). While Tesla has an advantage with it’s exclusive and nationwide Supercharger network, Ford still has the full tax credit saving buyers $7,500 on each vehicle.

The race is on!

2) Hyundai Kona EV

top 10 Tesla alternative electric cars
Hyundai Kona EV
Image Credit: Hyundai
Range:258 Miles
Cost:$30,496 (post EV tax credit)
DCFC to 80%:45 minutes
Most Comparable Tesla:Model 3
Third-Party Review:Car and Driver

Released in 2019, the Hyundai Kona EV looked to challenge the 200+ mile affordable EVs such as the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range, Chevy Bolt, and Nissan Leaf Plus. Out of the four, the Kona EV claimed the highest range rating of 258 miles of pure electric. Additionally, with exception to the Model 3, the Kona EV also claimed the fastest DC Fast Charging (DCFC) time. 

Overall, the Kona EV is a great effort by the Korean carmaker. While the Kona EV shares a platform with gas-powered variants, it still manages great efficiency and a great price point. When considering the tax credit, the Kona EV lands near $30,000. 

3) Chevy Bolt

Three Types of All-Electric Cars: Regional
Chevy Bolt
Image Credit: Chevrolet
Range:259 Miles
Cost:$32,000 (after national dealer discount)
DCFC to 80%:65 minutes
Most Comparable Tesla:Model 3
Third-Party Review:Car and Driver

The Chevy Bolt has been Tesla’s largest competitor since it debuted around the same time as the Model 3. Both compact car fought for the “Most Affordable EV” title. While the sales numbers of the Bolt are a fraction of the Model 3, it still remains the best selling non-Tesla EV in the last five years. 

With a recently increased battery for the 2020 model year, the Bolt can travel a sufficient 259 miles on electric power. Fast charging, however, is the Bolt’s biggest Achielle’s heel. A charge to 80% will take over an hour while the Model 3 can get by in around 30 minutes.

Nevertheless, the Bolt is a great choice for those who take long trips (200+ miles) infrequently. During such events, plan your restroom or meal breaks around DCFC sessions as it will take a bit of time. 

4) Toyota RAV4 Prime

top 10 Tesla alternative electric cars
Toyota RAV4 Prime
Image Credit: Toyota
Range:42 Miles (Electric) + 600 Miles (Gas)
Cost:$31,720 (post EV tax credit)
DCFC to 80%:N/A
Most Comparable Tesla:Model Y
Third-Party Review:Car and Driver

The Toyota RAV4 Prime is everything you want in a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). It has an impressive 42 miles of electric range before the gas range extender kicks in for another 400+ miles. It also has AWD, which is pretty rare for PHEVs. Lastly, the RAV4 has a very useful compact crossover shape so you can carry passengers and cargo with ease. 

When compared with the Tesla Model Y, it is significantly cheaper. The RAV4 Prime is eligible for the full $7,500 Federal EV Tax Credit. Therefore, the net cost starts around $32,000 while the AWD Model Y costs $50,000–quite a large price gap.

For those who are still a bit weary of charging infrastructure or unwilling to shell an extra $18,000 for the Model Y, the RAV4 Prime is the way to go.

5) Audi E-tron

top 10 tesla alternative electric cars
Audi E-tron
Image Credit: Audi
Range:222 Miles
Cost:$59,590 (post EV tax credit)
DCFC to 80%:25 Minutes
Most Comparable Tesla:Model Y or Model X
Third-Party Review:Car and Driver

The upcoming 2021 model year brings some big changes to Audi’s first all-electric car, the E-tron. Now with 222 miles of range and a starting price under $60,000, the Audi E-tron is a very compelling luxury, non-Tesla EV. The E-tron is about in between the Tesla Model X and Model Y in terms of size. Price-wise, it sits closer to the cheaper Model Y. 

While range is still a bit lacking for an EV released in 2020, it is still a great electric car. One of the biggest perks of the E-tron is its ability to add a lot of miles very quickly into the battery. When the state of charge is low, the E-tron can charge at a high rate of kilowatts. This means a fairly quick DCFC session, which means you get back on the road quickly. 

6) Kia Niro EV

Three Types of All-Electric Cars
Kia Niro EV
Image Credit: Kia
Range:239 Miles
Cost:$31,995 (post EV tax credit)
DCFC to 80%:45 Minutes
Most Comparable Tesla:Model 3
Third-Party Review:Car and Driver

Kia, Hyundai’s sister brand, also released a compelling EV in 2019. The Kia Niro EV features nearly the same specs as the Kona, though sacrifices some range for a slightly larger footprint.

And just like the Hyundai Kona EV, the Niro EV also shares a platform with both gas and plug-in hybrid variants. 

Still, the Niro EV is another great alternative to those not looking to spend a bit more on a Standard Range or Standard Range Plus Model 3. At around $32,000 after the tax credit, the Niro EV is a great electric car for both primary or secondary vehicle use.

With a max DCFC rate of 77 kilowatts (kW), the Niro EV, as well as the Kona EV, can charge to 80% in around 45 minutes. 

7) Ford Escape PHEV (Fall 2020)

Ford Escape PHEV
Ford Escape PHEV
Image Credit: Ford
Range:38 Miles (Electric) + 492 Miles (Gas)
Cost:$27,285 (post EV tax credit)
DCFC to 80%:N/A
Most Comparable Tesla:Model Y
Third-Party Review:Car and Driver

Estimated to go on sale this fall, the Ford Escape PHEV will offer consumers another plug-in hybrid to the Model Y and competition against the Toyota RAV4 Prime.

With 38 miles of electric range and another few hundred more with gas, the Escape PHEV is a worthy contender. One of the biggest drawbacks, however, is the Escape PHEV does not come with AWD. 

For those who do not need or want AWD, the Escape PHEV may be the way to go as it is around $5,000 cheaper than the RAV4 Prime and $21,000 than the upcoming RWD Model Y.

Of course, it is hard not to think about the other upcoming EV from the Ford–the all-electric compact crossover Mustang Mach-E. Ultimately, it will come down to whether you want the plug-in hybrid or all-electric powertrain between the two. 

8) Porsche Taycan

top 10 Tesla alternative electric cars
Porsche Taycan
Image Credit: Porsche
Range:192-201 Miles
Cost:$96,300-177,500 (post EV tax credit)
DCFC to 80%:20
Most Comparable Tesla:Model S
Third-Party Review:Car and Driver

The Tesla Model S finally has a competitor and its name is the Porsche Taycan. The highly anticipated, ultra performance carmaker released the Taycan this year. At first, the specs and price point seemed natural for a Porsche, however, the EPA range rating is rather shocking.

Between the different trims, the range is around 192-201 miles. Yikes…

However, after some journalists got their hands on the Taycan, they decided to perform their own range tests. What they found was the Taycan is much more capable than the EPA rating.

Nevertheless, the Taycan is an absolutely amazing vehicle for those able to spend over $100,000 on a car. For those who don’t have that budget (or any budget rather), best to keep looking.

9) Jaguar I-Pace

top 10 Tesla alternative electric cars
Jaguar I-Pace
Image Credit: Jaguar
Range:253 Miles
Cost:$63,500 (post EV tax credit)
DCFC to 80%:45
Most Comparable Tesla:Model Y
Third-Party Review:Car and Driver

Roughly the same size as the Model Y, the Jaguar I-Pace is another great non-Tesla EV. With a little more range than the Audi E-tron (252 miles to be exact) the I-Pace can travel great distances but with sluggish charging capabilities. 

As with any Jaguar, expect the I-Pace to be both quick and exhilarating. After the tax credit, the I-Pace lands just north of $60,000. 

10) Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

top 10 Tesla alternative electric cars
Chrysler Pacifica
Image Credit: Chrysler
Range:32 Miles (Electric) + 488 Miles (Gas)
Cost:$34,340 (post EV tax credit)
DCFC to 80%:N/A
Most Comparable Tesla:Model X
Third-Party Review:Car and Driver

Minivans are still in! While last in this top 10 list of Tesla alternative electric cars and often forgotten about, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is an EV still worth looking into. This is especially the case for those who need additional seats or cargo but want an electrified powertrain.

This plug-in hybrid is capable of 32 miles of electric range before gas. With a total of seven seats, this family hauler is a much, much cheaper alternative than the seven seat Model X. 

Yes, the minivan does not have the same style or tech features of the Tesla Model X, however, those who just need a larger vehicle but want to cut down on gas must absolutely consider the Pacifica Hybrid.

At just $34,000 after the tax credit, the Pacifica Hybrid is less than half the cost of the Model X. See, minivans can still be cool. 

Closing Thoughts:

There you have it: the top 10 Tesla alternative electric cars. Just one year ago, this list would be cut down in half. Each and every year carmakers are releasing more and more EVs. 

Fortunately, these EVs are no longer just compliance cars meeting EPA regulations. Instead, these electric cars are sold at appropriate price points with decent range and charging speeds. Additionally, there are many options to choose from whether luxury or non-luxury as well as hatchback, or crossover, or SUV. 

By 2021, this list will include an electric truck (Rivian R1T) as well as more affordable crossovers (VW ID.4 and Nissan Ariya).