Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
Courtesy of audiusa.com

20 Electric Cars Cheaper Than a Tesla

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Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
Courtesy of audiusa.com

ELECTRIC AVENUE

While Tesla doesn’t just make electric cars, the company has built a name for itself with the new technology. Still, it doesn't have a monopoly on that market. Tesla's Model 3 — which currently starts at $39,900— is the top-selling electric car so far this year. However, the rest of the top five is populated by vehicles from other carmakers, some of which can challenge the Model 3 on price, if not range. The following are just a few of the electric offerings with an entry-level price cheaper than a Tesla.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: 15 Reasons Why I Drive an Electric Car

Hyundai Kona Electric
Courtesy of hyundaiusa.com

Hyundai Kona Electric

Starting price: $36,950
Miles per gallon equivalent: 120 combined
Electric charge range: 258 miles
The Kona Electric gives buyers a crossover with Tesla range for less than the price of Tesla's smallest vehicle. The 201-horsepower engine is less brawny, but the Kona comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Audio, a 7-inch touchscreen, a suite of safety features, and Hyundai's 10-year powertrain warranty. It also has 19.2 cubic feet of cargo space that turns into 45.8 cubic feet with the rear seats down.

Kia Niro Electric
Courtesy of kia.com

Kia Niro Electric

Starting price: $38,500
Miles per gallon equivalent: 112 combined
Electric charge range: 239 miles
As a crossover, it's tiny. The 97.1 cubic feet of passenger volume and 19.4 cubic feet of cargo space is smaller than that of Toyota's Prius V or Ford's C-Max. Its 104 horsepower falls below that of the C-Max and Honda's HR-V. However, with support for quick charging, a full suite of electronic safety features, and 201 horsepower, this little crossover makes a big case for your consideration.

Chevrolet Bolt
Courtesy of chevrolet.com

Chevrolet Bolt

Starting price: $36,620
Miles per gallon equivalent: 119 combined
Electric charge range: 238 miles
Built to take on the Model 3 head-to-head, it got off to a bad start with what was (at the time) a loftier price. However, 200 horsepower, fast-charging capability, satellite radio, OnStar information and communications with 4G Wi-Fi, automatic climate control, remote liftgate release, and a 10.2-inch touchscreen, the Bolt looks like a contender. However, safety features like lane departure and collision sensors are extra and cargo volume is limited to 16.9 cubic feet.

Related: How to Road Trip the Right Way with an Electric Car

Nissan Leaf Plus
Courtesy of nissanusa.com

Nissan Leaf Plus

Starting price: $36,550
Miles per gallon equivalent: 108 combined
Electric charge range: 226 miles
The underpowered Leaf of years past is gone, with the Plus producing 214 horsepower and giving drivers features including forward collision warning and Apple's Siri EyesFree. However, if cash is your biggest concern, the $29,900 standard Leaf reduces the battery capacity and cuts horsepower to 147. The tradeoff is a cheaper Leaf that's more efficient at 112 mpge (miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent).

Volkswagen e-Golf
Courtesy of vw.com

Volkswagen e-Golf

Starting price: $31,895
Miles per gallon equivalent: 119 combined
Electric charge range: 125 miles
Volkswagen's electric versions succeed where its diesel versions failed. Standard features include an electrically heated windshield, full LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, rearview camera, media device interface (MDI) with iPod cable, navigation system with 5.8" touchscreen with proximity sensors and voice control, Volkswagen (VLKAY) Car-Net connected car features with e-Golf functions, keyless access with push-button start and heated front seats. Meanwhile, a four-hour "slow" charge and a 30-minute direct-current quick charge make up for the 134 horsepower.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric
Courtesy of hyundaiusa.com

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Starting price: $30,315
Miles per gallon equivalent: 136 combined
Electric charge range: 124 miles
Already in existence as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid, this electric car hit dealerships in California and a handful of other states in April (it's a special order elsewhere). The Ioniq is made with components fabricated from sugar cane, volcanic rock, and recycled plastic, but includes a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple Play, Android Audio, telematics, navigation, wireless device charging, heated seats, leather steering wheel, sunroof and sensor-based safety features.

Kia Soul EV
Courtesy of kia.com

Kia Soul EV

Starting price: $33,850
Miles per gallon equivalent: 105 combined
Electric charge range: 111 miles
An update is coming for 2020 (with 243 miles of range), but this vehicle's touchscreen UVO infotainment with charge status updates, charging station navigation, climate control, and sound system with beat-sensing mood lighting are nearly as fun as its boasted top speed of 149 miles per hour. Combine that with 23.7 cubic feet of cargo space (49.5 with the rear seats down) and a 10-year, 100,000-mile Kia warranty, and it’s surprising only a handful have sold this year.

Honda Clarity Electric
Courtesy of automobiles.honda.com

Honda Clarity Electric

Starting price:$199 a month lease with $1,799 down
Miles per gallon equivalent: 114 combined
Electric charge range: 89 miles
The fuel-efficient series is proving very popular, with Honda offering the Clarity in plug-in hybrid, electric, and hydrogen fuel cell. While only the hybrid is up for sale ($33,400, with 47 miles of all-electric range), the electric's lease is nearly half that of the fuel-cell vehicle and still includes roadside assistance, dual-zone climate control, a scant 3.5-hour charge time, and a motor with 161 horsepower.

Fiat 500e
Courtesy of fiatusa.com

Fiat 500e

Starting price: $32,995
Miles per gallon equivalent: 112 combined
Electric charge range:84 miles
Though quick for 111-horsepower, the 500e is still tiny and requires a whole bunch of added features to woo drivers. An electronic push-button shifter, TomTom navigation with voice-activated commands, a Fiat mobile app with telematics and assistance, hands-free communication, seven airbags, rear parking assist, heated seats and mirrors, stability control and Sirius XM satellite radio are almost outright bribes. Meanwhile, pedestrian alert, hill assist and a four-year warranty on electric parts seem almost gratuitous.

Smart EQ Fortwo
Courtesy of smartusa.com

Smart EQ Fortwo

Starting price: $23,900
Miles per gallon equivalent: 108 combined
Electric charge range: 58 miles
The gas-powered version of this two-seater is no longer sold in the U.S., leaving this tiny electric model with one of the lowest driving ranges of any electric vehicle. The good news is that its wide wheelbase, smartphone dock, myriad vehicle apps, and other playthings come in a compact package that's easy to parallel park. The bad news? You can't spend a whole lot of time driving around looking for that parking spot.

Chevrolet Volt
Courtesy of chevrolet.com

Chevrolet Volt

Starting price: $33,520
Miles per gallon equivalent: 106 combined
Electric charge range: 53 miles
For a plug-in hybrid, that's some serious electric range. Considering this car used to have a driving radius of just 35 miles, that extra battery capacity is lovely when combined with the silent interior, dual 8-inch LED color displays, and MyLink apps system (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto).

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Courtesy of chrysler.com

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Starting price: $39,995
Miles per gallon equivalent: 82 combined
No, this isn't less expensive than a Tesla Model 3. But Tesla doesn't make a minivan or anything that gives you 140 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row of seats or 87.5 cubic feet behind the second row. For Chrysler to offer not only that kind of utility but an all-electric range that puts smaller plug-in hybrids on this list to shame is not just worthy of some leeway: It's a minor miracle.

Kia Optima Hybrid
Courtesy of kia.com

Kia Optima Hybrid

Starting price:$35,390
Miles per gallon equivalent: 103 combined
Electric charge range: 29 miles
This is where we start dipping into plug-in hybrids, but all-electric range matters. Sure, you aren't getting the hundreds of miles you would from a Tesla or some of the offerings higher on this list, but consider this efficient sedan, its supercharger capability, and its UVO infotainment system (with 8-inch touchscreen), Harman/Kardon speakers, abundant electronic safety features, and dual-zone climate control training wheels until you're ready to give up gas altogether.

Hyundai Sonata Plug-In
Courtesy of hyundaiusa.com

Hyundai Sonata Plug-In

Starting price: $31,900
Miles per gallon equivalent:99 combined
Electric charge range: 28 miles
For a family of four, there are 106.1 cubic feet of cabin space that makes this among the roomiest in its class and 35.6 inches of rear legroom. Hyundai's now so accustomed to this that it throws in the Blue Link telematics system, backup camera, 7-inch touchscreen audio, steering wheel mounted controls, and Bluetooth automatically. Jump up to the $37,500 “limited” package and you get and dual-zone automatic climate control and ventilated leather seats.

Ford Fusion Energi Titanium
Courtesy of ford.com

Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Starting price: $34,595
Miles per gallon equivalent: 103 combined
Electric charge range: 26 miles
Yes, it costs less and comes with Ford's Co-Pilot 360 electronic safety features, heated and cooled leather seats, dual-zone climate control, and a 12-speaker Sony sound system. But it doesn't cost all that much less than the Model 3 and manages to give drivers less power for their money while being one of the least “electric” vehicles on this list.

Toyota Prius Prime Plug-In
Courtesy of toyota.com

Toyota Prius Prime Plug-In

Starting price: $27,350
Miles per gallon:133 combined
Electric charge range: 25 miles
The mileage draws the customers, but this vehicle's wealth of features make it "prime.” Remote air conditioning, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, backup camera, power and USB outlets, Entune audio and navigation, a 7-inch high-resolution touch-screen with split-screen display, Siri Eyes Free advanced voice recognition, SiriusXM satellite radio and nearly 20 cubic feet of trunk space set the standard for a plug-in hybrid. That said, there are limits to the electric Prius, and those 25 miles seem pretty skimpy when there are cars at this price further up the list getting 10 times that.

Mitsubishi Outlander Hybrid
Courtesy of mitsubishicars.com

Mitsubishi Outlander Hybrid

Starting price:$35,795
Miles per gallon equivalent: 74 combined
Electric charge range: 22 miles
At this price, you get all-wheel drive, leather seats, remote-controlled climate, voice recognition, a premium sound system, and a whole lot of electronic safety features. You also get a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty on not just the power train, but on the battery and all electric components. Most importantly, you get more than 66 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats down and 30 with them up. It doesn't make it all-electric, but it eases the sting a bit.

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid
Courtesy of subaru.com

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Starting price: $34,995
Miles per gallon equivalent: 90 combined
Electric charge range:17 miles
Nope, neither the mileage nor the all-electric range on this vehicle is great, but you can basically use thisall-wheel-drive wagon to get your groceries in adverse conditions and still not use a drop of gas. Meanwhile, the integrated roof rails for bikes and cargo, rear cargo space (more than 55 cubic feet with the seats down), driver assistance features, Star Link multimedia and Wi-Fi connection are all consolation prizes for a lack of full electric capability.

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
Courtesy of audiusa.com

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Starting price: $37,900
Miles per gallon equivalent: 83 combined
Electric charge range: 16 miles
The current Audi e-tron is an SUV that costs upwards of $70,000, so let's go back to this 2018 model that's still on some dealer lots (though not the website) and, certainly, among certified pre-owned offerings. The Audi energy program that sells it offers a home charger (which charges this vehicle in 2 hours and 15 minutes) and available solar panel installation at your house. Meanwhile, this plug-in still manages 240 horsepower from its 1.4-liter engine and comes with Xenon headlights with LED trim, dual-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, leather seats, HD Radio, SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth, rearview camera and rain-sensing wipers and light-sensing headlights.

Mini Countryman Hybrid
Courtesy of miniusa.com

Mini Countryman Hybrid

Starting price: $36,900
Miles per gallon equivalent: 65 combined
Electric charge range: 12 miles
This Mini crossover will give you all-wheel drive and 221 horsepower as well as electronic features like a rear-view camera, rear parking assistance, a 6.5-inch high-resolution display, and Bluetooth. Though the panorama roof is lovely, this vehicle's electric capacity and overall efficiency are lacking.