The world is full of interesting electric vehicles the US will never get.
Battery-electric vehicles are beginning to take the world by storm as automakers race to bring more to market in accordance with new and upcoming government regulations. Americans now have several fine EV choices, ranging from trucks to SUVs and sedans. But if you pay attention to what's happening overseas, you know some extremely cool EVs are debuting. Sadly, there are no plans to bring some of them stateside. This is happening because either the automaker itself does not have a US market presence, or the vehicle has not been homologated for our side of the pond.
Many electric cars in Europe and China are beautiful, whether in design, range, or technology in general. The China electric vehicle market, in particular, is flourishing, and, in some cases, with certain EVs, America needs to catch up. So we've gathered a list of 10 of the coolest EVs currently on sale or soon will be but have absolutely zero chance of coming to America.
This Japanese EV supermini is one of our favorite battery-electrics on sale anywhere in the world. The retro-styled Honda e debuted for the 2020 model year following outstanding public and media response from the equally awesome Urban EV Concept version, which served as the design basis. The Honda e interior is also retro-inspired, just the like the exterior. The car utilizes a rear-mounted motor and rear-wheel-drive dedicated platform with an ideal 50/50 weight distribution. With two outputs of 100 kW or 113 kW - which translates to 134 hp and 152 hp, respectively, from the 35.5 kWh battery - torque comes to 232 lb-ft for both variants. Its small size and agile and fun-to-drive handling make this one of the coolest European electric cars.
The Honda e price starts at around 30,000 euros. And sadly, the automaker has repeatedly said that a North American market launch is not happening. Range? The carmaker says the Honda e has a range of 137 miles, making it ideal for city driving. It remains one of the coolest Japanese electric cars on the market.
The Volkswagen ID. 3 debuted to a lot of fanfare at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, and, like the ID. 4 crossover sold in North America, it rides on the automaker's dedicated MEB electric vehicle platform. The ID. 3 has a starting price of just under 40,000 euros. Inside, the ID. 3 interior layout is very similar to its crossover sibling, only with less interior volume because it's a hatchback.
And according to the German automaker and official government testing, the ID. 3 has a range of up to 265 miles on the WLTP cycle, about 22% less than the EPA's more stringent testing guidelines. VW has made clear the ID. 3 is unsuitable for our neck of the woods because Americans don't want hatchbacks but crossovers.
There have been rumors Mercedes is considering bringing the EQA subcompact luxury crossover to the US, but nothing has been confirmed. In the meantime, the EQA is sold overseas and continues to gain popularity, especially in the China electric vehicle market, where Western luxury brands are highly sought after. Two battery sizes are available, 66.5 kWh and 70.5 kWh, and up to 190 horsepower or 260 hp, depending on whether it has a single or dual-motor setup.
If the EQA looks strikingly familiar, then you're right. It's a fully electrified version of the GLA, which is sold in the US and continues to be very popular as the smallest of Mercedes' crossovers. The EQA begins at about 50,000 euros. Step inside, and the EQA interior is everything one would expect from the luxury brand, with high-quality materials, fit, and finish throughout. According to different overseas testing cycles, the EQA has a range of up to 340 miles.
Have you never heard of the Nio ET7? You're probably not alone. Nio is a Chinese EV automaker with expansion plans that don't include North America. The ET7 sedan was revealed in early 2021 and has a dual-motor, all-wheel drive setup. Three lithium-ion batteries are available, ranging from 75 kWh to 150 kWh, with a combined output of up to 644 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque. It's also pretty fast, with a claimed 0-62 mph acceleration time of 3.8 seconds.
The ET7 is feature-packed with an autonomous driving system consisting of a mix of surround-view cameras and Lidar. The ET7 has a 621.4-mile maximum range based on China's NEDC testing cycle. Pricing? Well, that depends on the country. In Norway, for example, the ET7 is priced at about $51,400. Drivers and passengers will find the ET7 interior to be a delightful place to be, with a 10.2-inch instrument cluster and a 12.8-inch touchscreen.
SUVs are not only popular in the US but also in China and continue to gain strength in Europe. That's why the Nio ES8 exists. This all-electric full-size luxury SUV was redesigned for the 2023 model year and packs a dual-motor setup with up to 644 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of instant torque with the 150 kWh battery pack. Nio claims a 0-62 mph time of less than 4.1 seconds. For a big SUV like this, that's very fast. The new ES8 price begins at $75,000 with the base 75 kWh battery and will exceed $90k fully loaded.
According to preliminary testing data, the ES8 range of 560 miles on the Chinese testing cycle is very impressive. Like any luxury vehicle, the ES8 interior has five themes inspired by planet Earth with a reasonably minimal design approach. To name two examples, buyers can select a massive panoramic sunroof and intelligent five-zone automatic climate control.
The Xpeng P7 was designed from the get-go to be a direct competitor of the Tesla Model 3. On sale since the summer of 2020, the P7 has 424 horsepower with the optional dual motor. The single-motor version has a still impressive 263 hp on tap, and both versions have an 80.87 kWh battery. This China EV also scissors front doors but only on the Wing Limited Edition.
The Xpeng P7 interior clearly has to compete with the Model 3, so the Chinese automaker equipped it with a minimalist design with a single-unit large screen housing everything from the driver's gauges to the infotainment system. How far can it travel? The P7 range can go as far as 439 miles, again on the Chinese cycle. Given that the P7 price begins at 209,000 yuan (about $31,000), it's no wonder Xpeng sold 10,000 examples in the first six months it went on sale.
The MG Cyberster is brand new for 2024. China's SAIC has owned MG for several years and has successfully turned it into a budget brand powerhouse overseas. The Cyberster two-seat roadster launches in time to celebrate MG's 100th anniversary. With its long hood and short rear end, the Cyberster evokes design elements from the brand's past infused with modern-day touches like those scissor doors.
The Cyberster price has yet to be announced, but it's expected to remain affordable. Other details remain scarce, such as the Cyberster interior. Based on the few images available, it can be equipped with gorgeous red leather and contains a large touchscreen combined with some conventional buttons. How far can it travel? The MG Cyberster range is said to be up to 500 miles, again based on the WLTP testing cycle.
The BYD Han arrived on the scene in 2020 and is classified as a mid-size luxury sedan sold as both a plug-in hybrid and a pure battery electric vehicle. This Chinese electric car has a 76.9 kWh battery pack that can achieve an 80% charge in about 25 minutes. The Han range is up to 340 miles, but that's for the fully-equipped version with four-wheel drive and a total output of 487 horsepower thanks to a dual-motor design.
The BYD Han interior has a massive display touchscreen, Nappa leather upholstery with diamond stitching, and wood, carbon fiber, or aluminum trim. And for a luxury vehicle, the Han is relatively affordable. Based on overseas location, the BYD Han price can begin at about $30,000 and increase to $43,000.
Yes, that's really the name. The ORA Funky Cat is built by Great Wall Motors, one of several companies building Chinese electric cars. ORA is GWM's electric vehicle sub-brand. This five-door compact hatchback went on sale in 2020 and has up to 171 horsepower and 155 lb-ft of torque when equipped with the optional 63.1 kWh battery. The Funky Cat range is 310 miles on the Chinese testing cycle. What's it like inside?
The Funky Cat interior takes some inspiration from the Mini Cooper Hardtop with things like analog controls. There's also a large screen containing driver information and navigation. This cute EV can do more than just be a city car. Why? Because the ORA Funky Cat range is up to 311 miles. And because it's aimed at the masses, it's also quite affordable. According to the latest information, the Funky Cat price starts at around 38,000 euros.
The Citroen Ami nameplate dates back to 1961, when the first generation model appeared and was revived in 2020. But, the reborn Ami is quite different from most French electric cars. Heck, it's incredibly unique amongst nearly all other Europe electric cars.
Why? Because this Ami is a quadricycle that seats just two passengers. It's not exactly something you'd want to take on a long-distance road trip, but it's ideal city transportation. It gets its power from a single electric motor and 5.5 kWh lithium-ion battery with a total output of just eight horsepower. And since it's not classified as a conventional car, the Ami's electric range is measured differently, specifically the World Motorcycle Test Cycle. The official range from this test is 47 miles.
As you'd expect, the cabin is also kind of different. The Ami interior has only three buttons on the dashboard (one for the hazard lights, one for the blower, and another for the heated rear windscreen). Even the plastic seats are basic, with padding for the bottom and back. But the Ami is very affordable. Citroen lists the Ami price at just 9,970 euros, or about $10,000.
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