Jaguar’s New EV and Other Major Tesla Challengers of 2018

It may have taken a while, but Tesla is officially a household name in America. Thanks to both electric cars and SpaceX, people know CEO Elon Musk by sight, and many are aware how highly journalists and consumers think of the flagship Model S.

But it’s not easy launching a car company in America. Without the production infrastructure and know-how of established automakers, Tesla’s had more than its share of problems at the factory.

As a result, Model X problems persisted as Model 3 production issues became a nightmare. That gave the competition a chance to ramp up their electric vehicles and try to snatch those customers away from the California brand. Here are the EVs posing a challenge to Tesla at various price points in 2018 — including a bold entry from Jaguar (page 5).

1.  Karma Revero

Road shot of Karma Revero from driver side

Karma Revero | Karma

What is it: A luxury plug-in hybrid with 37 miles of EV range
When is it available: Now

Following the fall of Fisker, a Chinese company bought the remains and introduced the Karma. This ultra-luxury brand will try again with the flagship Revero. Its good looks and fine interior may be the Revero’s best attributes, so combined with its plug-in hybrid specs it should turn Tesla buyers’ heads.

Overall, the Revero manages 37 miles in electric mode, with a total range of 240 miles. Efficiency as an EV (60 MPGe) isn’t great, but it easily tops anything running on gas alone. It’s priced near the range-topping Teslas ($130,000).

Next: The most practical EV got a range boost for 2018.

2. 2018 Nissan Leaf

2018 Nissan Leaf | Nissan

What is it: The second generation of Nissan’s pioneering EV
When is it available: Now

It’s hard to find a more practical green car than the Nissan Leaf. In 2018, a redesigned model featuring 151 miles of range hit the market at $29,990. That price undercuts the debut Tesla Model 3 ($49,000) by a ton while delivering half the range.

Over the years, the Leaf has established itself as one of the top vehicles for reliability, so this model will appeal to many consumers, even with questions swirling about the 30 kWh battery.

Next: Audi hit Tesla’s sweet spot of extended range, performance, and luxury.

3. Audi e-tron Quattro

The Audi e-tron quattro electric crossover

Audi e-tron quattro in concept form | Audi

What is it: Audi’s first foray into pure EVs
When is it available: Late 2018

Audi e-tron quattro is right in Tesla Model X’s wheelhouse. Using a 95 kWh battery pack, it will top 270 miles on a charge and reach 60 miles per hour in less than five seconds. Size-wise, it will be a little bigger than the Audi Q5.

Following the appearance of e-tron quattro prototypes in Europe, Audi says it’s on schedule to begin delivering this model abroad in late 2018. Pricing for European models was announced at $99,000, which should be lower (likely below $80,000) on the U.S. market.

Next: Honda’s plug-in hybrid delivers the space Chevy Volt owners always wanted.

4. Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid | Honda

What is it: A midsize sedan with 48 miles of EV range
When is it available: Now

After a long wait, Honda’s first plug-in hybrid looks like an excellent entry in the segment. Its EV range of 48 miles is just short of Chevy Volt, but Clarity has a major size advantage. It tops Volt in cargo volume, hip room, shoulder room, width, and length.

In fact, Clarity sits more in the midsize sedan category. That package at $33,400 (with full EV incentive available) is enough to bring in customers who don’t feel like waiting for a Model 3.

Next: The electric Jaguar SUV sounds more and more like a contender ahead of its 2018 launch.

5. Jaguar I-Pace

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Jaguar's I-PACE Concept at Milk Studios on November 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

2018 Jaguar I-Pace | Jaguar Land Rover via Getty Images

What is it: Jaguar’s take on a luxury EV, cheaper than a Tesla
When is it available: Late in 2018

If you asked EV people, many would tell you the Jaguar I-Pace is the first legitimate “Tesla killer” after hearing about pretenders for years. Like the Audi electric quattro, I-Pace packs real punch (400 horsepower) and considerable range (over 235 miles).

Meanwhile, it looks like a vehicle worthy of the Jaguar name and costs less than a Tesla at $69,500. In fairness, Tesla offers longer ranges, but this one should pull customers from Musk’s EV brand.

Next: Don’t sleep on the only long-range EV that’s affordable.

6. Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2018 Chevrolet Bolt | General Motors

What is it: Chevy’s groundbreaking EV with 237 miles of range at $36,700
When is it available: Now

It seems like we’ve been comparing Chevrolet Bolt EV to Tesla Model 3 for years. After all that time, Bolt EV is still the only long-range electric car on the market for less than $37,000.

It may not be the sexiest car or fly off the line like a Model 3, but it’s no slouch on performance. Here’s another thing: You don’t hear nightmare stories about Bolt EV like you do Model 3. If you actually plan on driving one of these cars, that matters.

Next: It’s no Tesla, but it looks sharp, drives electric, and is available now.

7. Kia Optima PHEV

2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid | Kia

What is it: A Kia Optima you can mostly drive electric
When is it available: Now

Let’s say you want to drive electric, but you have conditions. Specifically, you refuse to:

  • Drive a goofy-looking car
  • Get a charging subscription
  • Buy a home charging system
  • Wait until 2020

In that case, a Kia Optima plug-in hybrid would be a good call. It offers 29 miles on a charge and a total range of 610 miles at a $35,000 sticker price (before incentives).

Meanwhile, it’s already on the market in 2018 and needs only a wall socket to charge. On the street, folks will just think you’re driving a stylish version of the Optima.

Next: Maybe an electric BMW will tide you over.

8. BMW i3 REX

2017 BMW i3 | BMW

What is it: BMW’s first EV in plug-in hybrid form
When is it available: Now

There are drawbacks to a BMW i3 with range extender (REX). For one, you only get about 100 electric miles with another 80 provided by the small gas engine. Meanwhile, it’s pricey.

Then again, it’s very green driving (111 MPGe) with a luxury badge. For the crowd that won’t drive a Nissan but wants to go electric until Tesla figures it out, leasing the  i3 REX might be the way to go.

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