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5 impressive EVs you’ll wish you could buy in the U.S.

The Nio ES8 Chinese electric SUV includes a luxurious interior.
Nio

Tesla is the largest electric carmaker in the world when it comes to fully electric cars, and if you live in the U.S., you’re used to Tesla being the top dog. But did you know that Tesla isn’t quite the top dog globally when it comes to electrified vehicles?

That category includes plug-in hybrids, which Tesla does not make. When you add them in, Tesla falls to second place. The title goes to Chinese automaker BYD — and it’s really not even close.

BYD isn’t confined to China, either. In fact, it’s pretty well-known in other parts of Asia, as well as in Europe and Australia. And it’s only growing — and could very easily continue to outpace the likes of Tesla as Tesla continues to struggle to ramp up production of new cars.

As it turns out, several Chinese automakers build some pretty stellar electric cars — cars that could easily give the American and South Korean EVs we’ve grown accustomed to a run for their money. And some familiar automakers offer unique models in other countries that they simply don’t sell here. Curious about the EVs you can’t buy in the U.S.? Here are some of the best of them.

BYD Han

BYD Han
BYD

As mentioned, BYD is the dominant player in China’s EV space, and when you take a look at the BYD Han, you might see why. The Han is essentially BYD’s version of the Tesla Model S, and it offers a luxurious take on the electric sedan. It can accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometers an hour (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds, making it very quick indeed — though not quite as quick as the fastest variants of the Model S.

The BYD Han has other great traits. It has a rated electric range of up to around 340 miles, and it has a plush interior and sleek exterior. It’s really a great-looking electric car overall.

Nio ET7

Nio ET7
Nio

Nio is another huge Chinese EV brand, and the Nio ET7 is its take on the Tesla Model S. The Nio ET7 is a luxury sedan with sleek, slim headlights at the front and large wheels. It, like the Model S, has no front grille, flush door handles, and more.

The car performs pretty well too. It can reach 100 kilometers an hour in 3.8 seconds, which isn’t as quick as the BYD Han, but is still very fast overall. The car has a rated electric range of 505 km, or 314 miles, which is, again, quite good — though China’s EV regulators are a little more relaxed on EV range than in the U.S.

Of course, we may not have to wait too much longer to be able to buy this car stateside — or others like it. Nio has said that it hopes to start selling cars in the U.S. by 2025. We’ll have to wait and see if that ends up happening.

Mercedes-Benz EQA

Mercedes-Benz EQA
Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz, of course, is not a Chinese automaker — but it still makes some electric cars that aren’t available in the U.S. Top of that list is the Mercedes-Benz EQA, which is the entry-level Mercedes EQ model in many regions. The EQA has an electric range of up to 438 km, which equates to around 270 miles, and can accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometers an hour in 7.7 seconds. Safe to say, it’s quick, but nowhere near as quick as some of the other electric cars out there, including the two above.

One of the best things about the EQA is its luxurious interior, similar to other modern Mercedes-Benz cars. The EQA has comfortable seats and high-tech infotainment, with support for rech like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Nio ES8

Nio ES8
Nio

This is the second Nio car on this list, and for good reason. While the other Chinese cars on this list are a little smaller, the Nio ES8 is much larger — and probably something that could sell pretty well in the U.S.

The Nio ES8 is an electric, three-row SUV with some excellent features, including a sleeker, more stylish design than a lot of other electric SUVs out there right now. It can hit 100 kilometers an hour in 4.9 seconds, and it has an all-electric range of 580 km, or 360 miles. That puts it ahead of much of the competition — though again, we’ll have to wait and see how to fares in the Environmental Protection Agency’s ratings if it ends up coming to the U.S. The car has a large infotainment display at the front, with a luxurious interior and advanced comfort features like heating and ventilation in both the first- and second-row seats.

Renault Zoe

Renault Zoe
Renault

This is another car from a non-Chinese company, but still something you can’t get in the U.S. right now. The Renault Zoe is actually one of the bestselling electric cars in Europe, and it makes sense. The Zoe is a small electric car, with an electric range of up to 238 miles, which isn’t bad for something so small that’s designed to be driven in cities. The car isn’t anywhere near as powerful as the competition, accelerating from 0 to 100 kilometers an hour in around 9.9 seconds — but not everyone needs that extra performance.

The real reason the car is so popular in Europe, of course, is the fact that it’s so cheap. The Renault Zoe starts at around 20,700 euros in France, which equates to around $22,600. That’s very cheap, and far cheaper than the majority of electric cars in the U.S.

Competition could be coming

Chinese (and European) automakers have a lot to offer — and hopefully, that competition will be coming to the U.S. soon. There are plenty of great electric cars in the U.S., but prices are still too high, and the options are still too limited. Competition from the likes of BYD, Nio, and others could help drive prices down, while driving quality up — ensuring that U.S. buyers can get the best cars out there.

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