5 Tesla Competitors That May Just Make It

Tesla isn't the only electric car manufacturer on the market. These Tesla competitors just might be able to keep up with Elon Musk after all.
Kayla Matthews

The electric car market has gained substantial momentum in recent years, due in large part to Tesla.

The automotive brand experienced growing pains and received some negative press, but it's arguable that Tesla has positively impacted the automotive industry by pushing other manufacturers to design cars people plug in to replenish power.

As Tesla rival companies crop up, they change the electric car industry in notable ways, too. They have to keep Tesla at bay, whether through new technology, lower prices or other means.

Moreover, the growing competition in the electric car market gives car buyers numerous options when evaluating vehicles.

Tesla may be one of the dominant names that come to mind when you think about electric cars, but it's not the only attention-getting choice. 

1. The Volkswagen MEB Entry and Its Cheap Price

5 Tesla Competitors That May Just Make It
Source: MB-one/Wikimedia Commons

Tesla's Model 3 is the least expensive electric vehicle the brand offers, and it has a base price of $46,000. Volkswagen plans a cheaper electric car known as the MEB Entry. It may be about half the price of the Tesla 3.

Another interesting factor is that the automaker anticipates a high production quantity for the car. People may not endure excessive waiting periods to start enjoying their new vehicles.

Analysts pointed out that despite this car being a contender on a Tesla competitors' list, it won't be easy to manufacture electric automobiles that are so inexpensive.

Additionally, one thing you need to remember about the Tesla 3 is that it reportedly has a range of 260 miles, with the possibility of going approximately 310 miles on an upgraded model.

The distance people can drive before recharging the battery inevitably has a major impact on whether the MEB Entry's anticipated ultra-low price point will sway them.

2. The Byton M-Byte's Onboard Technology

5 Tesla Competitors That May Just Make It
Source: Jengtingchen/Wikimedia Commons

Byton is a Chinese startup that hopes to assert itself as Tesla competition by focusing on standout technology inside its M-Byte, a battery-electric vehicle.

It's an SUV, and the automaker claims it can go as far as 325 miles between charges when using an optional 95-kilowatt-hour battery.

If that assertion holds, Tesla needs to stay on its toes to demonstrate why its cars are better choices than the ones with longer ranges like this one. The base model's battery has approximately the same per-charge longevity as Tesla's Model 3, plus a similar price point.

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Byton held one of the leading events at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) conference in Las Vegas. During that presentation, the brand promoted how its M-Byte will have a video screen on the dashboard that's as large as seven iPads.

Plus, there will reportedly be another video screen above the steering wheel that allows drivers to virtually operate vehicle functions.

The Tesla Model 3 has a central touch screen on the dash. That panel operates most of the vehicle's features. It's unclear what virtual operation entails for this Byton car, and one has to wonder whether so many video screens could pose distractions for drivers.

The car will have Amazon Alexa technology, and Byton's business model positions the car as a content platform as much as a mode of transportation. That uncommon perspective is another reason why the M-Byte deserves a spot on any Tesla competitors' list.

3. The Polestar 2 Is the First Car With Google's Native Android Auto Technology

5 Tesla Competitors That May Just Make It
Source: Wikimedia Commons

If you're in the market for an electric car, the infotainment system might be something you consider. Today's drivers are often extremely reliant on using that technology to find their routes, play music and more.

The Polestar 2 will soon be available to buy under Volvo's performance vehicle arm. It will be the first all-electric car Volvo has, and sources say the model will be the first automobile offering the native version of Google's Android Auto.

Other than that, details are still scarce about this model. Early revelations indicate it will have a 300-mile range and a four-door body.

People in the know believe the Polestar 2 will have a price similar to Tesla's Model 3. However, something that sets the Polestar 2 apart is a subscription plan.

It covers insurance, maintenance, and roadside assistance and lasts for two to three years. After that, the driver can return the car, or the company will provide a newer model.

4. Great Wall Motor's 2019 Ora R1 Is Even Cheaper Than Volkswagens' Upcoming Model

5 Tesla Competitors That May Just Make It
Source: Great Wall Motors vis PR Newswire

Some members of the Tesla competitors' list hope a low price will be the primary factor that makes people buy them.

Tesla's cars have some remarkably attractive features, like a fast-charging system that's so far unmatched by any Tesla rival company, and the Model X, with its eye-catching, falcon-wing doors.

The Ora R1 is an electric car from Great Wall Motors, and the 2019 model will cost as low as the equivalent of $8,680. It comes in a choice of five colors and features an extremely compact body.

The small size means it's not suitable as a family car, but it could appeal to millennials and others on tight budgets who want to check out Tesla's electric car competition without breaking the bank.

Reports say the car will feature an artificial intelligence system that responds to voice cues. People can say, "Hello, Ora" to activate it.

One of the downsides that may not make the Ora R1 a serious threat to Tesla despite its exceptionally affordable price is that Great Wall Motors currently does not have a presence in the United States. It does operate in the United Kingdom, Australia and several places within Europe.

5. The BMW Vision iNEXT Could Uproot Perspectives About SUVs


BMW Vision iNEXT concept car: our favorite space at LA auto show 2018 from designboom on Vimeo.

Tesla promoted its improved autopilot technology throughout much of 2018 and advertised a "full self-driving package" that adds at least $3,000 extra to the cost.

However, in October 2018, the brand pulled that option from its website. Tesla said the technology was so advanced, people could merely get in their cars and tell the vehicles where to go.

However, critics pointed out that such a feature was seemingly nowhere near ready for widespread release and hadn't moved out of the concept phase.

Nevertheless, tens of thousands of Tesla purchasers wanted to add that tech to their cars without knowing when or if the feature would exist.

The BMW Vision iNEXT could heat up the Tesla competition when it begins production in 2021. The car will have highly autonomous driving capabilities and be a fully electric model.

Unlike some of the other cars here, the BMW Vision iNext won't have screens and keeps the intelligent technology out of sight until a driver needs to use it.

Many people view SUVs as gas-guzzling transportation choices, but this full-size model could change opinions about them.

Tesla Competitors Present Enticing Possibilities

This list shows how the electric car competition is heating up. The cars on this list, as well as others coming out soon, could emphasize that Tesla needs to set the bar high and fulfill its promises to continually excel.