5 international electric cars you can’t buy in the US

Electric cars were once a rare sight on public roads, but now they seem to be everywhere. Tesla is no longer considered a rare car brand, and most major automakers have released an EV or have one in development.

However, some EVs are still considered forbidden fruit in the US market. In particular, NIO is a car manufacturer that has never marketed any of its models in the United States. NIO is not alone, however, as several automakers have EVs that only cater to international markets.

1. NIO ET7

The NIO ET7 is an attractive luxury sedan that looks like the Tesla Model S. The front end, without the traditional grille, is especially reminiscent of the Tesla. The front end, completely devoid of a traditional grille, is particularly reminiscent of a Tesla sedan, but overall the NIO is actually better than the Model S.

The Tesla is starting to show its age, but the NIO has a high-tech and fresh look. One unique thing about NIO’s styling is the inclusion of what NIO calls ‘self-driving sensing units’, located on the roof of the car, just above the windscreen.

Some people might like those futuristic protrusions, but it looks unfinished and makes the car look like a self-driving taxi. The rest of the car is gorgeous, with flowing lines that put a Tesla to shame.

Nio also designed a beautiful interior that includes a funky personal assistant that communicates with the driver. Its infotainment system is pure Tesla copycat, especially the climate controls. The only downside of this super electric vehicle is that it is not available for sale in the United States.

2. Honda e

The Honda e looks like a small Rivian Amazon Delivery van, which means it has a very cool front end. In fact, the entire design of the car is very attractive and well thought out. It’s a city car, which means the 137-mile range isn’t something to brag about, but for short distances it’s perfect.

The interior is also fine and futuristic, especially the screens dedicated to each reversing camera. One of the Honda e’s coolest touches is the placement of cameras that replace each rear-view mirror. This gives the exterior an ultra-slick and modern look.

The Honda e is not sold in the United States, and with its limited range, it is unlikely to be offered. But, for markets that value city cars, this vehicle has a lot of appeal.

3. Mercedes-Benz EQA


Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes builds some of the best electric SUVs on the market, and the EQA is no exception. It’s the entry-level offering in the Mercedes EQ range of electric cars, and it’s pretty good. Its looks are arguably more appealing than the boring EQS sedan, as well as its EQS SUV counterpart. Since the EQA is smaller, it looks sportier by default.

The EQA’s interior is absolutely stunning, with blue accents around the cabin that make it clear to the world that you bought an electric Mercedes-Benz. The interior of this EQ line car is more understated than the flagship models of the EQS line, which is a good thing for people who don’t necessarily like the big Hyperscreen.

The EQA is a good candidate for the American market, especially since the gas-powered GLA is already on sale in the United States and is selling very well. Basically, anything with an SUV form factor and a premium badge will sell well in the US market. It will be interesting to see if SUVs will continue to dominate the electric vehicle sector as more and more EVs are released by various manufacturers.

4. NIO ES8

ES8 is another great NIO product that is not available in the United States. This particular NIO is an SUV and a very good SUV at that. The interior is typical NIO, which means it’s great, and the clever (but slightly odd) NOMI personal assistant is also present.

NOMI performs several tasks if you ask it to, but what draws the most attention is the lively appearance of the personal assistant, especially the way it playfully interacts with the driver. For now, NOMI may just be a gimmick. However, it seems to have a lot of features and will definitely be the future of personal car assistants.

It’s definitely a head and shoulders above traditional voice-activated personal assistants that look boring and robotic. The ES8 also seats six comfortably, as well as NIO’s greatest innovation, the battery swap. Whether this system will replace fast chargers is debatable, but battery replacement certainly has its place, especially if you need to recharge quickly.

NIO designed the whole experience to be seamless, although the range is great, rated at 360 miles, so you shouldn’t worry about range anxiety. NIO has some great cars that really look set to be sold in the US market, and once they decide to release their great EVs, the competition will surely be ready.

5.VW ID.3

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Image credit: Volkswagen UK

Volkswagen has a full line-up of electric vehicles. VW’s EV lineup in the US includes the stunning ID.4, but not the stunning ID.3.

The ID.3 is one of the best EVs of all time, and that’s no surprise since its styling is very Golf-esque. If you want a car design that will stand the test of time and continue to look fresh, the VW Golf is a great design to emulate.

The ID.3 may look like a Golf, but it’s definitely an electric car. The exterior has the typical softness of electric cars, and the rear looks menacing with its black trim. Inside, the ID.3 looks like an electric car, especially with the requisite white surfaces.

Tesla also offers gorgeous white interiors, but it’s worth considering how hard they can be to keep clean before testing. Range is also excellent thanks to the 58 kWh battery, which can cover nearly 265 miles on a single charge.

The ID.3 is by no means the kind of car that will be hugely popular in the US, but VW should still consider bringing it over as an electric alternative for Golf enthusiasts.

The US EV market has room for more models

Electric vehicles are the biggest craze in the automotive segment, and a more diverse car offering in the United States can only benefit the consumer. Right now, there are some great electric cars for sale in the United States, but some of the world’s best EVs aren’t offered there.

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