5 global electric cars that you can’t buy in the USA

The United States might be a core market, and in many cases, the launch market for several cars and pickups, however, in the case of these five electric cars, their manufacturers have no plans of bringing them to the USA.


BMW iX3 grille

In March this year, BMW announced that it will not be selling the iX3 in the USA, which came as a blow to BMW enthusiasts in America. According to reports, the company wanted to focus on selling the BMW iX3 in other core markets. However, several analysts and publications believe it is the USA’s lack of a concrete emissions strategy that gave the manufacturer cold feet.

Unlike China which is the world’s largest electric car market, or Europe where there are stringent fleet emission regulations, the US doesn’t significantly push manufacturers to sell electric cars. It does give EV buyers a federal EV tax credit of up to $7,500, though.

While Americans miss out on the BMW iX3, there is still hope that the upcoming BMW iX electric car, which is expected to have its design unveil this year, comes stateside towards the end of 2021.

Toyota C-HR electric

Toyota C-HR electric
The Toyota C-HR electric car is sold in China by the GAC Toyota JV, and FAW Toyota JV sells the same EV as the Toyota Izoa.

The Toyota C-HR electric (and sister product Izoa electric) are currently available only in China, despite the C-HR being a global model sold in the USA too. At the moment, there are no plans to bring the Toyota C-HR electric to the USA or any other country. However, Toyota plans to unveil a new range of ‘global electric vehicles’ in 2021, and we are confident some of these electric cars, if not all, are earmarked for the American market. The plan includes a total of six electric vehicles, of which there is a large SUV (Tesla Model X rival), a medium crossover and a medium SUV, which will be jointly developed with Subaru as well.

Lexus UX300e

Lexus UX300e electric SUV

The Lexus UX300e electric SUV is already available in China and is due to enter the UK and mainland Europe in 2021, but that is as far as it will travel West. While there are no plans to launch the UX300e in the USA, we expect the future global range of Toyota electric vehicles (from above), could spawn a Lexus variant which will be offered to American customers.

However, for now, American audience can only envy the UX300e’s 620,000 mile (1 million km) or 10 year, battery warranty, which the company says comes from their 20 years of experience of working on hybrid cars. Hopefully, the learnings from this project will be used in their future electric vehicles, which would come to American shores.


VW ID.3 first edition

The VW ID.3 will not be offered in the USA, the company has confirmed. Only its SUV equivalent, the VW ID.4, will be seen in American showrooms, from Q1 2021. Volkswagen has strong reasoning of not launching the ID.3 in the USA. VW US CEO, Scott Keogh, said that the ID.3 will be viewed as a “small euro car” by the American audience, who, as statistics point out, love their pickups and SUVs, or larger cars in general. As a result, VW wants the American audience to experience their electric technology on the larger ID.4 crossover.

The ID.4 will also be made in USA starting 2022 at VW’s Chattanooga plant in Tennessee, and reports say an entry level USD 27,500 (after federal EV tax credits) version of the ID.4 will roll out of this plant which will make the electric car even more accessible.

Honda e

Honda e charging

The cute-as-a-button Honda e will not get any American homes, and the reason is partly the same as that of the VW ID.3: the Honda e will be seen as a small euro car by American buyers. In Honda’s case, they are even more convinced of small cars not working in the USA as evidenced by sales of the Honda Fit hatchback and Honda CR-V SUV last year; 35,414 units of the Fit were sold in 2019 as against 384,168 units of the CR-V. The Honda e belongs to the segment below the VW ID.3 and wouldn’t sell in big numbers in America.

Another reason why Honda does not want to sell the Honda e in the USA is that it will be expensive for what it offers. Reports say the Honda e will have to be priced above USD 30,000, and its limited 137-mile range would not do justice for that price-point. American customers demand at least 200+ miles of range, which, sadly, the Honda e does not offer.

For now, Honda enthusiasts in the USA can only pick up the Honda Clarity PHEV (which is available in all 50 states) or the Clarity Fuel Cell (in California) for their alternate fuel needs. Honda will focus on hybrids for the first part of this decade, whereas 2024 is expected to bring two Honda electric vehicles built on General Motors’ electric vehicle platform.