Cheapest Electric Cars You Can Buy
Electric cars were invented around 1832 by Robert Anderson. Now they are going mainstream — 190 years later.
Though not yet as affordable as fuel vehicles, electric cars are getting more accessible. After the initial investment, you can save money by avoiding high gas prices. And you'll reduce your carbon emissions.
These are the cheapest electric cars on the market.
How Much Does it Cost to Charge an Electric Car?
Before getting into the cars, let's address this common concern. Because you'll most likely charge your car at home, your electricity bill will increase.
According to Cars.com, the price of charging an electric car is usually under $50 per 1,000 miles, the average monthly mileage. The average annual cost of gasoline in 2019 was $2,094. That's $174.5 per month.
You may be paying a bit more upfront, but you'll make up for the investment.
15. Tesla Model 3
*Most range numbers come from DEWESoft's "The Top 150 Electric Cars by Range" report. Prices are for 2022 models as of March 2022.
Bottom Line: Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 is Tesla's answer to the demand for affordable electric vehicles. And while there are cheaper models out there, the Model 3 makes it possible for aficionados of different budgets to afford a Tesla.
One of the coolest features of the Model 3 is its ability to go from zero to 60 miles per hour in a little over three seconds. It also has advanced autopilot safety features to keep you safe on the road.
14. Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD
Bottom Line: Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD
Like any Mustang, the Mach-E AWD is sleek and elegant. It's almost double the price for equivalent gas models but has proven a success, with great demand for the model since its launch.
At $46,595, it is only a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than the Tesla Model 3, so if your heart is set on a Tesla, that might be the better option. Still, this Mustang model proves that there is enough market for similar EVs that cater to different tastes.
13. Polestar 2
Bottom Line: Polestar 2
You probably haven't heard of Polestar, but you definitely know its parent company, Volvo.
Polestar is Volvo's completely electric subsidiary, which up to now has launched two EV models. The Polestar 2 focused on going back to basics to offer a more accessible price at the cost of speed.
The car is sold directly to customers online rather than in dealerships.
12. Audi Q4 40 E-Tron
Bottom Line: Audi Q4 E-Tron 40
Audi has several E-Tron electric vehicles, but the E-Tron 40 is the cheapest.
The compact SUV has a decent range and an 82-kilowatt battery.
It also boasts the impeccable design for which Audi is known.
11. Hyundai Ioniq 5
Bottom Line: Hyundai Ioniq 5
Anyone who loves a retro look will be drooling over the Hyundai Ioniq 5's design. But instead of being a lazy copy of more classic Hyundais, it is an elevated and modernized version of them.
Though the range leaves something to be desired, the car is one of the fastest-charging EVs on the market, and Hyundai is offering buyers free charging at Electrify America for two entire years.
10. Kia EV6
Bottom Line: Kia EV6
The Kia EV6 is a pretty standard car in the game of electric vehicles. It has a good range, especially when upgrading to the long-range battery pack, which boosts up the number to 310.
One of the car's most significant selling points is that it can get to 80 percent charged in 20 minutes if using a fast charger. You'll also be able to charge other electric vehicles with your own, an exciting perk for a family that has more than one EV.
As of writing, Kia will give you credit for 1,000 kilowatts for the purchase of this model.
9. Volkswagen ID4 Pro
Bottom Line: Volkswagen ID4 Pro
This comfortable SUV is helping Volkswagen make a name for itself in the EV market. You can expect driver assistance features and generous cargo space.
Right now, the ID4 Pro ranks as the number nine most affordable electric car, but the price is expected to drop by about $5,000 once Volkswagen opens its factory in Tennessee.
8. Kia Niro EV
Range: 239 miles
Bottom Line: Kia Niro EV
With a range of 239 miles and a spacious backseat, the Kia Niro EV is a good contender for families that need to fit in people, backpacks, school projects, baby seats and more.
The battery can store 64 kilowatts, which is pretty good when it comes to EVs. You'll be able to use voice-command navigation so you're not distracted while on the road.
7. Ford F-150 Lightning
Range: 230 miles
Bottom Line: Ford F-150 Lightning
Not too long ago, an electric truck was a fantasy for the future. Well, that future has arrived, and Ford has delivered with the F-150.
Besides being one of the few fully electric trucks on the market — and the only affordable EV truck featured here — it has other notable specs. Best of all, you can set up to connect your home and car so that the truck can act as a generator if the power ever goes out.
You can also connect your phone and use it as a key to open and start the car.
6. Mazda MX-30
Range: 100 miles
Bottom Line: Mazda MX-30
The MX-30 is the first Mazda EV in the U.S. market. Its range is relatively small compared to other cheap electric vehicles, at only 100 miles. Still, the price is reasonable, and Mazda does set itself apart by fully committing to the environment.
Besides being fully EV, the MX-30 uses biodegradable material like cork in parts of the interior and uses recycled plastic for the door trim rather than using virgin material.
Consider this model if you don't need much range and care about lowering your environmental impact even further.
5. Hyundai Kona Electric
Range: 258 miles
Bottom Line: Hyundai Kona Electric
For a smooth transition from gas to electric, the Hyundai Kona is a good choice. This model is kept pretty close to the gas one, except for the price, which is higher. But you'll soon forget that when you don't have to worry about lines at the gas station or the rising price of gas.
Some perks of this compact SUV are a 10.25-inch touchscreen and a console where you can wirelessly charge your devices. Sadly, you won't find the Kona Electric in every state.
4. Chevrolet Bolt EUV
Range: 247 miles
Bottom Line: Chevrolet Bolt EUV
One of Chevrolet's newest EV models, the Bolt EUV (not to be confused with the Bolt EV, which we'll talk about later), is an affordable crossover SUV alternative.
You'll get about 247 miles with this model. It is larger than many cheap EV models on here, making it perfect for families or active people who will be carrying gear and need space.
3. Chevrolet Bolt EV
Range: 259 miles
Bottom Line: Chevrolet Bolt EV
Though similar to the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, the Bolt EV is about six inches smaller and boasts slightly less interior room. It also has a higher range than the EUV, though with only a 12-mile difference.
The most significant selling point of the Bolt EV is that it is $2,000 cheaper. If space isn't your biggest concern, this model is a better choice with a 65-kilowatt battery.
2. Mini Cooper SE Hardtop
Range: 114 miles
Bottom Line: Mini Cooper SE Hardtop
With two doors and four seats, this Mini Cooper EV model keeps the classic aesthetic of the model but gives it an environmental upgrade.
Because of its small size, the Mini Cooper SE Hardtop consumes less electricity than other EVs, making for even more significant savings. It has a 32.6-kilowatt battery with a range of 114 miles.
The car is a solid option for people without kids who want a cheap and simple way to get to and from work. It also won the 2021 Urban Green Car of the Year.
1. Nissan Leaf
Range: 149-226 miles
Bottom Line: Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf — whose first model debuted in 2011 — comes out on top. For more than 10 years, it has remained one of the most affordable electric cars in the U.S. market.
The standard model has a 40-kilowatt battery with a range of 149, but you can upgrade to the Nissan Leaf Plus, whose 62-kilowatt battery will give you a range of 226.
If $28,000 is still over your car budget, you can buy an older used model of the Nissan Leaf for as little as $11,000. Plus, all models of this car are eligible for the federal plug-in electric vehicle tax credit for up to $7,500.