5. Nissan LEAF Plus
The Nissan LEAF Plus offers an EPA-estimated 226 miles of range, which is 76 more miles than the base LEAF offers. The LEAF starts at $29,990, making it the least expensive battery-electric car on the U.S. market today. However, to get the longer-range Plus model, you'll have to pay about $6,500 extra. The LEAF Plus carries a starting MSRP of $36,550.
The LEAF Plus' dollars per mile of range comes out to $162. Keep in mind that the LEAF is still eligible for the full $7,500 EV tax credit. You'll have to check with a tax professional to find out if you can take advantage of it.
4. Kia Niro EV
According to the EPA, the Kia Niro EV provides 239 miles of range. Its starting MSRP is $38,500. The Niro EV is the largest non-luxury long-range battery-electric crossover on the market today. Compared to luxury two-row crossovers like the Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace, the Niro EV has a range advantage and costs significantly less.
The Niro EV's 239 miles and $38,500 price tag means you'll pay $161 per mile of range. This Kia qualifies for the full $7,500 tax credit.
3. Tesla Model 3 Long Range
If you choose the Tesla Model 3 Long Range, you get more miles of range per dollar spent than you do by choosing the Standard Range or Standard Range Plus, but not by much.
The Model 3 Long Range starts at $47,990 and offers 310 miles of range. This puts it at $155 per mile of range.
The Standard Range Plus model starts at $39,490, but provides 60 fewer miles of range, at 250 miles. The math here says this Model 3 will cost you $158 per mile of range.
You can't order the Model 3 Standard Range online, though we're told it's still available. Tesla has changed some prices recently, so we're not 100 percent sure that it still starts at $35,400. Assuming it does, dividing that by its 220-mile range gives us a "score" of $161, which is mere decimals ahead of the Niro EV.
If you're able to take advantage of the federal EV tax credit, you should be aware that the Model 3 is only eligible for $1,875 instead of the full $7,500. This is good through December 31, after which Tesla vehicle buyers will no longer get any federal tax credit.
2. Chevrolet Bolt EV
The Chevrolet Bolt EV has a starting price of $36,620. Its EPA-rated range comes in at 238 miles. This puts its dollar-per-mile score a few decimals ahead of the Tesla Model 3 Long Range, at $154.
It's important to note that the upcoming 2020 Bolt EV will have 21 more miles of range. There a chance that its 259-mile range could put it at the top of this list. However, we don't yet know its starting price. We can safely say that if it has an MSRP of $37,100 or higher, it won't beat the leader here.
GM's potential federal EV tax credit reduced to $1,875 on October 1. That amount will be available through the end of March 2020, after which GM plug-ins will no longer be eligible for any federal tax credit.
1. Hyundai Kona Electric
The Hyundai Kona Electric will cost you less per mile of range than any other EV on the U.S. market today. It has a starting price of $36,950 and 258 miles of range. This puts it at $143 per mile of range.
The bad news is it's only available in limited quantities in a handful of U.S. states. However, the good news is it's eligible for the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit. Not all people can take advantage of the credit, but if you can, it's a bargain!
Be sure to scroll to the next two bonus slides.
Bonus Slide 1: Audi e-tron
To give you an idea of how much money you'll pay per mile of range for the vehicles with the worst score, we've included the Audi e-tron. It's priced at $74,800 and offers just 204 miles of range. That puts its dollar-per-mile score at a whopping $367. That's well over double any of our top five best.
Keep in mind, when you buy a vehicle like this Audi, you're not only paying for range. There are many other reasons the crossover carries such a high price tag. C'mon, it's a German luxury SUV with an opulent interior and incredible fit and finish. However, for EVs to sell well and surpass gas-powered cars, people will expect a decent range for their dollar.
Bonus Slide 2: FIAT 500e
There's currently not an EV on the U.S. market with a higher dollar-per-mile score than the FIAT 500e. It will cost you $32,995 for a paltry 84 miles. This puts its score at a miserable $393.
Unlike the e-tron, your hard-earned money isn't paying for a whole lot of luxury or special features when it comes to the 500e. We honestly don't know how it can cost $33K. What we do know is you can lease one or pick one up on the used market really cheap. In addition, the 500e is eligible for the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit.