Just a decade ago, options for an affordable electric car were extremely limited. In 2011, the only option for an affordable fully-electric car was the 73-mile Nissan Leaf for $32,780. Ten years later, with the increased demand and exponential technological improvements, many more cheap electric cars are arriving on the market.
Now, you can easily obtain a 200+ mile EV priced in the $30-40 thousand range. Unlike a decade ago, there's an option in almost every vehicular design. From crossovers, sedans, to a two-door sports car, there are more EVs available than ever. Listed below are the most affordable EVs available this year, and while this list is already plenty, there's more to arrive in the coming years!
The ID.4 Pro AWD is for those interested in the ID.4, but prefer quicker acceleration and all-wheel-drive capabilities. The AWD model produces 295 horsepower, derived from an auxiliary motor on the front axle, making for a substantial upgrade over the 201 horses in the RWD variant. Despite coming in at last in this list, the ID.4 AWD is currently the least expensive all-wheel-drive electric car.
- Price: $43,675
- Price after tax credit: $36,175
- Range: 249 miles
The Ford Mustang Mach-e has proven itself as one of the best new Ford crossovers. Unlike other Ford models, the Mach-e has a near-completely bespoke interior, making it feel much more different from your typical Ford. With the entry-level battery and the single motor rear-drive setup, the Mach-e can go 230 miles on a single charge. While the range figure is slightly lower than the ID.4 and Bolt EUV, it makes around 66 more horsepower, providing a more engaging driving experience.
- Price: $42,895
- Price after tax credit: $35,395
- Range: 230 miles
Volkswagen's first electric SUV, the ID.4, is a great affordable option in the electric crossover sector. While its driving experience is rather bland when compared to the Mach-e or Model Y, it is a practical family crossover with a comfortable cabin and good interior storage. The Pro has a 260-mile range, a 125kW on-board charger, and three years of free DC fast charging via Electrify America, a Volkswagen Group of America subsidiary.
- Price: $39,995
- Price after tax credit: $32,495
- Range: 260 miles
The Tesla Model 3 Standard Plus is the mainstream electric vehicle currently for sale. However, it quickly became less mainstream with Tesla's sudden price increases. Earlier this year, one could pick up a Model 3 Standard Plus for $36,990, but now the price has increased to $39,990. Still, the base Model 3 is the industry standard when it comes to comparisons. The Model 3 Standard Plus is the longest range car on this list as well as the quickest and fastest, so it's certainly worth checking out.
- Price: $39,990
- Price after tax credit: $39,990
- Range: 263 miles
Sharing the same platform as the Hyundai Kona Electric, the Niro EV is slightly larger and offers different styling. While the Kona Electric has a very distinct design language, the Niro appears more conservative in its exterior and interior appearance. The Niro EV has a little less range than the Kona Electric, with a difference of 19 miles. Still, at 238 miles, the range is more than ample, and with 200 horsepower, it provides just enough power to impress.
- Price: $39,090
- Price after tax credit: $31,590
- Range: 239 miles
When the Nissan Leaf Plus was released for the 2019 model year, it was a strong competitor for the Chevrolet Bolt. Now with Nissan directing more of its resources to the upcoming Ariya electric SUV, the Leaf Plus is starting to fall from its pedestal. Unlike practically all its competition, Nissan still doesn't offer a liquid-cooled pack in either the Leaf or Leaf Plus, which is a significant cause for concern, especially for those living in southern states. Also, unlike practically all the other available EVs, Nissan opted to use a CHAdeMO fast charger, so you'd have to be more careful when planning trips.
- Price: $38,270
- Price after tax credit: $30,770
- Range: 226 miles
The Hyundai Kona Electric is Hyundai's first electric crossover, and it shares its platform with the similarly-priced Kia Niro EV. With quick acceleration, a nice interior, and an industry-leading 5-year basic warranty, the Kona Electric is a great option. One drawback is its size; the Kona is relatively small for a crossover measuring at just 165 inches, which is just one inch longer than a Bolt EV or 22 inches shorter than a Model Y.
- Price: $37,390
- Price after tax credit: $29,890
- Range: 258 miles
Like the Nissan Leaf series, the IONIQ EV is beginning to show its age. Upon its 2017 arrival, it was a decent option, but now with many other affordable EVs on the market, the IONIQ EV is only justifiable if you factor in the federal tax credit. If you are interested in an electric Hyundai, it would be best to check out the slightly more expensive Kona EV instead. The Kona EV is around $4,000 more, but with 88 additional miles per charge and 67 more horses, the proposition begins to appear far more alluring.
- Price: $33,245
- Price after tax credit: $25,745
- Range: 170 miles
Despite the Bolt EUV being the most affordable crossover on this list, it is still a highly competitive vehicle. Unlike the current generation Bolt, the Bolt EUV is six inches longer. It provides a far more substantial interior, available Super Cruise (without lane change), and many more available interior amenities like a panoramic sunroof and ventilated seats. What hasn't changed is the 150kW front-mounted motor, which still packs a punch, but unlike the Mach-e and ID.4, there's no option for an AWD dual-motor setup.
- Price: $33,000
- Price after tax credit: $33,000
- Range: 247 miles
Like the Nissan Leaf Plus, it's just hard to find anything noteworthy about it. With a 147 horsepower motor and a 40kWh battery, the Leaf blends to the back of the crowd. The 40kWh pack allows for 150 miles of range, but like the Leaf Plus, its battery is not liquid-cooled, which is very disappointing in 2021. The only reason to buy one is if dealerships slash the prices like crazy or if Nissan offers some cheap lease special at the end of the year.
- Price: $31,670
- Price after tax credit: $24,170
- Range: 150 miles
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV was one of the first truly affordable long-range EVs with 238 miles. Five model years later, the 2022 Bolt EV is better than ever with a $5,500 lower starting price, 259 miles of range, and, arguably the most vital, a completely redesigned interior and exterior. Some of the highest areas of critique with the original Bolt were its unfitting interior and generic exterior styling, and the 2022 model attempts to absolve those. Despite all the progress, the two areas some find issues in are the low fast charge rate and the FWD powertrain, but for $31,000, it's unbeatable in terms of range, and even without the GM tax credit, it is still a great option.
- Price: $31,000
- Price after tax credit: $31,000
- Range: 259 miles
Besides being the most affordable car on this list, the Mini Cooper SE is also the cheapest new Mini vehicle, if you factor in the federal tax credit. Unlike many other cars on this list, the Mini SE comes surprisingly equipped with a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and LED headlights as standard. Moreover, paired with its excellent driving dynamics, the Mini Cooper SE is very quick with a zero-to-sixty time of just 6 seconds, according to Motor Trend. Despite its overall positive demeanor, the only downside is its 94Ah i3 pack giving it a range of just 110 miles. However, if you want a fun, affordable daily driver and don't care too much about range, the SE should make your list.
- Price: $29,900
- Price after tax credit: $22,400
- Range: 110 miles