Just a decade ago, options for affordable electric cars were extremely limited. In 2011, the only cheap EV was the 73-mile Nissan Leaf for $32,780. Eleven years later, and with increased demand and exponential technological improvements, many more affordable electric cars are arriving on the market.
Now, you can easily obtain a 250+ mile EV priced in the $30-40 thousand range, including the tax credit. Since there is a wide variety of EVs with over 250 miles of range, these will be separated into four categories: crossover, sedan, luxury, and general. Listed below are the most affordable EVs available now with over 250 miles of range.
Cheapest Crossover: 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro: $40,760
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. But with its $40,760 starting price, it easily undercuts the Model Y by around $18,000, or over $25,000 including the tax credit. 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: $40,760
- Price incl. tax credit: $33,260
- Range: 260 miles
- Power: 200 horsepower
Cheapest Luxury Car: 2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor: $46,900
Despite being jointly owned by Volvo, Polestar still lacks the overall brand awareness as its counterpart. However, this should change with the new lower-priced and longer range Polestar 2. Unlike most luxury EVs, the 2 comes with FWD as standard, which is a little unfortunate, but there's no doubt that it's better for regen braking. It also comes with an incredibly well-built interior and an exterior that never ceases to get looked at by intrigued passersby. It also has 270 miles of range and two free years of charging via Electrify America.
- Price: $46,900
- Price incl. tax credit: $39,400
- Range: 270 miles
- Power: 231 horsepower
Cheapest Sedan: 2022 Tesla Model 3: $44,990
Nearly five years after its inception, the Tesla Model 3 Standard Plus is still the mainstream electric vehicle currently for sale. However, it quickly became less mainstream with Tesla's sudden price increases. Earlier last year, one could pick up a Model 3 Standard Plus for $36,990, but now the price has increased to an unprecedented $44,990. Still, the base Model 3 is the industry standard for comparisons. It's the longest range car on this list as well as the quickest and fastest, so it's certainly worth checking out.
- Price: $44,990
- Price incl. tax credit: $44,990
- Range: 272 miles
- Power: 283 horsepower
Cheapest Period: 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric: $34,000
The Hyundai Kona Electric is Hyundai's first electric crossover, and it shares its platform with the similarly-priced Kia Niro EV. With a terrific price, a decent 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 in at just 165 inches. It's only one inch longer than a Bolt EV or 22 inches shorter than a Model Y.
- Price: $34,000
- Price incl. tax credit: $26,500
- Range: 258 miles
- Power: 200 horsepower
While these options are great for the time being, the market will only proliferate more. This year, a multitude of new options will flood the market ranging from the Audi Q4 e-tron to the Nissan Ariya. It's only a matter of time before more affordable options will come, but it's these that will pave their way.