Top 7 Plug-In Cars Listed By Price Per Mile Of Electric Range


Range is all the rage when it comes to electric cars, but often range comes at a cost.

So, which plug-in cars offer the most miles of electric range for your hard-earned buck? For starters, no plug-in hybrid even came close to making the cut. The Chevy Volt was the front-runner among PHEVs at $626 per electric mile of range, but as you’ll see below, that’s not even in the same ballpark as the Top 7 listed.

See – These 6 Electric Cars Cost The Least Per Kilowatt-Hour

Read Also – 10 Electric Cars Available Nationwide

In this LIST take a look at the Top 7 plug-in cars sorted by miles of electric range per dollar.

Tesla model S sedan in grey on a mountain road

7. Tesla Model S 100D – $280 per electric mile of range

With a range of 335 miles per charge, this version of the Model S goes further than any other electric car available today. Its base price is $94,000, so you’ll need to consider that it’s easily the most expensive in this group of 7, too.


 red Ford Focus electric hatchback

6. Ford Focus Electric – $253 per electric mile of range

After getting a boost to its battery for 2017, this electric Ford Focus, with its 115-mile range and relatively low $29,120 price tag, provides a pretty decent range-per-dollar return. Though at just 115 miles, it comes up a bit short in the distance category.


white Volkswagen e-Golf hatchback on bridge

5. Volkswagen e-Golf – $243 per electric mile of range

A decent sized 35.8 kWh battery provides the e-Golf with 125 miles of range. Its price of  $30,495 means that it’s actually a decent value in the dollar-per-mile-of-range comparison.


4. Hyundai IONIQ Electric – $237 per electric mile of range

With 124 miles of range, the IONIQ Electric falls a bit short, but its price is quite the value at $29,500, making it one of just a few electric cars to check in under $30,000.


white nissan leaf hatchback

3. Nissan LEAF  – $198 per electric mile of range

The top 3 in this comparo really do stand out. The 2018 40-kWh LEAF is priced below $30,000 at $29,900 and it returns 151 miles per charge.


blue Tesla Model 3 front

2. Tesla Model 3 Long Range – ***$158 per electric mile of range 

The $44,000 Long Range version of the Tesla Model 3 goes 310 miles per charge. However, that version requires the addition of a $5,000 mandatory Premium Upgrades package as of right now, so it’s effective base price is $49,000, which means it checks in at $158 per mile of electric range, landing it in the #2 spot.

******Minus the $5,000 mandatory Premium Upgrades package, the Model 3 with 310 miles of range and a $44,000 price tag would be at $142 per electric mile of range. This would slot it into first place, so when that mandatory package is no longer mandatory, the Model 3’s ranking will likely change.


1. Chevy Bolt – $153 per electric mile of range

This electric hatchback ticks all the boxes it needs to in order to win this comparo. It’s got a big 60-kWh battery pack and an EPA range of 238 miles. That’s only behind the Model S and 3 in this Top 7 list. Best of all, it costs only $36,620 for all of this. That makes the Bolt the winner in this $ per electric mile of range Top 7 round up.


There are several different ways to view value. You could deem lowest total price as the best value. You could examine standard equipment lists to determine bang for your buck. But, in the EV world, batteries are a big deal, so we think this dollar-per-kWh assessment is most fitting.

Check out our Compare EVs page for more info on all electric cars sold in the U.S.

And if you’re interested in how well each model sells, you’ll find that data here.

Categories: Buying Advice, Chevrolet, Ford, Hyundai, Lists, Nissan, Tesla, Volkswagen

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31 Comments on "Top 7 Plug-In Cars Listed By Price Per Mile Of Electric Range"

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Nice if you’ve got a charging network, in California.

Otherwise, the Volt and the BMW i3 Rex, Most Logical and Sexiest.


It goes i3, Volt and then Clarity. For size Clarity beats them all

Eric Cote

Subjective. I would choose Volt over i3 Rex anytime. Looks much nicer, and has a full performance engine after the battery runs out, instead of an undersized one that won’t cut it on mountain passes, faster acceleration, etc.

Bill Howland

And having to carry a smelly gas can around with you all the time to make up for its dinky gas tank (last I heard it always carries some gas around with it – THAT IS DUMB – that means you can get stranded even though there is gas in the car that you can’t get access to).


Most people who travel code the “Range Extender” feature on, just like the Euro i3’s. Then you never have a Mountain power issue. You turn the gas engine on at 75% battery capacity. And you’d only store gas on the car if you were going to go where there were no gas stations for 100 miles. That’s a real statistical outlier in America.
But, wow, you’ve got your database of troll comments so ready, I’m impressed.

But, you should add some of the advantages of the BMW, super nice ride, excellent visibility, and excellent sound quality even with the base radio. Although, if you like music I’d spring for the stereo upgrade.

Also, the sheer fun to drive quotient.

There really should be a FUN to Drive top 5.
Tesla, BMW i3, Volt or Bolt? that’s tough, and then Leaf?


The other factor is dealer and manufacturer incentives. I was able to purchase my 2017 Ford Focus Electric for $9600 (did a 36/10.5 one pay lease for $595 and than a buyout of $9005 the next month). That works out to $83.50 per electric mile. Granted extra range is by far more advantageous, however it comes at a premium. I’m hopeful that Bolt incentives will improve and we will see drastic reduction in per mile cost.


That’s brilliant. I got the dealer down to 21k on a 2016 a year ago, the after state,federal and shipping right at 10k. You can’t do that with any other ev. It cheaper per month than gas in my truck.

Jared Eldredge

good point on the incentives. also have to differentiate between real miles and rated miles… I bought a used 2012 Nissan leaf SL back in 2015. rated for 73 “mixed” miles, I got 35 miles (even with 12 of 12 capacity bars). bought it for $13.5k

$13.5k / 35 miles = $386/mi
if it got what it was supposed to get for range (73 mixed driving, over 100 just backroads) it would have been $185 or less per mile of range.

I understand Teslas and Bolts tend to outperform their rated range, but by how much? it will affect the analysis just like dealer incentives, etc (btw the bolt has lots of incentives available too).


There is No way, in regular weather on level ground, that a Nissan Leaf (24kWh) 2012-2015, with 12 capacity bars remaining (19 kWh approximate useable) showing on the dash, gets down to only 35 miles of useable range.

That must be some strong headwind where you are driving in both directions.


What’s more likely is that the seller fiddled with the capacity display.

Domenick Yoney

Sounds like it might have had a bad cell. We just had a Forum member report a sudden drop in range. A trip to the dealer resulted in replacing a module, and now he’s got all his range back.


You’ll see $35,000 Teslas in any meaningful volume about the time monkeys fly out of my butt.

Micke Larsson

I’ll suggest you buy a lot of lube and start stretching exercises now to be properly prepared…


Im gay so what do you mean?


Best comment I’ve read on this site.

Considering that most of the stuff you post here comes from there i see not problem with monkeys coming out there too.

Seven Electrics

At this rate it’s looking like 2020. And you know what happens to everything slotted for 2020.


There is a country called China that makes electric cars too.

Steven Loveday

Eventually, as we’ve said before, in a perfect world we’d like to start making lists for other markets. But, we have a very small staff, our current updated charts and numbers highlight U.S. models, and we just started these new list posts. It’s a work in progress, which will gradually evolve. We plan to expand on them over time and update them periodically. For our initial efforts, this is what is working for us now. Thank you for the input.


That’s doing us all a favor. Chinese EV quality is not proven.


True, but it’d still be nice to see, say, the lowest cost/mile on a Chinese EV with over 200 miles/range. Just to see where it’s going…

Yes, I’d agree the quality is not only not proven, but just not there yet. Yet. But in the day when you have to meet crash standards AND emission standards, they stood no chance of selling cars in the US. Now they only have to meet the crash standards… that’s a much smaller hurdle, albeit an important one.


Whereas Tesla’s rocks!


This man is American. He bought an EV in china for Yuan 60,000. That is about $9,500. He thinks that it is a good car. I think so too. I find it strange that some complain about the quality of something that they never saw! As far as I know China sells 24 million cars per year year. Are they all poor quality?

Tim Kulogo

There are Chinese factories that make crap. There are US factories that make crap. Both countries have places that make great stuff too. People only remember the bad ones. Junk from 1 Chinese factory, all Chinese factories are crap. Junk from 1 US factory, and all Wisconsin factories are crap, but the other 49 states are fine. The closer we get to home, the less we generalize.


Most of the write-up on the M3 explained why the article incorrectly listed it as $44,000.


Bolt for usa
But ZOE for europe


Go Chevy! Value and quality!

Bill Howland

BOlt EV is the clear winner in the range/$ game, not because of a mandatory $5000 option on the ‘3’, but because BOLT ev’s are always discounted whereas if you want a new ‘3’ you’ll pay MSRP.

Don’t believe me? Find me a buyer who paid full MSRP for a BOLT ev. I don’t believe they exist, or if they do, they got a great trade-in valuation instead.

Martin Boyd

Range is nice to know, but I don’t buy or lease a car based on range. I can most always easily find a place to recharge, especially with longer ranges now available with most new EVs.

I prefer to compare the mileage that these EVs get. This past February, I drove my 2015 Nissan Leaf a total of 474.65 miles. It used 156.11kWh, but via regenerative braking it produced 28% of its own electric (43.57kWh). Thus it only consumed 112.54kWh for the month. Dividing the miles by the electricity consumed, the car averaged 4.22 miles per kwh or 142 mpge. That’s a fairly decent mileage, I think. How does this compare to your EV’s mileage?

Another factor is the cost to drive the EV. In my area, grid power costs 11 cents per kWh. Multiplying this rate by the electricity the EV consumed, we see that it cost me $12.37 for the month or 2.6 cents per mile driven. That makes a fairly affordable fuel budget. How does this compare to your experience?

Martin Boyd

I should have added one more important stat – carbon footprint. According to the website, a Leaf driven in my area would produce 140 grams of CO2 per mile. That’s when the EV is getting 114 mpge. Since I get 142 mpge, my carbon footprint is only about 112 grams per mile. A typical ICEV generates 410 grams per mile, so my EV generates almost 73% less CO2.


Hey Eric, are you going to update this list with the Kia Niro? seems that even with the worst case $40K pricetag, it would top the list at $133/mi