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Here Are the 11 Cheapest Electric Vehicles You Can Buy

202203-cheapest-evs-on-sale-now Cars.com illustration by Paul Dolan

Editor’s note: This story was updated Sept. 20, 2022, to reflect current vehicle pricing and tax credit eligibility.

So you’ve decided to take a gamble on an electric vehicle, but you’d like to keep the ante down for getting into the game. There are lots of good reasons not to spend the kids’ college fund on the fanciest, six-figure EV — namely, sending them to college.

Related: Electric Vehicles: Understanding the Terminology

You might be just looking for an efficient second car for city use or commuting in high occupancy vehicle lanes, where it makes little sense to pay top dollar for 400 miles of range when a 200-mile EV would serve your needs. Or you might have figured out (accurately) that by the time your new EV’s lease or loan is finished, a wider selection of EVs with much improved technology will be available. Or the higher-than-expected cost to install Level 2 home charging, all but essential to owning an EV, might have shrunk your budget for the car itself.

Whatever your reasons, there are EVs available now that won’t break the bank, though they’re generally still more expensive than comparable gasoline vehicles. Note that availability can be relative for EVs. Some are sold only in certain states, while others require a reservation for delivery weeks or months later.

Below are 11 of the cheapest EVs you can buy, listed by starting price (including destination). The prices do not include the federal government’s plug-in tax credit — currently $7,500 for qualifying taxpayers on most electric cars — nor any state or local subsidies. (The federal subsidy has changed considerably; read our latest coverage here.) The list of qualifying vehicles will change again on Jan. 1, 2023. The eligibility statuses below reflect a vehicle’s current, not future, eligibility.

Chevrolet Bolt EV, EUV

chevrolet-bolt-euv-2022-oem-03-angle--exterior--rear--silver-.jpg 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV | Manufacturer image
  • Starting price: $26,595
  • EPA-estimated range: 247-259 miles
  • Eligible for federal plug-in tax credit? No

After a $5,900 price cut ahead of its summer production start date, the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV are now the most affordable all-electric vehicles you can buy, with a starting price of $26,595. Parent automaker GM also offers to help buyers with the cost to install a 240-volt home charger — an added value proposition to help offset GM’s loss of federal credits that rival EVs can still get. If you bought a 2020-22 Bolt EV or 2022 Bolt EUV, fret not: As long as you bought it in the 2022 calendar year, Chevrolet will provide retroactive reimbursements.

Other than the lower price, the 2023 models are largely unchanged from the 2022s that got freshened looks. The biggest styling change for the 2022 Bolt EV is a more upright front end that has “high-eye” daytime running lights and turn signals with headlights lower down. Inside, it has new seats and a new instrument panel with a standard 10.2-inch touchscreen and available 8-inch gauge display. A new shifter design uses toggles and buttons. Most safety tech is standard, with a rear cross-traffic alert, a 360-degree camera system and adaptive cruise control optional. DC fast-charging capability is now standard, and the Bolt EV also comes with a dual-level charge cord that can be used with a 120-volt household outlet or a more powerful 240-volt home outlet, such as what you might find for a clothes dryer. The Bolt powertrain carries over with a 65-kilowatt-hour battery and 200-horsepower electric motor.

The Bolt EUV, which debuted for 2022, shares the same platform and powertrain, but with about 6 inches more length, more space and slightly less range for a bit more money. Although the two Bolts look similar, Chevy says they share no exterior sheet metal. Interior styling and features are similar, but the EUV is the first Chevy to offer GM’s Super Cruise driver-assist tech for hands-free driving on compatible roads; it’s a $2,200 option and only available on the more expensive trim level, Premier. Like the Bolt EV, the EUV has a standard fast-charging capability and dual-level charge cord. See the models compared.

Nissan Leaf

2022 Nissan Leaf 2022 Nissan Leaf | Manufacturer image
  • Starting price: $28,895
  • EPA-estimated range: 149-212 miles (estimated)
  • Eligible for federal plug-in tax credit? Yes

The 2023 Leaf is a small four-door hatchback, and was one of the first fully electric vehicles available nationwide when it rolled out in the U.S. as a 2011 model. Over the years, it has improved with more range and added safety tech; it also got a longer-range sibling, the Leaf Plus, with a bigger battery. For 2023, the Leaf gets some minor styling tweaks, and its lineup is simplified to a standard-range Leaf S and longer-range Leaf SV Plus. The standard-range Leaf has a 40-kWh battery and modest 147-hp electric motor with a Nissan-estimated 149 miles of range. The interior has few frills but does have a standard 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Leaf SV Plus, meanwhile, has a 62-kWh battery, a significant range boost to 212 miles and a more livable 214-hp motor.

Mazda MX-30

mazda-mx-30-2022-ev-oem-02-angle--exterior--front--white.jpg 2022 Mazda MX-30 | Manufacturer image
  • Starting price: $34,695
  • EPA-estimated range: 100 miles
  • Eligible for federal plug-in tax credit? No

Mazda’s first full EV sold in the U.S., the MX-30, went on sale in California in October, with a national rollout in the works “over the coming years,” the automaker said. An SUV-like hatchback, it sports a coupelike roof design with rear-hinged half doors and minimalist interior. Inside, environmentally friendly materials include cork in the center console, animal-free upholstery and recycled plastic bottle fibers for the door trim. The electric motor makes 144 hp and 200 pounds-feet of torque and draws power from a 35.5-kWh battery driving the front wheels; AWD isn’t offered. Overall range of just 100 miles is underwhelming even among affordable EVs like the Leaf and Bolts, but Mazda throws in a few other perks, such as a preset number of complimentary loaner vehicles for road trips and $500 in ChargePoint credits for public charging or toward the installation of a Level 2 home charger.

Hyundai Kona Electric

2021 Hyundai Kona EV 2021 Hyundai Kona EV | Manufacturer image
  • Starting price: $34,845
  • EPA-estimated range: 258 miles
  • Eligible for federal plug-in tax credit? No

This four-door subcompact SUV is mostly similar in styling and interior layout to the gasoline Kona: It’s comfortable in front, but tight in the backseat and cargo area. The Kona Electric has a 201-hp electric motor driving the front wheels, a 64-kWh battery and DC fast-charging capability that can go from 10% to 80% charge in as little as 47 minutes. The Kona line was freshened for 2022, and the Kona Electric got its own styling updates and wheels, plus interior changes that include a 10.25-inch touchscreen, a 10.25-inch instrument display and a redesigned center console with wireless charging capability. For 2023, the Kona Electric carries over largely unchanged. The Kona Electric is offered at dealers in a limited number of states, primarily those with required targets for zero-emission vehicle sales.

Mini Cooper SE Hardtop

mini-cooper-se-2022 2022 Mini Cooper SE Hardtop | Manufacturer image
  • Starting price: $35,075
  • EPA-estimated range: 114 miles
  • Eligible for federal plug-in tax credit? No

Once the cheapest EV in America, the Cooper SE Hardtop — a two-door, four-seat hatchback — has been undercut by multiple competitors. The Mini has relatively limited range but plenty of miles for daily commuting use. With its sporty looks and driving manners, 181-hp electric motor (good for 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds) and small size, the Cooper SE Hardtop could appeal to shoppers looking for a fun urban runabout or second car. And while range is limited, Mini says the 32.6-kWh battery can be charged with 7.4 kilowatts of AC capacity in about four hours on a Level 2 home or public charger. Despite a hefty price increase, the 2023 model is largely unchanged — just some new exterior colors and interior upholstery choices — from the 2022, which received the exterior, interior, tech and multimedia freshening that the conventional Mini Hardtop and Convertible models got. In addition to the base Signature trim level, the SE offers two higher trim levels plus a range of personalization options.

Volkswagen ID.4

volkswagen-id4-awd-pro-s-2022-01-dynamic-exterior-front-angle-red-suv 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry
  • Starting price: $38,790
  • EPA-estimated range: 208-275 miles (estimated)
  • Eligible for federal plug-in tax credit? No

The ID.4 is a small SUV that’s fairly roomy for its size. It’s also one of the more fun-to-drive and smooth-riding mainstream EVs, though the bar is pretty low on ride quality for EVs. City drivers also will appreciate a notably tight 33.6-foot turning diameter. The interior has a clean design and decent quality, though part of the design involves touch-sensitive controls we found frustrating to use. A 10-inch touchscreen is standard, with 12 inches optional. Cars.com’s independent testing of cargo capacity determined there’s 18.9 cubic feet behind the backseat, more than in the Ford Mustang Mach-E but notably less than in the Tesla Model Y.

The 2023 model adds a Standard trim with a smaller, 62-kWh battery pack that also costs thousands less than models with larger batteries. Official EPA ratings are not yet available, but Volkswagen estimates this version has 208 miles of range. Range increases in ID.4s with larger batteries. The RWD ID.4 Pro has an 82-kWh battery and 201-hp electric motor, with modest acceleration and an EPA-rated range of 275 miles. The higher-level ID.4 Pro S trim pairs more standard features with the same battery and motor, but the extra goodies cut its range rating by 13 miles. A dual-motor AWD option with 295 hp and up to 2,700 pounds of towing capability is available, though range also drops to 251 miles for the Pro and 245 miles for the Pro S. DC fast charging up to 135 kW is standard, and buyers also get three years of free fast charging (in 30-minute increments) at Electrify America stations.

Kia Niro EV

kia-niro-ev-2021-exterior-front-oem 2021 Kia Niro EV | Manufacturer image
  • Starting price: $41,285
  • EPA-estimated range: 239 miles
  • Eligible for federal plug-in tax credit? No

Kia’s Niro EV is part of a line of electrified-only hatchbacks that also includes hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions, all of which received a full redesign for the 2023 model year. Pricing and range information isn’t yet available for the 2023 Niro EV at the time of this writing, however, and it has not yet gone on sale. The 2022 EV model, which is still on sale, shares a 64-kWh battery and 201-hp electric motor with the Hyundai Kona Electric (Hyundai and Kia are affiliated automakers), but the more family-friendly Niro has a larger backseat. A full bundle of driver assistance tech is standard, and DC fast-charging capability is up to 100 kW.

Kia EV6

kia-ev6-2022-05-exterior--profile--silver.jpg 2022 Kia EV6 | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry
  • Starting price: $42,695
  • EPA-estimated range: 206 (est.)-310 miles
  • Eligible for federal plug-in tax credit? No

The 2022 EV6 has both standard- and long-range battery packs, with single-motor RWD or dual-motor AWD powertrains. To achieve the longest estimated range, buyers will have to choose the long-range, single-motor RWD configuration. The most affordable EV6, however, is the base EV6 Light with RWD and the standard-range motor. With the ability to use 350-kW DC fast charging, the EV6 can go from 10% to 80% charged in less than 18 minutes, according to Kia. Buyers also get 1,000 kWh of charging with the purchase of an EV6, which Kia says is equivalent to 4,000 miles of energy for a long-range, rear-drive EV6. The EV6 also offers vehicle-to-load charging capabilities, allowing owners to plug in and charge electric devices, including another EV. Those less concerned with range or affordability and more interested in fun should look to the upcoming 576-hp 2023 EV6 GT. While powerful, the GT’s range drops to a Kia-estimated 206 miles. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Toyota bZ4X

toyota-bz4x-2023-14-exterior-front-angle-red-suv 2023 Toyota bZ4X | Cars.com photo by Melissa Klauda
  • Starting price: $43,335
  • EPA-estimated range: 222-252 miles
  • Eligible for federal plug-in tax credit? No

Toyota’s bZ4X SUV offers a choice of single-motor FWD or dual-motor AWD powertrains, with a 71.4-kWh battery pack for FWD models and a 72.8-kWh battery pack for AWD versions. Range varies from 222 to 252 miles depending on the configuration, with the base FWD XLE rated the highest. That’s a possible bonus for shoppers looking to spend the least possible on the bZ4X, as the cheapest one has the most range. The bZ4X skews toward comfort over performance; FWD means 201 hp, while adding a second motor and AWD bumps the power figure up only slightly, to 214. The bZ4X’s charging capabilities also lag behind some competitors, which may make it more suitable as a second commuter car rather than a full-time family hauler.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 | Manufacturer image
  • Starting price: ​​$44,895
  • EPA-estimated range: 220-303 miles
  • Eligible for federal plug-in tax credit? No

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 has specs similar to the Kia EV6’s (Kia and Hyundai are affiliated automakers). That includes a similar choice of standard- or long-range battery packs and either RWD or AWD, though the Ioniq 5 has both slightly lower range estimates and a slightly higher price than the EV6. It, too, can use 350-kW DC fast charging and also includes vehicle-to-load capabilities. For 2023, Hyundai improved the range of AWD Ioniq 5s to 266 from 256 miles, increased the maximum towing capacity for most models to 2,300 pounds from 1,650 and added a battery preconditioning feature.

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