5 Cheapest Electric Vehicles: Cheap doesn’t have to mean low quality, as you can see with this list of the 5 cheapest electric vehicles with at least 150 miles of range. All of these EVs are available right now on the market, so you don’t have to wait until some theoretical future when electric cars can compete in price with gasoline-powered vehicles (which they already are). Of course, these are only five of the many options available, so if you can think of others that should be on this list, make sure to let us know!
5 Cheapest Electric Vehicles:
1) Nissan Leaf:
The Nissan Leaf, which starts at $29,860 before tax credits (and $21,510 after federal tax incentives), is not only cheap for an EV but also has one of the longest ranges in its class. Its range is longer than that of most conventional cars on the road: The Leaf’s EPA-estimated range is 107 miles, compared to 35 miles for a Toyota Corolla. The car comes standard with heated front seats and a heated steering wheel; a navigation system; and auto-dimming mirrors. It even costs less than other comparable EVs: The next cheapest EV in terms of price tag is $7,000 more expensive—the Chevrolet Spark EV ($37,495).
2) Mitsubishi i-MiEV:
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV’s top range is only 62 miles, but it costs just $22,995 after federal tax credits and has a very affordable lease deal. It’s been available in California since late 2011. The car earned a score of 6 out of 10 from Consumer Reports thanks to its zippy acceleration and better-than-average handling for an EV, as well as plenty of safety features. However, it lost points for its poor visibility and small cargo space.
3) Smart Fortwo ED:
The Smart Fortwo ED is a high-performance electric vehicle that includes a 52.5-kilowatt-hour battery pack, which enables an impressive range of more than 130 miles. Even better: It’s one of the most affordable EVs on our list. In fact, it costs only $23,900 after federal and state tax credits are applied—making it one of several vehicles to land among our Top 10 list for best electric cars under $25,000.
4) Tesla Model S:
The Tesla Model S is a rear-wheel drive electric vehicle that starts at around $69,000. The base model has a range of 208 miles per charge. However, for just an extra $4,500 you can upgrade to 310 miles or 550 miles worth of range. You’ll save money on charging costs too since Tesla offers free unlimited charging at its network of Superchargers. BMW i3: The BMW i3 is a front-wheel drive electric vehicle with a starting price of $42,400 before incentives are factored in. It has an EPA estimated range between 81 and 93 miles per charge depending on which trim you get and how you set up your battery pack.
5) BMW i3:
The cheapest EV you can buy, period. The BMW i3 is also one of only two EV options available in a small car size. Smaller cars are often more affordable because they use less materials and sometimes save money through economies of scale. However, many automakers prefer to offer only EVs in bigger cars for fear that smaller vehicles may get low ratings from some car-rating agencies (because those EVs tend to be slower). Although it may not be ideal for everyone, another benefit to having small vehicles as your only choice is that there’s less of a compromise between power and price; if people will accept an EV, it’ll probably have decent range regardless.