Most Affordable Electric Cars

By
Dave Nichols
Updated:
Sep 2022
Time to read:
7
min
If you're looking to go electric on a budget, there are more choices than ever - and you don't need to give up range, comfort, or features. All of the vehicles on our list start at less than $40,000 before incentives.
Couple with bikes and a Volkswagen ID.4

What Makes Electric Cars Affordable

There are more amazing electric cars on the market today than ever. You’ll find updated models with more luxurious trim levels offering the latest technology for drivers assist and safety features. Today’s EVs boast increased range and faster charging capabilities than their predecessors. Plus, electric cars are less expensive to own in the long run due to better efficiency, reasonable prices for electricity compared to gasoline, and minimal maintenance.

Perhaps you’re looking for a new EV as a second car for around town driving. Maybe you’re researching leasing an electric vehicle knowing that by the time your lease is up, there will be a whole new world of EV technology available to you. Plus, we have reached the tipping point when EVs are as affordable as their gasoline-powered counterparts. You’ll notice that some of the vehicles in this list have dropped in price over last year’s models.

If you’re interested in a new electric car, GreenCars has produced the following list of some of the most affordable EVs available right now.

Today's Most Affordable New Electric Cars

We’ve listed this collection of zero-emission vehicles by price, from most to the least expensive based on MSRP. All are priced under $40,000 - and available incentives may reduce that cost even further. All ranges shown are EPA Estimates.

Kia Niro EV

We start this most affordable list with a bargain battery burner called the Kia Niro EV hatchback. It is available in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric variants and the EV has an MSRP of $39,990 and shares the same 64-kWh battery pack and 201-horsepower motor used in the Hyundai Kona Electric. However, of the two, the Niro has a larger backseat. EPA estimated range is a hearty 239 miles for this comfortable crossover.

A 10.25-inch touchscreen allows access to music and voice-command navigation at the same time and standard driver assist features include forward collision avoidance, blind-spot collision monitoring, and rear cross-traffic warning. JD Powers ranked Kia as the number one automaker in vehicle dependability last year with its best-in-class 10-year/100,00-mile warranty.

  • Starting MSRP: $39,990
  • Range: 239 miles

Volkswagen ID.4

Next up on our most affordable list we find the magnificent VW ID.4. This fun to drive, roomy SUV has a tight 33.6-foot turning radius and a range of 260 miles before you’ll need to charge it up. The ID.4 has 18.9 cubic feet of cargo space in the back and that’s more than the Mustang Mach-E. The base model rear-wheel drive ID.4 Pro comes with an 82-kWh battery pack and 201-horsepower electric motor.

You’ll find a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen and the very latest high-tech safety and driver assist features. The big news is that VW opened its Chattanooga, Tennessee factory this year, and the base price of the ID.4 has dropped to $37,495 before subtracting the $7,500 federal tax incentive.

  • Starting MSRP - $37,495
  • Range: 260 miles

MINI Cooper SE Electric Hardtop

What you need to know about Mini Cooper’s swift SE Hardtop electric car is that it is pure fun to drive and is one of the most affordable EVs you can buy. The two-door, four-seater hatchback has sporty looks and go-kart-like driving manners. Its 181-horsepower motor will take you from zero to 60 mph in a quick 6.1 seconds.

With a driving range of 114 miles, the Mini is perfect for city-dwellers looking for around town fun. For 2023 it has updated styling, comes standard with an 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen, a heated steering wheel, and lane-departure warning. Available options include adaptive cruise control, new wheel designs, and a Limited Edition is coming that will showcase interior and exterior upgrades.

  • Starting MSRP: $34,225
  • Range: 114 miles

Hyundai Kona Electric

Another EV with a big price drop this year is the clever Kona Electric. This four-door subcompact has dropped $3,390 from last year’s price. That brings the all-electric Kona down into the Chevy Bolt price range. It has a front-wheel drive 201-horsepower electric motor and 64-kWh battery pack that will take you 258 miles and can be recharged to 80 percent in just 47 minutes.

The Kona received a facelift this year including new front and rear bumpers, new wheel designs, and an upgraded cabin with a 10.25-inch touchscreen and redesigned center console that includes wireless smartphone charging. As for cargo space, with the rear seats folded down, you can fit 15 suitcases in the back.

  • Starting MSRP: $34,000
  • Range: 258 miles

Mazda MX-30

Mazda’s first entry into the EV market is a head-turner that went on sale across America this year. The compact crossover hatchback has a low coupe-type roofline and rear half-doors. It comes with a 30.0-kWh battery pack that will take you 100 miles on a charge, less than half the range of others on our list and the 143-horsepower electric motor is front-wheel drive only.

A Premium variant costs $3,000 more and includes blind-sport assist, front cross-traffic alert, a heated steering wheel, a 360-degree camera system, and a 12-speaker Bose audio system. The car’s sharp and eager handling has earned it the MX badge, only shared with the Miata sports car, but range might be an issue with you on this one.

  • Starting MSRP: $33,470
  • Range: 100 miles

‍Nissan Leaf

Coming in at second place as one of our most affordable EVs, is the faithful Nissan Leaf. The standard-range Leaf S got a $4,000 price drop last year. The four-door hatchback has been on the market for twelve years and has improved to add more range and advanced safety technology.

In standard trim, the Leaf has a 40-kWh battery and 147-horsepower electric motor. Nissan has added a standard fast-charging port and charging cable. The Leaf Plus has a bigger 62-kWh battery and beefy 214-horsepower motor for faster acceleration and 226 miles of range. The SV Plus trim level adds ProPilot Assist for semi-autonomous driving. All models come with an 8-inch touchscreen offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

  • Starting MSRP: $27,800
  • Range: 226 miles

Chevy Bolt

One of the most popular electric hatchbacks in America, the Chevy Bolt got a price drop of $5,900 for 2023 as well as a fresh new look. GM hopes the lower price will help make up for the fact that the Bolt can no longer get the federal tax credit. There is also a new, bigger crossover SUV version called the Bolt EUV that costs $2,000 more.

The new Bolt still has the same 65-kWh battery pack that will take you 259 miles before recharging and the same 200-horsepower motor. Inside, you’ll find new seat, instrument panel, and shifter designs, with a standard 10.8-inch infotainment touchscreen. The Bolt has more cargo room than the Kona. With the rear seats down, you’ll get 57 cubic feet of cargo space.

Pricing starts at $25,600, making the Bolt the most affordable new electric car sold in the United States.

  • Starting MSRP: $25,600
  • Range: 259 miles