Electric vehicles are not a new thing, but only in the recent era have the engineers managed to crack the code of making them commercially and economically viable in terms of production, operation, and maintenance. Due to the very nature of electric motors and the way they produce power, gas-fueled vehicles cannot come close in terms of performance.
Engineers have taken advantage of this physical truth and developed EVs that blow the competition out of the water in terms of raw power, torque output, and efficiency. Then, there is also the factor that EVs cost next to nothing in fuel, making them economically better than gas cars. So, they must be crazy costly to buy, right? Wrong! Just read on, and you'll be shocked to see how affordable some of these are.
Chevrolet Bolt EV
The Bolt EV is the least expensive EV in the US market right now, coming in at just $27,000. And it's unlike any gas car you can get at this price point or in this form factor. This small hatchback has a 200-horsepower motor that drives the front wheel.
That is more power than you would get in a Camry, a car that costs, weighs, and measures a lot more than the cute little Bolt. The range is also good in the Bolt with up to 259 miles on a single charge, of course not using the whole 200 horses all the time, that is.
Hyundai Kona Electric
Hyundai just took the gas motor out of the Kona and replaced it with some batteries and an electric motor to create the Kona Electric. This is an EV that is just like any gas car, except for the fact that it runs on lightning instead of dino juice.
The 201 horsepower motor is hooked up to a 68kWh battery that is enough for 258 miles of driving range on a single charge, and it supports charging over a regular 110V, 220V, or a DC fast charging station. At $34,000 for the base model, the Kona Electric offers excellent value for money.
The Leaf might not be the most good-looking car on this list, but it does offer great value for money. For a sticker price of just under $30,000, not counting the tax credits, the base model comes with a 147 horsepower motor and 160 miles of single-charge driving range.
If those numbers are not good enough for you, there is the option to upgrade to 214 horses and 250 miles for just an extra $7,000. This price, the fact that you can have practically ZERO fuel costs, and the performance of the Leaf can help you forget the ugly shape.
Kia Soul EV
The cute little cube we all know as the Kia Soul now also comes with an electric powertrain. The Soul EV is emission-free, doesn't break the bank, and is fun to drive, too, thanks to the 250lb-ft of torque that is instantly available whenever you push the gas pedal.
The electric motor puts out a healthy 201 horsepower and can travel 243 miles on a single charge. The torque is so instant that it will take some time and skill to prevent the Soul EV from squealing every time you accelerate from a standstill.
Volkswagen's affordable electric vehicle is slightly more expensive than what the American and Japanese automakers offer. The $40,000 ID.4 allows buyers to switch from internal combustion to EV with the least hassle in the process. It is an SUV, just like the ones with an IC engine.
The elevated price gets you increased performance too. You get 295 horses and a towing capacity of 2,700 lbs. The 77kWh battery in the ID.4 is good for 259 miles on a single charge. This is an area where it lags behind, but you cannot really complain that at $40,000.
You can be head over heels in love with this design or hate it from the core of your heart; there are no middle grounds. Under the skin is a 170hp power plant that is connected to the wheels via a direct drive system.
The i3 might have lesser power than other cars, but the direct drive system makes the acceleration swift and feel more punchy as compared to other cars. The interior is also full of all the bells and whistles you would expect from a BMW. All things considered, the i3 is a good deal for the tag.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
If you need supercar performance from an American EV, the Mustang Mach E's value proposition cannot be matched. For $66,000, you get 480 horsepower, 648lb-ft torque, a 91kWh battery, and a mean-looking car that tops the looks of any EV on the market right now.
If you want, you can get a $44,000 Mach E too. Though not as powerful as the top-of-the-line model, this one is sufficiently equipped. You can get between 266 and 345 horses on the cheaper model, with up to 250 miles of range, which is not a bad deal by any means.
Tesla Model 3
The Model 3, especially the Performance Trim, might not be the most affordable car but, in Elon Musk's words, "They do not make slow cars at Tesla," and speed ain't cheap. The Model 3 will set you back between $41-55,000, depending on what specs you get.
However, coming from the most renowned electric car manufacturer, the Model 3 is more refined (not the body panels, though) and well-put together than others. Then there is the range, which goes all the way up to 353 miles, something not seen in many EVs yet.
Kia Niro EV
The Korean sister companies, Kia and Hyundai, have made a reputation for creating cars that offer a lot of bang for very little buck. In the EV world, the Niro is an example of just that. With 201 horsepower, 253 miles of range, and 40-minute 10 to 80 percent fast charging, the Niro EV is a great value-for-money proposition at $40k.
Then there is the interior which looks extremely high-tech, is roomy and comes with a generous suite of standard features. The two-spoke steering wheel and a set of two large displays make the interior look and feel luxurious.
Mini Electric Hardtop
If your daily commute does not include going out of town or making very long trips otherwise, the Mini Electric is a great car. With its 188hp engine, 140 miles of range, $30,000 tag, and million-dollar looks, you can't get a better deal.
Mini has retained the same iconic shape for the electric version that is characteristic of the brand for a very long time now... and the Electric comes with some playful color schemes too. Mini has also done a good job at disguising this as a gas-powered car, so that's one more point!
Polestar, the luxury version of Sweden's Volvo, released the Model 2, a.k.a. Polestar 2, in 2021, and it has made waves in the automotive world ever since. It might be a bit on the expensive side, but the Polestar 2 offers performance that can more than justify the price.
Other than having all the luxury features you will find in a BMW or Mercedes, the Polestar 2 comes with up to 450 horsepower and 300 miles of single-charge driving range. If you are looking for flawless build quality, impeccable performance, and matchless safety, the $55K price tag of this car is just reasonable.
Labeled the 'Tesla Killer' among many other things, the luxury sedan Lucid Air has become one of the most successful EV startups that actually managed to make an impact on the market. The Air starts at $89,000, but there are versions of the car that can cost up to $250k.
What you get for that money is a car that puts out 1,200hp, has a range of 516 miles, and can hit 200mph. It is really an EV that ticks all the boxes and then adds some extra goodies on top of that for good measure.
Coming in at just $30,000 out of the showroom, not considering the tax benefits, the 500e is going to be one of the cheapest EVs in the US market once it re-enters the market after the 5-year hiatus following the 2019 model. Stellantis has reportedly decided to fix everything that was wrong with this cute car.
The 2024 500e will have a 117hp motor, 200 miles of driving range, and fast charging to 80% in just 35 minutes. That and the small size of this car make it an excellent choice for a city commute.
Volvo XC40 Recharge
The XC40 Recharge might appear to be another small SUV for old people, but make no mistake; this Swedish car means serious business. With up to 402 horsepower available with the AWD version, the XC40 Recharge can hit 100km/h in just over 4 seconds and costs a bit over $60k.
You can get up to 300 miles of single-charge range from the Recharge, and it also supports fast charging as well as charging from a normal 240V outlet. Inside, you will find safety, luxury, and convenience features at par with German luxury cars.
If you are in the market for an electric car that can help you pick up the groceries and run errands within the city block you live in, there can be no better option than the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. This tiny car has earned the title of the least expensive EV ever sold at $23,000 only.
Other than the sluggish performance due to just 70hp at the wheels, it only has a range of 62 miles on a single charge. Still, a car that you can inexpensively charge at home for a local commute is not bad at that price point.
Smart Fortwo EQ
Another inexpensive EV that you can buy for city commutes is the Smart Fortwo EQ. Coming in at just $24,000, this car has a range of just 59 miles and a 70-horsepower engine. Fast charging is not supported, as you can charge the battery from zero to 100 percent in just 3 hours at a regular outlet.
While definitely not for touring on the interstate, this motorcycle-sized car is good for commuting on crowded city roads, especially at a time when gas prices have skyrocketed. The $24,000 price will not only save you from gas prices but will also get you tax credits; it is a win-win, unless you need to go to another city.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
For a price of $42k, you can get your hands on Korea's finest electric sedan, the Ioniq 5. While that price might look to be a bit too steep for something out of Korea, given the specs of this car, the price is anything but steep.
The exterior styling of the Ioniq 5 might be a bit dated, but under the legacy skin is a monster of a car with up to 320 horsepower and even a rear-wheel drive option in classic sports style. The driving range, at 269 miles, ain't bad either.
The MX-30 does not shine when it comes to range. Other than that, it is a pretty good car with respect to styling and features. Even the power output of the engine at 143hp is respectable. The range on a single charge is just 100 miles, which is something unheard of in today's EV scene.
The interior, however, has an upscale and high-tech feel to it, as is the case of modern EVs. The exterior styling is also premium-looking and in line with Mazda's design language, which is, arguably, one of the best of any auto manufacturer right now.
The name of this car might make it feel like it is just an upgrade over the i3, but that is absolutely not the case. The i4 is the electric equivalent of the M series of BMW. For $55,000, the i4 offers up to 436 horsepower and 596lb-ft of torque, and that, too, is provided consistently; you don't have to wait for that RPM sweet spot to get it.
The i4 also offers a range of different charging methods. You can either charge it on a 200kW fast charger that can add 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes or use a level 2 onboard charger for a full charge from zero in 3 hours.
Objectively, the R1T is not a cheap vehicle by any stretch of the word, but once you look at what you are getting for your money, it is a totally different story. The R1T offers two configurations, a dual-motor AWD or a quad-motor AWD setup. With 600 and 835hp available on both, respectively, these trucks are more than capable.
Then there are the features like OTA software updates that introduce totally new functions in the truck, making it an attractive option. In typical pickup truck fashion, you also get an 11,000lb towing capacity and a 1,700lb payload capacity. The range is up to 400 miles, depending on how you drive.
Skoda Enyaq iV
Europe's best budget EV, the Enyaq iV, also deserves a spot on this list. This SUV offers the same functionality and even shares a number of its parts with the Volkswagen ID.4 while costing significantly less. You also get a bigger boot and a better interior with this Skoda.
Other than that, the powertrain is exactly the same as the ID.4, with 201 and 180 horsepower options and a total driving range of 336 miles on a single charge. The inside, while roomier than that of the ID.4, does not feel as upscale as of the VW though. Still, a great buy!
If you want to switch to a small electric car that does not break the bank and can be used within as well as outside the city, the Peugeot e-208 is a good option, costing just over $30k. For that money, you get a 136hp electric motor, 100kWh fast DC charging, and 215 miles of range.
The e-208 is different from the rest of the small EVs in the sense that it has a more comfortable interior, refined road manners, and better handling. The top speed is a bit limited at 93mph, but if you are buying this one, you are not intending to go to the track anyway.
One of the most no-nonsense EVs from Europe, the Opel Corsa-e is a pretty straightforward car. With a 136-hp motor and 50kWh battery to power it, the Corsa-e has nothing exciting about it, and that, exactly, is the selling point of this EV.
This French EV will set you back about $30k before considering the tax credits that come with EVs. Inside the Corsa-e, the interior is comfy and accommodating, but you might find it a bit tight. The single-charge driving range of 186 miles is about as much as most cars offer in this price range, but this is an area where improvement could be made.
The front profile of the Ariya might remind you of the Juke, one of the ugliest cars to ever be, but other than that, it is a pretty good car. With a range of the latest tech features and capabilities, like the safety feature suite from the Skyline sedan and the torque distribution system from the GT-R, this car has the best technology Nissan has to offer.
In terms of raw power, you can get between 238 and 389 horsepower, depending on the grade you choose. You can juice up this EV at any 240V or 110V outlet or at a DC fast charging station.
After the failed attempts at fuel cell EVs, Toyota has finally entered the battery EV market with this the 2023 bZ4X. The first striking thing about this crossover is that the styling is totally different from what we are used to seeing on gas-powered Toyotas.
On the inside, the bZ4X has a 201hp single-motor or a 215hp dual motor powertrain, hooked up to a 63.5 or a 65.5kWh battery, respectively. Toyota claims up to 252 miles of range for each of the models. Since Toyotas are known to require little maintenance and EVs are practically maintenance-free, it can be safely assumed that the $45,000 you pay for the bZ4X will save you a lot in maintenance.
Almost the same as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the EV6 is the best electric vehicle that Kia has to offer. You can get the EV6 in the form of a docile 167hp family car or a full-on sports car with AWD and 576 horses. Likewise, you get 230 miles or 320 miles of range, depending on the battery capacity you choose.
The starting price of $50k for the base model 167hp EV6 is a bit too much, but the top-of-the-line GT with 576 horsepower for $62k is a good deal; if you need that much power, that is.
Ford F-150 Lightning
If you need a work truck that is fun to drive to and costs next to nothing in fuel, the F-150 Lightning is the best option. With a driving range of up to 320 miles and more than 500 horsepower available at the wheels, the Lightning leaves little to be desired.
Then there is a host of features that make this truck all the more attractive as a work vehicle. It can act like a backup generator, powering the job site, has outlets for plugging in tools, and a full table that comes out of the tailgate and can act as a workstation.
You can think of the ID.3 as the Golf for the modern era, a car designed for comfortable family travel. This 5-door hatchback comes with a Tesla-rivaling range of 340 miles while costing considerably less than the Model 3. You also get 107kW fast charging and the ability to charge at home over a standard 240V or 110V outlet.
In terms of driving comfort and road manners, the ID.3 has a comfortable ride, a comfy interior, and great visibility for the driver. The suspension is a bit too stiff due to the weight of the car, but it is not too harsh.
Volvo C40 Recharge
The C40 Recharge is a more handsome version of the XC40 Recharge. Under the sloping roofline and beautiful curves is the same powertrain. The base model comes with a single electric motor producing 248 horsepower, but you can get up to 402hp, making it one of the most powerful small SUVs on the market.
The single-charge driving range of 297 miles is also one of the highest in cars this size, and you can charge the C40 either over a regular power outlet or over a DC fast charger which can get the battery from 15% to 80% in just 28 minutes.
Chevrolet Bolt EUV
The Bolt EUV is basically the Bolt EV on the inside with sheet metal shaped like an SUV around the same chassis, to create a body that is much more liked by the American buyer. The EUV has the same 200hp motor and 253 miles of range. The range might have been impressive for an EV 5 years back, but not anymore.
What is impressive, though, is the price of the EUV. Coming in at just $28k, the Bolt EUV is one of the most affordable electric SUVs that you can buy right now.
If you are looking for an affordable and reliable luxury crossover that runs on electricity instead of gas, the GV60 is a good option. While not cheap in the most objective sense of the word, the $60k price of the GV60 is not too much for an electric luxury car.
The highlights of the GV60 include a 314hp or 483hp electric motor, 248-mile driving range, Bang and Olufsen sound system, 20-inch wheels, and all other interior features worthy of a true Japanese luxury crossover.
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB
The EQB is so similar to the regular B-Class Merc SUVs that it will take zero effort to transition to electrified driving if you opt for this car. This SUV has the same design and shape as the B-Class, with just the front grille covered with a piece of black plastic trim.
The car can be had with a 188hp, 225hp, or 288hp electric powertrain and a 65kWh battery which combine to deliver 240 miles of driving range on a single charge. For charging, you can go for a Level 2 domestic charger or a DC fast charging station for 10 to 80 percent charge in 30 minutes.
2023 Tesla Model Y
Suppose we are talking about high-performance electric SUVs. In that case, there cannot be a better option than the Model Y. While it does cost $52,000, that money can be justified by the features, performance, and reliability this electrified utility vehicle gets you.
The Model Y comes with a 455hp motor, 330 or 279 miles of driving range, and the ability to charge at home or over a DC fast charging station. The best part about buying a Tesla is, however, the best-in-class driver assistance that makes city and highway trips safe and stress-free for the driver.
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6
Hyundai is aiming to target the same market segment as the Tesla Model 3, with this 4-door sedan launched under the Ioniq sub-brand, composed exclusively of electric vehicles. Based on the same platform as the Ioniq 5, this car is a bit cheaper than the former and has marginally decreased power and range.
You can get the Ioniq 6 with a 149, 225, or 320 horsepower motor, and the maximum single-charge driving range is between 270 and 361 miles. The starting price of one of these is $42k, but if you need the most powerful one, prepare to shell out $53,000.
Audi Q4 e-tron
The e-tron sub-brand from Audi was previously only focused on race cars like the e-tron GT and expensive SUVs like the e-tron, but now they have expanded to the realm of more everyday and affordable cars, starting with the Q4 e-tron.
Visually quite similar to the gas-powered Audi Q5, the Q4 e-tron comes with a 201hp or 295hp electric powertrain. The maximum driving range of this Audi crossover ranges from 236 to 242 miles, and you get the option to charge it at home or via a DC fast charging station.
While the rumors of an electric Escalade, dubbed Eletrade, still remain rumors, the Lyriq is very much real for two years now and is a glimpse into America's legendary luxury brand electric future. The Lyriq costs $53,000 and offers a 340hp motor with 304 miles of driving range per charge.
For that money, you (obviously) also get a host of luxury and convenience features, as is expected of any Caddy, and a buttery smooth ride too. While the $53k price is a bit on the expensive side, considering the fact that this is a proper luxury car and will get you tax and gas savings, it is not very much.
Toyota and Lexus have long been sharing platforms and chassis where the same car is more affordable in the form of a Toyota and more luxurious with a Lexus badge. The RZ is a re-badged and improved version of the bZ4X that offers Lexus-level luxury on the same chassis.
The price is also improved, of course, but the power is also increased to 308 horses; the range is, however, similar at 220 miles. As Lexus is aiming to go fully electric by 2035, we can expect to see more and better luxury electric vehicles from the brand.
Mercedes is coming up with some pretty impressive vehicles under the EQ lineup, and the EQC is the most luxurious of the bunch. This $75,000 Merc is powered by a 402hp motor and has a range of 300 miles. It supports both 240/110V and DC fast charging like any other modern EV.
On the inside, you will be greeted by one of the most futuristic interiors found in any car in this era, equipped with cutting-edge tech, luxury, and driver assistance features that make this car one of the most desirable EVs, IF you are okay with the price.
So far, Audi has done the best job of making sure that no visual clue gives away this car is electric. The e-tron even has a grille in the front, just like any gas car. Then, there is the performance. It offers a blend of capability and luxury like no other car on the market does.
The e-tron can give you up to 402 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque. Between towing 4,000lb and putting in crazy lap times, there's really nothing the e-tron leaves to be desired. All that, however, comes at a high cost, starting at $71,000, but then again, how many cars that can do all that cost less?
The I-Pace is Jaguar's all-electric car that retains the performance and extravagance of the Jags while being fully electrified. The I-Pace has 400 horsepower, 590lb-ft of torque, and a single-charge driving range of just under 250 miles. However, that's not what's fun about the I-Pace. That is the way this car handles on the road.
You can also go so far as to say that this particular Jag keeps form over function. The range might be a bit low, but if you want to look and feel richer than you are, $71,000 is not that high of a price for a car that offers all this!