There are more than 30 electric cars on the market right now. Many of them are pricey luxury cars, SUVs, and trucks, but there are a handful of affordable EVs out there priced at $45,000 or below. Here are the cheapest electric cars you can buy right now.
2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV
EPA-rated range: 259 miles
The Bolt is Chevy's first production EV, a small hatchback designed for cities and short commutes. It's had a checkered past with a massive fire-risk recall, but remains one of the most affordable electric cars on the market.
As a value proposition, there's no beating the Chevy Bolt. Where else can you find this much range per charge for under 30 grand? It's tough enough to find any new car under $30,000, much less a long-range EV. GM has halted production until the next redesign, so grab the last 2023s while you can.
2024 Nissan Leaf
EPA-rated range: 149-212 miles
With a base price under 30 grand, the Leaf stands tall as king of affordable electric cars for the 2024 model year. It was the very first mass-market EV in the U.S. and has been in continuous production since 2010. The Leaf S with the 40.0-kWh battery has low range for a modern EV, but for the price and standard features, it's a good deal. If you need over 200 miles of range, you'll need to spend another eight grand for the Leaf SV Plus to get the bigger battery.
2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV
EPA-rated range: Up to 247 miles
Think of the Bolt EUV as an SUV-ified version of the normal Bolt. It rides a bit higher, with slightly more space inside and a higher seating position. Range is roughly the same, as is the better-than-expected driving experience. This is, essentially, a Bolt made for ride-height-loving American shoppers.
Chevy announced plans to release a new Bolt with Ultium battery tech next year. We suspect the finished product will look more like the EUV you see here rather than the traditional hatchback-shaped Bolt. As with the regular Bolt, GM has killed EUV production until the next redesign.
Dive into our first drive
2024 Mini Cooper SE
EPA-rated range: 114 miles
The electric Mini Cooper might not have the range of the Leaf, but the car makes up for it with impressive performance and a higher smile factor. Plus, it's competitively priced with its gas-powered counterpart.
A grand total of 181 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque comes from a single e-motor under the hood and a 28.9-kWh battery, driving the front wheels. That's enough for a 0-60 time of 6.1 seconds—about on par with the gas-powered Mini Cooper S Hardtop. A new 2025 model is on its way.
2024 Hyundai Kona Electric
EPA-rated range: 200-261 miles
While we prefer the driving characteristics of the hot-rodded Kona N, the Kona Electric has solid acceleration and plenty of range for most people. If you can put up with the weird grille-less face, it's a great buy.
Thrust comes courtesy of a singular electric motor connected to the front wheels, supplied by a 48.6-kWh battery on the base SE or a 64-kWh battery pack on SEL and Limited trims. The SE is slow, but the other trims (with 201 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque) can rush the Kona Electric to 60 mph in just 6.4 seconds.
2024 Volkswagen ID.4
EPA-rated range: 209-275 miles
The ID.4 is Volkswagen's first attempt at an electric car here in the United States. It's not very exciting and has an infuriatingly unintuitive infotainment system, but it does deliver a good amount of range for the price. Option all-wheel-drive, and you get 295 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque, too.
If you're shopping for an ID.4, we suggest waiting a model year or two until the cabin is updated with real buttons and a volume knob. Trust us, you'll be glad.
2024 Tesla Model 3
EPA-rated range: 272-333 miles
The Model 3 is the most popular EV in the world even as competitors begin to catch up to the Tesla's range and in-car tech. An exterior refresh brings new headlights and taillights while the interior receives a new rear screen and more sound-deadening material. Tesla's biggest benefit is its proprietary Supercharging network that soon will open up to all EVs when other automakers make their cars compatible.
2024 Kia Niro EV
EPA-rated range: 253 miles
Want to lean deep into weird EV design? Consider the Kia Niro EV. Its trippy two-tone body panels and French-car-inspired front end will make sure you stand out despite the lack of an engine.
The 201-hp, 188 lb-ft front-drive, single-motor powertrain makes the Niro EV the most powerful version in the Niro lineup. The e-motor is supplied by a liquid-cooled lithium-ion 64.8-kWh battery pack that rests in the floor. The 0-60 sprint happens in a cool 6.7 seconds
2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5
EPA-rated range: 220-303 miles
The Ioniq 5 is certainly the coolest-looking car on this list. With a square-themed, retro-inspired design, it stands out amongst a sea of boring, uninteresting vehicles in a way no other affordable electric car can. Plus, it drives well and delivers a realistic estimate of its remaining range.
While it's far from the cheapest EV, we suggest stretching your budget for the performance-oriented Ioniq 5 N. It makes 641 hp from a new AWD dual e-motor drivetrain, and adds a host of other performance upgrades to make it a truly capable track machine.
2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6
EPA-rated range: 240-361 miles
Hyundai's sleek and Infiniti J30-inspired sedan can drive up to 361 miles, which outguns every other EV in this price class. It shares the chassis and powertrains of the Ioniq 6 but with less interior space owing to that swoopy profile. The base SE Standard Range also undercuts the Ioniq 5, but it has the least range and is significantly underpowered.
2024 Kia EV6
EPA-rated range: 206-310 miles
Disclaimer: The tire-shredding, 576-hp EV6 in this photo is the wild and crazy GT which stickers for more than $60,000. But even the base EV6 Light shares the same balanced handling and spacecraft exterior.
2024 Toyota bZ4X
EPA-rated range: 222-252 miles
It's not at all engaging EV to drive, but as a Toyota, the bZ4X rides well and is just fine for everyday driving. Oddly, it's the base front-wheel drive model that has faster charging (up to 150 kW) even though its single motor musters only 201 hp.
2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E
EPA-rated range: 224-312 miles
The Mustang Mach-E is undoubtedly one of the sportiest cars in this bunch, utilizing a rear-drive platform and sporting some very Mustang-inspired looks. While it might not be a real Mustang, we love how it drives.
That pony isn't just for show, either. In GT guise, the Mustang Mach-E is legitimately quick, delivering 480 hp and 634 lb-ft of torque thanks to a standard AWD powertrain. All that torque allows for a 0-60 time of just 3.7 seconds.
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