What’s in a price? Good is cheap in electric vehicles

James Raia

A 2021 Mustang Mach E electric vehicle during recharging.

Cars.com has compiled a comprehensive list of the top 11 current cheapest electric vehicles. It’s a varied list; nine manufacturers are represented. Starting prices range from $28,375 to 44,445.

The average price of a new car in the United States for the first time recently surpassed $45,000. Most of the vehicles are eligible for federal and state tax credits and, in some instances, local rebates.

The 2021 Mustang Mach E electric vehicle has a range of 275 miles.
The 2021 Mustang Mach E electric vehicle has a range of 275 miles. Images © James Raia/2021

The current cheapest electric vehicle available in the United States is the 2022 Nissan Leaf. It has a starting price of $28,375 and has a range of 149-226 miles, with the official estimates to be determined.

Electric Vehicles: 11 at $45,000 or less

Here’s what Cars.com wrote:

“The news for 2022 is that the standard-range Leaf has gone on sale with a price cut of more than $4,000 for the base trim level, called the S. That makes it currently the most affordable new EV you can buy.

“The small four-door hatchback 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, the Leaf has improved with more range and added safety tech.

“It also got a longer-range sibling, the Leaf Plus, with a bigger battery. The standard-range Leaf has a 40-kilowatt-hour battery and a modest 147-horsepower electric motor.

“The interior has few frills but does have a standard 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In addition to the price cut for 2022, Nissan also added a standard fast-charging port and portable 240-volt charging cable to sweeten the deal.”

The top 11 cheapest electric vehicle are priced at $45,000 or less.
The top 11 cheapest electric vehicle are priced at $45,000 or less.

Electric Vehicles: Lots of choices

The most expensive EV of the 11 cheapest current models is the 2021 BMW i3. It has a starting price of $45,445 and has an estimated range of 126-154 miles, expanding to 200 miles with an optional gasoline range extender.

Here’s what Cars.com wrote:

“BMW’s futuristic little i3, a four-seat hatchback, is being retired for the U.S. after the 2021 model year as BMW shifts its electric “i” models to more conventional-looking EVs, such as the upcoming i4 sedan.

“But 2021 i3 models will remain available for a time, if you’re looking for a distinctive small city car with limited range (the i3 has a 42.2-kWh battery) and a premium interior featuring natural materials. The i3’s body has a design with no middle pillar and rear-hinged half-doors for access to the rear backseat. It’s offered in a base model with a 168-hp electric motor in the rear and a sportier i3s trim level with a 181-hp motor; the latter can hit 60 mph in 6.8 seconds.”

“The i3 has fast-charging capability to hit 80% charge in 40 minutes; it can charge to 80% in five hours on a home charger. Unlike the other EVs on this list, BMW also offers the i3 and i3s models with a small, range-extending gasoline engine ($3,850).”

“Adding it cuts all-electric range to 126 miles, but then it runs as a series hybrid with an EPA combined rating of 31 mpg on premium fuel — though only for another 74 miles by dint of a small fuel tank, giving it a total EPA range of 200 miles from gasoline and electric power.”

Electric Vehicles: Rebates aplenty

Here’s the list of the top 11 current cheapest RVs in the United States, with year and starting price, excluding incentives.

2022 Nissan Leaf, $28,375;
2022 Mini Cooper SE Hardtop, $30,750;
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV, EUV, $31,995;
2022 Mazda MX-30, $34,645;
2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric, $34,650;
2022 Hyundai Kona Electric, $35,185;
2021 Kia Niro EV, $40,265;
2021 Volkswagen ID. $41,190;
2021 Tesla Model 3, $41,190;
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E; $43,995;
2021 BMW i3, $44,445.

To read the complete report, visit: Cars.com/Electric Vehicles


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