Cheapest electric cars.
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Frustrated buyers are starting to give car purchases a second chance as supply chains reopen and inventories begin to recover. If you’re one of them, and you’re buying an Electric Vehicle, 2022 is shaping up to be the most exciting model year ever. All the major automakers are racing to produce fully electric vehicles, Sports Utility Vehicles, and even pickups for the masses — but most Electric Vehicles are still expensive to buy.
However, there are now about half a dozen Electric Vehicles with MSRPs under $40,000. Five of them were under $35,000 and two were under $30,000. When you factor in the $7,500 state tax credit and the local incentives some states offer, the average citizen has easy access to a handful of Electric Vehicles.
Cheapest Nissan Leaf
The Tesla Roadster was the first in 2008, but in 2011 the Nissan Leaf became the first all-electric car to be mass-produced by a major manufacturer. More than a decade later, the Leaf is the most affordable electric vehicle on the market—the federal tax credit for the eligible Leaf S is under $20,000. Even without federal loans, both trim levels start below $30,000.
It has a range of 226 miles – but only the larger 62 kilowatt hour battery delivers 214 horsepower. The smaller 40 kilowatt hour battery has a range of 149 miles.
The Leaf opens up nicely with 23.6 cubic feet of cargo space and a 60/40 rear opening. It’s not a perfect Electric Vehicle, but the Leaf is almost universally popular for its impressive array of standard driver assistance and tech features.
Cheapest Mini Electric
Another Electric Vehicle under $30,000 is the Mini Electric, which will be updated in 2022 with new tech and styling. It has a limited range of 114 miles, but can be charged to 80 percent in 36 minutes. Its 181 horses can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than seven seconds.
Inside, it now features ambient lighting, a large 8.8-inch touchscreen, an all-new digital cluster, and a redesigned steering wheel and air vents. Visually, it’s unmistakably a Mini, and despite the lack of an engine, it’s as fun to drive as its nameplate suggests.
Mazda’s first fully electric vehicle debuted at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, and although it’s not quite as cheap as the Chevy Bolt, it’s one of only a tiny handful of Electric Vehicles that comes in under $35,000. It’s actually a hair cheaper than the Bolt Electric Utility Vehicle.
While fast charging technology can charge you 80% in 36 minutes, that’s 80% of a full charge and you’ll only have to travel 100 miles. That tiny range makes the MX-30 almost entirely a commuter car, but if you’re not going very far, it’s a handsome car with a sleek, curvy exterior and a premium interior.
Like most automakers, Mazda doesn’t currently offer great deals on electric vehicles, but returning owners and lessees can get $500 off their new purchases, as can military members, disabled drivers and a few other select groups of people. It also comes with a $500 ChargePoint credit.
Cheapest Hyundai Kona
The 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric is significantly cheaper than last year’s model after the South Korean automaker slashed the price by $3,390, according to the Kelly Blue Book. The compact crossover Sports Utility Vehicle boasts an impressive 258 miles of range, a spec that complements its ample 201 horsepower. Kelly Blue Book awarded the Kona Electric Vehicle for its many standard safety features – cool tech features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard.
While there aren’t many incentives other than federal tax credits, Hyundai estimates the Kona Electric will save you more than $4,000 in fuel costs over five years.
Without separating the Chevrolet Bolt Electric Vehicle and Bolt Electric Utility Vehicle, there are only six Electric Vehicles on the market with MSRPs under $40,000, a price point that forces the automaker to compete with Tesla. Sixth and last on the list is the Kia Niro Electric Vehicle, which is currently saving $10.
Its 293-mile range is impressive at this price point, and it qualifies for HOV lane privileges as an added bonus in some states. For the budget-conscious buyer, the Niro Electric Vehicle comes with a very reassuring 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
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