The Cheapest New Electric Cars You Can Buy in 2022 (2023)

| Car Lists

As range goes up and prices come down, we have your guide to cheap electric vehicles.

Aaron GoldWriterMotortrend StaffPhotographerThe ManufacturerPhotographer

(Video) 10 Cheapest Electric Cars You Can Buy in 2022

Electric cars are rapidly coming down in price, but we're still not at the point where the average electric vehicle is as cheap as a comparable gasoline-powered car. For those looking for an inexpensive electric ride (though maybe not the best), and as high gas prices continue to set new AAA records, we've assembled a list of the most affordable EVs.

Note the prices listed here don't tell the whole story. EV buyers will likely save thousands of dollars on fuel and maintenance, and then there are the tax credits—most (but not all) electric vehicles come with a $7,500 federal tax credit for the buyer, and state and local incentives can lower the price you pay even further. Bottom line: Many of the EVs on this list are even cheaper than we say they are.

Here they are, the most affordable electric cars from most to least expensive—or perhaps we should say from least-cheap to most-cheap.

The Cheapest New Electric Cars You Can Buy in 2022 (2)

10. 2022 Audi Q4 40 E-Tron Premium | $44,945

The Audi E-Tron is the latest and least-expensive of Audi's E-Tron line of electric vehicles. This smart-looking compact SUV offers chunky styling and a futuristic interior in keeping with traditional Audi style. The Q4 40 E-Tron is the entry-level model, with a single 201-hp electric motor driving the rear wheels (as opposed to the dual-motor AWD setup of the Q4 50). Audi hasn't announced an EPA-rated range for the rear-drive version, but as its 82-kWh battery is shared with the Volkswagen ID4 (as is much of its hardware), we imagine it'll be similar to (and perhaps slightly less than) the VW's 260 miles.

The Cheapest New Electric Cars You Can Buy in 2022 (3)

9. 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E Select RWD | $43,995

We were pleased to see the Mustang Mach-E, Ford's attractive Tesla Model Y competitor, isn't priced out of the stratosphere. The basic Select model, with rear-wheel drive and the smaller of two available batteries, delivers a range of 230 miles, and in our opinion looks every bit as good as the pricier Premium and GT models. Initial demand has been high; at the time of writing, Ford was taking orders with a 20-week backlog, and we wouldn't put it past dealers to tack on a markup. And because it is positioned as a Mustang rather than an ordinary car, the Mach-E will never be a bargain. Still, for all it offers, we think the pricing on the Mustang Mach-E's entry-level Select model is pretty fair.

The Cheapest New Electric Cars You Can Buy in 2022 (4)

8. 2021 Volkswagen ID4 Pro | $41,190

Volkswagen's first all-electric SUV is an easy EV to like: It offers the space and practicality we expect from a compact SUV, with the driving experience we expect from a Volkswagen. The new ID4 Pro is the entry-level model, offering 201 hp, rear-wheel drive, and a 260-mile range. It's not the quickest nor the longest-legged vehicle on this list, but we still think it's a good buy. Note the price we list here is for the 2021 model year ID4; VW has not announced 2022 pricing, but we won't be surprised if the sticker sneaks up by a few dollars.

(Video) Top 10 Electric Vehicles for ANY Budget in 2022

7. 2022 Kia Niro EV EX | $41,165

A close relative of the Hyundai Kona EV, which you'll meet later in this list, the Kia Niro EV is the more practical of these two siblings, with more upright styling and less driving excitement. But it offers a more spacious back seat and cargo area, and it's reasonably spry for a low-cost EV: we've clocked it to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. But the tradeoff to its more generous interior is less range: 239 miles compared to the Hyundai's 258. Pricewise, it just ekes out the Volkswagen ID4, which offers similar range and a lot more space for literally a few more bucks. Visit your Kia dealer armed with all these facts, and perhaps you can negotiate a cheaper price for this otherwise-competent electric car.

The Cheapest New Electric Cars You Can Buy in 2022 (6)

6. 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric SEL | $35,185

Here's a pleasant surprise: The facelifted 2022 Kona Electric's base price is now more than three grand less than last year's model, thanks largely, we imagine, to the elimination of Hyundai's entry-level Ioniq electric model. Whatever the reason, we're happy, because there's a lot we like about the Kona Electric, including its zippy drivetrain, sharp-handling chassis, and useful hatchback shape. The Kona EV is slightly tighter on interior space than the closely related Kia Niro EV, but it makes up for that with a longer range of 258 miles. Factor in federal and state tax incentives, and the Kona Electric isn't much more expensive than a lot of small crossovers in the same size class.

The Cheapest New Electric Cars You Can Buy in 2022 (7)

5. 2022 Mazda MX-30 | $34,645

It seems too good to be true: An all-new electric SUV from a marque we love, with a price tag that makes it one of the most affordable EVs on the market. There must be a catch, and there is: The MX-30 arrives with a paltry EPA-rated range of just 100 miles. Acceleration from its 143-hp electric motor is tepid, and even its fast-charging capability of 50 kW is not very fast. It's as if Mazda bought a bunch of 2016 Nissan Leafs and re-skinned them with CX-30 bodies. For 2022, Mazda plans to sell just 560 examples exclusively in California, and we bet they it has a hard time finding even that many buyers.

(Video) 10 Cheapest Electric Cars You Can Buy In 2022

The Cheapest New Electric Cars You Can Buy in 2022 (8)

4. 2022 Mini Cooper SE Signature | $30,750

We love Minis and would love to be able to recommend the electric version, but we just can't bring ourselves to do it. The Mini SE is a deep-discount electric car, and it plays the part with gusto, offering its hapless buyers just 110 miles of range, a rough ride, and an excess of road and wind noise. Its fast-charging ability is anything but fast, taking 40 minutes to restore 80 percent of its paltry range on a DC fast charger (and eight hours on a standard Level 2 charger). On the plus side, the Mini Cooper SE is quick, accelerating to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds, which is zippier than gas-powered Mini hardtops. But rock-hard tires and feedback-free steering rob it of the fun we expect from a Mini. Most of the other cars on this list prove a cheap electric car need not feel quite so cheap.

3. 2023 Nissan Leaf S 40 kW | $28,365

A $4,245 price cut for 2022 once made the Nissan Leaf the least-expensive new electric car you can buy, not that you'd know it from the onboard experience, but thanks to Chevrolet's dramatic cut to Bolt pricing, it's no longer.

The Leaf's upscale interior and posh ride make it feel more expensive than several pricier cars on this list. The cheapest model comes with a 40-kWh battery that provides the Leaf with 149 miles of range. That's nothing spectacular, but again, it's better than some of the other cars on this list. The Leaf isn't a sporty drive, though, and its charge times aren't great, but considering the price and the amenities, the Nissan Leaf S offers the best we can hope for in a budget car: tremendous value.

(Video) The Cheapest Electric Vehicles Available in 2022 - 2023 | Electric Car Geek

The Cheapest New Electric Cars You Can Buy in 2022 (10)

2. 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV 1LT | $28,195

The Bolt EUV is a newer model from Chevrolet, effectively a longer-wheelbase version of the Bolt, with a roomier back seat. We've griped about the fact the Bolt EUV is not offered with all-wheel drive and questioned whether it could properly call itself an SUV, but we can't argue about the base model's value: it's a great deal for a family-friendly electric vehicle. Its 250-mile range is a darn sight better than many of the bargain EVs on this list, and it's a great deal among electric family haulers. Plus, it got a huge price cut for 2023 that now puts it at number 2 on our list, just behind its sibling.

The Cheapest New Electric Cars You Can Buy in 2022 (11)

1. 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV 1LT | $26,595

The 2023 model year severely cuts down the price of the Bolt, making it the most affordable brand new EV on sale in the U.S. today. The results of the 2022 facelift may not please everyone's eye, but we think bargain hunters will find the new Bolt plenty appealing. The mechanical bits remain largely unchanged, so you get the same urgent acceleration and 259-mile range that helped the original Bolt win our Car of the Year title back in 2017. Among bargain EVs, the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt is one of the smarter choices.

The Cheapest New Electric Cars You Can Buy in 2022 (12)

The Cheapest New Electric Cars You Can Buy

  • 10. 2022 Audi Q4 40 E-Tron Premium: $44,945
  • 9. 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E Select AWD: $43,995
  • 8. 2022 Kia Niro EV EX: $41,165
  • 7. 2021 Volkswagen ID4 Pro: $41,190
  • 6. 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric SEL: $35,185
  • 5. 2022 Mazda MX-30 EV: $34,645
  • 4. 2022 Mini Cooper Electric SE Signature: $30,750
  • 3. 2023 Nissan Leaf S 40 kW: $28,375
  • 2. 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV 1LT: $28,195
  • 1. 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV 1LT: $26,595
(Video) Most Affordable Small Electric Cars You Can Buy (Price as low as $4500)

FAQs

How much is the cheapest electric car 2022? ›

The cheapest electric cars you can buy in 2022 include the Ford F-150 Lightning, Chevy Bolt EV, and Kia EV6. The cheapest model starts at $27,400, before factoring in the federal tax credit for EV purchases.

Is it worth buying an electric car in 2022? ›

If an EV is in your price range, and range isn't going to be a problem based on typical journeys, getting an electric car is a great idea. Not only is it cheaper to run, but it's also eco-friendly, usually nippy – and a way to futureproof your transport solution for years to come.

Which EV is best value for money? ›

The best affordable EVs and how the federal tax credit can save you $7,500
  • 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV. Best affordable EV overall. ...
  • 2023 Nissan Leaf. Most affordable electric car. ...
  • 2023 BMW 330e. Best performance from an affordable EV. ...
  • 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning. Best electric truck on a budget. ...
  • 2022 Volvo S60.
23 Oct 2022

How long does an electric car battery last? ›

Electric car battery technology

Most manufacturers have a five to eight-year warranty on their battery. However, the current prediction is that an electric car battery will last from 10 – 20 years before they need to be replaced.

Does it cost money to charge an electric car? ›

The Bottom Line

The cost of charging your EV on a road trip can vary, but will generally be between $10 and $30 per charge. That can make the cost of a road trip in an EV higher than the cost in a conventional vehicle.

Who produces the cheapest electric car? ›

EPA-rated driving range: 149 miles

The Nissan Leaf arguably invented the modern budget electric vehicle. Thus it comes with little surprise that the Japanese company's compact hatchback is the cheapest electric car for 2022. A mere $28,495 is enough to bring home a 2022 Leaf.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car at home? ›

Using the U.S. household average from June 2022 of about 15 cents per kWh, it would cost about $59 per month to charge an electric car.

Are electric cars cheaper to insure? ›

Electric cars tend to cost more to insure than a comparable petrol or diesel. That's because they have large batteries that are expensive to replace if the car is damaged.

Which electric car is most reliable? ›

The 11 most reliable electric cars
  • Hyundai Kona Electric (2018-present) Reliability rating: 89.1% ...
  • Renault Zoe (2013-present) Reliability rating: 89.4% ...
  • BMW i3 (2013-2022) ...
  • Nissan Leaf (2019-present) ...
  • Tesla Model 3 (2019-present) ...
  • Kia e-Niro (2019-2022) ...
  • Volkswagen e-Golf (2013-2020) ...
  • MG ZS EV (2019-present)
12 Oct 2022

What stops buying electric cars? ›

“In a recent survey, we found that the upfront cost of buying an EV is the biggest barrier preventing drivers from considering an electric vehicle – and this latest energy price rise could further prevent people from making the switch.”

Is it worth buying an electric car right now? ›

This growing interest in electric vehicles has led to advancements in available financing, including green auto loans and tax credits. This expanded market is one of the primary reasons to now consider purchasing an EV just as you would with a traditional car.

What is the disadvantages of electric cars? ›

These disadvantages include finding charging stations, charging times, higher initial costs, limited driving range, and battery packs can be expensive to replace.

Who can afford an electric car? ›

Clean Vehicle Assistance and most Clean Cars 4 All programs accept applications from residents with incomes at or below 400% of the federal poverty level — equivalent to $54,360 for an individual. (The U.S. Senate also appears poised to enact a $7,500 federal tax credit for individuals with incomes less than $150,000.)

What is the cost to replace the battery in an electric car? ›

Experts say electric vehicle batteries typically cost between $2,000 and $10,000 to replace, but some are more expensive. Electric vehicles are growing in popularity worldwide, with sales doubling in 2021 to a new record of 6.6 million, the International Energy Agency said in May.

Can you plug an electric car into a regular outlet? ›

You can charge your electric car using standard 120 volt(V) home outlets (Level 1), 208-240V outlets like those used by your dryer (Level 2), or dedicated 480V+ public fast chargers (DC Fast Charging). The time it takes to charge using each of these three options depends on your drive and the size of the battery.

What happens if my electric car runs out of battery? ›

Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent. If you're driving an electric car and it runs out of power, the short and simple answer is this: the car will stop—and you'll need to call roadside assistance to get towed to the nearest charging station.

What is the cheapest electric car in the world? ›

Cheapest Electric Cars
  • 2022 Nissan Leaf. Starting price: $27,400 EV Range: 149 miles. ...
  • 2022 Mini Cooper SE. Starting price: $29,900 EV Range: 114 miles. ...
  • 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV. ...
  • 2022 Mazda MX-30. ...
  • 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric. ...
  • 2022 Kia EV6. ...
  • 2022 Volkswagen ID. ...
  • Compare Cheapest Electric Cars.
22 Mar 2022

What is the cheapest Tesla? ›

The 2022 Tesla Model 3 has an official starting price of $46,990 for its base rear-wheel drive (RWD) trim. This makes it the cheapest Tesla car currently offered. The Model 3 is Tesla's cheapest vehicle.

Who can afford an electric car? ›

Clean Vehicle Assistance and most Clean Cars 4 All programs accept applications from residents with incomes at or below 400% of the federal poverty level — equivalent to $54,360 for an individual. (The U.S. Senate also appears poised to enact a $7,500 federal tax credit for individuals with incomes less than $150,000.)

How much does a new electric car cost? ›

EV Price Trends

In January 2020, the average electric car price was $54,668, or 42% higher than the overall market average. In 2022, the average cost of a new EV is $65,291, or about 37% higher than the overall new car market.

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