How Much Is The Cheapest Electric Car – The lowest priced models cost less than the average new vehicle when taking into account the federal tax credit for electric vehicle buyers
For many environmentally conscious buyers, price is one of the barriers to EV ownership. Assuming battery technology continues to advance with rapidly falling costs, experts predict that the average electric car will cost the same as a conventional fuel car by 2024 and may even be cheaper after that. However, most electric vehicles have higher sticker prices than comparable vehicles with internal combustion engines.
How Much Is The Cheapest Electric Car
The average price of a new vehicle in the U.S. is currently around $35,000, so we found six new EVs that fall under that threshold and cost much less when you factor in a one-time $7,500 federal tax credit. If you’re eligible, the credit effectively drops the asking price of the absolute cheapest electric car on the market to over $17,000. That’s about the cost of a 2019 plain vanilla supercharged gas car. And that’s not counting the handful of government incentives that can further sweeten the deal.
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Unfortunately, General Motors and Tesla models will actually become more expensive in 2019 as the $7,500 tax credit for electric car buyers is phased out for those brands. The credit expires in the calendar year after the automaker sells 200,000 batteries (this includes EVs and plug-in hybrids).
Tesla hit that limit last July, meaning credits for the Model 3, Model S and Model X drop to $3,750 on January 1, drop to $1,875 on July 1 and end in December. 31. To cushion the blow, Tesla subsequently dropped the price of all three models by $2,000.
With GM hitting the 200,000 mark in late 2018, credits for the soon-to-be-discontinued Chevrolet Bolt EV and Volt will begin on April 1, 2020. may extend, revise, or even eliminate EV tax credits in the coming months, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, here are the six cheapest electric cars in the US for the 2019 model year in the attached slideshow. We look at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the base model in each line, as well as the actual cost after taking advantage of the $7,500 federal tax credit. All prices include the automaker’s MSRP, but do not include options, fees or taxes.
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If any of these rides are still too rich for your budget, be sure to check out our extensive list of used electric vehicles for sale here, the completely free marketplace for electric car buyers and sellers.
Base cost: $34,945 ($27,445 after federal tax credits). With a significantly updated and improved version arriving in 2020, the current Kia Soul EV compact crossover will be one of the most affordable electric vehicles of 2019. It’s estimated to go 111 miles per charge and get an electric-equivalent 124/93 mpg city/highway (“MPGe “). Sales are limited to California and some other states.
Base cost: $34,240 ($26,740 after federal tax credits). This electric Italian is both stylish and fun to drive, although space is tight inside and it’s only available in California and Oregon. The 500e is estimated to go just 84 miles per charge but gets a solid 121/103 MPGe.
Base cost: $31,390 ($23,890 after federal tax credits). The compact Volkswagen eGolf isn’t a big seller, and its days are numbered as the automaker prepares a new lineup of ID-badged electric vehicles for 2020 and beyond. Sales are limited to California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington DC. Meanwhile, the eGolf’s battery allows a range of 125 miles, while the electric motor provides fuel-efficient operation. 126/111 MPGe. (Prices refer to 2018 models, but are currently current.)
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Base cost: $30,885 ($23,385 after federal tax credits). The 2019 Nissan Leaf is arguably the best bang for your buck. The Leaf has an average range of 150 miles on a full charge and is rated at 124/99 MPGe. While it will certainly be more expensive, Nissan is “turning a new leaf” when it introduces the updated e+ version, which promises a range of 226 miles in 2019.
Base cost: $30,700 ($23,200 after federal tax credits). The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is a small battery-powered four-door hatchback at the heart of the EV market in 2019. It beats the Nissan Leaf by just a few dollars and comes close to that model in terms of range. 124 miles. However, it beats the Leaf in terms of energy efficiency with 150/122 MPGe.
Base cost: $24,650 ($17,150 after the federal tax credit). The cheapest electric vehicle of 2019 is also the smallest battery-powered vehicle, with room for just two passengers and a small cargo area. To its credit, the rebadged Smart EQ ForTwo has funky styling and is the only electric vehicle this year available as a convertible. Although its range is a paltry 58 miles on a single charge, that’s enough for an easy-to-park, cheap-to-drive city car or to get to a suburban train station. It is only sold in California, New York and a few other states with no vehicle emissions. It is rated at 124/94 MPGe. (Note: Prices are for 2018 models but valid at time of writing.) was invited to test drive the world’s cheapest electric car manufactured by Changli. It was fun, cute, “cheap” in every way, and a wild exercise for the imagination. Even though it doesn’t retain its famous price tag, US importers have made efforts to restore value where shipping costs have taken it away.
Changli manufactures these vehicles in China as taxis and passenger transport. Vehicles like this are used by city workers to get around dense terrain. People who work in China are attracted to them for one basic reason: these cars are cheap.
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We’re talking lead-acid batteries, the cheapest plastic dashboard you’ve ever seen, stickers instead of fog lights, and a steering wheel that I’d call a learning curve.
It goes without saying that you won’t find a tech-savvy interior that offers a software-driven experience like we’ve seen from forward-thinking automakers. Changlis is a brass dam that has a certain appeal.
Electric Import Motors (EIM), importers of these cheap microcars, got into the business as a joke. After seeing an article about the world’s cheapest electric car, EIM used his previous experience in transportation and logistics to acquire his first car. Changli vehicles made headlines more than a year ago when news agencies pegged the $900 price tag. Although it was $900 for the current international shipping problem, and if purchased in China, but the shipping and related costs are mostly of the “real” price for those outside China (such as colleagues
Writer Micah Toll found out when he bought one from China). The first EIM order triggered the ordering of several more custom cars for the US market. Without an ounce of marketing, these sold almost instantly.
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Now the joke has serious legs. Despite the increased shipping price, EIM has now sold several containers of cars and pre-sold for about six months. So, what’s the point? Why are these magical grocery carts so popular?
What makes this really fun and unique is the cost and size. The most obvious size-to-size comparison is the golf cart. In the good old days before the pandemic, a golf cart started at $7,000 to $8,000 including windows, doors, heat, etc. with out. At the other end of the chasm is a full-size car. Electric cars are great. At
, we live and breathe them every day, but our favorite electric cars can be expensive and overrated for ease of use.
The “Grunt” car can travel about 20 miles on a charge and travel at about 25 mph. It’s a great choice for running around town, grocery shopping, mail runs, or other short trips on slow roads. Two adults can sit in the front and two children in the back.
Best Cheap Electric Cars Of 2023
With a “Pak Yak” truck like the one Micah bought, the larger battery and motor setup allows you to go farther, faster, and of course, tow more. You can expect a range of about 40 miles and a top speed of 35 mph. This opens the door to even more possibilities, such as moving lawns, hauling car parts or even moving (very small) furniture. The Pak Yak truck can accommodate two adults.
Note that Changli vehicles are not co-branded for use on US roads and do not meet federal motor vehicle safety standards for their class.
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