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The Cheapest Electric Car You Can Buy Now

The Cheapest Electric Car You Can Buy Now

If you've been thinking about making the switch from a traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle to an Electric Vehicle (EV), you're not alone. As environmental concerns grow, and fuel costs continue to rise, many people are considering the move to greener and more sustainable transportation. However, you might wonder if they are affordable enough for you.

Join us as we explore the most affordable electric cars you can buy now, highlighting their features, prices, and how they compare to traditional gas-powered models. So, if you're ready to embrace the future of driving, keep reading to find the perfect electric ride for you!

Entry Level Electric Cars

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Image courtesy of MotorTrend

Starting price: $27,495

EPA-estimated range: 247-259 miles

The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV is an all-electric hatchback that offers practicality and impressive range. It has undergone significant changes, with a price reduction in 2022. It remains one of the most budget-friendly electric vehicles, starting at $27,495. However, it will be discontinued at the end of the year. The 2023 models are similar to the 2022s, featuring improved design and safety features. The Bolt EV has a standard 10.2-inch touchscreen and an optional 8-inch gauge display. Safety tech is mostly standard, and it comes with DC fast-charging capability. The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV (Electric Utility Vehicle) is slightly longer, offering more space and Super Cruise driver-assist tech as an option. Both models have dual-level charge cords for added convenience.

2023 Nissan Leaf

Image courtesy of Consumer Guide Automotive

Starting price: $29,135

EPA-estimated range: 149-212 miles

The 2023 Nissan Leaf comes with a user-friendly cabin, smooth handling, and a range of tech features such as adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience. It offers a range of approximately 149 to 212 miles, depending on the battery variant, providing sufficient mileage for daily commutes and city driving with its efficient electric powertrain.

The 2023 model receives some minor styling updates and now comes in two versions: the standard-range Leaf S and the longer-range Leaf SV Plus.

The standard-range Leaf has a 40-kWh battery and a 147-hp electric motor, offering an EPA-rated range of 149 miles. Inside, it features an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. It also has automatic emergency braking and a blind-spot warning system for enhanced safety. On the other hand, the Leaf SV Plus has a larger 62-kWh battery, providing a significant range boost of 212 miles, and a more powerful 214-hp motor, making it a practical option for daily use.

2023 Mini Cooper SE

Image courtesy of MotorTrend

Starting price: $31,895

EPA-estimated range: 114 miles

The Mini Cooper SE 2023, which was once known as the most affordable electric car in the US, now faces competition from other cheaper options. Despite having a limited range, it is suitable for daily commutes. This two-door, four-seat hatchback offers a sporty appearance, agile driving experience, and a 181-hp electric motor, allowing it to go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. Its compact size makes it appealing for city driving or as a second car.

Although its range is not extensive, Mini claims that the 32.6-kWh battery can be charged with 7.4 kilowatts of AC capacity in about four hours using a Level 2 home or public charger. To make the model more attractive, Mini has reintroduced the base Classic trim for the SE Hardtop in 2024, offering a more affordable starting price compared to the previous model year. Additionally, the Mini Cooper SE 2023 comes with two higher trim levels and various customization options to cater to individual preferences.

2022 Mazda MX-30

Image courtesy of MotorTrend

Starting price: $35,485

EPA-estimated range: 100 miles

The 2022 Mazda MX-30 is Mazda's first fully electric vehicle in the U.S. As of writing, it is only available in California and is the most affordable electric SUV in the market. The MX-30 is an SUV-like hatchback with a unique design and eco-friendly materials in the interior. The electric motor provides 144 horsepower and 200 pounds-feet of torque, powered by a 35.5-kWh battery for the front wheels.

The biggest drawback is its small 30.0-kWh battery pack, providing an EPA-rated driving range of just 100 miles. In a real-world range test at 75 mph, it managed only 70 miles on a full charge. While it may be suitable for city driving, the MX-30's limited range is disappointing for its $35,485 price tag. However, Mazda offers perks like loaner vehicles for road trips and $500 in ChargePoint credits for public charging or home charger installation.

Luxury Electric Cars and SUVs

If you want the indulgence of luxury combined with eco-friendliness, you'll be pleased to know that the world of electric vehicles has welcomed a new era of affordability in this category. Luxury electric cars and SUVs are no longer restricted to the elite; they have become accessible to a broader audience, with two exceptional models leading the way:

2023 Audi Q4 e-tron

Image courtesy of Audi New Rochelle

Starting price: $49,800

EPA-estimated range: 265 miles (rear-wheel drive); 242 miles (all-wheel drive)

Despite being smaller than Audi's popular Q5 model, the Q4 e-tron stands out with its eco-friendly features and advanced technology. Its interior provides both comfort and connectivity, incorporating eco-conscious materials such as cork and recycled plastic bottle fibers.

In the lineup of 2023 Audi Q4 e-tron, a significant addition is the new Q4 40 e-tron version. This variant features a single electric motor powering the rear wheels, offering an impressive EPA-estimated driving range of up to 265 miles on a full charge, surpassing the Q4 50 e-tron by 29 miles. Charging is also convenient, with the ability to recharge from 5% to 80% capacity in just 36 minutes using a 150-kW DC fast-charging station.

While luxury vehicles usually come with a higher price tag, the introduction of the Q4 40 e-tron at a lower base price makes this luxury electric SUV more accessible to potential buyers. Competing with models like the Lexus RZ, Mercedes-Benz EQB, and Tesla Model Y, the 2023 Q4 e-tron presents an appealing option for those seeking a luxury electric SUV experience.

Sharing much of its EV hardware with the Volkswagen ID.4, the Q4 e-tron is also considered by some as an alternative to the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Kia EV6.

2022 Tesla Model 3

Image courtesy of Edmunds

Electric Cars vs Gas-Powered Models

The debate between electric cars and gas-powered models has become increasingly relevant as the world focuses on sustainability and reducing carbon emissions. Each type of vehicle has its advantages and drawbacks, and understanding their differences is crucial for making an informed choice.

Environmental Impact

Electric cars have a clear advantage in terms of environmental impact. They produce zero tailpipe emissions, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. On the other hand, gas-powered models emit harmful pollutants such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter, contributing to climate change and air quality issues.

Fuel Efficiency

Electric cars are highly efficient, converting a higher percentage of energy from the grid to power the vehicle's wheels. Gas-powered models, on the other hand, rely on internal combustion engines, which are less efficient in converting fuel energy to mechanical power. This efficiency difference results in electric cars typically requiring less energy to travel the same distance as gas-powered vehicles.

Range and Charging

One significant concern for electric car owners is range anxiety - the fear of running out of battery power before reaching their destination. Gas-powered vehicles generally have a longer driving range and can refuel quickly at gas stations. However, advancements in battery technology have improved the range of electric cars, and charging infrastructure is rapidly expanding, making charging more convenient and accessible.

Performance and Driving Experience

Electric cars offer instant torque and smoother acceleration due to the nature of electric motors. This results in a more responsive and enjoyable driving experience. Gas-powered models may have a broader range of engine choices, with some high-performance options, but they often lack the immediate torque and quietness of electric vehicles.

Maintenance and Operating Costs

While electric vehicles may initially have higher upfront costs compared to traditional cars, the government does offer a federal tax credit to encourage electrification. On the positive side, EVs generally have lower operating costs than gas-powered models. They require less maintenance due to fewer moving parts and no need for oil changes. Moreover, electricity is usually cheaper than gasoline, resulting in cost savings on fuel. However, it's worth noting that the initial purchase price of electric cars is often higher, primarily due to battery costs. Nonetheless, this gap is gradually narrowing as technology advances.

Considering these factors can help you make an informed decision about transitioning to an electric vehicle, taking into account not only the initial costs but also the long-term electric car maintenance cost.

Infrastructure and Availability

Gas-powered vehicles benefit from an established infrastructure of gas stations worldwide, making refueling accessible in most areas. Electric car charging infrastructure is expanding, but it may not be as widespread, especially in rural or less developed regions. However, the availability of charging stations is improving, driven by increased adoption of electric vehicles.

FAQs

  • Will EV cars be affordable?

    Yes, electric vehicles are becoming increasingly affordable. As technology advances and production scales up, the cost of EVs is expected to decrease, making them more accessible to a broader range of consumers.

  • Which is the most affordable EV car in the world?

    The most affordable EV car in the world can vary based on location and availability. Some of the most affordable EVs include the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV and the 2023 Nissan Leaf, both offering competitive prices and a decent driving range.

  • How much cheaper is EV than gas?

    On average, electric vehicles are cheaper to operate than gas-powered cars. They have lower fuel costs as electricity is typically less expensive than gasoline. Moreover, EVs require less maintenance due to fewer moving parts, resulting in additional cost savings over the vehicle's lifetime.

  • How much cheaper is EV than gas?

    On average, electric vehicles are cheaper to operate than gas-powered cars. They have lower fuel costs as electricity is typically less expensive than gasoline. Moreover, EVs require less maintenance due to fewer moving parts, resulting in additional cost savings over the vehicle's lifetime.

     

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