Currently, there are a couple of relatively cheap EVs on the market, but they are not as useful as some of their larger counterparts. Even though they do not offer all that much range, nor power, they can be used for daily commuting in urban city environments.
It’s worth mentioning that the EV market is not yet comparable to the combustion engine car market. This should change down the line, and when it does happen, we are likely going to see more EVs out and about. Hybrid cars are more or less the same as there are even fewer of those knocking about.
Currently, the cheapest usable EV is the Mini Cooper SE with a $30 retail price. The second cheapest EV is the Nissan Leaf which costs around $32k. The 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric costs $34 and the 2021 Chevy Bolt EV costs $37k.
The cheapest luxury EV is the Tesla Model 3 which starts at $41k and is closely followed by the Ford Mustang Mach-E which starts at $44k. For $53k, you can get a Tesla Model Y, and if you are willing to spend more than $61k, the Polestar 2 is the one to get.
Mini Cooper SE
Mini is a brand known for delivering quite a bit of substance for not all that much money. If you pair that with an instantly recognizable design, the Cooper SE might just be the perfect car for you. Even though the SE is rated for only 110 miles on a full charge, such range estimates are way under the average daily commute.
However, there are a few tests that were able to take the Mini Cooper SE up to 150 miles. Besides the range, the Mini is small, nimble, and easy to place. To conclude, the Mini is a perfect city car as it offers enough range and general convenience features at a very affordable price.
If you are in the market for an EV that costs little, but goes big, the Leaf might just be the step in the right direction. For a sticker price of $32k, the Leaf offers a 150-mile range which is fairly commendable considering the price tag.
If you want an even greater range, you can pay more money to upgrade to the Nissan Leaf Plus which offers a 226-mile range. Even though the Leaf is not really made for long-distance driving, as a daily commuter, it is a great buy.
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
For $34k you can get the extremely popular Hyundai Ioniq Electric with a 170-mile range, and you most definitely should as the Ioniq is one of the most competitive compact EV cars on the market. The Ioniq Electric now also offers Level 3 charging which should cut the charging times to a more acceptable level.
The infotainment system is decent and so is the general comfort and space. Its worth mentioning that the Ioniq is not really class-leading in anything, but it does do many things very well. As such, the Ioniq Electric is definitely a car worth looking into.
Chevrolet Bolt EV
If you want the best dollar-per-mile ratio out of the entire cheap EV segment, the Chevy Bolt EV is the one to go for. With an estimated range of 259 miles, the Bolt EV is the very king of the miles per dollars ratio. The sticker price for the Bolt EV was around $37k at the time of writing this article.
However, the Bolt EV is not perfect as it looks and feels cheap inside with lots of plastic and other cheap materials. The seats are a bit on the firm side and the design looks boring and lifeless. The new 2022 Bolt EV is just around the corner, and you should skip this one, and wait for the new one.
Tesla Model 3
As far as small relatively cheap EVs go, the Tesla Model 3 is by far the most famous one. With a sticker price of just under $42k, the Tesla Model 3 does offer quite a bit of value. The standard range plus model offers a range of more than 260 miles which is more than enough even for those who spend a lot of time driving.
Practicality-wise, the Tesla offers an abundance of space for both the passengers and the cargo. It is hard to go against the Model 3 because it offers a lot for this price category. One of the greatest benefits is the ability to use Tesla’s supercharger network, something no other car besides a Tesla can do.
What is the best electric car for the money?
As far as the best value options are concerned, the Tesla Model 3 and the Hyundai Kona Electric are the two best EVs on the market right now. The Tesla offers exceptional range, design, and comfort, and it also offers an abundance of interesting technology, safety, and autonomous driving solutions.
As far as the Hyundai Kona Electric is concerned, the range is just so good that it can not be matched for the price which makes the Kona the best mainstream EV on the market right now.
What is the cheapest plug-in hybrid right now?
Both plug-in hybrids and EVs are slowly becoming more and more popular. As such, the prices tend to drop to more affordable levels, and if you want the cheapest Plug-ins right now, you are looking at the Toyota Prius Prime and the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid version.
The Toyota starts around $28k and the Hyundai starts as low as $26k. Both of these are decent for the money, however, the Toyota does offer that little bit more extra.
Should I buy an EV right now?
It depends on you being able to fully utilize the EV platform. If you are living in an area that has a great charging infrastructure already in place, then sure, you should buy an EV. However, if you are constantly traveling long distances, and you don’t have all that many chargers around, you should skip it for now.
Even though an EV in such circumstances might be a bad idea, if you have multiple cars, then you could opt for an EV as your daily commuter.