- You don’t need to spend a fortune to make the switch to an electric vehicle.
- The cheapest electric cars you can buy include the Ford F-150 Lightning, Chevy Bolt EV, and Kia EV6.
- The cheapest model starts at $19,900, after factoring in the federal tax credit for EV purchases.
Looking to buy an electric car? Electric vehicles tend to cost more than gas-powered ones on the whole, but not all EVs need to break the bank.
In addition to some high-priced examples sold by Elon Musk, lots of 2022-model-year electric cars can be had for less than $35,000, particularly when you consider the federal government’s $7,500 tax incentive for EV purchases.
Sure, that’s not exactly cheap, but studies have shown that electric-car owners save big on maintenance, repairs, and fueling costs over time.
One big caveat: Electric cars are in short supply right now, so finding popular models for sale at MSRP is easier said than done. If you’re looking to save on gas and be kind to your wallet, consider gas-sipping hybrids too.
Retail price (with federal tax credit): $27,400 ($19,900)
Environmental Protection Agency-estimated range for base model: 149 miles
The Nissan Leaf launched in 2010 as one of the first mass-market electric cars. Now it’s the cheapest one you can buy. An extra $5,000 over the base price gets you a larger battery pack that provides 226 miles of range.
Mini Cooper SE Hardtop
Retail price: $29,900 ($22,400)
EPA-estimated range: 114 miles
Mini’s electric car offers an appealing base price, but that comes at the expense of range. Buyer beware: Mini is jacking up the price for the 2023 model.
Chevrolet Bolt EV
Retail price: $31,500
EPA-estimated range: 259 miles
Chevrolet refreshed the Bolt hatchback for 2022 with modern looks and a price cut.
A large recall over battery fires meant Chevy stopped making Bolts for several months, but now production has resumed and the company says it’s sorted out the problem.
Retail price: $33,470 ($25,970)
EPA-estimated range: 100 miles
For its first electric car, Mazda went all out with sleek styling and funky rear doors that swing backward. But it gave the MX-30 confusingly poor driving range, less than half that of some rivals.
Mazda is selling the MX-30 in California to start.
Chevrolet Bolt EUV
Retail price: $33,500
EPA-estimated range: 247 miles
The Chevy Bolt EUV is all new for 2022. It shares a lot with the Bolt EV but is meant to be a small SUV rather than a hatchback. You get a bit more interior space and ground clearance than the hatchback, but less range.
Good news: The Bolt EUV and Bolt EV are getting $6,000 cheaper starting with the 2023 model.
Hyundai Kona Electric
Retail price: $34,000 ($26,500)
EPA-estimated range: 258 miles
The electric version of Hyundai’s popular little SUV comes with excellent range and advanced safety tech like blind-spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Retail price: $39,950 ($32,450)
EPA-estimated range for base model: 220 miles
If you want all-wheel drive and longer range, you’ll have to pony up. But the Ioniq 5’s base model offers the same funky looks and spacious interior as pricier versions.
Ford F-150 Lightning
Retail price: $39,974 ($32,474)
EPA-estimated range for base model: 230 miles
The Ford F-150 Lightning Pro carries an MSRP just below $40,000, but it could be years before they’re readily available at that price. A combination of hot demand and low supply means dealers are slapping hefty markups on Ford’s first serious electric truck.
Kia Niro EV
Retail price: $39,990 ($32,490)
EPA-estimated range: 239 miles
The inconspicuous Niro EV is great for people who want a regular-looking electric car that doesn’t stick out, our reviewer wrote of the inaugural 2019 model. Stay tuned: the entire Niro lineup is getting a major redesign for 2023, introducing sleeker styling and more electric range.
Retail price: $40,900 ($33,400)
EPA-estimated range for base model: 232 miles
The Kia EV6 is new for 2022. In testing, we were impressed by its sporty handling and head-turning looks. Plunk down more money and you can get up to 310 miles of range, which makes the EV6 one of the longest-range electric cars available in 2022.