The 14 most-affordable EVs (electric vehicles) may convince you it’s time to buy

Can you afford to buy a pure electric vehicle?

Not too long ago that would have been a realistic question, when Tesla probably was the only brand many car shoppers could name and the price of the Model S reached $76,000.

Enter the 14 most-affordable EVs available – no hybrids or even plug-in models allowed. And by affordable we mean less than Kelley Blue Book’s average transaction price of around $36,500.

But there’s more to think about if you’re seriously considering an EV.

Kia Niro most-affordable EV
Photo: Kia via Newspress USA
The Niro is one of two Kias to make the list of 14 most-affordable EVs.

Except for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, you actually can afford a car priced about $44,000, because you are allowed to subtract up to $7,500 from the current year’s tax bill – if you owe that much or more. The federal government offers the tax break in the form of a credit to buyers from any carmaker that hasn’t sold more than 200,000 EVs and plug-in hybrids. That soon will exclude Tesla and General Motors, which provide $3,750 tax credits until June 30 and Sept. 30, respectively, and then $1,875 for six more months.


Why buy an electric vehicle? 10 things you must think about first

You still must consider the mileage your EV would get between charges – and the availability of charging stations – to decide whether the vehicle will fit your driving requirements.

But at least there’s a range to fit most needs and more variety in design than in the recent past.

Hyundai Kona Electric most-affordable EV
Photo: Hyundai via Newspress USA
The Hyundai Kona Electric is one the 14 most-affordable EVs.

Most-affordable electric vehicles

Here are the 14 most-affordable EVs available from least to most expensive retail prices, their cost after applying the tax credit (if applicable) and their mileage range, based on data from

  1. SmartForTwo Electric Drive – $23,800 retail price, $16,300 after-tax credit, 58-mile range
  2. Ford Focus Electric — $29,200, $21,700, 115 miles
  3. Hyundai Ioniq Electric – $29,500, $22,000, 124 miles
  4. Nissan LEAF – $29,900, $22,400, 226 miles
  5. MINI Electric – $30,000, $22,500, 200 miles
  6. Volkswagen E-Golf – $31,300, $23,800, 125 miles
  7. Fiat 500e – $33,000, $25,500, 84 miles
  8. Tesla Model 3* – $35,000, $31,250, 220 miles
  9. Kia Soul EV – $36,000, $28,500, 243 miles
  10. Hyundai Kona Electric – $36,400, $28,900, 258 miles
  11. Honda Clarity – $36,600, $29,100, 89 miles
  12. Chevrolet Bolt* – $37,500, $33,750, 238 miles
  13. Kia Niro EV – $39,500, $32,000, 239 miles
  14. BMW i3 – $43,400, $35,900, 114 miles

Overall, Kia and Hyundai each had two EVs in the top 14, with both Kia models over the 200-mile range, and the long-range champion was the Hyundai Kona Electric at 258 miles.

And then there are the long-distance winners, which still fall short of a typical gasoline-powered vehicle:

Nissan LEAF most-affordable EV
Photo: Nissan via Newspress USA
The Nissan LEAF is the most-affordable EV with a range over 200 miles.

Most-affordable over 200-mile range

  1. Nissan LEAF – $29,900, $22,400, 226 miles
  2. MINI Electric – $30,000, $22,500, 200 miles
  3. Tesla Model 3* – $35,000, $31,250, 220 miles
  4. Kia Soul EV – $36,000, $28,500, 243 miles
  5. Hyundai Kona Electric – $36,400, $28,900, 258 miles
  6. Chevrolet Bolt* – $37,500, $33,750, 238 miles
  7. Kia Niro EV – $39,500, $32,000, 239 miles

The Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt made both most-affordable lists although their tax credits will be phased out over the next few months, when the Bolt with its $37,500 price tag will fall off.

Tesla will remain on the most-affordable lists with its $35,000 price, despite the tax-credit phase-out.

Learn more about the vehicles that made our list of the 14 most-affordable electric vehicles at, which provides summaries of these and more-expensive electric vehicles. These include the overall long-range title holders Lucid Air, about $60,000, 400-mile range; Tesla Model S, $71,000, 315 miles; Tesla Model Y, $48,000, 300 miles, and Porsche Taycan, about $130,000, 300 miles.

* Tesla Motors and General Motors (including Chevrolet) are subject to the phase out of tax credits.

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