The cheapest electric cars you can buy in 2022

Chevy

Electric cars have become synonymous with expensive vehicles. There is merit in that. Battery technology is not cheap. Electric cars – not relying on a century of combustion engine development – need more research and development. An electric car will likely be much more expensive than its combustion counterpart. But that’s not the whole story.

The average price Americans pay for a new car is around $47,000. And you can buy several electric vehicles for much less. Not all will offer spectacular range or the amenities one would find in a similarly priced ICE vehicle. But all of them allow you to avoid paying crazy prices at the pump.

What to pay attention to when buying a cheap electric car

Interval: Low-end electric vehicles are usable in theory. Most drivers – even in the suburbs – don’t drive 100 miles a day. But you usually only charge an EV to 80-90%, except in rare circumstances. Cold weather can greatly reduce range.

Tax credits: Some electric vehicles (but not all) are eligible for a federal tax credit of $7,500. This tax credit is non refundable. Thus, you must pay $7,500 on your taxes to recover the full credit. On the other hand, some states offer additional tax credits on top of the federal incentives that can make the price even cheaper.

What state do you live in: Not all electric vehicles are sold in all states. Manufacturers can prioritize California and states that follow the California Air Resources Board (CARB) which requires manufacturers to sell them over other states..

The cheapest electric cars you can buy in 2022

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The Nissan Leaf was the first consumer electric vehicle to hit the market in 2010. It set a paradigm for what people thought they would be dealing with when buying an electric vehicle – small size, silly looks, disappointing performance and poor battery life. Fast forward to 2022, and you can score a Leaf with more than double the power and triple the range of the original.

Starting MSRP: $27,000
EPA range: Up to 226 miles
Federal tax credit: Yes — $7,500

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Chevy markets the Bolt hatchback subcompact as “electric for everyone”. It offers the range that shoppers want at a price that most shoppers can afford, even without federal tax credit eligibility. It’s refreshed for 2022 with a sleeker exterior, more standard features and an even more affordable price.

Starting MSRP: $31,500
EPA range: 259 miles
Federal tax credit: Nope

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Love the Bolt but think it doesn’t have enough space? Check out the all-new Bolt EUV. It’s about six inches longer than the Bolt, with a bit more leg room. The look is a bit more SUV-like. However, it is also more expensive and offers slightly less battery life. The Bolt EUV was the first Chevy vehicle to feature Super Cruise hands-free driving.

Starting MSRP: $33,500
EPA range: 247 miles
Federal tax credit: Nope

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Mazda won’t explicitly call the MX-30 a CARB-compliant car. But California is currently the only state where you can buy one. Like other Mazdas, the MX-30 is very well tuned for driving and has an excellent interior. But it is clearly lacking Enlarge Enlargeand just 100 miles of range is a killer.

Starting MSRP: $33,470
EPA range: 100 miles
Federal tax credit: Yes — $7,500

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2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

The Kona Electric is a battery-electric version of Hyundai’s Kona subcompact crossover. It was a critics favorite when it was released, with excellent balance and nearly 300 lb-ft of torque. However, most buyers will upgrade to the latest generation of more refined, powerful and spacious electric vehicles like the Ioniq 5.

Starting MSRP: $34,000
EPA range: 258 miles
Federal tax credit: Yes — $7,500

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The Mini Electric – aka the Mini Cooper SE – is a battery-electric version of the third generation Mini Hardtop. It borrows some components from the BMW i3. It offers the style the brand has become known for. But its range limits it to being a city car – and probably a hot weather car.

Starting MSRP: $34,225
EPA range: 110 miles
Federal tax credit: Yes — $7,500

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2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

The F-150 Lightning is the battery-electric version of Ford’s iconic F-150 pickup. The basic Pro version, at least nominally, starts at under $40,000. The interior fittings are basic. And you’re limited to the standard 230-mile battery. But it still comes standard with dual motor AWD, a 12-inch touchscreen and Ford’s Pro Power Onboard.

Starting MSRP: $39,947
EPA range: up to 320 miles
Federal tax credit: Yes — $7,500

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Hyundai has released the Ioniq 5, which is striking to look at, fun to drive and roomier than you might think looking at it. And it won awards for World Car, World Electric Car and World Car Design of the year. The base SE Standard Range model starts at under $40,000 and offers 168 horsepower and 220 miles of range. Most buyers will pay an extra $4,000 to upgrade to the SE version with 225 hp and 303 miles of range.

Starting MSRP: $39,950
EPA range: up to 303 miles
Federal tax credit: Yes — $7,500

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The Kia Niro EV is the battery-electric version of Kia’s Niro compact crossover. It shares powertrain components with the Hyundai Kona Electric. The Niro is larger and offers more cargo and passenger space than the Kona. But it also offers about 20 miles less range. Kia has an updated Niro EV for the 2023 model year.

Starting MSRP: $39,990
EPA range: 239 miles
Federal tax credit: Yes — $7,500

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Kia calls the EV6 a sport crossover. It is technically classified as a wagon. But regardless of genre, the EV6 is brilliant and was an easy choice for our list of the best cars you can buy in 2022. Like the Ioniq 5 with which it shares powertrain components, the base model Light RWD EV6 has a 168 hp detuned engine with a range of 232 miles.

Starting MSRP: $40,900
EPA range: up to 310km
Federal tax credit: Yes — $7,500

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Other manufacturers have looked to the future with their first electric vehicles. VW has kept it rather conventional with the ID.4 crossover, which looks like a VW crossover that happens to be electric. The ID.4 isn’t the flashiest EV, but it does well with a low center of gravity and, unlike many EVs, offers around 64 cubic feet of cargo space. The base model is the long range model with 275 miles of range.

Starting MSRP: $41,230
EPA range: up to 275 miles
Federal tax credit: Yes — $7,500

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The 34 electric cars we’re most looking forward to driving in the future

The next few years will be filled with new electric vehicles. These are the ones that jazzed us up the most.

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