- Gas prices are sky-high right now, but there is an alternative.
- With so many great new EVs on the market, it’s hard to go wrong.
- We've picked the cheapest EVs that are worth seriously considering.
Gas prices are on everyone's mind at the moment. It's easy to forget that they were already pretty high before the conflict between Russia and Ukraine sent oil prices through the roof. Today, many parts of the country are seeing record-high gas prices. Per AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular gas was $4.25 as of this writing, and things seem likely to get worse before they get better.
Now more than ever, electric vehicles provide a tantalizing alternative to internal combustion engines. Charging up at your own home and avoiding all that pain at the pump are just two reasons to jump into a new EV. But if you're worried about gas prices, you're probably not thinking about six-figure Tesla or Porsche EVs. That's why we've put together a list of some of the cheapest EVs you can buy right now — just in case these gas prices are the nudge you needed to consider transitioning into an affordable electric car.
The Nissan Leaf has been with us for over a decade, and the most recent iteration of Nissan's groundbreaking EV is an attractive little package. For starters, the 2022 model gets a series of updates that now give the Leaf support for Level 3 charging. That means you can go from 5% to 80% charge in less than 40 minutes. It's also attractively priced, with base models starting at $28,425 before a $7,500 tax credit is applied. It might be small and quirky, but the Leaf is also affordable, quiet and easy to live with. Moreover, in our hands, a Leaf Plus in SL trim beat its EPA range estimate of 215 miles, taking us a full 237 miles before needing a full top up.
If you want a fresher face, look no further than the Chevrolet Bolt EV. The Bolt got a major redesign for the 2022 model year and it now looks thoroughly modern. It features a spacious cabin, quick acceleration, and a reasonable starting price of $32,495. The EPA estimates that the Bolt will go 259 miles on a single charge. However, just like in the Nissan, we were able to beat the EPA's estimate in the Bolt. Over the course of our real-world range test, the 2022 Chevy Bolt soldiered on for 278 miles. Not bad for one of the cheapest EVs you can buy right now.
The Leaf and Bolt are both good candidates for anyone's first EV, but they're a bit limited when it comes to space. The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the answer for those who want something reasonably priced, spacious, and good to drive in one seriously cool-looking package. It's actually not one of the cheapest EVs on the market right now, but its starting price of $44,895 is in line with the average selling price of new cars in 2022. However, that's before you factor in the available $7,500 federal tax credit. Not only that, but the Ioniq 5 is the only EV here that will do more than 300 miles of range on a single charge. For buyers who might face range anxiety, this is the clear choice, even if it requires an extra financial stretch.
If you want a full list of the cheapest electric cars you can buy right now, check out our roundup of the cheapest EVs. And if you want to take a look at our range leaderboard to see how far each EV traveled in our real-world range test, follow this link. You might be surprised at just how well most of today's EVs do.