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Cheapest Electric Cars

Most affordable EVs for 2024

May 15th, 2024

Cheapest electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids

Jump Menu: Electric Cars | Luxury Electric | Plug-in Hybrids

The electric vehicle revolution continues with EVs now offered in a variety of shapes and sizes, from SUVs to sedans and even pickup trucks. Not only that, but as EVs have increased in popularity, they've also become more affordable and accessible. If you don't absolutely need the longest range and the latest amenities, some of today's top electric vehicles can be had for the price of a typical crossover SUV, or possibly less when you factor in federal and state incentives.

We've gathered up the most affordable electric vehicles you can buy today, including both mainstream and luxury picks. When possible, we've included range results from Edmunds' real-world EV testing to give you a better sense of how far these vehicles can travel on a single charge. We even cover plug-in hybrids in case you're not quite ready for the full EV experience.

By the way, if you're looking to spend the least on a new electrified vehicle, we recommend staying informed about the fluid situation around federal EV tax credits. Follow that link to learn which electric vehicles are eligible for the tax credits and what you have to do as a buyer to qualify for those credits.

How much are electric cars?

On the low end of the spectrum, you have cars like the Nissan Leaf, which starts under $30,000 but can end up well above that with options. On the high end, you'll see a wider range of prices, starting just under $40,000 for a Tesla Model 3 and shooting past $250,000 for an ultra-luxury, high-performance Lucid Air Sapphire. Most EVs fall somewhere in between these extremes. If you're looking for a general number, the sales-weighted average MSRP of a new electric vehicle in April was $63,819, according to Edmunds data. Notably, these prices do not take federal EV tax credits into account. These credits can provide savings of up to $7,500. Take a look at the article linked above for all the details.


Cheapest electric cars

  1. Starting price:
    $28,140
    EV range for cheapest trim:
    149 miles
    Edmunds tested range:
    237 miles (+11.1% over EPA)

    2024 Nissan Leaf

  2. Starting price:
    $30,900
    EV range:
    114 miles
    Edmunds tested range:
    129 miles (+12.3%)

    2024 Mini Electric Hardtop

  3. Starting price:
    $38,990
    EV range:
    342 miles
    Edmunds tested range:
    338 miles (-1.2%)

    2024 Tesla Model 3


Cheapest electric SUVs

  1. Starting price:
    $32,675
    EV range:
    261 miles
    Edmunds tested range:
    308 miles (+16.5%)

    2024 Hyundai Kona Electric

  2. Starting price:
    $39,600
    EV range:
    253 miles
    Edmunds tested range:
    280 miles (+10.1%)

    2024 Kia Niro EV

  3. Starting price:
    $41,800
    EV range on cheapest trim:
    220 miles
    Edmunds tested range:
    270 miles

    2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5


Cheapest Luxury Electric Cars and SUVs

  1. Starting price:
    $49,800
    EV range:
    265 miles
    Edmunds tested range:
    270 miles

    2024 Audi Q4 e-tron

  2. Starting price:
    $49,900
    EV range:
    320 miles
    Edmunds tested range:
    289 miles

    2024 Polestar 2

  3. Starting price:
    $42,990
    EV range:
    279 miles
    Edmunds tested range:
    263 miles (-5.9%)

    2024 Tesla Model Y


Cheapest Plug-In Hybrids

  1. Starting price:
    $32,975
    EV range:
    40 miles
    Hybrid mpg:
    48 mpg combined

    2024 Toyota Prius Prime

  2. Starting price:
    $34,390
    EV range:
    33 miles
    Hybrid mpg:
    108 MPGe

    2024 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

  3. Starting price:
    $38,725
    EV range:
    33 miles
    Hybrid mpg:
    80 MPGe

    2024 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid


Fuel cost: Electric cars vs. gas cars

Comparing the costs of electricity required to run an electric car versus the costs of gasoline to power a regular car is still an arcane science with many variables. Charging at home overnight, for example, allows you to charge at off-peak hours, reducing your costs. If you charge during the day, you'll see those rates jump. If you often charge at work or an outside charging station, you'll need an account with one of the growing numbers of electricity providers. Generally speaking, electricity costs less than gasoline and its pricing is more stable. But there's a learning curve to understanding when it's cheapest to tap into the grid to top up your EV.

Fully electric cars vs. plug-in hybrids

Electric cars are just that: cars powered solely by electricity stored in a battery pack. Plug-in hybrids, on the other hand, use a regular gasoline engine paired with a battery pack and electric motor. The battery pack can be recharged from an electrical outlet or charging station, but it can also store energy recaptured during braking. Usually, the battery pack on a plug-in runs out of electricity within 20-40 miles, at which point the gas engine takes over, so you never need to worry about running out of juice. Full EVs require more thought, route planning, and an evolving knowledge of the location of charging stations. (Most onboard navigation systems can help locate stations and eliminate the guesswork in unfamiliar areas.)

Next steps

For many buyers, an electric car makes perfect sense. Even drivers with average commutes can often make it through a full work week on a single charge. Electric cars offer a clean commuting alternative and are usually eligible to use carpool lanes with a single driver. And today's electric cars range from mainstream compact picks to vehicles with luxury-grade sport and comfort, so there's something for every budget. For drivers not quite ready to take the all-electric plunge, plug-in hybrids are an excellent alternative. When you're ready to explore the world of plug-in and electric cars, Edmunds can help you research EVs and find a great deal in your area.


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The EVs with the Longest Real-World Range

The EVs with the Longest Real-World Range

Wondering how far the longest-range electric vehicles can travel on a single charge? Here's our rundown of today's top range performers, powered by Edmunds' own real-world EV range testing. Whether you're new to the electric vehicle space or you're an EV owner looking to upgrade, Edmunds has the ratings and reviews you need to pick the right EV for you and the tools to make sure you get the best deal.


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