Cheapest Electric Cars for HUGE Short & Long Term Savings (Top 10 List)

It is now 2018 and electric car phase is in full swing. If you have not noticed already, it’s not just gasoline and hybrids that are becoming in full demand… nope, electric cars are a much more reasonable option when it comes to driving around (especially in the city). Tesla has built its own network of superchargers which let you get over 200 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes of charging.

This, of course, is done through their own Supercharger stations, exclusive to Tesla vehicles. However, even if you are not in the market for a Tesla but want reasonably quick charge times and a reasonable price for the car you’ll be driving… it’s worth mentioning 10 of the most affordable electric cars you can buy today.

10 Cheapest Electric Cars You Can Buy TODAY

NOTE: This list is not based on price 100%, we factor in range, price, and features to give you a more accurate choice of value for the money. So without further ado, let’s get into it.

NUMBER 10. Mitsubishi iMIEV

mitsubishi imiev Introduced in 2009, this was Mitsubishi’s answer to driving around town for next to nothing. A reasonable 50 miles of rated range is to be expected from this oddly shaped vehicle. While having mixed feelings about the styling, you will be happy to know that it has taken a HUGE loss in depreciation. In fact, you can now grab one of these for as little as 5-7 thousand US dollars. And that’s with less than 50K miles on average.

You’ll have peace of mind buying one of these because no one really wants to beat on it and abuse it. A spring from 0-60 takes more than 10 seconds (closer to 15 usually) and you’ll get passed around by a Toyota Prius. If city driving is your thing, expect to have exceptional practicality and savings over the course of a few years. Now let’s create this car in our main categories.

Practicality: Pretty Good
Cost to Purchase Today (used/second-hand): $4000-$7000 USD
Range: 50-60 miles
Year Models To Aim For: 2012

NUMBER 9. Fiat 500e

Fiat 500EThe Fiat 500 has been a cultural icon of Italy decades ago, and not too long ago they introduced it into the United States. Not long after that, they decided to create an all-electric version called the 500e which stands for what you think it does… 500 electric. Being smaller than even a Volkswagen Golf, it is nimble, practical, and fun to drive. Brand new it cost around 30K dollars but today, you’ll be in luck to find it around 5-6K US dollars. That’s nothing unusual because the one BIG drawback it has over other models, is NO quick charging. The interface is there, usability is nice and most importantly… the range is impressive for what it is.

If you charge it from a 220-240 volt outlet, you can get a full charge in as little as 4 hours. Not fast by any stretch, but bearable if you can charge it overnight or at work. It’s quick thanks to its punchy electric motor. Anyone can really drive one of these, and there should be absolutely NO problems parking it (unlike with much bigger EV’s like Tesla makes). Overall it’s a good buy if you don’t rush the charging.

Practicality: Pretty Good
Cost to Purchase Today (used/second-hand): $5000-$6000 USD
Range: 75-85 miles
Year Models To Aim For: 2015-2016

NUMBER 8. Smart ForTwo Electric-Drive

smart fortwo electric driveNow with this one, we’re not talking about the newest version… with the improved interior, range, and currently higher price. This is the Smart for Two Electric Drive from the early 2010’s. Specifically, if you go for the 2013 or 2014 model, you’ll be saving a TON of money. In fact, you can pick one of these up for less than $6,000 in many cases. And that has to do with a few different facts, first of which it’s a tiny car, it features no rapid charging (aka FastCharging), and because of how many there are for sale, the depreciation took a toll.

Think about it, from $25,000 USD brand new to less than $6,000 second-hand with 10,000-30,000 miles.

There’s one thing I can say and that is DAMN!

Now with all the negative aspects of this little car, it’s designed for city driving. That’s where it shines, if you charge it at home using a 220-240 volt outlet, you can get a charge in 3-4 hours to 100%. That’s not bad, in fact, you can do that every night and have it fully charged by morning time. Much like the Fiat 500E, it’s a cost-effective option that lets you get to where you want  (locally), and save you quite a bit of money over time. A recommended buy if the highlights mentioned here, appeal to you.

Practicality: Decent
Cost to Purchase Today (used/second-hand): $5000-$6000 USD
Range: 75-85 miles
Year Models To Aim For: 2014-2015

NUMBER 7. Ford Focus Electric

You may or may not have been aware that Ford has been making an electric car for some time. Their compact (civic sized) car called the Focus has been electrified since the early 2010’s. For an excellent bargain, we’re going to be talking about the 2013-2014 Ford Focus Electric models.

Unlike the previously mentioned cars above, you’re actually getting all the space required to seat 4 to 5 people comfortably, and that’s not an exaggeration. It’s based on the gasoline/petrol version of the Focus, most likely made electric just to become a compliance car and save on ECO credits that Ford does not have to pay to the government. That’ there is a different topic on its own, as for the car it’s an interesting little thing.

At first glance, you will not even be able to tell that it’s not a fossil powered automobile… in fact, even car savvy geeks will think its a hybrid of some sort. While that may be close, it’s safe to say that Ford did a great job keeping this car low-key with its aesthetic design. Seating 4 comfortably, it boasts a 24kw battery which can take it on a full charge upwards of 80 miles. Now that’s not bad… in fact, that’s Nissan Leaf numbers, but the drawback is it cannot fast charge unlike some of its similarly priced competitors. You’re left with the maximum 220-240 volt option which takes a few hours to fully charge.

With that being said, it’s still a bargain electric car that you can get often times for less than $10,000 USD.

Practicality: Pretty Good
Cost to Purchase Today (used/second-hand): $8000-$10000 USD
Range: 75-80 miles
Year Models To Aim For: 2013

NUMBER 6. Kia Soul EV

kia soul evYou can’t argue that fact, that the Kia Soul has been an amazing seller in the United States & abroad. A higher up car that is great for most types of roads, it was pretty darn good from the very beginning. With the world electrifying their cars nowadays, Kia & Hyundai have jumped on that bandwagon within the last few years by offering their first electric cars. We will cover Hyundai’s model down this list, as for Kia it’s their Soul (or now, Soul EV).

This is kind of cross-over looking car which is based on their gasoline/petrol model. The styling some have mixed feelings about, but the fact remains… this one is an excellent bargain in today’s market. In the list going down, this is the first EV to have Fast Charging capability which enables you to get an 80% state of charge in less than 1 hour. This is especially useful in today’s rapidly expanding network of Fast Chargers which are popping up nation-wide.

The Soul EV has much-improved range than the above-mentioned cars, we’re talking about 95-100 miles on a single charge. In addition, it has excellent storage in the trunk (especially when folded down), enough space for 4-5 people, and a simple user interface. Although now we’re talking about upwards of $15000 USD for a second-hand model with 20,000-40,000 miles, it’s still a bargain.

Practicality: Excellent
Cost to Purchase Today (used/second-hand): $13000-$15000 USD
Range: 95-100
Year Models To Aim For: 2013-2014


bmw i3When it comes to the second most mainstream EV to come out in the last 5 years, it has to be the BMW i3. This is where there is actually a bit of luxury going on with an electric vehicle. Like many cars in high volume, depreciation takes a toll… and that’s what makes this our #5. Now you may be wondering, why the heck is it #5 and not in a better position… it has to do with the price, features, and practicality.

When the BMW i3 began production in 2013, it was one of the oddest looking cars (after the iMIEV & Smart ForTwo). Gradually it seems people are accustomed to the egg looking car and accept that fact that it has more to offer than meets the eye.

Unlike with any of electric cars on this list, this one comes with a range extending gasoline/petrol engine.

While it has that engine built-in, it’s still considered an electric car because that is its primary driving source. As soon as the battery gets too low, the engine kicks in and keeps the current state of charge until the 1.9-gallon tank is empty as well (providing 150 miles in total).

For an electric car, it’s quite peppy. You can get to 60 miles per hour in less than 7 seconds, and seat 4 people semi-comfortably. Although the 2 half doors which require the main doors to open may be cumbersome at times, the negatives can be forgiven when you realize that it has dropped in value BIG TIME (especially for 2013-2015 models).

Practicality: Pretty Good
Cost to Purchase Today (used/second-hand): $13000-$15000 USD
Range: 80-150
Year Models To Aim For: 2014

NUMBER 4. Volkswagen e-Golf

volkswagen egolfMost people love Volkswagen, their cars have shown a high level of quality, reliability, and efficiency for reasonable prices. Now, their all-electric Golf called the e-Golf is taking it a bit further.

You see, most of these electric cars you see are tiny, compromising space, and don’t look quite appealing. With Volkswagen, they too their existing platform which sells EXTREMELY well, and electrified it a bit.

If you guessed that there was not much compromised, you’d be right. The reason why I put this car in the #4 spot is due to the quality of the interior and exterior. Interior you feel like you’re sitting in a trimmed up version of the regular Golf. Outside, you could not even tell it was electric… seriously, it’s quite hard to tell.

I think Volkswagen was trying to do that on purpose, to show they will not compromise much to make a car electric. When it comes down to the range, you can get upwards of 100 miles on a single charge, and luckily there’s a built-in Fast Charger which lets you get 80% in less than an hour. Taking it back to the 2015-2016 models, gauges are analog and it really makes you feel that it’s more of a regular car than electric.

Storage, practically, range, price, it’s all there.

Practicality: Excellent
Cost to Purchase Today (used/second-hand): $13000-$16000 USD
Range: 80-150
Year Models To Aim For: 2015-2016

NUMBER 3. Hyundai Ioniq EV

Now that I’m getting to the TOP 3 cars, it was quite hard to place them where they are. Any of these could be in the #1 spot, but we’re going to take be picky here and explain why the Ioniq EV is in the #3 spot.

Did you know the Ioniq Hybrid has better fuel efficiency than the Toyota Prius?

Yes, and the electric version has some of the best range for the battery size it offers. Of course, its shape plays a BIG role in getting the range numbers we all like to see. Being a brand new car, released in 2017, it’s Hyundais first all-electric car which is targeted towards the general public. In fact, you can buy it for under $30000 USD after rebates from various sources.

For the car, it has excellent built-quality inside and gives you excellent range on a full charge. You can go upwards of 130 miles before needing to recharge (if driving with a bit of caution). Using the built-in Fast Charging technology, you can get an 80% charge in less than 50 minutes.

Amongst other features which are AMAZING like one-pedal driving, the price point and practically are what makes it stand out the most. Although #3, it could have easily been the #2 or even #1. Highly recommend you test drive one today!

Practicality: Excellent
Cost to Purchase Today (used/second-hand): $25000-$30000 USD (currently new)
Range: 80-150
Year Models To Aim For: 2018

NUMBER 2. Nissan Leaf 24kw & 30kw

nissan leafThe grandaddy of them all, the Nissan Leaf was very close to making it to the #1 spot. Let’s not take for granted that #2 is still really good.

You’ve probably seen one in the wild before, and it looks a bit ugly… yes, and it has no active battery cooling built-in (from the first generation). But that’s about where the negatives end. The Nissan Leaf is the people’s electric car, and I mean it 100%. When it came out in 2011, it had an impressive range of 80-85 miles on a single charge. A few years down the road, it managed to bump that up to 110-115 miles on a single charge. The real beauty of the Nissan Leaf is that:

It seats up to 5 people, has decent storage space in the trunk, can Fast Charge, is front wheel drive with good driving dynamics, is very user-friendly, and is most important… affordable.

While you need to look-out for battery degradation with these, specifically from 2011-2015, the right one will get you a full charge to 80 miles AND… cost you less than $10000 used.

This is the cheapest electric car you can buy, with the most features, and BEST convenience. Hands down.

Practicality: Excellent
Cost to Purchase Today (used/second-hand): $6000-$10000 & $12000-$15000 USD (24kW & 30kW)
Range: 75-85 & 105-115
Year Models To Aim For: 2013-2015 & 2016

NUMBER 1. Chevy Bolt EV

chevy bolt evFinally, the #1 you’ve probably been waiting for… or you saw it before you decided to read through this article, it’s the Chevy Bolt EV. This is where unexpectedly, Chevy managed to create an electric car that has some pretty good features and most importantly… range where you can take road trips on.

Chevy did little advertising when it comes down to getting people to know they had an eco-friendly electric car that had whopping 238 miles of range for less than $35,000 USD. At this time and age, it’s unheard of to get an impressive 238 miles of range for less than a fully loaded Honda Accord.

Factor in some government incentives and you’re going down into the mid to upper 20’s.

What makes it stand out is obviously price and range, those two things are BIG factors in decision making for many prospecting buyers. The other side of that is the user-friendly interface inside the car, spacious seats, plentiful storage in the trunk.. the list goes on if you get picky.

Being equipped with a Fast Charger, you are getting 80% in about an hour and sometimes less. It seems like Chevy was conservative with their range numbers, especially when doing a quick look at online forums and people are getting close to 250-260 miles on a single charge when driving carefully.

If you want the best range, practicality, and price, Chevy Bolt takes the win!

Practicality: Excellent
Cost to Purchase Today (used/second-hand): $25000-$30000
Range: 238
Year Models To Aim For: 2017

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