Admittedly a small platform means less space for the battery and therefore the range of the following cars will never match the potential of larger alternatives. However, a small battery also means a required lower price, and if we’re talking about urban runabouts that only do longer journeys longer, it’s debatable just how many owners. Will need more than 180 miles of driving range. Here we listed the Cheapest New Electric Cars You Can Buy.
The Renault Zoe was always an appealing short-hop electric supermini, even when it was offered with a 22kWh battery and had only 80 miles of real-world range. The car’s usability was enhanced during a mid-life update, however, by a 41kWh battery option that, on a warm day, turns the car into one good for 150 miles of mixed real-world use.
Now there is a comprehensively updated version with a significantly refreshed design plus a 52kWh battery and up to 245 miles of range on the WLTP cycle; or around 190 miles in mixed real-world use. It still offers strong value for money against its competitors, with the UK government’s PiCG incentive bringing the car’s entry price down to around £25,000. And it’s also still pleasing to drive: very nippy and fairly quiet, albeit with some leaden feel to the controls.
2020 Tesla Model Y
The 2020 Tesla Model Y is essentially a crossover/hatchback version of the Tesla Model 3. It boasts energetic acceleration, agile handling, and a roomy and upscale cabin that’s packed with state-of-the-art tech features.
The Model Y comes equipped with heated front and rear seats, a 15-inch touch screen, a Wi-Fi hot spot, over-the-air software updates, a built-in dashcam, Sentry Mode (a feature that “watches” and captures video around the car while it’s parked), blind-spot monitoring, side collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. Some of these features are part of Tesla’s standard Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system, which relies on cameras and sensors around the vehicle. The Model Y is also the first Tesla vehicle to feature a heat pump, which maximizes efficiency, especially in cold weather.
The Model Y has an EPA-estimated 315 miles of range. However, only the Model Y Performance is listed on the EPA’s website. According to Tesla, the $59,990 Model Y Performance, which now comes standard with the Performance Upgrades package, two electric motors, all-wheel drive, and 21-inch wheels, has a range of 291 miles. It can scoot from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
2021 BMW i3
It is a hard-and-fast rule that German luxury cars—particularly BMWs—do not come cheap, even when they are small and electric. And the BMW i3’s base price is restrictive: Any deviation from white paint, a black interior, and 19″ wheels with run-flat tires requires option packages that raise the price. The i3 is small and maneuverable, and while its styling is controversial, we like the futuristic look inside and out. Still, its range of 153 miles gives it one of the shortest leashes of any cheap electric car on this list. Even with the $7,500 Federal tax credit factored in, it’s hard to think of the BMW i3 as an inexpensive electric car—or as a very good value.
2020 Kia Niro EV EX
You’ll note that the Kia Niro EV is the only 2020 model we’ve listed here, and that’s because Kia hasn’t yet announced pricing on the 2021 Niro EV—and considering its $40k-plus starting price, we’re not surprised that the company hasn’t yet sold out last year’s model. The Niro EV is eligible for that $7,500 tax credit, but even so, it’s a more expensive car than the closely-related Hyundai Kona EV, which has the same powertrain and manages to squeeze out more range than the Niro EV’s 239 miles. Visit your Kia dealer armed with all these facts, and perhaps you can negotiate an even cheaper price for this otherwise-competent electric car.
2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
As its name suggests, the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric is an all-electric version of the popular Hyundai Ioniq hatchback. We think the Electric is the best of the Ioniq lineup, primarily because the gasoline engine in the other models is slow and the transmission is easily confused. Without either, the Ioniq Electric showcases the fun little car that had been hiding underneath for so long.
Now, four years after it first debuted, the Ioniq Electric is getting a few upgrades to keep pace with leaders in the EV segment. First and foremost is a larger battery pack that increases both range — from 124 miles to 170 miles — and available horsepower (now 134 hp, up from 118 hp). It also has a faster onboard charger that allows the battery to recharge from empty to 80% full in just 54 minutes with a 100-kW fast-charging station. New optional features, including a 10.25-inch touchscreen, are designed to improve the ownership experience.