While an electric car may have been a futuristic idea just 30 years ago, that couldn't be further from the truth today. Instead of just being the stuff of TV fantasy, electric cars are the stuff of reality. Car companies and even tech companies are constantly rolling out new models of electric cars. Purchasing one saves so much money on gas that it's definitely a worthwhile investment. But because price tags for electric cars are still high, it is important to research to find the electric car right for you. Read on if you are looking for the cheapest electric car that is still dependable and miles conscious!

Electric Car FAQ

1. What Is an Electric Car?

2. Why Are Electric Cars a Good Investment?

3. How Does an Electric Car Work?

4. Where Can You Purchase an Electric Car?

5. What Should You Keep in Mind When Buying an Electric Car?

How We Reviewed

No two electric car models are the same and you need to be discerning when finding a car that fits your needs. To help with this endeavor, we researched the cheapest electric cars on the market using professional automotive reviews, reliability rates, and car specs. The reviews you'll read on these cheapest electric cars we selected are based on the pros & cons of each car, their price, and their range.

Overall Price Range of the Cheapest Electric Cars

The price range for a budget electric car ranges from the cheapest electric car at $23,000 to more expensive (but still affordable) options like the Honda Clarity Electric at $36,000. None of these prices include tax credits.

Cheapest Electric Cars We Reviewed

  • Smart Electric Drive
  • Chevrolet Bolt
  • Ford Focus Electric
  • Fiat 500e
  • Hyundai Ioniq Electric
  • Kia Soul EV
  • Volkswagen E-Golf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Honda Clarity Electric

Our Top 9 Pick of the Cheapest Electric Car Models

Features

This is one of the cheapest electric cars around today. It's also one of the smallest. The Smart Electric Drive is perfect for an urban environment. The size makes it great for tight turns and it has 80 horsepower and instant torque, which is great for city streets. The build is small, which is great for parking. The range is short at only 58 miles. However, If you're only driving short distances, this shouldn't be a problem. The Smart Electric Drive also charges at a fast rate of 3 hours if you have a level 2 charger.

PROS

  • Small frame
  • Short charging time
  • Springy and responsive

CONS

  • Only carries two people
  • Short charging time
  • Weak engine

Price

Where to Buy

Warranty

$$$

Amazon

The warranty on a new Smart Electric Drive is a two-year coverage for defects in material and workmanship. You also receive a 62,000-mile battery warranty.

Features

This electric car has an amazing range with 238 miles all on a single charge. Chevrolet wanted to stop any, "range anxiety" felt by drivers.  Recharging the battery takes 9 hours and can be done overnight. But if you need a quick charge, having a SAE-Combo-equipped DC fast charger gets you 90 miles of range with 30 minutes of charging. This compact car features the best of both worlds. It's small but has a roomy interior that fits 5 people comfortably. The Chevrolet Bolt also comes with some cool additional features that make driving it fun like the 360-degree view camera, one-pedal driving, and voice recognition.

PROS

  • Good range
  • Amazing electric-only range
  • Roomy cabin

CONS

  • Not as affordable as other models
  • Inside materials don't match the high price
  • Reliability isn't equal to other models in its price range

Price

Where to Buy

Warranty

$$

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While dealers have the specifics for each car warranty, Chevrolet has Chevrolet Complete Care which covers the battery and all electronic components of the car for 8-years or 100,000 miles.

Features

The Fiat 500e has an 84-mile range. It's a small car with tight 4-person seating. The car produces zero-emissions and comes with stylish details like a sunroof. While this may not be a car for a rural dweller, performance reviews of the Fiat 500e describe it as a great city car. It received top ratings from Highway Safety crash tests and has features like hill assist and a driver informant system to make driving easier.

PROS

  • Fun to drive
  • Stylish
  • Easy to use

CONS

  • High price tag
  • Low range
  • Limited availability

Price

Where to Buy

Warranty

$$$

Amazon

The electric components of the Fiat 500e have a 4-year limited warranty and the battery has an 8-year limited warranty.

Features

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is part of a new class of plug-in hybrid cars. The electric version has a 124-mile range and comes with lots of great features like sport mode, which gives you faster acceleration and firm handling. The Hyundai also has lots of safety features like automatic emergency braking and an information system that integrates with your smartphone and helps you find the nearest charging station.

PROS

  • Roomy trunk
  • Good fuel economy
  • Sport mode

CONS

  • Low inventory
  • Doesn't accelerate quickly
  • Front seats aren't supportive

Price

Where to Buy

Warranty

$$$

Amazon

Hyundai describes their warranty as, "the best in America," because Hyundai's warranty covers you for 10 years and 100,000 miles for the power train limited warranty, and 6 years for the vehicle limited warranty.

Features

While the range of the Kia falls behind price competitors, Kia tries to make up for this in buyer incentives and in its interior. The Kia Soul EV sits 5 with lots of space and has plenty of cargo space. The drive on the Kia is safe and smooth despite is a weak base engine. You will never hear the engine only the wheels on the road. Like many other models on this list, the electric version of the Kia Soul is limited and only sold in California.

PROS

  • High-quality interiors
  • Lots of space
  • High predictability score

CONS

  • Weak base engine
  • Low fuel economy
  • High cost compared to competitors

Price

Where to Buy

Warranty

$$$

Amazon

The Kia warranty is 10-years or 100,000 miles, plus a one year or 12,000-mile warranty on non-power train parts.

Features

The 2017 model of the E-Golf has many improvements from previous models. The range of the E-Gulf has been increased by 50% and it now gets 125 miles on a single charge and takes only 6 hours to recharge. The car also has 134 horsepower, which makes it a good option for both city and highway driving.

PROS

  • Good engine
  • High-quality interiors
  • Large cargo

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Slow automatic transmission
  • Limited availability

Price

Where to Buy

Warranty

$$$

Amazon

The warranty is for 2 years or 24-000 miles.

Features

This was one of America's first electric cars, and it's still the most popular. It has a 100% electric engine. Unlike a lot of the models on this list, it is available nationwide. The Nissan Leaf goes 107-miles on a single charge and takes 7 hours to charge. Quick charging will get you 90 miles in 30 minutes. It has 147 horsepower, which is great for a daily commute and city driving. Nissan Leaf safety tests are not as high as it's competitors. It also has fewer advanced safety features than its competitors, which is something to remember when thinking about purchasing the car.

PROS

  • Good range for size
  • Comfortable
  • Available nationwide

CONS

  • Low safety scores
  • No thermal management system for the battery
  • Not great on highways

Price

Where to Buy

Warranty

$$$

Amazon

The Nissan Leaf has a 3-year 36,000-mile warranty.

Features

The Clarity Electric is Honda's newest offering for electric cars. At only 89 miles, the range of this car is shorter than most other models being released. Honda has definitely planned this as a city car designed for a commuter. On the plus side, it is roomier than other electric cars in its price bracket, sitting 5 people instead of 2. It also has more features like sport mode and 221-lbs torque that makes for quick acceleration. The Honda Clarity is also incredibly affordable at only $199 per month for 26 months.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Great city car
  • Roomy

CONS

  • Not good for highways
  • Short range
  • Only available in California

Pri​​​​ce

Where to Buy

Warranty

$$$

Amazon

Honda is currently only leasing this car, and you can only put 20,000 miles on it in the first year.

The Verdict

Which cheapest electric car is best? There isn't one specific answer to this. If you are looking for cheap city driving you should definitely check out one of the cheapest electric cars on our list, the Smart Electric Drive, which is more easily available than the Honda Clarity Electric. If you are looking a roomier compact car with a good range, check out the Hyundai Ioniq Electric.

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