12 EVs That Won't Break the Bank

Looking for the best electric car options at the best prices? There are loads of great and affordable options in the $30,000 range–with some exciting deals even lower than that! There’s no better time to jump into an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid. Innovation, technology and consumer demand are finally intersecting to make owning an electric car easier than ever before.

Couple that with the widespread adoption of charging stations across the United States, consumers no longer have to worry about being stranded without a way to power up. The most popular electric cars have ranges over 100 miles, making your commute and daily errands a charge-free breeze. If you do elect for a plug-in hybrid, then you have the convenience and extra security of switching over to a different energy source once your battery runs out.

Ready to hop in an electric car without busting your budget? Here are the 12 most affordable and efficient electric vehicles on the market.

1 - 2019 smart EQ fortwo Pure

Price: $23,900 

If you love having a small car to navigate through the busy streets, then you should familiarize yourself with the offerings from smart. Equipped with an 80-horsepower electric motor, this small two-seater is rear wheel drive. Its true speed is found in the battery charging, where it be fully charged in just three hours. However, the range on the smart fortwo isn’t as far as some of its competitors. At only 124 miles per charge, you may want to charge up during the workday.

2 - 2019 smart EQ fortwo Passion Cabrio

Price: $28,100

Wow, who could forget the unique design of a smart car? The Passion Cabrio is no different, featuring bold color patterns like orange on black or green on black. But you won’t only be making a statement on the road – your energy bill will look better too. The Passion Cabrio gets 112 miles on one charge and only takes about three hours to fully charge. That’s a distinct advantage that many other competitors can’t match–especially at this price point.

3 - 2019 Hyundai Electric Ioniq

Price: $30,315

This car is more of a sedan than a cramped hatchback, offering you more room and comfort with a 124-mile range that outlasts many similar sized sedans. Hyundai didn’t skimp on the safety features either, putting in automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, a warning for when veering out of your lane and enhanced blind spot detection. It also features an energy efficient high-capacity lithium-ion polymer battery pack and DC fast charging capabilities.

4 - 2019 Volkswagen e-Golf

Price: $30,495

If you want the safety and quality that a Volkswagen is known for, but electric and eco-friendly, then you’re in luck: the e-Golf is here. This fully-electric model brings all the benefits of an EV to the classic Golf’s exciting yet sensible design. With a range of 126 miles, it gets you where you need to go, and getting around town without charging breaks is easy and convenient. You’ll also have the efficiency and advantages of both a hatchback and a sedan, if that’s what you’re looking for.

5 - 2019 Nissan LEAF

Price: $30,875

The Nissan LEAF continues to be an innovator and is one of the most well-known EV vehicles on the market. The LEAF's range has increased every year, and the 2019 model is no exception. The 226-mile range is definitely one that will get you through your everyday routine, but if you need a little extra, the DC charging can give you 88 miles in only 30 minutes. Nissan continues to add features inside the cabin for a more luxurious ride, such as heated seats, heated steering wheels and LED headlights for clear driving. The price is also very reasonable for its class and practicality, making it one of the top budget options.

6 - 2019 Kia Soul EV

Price: $33,950

A Kia appeals to the budget-conscious as well as a typically younger demographic. Finally, Kia is delivering, with a revamped electric version of their popular Soul. It looks exactly like its gasoline forebears, but includes an efficient 90kw battery, which gives you a great range of about 111 miles. All in a compact and stylish design that Kia has pioneered, with the battery located underneath the cabin to allow for more interior space. The Soul comes standard with DC Fast Charging that gets you 80% of the battery range within 30 minutes. That’s a very do-able lunch break no matter how far you have to go. If you don’t want to install a more traditional 240v charger for electric vehicles, you can use the 120V charger–the same that most of your appliances are hooked up to.

7 - 2018 FIAT 500e

Price: $33,210

For those that enjoy the maneuverability and convenience of smaller sized cars like FIATs, look no further than the electric model of the FIAT 500. Though only available in California and Oregon, the FIAT 500e is a great car for city driving and commuting. It features a 24.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a 111-hp electric motor. A key selling point for the FIAT is that it only takes 4 hours to get the battery up to a full charge, which is plenty of time to charge while you’re at work.

8 - 2019 Chevrolet Volt

Price: $33,520

Here’s another plug-in hybrid that combines an electric charge with gas power to give you maximum driving options. With the Volt, you can reach up to 53 miles on an electric charge or up to 420 miles with gas and a full battery. And get this: Chevy believes that drivers could go more than 1000 miles without fill-ups, if you primarily power up every day or night for your regular driving. So if you need a bit more than the electric range offers, or forgot to charge up, you have the gasoline as a convenient backup whenever. But the Volt optimizes your battery, and the energy your battery generates, to seamlessly switch between energy sources. The Volt doesn’t lose any important features–you’ll still get a remote start, smartphone integrations and more!

9 - 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Price: $36,620

Named the Motor Trend’s 2017 Car of The Year–the 2019 model is sure to reap in similar accolades. The price tag may be a little high for some price-conscious buyers who still want to slide into the electric car market, but don’t forget–you’ll get 238 miles per battery charge! That’s days or sometimes even a week without plugging in, depending on your driving habits. You’ll also get one-pedal driving that will help you preserve energy. This one is definitely worth the price for the distance.

10 - 2019 Tesla Model 3

Price: $28,850

If you want the quality and efficiency of a Tesla without the hefty price tag, then the Model 3 is your sweet spot. Fully-electric, offering up to 310 miles of driving range, you’ll not only be saving money compared to your gas-guzzler, but you’ll also be getting a better bang for your buck than other electric vehicles. This car is perfect for the price-conscious, who value both practicality and luxury.

11 - 2019 Ford Fusion Energi

Price: $36,595

If you’re looking for a plug-in hybrid sedan, then the Ford Fusion Energi is the solution for you. When combining fuel and electric charge together, your range becomes an unstoppable 610 miles. It has a unique regenerative braking system in which energy is recycled while braking. With a 104 mpg, the Ford Fusion Energi goes the distance in a stylish, sensible way.

12 - 2019 BMW i3

Price: $44,450

If you’re looking for a sportier performance-oriented car, the BMW i3 fills in that gap. The i3 has great features and a new battery option–a 33.2 kWh that extends its range significantly. One of the hidden benefits of a BMW electric car is that you get instant acceleration, going from 0-60 in under seven seconds. Another plus? The whole car uses recycled plastics, raw materials, and natural fibers so that most of what you see is recycled or renewable. This is the pick if you’re looking for compact and eco-friendly, with a long range.


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