Thursday, 18 April 2024 05:49

Cheapest electric cars in 2024


Just a few years ago, the number of available affordable electric vehicles was significantly smaller. Listing the EVs under $50,000 for 2024, though, is a more laborious undertaking, as the list has grown despite the discontinuation of a couple models, requiring all your fingers and toes to count them. Some of these models haven’t hit the market as of this writing, but will be arriving some time this year.

Depending on how much you’re willing to spend dictates how much you’ll get in terms of acceleration, range, the number of wheels driven, vehicle size and feature content. While most of the EVs on this list have their own merits, you might still want to check out our list of the best EVs under $50,000. And if you want to continue to save money after your purchase, we can also tell you which EVs are the cheapest to own and operate in 2024.

But, to start, you’ll have to get one in your driveway. So, if you want to go electric on a budget, these are the cheapest electric cars you can buy in 2024.

Cheapest electric cars to buy in 2024

Nissan Leaf — $29,280

The Nissan Leaf S is the only car on this list starting under $30,000. The Leaf is also the older model on this list, and may be getting an update in the near future despite Nissan launching the also-affordable Ariya. The Leaf can only be had with front-wheel drive, while many others on this list are rear-drive or available with all-wheel drive. One thing to consider is that it uses the antiquated CHAdeMO charging standard, though a CCS adapter is now available to make it compatible with more charging stations. The small battery provides 150 miles on a charge, with a bigger battery option providing a more respectable 250 miles of range.


Mini Cooper SE — $31,895

The Mini Cooper SE looks very much like the gas-powered Cooper we know and love, but quieter and smoother to drive. The big drawback is its lackluster driving range of 114 miles. This makes it a fun urban runabout, but limits practicality if you only have one car or need to put adults — or even child car seats — in the back seat.

Hyundai Kona Electric — $34,050

The Hyundai Kona Electric is another fun, front-wheel-drive EV, but packs more space for people and cargo after its redesign for the 2024 model year. It’s offered with two drivelines, but neither can be had with AWD, simplifying the math a bit. The Electric SE has a 133-horsepower motor mated to a 48.6 kWh battery with 197 miles of range. The Electric SEL and Limited get a larger, 201-horsepower motor paired to a 64.8 kWh battery, which Hyundai says is good for 260 miles.

Fiat 500e — $34,095

The Fiat 500 returns to the U.S. in electric form in 2024, offering a tiny competitor to the Mini Cooper SE. As of this writing, we’ve only driven the essentially identical European version as we await the imminent North American launch. Only one version of the Fiat will be available at launch, the 500e RED, which is a special edition collaboration with the RED charity that raises money to combat AIDS. The new 500e will offer 149 miles on a charge, which is not great, but perhaps to be expected as one of the cheapest EVs you can buy. There’s also only so many batteries you can pack into such a small car.

Chevrolet Equinox EV — $34,995

Another EV that hasn’t launched as of this writing, the Chevy Equinox EV takes the place of the Chevy Bolt — at least for now — as the brand’s cheapest electric offering. The base 1LT comes equipped with a single-motor front-wheel drive powertrain that produces 210 horsepower and 242 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with the smallest battery pack, and Chevy estimates a 250-mile range on a full charge, but you can get higher-spec Equinox EVs that still won’t break the bank.

Volvo EX30 — $36,245

Coming some time in 2024, the Volvo EX30 is surprisingly affordable for this luxury nameplate. And, as we wrote in our first drive, “Volvo’s new entry-level EV is inexpensive, not cheap.” The single-motor variant has a nice, simple interior, drives well and is chock full of features. Jumping up to the Twin Motor Performance version, though, adds almost $10,000 to the price.

Fisker Ocean — $38,999

The Fisker Ocean is a newcomer on the EV scene, and this small crossover starts at an affordable price. The front-wheel-drive Fisker Ocean Sport starts under $40,000, gets 231 miles of range, and does 0-60 in 6.9 seconds. Prices jump significantly from there as you move up the trim ladder, though. You should know, however, that the Ocean has had many reports of serious problems, leading to canceled reservations and a NHTSA investigation. Buyer beware.

Tesla Model 3 — $40,380

The popular Tesla Model 3 is one of our favorite electric sedans, and one of the top EVs under $50,000. The base model comes with rear-wheel drive and 272 miles of range. The Dual Motor AWD model still starts well under $50,000, with more power and 341 miles of driving range.

Kia Niro EV — $40,975

The Kia Niro is one of our favorite small SUVs, and the electric version adds fantastic efficiency to the well-rounded package. It doesn’t offer all-wheel drive, but it does provide 253 miles of range on a single charge. If it’s a little too much money for you, try the related Hyundai Kona Electric that offers a considerably cheaper, short range version.

Volkswagen ID.4 — $41,160

The VW ID.4 electric crossover starts just over $40,000 with rear-wheel drive. As of this writing, driving range hasn’t been announced for the 2024 model year, but we expect somewhere around 209 miles from the 62-kWh battery, based on the 2023 model. You can move up to a bigger battery, though, and all-wheel drive is available (although the price is much higher than typical because it also adds considerably higher performance). We like the driving dynamics and the roominess of the cabin, but interior controls and the infotainment system can be frustrating to use.

Mustang Mach-E — $41,695

An electric crossover worthy of the Mustang name, the Ford Mustang Mach-E is a thoroughly entertaining and attractive vehicle with a lot to love. The entry-level Select RWD trim offers 250 miles of range and a 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds. You can get all-wheel drive for $3,000 more, with a range of 226 miles. More power and range comes at a higher price.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 — $43,175

We’re huge fans of this funky, retrofuturistic hatchback-looking crossover EV from Hyundai. The cheapest SE Standard Range has rear-wheel drive and 220 miles of range, but you can get it with a bigger battery for 303 miles of range and keep it under $50,000. All-wheel drive will cost quite a bit more since it adds considerably more performance as well as improved traction. Regardless of powertrain, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a fun, roomy, feature-rich EV with excellent charging speeds.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 — $43,565

Using the same E-GMP platform as the Ioniq 5, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 is a sleek electric sedan with even more driving range. The base SE RWD gets 361 miles on a charge, and moving up to AWD still nets 316 miles of range at a great price. It’s also great to drive, providing sportier driving dynamics than the 5. We called the Ioniq 6 the “best alternative to a Model 3.”

Kia EV6 — $43,975

Yet another model based on Hyundai Group’s E-GMP electric vehicle platform, with its long range and fast charging speeds, the Kia EV6 has a sportier vibe than the lounge-like Hyundai Ioniq 5. The cheapest EV6 Light trim has rear-wheel drive, and a 58-kilowatt-hour battery pack good for 232 miles of range, though you can get more driven wheels, more range and more power for more money.

Toyota bZ4X — $44,420

Toyota’s first real EV, the bZ4X offers a good value in its front-wheel-drive versions, and is easier for most people to live with than its rear-drive competition. Just don’t expect something as fully realized as the exceptional Ioniq 5 and EV6, nor even the characterful but flawed ID.4. It has a 71.4-kilowatt-hour battery that returns an estimated 252 miles of range with the XLE trim and 242 with the Limited. All-wheel drive adds price, but diminishes driving range considerably.

Nissan Ariya — $44,555

The Nissan Ariya, the brand’s second electric vehicle, impresses with strong specs, compelling value and knock-out interior. The base Engage FWD provides 216 miles, though you can get all-wheel drive and more range if you’re willing to crest $50,000. Charging is on the slow side compared to much of the competition, though, particularly those from Hyundai and Kia.

Tesla Model Y — $46,380

The Tesla Model Y is a more traditional entry than the larger, more expensive Model X SUV. It’s more akin to the also-affordable and also-great Model 3 sedan, with normal doors and rear seats that fold to give you flexibility between passengers and cargo. It has a minimalist interior, with many of the vehicle functions accessed through the large infotainment screen, for better or worse. The base rear-wheel drive model gets a respectable 260 miles of range, but moving up to the Model Y Long Range, which offers 330 miles of driving and all-wheel drive, puts you just a few hundred dollars over the $50,000 mark. Still, the Model Y is a popular EV, and it, like the rest of the Tesla brand, has its fair share of fans. And let’s not forget that Tesla also has its excellent Supercharger fast-charging network. Furthermore, as of this writing, Tesla has cut prices on the vehicles in its inventory after producing so many of them, so there could be hotter deals on backlog units.

Subaru Solterra — $46,735

Subaru’s first EV, the Solterra electric crossover, is basically the same vehicle as the Toyota bZ4X with which it was co-developed. One key difference: even the base Premium trim comes with all-wheel drive — kind of a Subaru thing to offer as a standard feature — and 228 miles of range. It’s a great option for the Subaru faithful who have been waiting for an electric vehicle to get them more quietly to the great outdoors they love.

Vinfast VF 8 ­– $47,200

Vinfast is a Vietnamese automaker, and its cheapest VF 8 EV is only available in California as of this writing. We haven’t had the chance to review the VF 8 yet, so we can’t recommend it to you (reviews by other outlets have not been favorable, to say the least). The cheapest Eco trim offers an EPA-rated 207 miles of range.

Honda Prologue — $48,795

The Honda Prologue crossover is the Japanese automaker’s first mass-market EV for the U.S. market, but under the skin, it is built on GM’s Ultium electric vehicle platform, features an interior using GM parts and is even built in a GM factory in Mexico. Hitting dealers in March 2024, the base, single-motor EX trim provides an impressive 296 miles of range. The comparable Chevy Blazer EV won’t be available in such an affordable trim level for quite some time.


The latest news from the world of the auto industry

The company Tesla has announced a big reduction in the prices of its vehicles in China and Germany, not long after it did so in the United States of America. The latest price cut ...