Over a decade ago, when the Nissan Leaf appeared as the first widely available mainstream electric car, the only drivers genuinely interested in buying one were early adopters with short commutes. Saddled with only about 100 miles of range and a new consumer phenomenon later dubbed “range anxiety,” the Leaf had limited appeal.
But in the ensuing years, advances in battery design and packaging unlocked many more miles per charge, broadening the acceptance of electric vehicles. Gradually, more buyers could envision using an EV around town or even on a road trip. Today’s EVs range from pokey and basic to fast and luxurious, with price tags to match. But if you don’t absolutely need the longest range and the latest amenities, some of today’s top electric vehicles can be had for the price of a typical crossover SUV, or possibly less when you factor in federal and state incentives.
We’ve gathered up the most affordable electric vehicles you can buy today, including both mainstream and luxury picks. When possible, we’ve included range results from Edmunds’ real-world EV testing to give you a better sense of how far these vehicles can travel on a single charge. We even cover plug-in hybrids in case you’re not quite ready for the full EV experience.
By the way, if you’re looking to spend the least on a new electrified vehicle, we recommend staying informed about the fluid situation around federal EV tax credits. As we explain there in detail, a new law passed in August 2022 significantly changed which electric vehicles are eligible for the tax credits, as well as thresholds that EVs and PHEVs must meet in order to be eligible in future years.
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