The Cheapest Electric Cars for 2022

The Cheapest Electric Cars for 2022

cheapest evs hyundai kona electric chevrolet bolt ev volkswagen id4 suv car


Looking to cut your carbon footprint or save some coin by opting out of high gas prices? Then it may be time to consider an electric car.

Don’t worry, today’s electric vehicles aren’t like the small, expensive, and low-range models of the past, as a number of brands sell affordable, long-range EVs that come in all sorts of sizes, from the subcompact Mini Cooper SE hatchback to the full-size Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck. Range is relative, of course, but every one of these inexpensive EVs is capable of traveling more than 100 miles on a full charge—many even top 200 miles on the EPA cycle.

As is the case with any new car or truck, even the cheapest electric car is still a big expense. Nevertheless, the days of EVs stickering for significantly more than their gas-powered counterparts are no more. In fact, it’s possible to purchase a well-equipped electric vehicle for less than $30,000—and that’s before factoring in the $7500 federal tax cut many of these models are eligible for. Read on to see the cheapest electric cars available for 2022.

10. 2022 Volkswagen ID.4—$42,525

2021 volkswagen id4


  • Car and Driver rating: 8/10
  • EPA-rated driving range: 275 miles

The cheapest iteration of Volkswagen’s ID.4 electric SUV also happens to be the most efficient. With a starting price of $42,525, the rear-drive 201-hp ID.4 Pro is capable of traveling 275 miles on a full charge, per the EPA. (A dual-motor all-wheel-drive system adds $3680 to the bottom line and 94 extra horses, however, the driving range falls to 251 miles.)

Standard items include adaptive cruise control and lane centering, a 10.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, an in-dash navigation system, and a proximity key. The ID.4 is a lot of EV for the money, which is one of many reasons this VW electric SUV earned a spot on our annual Editors’ Choice list.


9. 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5—$41,245

2022 hyundai ioniq 5


  • Car and Driver rating: 9/10
  • EPA-rated driving range: 220 miles

Like its corporate cousin, the Kia EV6, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 comes standard with a lone rear-mounted motor and a 58.0-kWh battery pack. With 168 horsepower, the entry-level Ioniq 5 SE Standard Range is far from the quickest variant of this affordable electric SUV. Still, even the cheapest iteration of this Hyundai EV nets 220 miles of EPA-rated driving range.

Those with more money to spend can nab one of the higher-end Ioniq 5 models, all of which include a larger capacity 77.4-kWh battery pack. A dual-motor all-wheel-drive system is also available for those willing to sacrifice some driving range for additional performance


8. 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning—$41,769

2022 ford f150 lightning


  • Car and Driver rating: 8.5/10
  • EPA-rated driving range: 230 miles

Starting at $41,659, the entry-level Ford F-150 Lightning Pro is the cheapest way to get into an electric pickup. Though Ford offers fleet buyers the option to snag this affordable full-size electric truck with a 131.0-kWh battery pack, which gives the truck more than 300 miles of range, the Pro that typical consumers can buy comes strictly with the Lightning’s standard 98.0-kWh pack.

Predictably, the base pack’s lesser capacity means less driving range, with so-equipped Lightnings capable of traveling 230 miles on a full charge, per the EPA. For most buyers, this ought to be plenty.

While the Pro is the cheapest iteration of the Lightning, it’s far from bare bones. A pair of 12.0-inch screens (one at the center of the dashboard, the other serving as the instrument cluster) come standard, as does a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system with 426 horses.


7. 2022 Kia Niro EV—$41,285

2022 kia niro ev front exterior


  • Car and Driver rating: 8/10
  • EPA-rated driving range: 239 miles

Those determined to own the cheapest Kia electric vehicle will want to take a look at the Niro EV, which stickers for $41,285 in EX guise. That’s $1410 less than its larger stablemate, the EV6.

Whereas the cheapest EV6 comes standard with a lone rear-mounted 167-hp motor and a 58.0-kWh battery pack that’s good for 232 miles of EPA-rated range, the Niro EV has a front-mounted 201-hp electric motor and a 64.0-kWh pack that affords it 239 miles of range. That said, we netted 210 miles of driving from a 2020 Niro EV on our 75-mph highway range test.

Though we may prefer the style and size of the EV6 to the Niro EV, there’s no denying this compact electric SUV still offers a solid value. Besides its ability to accelerate to 60 mph in just 6.2 seconds, the Niro EV EX also comes standard with niceties such as a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, factory navigation, a wireless mobile phone charger, and more. Notably missing from all Niro EV trims, however, is the availability of all-wheel drive.


6. 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric—$35,295


  • Car and Driver rating: 8/10
  • EPA-rated driving range: 258 miles

With a starting price of $35,295, the Hyundai Kona Electric is one of the EV segment’s best values. That sum nabs buyers the base Kona Electric SEL, which comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The model may be tough to find, though, as the automaker limits sales of the Kona Electric to just 12 states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington).

Like its corporate cousin, the Kia Niro EV, the Kona Electric features a front-mounted 201-hp electric motor that’s powered by a 64.0-kWh battery pack. This combo nets this front-drive EV respectable acceleration figures, with a 2019 Kona Electric hitting the mile-a-minute mark in 6.4 seconds.

Despite its EPA-rated driving range of 258 miles or 19 miles more than the mechanically similar Niro EV, the aforementioned 2019 Kona Electric delivered 160 miles of driving range on our 75-mph highway range test—50 miles less than what a 2020 Niro EV managed in our hands.


5. 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV—$34,495

2022 chevrolet bolt euv


  • Car and Driver rating: 8/10
  • EPA-rated driving range: 247 miles

Chevrolet enters the electric SUV segment with the Bolt EUV, the more upright and larger sibling to the brand’s Bolt EV hatchback. While its $34,495 starting price may not make the Bolt EUV the cheapest EV out there, the front-drive SUV is still a relatively inexpensive battery-electric-powered option. It also offers reasonable value, given its EPA-rated 247 miles of range, a figure that applies to all Bolt EUV trims.

Even better, the 2022 Bolt EUV is likely available at a steep discount. Credit the fact the 2023 Bolt EUV is set to see its starting price slashed by more than $6000.


4. 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV—$32,495

2022 chevrolet bolt


  • Car and Driver rating: 8/10
  • EPA-rated driving range: 259 miles

The Chevrolet Bolt EV enters 2022 with reworked interior and exterior designs, but a carryover powertrain. That’s no issue with us, as this inexpensive electric car’s 200-hp front-mounted motor offers plentiful performance, while its sizable 66.0-kWh battery pack affords 259 miles of EPA driving range.

Like its larger Bolt EUV stablemate, the $32,495 Bolt EV is likely to be found with a steep discount, as the 2023 model is set to see its base price drop by nearly $6000. The Bolt EV may not technically be the cheapest electric car for the 2022 model year, but it certainly makes a case for itself as one of the segment’s best values.


3. 2022 Mazda MX-30—$34,695

2022 mazda mx 30 premium plus front exterior


  • Car and Driver rating: 6/10
  • EPA-rated driving range: 100 miles

Those living in California can add the Mazda MX-30 to their list of cheap EVs. The rest of us, however, are out of luck.

That’s right, the MX-30 is a California-only affair (though there’s surely nothing stopping someone from buying one in California and bringing it to their state of choice). This may be for the best, though.

While Mazda’s done a fine job of creating an electric vehicle with chic exterior and interior designs, it dropped the ball on the powertrain. All MX-30s rely on a front-mounted electric motor that produces a modest 143 horsepower. As a result, this low-cost EV needed 8.7 seconds to hit 60 mph in our testing.

Yet, the final nail in the MX-30’s coffin is its meager 30.0-kWh battery pack, which nets an EPA-rated driving range of just 100 miles. In our real-world 75-mph range test, the MX-30 managed just 70 miles on a full charge.

Though this may suffice for those looking for an EV to putter about town in, it’s a pitiful sum for a car that stickers for $34,695. Sure, the MX-30 is a cheap EV, but it’s hard to justify its cost when there are even cheaper electric vehicles available with more driving range.


2. 2022 Mini Cooper SE Hardtop—$30,750

mini cooper se hardtop electric


  • Car and Driver rating: 6/10
  • EPA-rated driving range: 114 miles

Those willing to accept the Mini Cooper SE‘s limited driving range will find plenty to like about this two-door hatchback. Notably, the front-drive 181-hp Cooper SE is a joy to drive, as it shares its dynamic DNA with its gas-powered kin.

Much like the Mazda MX-30, though, the Mini’s affordable starting sum of $30,750 strikes us as rather costly for a vehicle with such limited long-distance legs. Nonetheless, we wouldn’t fault anyone who has the means to own a Cooper SE as a second or third car for use around town.

Even better, Mini may soon offer the Cooper SE’s electric powertrain in convertible guise. The British brand has shown a concept version of the electric drop-top; however, the car’s production-ready vibe leads us to believe there’s a strong chance a convertible Mini Cooper SE may arrive as soon as the 2023 or 2024 model year.


1. 2022 Nissan Leaf—$28,495

2022 nissan leaf rear


  • Car and Driver rating: 6.5/10
  • EPA-rated driving range: 149 miles

The Nissan Leaf arguably invented the modern budget electric vehicle. Thus it comes with little surprise that the Japanese company’s compact hatchback is the cheapest electric car for 2022.

A mere $28,495 is enough to bring home a 2022 Leaf. This amount nabs the entry-level Leaf S, which employs a 147-hp front-mounted electric motor and a 40.0-kWh battery pack. This combination affords the little Leaf an EPA-rated driving range of 149 miles—a sum that betters the EPA-rated ranges of more expensive EVs.

Those looking for more driving range can spend an extra $5000 for the Leaf S Plus, which like all Plus-christened Leafs, features a 214-hp electric motor and a 62.0-kWh battery pack. As a result, the Leaf S Plus is rated to go 226 miles on a full charge.


The Cheapest Electric Cars for 2022

2022 nissan leaf


  • 10. 2022 Volkswagen ID.4—$42,525
  • 9. 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5—$41,245
  • 8. 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning—$41,769
  • 7. 2022 Kia Niro EV—$41,285
  • 6. 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric—$35,295
  • 5. 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV—$34,495
  • 4. 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV—$32,495
  • 3. 2022 Mazda MX-30—$34,695
  • 2. 2022 Mini Cooper SE Hardtop—$30,750
  • 1. 2022 Nissan Leaf—$28,495

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