10 Most Affordable Electric Cars In 2022

There are a plethora of electric cars on the market now, and here’s 10 cheapest new electric cars that you can buy in 2022

Electric cars are the future and there’s no running from it. All automakers are EV-olving and trying their best to form an electric portfolio as soon as possible in order to trump their rivals. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Mercedes and Audi are leading the revolution at the moment, but how’s the scene on the affordable side of the spectrum? Well, much better than it was yesterday!

The electric scene is improving with every passing day and things are a lot better in 2022 than they were a few years back. You have a lot more options that won’t necessitate you to break the bank to jump on the EV wagon. You don’t have to worry about getting cheap EVs that are bare bones and offer double-digit range. There are multiple offerings in various body styles that offer maximum bang for the buck. Take a look at this list of 10 best affordable electric cars that you can buy in 2022.

2023 Nissan Leaf - $27,400

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The Nissan Leaf has been around since 2011 and was one of the first fully electric cars on sale. It occupies the top spot in this list since it is now officially the cheapest electric vehicle that you can buy in the U.S., thanks to the $4,270 price cut it received for the 2022 model year. But, Nissan made sure not to mess up the package overall; in fact, it added some more extra equipment on the base S trim. 240-Volt Level 2 charging and Chademo fast-charging port are now standard. It comes with an eight-inch infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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As for the power and range, this four-door electric hatch comes with a single-motor setup that puts out 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. A 40 kWh battery powers it and provides a range of 149 miles. It’s not the best, but you can’t expect anything more from the most affordable electric car currently on sale. Let’s make the deal even sweeter, shall we? It is eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit, which would effectively bring down the price a smidge under $20,000 before destination. Does it have your attention now?

2023 Nissan Leaf
Powertrain Single-motor setup
Horsepower 147 horses
Torque 236 pound-feet
Battery 40 kWh
Range  149 miles
Starting Price $27,400
Destination $1,095
Eligible for $7,500 Federal Tax Credit? Yes

2022 Chevrolet Bolt - $31,500

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The Chevy Bolt has been around for a few years, but the company hit the sweet spot with the 2022 model year. The automaker made sure the Bolt wasn’t lost in the mix with a plethora of “budget” EVs now taking over the market. The 2022 Bolt features a refreshed exterior, redesigned interior, and best of all, a lower starting price! Stuff like a 10.2-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto keeps it in line with modern tech features.

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The Bolt comes with an electric motor mounted on the front axle. It generates 200 ponies and 266 pound-feet of oomph. The electric car comes with a 65 kWh battery pack that delivers an EPA-estimated range of 259 miles. It supports DC fast-charging and can recharge 100 miles of range in 30 minutes.

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With all these new features and specs, you would expect it to be costlier than the outgoing model, right? Well, Chevy pulled up a Nissan here and decided to slash the prices instead! The 2021 Bolt range started at $36,500, whereas the 2022 Bolt starts at $31,500 – a $5,000 price cut!

2022 Chevrolet Bolt
Powertrain Single-motor setup
Horsepower 200 horses
Torque 266 pound-feet
Battery 65 kWh
Range  259 miles
Starting Price $31,500
Destination $995
Eligible for $7,500 Federal Tax Credit? No

2022 Mazda MX-30 - $33,470

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I’m personally a fan of Mazda. But, would I recommend the 2022 MX-30 to anyone? Probably not. It looks as classy, minimalistic, and understated as you can expect a Mazda to be, but it fails in the aspect that matters the most – the range. Mazda’s first fully electric vehicle is a half-hearted attempt to test the waters before diving in. But, this defensive approach towards something as inevitable as electrification is baffling.

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The Mazda MX-30 offers a range of just 100 miles on a full charge, courtesy of a puny 35.5 kWh battery pack. It comes with a single-motor setup that makes 143 ponies and 200 pound-feet of torque. The crossover, otherwise, is decently equipped. The limited 100-mile range means that the MX-30 is best-suited for intra-city trips only. Go hard on the A-pedal and you probably won’t even reach back home. A price of $33,470 before destination and federal tax benefits doesn’t make this a very alluring proposition considering what’s on offer. Also, it must be noted that it is currently up for sale only in California - another testament to Mazda’s defensive approach. The nationwide rollout is expected next year, and we hope a bigger battery and better range are offered as well. On a different topic, did you notice its rear-hinged doors?

2022 Mazda MX-30
Powertrain Single-motor setup
Horsepower 143 horses
Torque 200 pound-feet
Battery 35.5 kWh
Range  100 miles
Starting Price $33,470
Destination $1,225
Eligible for $7,500 Federal Tax Credit? Yes

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV - $33,500

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The Bolt EUV is essentially a larger version of the standard Bolt; or, a crossover version, if you may. It is 6.3 inches longer, and 0.2 inches wider and taller than the standard Bolt. This means you have more legroom at your disposal inside the cabin. Apart from the size difference, there’s one other thing that differentiates the Bolt from the Bolt EUV – the panoramic sunroof!

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It is powered by the same setup as the Bolt EV, making the same 200 horses and 266 pound-feet of torque. However, since the EUV is 90 pounds heavier, it is 0.5 seconds slower than the Bolt, taking seven seconds to sprint to 60 mph from rest. Despite featuring the same battery, the added weight also affects the range, not by much, though. The Bolt EUV offers 247 miles of range on a full charge, which is 12 miles less than the standard Bolt EV. But what you lose here, you gain in technology. The Bolt EUV is available with wireless phone charging and GM’s Super Cruise driver assistance feature. This was the first time Super Cruise was offered on a car with a bowtie emblem.

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As for the 2022 Bolt EUV, it starts at $33,500; $2,000 more than the standard Bolt. While none of the Chevy EVs are eligible for the federal tax credit since it has exhausted its cap of 200,000 EVs, the company is running some cash allowance offers to attract customers. The offers are to the tune of $5,900 for the Bolt and $6,300 for the Bolt EUV, at the time of writing this article, to negate the advantage its rivals have in the price regard. Chevy would be hoping for the GREEN Act to be passed so that it would be eligible for federal tax credit once again. All things considered, the Bolt EV - and in extension, the Bolt EUV - would be our pick(s) of the lot if you need the best bang for your buck.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV
Powertrain Single-motor setup
Horsepower 200 horses
Torque 266 pound-feet
Battery 65 kWh
Range  247 miles
Starting Price $33,500
Destination $995
Eligible for $7,500 Federal Tax Credit? No

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric – $34,000

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If you’re in the market for a no non-sense EV without spending the big bucks, the Hyundai Kona Electric is the one for you. It is the electric version of the gas-powered Kona that’s been on the market for some time now. While there’s nothing too appealing about the package as a whole, there’s nothing that will let you down either. The car comes well-equipped right from the base trim, with things like an eight-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, etc. The desirable stuff is offered in the only other trim, but it’s a steep jump of $8,500 over the base model’s price, which warrants you to look around and get something that probably tugs your heartstrings better.

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The Hyundai Kona EV is powered by an electric motor that makes 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of twist. A 64-kWh battery pack is responsible for the 258 miles of juice it offers on a single charge. It supports Level 3 quick charge, which means your Kona Electric can recharge from 10- to 80-percent in 47 minutes. $34,000 is a good starting price for the Kona Electric, although $42,500 for the higher trim seems steep. There’s a sweet stop in between, though – an optional Convenience Package for the base SEL trim for $3,500. It includes things like a sunroof, heated front seats, wireless charging, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and so on. All in all, the Hyundai Kona Electric is that one car you can rely on if nothing else makes sense to you.

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric
Powertrain Single-motor setup
Horsepower 201 horses
Torque 291 pound-feet
Battery 64 kWh
Range  258 miles
Starting Price $34,000
Destination $1,295
Eligible for $7,500 Federal Tax Credit? Yes

2023 Mini Cooper SE - $34,225

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Mini’s first stint with electrification comes in form of the Cooper SE. This two-door, four-seater hatchback is everything a Mini stands for, but with a different heart. It retains the signature looks that are only synonymous with a Mini, but with interesting differentiating touches of its own. The Mini Cooper SE hardtop is powered by an electric motor that puts out 181 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. It is heavier than the other two-door hardtops, weighing in at over 3,100 pounds.

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All said, it is not a highway cruiser and neither should it be anyone’s first car. The Mini Cooper SE offers a range of just 110 miles, which makes it an urban commuter at best. It isn’t spacious and neither is it too practical. But, if you are a Mini fanboy and are on the hunt for an electric car to run errands and potter around town, it might be worth considering. The $34,225 price tag doesn’t do any favors either, but factor in the $7,500 federal tax credit, and it suddenly starts looking like a decent deal. If you’re not in a hurry, you could wait for the next-gen Mini Cooper SE that’s been spotted testing and will come out sometime next year.

2023 Mini Cooper SE
Powertrain Single-motor setup
Horsepower 181 horses
Torque 199 pound-feet
Battery 32.64 kWh
Range  110 miles
Starting Price $34,225
Destination $850
Eligible for $7,500 Federal Tax Credit? Yes

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 - $39,950

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I remember the Ioniq 5 was a much-anticipated product when it was launched. Although the Ioniq moniker has been in Hyundai’s arsenal for quite some time, it was turned into the electric sub-brand a couple of years back, and the Ioniq 5 is the first product to roll out from there. It is based on the 45 concept that was unveiled at the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show and is just as quirky as the concept. The clamshell hood, funky headlights, sloping roofline, Parametric Pixels design, and the retro-futuristic aura contribute to people either loving this car or hating it; there’s no in-between.

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The Ioniq 5 comes with two 12.3-inch screens inside the cabin, which tick off the tech aspect of the car. Courtesy of that 118.1-inch long wheelbase, the Ioniq 5 offers more space than you may need (okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the gist). It also comes with Vehicle-to-Load technology, wherein your Ioniq 5 can be the source of power for appliances and camping equipment. There are multiple powertrain and battery options, but since we are talking about affordable electric cars, we’ll stick to the base trim.

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The base SE Standard Range Ioniq 5 features a single-motor setup and a 58 kWh battery pack. It churns out 168 ponies and 258 pound-feet of torque. The 58 kWh battery pack is good for 220 miles on a full charge. It supports ultra-fast 350 kW DC fast-charging as well. The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 starts at $39,950 plus $1,295 destination.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5
Powertrain Single-motor setup
Horsepower 168 horses
Torque 258 pound-feet
Battery 58 kWh
Range  220 miles
Starting Price $39,950
Destination $1,295
Eligible for $7,500 Federal Tax Credit? Yes

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning - $39,974

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Ford’s bread and butter is the F-150 pickup truck, so it was inevitable that the automaker made the electrification jump before others and made sure it checks all the boxes. Surprisingly, Ford managed to do it in its first attempt. There are some wrinkles to be ironed out and we’re hopeful Ford will fix them for the next model year. But, what’s most important is that the Blue Oval managed to keep the price under check. The F-150 Lightning starts at $39,974 before destination and federal tax credits. Well, it’s for the comparatively bare-boned ‘Pro’ version that will mainly be used for commercial/work purposes. If you factor in the federal and state tax credits, it not only becomes the cheapest F-150, but also the cheapest full-size pickup truck currently on sale!

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The entry-level Pro model comes with a 98 kWh Standard Range battery that’s good for 230 miles on a full charge. The real-world figures with towing could be much lesser, but it’s a start. It comes with a dual-motor setup that churns out 426 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque, combined. Without any optional packages, the F-150 Lightning Pro can tow up to 5,000 pounds and haul up to 2,000 pounds with the Standard Range battery pack. It comes with a 12-inch touchscreen and a 12-inch digital instrument cluster to cover the tech bases. The non-Pro Lightning models are obviously a better choice for a family EV, but it’s good to see an electric pickup truck make the cut in this list of the cheapest EVs currently on sale.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning
Powertrain Dual-motor setup
Horsepower 426 horses
Torque 775 pound-feet
Battery 98 kWh
Range  230 miles
Starting Price $39,974
Destination $1,795
Eligible for $7,500 Federal Tax Credit? Yes

2022 Kia Niro EV - $39,990

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Just like the Hyundai Kona, the Kia Niro is a car that’s offered with a pure internal combustion engine, a plug-in hybrid setup, and in a fully electrified form. The Niro and the Kona are rivals, even though they belong under the same umbrella. https://www.hotcars.com/hyundai-kona-vs-kia-niro-budget-ev-comparison/ They share a lot of features and specs, which means this electric crossover is just as competent as its cousin. The Niro is a smidge larger than the Kona in size but looks dated. It must be noted that the car hasn’t been refreshed since 2020 and it’s already showing its age.

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The 2022 Kia Niro EV comes with a single-motor setup that churns out 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque. It also features a 64 kWh battery that’s good for 239 miles of EPA-estimated range; 19 miles less than the Kona. That said, it is a better handler on the road. It supports DC fast-charging, giving you 100 miles of range when plugged in for 30 minutes. A 10.25-inch touchscreen graces the center console and supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 2022 Kia Niro starts at $39,990 and is eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. If peace of mind matters to you, then the Niro should be your pick because not only does it offer a best-in-class 10-year/100,000-mile warranty, but Kia was also rated as the most reliable brand in 2022 as per J.D. Power’s Vehicle Dependability Study.

2022 Kia Niro EV
Powertrain Single-motor setup
Horsepower 201 horses
Torque 291 pound-feet
Battery 64 kWh
Range  239 miles
Starting Price $39,990
Destination $1,295
Eligible for $7,500 Federal Tax Credit? Yes

2022 Kia EV6 - $40,900

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Kia has impressed almost everyone with the EV6 by creating a package that looks uber-cool, comes with a ton of tech features, and is offered with multiple powertrains and battery pack options. With a starting price of a shade over $40,000, it has even managed to find a spot in this list of the 10 cheapest electric vehicles in 2022. It comes with two 12-inch screens conjoined in a single, curved glass.

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The EV6 is offered with two battery packs – 58 kWh and 77.4 kWh – and two powertrain options - single-motor and dual-motor setup. The entry-level Light trim comes with the rear-mounted single-motor setup and the smaller standard range battery pack as standard. It puts out 167 ponies and 258 pound-feet of oomph. The EPA-estimated range is rated at 232 miles, which isn’t the best, but it’s not too bad either (it beats the Ioniq 5, which also has the same battery and power output). It supports 350-kW ultra-fast DC charging that can recharge your EV6 from 10- to 80-percent in just 18 minutes and add up to 70 miles of range in just five minutes according to Kia.

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The top-spec trims, especially the performance-oriented GT-Line, will be our pick any day, but a price tag of over $55,000 doesn’t exactly make it a value-for-money proposition. That said, the entry-level Kia EV6 is a well-equipped package, too, and seems like a good buy at $40,900 before factoring in the destination fee and the federal tax credits that it is eligible for.

2022 Kia EV6
Powertrain Single-motor setup
Horsepower 167 horses
Torque 258 pound-feet
Battery 58 kWh
Range  232 miles
Starting Price $40,900
Destination $1,295
Eligible for $7,500 Federal Tax Credit? Yes

FAQs:



When will electric cars be affordable?

With EVs becoming more mainstream, the cost of production is coming down and electric cars are becoming affordable. While the running costs are less than the fuel-powered cars, the purchase cost is still higher. A report from a few years back suggested that EVs could get cheaper than ICE cars by 2025, and it seems right.

Which EV is best value for money?

While the 2022 Nissan Leaf is the cheapest electric car on sale, the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV offer the best value for money.

Is it worth it to get an electric car?

The running costs of an electric vehicle are a lot lower than the fuel-powered cars, especially at a time when fuel costs are sky-rocketing. On average, you are likely to spend around $800 to $1,300 less every year switching to electricity from fuel. So, it boils down to your usage to determine whether it’s worth getting an electric car.

What is the cheapest production electric car?

The cheapest product electric car in 2022 is the Nissan Leaf. It starts at $27,400. Factor in the federal tax credit and it could cost you as low as $19,900.

Is insurance for electric cars more expensive?

Insurance for electric cars is more expensive than gas-powered cars because of their higher price tags and complex equipment. It may cost more to repair or replace a part in an EV than in a gas-powered car. This is circumstantial but is the reason for insurance on EVs being more than the fuel-powered cars.

Do electric cars last forever?

As is with any machinery, nothing lasts forever. Electric cars are no exception either. The biggest expense would be replacing the battery but most batteries will last up to 200,000 miles if maintained well. Kia offers a warranty of 10 years/100,000 miles on its EVs, which should give you an idea about an electric car’s longevity.

What’s the cheapest electric car in Europe?

The Vauxhall Corsa-e is currently the cheapest electric car in Europe. It starts at £25,805. The Volkswagen e-up! held the record not until too long ago for its starting price of £22,585, but the car is available to buy new anymore.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Managing Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - siddhant.d@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a managing editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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