5 budget-friendly electric cars to check out this year
Electric cars are known for being more expensive than regular cars, and Electric Vehicles (EVs) were often short on range and lacked performance in the past. That said, electric car technology has significantly developed over recent years. You can now find better-performing EVs at much lower costs. Check out these popular fully-electric cars you can buy this year without overshooting your budget:
- MINI Cooper SE Electric Hardtop
This is one of the cheapest fully-electric cars in the automotive market today. It is priced at around $29,900. For those eligible for the federal electric car tax credit, the cost of the Cooper SE goes further down to less than $23,000. The car has premium exteriors, much like its gas-powered counterpart, and the cabin has ample cargo space. Plus, it has an intuitive, user-friendly infotainment system. The car comes with a single electric motor, and the battery pack offers steady acceleration, but the driving range is just about 110 miles on a full charge. The Cooper SE can be charged at home and takes about 5 hours to charge with an outlet of up to 7.4KW.
- Nissan LEAF
The Nissan LEAF has been a best-seller and is one of the cheapest fully-electric cars you can get your hands on this year. It is available for prices starting at $31,600. The higher model, LEAF Plus, is priced at around $38,200 and comes with a range of additional features. The car comes with a spacious cabin, plenty of cargo space, and good acceleration. The standard features include Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay® integration, an 8-inch touchscreen display, and Bluetooth. The EPA range of the Nissan Leaf is 149 miles, while that of the Leaf Plus is 226 miles.
- Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 is one of the most popular cars in the EV market, and it is also one of the cheapest, with the Standard Range Plus variant costing around $37,500. The car has excellent acceleration, efficiency, and handling. Plus, the elegant cabin has a futuristic appeal. It is spacious enough to seat five people and also provides enough cargo space. This electric car’s exceptional features include a 15-inch touchscreen that’s designed to improve with regular software updates and a built-in dashcam.
- Chevrolet Bolt
Offering a better range than most electric cars, the Chevrolet Bolt is another budget-friendly fully-electric car you can buy in 2021. It is available for prices starting from $36,620 and offers an EPA-estimated 259 miles of range on full charge. The battery provides up to 25 miles of range per hour of charge with a 240-volt charging unit and up to 100 miles of range in about 30 minutes with DC fast charging. The EV has roomy interiors with cargo space, and the standard features include Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility, a 10.2-inch color touchscreen, and Teen Driver Technology.
- BMW i3
The BMW i3 is a bit pricier at around $44,450, but the federal electric car tax credit brings down the price to make it one of the cheapest fully-electric cars. You can get a deduction of nearly $7,500. It offers a driving range of around 153 miles. It takes about 5 hours to charge up to 80 percent with a 240-volt charger. DC-fast charging at a public charging station can allow it to reach 80 percent in 40 minutes or less. The BMW i3 offers lively acceleration and has sturdy exteriors, a spacious cabin, and ample cargo space. Standard features include Apple CarPlay® compatibility, a 6.5-inch display screen, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic-dimming interior rear-view mirror, and heated front seats.