The best EVs under $50,000 are more capable than ever before. But that doesn’t mean that they’re equally suited for the diverse needs of today’s drivers. Whether you’re hauling a family or looking for your next ridesharing car, these are the best EVs under $50k that are available now.
2023 Volkswagen ID.4
To qualify for federal EV incentives, ensure you purchase a Tennessee-built VIN.
Price:$37,495 – $53,995
Range: 208 – 274 miles
Charging Speed: 130 kilowatts (standard) to 170 kilowatts (Pro); Add 200 miles of range in 28 minutes
Tax Credit: The U.S.-built ID.4 qualifies for at least half of the new EV tax credit. Make sure yours is built at the Chattanooga, Tennessee factory! See full details here.
Did You Know? The 2023 VW ID.4 includes three years of free 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America. For those who travel often, this incentive could be worth hundreds of dollars.
Charging Speed: 170 kilowatt max (adds 200 miles in 30 minutes of charging)
Federal Tax Credit: In 2023, the Model 3 again qualifies for federal EV incentives (if under $55k). The RWD Model 3 has batteries sourced from CATL in China, so it only qualifies for half of the credit ($3,750).
The new IONIQ 5 may have stolen the show, but the Kona EV is thousands of dollars cheaper. It’s one of the best EV values well under $50k.
Price: $33,550 – $41,550
Range: 258 miles
Charging Speed: 100 kilowatt max (180 miles added in 47 minutes)
Federal Tax Credit: In 2022, the new revisions to the EV tax credit took away this incentive from the Kona EV. See full details here. State incentives may apply.
Did You Know? The all-new Hyundai IONIQ 5 has stolen the show with more range, MUCH faster charging, and better looks. Although MSRP starts closer to $45,000, dealer markups make it hard to find one under $50,000. More on that below.
Don’t like the looks of the Kona EV? The Niro is the same vehicle on the inside.
Price: From $40,875 with destination fees
Range: 253 miles
Charging Speed: 100 kilowatt max at a DC fast charger (adds 177 miles of range in about 45 minutes)
Federal Tax Credit: The new revisions to the EV tax credit took away this incentive from the Niro EV. See full details here. State incentives may apply.
Did You Know? The 2023 model year introduces a plug-in hybrid version with 33 miles of all-electric range. This is a great option for frequent travelers, rural drivers, and those without a place to charge at home.
Polestar is the fully-electric brand backed by Volvo. This car looks unmistakably Nordic, yet not as minimalist as a Tesla. Pricing is right under $50k, but direct-to-consumer sales means no dealer markups.
Price (front-wheel drive): $49,800 with destination fees, but there’s no haggling with Polestar’s pricing
Range: 270 miles
Charging speed: 150 kilowatt max charging (adds 160 miles of range in 25 minutes)
Federal Tax Credit: In 2022, the new revisions to the EV tax credit took away this incentive from the Polestar 2. See full details here. State incentives may apply. The upcoming Polestar 3 electric SUV will be produced in the United States beginning in mid-2024, but price caps may prevent most buyers from qualifying for federal EV tax credits.
Did You Know? The Polestar 2 is the closest competitor in terms of size, price and specs to the Model 3 rear-wheel drive.
2023 Kia EV6 (base trim)
Update: Following a price hike, the 2023 Kia EV6 is no longer available under $50,000 with required destination fees. We have left it on this list due to the exceptional value: over 300 miles of range and ultra fast charging for just a bit over $50k.
Price: $50,025 (Wind Rear-Wheel Drive)
Range: 310 miles
Charging Speed: 235 kilowatt max at a DC fast charger (adds 200 miles of range in about 20 minutes)
Federal Tax Credit: The new revisions to the EV tax credit took away this incentive from the EV6. See full details here. State incentives may apply.
Did You Know? The Kia EV6 is based on the same e-GMP electric platform as the Hyundai IONIQ 5. If the looks of the EV6 are too much for you, maybe the IONIQ 5 is up your alley. The EV6 comes with 1,000 kilowatt-hours of free charging at Electrify America. That’s about 15 charging sessions from 10% to 80%.
Last but certainly not least, the entry-level Mustang Mach-E starts under $50k. Finding one without a dealer markup is a challenge.
Price: Starting at $45,995
Range: 247 miles (Standard Range battery)
Charging Speed: 150 kilowatt max speeds (adds 170 miles of range in 35 minutes)
Federal Tax Credit: The Mustang Mach-E is made in Mexico, so it continues to qualify for at least half of the new EV tax credit. Qualification for the full credit depends on the battery supplier. See the latest from the federal government.
Did You Know? The Mustang Mach-E is one of the top-selling EVs in America, although it remains far behind Tesla.
In 2019, market analysis and research firm Deloitte predicted that electric vehicles would reach price parity with combustion-powered counterparts in 2022. One year later, General Motors Chief Technology Officer Matt Tsien shared his optimism about EV prices. Cost parity between EVs and conventionally powered vehicles “will come sooner than many people think,” he said during a keynote speech at a Society of Automotive Analysts event. Skip forward to the second half of 2022, and EV prices are running away from ICE cars. The latest analysis from iSeeCars.com reveals just how much more expensive used EVs are, and recent MSRP hikes are driving new EV prices even higher.
Used Electric Car Prices Up 54.3% In One Year
Used car prices are dropping rapidly at the wholesale level, however buyers have yet to see any significant price drops at the retail level. Over the past eight weeks, used car prices have dropped nearly 5 percent at dealer auctions. Could the car price bubble be finally coming to an end? If you’re in the market for an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid, we’re far from it.
According to data from iSeeCars, used electric car prices saw an increase of 54.3% from July of 2021 to July 2022. Over the same period, gas-powered cars were up just 10.1%. Number crunchers at iSeeCars analyzed the prices of over 13.8 million 1-5 year old used cars sold between January and July of 2021 and 2022 to determine the price growth of electric cars compared to ICE vehicles.
As gas prices reached new records this spring, the demand for EVs rose in parallel. However, a closer look at the data reveals that the few affordable electric cars on the market saw the greatest price increases, and by a long shot.
At a time when the average EV transaction price is over $66,000, the future of electric mobility is riding on the success of more affordable options. The number of sub-$40,000 EVs seems to be shrinking by the day.
Are Affordable EVs Going Extinct? It Appears So
iSeeCars found that America’s two most affordable electric cars saw prices increase the most. Used Chevrolet Bolt prices were up 29.3% since 2021, and used Nissan Leaf prices were up 45%. For the Leaf (which starts at $27,800 new), this massive price spike translates to an average sale price of $28,787 in July 2022. The average used Chevy Bolt sold for $28,291 last month. Considering the specs of the Bolt (notably charging capabilities), that’s a lot of money for a used EV.
With DC fast charging times typically around 45 minutes to one hour to add 200 miles of range, both of these electric models are likely to see drastic depreciation as much faster charging EVs become more commonplace. This is especially true for the Leaf, which lacks the decent range of the Bolt.
The Kia Niro EV seems to be the outlier here. With 239 miles of EPA-rated range and 77 kilowatt DC fast charging capability, it almost seems like a good deal with used Niro EV prices ‘only’ increasing 15.7% year-over-year. At the time of writing, used Kia Niro EVs are priced between $35,000 and $43,000.
Another Day, Another EV Price Hike
New electric vehicles are seeing price hikes, too. Just last week, Ford announced that the 2023 Mustang Mach-E was getting a massive price increase. The base Select trim now starts at $48,195 (up $3,200). The rear-wheel drive option was eliminated, effectively canceling the most affordable Mustang Mach-E. The most popular trim, the Premium AWD Mustang Mach-E, now starts at $56,175 before the $1,300 destination fee. That’s a $6,075 increase from earlier in 2022.
When Ford reopened F-150 Lightning orders in August, the news was accompanied by a $6,000 to $8,500 price increase. The most affordable F-150 Lightning now starts at $46,974. Most buyers will want the XLT with extended range, and that option now starts at $80,974. Will Ford lower the price by $1,000 to qualify for the new EV tax credit? We’ll find out soon enough.
Tesla prices are up over 20% since early 2021. The Model 3 is now 27% more expensive, and the most popular EV in America, the Model Y, now costs 30% more with a starting price of $65,990. Rivian made headlines when they canceled the most affordable configuration of the Rivian R1T electric truck. Anyone with basic math skills (or a calculator) can see that new and used EVs alike are becoming more expensive.
When Will EV Prices Go Down?
This right here is the question we’re all doing our best to answer. Still, it’s hard to tell. Here’s what needs to happen before EV prices will go down:
EV production and inventory must increase
For that to happen, supply chain constraints must ease
Battery suppliers must continue to meet demand
Automakers need to commit to affordable models rather than luxury EVs
More EV competition may drive prices down
Is there any good news? It depends on which EVs you’re interested in, and your buying timeline. The new EV tax credit is the first to ever offer a used EV tax credit and future rebate, however strict eligibility requirements for both are causing an uproar. For some, buying an EV may soon be thousands of dollars cheaper. For others, federal EV incentives vanished when President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 into law. See which new EVs and used EVs qualify for the revised incentives.
Want to stay informed about the latest EV pricing, ownership and development news? Join the CarEdge Community for free. Our Electric Vehicle forum is the place to be for EV discussion, advice and expert consultation!
Over the past two years, the median household income in the United States has nudged upward from $67,500 to $75,500 as of March 2022. Meanwhile, new cars have risen from an average transaction price of $37,000 in early 2020 to $46,000 today, a 24% increase. The cost of transportation in our very car-dependent country has climbed above what’s possible for most driver’s budgets. Now, more than ever, price matters. These are the most marked up cars in 2022.
Consumer Reports recently released eye-opening data on the price disparities between automakers as dealer markups amplify the madness of the auto industry in 2022. Kia is overwhelmingly the winner of the award for most ridiculous new car pricing in 2022.
The 2022 Kia Soul is a subcompact SUV that car buyers are eager to get their hands on. In fact, demand is so high that Kia dealers keep pushing the limits of Kia Soul pricing ever higher. In 2022, Consumer Reports finds that the average price for a Kia Soul in the US is 21% over MSRP.
When we take a look at CarEdge Car Search, we see that there are just over 1,000 new Kia Souls for sale in America right now. The Soul is in short supply. Shockingly, some go for nearly $40,000! Sure enough, CarEdge Car Dealer Reviews shows that buyers are having a hard time finding a good deal on the Soul in 2022.
Kia’s hot-selling mid-size SUV is also listed for 21% over MSRP on average. Kia has been able to keep a higher supply of Sorentos on dealer lots, with nearly 3,000 available nationwide. I just about dropped my coffee when I saw that Kia Sorento plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) are listed for over $60,000 in some parts of the country. See the Sorento listings near you here.
The third Kia model with a 21% average markup in 2022 is the Forte budget sedan. The consensus among reviewers of the Forte is that it’s simply an ‘okay’ car. Is it worth $34,000? Some dealers seem to think so.
With a 19% average markup, this typically affordable compact SUV is no longer cheap. The Sportage has a starting MSRP of $24,090, but it’s very hard to find one under $35,000, and some approach $50,000. Would you pay that much for a Kia compact SUV?
The Niro is popular, having sold well over 20,000 units annually in the U.S. before the chip shortage slashed production. Does its popularity justify the 19% average markup on the Niro? The electric version of the Niro has seen the most ludicrous price increases. Although the MSRP for a 2022 Niro EV EX Premium is $44,650, dealer prices reach up to $52,000 before taxes and fees.
It’s not just new car prices that are out of control. At CarEdge, we’ve been tracking used car price trends, and it’s hardly any better at the auction house. Seasonal price trends have gone out the window, and supply chain disruptions continue to put a damper on any semblance of normalcy. We’ve seen new car inventory plummet and struggle to climb back at all.
What will it take for the car price bubble to burst? Supply will have to catch up to demand. Until that happens, dealers (and automakers) have the upperhand when it comes to pricing. Be sure to join the CarEdge Community to stay up to date with the very latest car price and inventory news.
If you’re in the market for an affordable electric vehicle, you’ve likely already arrived at the realization that ‘affordable’ doesn’t mean cheap in 2022. In fact, our own CarEdge list of the best affordable electric cars features one car (the Tesla Model 3) that now starts just shy of $50,000. Are there any truly cheap electric cars available today? You may be surprised with what we found.
2022 Nissan LEAF
After earlier rumors suggested that the Nissan LEAF was to be discontinued, a Nissan executive recently stated that the LEAF is here to stay. That’s GREAT news for EV affordability.
We must point out that General Motors decided to slash the price of the LEAF’s competitor, the Chevy Bolt, to steal the title of ‘cheapest EV in America.’ More on that below.
Price: Starting at $27,400
Range: 150 to 226 miles, depending on battery size
Charging Speed: Either 50 kW or 100 kW speeds, depending on battery
Tesla is the face of electric cars today, but for years it was the Nissan Leaf at center stage. When Nissan brought the Leaf to market in 2010, it was a short-ranged novelty that somehow began to catch on. With just 73 miles of range on a good day, the first iteration of the Leaf was a bug-eyed appliance good for around town, but not much else.
Over a decade later, and the 2022 Nissan Leaf is a lot better than the first. However, it’s still a budget vehicle, and you get what you pay for. Still, it’s a great entry point into EVs for many. The Leaf now has enough range to make regional travel realistic, but charging speeds have unfortunately remained too slow to make it easy. If you’re eager to get into an electric car for under $30,000, you’ll surely want to check out the 2022 Nissan Leaf.
2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV – The Cheapest Electric Car
Price: Starting at $26,595
Range: 259 miles
Charging Speed: 55 kW speeds (adds 100 miles in 30 minutes of charging)
Tax Credit: The Bolt no longer qualifies for the federal EV tax credit, but state incentives may apply
The 2023 Chevy Bolt is the cheapest electric car today. It is available at dealers nationwide, as long as the mandatory recall fixes have been completed. See who has inventory at CarEdge Car Search: Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV
General Motors has sold over 100,000 Chevrolet Bolt EVs since launching the subcompact crossover in 2016. In 2021, the Bolt gained a new sibling: the larger Bolt EUV. Shortly after the Bolt EUV joined the show, several Bolt battery fires spurred a very urgent recall into action. When all was said and done, battery supplier LG Chem was found to be responsible for the Bolt battery fires, and agreed to pay General Motors $2 billion in damages.
Fast forward to 2022, and most Chevrolet Bolt’s (all for sale) have received new battery packs. The Bolt is a GREAT deal now that it’s fixed. If you’re never in a rush on road trips (or just plan to use the car around town), the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt is worth a look. It charges painfully slow, but hey, it is the cheapest electric car today.
If you check out used Bolts, request official documentation showing that all recall work was completed. The Bolt will be eligible for the new EV tax credit here in the United States, but only after 1/1/2023. See our full guide to EV tax credits for more info.
2022 Hyundai Kona EV
Price: Starting at $34,000
Range: 258 miles
Charging Speed: 100 kW speeds (180 miles added in 47 minutes)
The 2022 Hyundai Kona EV is no Tesla, but it has decent range and room to fit most lifestyles. Plus, it’s really cheap AND still qualifies for the $7,500 federal tax credit.
For just $34,000 before incentives, you can become the owner of the original Hyundai EV. This front-wheel drive subcompact crossover gets 258 miles on the charge, exceptional range for a budget EV. Some owners get over 275 miles on a single charge. The Limited trim, top-of-the-line option comes in at $42,500.
If you plug in at home, charging to 100% from a 240-volt dryer outlet will only take you about 9 hours from 10% state of charge. That will get you a full battery overnight while you’re sleeping. At a fast charger, the Kona is behind the competition. In 47 minutes, the Kona Electric charges from 10% to 80% capacity.
The all-new Hyundai IONIQ 5 has stolen the show with more range, MUCH faster charging, and retro looks, but it starts closer to $45,000 with destination and availability is very limited. For those who are willing to give up a few luxuries, the Hyundai Kona EV is a solid choice.
2022 Kia Niro EV
Price: Starting at $39,990
Range: 239 miles
Charging Speed: 100 kW at a DC fast charger (adds 100 miles of range in about 30 minutes)
The Kia Niro electric version is the sibling to the aforementioned Hyundai Kona EV. Both source their power from a 64 kilowatt-hour battery, which is a tad smaller than more expensive electric cars. The Niro EV can charge at up to 100 kilowatt speeds at a fast charger. At least that’s better than the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Bolt.
The Niro EV’s back seat is slightly more spacious than the Kona’s, so it’s more popular with families and those with large pets. There’s also a plug-in hybrid version. For just a few thousand dollars more, keep in mind that you could check out the base trims of the newer Kia EV6, Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Volkswagen ID.4.
2022 Mini Cooper SE Hardtop Electric
Range: 114 miles
Charging Speed: 50 kW speeds (about 90 miles of range in 36 minutes)
For just over $30,000, you can own an electric Mini. It’s practically a luxury golf cart! Jokes aside, it’s not a bad deal IF you don’t plan to go very far. With 114 miles of EPA-rated range, it’s a zippy way to scoot around town.
Why didn’t I include Mazda’s first fully-electric vehicle on this list? It’s a brand-new model, yet it only gets 100 miles of range on a charge. That, and the fact that it is only sold in California as a regulatory compliance vehicle for now. Come on, Mazda! That’s not enough range to safely make it across Los Angeles!
An electric car under $35,000? Sounds like science fiction, but as you can see, a few can be had for what used to be considered average car prices. Most of these cheap electric cars don’t have the best range, the fastest charging or the need for speed, but they won’t drain the bank like a Tesla will. Let me know which cheap EVs you’re checking out in 2022.
Some parting advice: consider all options, and test drive as many electric vehicles as you can. You’ll be amazed at what’s out there, and even more amazed at what’s to come.