Cheapest electric cars 2022: affordable EVs (2023)

Electric mobility can get expensive
Our cheapest electric cars on sale today
Prices kick off from just £22,335

Price is often cited as one of the main barriers to motorists trading in their petrol, diesel or hybrid cars and going for a fully electric model. And it’s true – EVs do tend to command a premium. The expense of batteries, the early-adopter ‘tax’ and the trend for offering EVs only as high-specification range-toppers all contribute to this gap.

If the purchase price is putting you off an EV then this page is for you, as we’ll be listing the cheapest models available to buy as well as some tips on navigating the used market. Don’t go expecting miracles – there’s very little crossover with this list and, say, the fastest electric cars or those with the longest range. Instead, you’ll find pragmatic choices that make an ideal entry into the world of electric cars.

What’s the UK government doing?

The UK government’s2035 ban on the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid carsis expected to speed things up too, as manufacturers seek to offer EVs at all price points before internal-combustion is shown the door.The Plug-in Car Grant was however scrapped in summer 2022 –meaning Brits no longer receive subsidies to sweeten the pill of going electric.

Read more about the electric car grants here. They had been whittled down from the original £5k discount – by the end they were worth just £1,500 off the cost of a new fully electric car with a list price under £40,000. Now, even that useful sum

Are electric cars getting cheaper?

Falling R&D costs, economies of scale and the presence of smaller, less upmarket electric cars to sit alongside the big electric SUVs and saloons that kickstarted the whole shift towards electrification mean the market’s becoming ever more friendly to those on a budget.

Nowadays the most affordable viable electric cars start at just over £22,000. Note the word ‘viable’ – while we enjoy quadricycles like the Renault Twizy, they don’t count as cars, and we’ve also ignored vehicles with such a short range as to be unusable.

All vehicles listed here are inclusive of the government’s £1500 Plug-in Car Grant and prices are correct at the time of writing.

Read more:

  • Best electric SUVs
  • The best used electric cars
  • The best electric cars
  • Learning to drive in an electric car: will our kids ever drive a fossil-fuel car?

The cheapest electric vehicles (EVs) to buy in 2022

Fiat 500 Electric

Cheapest electric cars 2022: affordable EVs (1)

Price from: £22,335
Range: 115 miles

(Video) 10 Cheapest Electric Cars You Can Buy | Non-Tesla EVs

Kicking the list off is what we consider the least expensive electric car that’s still viable for daily use. Available only in bargain-basement Action trim, the 500 Electric is a fab little car – our sister site Parkers awarded it their Small Electric Car of the Year gong for 2022. Cute to look at, fun to drive and packed with personality, it ticks a great many boxes.

Sure, 115 miles on a full charge means anything longer than a commute will require forward planning, but it’s ideal for the city and though the back seats are fairly useless there’s plenty of space for two. Spend a bit extra and the long-range model offers up to 199 miles on a charge.

MG 4

Cheapest electric cars 2022: affordable EVs (2)

Price from: £25,995
Range: 218 miles

The MG 4 is perhaps the best value car on this list. It’s a similar size to the Volkswagen ID.3, but has a starting price around £10,000 below its German rival. And you don’t have to sacrifice much for that price cut.

The 4 EV is good to drive, with a rear-mounted motor giving plenty of performance. The basic model has a more-than-acceptable 218-mile range, but for just an extra £2,500 you can step up to the Long Range car with 281 miles of range. All models are well-equipped, and it’s only a few areas on the interior that give away the model’s budget price tag.

MG 5 EV

Cheapest electric cars 2022: affordable EVs (3)

Price from: £26,695
Range: 250 miles

If you like the idea of the MG ZS EV’s value and range but prefer an estate car to an SUV, step right this way. It’s little wonder the 5 EV has already proved popular with taxi drivers – with a real-world range in excess of 200 miles, a seven-year warranty and practical interior it’s practically a ready-made minicab.

Like its sibling, you’ll enjoy absolutely no admiring glances – more people are likely to ask you what it is. But if you like flying under the radar, that may be an attractive proposition…

MG 5 review

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(Video) NEW Electric Cars with Cheapest Prices: Affordable EV Buying Guide for 2023

Nissan Leaf

Cheapest electric cars 2022: affordable EVs (4)

Price from: £28,995
Range: 168 miles

The original Nissan Leaf is often credited as the first car to make electric mobility mainstream – and for a long time, it was the best-selling electric car in the world. Now less popular it’s still a decent way to get into a cheap electric family car, with lots of space for the price.

This cheaper model uses a 40kWh battery and 168 miles of WLTP-certified range – a longer-range model with over 200 miles is available for more cash. All models are comfortable to drive and come with lots of equipment for the money, however they are beginning to feel their age. Particularly when it comes to charging – Leafs use a ChaDeMo connector which is increasingly being phased out in favour of Type 2 or CCS sockets.

Nissan Leaf review

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Vauxhall Corsa-e

Cheapest electric cars 2022: affordable EVs (5)

Price from: £29,305
Range: 222 miles

The Corsa-e’s a great budget-friendly supermini, not just for buying outright – it’s also available with some very generous finance and leasing packages.

And that doesn’t mean it’s cheap and nasty. Based on the same platform as the Peugeot e-208, this generation of Corsa’s better to drive than any that came before it, and the interior’s taken a huge step forward, too – it’s now reasonably spacious and high-quality, though does lack some stylistic flair compared to its sister car. Experience with this model suggests around 160 miles is a realistic range figure, compared to its WLTP-certified 222 miles.

Vauxhall Corsa-e review

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MG ZS EV

Cheapest electric cars 2022: affordable EVs (6)

Price from: £29,945
Range: 273 miles

The ZS EV is the first car on this list with a significant enough range to be considered as a family’s only car. The official 273-mile WLTP figure is more like 250 miles in the real world, but that’s still on a par with some of the longest-range EVs available – many of which are double the price of the ZS EV.

(Video) ELECTRIC vs PETROL CAR – which is REALLY cheaper?? | What Car?

The cracks do show a little elsewhere – the interior’s rather low-rent, the driving dynamics dull and the prestige factor absolute zero. But if you want a big, practical EV with a long range, there’s very little to challenge it.

MG ZS EV review

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Renault Zoe

Cheapest electric cars 2022: affordable EVs (7)

Price from: £29,995
Range: 245 miles

The Zoe looks a lot like a tall Clio but under the attractive supermini body lies enough battery to cover a real-world 200 miles between charges, an impressive range for such a small car. It’s not a particularly bad place to while away the miles, either – the dashboard is similar to the Renault Clio’s, and though the driving position is very high the rest of the interior strikes a nice balance between quality and value.

Do note the Zoe’s atrocious Euro NCAP crash test score – only the third car to be awarded zero stars. It’s not inherently unsafe, like a zero-star car from ten years ago might be – but rivals offer greater protection in an impact and better active safety equipment.

Renault Zoe review

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Mazda MX-30

Cheapest electric cars 2022: affordable EVs (8)

Price from: £30,050
Range: 124 miles

The MX-30 looks the business. It may be a compact SUV but it’s far from identikit with cool touches like those suicide rear doors and cork dashboard. Mazda’s commitment to driver enjoyment shines through and the MX-30 has fun handling, accurate steering, and not too much weight to worry about.

The light weight does mean there’s sod all battery capacity, though – a 124-mile official range is less than 100 miles in most real-world conditions. A range-extender variant with an interesting rotary petrol engine has been promised, though…

Mazda mx-30 review

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(Video) 10 Cheapest Electric Cars You Can Buy in 2022

MINI Electric

Cheapest electric cars 2022: affordable EVs (9)

Price from: £31,000
Range: 145 miles

Cheap electric cars are usually still quite fun to drive thanks to the instant performance on offer from their motors – but the MINI Electric takes things a step further with genuinely engaging handling and a more analogue feel than most of its rivals.

We lived with one for six months, finding it to be great fun to drive as a ‘warm’ hatch – but bemoaning the low range, which sits at less than 100 miles in cold weather. Still, if your needs aren’t very demanding, there’s a lot to like – especially the myriad personalisation options which allow you to tailor your MINI Electric to your own tastes.

Mini Electric review

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Hyundai Kona Electric

Cheapest electric cars 2022: affordable EVs (10)

Price from: £31,325
Range: 189 miles

Challenging looks aside, the Kona makes for a pretty compelling electric car choice. An official range of 189 miles WLTP isn’t particularly stellar compared to the likes of the MG ZS EV, above, but it’s a cut above in terms of interior quality and driving experience.

If you need more range, a larger version with a 64kWh battery is available for more cash. But even the entry-level model drives well, is reasonably practical and comes loaded with equipment.

Hyundai Kona electric review

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What about a used EV?

Buying any secondhand car can be risky, but EVs are a different kettle of fish. Giving with one hand and taking away with another, you’ll find far fewer components that could go wrong – but as a result, their value hinges on the condition of the battery pack.

Used electric cars hold their value very well, which is great for those selling up but not so good if you’re seeking a bargain. We’ve a full guide to buying a used EV here, plus some of the models you might want to consider.

(Video) Electric Cars To Buy In 2023

Any cheap EVs worth waiting for?

Not many. Most examples promised for 2023 and beyond are more of what we’ve come to expect from manufacturers – big, expensive flagships intended to advance the technology rather than democratise it.

There are some bright sparks, notably the Dacia Spring EV which promises a bargain-basement price tag albeit with some cheap car caveats.

Further electric car reading:

  • Where to charge in the UK? An EV guide
  • Electric car tax: how it works
  • A guide to VW’s electric cars

FAQs

How much is the cheapest electric car 2022? ›

The cheapest electric cars you can buy in 2022 include the Ford F-150 Lightning, Chevy Bolt EV, and Kia EV6. The cheapest model starts at $27,400, before factoring in the federal tax credit for EV purchases.

Are electric cars cheaper in 2022? ›

EV's are cheaper to run

In 2022, charging your electric car is nearly half the cost per mile when compared with an average petrol driven family car.

What is the cheapest and most reliable electric car? ›

The best affordable EVs and how the federal tax credit can save you $7,500
  • 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV. Best affordable EV overall. ...
  • 2023 Nissan Leaf. Most affordable electric car. ...
  • 2023 BMW 330e. Best performance from an affordable EV. ...
  • 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning. Best electric truck on a budget. ...
  • 2022 Volvo S60.
5 days ago

Is it worth buying an EV in 2022? ›

The performance of EVs is better than gas-powered cars

The fourth reason to buy an EV in 2022 is electric cars deliver better performance than gas-powered ones. As EV technology advances, the performance margin between electric cars and gas-powered ones becomes even greater.

Are electric cars dropping in price? ›

As demand for EVs ramps up, industry experts say prices will become cheaper. According to Treehugger.com, experts anticipate that EVs and gas-powered cars will cost about the same by 2025.

Are EV cars worth it? ›

Average cost of an electric vehicle

EV drivers spend around 60% less on fuel than gas-burning vehicle drivers, according to a Consumer Reports Study. Over the average 200,000 mile lifespan of their vehicle, the total cost of a gas-powered car would be $94,540, while a similar EV would cost $90,160, according to CNBC.

How long do electric cars last? ›

The average lifetime mileage of an ICE vehicle is about 133,000 miles. While experts estimate the average EV battery will last around 200,000 miles, some manufacturers already promise much more than that.

How long do electric car batteries last? ›

“Today, most EV batteries have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years within the car – and a second life beyond.” It's also worth noting that EV battery technology is still evolving, so as tech develops we expect batteries' lifespan to increase – as well as becoming cheaper, smaller and even lighter.

Is car insurance higher for electric cars? ›

Generally, electric cars are more costly to insure than conventional vehicles. Because electric vehicles are pricier to both buy and repair, insurance providers charge their drivers more for coverage. That said, the savings you earn on gas and tax incentives might more than make up for your policy's extra cost.

Do you really save money with electric cars? ›

It costs $1,700 less per year to drive the 120 MPGe Kona for 15,000 miles on electricity than the 30 MPG gas version. That allows you to recoup your costs in eight years. Electric cars are also cheaper to maintain, according to AAA, costing $330 less per year. So you could break even in 6.7 years.

Do electric cars lose value quickly? ›

Electric cars depreciate slower than most petrol and diesel cars.

What electric car has least problems? ›

The 11 most reliable electric cars
  • Renault Zoe (2013-present) ...
  • BMW i3 (2013-2022) ...
  • Nissan Leaf (2019-present) ...
  • Tesla Model 3 (2019-present) ...
  • Kia e-Niro (2019-2022) ...
  • Volkswagen e-Golf (2013-2020) Reliability rating: 94.7% ...
  • MG ZS EV (2019-present) Reliability rating: 95.5% ...
  • Nissan Leaf (2011-2018) Reliability rating: 98.9%
12 Oct 2022

Which electric car is best to invest in? ›

  • The Best EV Stocks of 2022.
  • Tesla Inc (TSLA)
  • NIO Inc. ( NIO)
  • Li Auto Inc. ( LI)
  • XPeng Inc. ( XPEV)
  • ChargePoint Holdings (CHPT)
  • Proterra Inc. ( PTRA)
  • Rivian Automotive, Inc. ( RIVN)

Which electric car lasts the longest? ›

  1. Mercedes EQS - 485 miles. The longest-range electric car currently on sale is also one of the newest: the Mercedes EQS.
  2. Mercedes EQE - 410 miles. ...
  3. Tesla Model S - 405 miles. ...
  4. BMW iX - 380 miles. ...
  5. Ford Mustang Mach-E - 379 miles. ...
  6. BMW i4 - 367 miles. ...
  7. Tesla Model 3 - 360 miles. ...
  8. Tesla Model X - 360 miles. ...

Is EV charging cheaper than gas? ›

According to the eGallon Calculator, EV charging costs roughly half the price of powering a standard gasoline vehicle for driving the same distance. Even if you charge your EV at a public station, it's still cheaper than filling with gasoline.

Will an electric car last 20 years? ›

Electric motor maintenance is limited to coolant changes every 100,000 miles. Engines, in addition to coolant, require regular oil changes, air filters, and likely spark plugs in that time. Both motors and engines are proven to last upwards of 20 years.

Do electric cars pay for themselves? ›

We hear you! EVs are a great way to ensure fuel savings. While an EV can promise great savings, it is not guaranteed that an EV will ever fully pay for itself. If your vehicle were to eventually cover its own costs, it could take approximately 10 years for your car to finally break even in fuel savings.

Why is no one buying electric cars? ›

Common Reasons Drivers May Avoid EVs

The most common reasons drivers avoid EVs include fear the battery will run out of charge before reaching their destination, also known as “range anxiety,” fear of too few charging stations, long charge times, and initial higher upfront vehicle costs.

Will electric cars make gas cheaper? ›

According to research conducted by the US Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Idaho National Laboratory, electric cars can save up to $14,500 on gas costs over 15 years.

Why will electric cars get cheaper? ›

By improving designs, reducing battery costs and creating more dedicated production lines, the industry is forecasted to lower the price of electric vehicles. So much so, that all forms of EV will be cheaper to produce than combustion vehicles within the decade.

What are 3 disadvantages to an electric car? ›

These disadvantages include finding charging stations, charging times, higher initial costs, limited driving range, and battery packs can be expensive to replace.

What disadvantages do electric cars have? ›

What are the downsides to electric cars?
  • Their batteries need rare metals. ...
  • Making electric cars creates more emissions. ...
  • They are only as green as their power sources. ...
  • Electric cars can be expensive to buy. ...
  • You can't drive as far in an electric car. ...
  • There aren't enough charging points.

Why is the Nissan Leaf so cheap? ›

Some of the factors contributing to the Leaf's low price include low battery range, depreciation, government incentives, outdated technology, and uninspiring design. Low battery range: On a new Leaf, the battery range is only 80 to 100 miles per charge, and this drops to around 50 miles per change on a used Leaf.

Are electric cars affected by cold weather? ›

How Much Range is Lost? Cold temperatures do affect electric vehicles and steal some of their range. The amount of range lost depends on many factors such as the car itself, its potential range in normal weather, and whether the heat is on.

Do electric cars lose charge when parked? ›

Electric vehicles lose charge when parked although it is minimal, it can add up over time. Green Car Reports suggest you charge your battery at least 80% before parking the car. However, EV experts all agree that the vehicle needs to have at least 50% battery when put into storage.

How long can an EV sit without charging? ›

An electric car can sit for months without charging.

This can only be achieved if the battery is charged to an appropriate percentage which is typically around 50% for most electric cars.

What happens if my electric car runs out of battery? ›

If you're driving an electric car and it runs out of power, the short and simple answer is this: the car will stop—and you'll need to call roadside assistance to get towed to the nearest charging station.

How much does it cost to replace an electric car battery? ›

Experts say electric vehicle batteries typically cost between $2,000 and $10,000 to replace, but some are more expensive. Electric vehicles are growing in popularity worldwide, with sales doubling in 2021 to a new record of 6.6 million, the International Energy Agency said in May.

How much is a Tesla battery replacement? ›

Tesla battery replacement cost varies depending on the labor and parts needed. Typically, the most basic battery replacement in tesla costs between $13,000 and $14,000. For the Model S premium sedan, replacing a Tesla battery costs around $13,000-$20,000.

Are electric cars expensive to repair? ›

According to a recent study from CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc., for example, based on actual insurance claims for small, non-luxury-brand cars with front-end damage that were still driveable, the average EV model cost $4,041 to fix. That was about 27% more than the average for roughly comparable non-EV models.

Do you need a driving Licence to drive an electric car? ›

Do I need a licence and test for an EV? While some electric bikes below a maximum power output of 250 watts and top speed of no more than 15.5mph do not require a licence, other battery powered vehicles (even electric scooters by law) will require a licence and theory and practical examination.

How long does it take to charge an electric car? ›

Summary. The time it takes to charge an electric car can be as little as 30 minutes or more than 12 hours. This depends on the size of the battery and the speed of the charging point. A typical electric car (60kWh battery) takes just under 8 hours to charge from empty-to-full with a 7kW charging point.

Do electric cars need oil changes? ›

Any need for engine pistons, valves, and other moving parts that need to be lubricated, electric vehicle does not need regular oil changes. Electric cars use completely different drivetrains, so you will never have to worry about routine oil changes that are necessary for traditional cars.

Is an electric car cheaper in the long run? ›

The 2021 study compared vehicles of multiple sizes and found that while the total cost of ownership over 15 years is similar between electric vehicles and their gas-powered counterparts, electric vehicles are slightly cheaper to operate per mile.

How long does it take to charge an electric car at a charging station? ›

Charging an electric car can be done at home or at any public charging stations. Fully charging a car can be done in just 30 minutes, or it may take as long as half a day. How big your battery is, or how fast your charging point is may change the time required.

Is it better to buy an electric car or keep my old one? ›

MYTH: "It's better if you just keep your old car”

But actually, of the energy and CO2 a petrol car is responsible for in its lifetime, roughly four times is in the driving compared with the manufacturing. For an EV it's about three times.

Will gas cars ever be obsolete? ›

State regulators project that by 2030, there will be 2.9 million fewer new gas-powered vehicles sold, growing to 9.5 million fewer conventional vehicles by 2035. About 183,000 out of the estimated 2 million vehicles sold in California in 2035 are projected to be plug-in hybrid.

How long does an electric car battery last before it needs to be replaced? ›

Electric car battery technology

This decreases the range and time needed between each journey to charge. Most manufacturers have a five to eight-year warranty on their battery. However, the current prediction is that an electric car battery will last from 10 – 20 years before they need to be replaced.

What is the average price of an electric car in 2022? ›

The average price of an electric vehicle in the United States for August 2022 was $66,000, according to Kelley Blue Book, the leading price advisor in the country. The average price of an electric vehicle increased by 13% compared with 2021, which indicates a sharp upward trend.

Are electric car prices going up in 2022? ›

From April 1, 2022, the prices of raw materials are set to soar, meaning that fuelling up your car is getting a lot more expensive. Whilst it might seem that electric vehicles have gotten away mostly unaffected, they're facing a different kind of battle with price increases.

What is the average price of an electric car? ›

In 2022, the average cost of a new EV is $65,291, or about 37% higher than the overall new car market.

How much is the cheapest Tesla? ›

The Tesla lineup for 2022 (Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y) ranges in cost from $46,990 – $138,990 before taxes, incentives, and specific options. The least expensive Tesla is the Model 3 Standard Range Plus which has a base price of $46,990 before options, taxes, incentives.

Is car insurance more expensive for an electric vehicle? ›

Generally, electric cars are more costly to insure than conventional vehicles. Because electric vehicles are pricier to both buy and repair, insurance providers charge their drivers more for coverage. That said, the savings you earn on gas and tax incentives might more than make up for your policy's extra cost.

Do you really save money with an electric car? ›

It costs $1,700 less per year to drive the 120 MPGe Kona for 15,000 miles on electricity than the 30 MPG gas version. That allows you to recoup your costs in eight years. Electric cars are also cheaper to maintain, according to AAA, costing $330 less per year. So you could break even in 6.7 years.

Why are EVs so expensive? ›

Blame the Makers. Companies that spend crazy amounts of money on research and development while neglecting production are just frustrating consumer demand.

Will used electric car prices go down? ›

Prices for used EVs in the US have stabilized after climbing 12 of the last 16 months, according to electric vehicle range analyst company Recurrent's “Used Electric Car Prices & Market Report – Q4 2022,” which was released today.

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