The Cheapest Electric Vehicles in 2022

I decided that it would be worth the effort to research and share a list of the cheapest new electric vehicles to buy in the US market in 2022. Why? For starters, take a look at prices at the pump. Gas prices go up and down, but having to captively pay $5+ per gallon for any length of time as a consequence of big oil price gouging and profit-taking, geopolitical upheaval, and oil-cartel supply limitation is infuriating. But the incentive isn’t all negative – which brings me to the other reason to share this list of the cheapest electric cars. On the positive side of things, we’re finally seeing automakers start to deliver on meeting consumer demand for affordable, efficient, high-range new electric cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs.




As a result of these 2 trends converging, electric vehicle sales in Q1 of 2022 have reportedly doubled year-over-year in the U.S. market, from 2.5% to 5.2% of total vehicles sold. With exciting new electric vehicle models, including plenty of pickup trucks, crossovers, and SUVs scheduled to hit the market soon, and with many Americans hitting their breaking point on gas prices, I only expect the shift towards electric vehicles to further accelerate from here. Don’t believe me? Exxon Mobile’s CEO just predicted that by 2040 every new passenger car sold in the world will be electric. While oil execs don’t have the best track record on truth, that’s a fairly bold yet believable claim for an oil exec to make.

Cheapest Electric Vehicles 2022

I’ve always been a fuel economy nerd and have kept a close eye on the most fuel-efficient vehicles over the past decade plus. When I first started compiling that list, every single vehicle was a gasoline-electric hybrid (primarily gasoline-powered with a tiny electric-only range, such as with the original Toyota Prius) or simply a small, efficient gas-powered vehicle with a tiny combustion motor. Today, every vehicle on that list is 100% powered by electricity. That will be the case for the next few decades, until hydrogen or another yet to be imagined power source technology overtakes electricity.

What always bothered me with how that list was trending, however, was the astronomical prices of many of those vehicles (and, yes, I’m looking at you, Tesla). This is a personal finance blog, after all, and transportation costs have quietly become the second highest expense category per household in the U.S., on average. This is why I’ve also kept track of the cheapest new cars. As a personal finance writer, I should note that electric vehicles are typically still more expensive than their gasoline counterparts in terms of purchase price. This is quickly changing though. And total cost of ownership continues to tilt in the favor of electric vehicles, particularly with gas prices increasing. Ongoing maintenance costs of electric vehicles have always been lower than gasoline-powered vehicles. Hence, my new focus on the cheapest new electric cars, trucks, and SUVs here.

The folks over at MIT previously put together data showing the monthly maintenance costs and emissions (including upstream emissions for electric vehicles) of most mass-produced vehicles sold in the U.S. market. This list needs an update, but is worth a look to compare vehicles and emphasize the point that monthly costs for electric vehicles are now comparable to hybrid and gas-powered vehicles. And, there is still up to $7,500 in federal electric vehicle tax credits and a number of state electric vehicle tax credits available for a number of electric vehicle manufacturers, impacting those economics even further.

Electric Vehicle Price Ranking, Efficiency, Range, & Other Metrics

For the specs listed below, efficiency (effective MPG, or eMPG), CO2 emissions (in grams/mile), and annual fuel (electricity) cost metrics were gathered from the EPA’s fueleconomy.gov site. Upstream CO2 emissions are national averages (assuming the individual does not have their own electricity generated and is purchasing from a utility), and is comparable to a new gasoline-powered vehicle average of about 410 grams/mile. Annual fuel costs listed are based on 45% highway, 55% city driving, 15,000 annual miles and $0.13 per kWh of electricity.




For MSRP, I have listed the base price (including destination charges) prior to any federal or state tax credits. Federal tax credit amount (at time of publish) is also listed. There is still a federal electric vehicle tax credit of up to $7,500 available for purchases on approved electric vehicles (eligibility varies based on your tax situation). “Effective price” is the base MSRP listed below, minus available federal tax credit. Tax credits are phased out for automakers when they have produced their 200,000th electric vehicle for sale in the U.S. market and a few automakers have passed that mark. Tesla and GM models are no longer eligible for the federal tax credit as they have surpassed the 200,000 vehicles sold threshold. Toyota is expected to hit the 200,000 phaseout threshold any day, and Ford is also expected to hit that number soon.

The Ranking of the 10 Cheapest Electric Vehicles of 2022 Sold in the US:

Here are the top 10 cheapest electric vehicles of 2022 sold in the United States, from #10 to #1.

10. Volkswagen ID.4

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 EV

  • Base Electric Model: Volkswagen ID.4 Pro 19″
  • Base MSRP (before tax credits or other incentives): $41,995
  • Current Federal Tax Credit (at time of publish): $7,500
  • Effective Price (MSRP minus federal tax credit): $34,455
  • Combined MPG Equivalent: 107
  • City MPG Equivalent: 116
  • Highway MPG Equivalent: 98
  • Annual Fuel (Electricity) Cost: $600
  • CO2 Tailpipe Emissions: 0 grams/mile
  • Upstream CO2 Emissions: 130 grams/mile
  • Battery Range: 275 miles
  • Overview: While not the cheapest electric vehicle on this list (it comes in at #10), the VW ID.4 offers up a lot of utility, an outstanding range (275 miles), and some pretty stylist good looks. A friend of mine recently purchased this vehicle and rated it a 7 out of 10 (for whatever it’s worth).

9. Ford F-150 Lightning Pro

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro Electric

  • Base Electric Model: Ford F-150 Lightning Pro SR 18″
  • Base MSRP (before tax credits or other incentives): $39,974
  • Current Federal Tax Credit (at time of publish): $7,500
  • Effective Price (MSRP minus federal tax credit): $34,169
  • Combined MPG Equivalent: 68
  • City MPG Equivalent: 76
  • Highway MPG Equivalent: 61
  • Annual Fuel (Electricity) Cost: $950
  • CO2 Tailpipe Emissions: 0 grams/mile
  • Upstream CO2 Emissions: 200 grams/mile
  • Battery Range: 230 miles
  • Overview: Even if you’re not in the pickup truck target market, you have to admit that the Ford F-150 Lightning is an exciting new entrant in the electric vehicle space and it is a lot of vehicle for the money, especially when compared with many of the other vehicles on this list. That’s why I gave it the headline photo for this article. Utility-wise, the F-150 has no comparison, yet it boasts an impressive 230 miles of range for its size.

8. Chevrolet Bolt EUV

2022 Chevy Bolt EUV

  • Base Electric Model: Chevrolet Bolt EUV
  • Base MSRP (before tax credits or other incentives): $33,995
  • Current Federal Tax Credit (at time of publish): $0
  • Effective Price (MSRP minus federal tax credit): $33,995
  • Combined MPG Equivalent: 115
  • City MPG Equivalent: 125
  • Highway MPG Equivalent: 104
  • Annual Fuel (Electricity) Cost: $550
  • CO2 Tailpipe Emissions: 0 grams/mile
  • Upstream CO2 Emissions: 120 grams/mile
  • Battery Range: 247 miles
  • Overview: Big news: GM announced that they are dropping the 2023 Chevy Bolt EUV price down to $28,195 (without a federal tax credit) – which would boost it up this list quite a bit. For 247 miles of range and good utility and efficiency, that’s an exciting price drop.

7. Kia Niro EV

2022 Kia Niro EV

  • Base Electric Model: Kia Niro EV
  • Base MSRP (before tax credits or other incentives): $41,165
  • Current Federal Tax Credit (at time of publish): $7,500
  • Effective Price (MSRP minus federal tax credit): $33,665
  • Combined MPG Equivalent: 112
  • City MPG Equivalent: 123
  • Highway MPG Equivalent: 102
  • Annual Fuel (Electricity) Cost: $600
  • CO2 Tailpipe Emissions: 0 grams/mile
  • Upstream CO2 Emissions: 120 grams/mile
  • Battery Range: 239 miles
  • Overview: The sister vehicle to the Kia Niro EV is the Hyundai Kona electric, which comes in quite a bit cheaper comparatively. Range, efficiency, and utility are pretty similar between the two vehicles, but the Kona nets out around $6K lower in price than the Niro.

6. Hyundai Ioniq 5

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV

  • Base Electric Model: Hyundai Ioniq 5 SE SR RWD 19″
  • Base MSRP (before tax credits or other incentives): $40,925
  • Current Federal Tax Credit (at time of publish): $7,500
  • Effective Price (MSRP minus federal tax credit): $33,425
  • Combined MPG Equivalent: 110
  • City MPG Equivalent: 127
  • Highway MPG Equivalent: 94
  • Annual Fuel (Electricity) Cost: $600
  • CO2 Tailpipe Emissions: 0 grams/mile
  • Upstream CO2 Emissions: 130 grams/mile
  • Battery Range: 303 miles
  • Overview: 303 miles of range is impressive for a vehicle of this size! The 2022 Ioniq 5 won “world car of the year”, “world car design of the year”, and “world electric vehicle of the year” at the 2022 World Car Awards, for whatever that is worth.

5. Chevrolet Bolt EV

2022 Chevy Bolt EV

  • Base Electric Model: Chevrolet Bolt EV
  • Base MSRP (before tax credits or other incentives): $31,995
  • Current Federal Tax Credit (at time of publish): $0
  • Effective Price (MSRP minus federal tax credit): $31,995
  • Combined MPG Equivalent: 120
  • City MPG Equivalent: 131
  • Highway MPG Equivalent: 109
  • Annual Fuel (Electricity) Cost: $550
  • CO2 Tailpipe Emissions: 0 grams/mile
  • Upstream CO2 Emissions: 120 grams/mile
  • Battery Range: 259 miles
  • Overview: Chevy also announced that they are dropping the 2023 Bolt EV price down to $26,595 – which would make it the cheapest new electric vehicle in the U.S. market (barring any unexpected new entrants), excluding the $7,500 federal tax credit (which would still leave the Nissan Leaf in the #1 spot for effective price, for as long as its tax credit lasts, and the Bolt in the #2 spot). Not bad for a vehicle with 259 miles of range!

4. Hyundai Kona Electric

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

  • Base Electric Model: Hyundai Kona Electric
  • Base MSRP (before tax credits or other incentives): $35,185
  • Current Federal Tax Credit (at time of publish): $7,500
  • Effective Price (MSRP minus federal tax credit): $27,685
  • Combined MPG Equivalent: 120
  • City MPG Equivalent: 132
  • Highway MPG Equivalent: 108
  • Annual Fuel (Electricity) Cost: $550
  • CO2 Tailpipe Emissions: 0 grams/mile
  • Upstream CO2 Emissions: 120 grams/mile
  • Battery Range: 258 miles
  • Overview: The Hyundai Kona Electric might be the best-valued electric vehicles on the market. An affordable price point, good utility, excellent efficiency, and 258 miles of range make it a great value.

3. Mazda MX-30

2022 Mazda MX-30

  • Base Electric Model: Mazda MX-30
  • Base MSRP (before tax credits or other incentives): $27,145
  • Current Federal Tax Credit (at time of publish): $7,500
  • Effective Price (MSRP minus federal tax credit): $27,145
  • Combined MPG Equivalent: 92
  • City MPG Equivalent: 98
  • Highway MPG Equivalent: 85
  • Annual Fuel (Electricity) Cost: $700
  • CO2 Tailpipe Emissions: 0 grams/mile
  • Upstream CO2 Emissions: 150 grams/mile
  • Battery Range: 100 miles
  • Overview: Mazda’s first all-electric vehicle is affordable for the size, but you have to wonder who is in the market for an electric SUV/crossover that has just 100 miles of range.

2. MINI Cooper SE

2022 Mini Cooper SE Electric

  • Base Electric Model: MINI Cooper SE Electric Hardtop
  • Base MSRP (before tax credits or other incentives): $30,750
  • Current Federal Tax Credit (at time of publish): $7,500
  • Effective Price (MSRP minus federal tax credit): $23,250
  • Combined MPG Equivalent: 110
  • City MPG Equivalent: 119
  • Highway MPG Equivalent: 100
  • Annual Fuel (Electricity) Cost: $600
  • CO2 Tailpipe Emissions: 0 grams/mile
  • Upstream CO2 Emissions: 130 grams/mile
  • Battery Range: 114 miles
  • Overview: The Mini Cooper SE electric comes in at a great price and is a fun looking little car, but with a fully electric range of just 114 miles, it’s hard to see it as anything more than an urban or 2nd car.

1. Nissan Leaf

2022 Nissan Leaf

  • Base Electric Model: Nissan LEAF S (40 kWh)
  • Base MSRP (before tax credits or other incentives): $28,375
  • Current Federal Tax Credit (at time of publish): $7,500
  • Effective Price (MSRP minus federal tax credit): $20,875
  • Combined MPG Equivalent: 111
  • City MPG Equivalent: 123
  • Highway MPG Equivalent: 99
  • Annual Fuel (Electricity) Cost: $600
  • CO2 Tailpipe Emissions: 0 grams/mile
  • Upstream CO2 Emissions: 130 grams/mile
  • Battery Range: 149 miles
  • Overview: You may still be able to find a 2022 Nissan Leaf at this price, but Nissan is already selling the slightly remodeled 2023 Nissan Leaf S for $28,895 (pre tax credit). Range and efficiency are identical to the 2022 Nissan Leaf S.

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