Wondering what the most affordable electric car of 2022 is? Here are seven top contenders:
- Ford F-150 Lightning — Best for Off-Road Driving
- Mini Electric Hardtop — Best for Fast Charging
- Nissan Leaf — Best for Price
- Chevrolet Bolt EV — Best for Safety
- Ford Mustang Mach-E — Best for Charging Network
- Mazda MX-30 EV — Best for Design
- Hyundai Kona Electric — Best for Charging Savings
1. Ford F-150 Lightning — Best for Off-Road
The Ford F-150 Lightning has a 320-mile range on a full charge, seats up to five and has a 2,000-pound maximum payload. It goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in around four seconds, has 4×4 driving performance and is suspension tested for off-road journeys. For towing, it can handle up to 10,000 pounds.
This vehicle has what’s called “intelligent range,” which predicts how much energy will be used on each journey, considering the weather forecast and traffic. It has more than 14 cubic feet worth of trunk space in the front of the car and intelligent backup power when there are outages in your neighborhood.
- Retail price: $39,947
- Including Federal Tax Credit: $32,447
- EPA range: 320 miles
- Excellent range
- Can handle all road conditions
- Limited availability right now
2. Mini Cooper Electric — Best for Fast Charging
The Mini Cooper Electric has a 110-mile range on a full charge. It takes just 36 minutes to achieve an 80% charge when using DC Fast chargers available all over the U.S. There are 38,000 accessible charging points nationwide, all available through Mini’s mobile app.
Climate control and any servicing can be done through the app, too. The vehicle seats four adults and has 181 horsepower, which can take drivers from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. It comes with an eight-year warranty and is estimated to save drivers as much as $3,500 compared to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles over a five-year span.
- Retail price: $33,900
- Including Federal Tax Credit: $26,400
- EPA range: 110 miles
- Vast charging network
- Eight-year warranty
- Lower range
3. Nissan Leaf — Best for Price
As one of the first mass-produced EVs with more than two billion miles driven, the Nissan Leaf is one of the most trusted low-cost options. The vehicle has continuously improved its range, which now stands at 212 miles.
The Leaf has a connected app that lets drivers control everything from temperature and locking doors to turning off lights and managing range. Even going a step further, it has voice command integration with both “Hey Google” and Amazon’s “Alexa.”
This Nissan Leaf has limited cargo space at 23.6 cubic square feet, but seats can be folded for more room.
- Retail price: $27,800
- Including Federal Tax Credit: $20,300
- EPA range: 212 miles
- Good range
- Cheapest electric car
- Smaller cargo space
4. Chevrolet Bolt EV — Best for Safety
The Chevrolet Bolt EV has one of the largest charging networks, with more than 40,000 stations, making it a prime choice for anyone with range concerns. It’s estimated to get 259 miles on a full charge, too. Additionally, when buying a Bolt, Chevrolet will cover the cost of installation for a level two charging outlet as well.
It has a spacious interior that can fit five, along with 200 horsepower that takes drivers from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. It has comprehensive safety assistance tools, including automatic emergency braking for other cars and pedestrians.
- Retail price: $31,500
- Including Federal Tax Credit: $24,000
- EPA range: 259 miles
- Large charging network
- Safety assistance features
- Less focus on digital dashboards
5. Ford Mustang Mach-E — Best for Charging Network
The Ford Mustang Mach-E is another choice that puts performance concerns at ease, with its 314-mile range and the ability to go from zero to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. It is also part of the BlueOval charging network — the largest public charging network in North America. Even then, roadside assistance is available at a fee if the car does happen to run out of battery.
With the Mach-E, drivers get a warranty of up to 800,000 miles or eight years — whichever comes sooner. The only problem right now is limited inventory. It may be available at some dealers, but online orders have currently been paused due to explosive demand.
- Retail price: $43,895
- Including Federal Tax Credit: $36,345
- EPA range: 314 miles
- High range
- Vast charging network
- Limited availability
6. Mazda MX-30 EV — Best for Design
The Mazda MX-30 has a sleek leather interior that comes in a choice of two colors. It also has 12 Bose speakers installed throughout. Unfortunately, it is only available in California in 2022.
Some other downsides are its relatively low range at 100 miles and extras for the vehicle costing more. This includes things such as all-weather floor mats, splash guards, roof racks and navigation systems.
Despite this, there are plenty of advantages, too. The vehicle has an eight-year warranty as well as a 36-minute charging time for an 80% full battery. All drivers receive a $500 ChargePoint tax credit, too, which can be found via the Mazda app.
- Retail price: $33,470
- Including Federal Tax Credit: $25,970
- EPA range: 100 miles
- Charging tax credit
- One of the best interiors
- Only available in California
- Low range
- Add-ons cost extra
7. Hyundai Kona Electric — Best for Charging Savings
The Kona Electric has 201 horsepower and a full-charge range of 258 miles. At-home chargers will bring the Kona Electric from 10% to 100% in just over nine hours. Using the level three chargers at any station will power the vehicle up to 80% in roughly one hour.
Digital phone keys can do everything, from locking doors to starting the car. These keys can be sent to friends or family when they need to drive the car, too. A number of driving assists are available with the Kona Electric, including safe exits on highways and sensors for when the vehicle’s driven in reverse, as well as lane-following, blind spot collision and driver attention warnings, which alert drivers who may be drowsy or inattentive on the road.
New buyers who have signed up for Electrify America can also get three years of free charging from the day of purchase after they enter their unique Hyundai Premium Charging code into the app. In certain qualifying states, Kona Electric drivers can drive on their own in HOV lanes. Digital displays can connect with Apple or Android devices.
- Retail price: $34,000
- Including Federal Tax Credit: $26,500
- EPA range: 258 miles
- Solo HOV lane driving in some regions
- Good range
- Charging benefits
- Longer charging times than some others
All of the options above are excellent alternatives to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles for anyone looking to go green and make the move to electric. In any case, with electric vehicles, the main benefit is saving in long-term costs. The ideal choice depends on the driver’s daily use.