It’s true. A zero-emission, earth-friendly electric car can now be bought for under $35,000. Of course, compromises are necessary at that price point. For starters, most affordable electrics are built for cruising around town, having a range of 100 miles or less. (Electric cars get fewer miles-per-charge if you’re heavy on the accelerator or driving in cold temperatures, too!) They also take longer to charge than more expensive models – figure a minimum of 4 hours.
But if you have a short commute and want to take part in the electric movement, here’s 6 models to consider:
2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV – $22,995
62-mile range, 66 horsepower, seats 4
Billed as America’s most affordable electric car, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV doesn’t have much in the way of horsepower – 66 hp. Or looks – styling takes its cue from a jellybean. But the car is priced accordingly: It’s one of the cheapest all-electrics on the market. Car and Driver doesn’t give it terrible reviews on driving, but notes that it’s slow.
2016 Volkswagen e-Golf – $28,995
83-mile range, 115 horsepower, seats 5
The good news is the Volkswagen e-Golf looks like its gasoline counterpart. The bad news: it’s only available in a handful of states. Regardless, Edmunds calls the Volkswagen e-Golf “one of our favorite electric vehicles.” The car has good grip and handling thanks to a low center of gravity. Yet, the vehicle range has room for improvement. That could be coming. Volkswagen promises to deliver a 2017 model with a 124 mile-range.
2017 Fiat 500e – $32,795
84-mile range, 111 horsepower, seats 4
With its classic Italian styling, the Fiat 500e looks like a European – inside and out. Even better, it’s zippy. Although the Fiat 500e can seat four, the backseat is small – best for short people going short distances. The biggest drawback: The Fiat 500e is only available in California and Oregon. Don’t expect that to change: Fiat’s CEO Sergio Marchionne says he loses money on each one he sells.
2016 Kia Soul EV – $31,950
91-mile range, 109 horsepower, seats 5
Similar to the e-Golf, the Kia Soul EV gets its styling from its more traditional sibling. Thanks to that, this electric crossover has more room for people and their cargo. Yet, the current Kia Soul EV doesn’t hit the 100-mile range, a definite drawback. The 2017 version is rumored to have an upgraded power supply, allowing it to go up to 110 miles.
2017 Ford Focus Electric – $29,120
100-mile range, 143 horsepower, seats 5
In 2015, Ford announced a $4.5 billion investment in electric cars and 13 new models coming. One year later, we have the Ford Focus Electric. The car has nice styling and impressive horsepower. But the car disappoints with a 100-mile travel range, especially since the car-maker announced this Spring that a 200-mile electric car was coming. Perhaps we’ll have to wait until 2018 for that to happen.
2017 Nissan Leaf – $33,730
107-mile range, 107 horsepower, seats 5
Despite non-conventional styling, the Nissan Leaf is the best selling electric car on the market. Its unique V-shape gives the car the aerodynamics to power past the 100-mile range. Good torque also makes it fun to drive. Only the Leaf’s most basic model – the S – starts under $35K. For a better-equipped Leaf you’ll be paying upwards of $40K.
The low mileage range of these electric cars may be discouraging, but remember: 95 percent of all our car trips are 30 miles or less. If you’ve got garage space, any of these six vehicles make a fine addition to your car portfolio.
Article written by MG Rhodes. Submitted: 3/21/17
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