Edmunds: The most affordable EVs for 2023

Mar 1, 2023, 4:33 AM | Updated: 4:45 am
This photo provided by Nissan shows the 2023 Nissan Leaf, a compact electric hatchback with an EPA-...

This photo provided by Nissan shows the 2023 Nissan Leaf, a compact electric hatchback with an EPA-estimated range starting at 149 miles in the base trim. (Jay K. McNally /Courtesy of Nissan North America via AP)

(Jay K. McNally /Courtesy of Nissan North America via AP)

The push for new, appealing electric vehicles has gained considerable momentum recently. The next few years will see a rollout of EVs in every popular automotive segment, increasing competition and decreasing prices. At the moment, however, all-electric vehicle development costs remain high and most new additions are priced well above equivalent gas-powered models.

That means the list of economical EVs isn’t yet extensive, but it does include a handful of cars starting under $40,000. Edmunds has assembled a roster of five affordable options for 2023 sorted by price. Some of these models will further qualify for federal tax credits that now require American assembly and parts sourcing.

CHEVY BOLT EV Helping pioneer the mass-production EV landscape in 2017, the Chevy Bolt EV tackled range anxiety and affordability in a practical package. The updated version introduced last year adds a more appealing interior ambiance while maintaining competitive range and zippy performance.

The Bolt EV isn’t perfect, with a firm ride and smallish cargo area, but it is now the least expensive electric vehicle for 2023 thanks to a huge price cut. We also proved the Bolt EV can travel 278 miles on a single charge, besting its EPA-estimated range by 19 miles. If the hatchback body isn’t appealing, Chevy also offers an SUV-like version, the Bolt EUV, that has more interior room. Bolt models purchased before March should qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit. Starting price: $27,495

NISSAN LEAF The first-generation Nissan Leaf was a quirky car with a short range that attracted early adopters and those hoping to cash in on incentives, but the current model is much easier on the eyes and touts a respectable driving range.

We like the Leaf for its quiet, comfortable ride and many standard features. Fast charging won’t always be possible thanks to the Leaf’s less popular port design. The entry-level S trim is limited to just 149 miles of range too. But Edmunds’ real-world test of the SV Plus model that has a bigger battery resulted in a useful 237 miles. Nissan Leaf models purchased before March should qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit. Starting price: $29,135

MINI COOPER SE The Mini Cooper SE is an all-electric version of the regular Cooper Hardtop 2 Door. Being based on a regular Mini provides some benefits. It’s fun to drive and a cinch to fit into tight parking spaces. It’s also chic in the way that only a Mini can be. But there are downsides, too. Most significantly, the Cooper SE has a tiny trunk and back seat, making it the least practical EV on our list.

Shoppers should also be aware that Cooper SE is pretty limited in range. Its EPA-quoted 114-mile range is quite a bit less than some competitors, although Edmunds managed to get 150 miles from it in real-world driving. If space and distance aren’t major constraints, the Cooper SE’s daily driving entertainment might make it all worth it. Starting price: $35,220

HYUNDAI KONA ELECTRIC The Kona Electric is one of Edmunds’ favorite small EVs. Boasting a well-equipped cabin, nimble dynamics and a composed ride, the Kona Electric makes a big value play for under $35K. We were also pleasantly surprised by the Kona EV’s real-world range of 308 miles, which bests its EPA rating by about 50 miles.

Downsides include a tight back seat and a lack of availability in all 50 states. But bolstered by a long warranty period and excellent build quality, Hyundai’s electric crossover is an easier sell than some of its competitors. Starting price: $34,885

VOLKSWAGEN ID.4 Volkswagen’s first all-electric vehicle enters its third model year for 2023. Regardless of trim or battery size, the ID.4 offers impressive cargo and passenger space, useful standard driver assist features and a smooth ride. Buyers, though, might find the ID.4’s cabin controls to be frustrating and ample plastics to feel cheap.

The new entry-level S trim is rated at 209 miles of range and the longest-range rear-wheel-drive variant is rated at 275 miles. Our real-world test of the rear-drive model returned 287 miles on a single charge. Thanks to new U.S.-based production, 2023 ID.4 models purchased before March should qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit. Starting price: $40,290

EDMUNDS SAYS: The coming years should bring a decline in EV prices as parts and development costs begin to decrease. This will lead to greater competition and increased adoption of this burgeoning technology.


This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds. Miles Branman is a contributor at Edmunds and is on Twitter

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

              This photo provided by General Motors shows the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV, a compact electric hatchback with an EPA-estimated range of 259 miles. (Jeff Ludes/Courtesy of General Motors via AP)
              This photo provided by Volkswagen shows the 2023 Volkswagen ID.4, a small electric SUV with an EPA-estimated range of 209 miles in the base model. (James Lipman/Courtesy of Volkswagen of America via AP)
              This photo provided by Hyundai shows the 2023 Hyundai Kona EV, a small electric SUV, with an EPA-estimated range of 258 miles. (David Dewhurst/Courtesy of Hyundai Motor America via AP)
              This photo provided by Mini shows the 2023 Mini Cooper SE, a two-door electric hatchback with an EPA-estimated range of 114 miles. (Bernhard Filser/Courtesy of Mini via AP)
              This photo provided by Nissan shows the 2023 Nissan Leaf, a compact electric hatchback with an EPA-estimated range starting at 149 miles in the base trim. (Jay K. McNally /Courtesy of Nissan North America via AP)


Haitian migrant Gerson Solay, 28, carries his daughter, Bianca, as he and his family cross into Can...
Associated Press

US, Canada to end loophole that allows asylum-seekers to move between countries

President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday announced a plan to close a loophole to an immigration agreement.
3 days ago
Expert skateboarder Di'Orr Greenwood, an artist born and raised in the Navajo Nation in Arizona and...
Associated Press

Indigenous skateboard art featured on new stamps unveiled at Phoenix skate park

The Postal Service unveiled the “Art of the Skateboard" stamps at a Phoenix skate park, featuring designs from Indigenous artists.
3 days ago
(Facebook Photo/City of San Luis, Arizona)...
Associated Press

San Luis authorities receive complaints about 911 calls going across border

Authorities in San Luis say they are receiving more complaints about 911 calls mistakenly going across the border.
9 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Daylight saving time begins in most of US this weekend

No time change is observed in Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas.
17 days ago
Mexican army soldiers prepare a search mission for four U.S. citizens kidnapped by gunmen in Matamo...
Associated Press

How the 4 abducted Americans in Mexico were located

The anonymous tip that led Mexican authorities to a remote shack where four abducted Americans were held described armed men and blindfolds.
17 days ago
Tom Brundy points to a newly built irrigation canal on one of the fields at his farm Tuesday, Feb. ...
Associated Press

Southwest farmers reluctant to idle farmland to save water

There is a growing sense that fallowing will have to be part of the solution to the increasingly desperate drought in the West.
24 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Edmunds: The most affordable EVs for 2023