Most Affordable Electric Vehicles in 2021
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-The decision to buy an electric car
-Top five most affordable electric cars
-Pros and cons of electric cars
-How we can help you get behind the wheel of an electric car
It’s 2021, now more than ever people are trying to find ways to not only save money but help the environment. One trend that is continually growing is the electric car market. Today, electric cars make up for 1 of 250 vehicles globally on the road today. While this number may seem small, it is growing exponentially every year. It’s estimated that by 2025, 1 in 10 vehicles on the road worldwide will be electric. Now we know electric vehicles typically come with a high price tag, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that in the long term they’re not more economical than the common gas-powered vehicle. In this article, we’re going to break down the top 5 most affordable electric cars, discuss the pros and cons of buying an electric car and break down how they’re different from hybrid vehicles.
5. Chevy Bolt EV ($44,998)
Coming in at number 5 of our most affordable electric cars is the Chevy Bolt. It was the second most commonly bought electric car in Canada in 2020 with over 1,600 models sold. The Chevy Bolt provides more range than most of its competitors on the market today. It can travel up to 416km on a single charge and it’s got a great acceleration punch for a small electric car. With a 240 volt charger, you’ll be able to get the Bolt up to a full charge in 10 hours’ time! Surprisingly, the Bolt provides plenty of passenger and cargo room. While it does have a nice modern interior, it isn’t as comfy as many of our other competitors. The vehicle has features like a 10-inch touch screen, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, and even its own wifi hot spot!
4. Tesla Model 3 ($44,600)
At number 4 we have the widely sought after Tesla 3. The Model 3 was the best selling electric car in Canada in 2020 with over 6,600 models sold. It was the first electric vehicle to outsell many gas-powered vehicles. The Model 3 has racecar level acceleration doing 100km/h in only 5.6 seconds, athletic handling, top-notch efficiency and has a great range of 354km per charge. Its been said by many that being inside the Tesla Model 3 gives you the feeling you’re in a futuristic space ship. Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re in a space ship every day on their commute to work? It easily fits 5 passengers and allows for plenty of cargo room. It has slick features like a 15-inch touch screen, over the air software updates, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, and cameras/sensors on all sides of the vehicle. So not only are you driving in a futuristic space ship, but you’re driving in an extremely safe futuristic space ship. It’s no wonder that this vehicle was the number one selling electric vehicle of 2020 in both Canada and the United States.
3. Hyundai Ioniq Electric ($41,499)
For number 3 of our most affordable electric vehicles of 2021, we have the Hyundai Ioniq. It has a decent range of 273km per charge but charging the vehicle to full battery only takes 6 hours on its 240-volt charger. With the Ioniq you get a long 5-year warranty, above-average safety scores, and a high predicted reliability rating. The Hyundai Ioniq provides roomy front seats with decent cargo, while its back seats can get a little bit cramped for anyone north of 6 feet tall. While the acceleration has a good kick to it, the handling has been known to be unexciting and the car can be quite bouncy. It has plenty of cool features like an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and heated front seats. Due to its lowered cost, we feel like the third spot was appropriate on our list for this electric car.
2. Nissan Leaf ($39,604)
Coming in at number 2 is the sleek and compact Nissan Leaf. It is the most bought electric car of all time with over 400,000 selling worldwide since its inception. The Leaf is has a spacious cabin with plenty of cargo room. Much like the other electric vehicles listed, the Leaf has very reactive acceleration without giving up handling quality. The Leaf has a range of 239km but if you buy the “Leaf Plus” model that range increases to 363km. In order to get the Leaf at full charge, it takes 11.5 hours using a 220-volt battery. The Leaf comes with an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. It also has several safety features including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning. With all of these features for this price point, it’s no wonder that this vehicle falls in second place on our list.
1. Mini Cooper SE Electric ($37,050)
Coming in hot to take first place for the top 5 most affordable electric cars is the Mini Cooper SE Electric. Currently, it’s the cheapest electric vehicle on the market, but don’t let the price fool you, this car is a beast. It’s been said to have a gas-powered vehicle feel as it’s extremely sporty and fun to drive. The cabin is contemporary and comfortable, leaving plenty of cargo space. The one downside of the Mini Cooper’s interior is the back seats can be a bit tight for adults and there is not a lot of space for equipment or gear behind them. So if you’re a carpenter, photographer, or adventure enthusiast, this car may not fare well with the amount of gear you likely own. It comes with synthetic leather upholstery and two heated front seats. It has a 6.5-inch touchscreen, navigation, Apple CarPlay, and several safety features including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection. While the car has some pep in its acceleration, the driving range is limited to only 177km. The lack of range makes this vehicle more of a daily commuting vehicle than a road-trip adventurer vehicle. One perk of this is you’re able to charge it fully in only 4 hours using a 240-volt battery.
Pro’s of Buying an Electric Vehicle
Now that you’ve seen some of the top-selling affordable electric cars on the market, you should consider the pros and cons of owning one of these vehicles. Depending on what you hope to use the electric vehicle for, whether it’s a daily commuter or an adventure seekers car, these are all things you need to consider.
Reduce fuel costs: Weekly trips to the gas station add up quickly with your standard gas-powered vehicle. When you buy electric, no longer do you have to wait that extra day for the gas price to decrease so you can fill up. There’s a new meaning for the term “filling up” once you’ve gone electric and it’s now plugging in your car. Electricity is much cheaper and stable than gas pricing so you won’t have to worry about the fast swings in gas prices. If you really want to go all out with efficiency, you can install a solar panel on your roof to charge up your electric vehicle.
Reduce emissions to the environment: Humans have already done enough damage to the environment, going electric is one we can reduce the amount of damage we do. Gas-powered vehicles release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and expedite climate change. Electric vehicles don’t release any carbon dioxide. Many people criticize the batteries in electric vehicles and how there is no way to properly dispose of them without damaging the environment. This is no longer true as these batteries now are recyclable. The bottom line is, by buying an electric car you’re reducing your carbon footprint.
Fun to drive, low maintenance: All electric vehicles perform incredibly well and have amazing acceleration speeds. So while these vehicles perform like high-end gas-powered vehicles, they don’t require the same maintenance. So you’ll be able to enjoy the pleasure of a high speed, high torque car, without the high priced bill at the end of your visit to the car mechanic.
Con’s of Buying an Electric Vehicle
Less Driving range: The one major disadvantage of buying an electric car is the range that you're able to drive on one fully charged battery is usually under 500km. If you’re the road tripping adventure type, unless you keep your adventures within close proximity of your home, this is going to be an issue. Unlike a full tank of gas that usually lasts around 500km, you can’t just quickly refill your gas tank, you’ll have to wait 4-12 hours for the car to charge.
Recharging takes longer than refueling: As we discussed in the point above, refilling your car with gas takes a fraction of the time it takes to recharge your car. So for anyone that needs a car for long distances, buying an electric car wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense. When you buy electric, you have to plan out your trips much more carefully so you don’t end up with a dead battery in the middle of nowhere!
Higher Price Tags: While many argue that over the long term, electric cars are cheaper than gas powered vehicles, there is no comparison in price at the dealership. A regular four door gas powered sedan vs one of the four door electric cars we listed are in two entirely different price categories.
Batteries may need replacing: The last disadvantage to buying an electric vehicle is that battery packs may need to be replaced in the lifetime of owning that car. Unfortunately, replacing the batteries is not cheap. So while you may be saving money not filling up at the gas station every week, if you end up needing a new battery or two, this could quickly outweigh the costs of fuel needed over the car's lifespan.
We Can Help
Whether you’re looking for an electric vehicle or not, Car Loans Canada can help you decide on what’s best for you. Once you know what makes the most sense for your lifestyle, you can try out our car loan calculator to estimate your monthly payments. Curious about the current interest rates from lenders across Canada? Check out our rates page to see the rates from all of Canada’s biggest lenders!