Entry Level EV Roundup
A Lot to Choose From
Well hello and welcome to a special edition of MotorWeek…EV…State of Charge…where we’ll take a look at where the practicality of the electrified car stands today, with insights into how that will progress in the very near future. While the letters EV for Electric Vehicle can mean different things to different consumers, we’re going to focus on two types that use a plug. Fully electric with power only from batteries…BEVs, and plug-in hybrids…PHEVs…they use both batteries and a gasoline engine. But since it is the Battery Electric Vehicle that gets the most headlines, let start with a roundup of affordable BEVs that you can actually buy today.
Our focus is on BEVs with a starting price below $60,000, we’re only including those with a range of more than 200-miles, as that’s where people begin to feel comfortable about incorporating a Battery Electric Vehicle into their lives.
Starting with the first affordable vehicle to actually meet that mark, the Chevrolet Bolt EV. With a current range of 259-miles, and a starting price of just $31,995, it delivered what no one else could when it arrived for 2017. Its 5-door hatchback shape offered a lot of utility as well though now it’s joined by an actual utility, the Bolt EUV. Range is 247-miles, and starting price is $33,995.
Crosstown rival Ford took a much different approach, with the Ford Mustang Mach-E utility. While not their first EV, it’s their most serious effort yet, and has available range of 305-miles; priced from $44,595.
Putting the Mach in Mach-E, is the Mach-E GT. With 480–horsepower, this one’s for the performance-oriented Mustang buyer, though it sacrifices range down to 270-miles.
Hyundai, also no stranger to BEVs, currently offers the Kona Electric utility with a 258-mile range and base price of $35,225. Though it’s soon to be eclipsed by the Ioniq 5 which will offer up to 300–miles, with a starting price around $45,000.
Kia will make a version as well known as the EV6. Range with all-wheel-drive is 265-miles for special $58,500 First Editions.
It joins Kia’s now veteran Niro EV wagon that delivers 239-miles of range for $40,265.
The Nissan Leaf hatchback laid the blueprint for all entry-level EVs, constant updates since, have kept it more than relevant, boasting up to 226-miles of range with a starting price of only $28,375.
But, it’s the Ariya that is Nissan’s latest EV offering. This SUV comes with up to 300–miles of range with a base price around $40,000.
While European makes have mostly embraced PHEVs there’s a new brand making big BEV waves, Polestar. The Polestar 2 hatchback handles like a world-class sport sedan with a range of up to 265–miles, with a starting price of just $47,200.
That brand is owned by the Geely Group, the parent company of Volvo. Which has a pair of EVs to choose from, the Volvo XC40 Recharge SUV starts at $56,395, though with 208-miles of range, it just breaches our 200-mile criteria.
The Volvo C40 Recharge hatchback ups the range a tad to 210–miles, for the price of $58,750.
After Dieselgate, Volkswagen made a tremendous commitment to developing EVs, and their ID.4 was the first vehicle of that new strategy to arrive. It offers true SUV utility and a range of 260-miles for the starting price of $41,190.
And of course there’s Tesla, where your entry-level options consist of the Model 3 Sedan with up to 353-miles of range starting at $41,190.
And the Model Y utility version with a max range of 326-miles starting at the same $41,190.
There are many more BEVs currently under development for the near future than have actually arrived. But, as you can see, if you want to go all electric today, there are already a lot of impressive designs to choose from.
- Chevrolet Bolt EV: 259 miles
- Chevrolet Bolt EUV: 247 miles
- Ford Mustang Mach-E: 305 miles
- Ford Mustang Mach-E GT: 270 miles
- Hyundai Kona Electric: 258 miles
- Hyundai Ioniq 5: 300 miles
- Kia EV6: 265 miles
- Kia Niro EV: 239 miles
- Nissan Leaf: 226 miles
- Nissan Ariya: 300 miles
- Polestar 2: 265 miles
- Volvo XC40 Recharge: 208 miles
- Volvo C40 Recharge: 225 miles
- Volkswagen ID.4: 260 miles
- Tesla Model 3: 353 miles
- Tesla Model Y: 326 miles