The Top EVs Under $40K in 2023
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The Top EVs Under $40K in 2023

EVs under $40K
  • We highlight nine affordable EVs available in the 2023 and 2024 model year lineups for under $40K.
  • You can find relatively inexpensive EVs from brands like Chevrolet, Nissan, Hyundai, and Kia.
  • Some of the fun surprises on this list include a MINI Cooper and a PHEV from Subaru.

Making the switch to EVs can seem cost-prohibitive for sure. New technology always costs more upfront, and this can be quite the barrier to people who want to electrify their rides but are afraid they can’t afford it. But for those of you who are on a budget, you can actually find EVs for under $40K.

Overall, EVs are starting to become more affordable than they were just a few years ago, thanks to factors like dropping costs of raw materials and just more options out on the market. This is a boon to those of us who want the benefits of EVs without the huge sticker price. So here’s our roundup of some affordable but still fun EVs you can get your hands on, all in the 2023 and 2024 model year lineups.


2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2023 Bolt EV side profile while driving on an urban city street
Chevrolet

Starting MSRP: $26,500

The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt is making waves as America’s most affordable EV. Inside the 2023 model you get cutting-edge technology with stylish design and efficient performance.

It has a 200 hp motor that powers the front wheels, providing a peppy response and ample low-end torque. It can go from 0-60 in 6.5 seconds, making these EVs a rather quick option under the $40K price range. Plus, it handles well, with smooth steering and nimble maneuverability.

Inside, the Chevy Bolt surprises with a spacious interior, despite its narrow width. The controls are user-friendly, and the 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen gives you access to the Driver Information Center to make connectivity a breeze and check the status of key information about your Bolt.

The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt also has an impressive range of up to 259 miles on a single charge. And it comes with a Dual Level Charge Cord to let you switch between Level 1 and Level 2 charging easily depending on where you are.

With solid green credentials, a long-range performance, and a wallet-friendly price tag, the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt proves that going electric doesn’t have to break the bank.


2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Redline Edition seen here in Black.
Chevrolet

Starting MSRP: $27,800

Isn’t this the same as the Bolt EV? Nope. While the Bolt EV is a petite hatchback, the EUV gives you more room and a few more fancy touches as a crossover. 

It offers the same horsepower as the Bolt EV and nearly the same range, at 247 miles. While it’s not the fastest electric SUV, its 200-hp electric motor offers perky acceleration and regenerative braking for one-pedal driving, making city commuting a breeze. It may not handle like a sports car, but its ease of daily driving compensates.

The interior is stylish and practical, with ample tech features like the same 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen you can find in the regular Bolt and driver display screens showing your energy level in real-time and your charging stats.

Chevy’s Super Cruise hands-free driving is available in the Premier trim, adding to the SUV’s appeal. But we especially recommend the sporty Bolt EUV Redline Edition with its snazzy details like the jet-black leather interior and 17-inch aluminum wheels. 

The 2023 Bolt EUV also has the Dual Level Charge Cord to make charging easier whether you’re at home or using a public charging station.

The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV excels in practicality, comfort, and value, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious electric SUV enthusiasts.


2024 Nissan LEAF

2024 Nissan Leaf parked in a driveway, EVs under $40k
Nissan

Starting MSRP: $28,140

Another budget EV, the LEAF is even more of a mainstay in the electrified world than the Chevy Bolt, having first dropped in the U.S. in 2011. Today, the LEAF still holds its own with a 149-mile range on a 40 kWh battery or up to 212 miles on the 60 kWh battery in the SV Plus trim.

In terms of performance, the LEAF’s electric motor provides zippy acceleration, with the base model reaching 0-60 mph in 7.4 seconds. The e-Pedal feature allows for customizable regenerative braking, enhancing energy efficiency. Charging options include standard DC fast-charging, and a 240 V outlet can recharge the battery in seven hours. 

Inside the 2023 LEAF, you get a surprising 30 cubic feet of cargo space as well as an 8-inch infotainment screen with full connectivity, automatic climate control, keyless entry, and automatic headlights.

Overall, the 2024 Nissan LEAF is a budget-friendly electric car that’s ideal for short commutes and local driving. While it may not match the range and charging capabilities of pricier electric vehicles, it offers an excellent entry point into the world of electric mobility for budget-conscious consumers.


2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

Driver’s side view of 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV 1LT in Galaxy Gray Metallic parked on a street. EVs under $40K
Chevrolet

Estimated starting MSRP: $30,000

Coming in the fall of this year, the 2024 Equinox EV is looking to be quite the powerhouse. With a range of 250 miles for even the base trim, you can go for even longer distances and still get about 70 miles for 10 minutes of charging on a DC fast charger. Add in the 290 horsepower, and you’ve got quite the family vehicle on your wishlist.

The estimated starting price of $30,000 is for the base 1LT model, but opting for the front-wheel-drive 2LT might be the smart move, as it not only adds a larger battery pack but also extends the driving range to an impressive 300 miles, making it an attractive package.

Inside, the Equinox EV provides a spacious and well-appointed cabin, featuring a digital dashboard reminiscent of the Silverado EV and a variety of trims with different feature packages. The infotainment system shines with an 11-inch touchscreen, with larger options available on higher trims, while wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard.

Overall, the upcoming 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV represents an exciting shift towards electrification, blending affordability, range, and modern tech in a package that will surely make electric mobility accessible to a wider audience.


2024 Mini Cooper SE

BMW

Starting MSRP: $30,900

Once again, Mini brings the fun with the Cooper, this time in EV form. What’s more, it boasts a quick charging capability, reaching 80% charge in just 36 minutes at a 50 kW charging station. Under the hood, the 2024 MINI Cooper SE packs a punch with 181 horsepower, propelling you from 0 to 60 mph in a speedy 6.9 seconds. 

The overall design is quintessentially MINI, with its iconic circular headlamps and sleek lines. This peppy hardtop is more for the brand stans than anyone looking to really go the distance — it offers only 114 miles of range. But it makes up for that shorter range by having a wildly futuristic-looking dash display that combines the functions of the instrument cluster, infotainment system, onboard monitor, and climate controls. The interior camera offers added security and even allows for in-cabin snapshots.

Standard safety features include Active Driving Assistant, Lane Departure Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control, and Cooper offers a complimentary scheduled maintenance program in case your MINI EV needs some upkeep.

With its stylish design, tech-forward interior, and impressive performance, the 2024 MINI Cooper SE Electric Hardtop 2 Door is a budget-friendly electric car that’s hard to beat, making it an ideal choice from our list of EVs under $40K for those seeking an electrifying driving experience without breaking the bank.


2023 Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai

Starting MSRP: $33,550

Need something a bit more entry-level? Go with the Hyundai Kona Electric. This compact SUV still has all the charm of its gas-powered sibling but swaps out the combustion engine for a 201-horsepower electric motor powered by a 64-kWh battery pack. It sprints from 0-60 mph in just 6.6 seconds, making it unexpectedly nimble and fun to drive.

What sets the Kona Electric apart is its generous range. With a claimed 258-mile range and efficient regenerative braking, it’s a practical choice for daily commuting. Inside, the Kona Electric impresses with quality materials, a user-friendly infotainment system, and comfortable seating. The Kona Electric may not have the most spacious rear seat, but it compensates with a well-crafted interior.

Value-wise, it shines with a competitive price tag, excellent warranty coverage, and even free scheduled maintenance for three years. Sadly and randomly, it’s sold only in 26 states.

The 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric is a wallet-friendly gem in the electric car world. Plus, it’s more entertaining to drive than you might expect from a crossover, adding a touch of fun to your eco-friendly journey.


2023 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Subaru

Starting MSRP: $36,845

Is it cheating to include a plug-in hybrid on a list of top EVs under $40K? We guess that depends on whether or not you like the sound of 480 miles of range. Powered by Subaru StarDrive Technology, it effortlessly combines electric and gas power to optimize efficiency, providing up to 90 MPGe. With the optional 2.5-liter engine, the Crosstrek Hybrid gains class-leading acceleration, making it a competitive extra-small SUV.

Its interior boasts comfort and functionality, with spacious seating and user-friendly connectivity. Plus, you still get the off-road Subaru experience thanks to its standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, and its high visibility and driving position add to the appeal.

You can also charge up a fully depleted battery in just five hours on a Level 1 household outlet and in only two hours on a 240 V outlet.

Overall, the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is worth every penny. It delivers budget-friendly electric mobility without compromising on performance, comfort, or rugged appeal, making it a strong contender in the world of electric SUVs.


2023 VW ID.4

Volkswagen

Starting MSRP: $38,995

The 2023 VW ID.4 is Volkswagen’s compelling electric SUV for budget-conscious buyers, offering practicality, comfort, and decent range. These EVs under $40k are available in both rear-wheel drive (201 horsepower) and all-wheel drive (295 horsepower) versions, and even the base trim still gives you a projected 209 miles of range, making this a good choice for commutes or longer trips. Opt for the ID.4 Pro, and you’ll get up to 275 miles of range.

All 2023 ID.4 models feature a standard 12-inch infotainment display, wireless charging, and IQ.DRIVE, Volkswagen’s driver assistance technology.

While it’s not the quickest electric SUV – the test drivers at Edmunds drove it from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, and the base trim’s top speed is 100 mph – the 2023 VW ID.4 is a solid everyday driver that offers a good balance of comfort, tech, and space, with a spacious interior and generous cargo capacity.

The 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 provides an easy transition to electric mobility, delivering a quiet ride with snappy acceleration. Its impressive safety ratings, available dual-motor AWD models, and competitive pricing make it a solid choice in the growing electric SUV segment.


2023 Kia Niro EV

Kia

Starting MSRP: $39,550

This Kia just barely ekes onto the list of EVs under $40K, but we’re glad it does. With its eye-catching design featuring intriguing lighting elements and two-tone body panels, the 2023 Kia Niro EV is hard to miss on the road. 

The interior is a pleasant mix of technological and straightforward, boasting digitized instruments and a commitment to sustainability with the use of recycled materials. It comes loaded with standard safety features like blind spot monitoring, smart cruise control, and intelligent speed assistance. It really shines when it comes to interior comfort, making this a great daily commuter.

The 64.8 kWh battery offers an estimated 253-mile range and can be charged from 10% to 80% in just 45 minutes on a DC fast charger. It also has an onboard power generator to charge up e-bikes or even power your camping equipment.

The base trim level, dubbed the Wind, is a strong choice, but you can opt for the higher-level trim called the Wave. In terms of value, Kia sweetens the deal with its warranty that includes a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain and battery coverage.

Overall, the 2023 Kia Niro EV strikes a great balance between price, features, and sustainability, making it a strong contender for people looking to make the switch to electric mobility without breaking the bank.


EVs Under $40K? Yep, It’s True

One of the many points that EV skeptics bring up is the upfront cost of electric vehicles. And it’s true that some EVs are incredibly expensive. But we hope we’ve put some of your cost concerns to rest with our list of EVs you can buy for under $40K.

Enjoy your new electrified ride!


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FEATURE IMAGE: CHEVROLET

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AUTHOR: 

JESSICA MCCORMICK

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