As the world gradually moves into the “GreenEarth” era, carbon emission rules are becoming stricter and will invariably affect the automotive industry. The inevitable transition has caused the industry to get more creative with green options, which involves the production of electric cars. We have seen major automakers such as Ford, Chevrolet, Kia, Hyundai and others foray into the electric vehicle market to follow the tide.
However, a major drawback of electric vehicles is their disarming price compared to regular gas-powered options. This is undeniably an Achilles heel of the GreenEarth movement. However, many electric vehicles do not require very deep pockets. While they may not be as exciting as the top-end models, they offer everyone the chance to jump into the EV craze. Here we look at some exciting 2022 electric cars and some for 2023 that you can buy for around $40,000.
9 2023 Nissan Leaf S ($28,895)
First introduced in Japan and the United States in December 2010, the Nissan Leaf has had an impressive run since its inception. It was recognized as the world’s best-selling electric car in December 2019. The Nissan Leaf has improved for 2023 with its 40 kWh lithium-ion battery delivering up to 147 hp and a range of 149 miles.
The SV Plus version is also available for the Nissan Leaf. It uses a larger 60 kWh lithium-ion battery delivering a more impressive 214 hp and a range of 212 miles. The standard 2023 Nissan Leaf S costs $28,896 while the SV Plus version is priced at $36,895.
8 2023 Mini Cooper Electric ($30,750)
The affordable 2023 Mini Cooper Electric delivers excitement with its 181 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque from its 28.9 kWh battery. It uses a single-speed direct-drive transmission and sprints to 60 mph in 6 seconds. On a full charge, the 2023 Mini Cooper Electric has an estimated range of 110 miles and a top speed of 93 mph.
For the 2023 model year, the Mini Cooper Electric will be available in three versions; Signature, Signature Plus and Iconic trim. Prices for the electric vehicle are set at $30,750, $34,750 and $37,750 respectively.
seven 2022 Chevrolet Bolt Electric ($32,495)
Chevrolet’s all-electric sedan, the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV, is roomier than its small size suggests. Equipped with a 65 kWh lithium-ion battery, the EV sends 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque to its front wheels. With this setup, the car has instant acceleration. The Chevrolet Bolt EV has a top speed of 93 mph and reaches 60 mph in 6.7 seconds.
One of its standout features is the one-pedal drive mode that boosts regenerative braking when you click a button on the base model; the 1LT is priced at $32,495 and the second version, the 2LT sells for $35,695. On a full charge, the Chevy Bolt has a range of 259 miles and fuel economy is pegged at 120 MPGe.
6 2022 Mazda MX-30 ($34,695)
Mazda’s first foray into the electric car market spawned the 2022 Mazda MX-30. Mazda’s MX-30 offers sublime handling thanks to a direct-drive transmission system. The EV is powered by a 35.5 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery, delivering 143 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque.
Additionally, it reaches a top speed of 91 mph and sprints to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds. While the Mazda MX-30’s 100-mile range leaves more to be desired, that can be understood as the car is Mazda’s first attempt at an electric vehicle. The base 2022 Mazda MX-30 sells for $34,695 and the Premium Plus version is set at $37,655.
5 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV ($34,495)
Chevy’s idea of offering an SUV version of the Chevrolet Bolt EV turned out to be innovative and hence the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV was released. Its powertrain plays in the same vein as its hatchback version, possessing a 65 kWh lithium-ion battery with 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. However, the noticeable difference is seen in its range which is 12 miles less than the Bolt EV.
Additionally, the SUV is taller, longer and wider than the Bolt hatchback, and has an additional three inches of legroom. With a top speed of 93 mph, the Chevrolet Bolt EUV finishes the 60 mph race in 6.8 seconds, half a tick less than its hatchback cousin. Its base version, the LT, starts at $35,495 while the Premier version costs $38,995.
4 2018 BMW i3 ($31,998)
Although it’s been on the market for a few years, the 2018 BMW i3 still looks like a car from the future, thanks to its chunky hood, suicide doors and oddly shaped windows. The i3s is snappy, and thanks to its instant electric acceleration, you’d swerve away from traffic lights faster than a hare. It also handles corners well and the interior of the car is on par with any BMW.
Powered by a 33.2 kWh lithium-ion battery, it produces 184 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque. With its Comfort, Eco Pro, Eco Pro+ and Sport modes, getting a decent used model at $31,998 is a bargain.
3 2019 Smart EQ ForTwo ($20,000)
Manufactured by Mercedes-Benz and available as a soft-top convertible and a coupe, the Smart EQ ForTwo is a two-seater mini car. The minicar is driven by an electric motor that generates 80 hp. Some features include power windows, LED daytime running lights, cruise control and Bluetooth audio streaming.
The Smart EQ ForTwo is fun to navigate city streets and easy to park. You can also get a JBL stereo, leather upholstery, heated steering wheel and Android Auto. Used models can range between $12,000 and $20,000
2 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric ($35,295)
Hyundai delivered class and range with the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric. Inspired by its gasoline-powered counterpart, the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric retains its cheeky design. However, instead of a 147 hp four-cylinder engine, it sports a 201 hp, 64 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with 291 lb-ft of torque.
The Hyundai Kona Electric offers an impressive range of 258 miles on a single charge and takes 6.4 seconds to hit 60 mph. It has a top speed of 110 mph and shifts using a single-speed direct-drive transmission. The base version, the SEL is available at ($35,295).
1 2022 Kia Niro Electric ($39,090)
The Kia Niro EV is a practical subcompact crossover that uses a 60 kWh lithium-ion battery and displaces 201 hp. Offering a more refined ride than the competition, the 2022 Kia Niro EV shifts gears using a direct-drive transmission. It accelerates to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds and tops out at 107 mph.
The cabin interior is a little plasticky, but it more than makes up for that with its 10.3-inch touchscreen and Harman/Kardon audio system. Other features include Apple CarPlay, heated front seats, heated steering wheel and Android Auto.