10 Affordable Electric Cars for Fleets

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Written By: Lisa Drake, Assistant Director, Fleet Electrification

As the global push for electric vehicles (EVs) continues to soar, we’re seeing increased production and availability from top manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, BrightDrop, Chevrolet, Ford, Hyundai, Tesla, and Volvo.

For many commercial fleets, the shift to electric vehicles is gaining popularity with many companies and organizations already implementing EVs as a way to help meet environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals.

The good news is that every industry can benefit from adding electric vehicles to their fleet, but how do you start your EV journey? And which vehicles are the most economical choices?

The electrification experts at Merchants Fleet have already helped many companies incorporate EVs in their fleets, enabling them to hit sustainability goals and reduce costs. Since EV fleet adoption is still in its early stages, more affordable EV options will push even more organizations to adopt EVs in the future. Keep reading to learn more about the 10 most affordable electric vehicles and the benefits of EV adoption.

The Benefits of Electric Vehicles

Total Cost of Ownership

It’s been proven that EVs have a lower total cost of ownership (TCO). Factors that go into these calculations include purchase price, cost of fuel per mile, maintenance costs, registration, and rebates, among others.

Reduced Maintenance

Since EVs have fewer parts and fewer liquids to change every 5,000 to 10,000 miles, they require less maintenance — and lower overall lifetime maintenance costs.

Environmentally-Friendly

EVs are more energy efficient than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. In fact, an EV can be over 85% efficient, while an ICE vehicle is around 25%–30% efficient.

Technology/Telematics

Telematics solutions monitor information about each vehicle in your fleet, allowing for full visibility into your vehicle operations. By using this advanced data, you can view similarities and differences between your internal combustion and electric vehicles. Most new vehicles are connected capable, which means that GPS and telematic hardware is built in at the factory.

Meets Urban Regulations

Additionally, since EVs don’t generate tailpipe emissions, they aren’t held to vehicle idle laws like ICE vehicles. This is a huge benefit for taxi, rideshare, and last mile delivery drivers. Many states have laws that limit the time a vehicle can idle in the city with the penalty resulting in a large fine. For example, breaking the New York State Anti-Idling Law can result in fines that range anywhere from $250 to $15,000.

10 Most Affordable Electric Cars

Affordable Electric Compact Cars

Affordable Electric SUVs

Affordable Plug-In Hybrids

Affordable Electric Vehicles Coming Soon

  • Volkswagen ID.Buzz Van
  • Subaru Solterra
  • Honda Prologue
  • Jeep EV (compact)

Please note that these vehicles are not ranked in any particular order.

Electric Compact Cars

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1. 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV

The Chevy Bolt EV is a stylish, affordable EV. Despite its compact size, it has a roomy and comfortable interior and ample cargo space.

  • Starting price: $25,600
  • Models: Bolt EV 1LT and Bolt EV 2LT
  • Notable safety features: Automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, following distance indicator, and IntelliBeam®
  • Cargo Space: 57 ft³
  • Range: Up to 259 miles
  • Charging Information: 11.5kW Level 2 charging capability

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2. 2023 MINI Cooper SE

This innovative MINI Cooper supports the company’s commitment to protecting the global environment. As a bonus, MINI Cooper has a partnership with Polar Bears International to help protect the long-term survival of the species.

  • Starting price: $34,225
  • Models: Cooper Hardtop 2 Door, Cooper S Hardtop 2 Door, John Cooper Works Hardtop, and Cooper SE Hardtop 2 Door
  • Notable safety features: Lane departure warning, active driving assistant, pedestrian and front collision warning with city collision mitigation
  • Cargo Space: Up to 34 ft³
  • Range: Up to 110 miles
  • Charging Information:
Charging Level Time to Charge
Level 1 Basic Home Ac Charging Less Than 2kw 2% Per Hour
Level 2home / Public Ac Charging Up To 7.4kw 20% Per Hour
Level 3 Fast Dc Charging Station Up To 50kw Up To 80% in 36 Min

Source: MINI USA

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3. 2023 Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf was built with advanced safety and driver assistance features. Drivers can utilize a mobile app to control the car temperature, lock doors, and much more.

  • Starting price: $28,040
  • Models: Nissan LEAF S and Nissan LEAF SV PLUS
  • Notable safety features: Nissan LEAF driver assistance, ProPILOT Assist, Safety Shield® 360, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, rear automatic braking
  • Cargo Space: Up to 30 ft³
  • Range: Up to 212 miles with 60 kWh battery; 149 miles with 40 kWh battery
  • Charging information: CHAdeMO charging connector
Charging Level                 Time to Charge 
Level 1 Up to 2.5 days
Level 2 8–11.5 hours
Fast Charger 40–60 minutes

Source: Nissan

Notable Awards: Lowest 5-Year Cost to Own: Top Cars, Trucks and SUVs of 2023 by Kelley Blue Book

 

Electric SUVs

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4. 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

The Chevy Bolt EUV is a spacious SUV-style vehicle. It’s the first Chevy available with Super Cruise, a hands-free driver assistance technology.

  • Starting price: $27,200
  • Models: Chevy Bolt EUV Premier and Chevy Bolt EUV LT
  • Notable safety features: Automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, following distance indicator, and IntelliBeam®
  • Cargo Space: 57 ft³
  • Range: Up to 247 miles
  • Charging Information: 11.5kW Level 2 charging capability
  • Notable Awards: 2023 Chevy Bolt EUV Wins Urban Green Car Of The Year Award

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5. 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric*

The Kona Electric is part of Hyundai’s goal for carbon neutrality by 2024. This SUV is packed with technology, style, and safety features.

  • Starting price: $33,550
  • Models: SEL and Limited
  • Notable safety features: Blind spot collision avoidance-assist, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist, forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection
  • Cargo Space: 45.8 ft³
  • Range: Up to 258 miles
  • Charging Information:
Level 2 (220/240v) Charge from 10% to 100% in approximately 9 hours 15 minutes
DC Fast Charging (50kw) Charge from 10% to 80% in about 64 minutes
DC Fast Charging (100kw) Charge from 10% to 80% in about 47 minutes

Note: Currently, the Kona Electric is only sold in CA, CO, CT, ME, MA, MD, NJ, NY, OR, RI, VT & WA.

*Information from Kelley Blue Book

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6. 2023 Mazda MX-30

The MX-30 is Mazda’s first all-electric vehicle. It has a sleek interior and cabin but a small battery pack provides a shorter range compared to other EVs.

  • Starting price: $33,470
  • Models: MX-30 EV and Premium Plus
  • Notable safety features: Blind spot monitoring/assist, lane departure warning, radar cruise control, driver attention alert, smart brake support, reverse drive detection
  • Range: Up to 100 miles
  • Cargo Space: 21 ft³
  • Charging information: With Level 3 DC fast: 20% to 80% in 36 minutes
  • Notable awards: One of the Best Electric SUVs of 2023 and 2023 by Kelley Blue Book

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7. 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro

The ID.4 Pro is a striking SUV with a spacious, comfortable cabin with a variety of safety features and a connected mobile app.

  • Starting price: $37,495
  • Models: ID.4 Standard, ID.4 Pro, ID.4 AWD Pro, ID.4 Pro S, ID.4 AWD Pro S, and ID.4 AWD Pro S Plus
  • Notable safety features: Active blind spot monitor, rear traffic alert, front assist, emergency assist, lane assist
  • Cargo Space: 64.2 ft³
  • Range: Up to 275⁠ miles
  • Charging information: With a Level 2 charger, you can obtain a full charge overnight in about 7.5 to 11.5 hours.
  • Notable awards: VW Wins Again With Space-Age UX in ID.4 | WardsAuto

Plug-In Hybrids

8. 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid*

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was the first PHEV SUV that seats seven passengers. It boasts quick charging capability, 38 miles of electric-only range, and has a cabin loaded with the latest tech features.

  • Starting price: $39,845
  • Models: ES, SE, SEL
  • Notable safety features: Forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, rear automatic emergency braking, trailer stability assist
  • Cargo Space: Up to 64.7 ft³
  • Range: Up to 420 miles
  • Charging Information: About 4 hours with a 240-volt supply.
  • Notable Awards: One of the Top 10 PHEV SUVs — Kelley Blue Book

*Information from Kelley Blue Book

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9. 2023 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid*

The Kia Niro is a sporty plug-in hybrid with modern driver assist technologies and a comfortable and roomy cabin.

  • Starting price: $27,785
  • Models: LXS, EX, and EX Premium
  • Notable safety features: Enhanced auto emergency braking technology with cyclist detection, lane following assist, smart cruise control with stop and go, forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, blind spot collision warning, rear cross-traffic collision warning, driver attention warning with leading vehicle departure alert
  • Cargo Space: 54.5 ft³
  • Range: 26 miles of All-Electric Range and 105 MPGe
  • Charging information: Level 1: 8–10 hrs
  • Notable Awards: Small SUV of the Year 2023 by Auto Express

*Information from Car and Driver

cheap electric cars

10. 2023 Toyota Prius Prime*

The Toyota Prius Prime has an ample amount of cargo space, advanced tech and safety features, and an upscale cabin.

  • Starting price: $26,000
  • Models: LE, XLE, and Limited
  • Notable safety features: Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0 (TSS 2.0), pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, lane tracing assist
  • Cargo Space: 19.8 ft³
  • Range: 54 estimated MPG /133 MPGe; EPA-estimated 25 miles of driving range in EV Mode on a full charge
  • Charging information: 5 hours and 30 minutes with standard (120v)
  • Notable awards: One of the Best Best Hybrid Cars for 2023 from U.S News & World Report

*Information from Edmunds

Which Electric Car Is Right for Your Fleet?

As the EV market continues to expand, there will be more choices that work for your fleet. Here are some important factors to think about when deciding on an electric car.

Fleet Needs

  • How many cars do you need?
  • How far will the car(s) need to travel?
  • Is there any equipment that the car will need?
  • What features are important to you?
  • Does the car need any specific safety features or upfits?

Charging Infrastructure

  • Will your employees need to invest in a home charging station? If so, you’ll need to develop a reimbursement plan.
  • Will you need to purchase charging stations for your office?

The Road to EV Adoption

If your fleet managers haven’t considered the shift to EVs, the topic will likely come up soon. As EVs become more affordable, businesses can use them to save money and improve fleet performance.

We’ve broken the Road to EV adoption into 5 easy steps:

  1. Learn: Educate your organization about the EV ecosystem.
  2. Align: Align with environmental, social, and governance goals and obtain stakeholder buy-in.
  3. Plan: Create your EV adoption strategy, outlining transitional steps, timeline, and budget.
  4. Pilot: Perform a test implementation and focus on gathering data and feedback.
  5. Adopt: Work toward full EV adoption and integration.

[RELATED]: Download the Complete Road to EV Adoption Guide >>

Pilot Program

In a pilot program, one or more EVs are incorporated into your fleet for a predetermined period of time. In addition to testing which EVs are most compatible with your fleet needs, a pilot program will also help you identify which vehicles to switch out. The right fleet management company (FMC) will support you throughout this process by helping you decide which vehicles to test and which drivers to include. They will also help you set up tracking and reporting, and provide advice on your charging infrastructure and any needed electrical updates.

Future Outlook

The electric vehicle industry is growing at a rapid pace. The United States recently hit the 5% “tipping point” for mass adoption. Although that doesn’t seem like a large percentage, research shows that once a country hits 5% of new car sales to electric vehicles, sales will skyrocket. If the U.S. follows other early adopter countries, it’s predicted that by 2025, 25% of new car sales will be fully electric.

The fast growth of electric cars in the U.S. is supported by President Joe Biden, who issued an executive order proclaiming that by 2030, 50% of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold should release zero emissions. Various government and private rebate and incentive programs also encourage the growth of EV sales.

Merchants Fleet is seeing an increase in interest in electric vehicles for fleets. Many companies are starting pilot programs, and we predict that in the near future, 60% of our client base will use home charging for their electric cars. We also predict that in the next five to seven years, 80% of our vehicle inventory will be electric. Are you ready to get started and talk to our fleet electrification experts? Contact us today with your questions or if you’d like any additional information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the cheapest electric car?
A: Prices are subject to change, but as of now, the cheapest 100% electric car is the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Q: What is the most affordable electric SUV?
A: Prices are subject to change, but as of now, the cheapest electric SUV is the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.

Q: What is the most affordable plug-in hybrid?
A: Prices are subject to change, but as of now, the most affordable plug-in hybrid is the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Plug-In Hybrid.

Q: Where can I buy electric vehicles for my fleet?
A: EVs are incredibly popular and most reservation books fill up shortly after order banks open. A fleet management company like Merchants Fleet will be your best bet in securing the EVs you need for your fleet. With our helpful EV database, you can research and compare the latest EVs. You can also stop by and speak with one of our fleet electrification experts.