These 5 Electric Vehicles are Overpriced!

These 5 Electric Vehicles are Overpriced!

ev charging station

At a time when the average transaction price for a new vehicle is inching closer to $50,000, getting your money’s worth matters more than ever. Electric vehicles are popular, but they’re expensive. Most importantly, not all EVs are equal in terms of range, charging speed, and overall value for the money. These are the worst deals for a new electric car in 2022, plus some better alternatives on the market today.

Toyota bZ4X

Toyota bZ4X

Long the authority when it comes to hybrid powertrains, the world waited with great anticipation for the first all-electric Toyota. The automaker that brought us the legendary Prius collaborated with Subaru to engineer the 2023 Toyota bZ4X, and its sibling the Subaru Solterra (more on that below). The result is puzzling. At a time when Hyundai, General Motors and of course Tesla are bringing cars to market with fast-charging times under 30 minutes, Toyota jumps into the game with an electric crossover that takes a whole hour to charge under optimal conditions.

Okay, so it charges slowly. What about the Toyota bZ4X’s range? The front-wheel drive bZ4X is rated for 242 miles with the Limited trim, and 252 miles on the XLE. Upgrade to dual-motor all-wheel drive, and range suffers. The AWD Toyota bZ4X is EPA-rated for 222 miles on the Limited, and 228 miles with lower trims. 

Pricing starts at $43,215 before incentives, and tops out at $49,995 for the bZ4X Limited all-wheel drive. 

Here’s a summary of what the 2023 Toyota bZ4X offers:

  • Up to 200 miles of range added in one hour 
  • Peak 150 kilowatt (FWD) or 150 kilowatt (FWD) charging
  • 222 to 252 miles of range, depending on trim and motor configuration
  • Two different battery suppliers, depending on the trim selected
  • bZ4X pricing: $43,215 – $49,995
  • The bZ4X does qualify for the $7,500 EV federal tax credit

Subaru Solterra

Subaru Solterra 2023

I get why Subaru drivers love their cars. I’m a fan of the outdoorsy, all-terrain capable vehicles at an attainable price. Now that Subaru’s first electric vehicle has arrived, I’m heartbroken. It’s not a compelling EV, especially compared to the competition as a 2023 model. 

Toyota’s new electric platform paired with all-wheel drive and the Subaru badge will set you back at least $46,220, and the Solterra Touring’s MSRP is a lofty $53,220. Range isn’t anything to brag about. In fact, it just might cause range anxiety from day one. 

2023 Subaru Solterra

  • Price: $46,220 – $53,220
  • Range: 222 – 228 miles
  • Add up to 180 miles of range in one hour (peak 100 kilowatt charging)
  • 8.3 inches of ground clearance (best in class)
  • X-MODE electric traction control settings

Perhaps if you don’t travel too far off the beaten path, the 2023 Subaru Solterra could be right for you. But that defeats the purpose of having a Subaru, doesn’t it?

Here’s our full review of the Subaru Solterra.

Volvo XC40 Recharge

Volvo XC-40 Recharge

When it comes down to the specs, looks and driving experience, the 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge is not a bad car. Many owners love its zippy performance and Scandinavian looks. What’s not to like? The price paired with the range. The XC40 Recharge is not an affordable EV. With a starting price of $51,700 and most trim options ending up around $60,000, this Volvo’s price approaches that of its competitor: the Tesla Model Y.

Here’s what to expect from the 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge:

  • 223 miles of range
  • Up to 156 miles of range added in 37 minutes
  • Google operating system for infotainment
  • 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds
  • Qualifies for the federal EV tax credit

Jaguar I-PACE

Jaguar I-Pace EV

The I-PACE was one of the first electric vehicles to earn mainstream popularity in North America. When it arrived in 2018, range and charging capabilities were on-par with the best. What’s the problem then? Jaguar has not invested in powertrain upgrades for the I-PACE, and it has consequently fallen out of favor among EV buyers. 

The 2022 Jaguar I-PACE starts at an MSRP of $71,200, plus destination and fees. What do you get for such a lofty price, other than the Jaguar brand?

  • 234 miles of range
  • Add 187 miles of range (0 to 80%) in 45 minutes at a DC fast charger
  • 0 – 60 time of 4.5 seconds
  • Qualifies for the federal EV tax credit

Lucid Air

Lucid Air

Seasoned electric vehicle enthusiasts may be surprised to see the Lucid Air on this list of overpriced EVs, but hear me out. Although the newly-released 2022 Lucid Air starts at $78,900, you’d be hard pressed to find one in 2022 for under $150,000. Lucid’s design is sharp and sleek, and it’s certainly worthy of a luxury price tag. But if you want all the bells and whistles seen in Lucid’s commercials, brace yourself for sticker shock. The fully-loaded Lucid Air Dream Edition costs $169,900. 

Within the electric luxury sedan segment, the Lucid Air makes the Tesla Model S look like a bargain. Although the base ‘Air Pure’ starts at $77,400, the Air Pure won’t be available until late 2022 at the earliest. If you’re looking for luxury, a glass roof, and insane performance, the Tesla Model S offers that and more at $99,990. Even with the federal EV tax credit factored in, the Lucid Air Dream Edition costs over $50,000 more, and stepping down to the Lucid Air Grand Touring at $139,900 will still cost 30% more than the Tesla.

At least you get some impressive specs with the Lucid Air, but the competition offers more value and a longer track record of build quality and electric powertrain performance. Still, the Lucid Air is the range king of all electric cars for now. 

  • Price (for early 2022 availability): $139,900 – $169,900
  • Range: 406 to 520 miles on a charge
  • The fastest charging: adds up to 300 miles of range in 20 minutes
  • Luxury, but at significant cost

Here’s our full review of the Lucid Air.

Alternatives to Consider

At YAA, we’re all about solutions. If you’re on the market for one of these overpriced electric cars, here are some more compelling EVs to take for a test drive. 

Electric Crossovers

2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5

The 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5

Why? For less than $50,000, this retro-styled EV sports a roomy cabin, decent range, and ultra-fast charging powered by the new e-GMP platform’s 800-Volt engineering.

Price: $44,875 – $56,200

Range: 256 to 303 miles

Charge time: Adds 180 – 200 miles of range in 18 minutes (230 kW charge speeds)

Availability: Available now. Check YAA Car Dealer Reviews to find the best dealers to work with.

Does it qualify for the federal EV tax credit? Yes!

Learn more with our in-depth review of the IONIQ 5.

2022 Kia EV6

Kia EV6

Why? If you love the Hyundai IONIQ 5’s specs and pricing, but aren’t a fan of the looks, chances are the Kia EV6 will be right up your alley. This sporty electric crossover is also powered by the new e-GMP platform’s 800-Volt architecture for the fastest charging available.

Price: $40,900 – $55,900

Range: 274 to 310 miles

Charge time: Adds 190 – 210 miles of range in 18 minutes (230 kW charge speeds)

Availability: Available now. Check YAA Car Dealer Reviews to find the best dealers to work with.

Does it qualify for the federal EV tax credit? Yes!

Learn more with our in-depth review of the EV6.

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Why? You’d be hard-pressed to find a dissatisfied Mustang Mach-E owner. This EV is on a much more sport-oriented suspension, with a family-friendly modern interior. 

Price: $43,895 – $61,995

Range: 224 to 314 miles

Charge time: Charging improvement incoming via over-the-air update, but for now, the Mustang Mach-E adds 59 miles of range in ten minutes, and charging from 10%-80% takes about 45 minutes.

Availability: Available now. Check YAA Car Dealer Reviews to find the best dealers to work with.

Does it qualify for the federal EV tax credit? Yes!

Learn more with our in-depth review of the Mustang Mach-E.

2022 Tesla Model Y

2022 Tesla Model Y

Why? This is still the best electric crossover on the market. Great efficiency, range and charging speeds paired with Tesla’s superior over-the-air update capabilities makes this EV the EV sales leader. If only it still qualified for the federal tax credit!

Price: $62,990 – $82,990

Range: 303 – 330 miles

Charge time: Add 200 miles of range in 15 minutes at over 1,200 Tesla Supercharger locations in North America.

Availability: Available now via Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales, or pre-owned on YAA Car Search.

Does it qualify for the federal EV tax credit? No, not unless the tax credit is revised by congress.

Learn more with our in-depth review of the Model Y.

2022 Volkswagen ID.4

Volkswagen ID.4

Why? If you can find one at MSRP, the ID.4 is a solid choice for those opting for a more leisurely, less sporty EV. However, it has lost much of its appeal ever since the Hyundai and Kia electric crossovers hit the market with much faster charging.

Price: $41,230 – $52,500

Range: 249 – 260 miles

Charge time: Add up to 190 miles of range in 40 minutes

Availability: Available now. Check YAA Car Dealer Reviews to find the best dealers to work with.

Does it qualify for the federal EV tax credit? Yes!

Learn more with our in-depth review of the ID.4.

Electric Luxury Sedans

2022 Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

Why? Tesla’s first mass-produced model has matured into the gold standard among luxury EVs. It’s pricey, but sky-high resale value and frequent OTA updates make this Tesla a smart choice for those in the market for something larger than the more popular Model 3. 

Price: $99,990 – $156,990

Range: 348 – 405 miles

Charge time: Add up to 200 miles of range in 15 minutes

Availability: Available now via Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales, or pre-owned on YAA Car Search.

Does it qualify for the federal EV tax credit? No, not unless the tax credit is revised by congress.

Learn more about the Model S.

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS

Mercedes EQS EV

Why? The first dedicated electric vehicle from Mercedes to make it to North America is something to behold. It doesn’t have the Tesla Supercharger network, but the interior is luxury on another level. 

Price: $102,310 – $108,510

Range: 350 miles

Charge time: Add up to 200 miles of range in 20 minutes

Availability: Available now. Check YAA Car Dealer Reviews to find the best dealers to work with.

Does it qualify for the federal EV tax credit? Yes!

Learn more with our in-depth review of the EQS.

Do you agree with this analysis, or did we miss the mark? Please, let us know in the comments below, or join us at the YAA Community to talk cars, deals and more. Our YAA auto experts are ready to take the headache out of your car buying experience. 

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5 Reasons Why You Should Plan Ahead Before Buying an Electric Car

5 Reasons Why You Should Plan Ahead Before Buying an Electric Car

2023 Fisker Ocean

Sadly, these days it’s not possible to leisurely head to a dealership and pick out the perfect vehicle. Inventory remains at record lows, and supply chain shortages are going to get worse before they get better. The electric lifestyle is an adjustment for most first-time EV buyers, and preparation eases the transition considerably. You don’t want your new car honeymoon to be ruined by missed opportunities or misconceptions. Here are five reasons why you should plan ahead before making your first electric car purchase.

Inventory is hard to come by

2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5

Inventory is slim to none for all new autos, and electric vehicles have been hit especially hard by the supply shortages of 2021 and 2022. EVs are the product of truly global supply chains, and that makes them particularly vulnerable to disruptions. EV leader Tesla has so far avoided the worst of the supply shortages, however high demand has new orders seeing delivery dates over 8 months away. 

Tesla isn’t the only automaker seeing serious delays. The popular Volkswagen ID.4, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Hyundai IONIQ 5 are all hard to find on a dealer lot nationwide. Data from Cox Automotive shows that day’s supply, the preferred industry metric for new car availability, is dismal for several electric vehicle makers. 

Here’s the day’s supply for popular brands that sell electric cars in America. Tesla, Rivian and Lucid sell directly to consumers, so there is no available data for their models.

  • Kia: 19
  • Volkswagen: 29 days
  • Nissan: 34
  • Hyundai: 35
  • Chevrolet: 39
  • Ford: 40

As bad as these supply estimates are, many shoppers note that many dealers have just a few cars on the lot. Don’t expect to find exactly what you want at your local dealership.

The solution to EV inventory woes: place an order

2022 Tesla Model 3
2022 Tesla Model 3

If you’re eager to get yourself into a new car as soon as possible, check out YAA Car Search to locate electric cars around the country. Beware misleading postings from dealerships. I’ve found that about half of dealer postings are actually misrepresenting cars that are already spoken for. 

It’s not fun, but it’s worth it to call around. Soon, you may find yourself forgetting which dealers you’ve contacted, so it’s wise to keep a spreadsheet of who you’ve reached out to, and their inventory situation. While you’re at it, keep track of what their dealer markups are for EVs. Some dealers are taking advantage of the situation and charging $5,000, $10,000 or even $20,000 over MSRP.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for at a competitive price point, most automakers let you place an order for their popular EVs. Sometimes, you’ll have to order through a dealership, so keep that in mind if you don’t see a way to place an order on the automaker’s website. For example, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Cadillac Lyriq can only be ordered through a participating dealer. 

If you have your eyes set on a Tesla, placing an order is simple. In fact, it takes just a few minutes (but requires a non-refundable deposit). However, demand far exceeds supply for Tesla models. Expect to wait 6-10 months for a Model Y.

Make plans for charging your electric car

buying an electric car and charging a tesla

If you drive less than 30 miles a day and live near public fast chargers, don’t sweat it. However, long distance commuters and rural EV owners will be glad they thought about how to meet their charging needs. 

Over 80% of electric car charging is done at home at affordable residential electricity rates, costing less than $15 for a full charge. If you skip any special home charger installation, plugging in to a typical wall socket will add two to four miles of range per hour. Over 12 hours (at night, for example), a standard wall outlet will add about 25 to 50 miles of range. However, frequent travelers will get tired of the slow charging speeds possible with basic 110-volt wall outlets. 

For those who regularly drive more than 50 miles each day, it will likely be worth the investment to get a level 2 home charger installed. A level 2 charger increases power supply to 240 volts, and adds about 20 to 40 miles of range per hour. Unless you’re lucky enough to already have a 240-volt dryer outlet in your garage, installing a level 2 charger at home can cost between $700 and $1500, depending on labor costs and the condition of existing electrical infrastructure in the home.

We’ve covered all you need to know about how much it costs to charge an electric car in our YAA guide to charging

Do you need fast charging?

At some point, a public DC fast charger will be essential for travels. If you purchase an electric vehicle with over 200 miles of range, getting to one shouldn’t be a problem. However, there continues to be wide variation in charge times, and that will make or break the EV ownership experience for frequent travelers. 

The Hyundai IONIQ 5, Kia EV6 and Tesla models can all add about 200 miles of driving range in about 20 minutes. However, the 2023 Subaru Solterra EV takes 56 minutes to add the same range. Pay attention to the details, and consider how each electric model would fit into your lifestyle and needs.

Taxes, rebates and more: When will you benefit the most from EV incentives?

For many households, tax liability fluctuates from year to year. If you know when a particularly large tax bill will be due, it might be a great time to buy an electric vehicle. The current federal electric vehicle tax credit is worth up to $7,500, however tax filers who owe at least as much in annual tax liability will get the full benefit from the credit. For example, a family who has a federal tax liability of $5,500 will only be able to claim $5,500 of the EV tax credit. That’s why it makes sense to purchase an EV when tax liability is expected to be at least $7,500. 

Plug-in hybrids qualify for between $2,500 and $7,500, depending on battery size. 

The credit (non-refundable) remains in effect for all automakers who have yet to reach the law’s 200,000-vehicle limit. Tesla and General Motors have surpassed the limit, so buyers of the Bolt, Silverado EV, and Tesla models won’t benefit from this generous incentive unless Congress overhauls the law. Revisions to the EV tax credit are possible in 2022. Stay up to date with the latest EV tax credit developments here

Where will you go for EV service?

tesla service center

If you live anywhere near a major metropolitan area, especially along the coasts, you’ve got nothing to worry about. The rest of us need to bear in mind the limits of EV newcomers like Rivian, Lucid and Fisker when it comes to serviceability. Tesla now has 150 service centers across the country, but a few states remain without a Tesla service center. Fisker’s affordable Ocean electric SUV is loaded with impressive specs, however service centers will be few and far between for years to come. 

This is where the strength of legacy automakers really stands out. A Tesla or Rivian service center will be hard to find in rural America, however legacy automakers have established dealer networks in every corner of the country. 

Before you go out and buy an EV, have a plan for how and where you’ll get it serviced. Electric vehicles come with a great warranty, so you’ll definitely want a way to take advantage of it. 

Consider upcoming models and updates before buying

Silverado EV
2024 Silverado EV RST

There’s always something bigger and better in the development pipeline. Newer models tout more range, faster charging and improved performance. On the other hand, prices tick upward with every added feature. 

When does it make sense to hold out for the latest and greatest? It depends on what you value most, and which electric vehicle features you desire most. Looking to get more range out of a Volkswagen or Hyundai EV? 2023 models get a slight bump. Craving faster charging? Waiting a year might save you five minutes per charge. Don’t expect huge changes from one year to the next. Automakers have set the expectation for incremental improvements. 

Ultimately, it will be up to you to decide what’s worth the wait, and when it makes sense to buy (or lease) an electric car. 

YAA’s Take

Planning ahead for your electric car purchase not only has the potential to save you money, it also makes the transition to the electric lifestyle a lot easier. It’s important to consider your household’s unique needs and wants as you shop around. In 2022, EVs represent past, present and leading-edge technologies at a wide range of price points. Here at YAA, we’re keeping track of EV availability in 2022.

As always, YAA Electric is here to empower you with the knowledge to approach car ownership with confidence. Our weekly EV newsletter is full of helpful tips, the latest EV news, and new car reviews. Consider becoming a member for expert insights and one-on-one guidance throughout the car buying process.

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Electric Car Maintenance: What to Expect

Electric Car Maintenance: What to Expect

Tesla maintenance

Electric car maintenance is just one of many “new” experiences you’ll encounter when you buy your first EV. Instead of spending $50 at a gas station in a five-minute fill up, EV drivers plug in at home and spend $5 for an overnight charge. On the other hand, road trips require more planning and flexibility with an EV, at least until chargers are more common (and it looks like that will be soon). 

Another adjustment for drivers making the switch concerns maintenance and routine care. Electric car maintenance is not the kind of project you can do in your home garage using tutorial videos. It’s important to start by addressing a common EV ownership myth: electric cars are not maintenance-free. Of course, no mode of transportation is maintenance-free. Even riding a bicycle requires routine and unexpected work to keep the tires in motion and in good working condition. Fortunately, fewer moving parts should mean less maintenance overall. Is that always the case?

In this electric car maintenance guide, we’ll explain routine EV maintenance, and how often you should expect to make a service center visit.

What’s Similar About Electric Car Maintenance?

The takeaway is that although electric cars require less maintenance, they do still need attention every once in a while. Just like a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle, EVs need:

  • Tires monitoring and replacement
  • The car’s 12 Volt battery may need replacing (it powers smaller electronics)
  • HVAC maintenance
  • Brake maintenance
  • Cabin air filter replacement

What’s Different About Electric Car Maintenance?

Here’s the honest truth about EV maintenance needs:

Pros

  • No oil changes
  • Fewer moving parts means less likelihood of mechanical failure
  • No timing belts, radiator fluids or fuel filters
  • Brakes wear slowly due to regenerative braking

Cons

  • Faster tire wear
  • Don’t risk working on electrical components at home
  • Any battery or electric motor work will need to be done at the automaker’s service center

Electric Car Routine Maintenance

The past decade of electric vehicle sales has shown that the vast majority of fully-electric models require less maintenance than combustion counterparts. So much so that automakers promote maintenance cost savings in their marketing campaigns for the dozens of EVs coming out in 2022.

EVs have a higher upfront cost, so it’s important to find ways of making up for the difference with fuel savings and today’s focus: electric car maintenance.

Here’s what you can expect when transitioning to a fully-electric vehicle.

Tires

IONIQ 5 maintenance
2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5

Electric vehicles are very heavy. Popular electric crossovers like the Volkswagen ID.4 and Tesla Model Y weigh as much as a heavy-duty pickup truck. Tires undergo greater wear and tear on an electric vehicle everytime the car accelerates or slows to a stop. Many EV owners report needing new tires every 20,000 miles or so.

Some EV owners choose to spend extra on tires that are rated as energy efficient. It’s not required, but EV-friendly tires can extend range by up to 5%. Regular tire pressure should be checked and adjusted often (at least once a month) to ensure proper inflation.

12 Volt Battery

Believe it or not, today’s electric vehicles still require the same kind of 12 volt battery that you’ll find under the hood of most combustion vehicles. Why? The massive battery pack under the floor of the car is engineered to be optimized for delivering power to the electric motors. The electronics and comfort features in the cabin and lights around the vehicle are all powered by a separate, smaller 12 volt battery. So yes, your state-of-the-art electric vehicle may need a new bulky battery in a few years. 

mustang mach-e
Nothing says Mustang Mach-E like a front trunk shrimp party.

In case you’re wondering, the massive battery pack that is sealed under the floor of the vehicle is meant to last for hundreds of thousands of miles without issue. Automaker vehicle warranties cover the battery for up to 10 years and 100,000 miles. 

Perhaps the worst thing that could go wrong with an electric vehicle is needing a new lithium-ion battery pack outside of warranty coverage. A full battery replacement costs anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the model. 

Brakes

Polestar 2
2022 Polestar 2

Most modern electric vehicles have regenerative braking, which harnesses the electric motor to slow the vehicle while adding charge to the battery pack. Regenerative braking not only extends range, it greatly reduces wear and tear on the brakes. Tesla’s have been known to go many years without any brake maintenance because of regenerative braking. A few EVs, such as the Volkswagen ID.4, even use old-fashioned drum brakes in the rear due to the greatly reduced use of electric vehicles brakes. Still, brakes will need to be checked during scheduled maintenance. Safety first! 

Fluids

GM Ultium battery
General Motors Ultium battery and platform

As explained above, brakes on an electric vehicle typically avoid the usual wear and tear of combustion cars due to the help of regenerative braking. Still, brake fluid should be checked during scheduled maintenance. Some EV models require battery coolant fluid exchanges at some point, albeit quite infrequently. HVAC refrigerants also need checking and top-offs as needed. Don’t forget about the windshield wiper fluid.

Filters

I’ve been a passenger in more than one smelly Tesla. I repeat, electric cars are NOT maintenance-free! They have cabin filters just like every other car. Failing to change the cabin filter at regular intervals also irritates allergies and permits air pollution into the cabin.

Examples of Electric Vehicle Maintenance Schedules

2022 Tesla Model Y

2022 Tesla Model Y

The service manual for the best-selling electric crossover is short and sweet.

“Your vehicle should generally be serviced on an as-needed basis. However, Tesla recommends the following maintenance items and intervals, as applicable to your vehicle, to ensure continued reliability and efficiency of your Model Y.

  • Brake fluid health check every 2 years (replace if necessary) or, if the vehicle is used for towing, replace the brake fluid every 2 years.
  • A/C desiccant bag replacement every 4 years.
  • Cabin air filter replacement every 2 years (or 3 years for HEPA filter, if equipped).
  • Clean and lubricate brake calipers every year or 12,500 miles (20,000 km) if in an area where roads are salted during winter
  • Rotate tires every 6,000 miles (10,000 km) or if tread depth difference is 1.5 mm or greater, whichever comes first”

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E

mustang mach-e electric car maintenance

Ford recommends more frequent inspections, but the story is the same.

Every 12 months or 10,000 miles:

  • Rotate tires, inspect tire wear
  • Perform multi-point inspection (recommended)
  • Inspect brake components
  • Check the cooling system
  • Inspect half-shaft boots and suspension components
  • Inspect wheels for defects

Every 3 years:

  • Change brake fluid

Every 20,000 miles:

  • Replace cabin air filter

10 years or 150,000 miles:

  • Replace transmission fluid

200,000 miles:

  • Replace battery coolant

YAA’s Take

It’s easy to forget that electric vehicles have now been on roads for over a decade. Tesla has sold 2 million vehicles and counting, and legacy automakers are gaining ground. What does this all mean for our understanding of electric vehicle maintenance through a consumer lens? With billions of miles driven, we’re finally starting to get some idea of the reliability of electric vehicles.

There are many examples of electric vehicles that have gone hundreds of thousands of miles while following the maintenance schedules we’ve outlined here. EV skepticism is understandable; it’s a whole new vehicle ownership experience. However, frugal car buyers would be mistaken to overlook the maintenance and fuel savings that electric vehicles offer for most consumers.

Detailed cost of ownership analyses show that despite the differences in MSRP, in the end, owners spend about the same amount of money in five years of Tesla Model 3 ownership as they would owning a $25,000 Toyota Camry for the same period. How so? Fuel and maintenance savings add up quicker the more you drive and the longer you own the car.

How will dealership service center revenue streams adapt to the decreased maintenance needs of electric vehicles? Will dealers be getting in on the software-by-subscription game? Or will dealers put up a fight to preserve their wallets? 

There remain many unknowns and this time of rapid change in the automotive industry. Your consumer advocates here at YAA are helping thousands of car buyers navigate the reinvented auto industry that’s emerging in the post-pandemic world. Stay tuned, we’ll figure it out together. 

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5 Affordable Electric Vehicles You Can Buy In 2022

5 Affordable Electric Vehicles You Can Buy In 2022

Kia EV6 affordable electric car

The average new vehicle sells for nearly $50,000, but not every vehicle costs the same to maintain and operate. Fuel economy, reliability, insurance, and maintenance needs are just some of the factors that determine the total cost of ownership for any vehicle. Automakers have made it clear that they’re bringing EVs to the masses, however cheap electric cars remain elusive.

Consumers in the market for an affordable vehicle in 2022 are presented with diverse options, including a larger selection of electric vehicles than ever before. EV‘s are no longer just for tech nerds. People who had never imagined themselves in an electric vehicle are making the switch simply for fuel savings. 

However, it remains true that the majority of electric vehicles carry luxury price tags. It’s unlikely you’ll hear anyone say there are “cheap electric cars,” however there are affordable EVs. Here are five affordable electric vehicles that drivers love in 2022.

The best affordable electric car: Volkswagen ID.4

Starting at $40,760

240 – 260 miles of range

Learn more: YAA Review of the Volkswagen ID.4

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 affordable electric car
2022 Volkswagen ID.4

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Accurate range ratings
  • Over-the-air update capability
  • 3 years of free charging at Electrify America 
  • Qualifies for the federal EV tax credit

Cons: 

  • RWD is slow for an EV
  • Reliability remains to be determined
  • It’s hard to find one on a dealer lot

If you’re in the market for a great electric vehicle that will get you from A to B in comfort and confidence, the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 should be on your short list. Capable performance, great safety ratings and a spacious cabin make the ID.4 a great place to be for the price point. 

The 2022 ID.4 can go the distance, leaving range anxiety behind for the most part. Dozens of real-world range tests show that even on the highway at 70 mph, the ID.4 gets well over 200 miles on a charge. In city driving, closer to 300 miles is likely. 

2022 updates are bringing bidirectional charging, plug-and-charge, increased range, quicker charging and major over-the-air updates to the ID.4. Even 2021 models will get new features via OTA updates this summer. Learn more about the game-changing capabilities of OTA updates here.

When it comes time to charge, you can either juice up at home overnight, or take advantage of 3 years of free Electrify America charging with unlimited miles. For frequent travelers, the Electrify America incentive can be worth a few thousand dollars. At a fast charger, charging to 80% takes about 30 minutes.

Volkswagen ID.4 affordable electric car

The all-wheel drive version of the ID.4 is where this crossover really shines. Adding another motor to the front axle increases horsepower to 295 with 339 lb-ft of torque and a very satisfying 0-60 time of just 5.4 seconds. However, it’s not quite a car you’d take to the track. The handling is well-tuned for attacking winding roads in inclement weather, although it maintains a more family-oriented demeanor. 

The 2021 ID.4 earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s rigorous crash testing. YAA recently detailed all electric vehicle safety ratings in 2022.

The Volkswagen ID.4 is about as good as it gets for its use case. For the frugal-minded, It’s a particularly compelling car in the base Pro trim with rear-wheel drive (MSRP $40,760). Volkswagen’s EVs still qualify for the $7,500 federal EV tax credit in the US, which can turn the entry-level ID.4 into a $34,000 purchase. That’s an amazing value in today’s market.

The best range for a “cheap” electric car: Kia EV6

Starting at $40,900

232 – 310 miles of range

Learn more: YAA Review of the Kia EV6

Kia EV6
2022 Kia EV6

Pros:

  • Great range
  • Fastest charging EV
  • Over-the-air update capability
  • Available in all 50 states in 2022
  • Qualifies for the federal EV tax credit

Cons: 

  • Low profile may not appeal to those looking for a SUV
  • Reliability remains to be determined
  • It’s hard to find one on a dealer lot

If you’re a techie who demands the latest and greatest that automakers have to offer, but don’t have the budget to buy an extravagant Lucid Air or Mercedes EQS, the Kia EV6 and its platform sibling the Hyundai IONIQ 5 just might be what you’re looking for.

Kia and Hyundai partnered up to engineer the new E-GMP battery and powertrain platform. The first two models to feature this advanced architecture are the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and the all-new Kia EV6. Both of these crossovers offer ultra-fast charging, impressive range, and over-the-air update capability for just over $40,000.

The 2022 Kia EV6 has a premium feel to it, and that’s something we’re still learning to expect from Kia. Aggressive looks on the outside are met with a welcoming, spacious interior. The cabin is open and airy.

Kia EV6 interior

The EV6’s front dash consists of dual 12.3” screens, one for infotainment and another for the instrument cluster. Higher trims also include an augmented reality heads-up display that projects driving directions and basic info onto the windshield within the driver’s line of sight. 

The Kia EV6 is no slouch; it can hustle with a heavy foot. All-wheel drive variants produce 313 hp and a 0-60 time of 5.1 seconds, but range drops to 274 miles on a charge. Longer range rear-wheel drive trims still reach 60 mph in just 7.3 seconds. For perspective, that’s about two seconds quicker than the popular Subaru Forester.

With a starting MSRP around $42,000 with destination, the 2022 EV6 represents incredible value for leading-edge tech. It even has faster charging and longer range than similarly priced Tesla models. 

The greatest advantage the Kia EV6 has over any Tesla model is that the EV6 qualifies for the federal electric vehicle tax credit. Buyers can save up to $7,500 on their federal taxes if they purchase a Kia EV. Tesla and GM brands are no longer eligible since they’ve already sold greater than 200,000 electric cars. 

If you’re a fan of the specs but not the aggressive looks, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 may be the perfect compromise. 

The fastest charging for a “cheap” electric car that isn’t a Tesla: Hyundai IONIQ 5

Starting at $40,925

220 – 303 miles of range

Learn more: YAA Review of the Hyundai IONIQ 5

Hyundai IONIQ 5 affordable electric car
2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5

The IONIQ 5 made our YAA list of the 5 best cars to buy in 2022!

Pros:

  • Fastest charging EV (also Kia EV6)
  • Unique, retro-meets-futuristic looks
  • Enough performance for some fun
  • Over-the-air update capability
  • 2 years of free charging at Electrify America 
  • Qualifies for the federal EV tax credit

Cons: 

  • Real–world range comes up short
  • Reliability remains to be determined
  • Most available today are higher trims
  • Available in select states until mid-2022

The all-new 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 is a uniquely retro electric crossover. You’re sure to get plenty of thumbs-ups at stoplights in this head-turner. It’s under $50,000, and surprisingly available at dealerships today. Hyundai says that the pixelated design draws inspiration from the first car they brought to America, the Hyundai Pony. 

Also built on the new E-GMP platform, the Kia EV6’s sibling is as comfortable slamming into curves as it is cruising the interstate. The all-wheel drive variant is adequately powered with 320 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque. The AWD IONIQ 5 can get up and go with a 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds. That’s just a hair above the current electric crossover sales champion, the Tesla Model Y. 

Range varies from 220 miles up to 303 miles depending on battery size and drivetrain. That’s slightly above average for a 2022 model. It’s important to note that some real-world highway range tests have struggled to get the IONIQ 5 past 200 miles on a charge. 

Hyundai ioniq 5

The IONIQ 5 does have one massive advantage over its competitors: charging speed. When you plug in at any Electrify America charging station, the IONIQ 5 can handle up to 230 kW charging speeds. Charging from 10% to 80% (adding 212 miles of range) takes just 18 minutes. The only other vehicle on the market capable of charging that fast is the $75,000+ Lucid Air luxury sedan. The IONIQ 5 has a major charging advantage over the ID.4 and Mustang Mach-E.

The IONIQ 5 is part crossover, part oversized hatchback. That’s not a bad thing. Somehow, Hyundai pulls off this delicate balance in all the right ways. The Ioniq 5’s interior volume (passenger and cargo combined) is 133.7 cubic feet, which is larger than the VW ID.4 and Ford Mustang Mach-E. The roominess has more in common with a Hyundai Santa Fe than a Kona.

Starting at just $40,925 for the 58 kWh smaller battery base model, the IONIQ 5 is available for thousands less than was expected. Most buyers will opt for the larger battery pack (77.4 kWh), which is comparable to other class competitors. With standard rear-wheel drive, the IONIQ 5 SE with the long range battery starts at $44,875. All-wheel drive is available for $3,500-3,900 more. The Limited trim starts at $51,825 and maxes out over $56,000 with all options included. 

The affordable Tesla: Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive

Starting at $44,990

272 miles of range

Learn more: YAA Review of the Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 affordable Tesla
2022 Tesla Model 3 Updates

Pros:

  • It’s a Tesla that’s actually affordable
  • There’s a very short wait for delivery
  • Enough performance for some fun
  • Tesla Supercharger network
  • Over-the-air update capability

Cons: 

  • Does not qualify for the federal EV tax credit
  • Lacking many luxury features, such as massaging seats 
  • No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
  • White and midnight silver are the only free paint options 

Say hello to the only Tesla available for less than $50,000. In reality, the 2022 Rear-Wheel Drive Model 3 is the same car as the ‘Standard Range Plus’ variant that the American automaker sold until 2021. Perhaps calling something ‘standard’ just wasn’t on-brand for the luxury automaker. 

Don’t get your hopes up if you’re thinking you can get access to Tesla’s Full Self-Driving for under 50 grand. Tesla now charges $12,000 for FSD, which would bring the 2022 Rear-Wheel Drive Model 3 closer to $60,000 after taxes and fees. 

Find out everything you need to know about self-driving cars in our YAA guide to autonomous vehicles.

2022 Tesla Model 3

This base trim has received some 2022 upgrades, most notably an increase in range from 262 miles to 272 miles on a charge with the included 18” aero wheels. The 2022 Rear-Wheel Drive Model 3 features new lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries which will allow the car to repeatedly charge to 100% without risking as much harm to the life of the battery. 

The Rear-Wheel Drive Model 3 is powered by a single electric motor that produces 296 hp and 277 pound-feet of torque. This sedan powers to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds, not bad for a base trim. 

At a Tesla Supercharger, its 60 kWh battery pack can accept up to 170 kW when nearly empty. In the real world, that means charging from 10-80% (adding 190 miles of range) takes about 26 minutes.

The 2022 Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive now sells for a notoriously non-negotiable $44,990, plus the $1,200 destination and doc fee. So the cheapest Tesla is now $46,190. Just a year ago, it was $38,190. 

The best “cheap” electric car: 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

Starting at $34,000

258 miles of range

Search hundreds of Hyundai Kona EVs for sale today at YAA Car Search!

Hyundai Kona EV

Pros:

  • A great alternative for those considering the Chevy Bolt 
  • Under $30,000 with federal incentives; under $25,000 for some
  • Real-world range exceeds ratings
  • Unbeatable 10-year/100,000-mile warranty

Cons: 

  • Slow charging speeds
  • Full of tech from the previous generation of electric vehicles 
  • A previous recall associated the Kona with ‘potential fire hazard’
  • Front-wheel drive only
  • Overshadowed by the IONIQ 5

Hyundai’s forgotten electric vehicle should not be overlooked by those in search of a very affordable entry into electric mobility. The 2022 Hyundai Kona EV may not look all that attractive, but it has decent range and room to fit most lifestyles.

Hyundai Kona EV

For just $34,000 before incentives, you can become the owner of the original Hyundai EV. This front-wheel drive subcompact crossover gets 258 miles on the charge, exceptional range for a budget EV. Some owners get over 275 miles on a single charge. The Limited trim, top-of-the-line option comes in at $42,500.

If you plug in at home, charging to 100% from a 240-volt dryer outlet will only take you about 9 hours from 10% state of charge. That will get you a full battery overnight while you’re sleeping. At a DC fast charger, the Kona is behind the competition. In 47 minutes, the Kona Electric charges from 10% to 80% capacity.

Hyundai Kona EV

If you’re more of a Kia lover, we have great news. The Kia e-Niro is basically the Kona Electric with a Kia face.

Due to the Kona Electric’s charging faults, this would not be a great road-tripping vehicle. But if you’re looking for cheap electric cars perfect for zipping around town, this is a great deal not to be overlooked.

Runner Up: 2023 Fisker Ocean

Available in 2023, but you can reserve one now.

Learn More: YAA review of the Fisker Ocean

2023 Fisker Ocean
2023 Fisker Ocean

The Fisker Ocean sure does promise a lot. Will it deliver? At just $37,000, Fisker’s all-electric brand quotes 250 miles of range for the entry-level Fisker Ocean crossover. The 2023 Fisker Ocean didn’t make our official list for a few reasons. It hasn’t been produced yet, and delays have pushed the start of production back to November 2022. Fisker says they have 32,000 reservations in the books, so if you’re looking to buy one, it may not be possible until mid-2023. Furthermore, the more capable and sporty Fisker Ocean trims start at $50,000.

YAA’s Take: Range and Reliability Matter Most

You may be wondering where the Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf are on this list of cheap electric cars. The Leaf is one of the originators of the EV segment, having started it all back in 2011. However, Nissan has regrettably not invested in range or battery performance upgrades over the years. It’s failing to keep up with the growing competition. 

The 2022 Nissan Leaf S gets just 149 miles of range and charges quite slowly at between 50 and 100 kilowatts at a fast charger. It is the MOST affordable electric vehicle, with prices ranging from $27,400 to $37,400, however we can’t recommend an EV that leaves the lot at a disadvantage. As electric vehicles come to market with 250 to 400 mile ranges, how will the Leaf retain any resale value?

Hyundai EV

And then there’s the Chevrolet Bolt. It’s affordable and even looks okay with the recent facelift. While it’s true that the recall fix is giving Bolts brand-new, modernized battery packs, the reliability of the Bolt has taken such a hit that it’s too great of a financial risk for today’s consumers to get behind the wheel worry-free. You don’t want your $31,000 purchase to be a symbol of unprecedented fire risk. What would it take to change my mind? At this point, a few years of problem-free driving. Until then stay away from the Chevrolet Bolt. As you can see, there are plenty of other affordable electric vehicles out there in 2022.

Follow the money. Automakers are going all-in on electric vehicles in 2022 and beyond. The consumer benefits as competition rises, so perhaps affordable EVs are here to stay. If you’re looking to go electric in 2022, you don’t have to buy a Tesla, Nissan Leaf or Chevy Bolt. Every automaker is racing to become the next big thing in the world of EVs. 

Some parting advice: consider all options, and test drive as many electric vehicles as you can. You’ll be amazed at what’s out there, and even more amazed at what’s to come

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Electric Vehicle Sales Double in 2021. Can Chargers Keep Up?

Electric Vehicle Sales Double in 2021. Can Chargers Keep Up?

2023 Ford F150 Lightning
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Electric vehicles now make up 9% of the global market, and 4.5% of American auto sales. Estimates vary, but many analysts expect electric vehicle sales to reach 40% market share in 2030. Will their crystal ball prove correct? It’s now looking possible. New data from the International Energy Agency beat previous forecasts by 26%. In 2020, Loren McDonald of EVAdoption predicted that electric vehicle sales would make up 3.55% of the US market in 2021. With the official tally now coming in a full percentage point higher, the electric momentum is accelerating. When the chip shortage finally ends, the production of EVs will likely be prioritized by automakers. Considering the massive half-trillion dollar investments OEMs have committed to electrifying their lineups, I’m sure they’re happy to see that there’s a growing market for their future products.

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Tesla Supercharger Installations Can’t Keep Up With Incredible Demand

2022 Tesla Model Y
2022 Tesla Model Y

Tesla’s pioneering Supercharger network of DC fast chargers remains the industry standard for electric vehicle charging. With 3,476 locations, hassle-free plug-and-charge and consistent reliability, only Electrify America has come remotely close to what Tesla offers. For the past decade, Superchargers have been known for convenience and accessibility, but a few pending developments could change that. Here’s what we’re watching:

Sales Continue to Outpace Charger Installations

Tesla continues to dominate electric vehicle sales in America and abroad. In 2021, Tesla year-over-year sales grew 87% to 936,172 vehicles globally. In the United States, Cox Automotive estimates that Tesla delivered 352,472 vehicles to customers. Tesla’s 2021 sales were enough to (probably) unseat BMW as luxury sales leader in the US.

In 2021, Tesla installed 8,221 new Superchargers at 912 stations around the world. This represents 35% growth in just one year, a huge accomplishment for the EV leader. However, will it be enough? Sales have been outpacing Supercharger growth for years now. The vast majority of charging stations never see a crowd, but that could change soon as Tesla’s zero-hassle sales model and superior technology have drawn more buyers to the brand.

Tesla Opens Up Some Chargers to Non-Tesla EVs

2022 Tesla Model 3
2022 Tesla Model 3

Tesla CEO Elon Musk confused Tesla owners and thrilled non-Tesla owners when he shared the company’s intentions to open up some Superchargers to non-Tesla cars. In early 2022, several Supercharger locations in France, Norway and the Netherlands are open to all. If open access spreads to North America, Superchargers will see a flood of traffic as Ford Mustang Mach-E’s, Volkswagen ID.4’s, Hyundai IONIQ 5’s and dozens of other models gain access to America’s largest fast charging network. 

Electrify America Races to Catch Up

Something positive came out of Volkswagen’s dieselgate debacle. As part of a 2016 settlement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, VW was ordered to spend $2 billion on something that would clean up the air. The result was the birth of Electrify America.

Electrify America Hyundai IONIQ5
2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5

After installing their first chargers in 2018, Electrify America now has 3,500 charging stations at 800 locations around the US. The big difference between Electrify America and Tesla Superchargers is accessibility. Any electric vehicle can pull up to an EA station to charge. Only Tesla models are allowed to charge at Superchargers, except for select Superchargers in Europe that are open to all.

Electrify America has its faults though. Drivers often encounter out-of-order chargers, and most vehicles are not yet compatible with the convenient plug-and-charge capability that you’ll find at Tesla Superchargers. Reports indicate that reliability is improving at Electrify America, and several automakers say their new EVs will have seamless plug-and-charge capability. 

What Does the Future Hold?

Tesla’s record growth is great news for the automaker, but the picture is more complicated for Tesla owners. Tesla Superchargers in California and East Coast hotspots already fill up during peak travel. You could argue that gas stations do too, but waiting in line to plug in and then wait another 20 minutes to charge is not the same thing. 

Fortunately, charging is about to get a lot easier in America. Public and private partnerships are currently designing a National Charging Network that will bring charging to remote locations and more American highways. The Supercharger network will continue to grow, as evidenced by the hundreds of ‘coming soon’ locations just added to the Tesla Supercharger map

Some gas stations are getting into the charging game. Why don’t more add DC fast chargers to their parking lots? DC fast charger installation is expensive. We’re talking over $100,000 in most cases. Public-private partnerships appear set on helping businesses overcome the prohibitive costs of installing chargers. That would certainly benefit a rapidly electrifying nation of drivers.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Better yet, connect with auto experts and fellow car enthusiasts at joinyaa.com/community, where we work for YOU.