Does Temperature Affect Electric Vehicle Performance? Yes, But the Details Matter

Does Temperature Affect Electric Vehicle Performance? Yes, But the Details Matter

2022 Tesla Model 3

Until charging stations are commonplace, owning an electric vehicle will require more planning and preparation than one would expect for a day’s drive. Range is the new MPG, however real-world range isn’t easy to pin down. When the U.S. EPA provides official range ratings, the figures are based on vehicles driving in controlled environments on a predetermined track. EV ownership is full of nuances, and one of the greatest is the affect of weather on range. Let’s explore how electric vehicles perform in cold weather, hot weather, rain and wind. 

Electric Vehicles in Cold Weather

Cold weather reduces EV range, but how much depends on how toasty you keep the cabin. Sub-freezing temperatures reduce range by between 12% and 30%, but that’s without the climate control on to warm the cabin. Data from AAA found that once the heater is turned on, EV range can drop by as much as 41%. Some real-world tests have found range losses closer to 50% with below-zero temperatures. That’s not good if you travel long distances across the northern states or the Interior West. More on specific impacts below.

Electric Vehicles in Hot Weather

Yes, hot weather does reduce EV range. According to research conducted by AAA, hot temperatures don’t have quite as great of an impact as cold temperatures, but it’s still noticeable. In temperatures of 95 degrees Fahrenheit and the air conditioning on, driving range decreases  by 17% on average.

A 17% drop in range would mean that a Model Y normally rated for 330 miles on a charge would get closer to 273 miles. Not too big of a deal. For electric vehicles with less EPA-rated range, it matters more. The standard range 2022 Nissan Leaf normally gets 150 miles on a charge, but that would drop to 124 miles in 95-degree weather. Ouch.

Does Rain Affect EV Range?

Rain, snow and anything else falling from the sky does lower EV range. Why? It creates drag, and EV efficiency is all about aerodynamics. The heavier the rain, the greater the impact on range, even if temperatures are perfect for battery performance.

Speaking of which, what is the ideal temperature for electric vehicle battery performance? Geotab’s analysis of data from 4,200 EVs found that 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21.5 Celsius) is ideal for battery performance. That’s not only perfect for maximum range, it’s great weather all around. Learn more in Geotab’s full report

How Much Does Wind Impact EV Range?

Similarly, wind’s impacts on electric vehicle range have to do with drag. Drag is in essence aerodynamic friction. Your fancy new electric car can’t slide through the air so efficiently with friction working on it. 

Wind can work against you or for you. With a steady tailwind pushing you along, it’s common to exceed range expectations even on the highway. When there’s a substantial headwind, range drops, and sometimes by quite a lot. The impacts of wind on EV range are much more noticeable at highway speeds. It’s possible to gain or lose up to 20% of expected range depending on wind direction.

Weather Impacts Depend on Model and Battery Chemistry

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Temperature impacts battery performance differently depending on battery type and overall vehicle engineering. Features such as a heat pump, advanced battery preconditioning and even heated seats are just some of the many ways that engineers can do their best to optimize EV performance in suboptimal weather. 

EV data specialists at Recurrent looked at data from all of the popular electric vehicle models. They found that EV range in hot and cold weather varies widely from one make and model to another. 

Here’s how some of America’s most popular electric vehicles are affected by cold weather and summer heat. 

MakeModelRated RangeReal-World Range (70 deg F)Cold Weather Range Loss
TeslaModel 3353 miles339 miles335 miles (-5% from rated range)
TeslaModel Y330 miles320 miles323 miles (-2% from rated range)
TeslaModel S405 miles397 miles380 miles (-6% from rated range)
TeslaModel X351 miles326 miles326 miles (-7% from rated range)
FordMustang Mach-E305 miles284 miles198 miles (-35% from rated range)
ChevroletBolt259 miles254 miles171 miles (-34% from rated range)
NissanLeaf226 miles237 miles205 miles (-9% from rated range)
HyundaiKona258 miles288 miles240 miles (-7% from rated range)
Audie-tron222 miles224 miles206 miles (-7% from rated range)

For a full breakdown of Recurrent’s findings, check out their 2021 report here

It’s Not Just EVs….

The U.S. Department of Energy says that vehicles powered by traditional internal combustion engines (ICE) also suffer efficiency losses as a result of hot and cold weather. ICE vehicles are especially impacted by hot weather due to air conditioning power requirements. The Department of Energy estimates that ICE vehicles lose about 25% of their typical fuel economy when operating with air conditioning on high settings. 

One major difference between EVs and ICE vehicles is the affect of cold weather. Electric vehicles use quite a bit of energy to run the heater, whereas ICE vehicles redirect heat generated by the engine and therefore avoid significant effects on efficiency. 

Although EV charging stations are becoming commonplace around major cities, many interstate highways have sparse charging infrastructure. Until charging stations are more reliable and easier to find, driving an EV in cold and hot weather will complicate EV ownership and delay EV adoption. A national charging network is on the way, and public fast-charging networks are growing quickly. With EV market share soaring every month, it’s imperative that we find solutions to this seasonal challenge that affects millions. 

Always know what your car is worth.Free YAA instant vehicle valuation.
  • Enter your vehicle details below (all fields required):

These Are the Only Cheap Electric Cars Available in 2022

These Are the Only Cheap Electric Cars Available in 2022

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

If you’re in the market for an affordable electric vehicle, you’ve likely already arrived at the realization that ‘affordable’ doesn’t mean cheap in 2022. In fact, our own YAA list of the best affordable electric cars features one car (the Tesla Model 3) that now starts just shy of $50,000. Are there any truly cheap electric cars available today? You may be surprised with what we found. 

2022 Nissan LEAF

NOTE: General Motors decided to slash the price of the Leaf’s competitor, the Chevy Bolt, to steal the title of ‘cheapest EV in America.’ More on that below.

2022 Nissan Leaf EV

Price: Starting at $27,400

Range: 150 to 226 miles, depending on battery size

Charging Speed: Either 50 kW or 100 kW speeds, depending on battery

Tax credit: It qualifies!

Available at dealers now: See who has inventory at YAA Car Search: Nissan Leaf

Tesla is the face of electric cars today, but for years it was the Nissan Leaf at center stage. When Nissan brought the Leaf to market in 2010, it was a short-ranged novelty that somehow began to catch on. With just 73 miles of range on a good day, the first iteration of the Leaf was a bug-eyed appliance good for around town, but not much else. 

Over a decade later, and the 2022 Nissan Leaf is a lot better than the first. However, it’s still a budget vehicle, and you get what you pay for. Still, it’s a great entry point into EVs for many. The Leaf now has enough range to make regional travel realistic, but charging speeds have unfortunately remained too slow to make it easy. If you’re eager to get into an electric car for under $30,000, you’ll surely want to check out the 2022 Nissan Leaf. 

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV
2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

Price: Starting at $26,595

Range: 259 miles

Charging Speed: 55 kW speeds (adds 100 miles in 30 minutes of charging)

Tax Credit: The Bolt no longer qualifies for the federal EV tax credit, but state incentives may apply

Available at dealers nationwide, as long as the mandatory recall fixes have been completed. See who has inventory at YAA Car Search: Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV 

This is likely the electric car with the most inventory on dealer lots right now. General Motors has sold over 100,000 Chevrolet Bolt EVs since launching the subcompact crossover in 2016. In 2021, the Bolt gained a new sibling: the larger Bolt EUV. Shortly after the Bolt EUV joined the show, several Bolt battery fires spurred a very urgent recall into action. When all was said and done, battery supplier LG Chem was found to be responsible for the Bolt battery fires, and agreed to pay General Motors $2 billion in damages. 

Fast forward to 2022, and most Chevrolet Bolt’s (an all for sale) have received new battery packs. So after all the negative news and social distancing (50 feet from other cars!), the Bolt is a GREAT deal now that it’s fixed. If you’re never in a rush on road trips (or just plan to use the car around town), the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt is worth a look. If you check out used Bolts, request official documentation showing that all recall work was completed. Sadly, the Bolt doesn’t qualify for the federal EV tax credit, but it is cheap! After GM’s price drop, the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt is the cheapest EV available!

2022 Hyundai Kona EV

2022 Hyundai Kona EV

Price: Starting at $34,000

Range: 258 miles

Charging Speed: 100 kW speeds (180 miles added in 47 minutes)

Tax Credit: It qualifies!

Available at dealers nationwide. See who has inventory at YAA Car Search: Hyundai Kona EV

The 2022 Hyundai Kona EV is no Tesla, but it has decent range and room to fit most lifestyles. Plus, it’s really cheap AND still qualifies for the $7,500 federal tax credit.

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 fast charger, the Kona is behind the competition. In 47 minutes, the Kona Electric charges from 10% to 80% capacity.

The all-new Hyundai IONIQ 5 has stolen the show with more range, MUCH faster charging, and retro looks, but it starts closer to $45,000 with destination and availability is very limited. For those who are willing to give up a few luxuries, the Hyundai Kona EV is a solid choice. 

2022 Kia Niro EV

2022 Kia Niro EV

Price: Starting at $39,990

Range: 239 miles

Charging Speed: 100 kW at a DC fast charger (adds 100 miles of range in about 30 minutes)

Tax Credit: It qualifies!

Available at dealers nationwide. See who has inventory at YAA Car Search: Kia Niro EV

The Kia Niro electric version is the sibling to the aforementioned Hyundai Kona EV. Both source their power from a 64 kilowatt-hour battery, which is a tad smaller than more expensive electric cars. The Niro EV can charge at up to 100 kilowatt speeds at a fast charger. At least that’s better than the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Bolt. The Niro EV’s back seat is slightly more spacious than the Kona’s, so it’s more popular with families and those with large pets. There’s also a plug-in hybrid version. For just a few thousand dollars more, keep in mind that you could check out the base trims of the newer Kia EV6, Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Volkswagen ID.4. 

2022 Mini Cooper SE Hardtop Electric

Mini Cooper electric

Price: $30,750

Range: 114 miles

Charging Speed: 50 kW speeds (about 90 miles of range in 36 minutes)

Tax Credit: It qualifies!

Available at select dealers nationwide. See who has inventory at YAA Car Search: MINI Cooper Electric

For just over $30,000, you can own an electric Mini. It’s practically a luxury golf cart! Jokes aside, it’s not a bad deal IF you don’t plan to go very far. With 114 miles of EPA-rated range, it’s a zippy way to scoot around town. 

Not-so-honorable mention: 2022 Mazda MX-30

Mazda MX-30 electric

Price: $34,695

Range: 100 miles

Available in California to those who don’t travel much. Check it out if you must at YAA Car Search: Mazda MX-30

Why didn’t I include Mazda’s first fully-electric vehicle on this list? It’s a brand-new model, yet it only gets 100 miles of range on a charge. That, and the fact that it is only sold in California as a regulatory compliance vehicle for now. Come on, Mazda! That’s not enough range to safely make it across Los Angeles!

YAA’s Take

An electric car under $35,000? Sounds like science fiction, but as you can see, a few can be had for what used to be considered average car prices. Most of these cheap electric cars don’t have the best range, the fastest charging or the need for speed, but they won’t drain the bank like a Tesla will. Let me know which cheap EVs you’re checking out in 2022. 

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

Always know what your car is worth.Free YAA instant vehicle valuation.
  • Enter your vehicle details below (all fields required):

The 5 Best Electric Cars to Lease in 2022

The 5 Best Electric Cars to Lease in 2022

2023 Fisker Ocean

We recently shared five affordable electric cars to buy in 2022. “Affordable” only goes so far in today’s auto market, and not a single top pick lists for under $35,000. With battery and charging advancements around every corner, leasing is a great way to keep up with the pace of technology without having to purchase a new car. All things considered, these are the 5 best electric cars to lease in 2022.

Hyundai Kona EV

hyundai kona lease

The often overlooked Hyundai Kona EV was the Korean automaker’s electric flagship years before the fancy new IONIQ 5 stole the show. When it comes down to numbers, the Kona EV is a great value. We featured it in our recent YAA list of the best affordable electric cars

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. 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. For perspective, the new Hyundai IONIQ 5 can do the same in 18 minutes, but it costs nearly twice as much.

You can lease the Hyundai Kona EV for just $259 /mo with $3,699 due at lease signing for 36 months and 10,000 miles of driving allowance per year. If this is your price range, the Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and the Kona’s cousin the e-Niro are the only other options. You can’t go wrong with the Kona at this price point.

Volvo XC40 Recharge

volvo xc40 recharge

Volvo and sibling Polestar are ramping up their commitment to electrification. The Volvo XC40 Recharge (pure electric) has been the darling of auto reviewers time and time again. Test drivers share a common theme: the XC40 Recharge is a lot more fun to drive than they had expected. 

It may look like a family car, but this electric Volvo can launch to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds as it puts down power via dual electric motors. With 223 miles of range on a charge and up to 150 kW charging speeds at a public fast charger, the XC40 Recharge is just about average for an electric car in 2022. It IS a solid road-tripper, unlike some other options on this list. 

Infotainment runs on Google’s Android Auto operating system, much like the popular Polestar 2. An upscale cabin adorned with the elegant and dark-themed interior we’ve come to expect from Volvo features plenty of hidden storage and generous room in the back seat. This electric crossover feels a lot larger than it really is.

Leasing the XC40 Recharge is available for $540 a month with $3,500 down, and 10,000 miles of annual driving allowance. If you’re looking for a peppy electric crossover with a Scandinavian flair, Volvo’s XC40 Recharge just might be the one.

Learn more about the 2022 XC40 Recharge here

Nissan Leaf

nissan leaf lease

If you’re shopping on a tight budget, don’t overlook the original posterchild of EVs, the Nissan Leaf. A few years before Tesla’s sales ballooned into EV domination, the Leaf was leading electric car sales in America. Why did it fall out of favor? It looks like an appliance, drives like an appliance, can’t make it very far on a charge, and charges slower than most of the competition. But it’s cheap!

With those complaints aside, the Nissan Leaf is still a solid choice for a lease in 2022. We can only recommend the Leaf in the extended range, faster charging versions. That would be the Plus models, which are rated for up to 226 miles on a charge, and can charge at 100 kW charging speeds at a DC fast charger equipped with the CHAdeMO adapter. 

The Leaf is not recommended for frequent long-distance travelers. It’s just too much of a pain to stop so frequently and charge for a whole hour once every 180 miles. But for everyone else, the Leaf is a great electric car for around town. Plus, it still qualifies for the EV tax credit.

As of April, the 2022 Nissan Leaf is available for $179 per month for 36 months with $4,179 due at signing. It’s important to note that Nissan keeps the EV tax credit when you lease a Leaf. Regardless, that’s as cheap as it gets to lease a new EV in 2022. 

2023 Fisker Ocean (It’s Worth the Wait)

fisker flexee lease

At a time when the average transaction price for a new car is approaching $50,000, a sub-$40,000 electric crossover sounds too good to be true. The Fisker Ocean introduces rare value in the crowded EV segment. We recently shared an in-depth review of the Fisker Ocean.

For just $379 per month, you can lease a Fisker Ocean SUV with the new Fisker Flexee Lease offer. Fisker says that they believe electric vehicles should be affordable to all, and this is how they’re going to try to get there. 

With a Fisker Flexee Lease, there are no term limits and you can cancel at any time. It’s basically a long-term rental that appears to be worry-free. After twelve years of leased driving, Fisker will retire and recycle the electric SUV. The Fisker Flexee Lease requires an initial payment of $2,999, and it includes up to 30,000 miles per year. Maintenance is covered. 

The Fisker Ocean will be available in very limited quantities late this year. It won’t be until 2023 or even 2024 that a Fisker lease will be easy to come by. Nevertheless, keep it on your radar!

Always know what your car is worth.Free YAA instant vehicle valuation.
  • Enter your vehicle details below (all fields required):

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

Always know what your car is worth.Free YAA instant vehicle valuation.
  • Enter your vehicle details below (all fields required):

What Is Electrify America? The Charging Station For All

What Is Electrify America? The Charging Station For All

Electrify America Hyundai IONIQ5
The 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 charging at Electrify America

Some may think of electric vehicles as a concept of the future, but over 2 million EVs are already on American roads. By 2030, that figure may exceed 5 million. Where will all of these EVs juice up on road trips? Say hello to the gas station of the future. Charging stations are growing as more automakers commit to electrification

Among the key players in EV charging is Electrify America. With roots in the 2015 dieselgate debacle, Electrify America is out to show the masses that electric cars are accessible and convenient. Maybe you’ve even seen their glowing green stations in your local Walmart parking lot. Who knows, you might find yourself at an Electrify America station sooner than you think.

Always know what your car is worth.Free YAA instant vehicle valuation.
  • Enter your vehicle details below (all fields required):

Let’s cover the basics of Electrify America:

  • How much does Electrify America cost?
  • What is Electrify America’s pricing?
  • Where are Electrify America charging stations?
  • And so much more!

Let’s dive in.

What Is Electrify America?

Electrify America Ford Mustang Mach-E

Electrify America is the rebranded name for the initiative that Volkswagen created and funded as part of its 2016 settlement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board. VW was caught red-handed cheating on emissions tests for millions of diesel cars sold in the US. Remember when everyone had to sell back their cool Golf TDI? VW hit rock bottom in 2015. As part of the $2 billion punishment, Volkswagen is prohibited from branding the charging network as a VW enterprise.

So here we have it, Electrify America! Storied past aside, EA is now a large and rapidly growing player in the world of electric vehicles. Despite initial skepticism, EA showed it was serious by following through on their initial goal of adding 2,000 DC fast chargers within a few years. An average of four EA stations were opened every week since the official debut of Electrify America in May of 2018. Now, EA is embarking on the next stage of growth. 

Who Can Charge at Electrify America Stations?

Harley EV charging
Yup, that’s an electric Harley-Davidson!

Good news! Any electric vehicle model can plug in at Electrify America charging stations. Even Teslas can charge here, despite having their own exclusive Supercharger network. Tesla may have a walled garden for its customers, but EA is open to all. EA stations include several CCS plug types, which work with nearly all EV models. The stations also have a CHAdeMO plug, which only the Nissan Leaf uses as of 2022. 

Plug-and-charge is a convenience feature popularized by Tesla, but now spreading among automakers. Considering Electrify America’s Volkswagen roots, you’d think plug-and-charge would be a given for VW electric cars. Not so, at least not yet. However, it looks like automakers are at fault here, not EA. The 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E already offers plug-and-charge, saving time and hassles for owners. GM says it will soon, but not by the time Cadillac Lyriq deliveries begin this year. 

Charging Speeds

Electrify America charging

Electrify America charging stations are installed with future-proofing in mind. The vast majority of stations are capable of supplying the latest EVs with up to 350 kW charge speeds. In 2022, only a few EVs are capable of such rapid charging. The Hyundai IONIQ 5, Lucid Air and Porsche Taycan are a few examples. If your EV only accepts slower charging speeds, Electrify America certainly has the power you need to juice up.

How Much Does Charging At Electrify America Cost?

Some lucky EV drivers will have some amount of free charging at Electrify America. The Volkswagen ID.4, Hyundai IONIQ 5, Polestar 2 and even the Lucid Air all come with two or three years of complimentary charging at EA. 

Electrify America pricing is determined by the following price tiers. Customers can either pay $0.43 per kilowatt-hour of electricity, or become a Pass+ member for just $4/month and charge up at $0.31 per kWh. For the Ford Mustang Mach-E with the standard battery, a full charge will cost about $21.00 as a Pass+ member, but $30.00 as a guest.

Having such an affordable membership plan is an interesting approach. It almost seems like Electrify America is aiming to become a subscription that everyone with an EV will buy into for a sense of range security, even if they rarely use the network. Learn more about Electrify America pricing and how much it costs to charge an electric vehicle at home or on the road here

Where Are Electrify America Stations Located?

After an extremely fast build-out, EA now has chargers in 47 states. Only North Dakota, Wyoming and West Virginia have yet to receive EA chargers. Some states have many chargers. Metro areas like Washington DC, Atlanta, New York City, and of course all of California have a high density of EA charging stations. 

A large number of EA stations are located in Walmart parking lots. Others are at Target stores, shopping malls, gas stations, and other frequented stops. With the new federal push for a national EV charging network, highway rest areas may soon get their own charging stations.

As of early 2022, Electrify America has 710 charging stations active in the US. Over 100 more are on the way soon. Three-quarters of existing charging ports are of the CCS type. The remainder are CHAdeMO-type plugs, almost exclusively for the Nissan Leaf. The rest of the EV world has moved on from CHAdeMO. 

Here are all of the Electrify America charging locations as of early 2022. Future stations are in gray.

Electrify America in 2022

Source: Electrify America

The 2025 Boost Plan: 1,800 Stations and 10,000 Chargers By 2025

Electrify America charging
Electrify America’s 2025 Boost Plan

Electrify America’s original goal was to have about 800 charging stations and approximately 3,500 individual chargers in the U.S. by the end of 2021. As you can see above, they clearly exceeded that ambitious goal. Now, EA is looking ahead to their 2025 Boost Plan. The new plan calls for increasing the total number of charging stations to more than 1,700 and 9,500 individual chargers by the end of 2025. Soon, all 50 states will be home to EA charging stations. For me in West Virginia, that can’t come soon enough. It’s a charging desert out here in the hills.

Tesla Superchargers

The Tesla Supercharger Network in 2022
The Tesla Supercharger Network in 2022

With so much competition arriving in the electric vehicle segment, buyers have far more options than they did just a few years prior. Back in 2018, it was Tesla, the Chevy Bolt and the Nissan Leaf that were selling in big numbers. Now look at the list of every EV on sale in 2022. Consumers have options! And by the time Electrify America’s 2025 Boost Plan is carried out, EV sales are expected to make up at least 12% of total vehicle sales. 

Still, Tesla continues to lead electric sales by a large margin. Tesla drivers can charge at Electrify America stations if they bring their own plug adapter. Unfortunately, only Tesla cars can plug in at the sprawling Tesla Supercharger network. Tesla’s proprietary network of exclusive chargers just reached a major milestone. As of late 2021, there are 30,000 charging stalls at over 5,000 locations worldwide. One-sixth of those charging stations were built in the latter half of 2021 alone. In the US, there are nearly 1,000 Supercharger locations, a figure that is rapidly growing.

Tesla also has a level 2 Destination Network at tourist destinations, hotels, restaurants and other destinations. Soon, there will even be a Megacharger Network to support the coming Tesla Semi. Rumors abound that Tesla will open up the Supercharger network to non-Tesla cars, as they have already tried in select European countries. Until that officially happens in the US, Superchargers remain off limits to Ford, GM, Hyundai and every other automaker’s EVs.

Tesla Superchargers are not free. In fact, charging will cost $0.28 per kilowatt-hour of electricity in most markets. Learn more about how much it costs to charge an electric vehicle in our recent report

How Does Electrify America Compare to Tesla or a Gas Station?

Clearly, electricity is cheaper than gasoline, no matter where you plug in:

Cost of Charging to 100% at a Tesla SuperchargerCost of Charging to 100% at Electrify America as a MemberCost of Charging to 100% at Electrify America as a GuestCost of Filling up an 18 Gallon Tank of Gas at $3.25/Gallon
$22.96$25.42$35.26$58.50

YAA’s Take

ev charging station

The automotive industry is commiting to EVs. With nearly half a trillion dollars committed to EV development this decade, is this a ‘too big to fail’ moment? However, what good are EVs if there’s nowhere to charge them? Actually, over 80% of electric vehicle charging happens at home. Still, road trips would be dead if automakers electrify without having public fast chargers as widespread as today’s gas stations. 

Aside from the Tesla Supercharger network, Electrify America is the best shot we have at rapidly building out a DC fast charging network across America. Automakers, utilities and even the federal government are currently figuring out how to grow charging infrastructure in America. The recent National EV Charging Summit highlighted those efforts, and also the immense challenges ahead. Electrify America’s 2025 Boost Plan offers a glimpse of the electric future to come along American highways. 

What do you think? Will Electrify America and the growing Tesla Supercharger network be enough for EVs to comfortably reach the forecasted 30-40% market share in 2030?