It seems like day by day, EVs are quickly representing a larger percentage of vehicles on the road. Looking into the past, there were roughly two million EVs in the world in 2016. Just four short years later in 2020, there were reportedly 20 million EVs on the road. Whether you believe that we’ll all be driving EVs soon or not, it is undeniable that they have a place in this world and are here to stay.

If you’ve been considering diving into the EV world, it's never been a better time. It's no surprise that the purchase price of EVs is still relatively high, but the cost of maintaining and charging up is several times cheaper than gas.

Several factors, such as vehicle range, charging speed, battery type, and brand, come into play when deciding the price of an electric vehicle.

So, what should be in your checklist when shopping for an entry-level electric car?


Electric cars nowadays come in an assortment of various shapes and sizes. You can go with something smaller like a Volkswagen e-Golf or go bigger with a Ford F-150 Lightning. Whatever your pick, remember to consider the brand you’re buying into. What do they offer? How long have they been in the EV market?

But the thing is, there are new guys in the EV market, and they’re making waves. For example, Rivian and Lucid are ahead of some of the mainstream pack, and it would be a mistake to overlook what they have to offer.

Some brands bank on style and affordability, such as the 2022 MINI Cooper SE or the Mazda MX-30, while other brands like Lucid and Tesla place a much higher emphasis on range and performance with models like the Lucid Air and the Tesla Model S.


People often choose the best range, forgetting that it comes with a sticker shocker. But do you need all that range? Well, it sounds great when you boast it to a colleague, but how often are you actually driving more than 300 miles in a single day? Range is something that a lot of EV buyers take into consideration when they are trying to figure out which one is best for them.

The Nissan Leaf S Plus has 149 miles maximum range and around MSRP of $28,495. The SV Plus and SL Plus trims can take you 226 miles on a full charge. But the Chevrolet Bolt EV has a better range of 259 miles and takes you back around $32,495 (for the Bolt 1LT).

Before jumping into just buying the electric vehicle with the best range, take into consideration how much range you actually need. It’s a good idea when planning a road trip to make note of any charging stations you’ll be needing to stop at along the way.

Access to Charging Networks

Tesla has the largest EV charging network, but it’s exclusive to the brand, at least for now. Their Supercharger network has a reputation for the smoothest charging experience because Tesla already has your payment info.

Other options include Electrify America, which has the largest and fastest (up to 350kW) network for DC fast charging. The network is accessible to the models using the industry standard CCS charging connection and a couple of others, like the Nissan Leaf, which uses CHAdeMO technology.

Chargepoint also has an extensive network in the country but operates with a much different business model. They focus on businesses such as stores and hotels or apartment complexes. While Chargepoint is not as fast as Electrify, it isn’t that far off.

EVgo has connections to Hyundai, Ford, Volkswagen, Kia, Chevrolet, and BMW, among other auto manufacturers, and has been expanding across the country. The firm has over 1,100 fast charging stations and infrastructure across 13 states.


The Hyundai Kona Electric, with an approximate base price of $35,300, has a best-in-class 258-mile range and an estimated 120 MPGe. But one EV that lives up to the performance hype is the $48,100 high-voltage Ford Mustang Mach-E. The Mach-E Premium jumps the range to 303 miles. The GT Performance Edition boasts a 3.7 second 0-60, which puts it amongst the faster EVs at its price point.

If performance is a high priority, one thing to be sure to take into consideration is the battery drain during spirited or harder driving. Hard accelerations and launches are sure to drain the battery quicker than normal driving would.


The EVs warranty will often be 5-8 years (or 100,000 miles) for the battery components and electric motor. This warranty covers a performance guarantee to deliver a percentage, often 70%, of the initial battery charge capacity.

The warranty for the rest of the vehicle depends on the brand. In most cases, the warranty ranges between 3 and 7 years and up to 100,000 miles. The affordable Hyundai Kona EV has one of the most generous warranties with a 5 year/60,000 mile basic warranty, and a 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

Maintenance Coverage

EVs have fewer moving parts than gas-powered vehicles, so they’re much cheaper to maintain. Even the brake pads and discs see a lot less wear due to regenerative braking systems. With an EV, you don’t have to worry about things like replacing spark plugs, belts, engine oil, or transmission fluid. Less regular maintenance items therefore leads to lower running costs.

Safety Tech

The 2020 Tesla Model Y has the highest NHTSA rating with an overall five stars safety rating. The tests included safety tech tests such as Crash Imminent Braking and Forward Collision Warning.

But the cost doesn’t have to be an arm and a leg to afford an EV with plentiful safety tech. For example, the Nissan Leaf also had a five-star NHTSA safety rating. The stylish entry-level Mustang Mach-E is the IIHS Top Safety Pick, which means it has good looks and safety to match.

Overall, even the most affordable EVs have safety tech and features that easily match conventional internal combustion vehicles.