What are they, what features do they have, and how much do the most affordable electric cars cost?
Ultra-technological, powerful, and futuristic cars that move silently, with tinted windows and doors that open upwards, from which wealthy businessmen or visionary technology gurus emerge.
This used to be the common belief associated with electric cars and new generation vehicles until recently: cutting-edge objects for a few experimenters; luxury goods that most people cannot afford.
Well, there’s some news: it’s not like that anymore. Technological advancements, aid and incentive policies, the growing environmental awareness among people, and the pricing strategies of key companies like Tesla have significantly lowered the cost of electric cars. This is also thanks to the appearance of new models designed to cover lower price ranges. Transitioning to more sustainable mobility is no longer a matter for the few. It’s becoming accessible and affordable for many.
So, let’s find out together which are the most affordable electric car models on the market, how much they cost, and what features they offer.
Electric Spring: Dacia Spring, the Most Affordable One
With a starting price of €21,450 for the Essential version, the Dacia Spring is currently the most affordable electric car on the market.
The strategy is the one that the Dacia brand has accustomed us to: Spartan style, minimalistic design, few frills to keep prices low and ensure the essentials, as the name suggests.
In this model, air conditioning comes standard, as does Bluetooth radio and the speed limiter. The idea is to give the car the identity of a small city SUV: it’s 3.73 meters long, only 1.58 meters wide, and weighs less than 1,000 kg. The interior is relatively spacious, and the 290 liters of trunk space make the car interesting even for families.
Now, let’s talk about performance: it has a small 26.8 kWh battery, but it’s highly efficient, allowing the Dacia Spring to achieve a range of 230 km. The compact battery means that even when connected to a home charging station, the car recharges from 0 to 100% in less than 5 hours.
The base version has a 45 HP motor that takes it from 0 to 100 km/h in 19.1 seconds, while the Extreme version, priced at €23,200, comes with a 65 HP motor that achieves the same acceleration in 13.1 seconds.
Would You Swap a Combustion Car for a Renault Twingo E-Tech Electric?
Regardless of what Shakira might say, the Renault Twingo is one of the most beloved city cars, thanks to its compact size and versatility. The electric version, closely related in terms of design to the conventional model, aims to preserve and enhance these characteristics to offer a familiar driving experience.
The entry-level Authentic version is available for €22,950, while the Equilibre version, which is well-equipped, starts at €23,950.
The interior is practical, comfortable, and inviting. It retains the compact dimensions we’re familiar with, and the trunk capacity varies between 174 and 219 liters depending on the position of the adjustable rear seat backrest.
The 82 HP rear motor is connected to a compact 22 kWh battery. It’s the smallest battery among electric cars on the market, but its reduced weight provides the vehicle with excellent mileage and agility in response to driving.
The battery offers a range of 180 km, and the 0-100 km/h acceleration is covered in less than 13 seconds. Therefore, it’s an electric car more suitable for the city than for long-distance trips; in urban environments, the range can exceed 200 km. The Twingo E-Tech’s battery recharges quickly, despite its low charging power (22 kW), and the charger operates only on alternating current.
Renault developed the Twingo E-Tech in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz, sharing a platform with the Smart fortwo and forfour, which also come in electric versions: an 18 kWh battery, an 82 HP motor, starting at €25,210 for the fortwo; the same battery, the same motor, and a base price of €25,832 for the forfour.
DR 1.0 EV: The Super Compact Car from China to Molise
DR Automobiles is a company that connects China to Molise, with its headquarters in Macchia d’Isernia, making for an interesting story. Like previous models, the electric car from the company, the small DR 1.0 EV, brings a previously successful Chinese model to the Italian market.
It has the dimensions of a super compact car: only 3.20 meters long and 1.67 meters wide, yet it manages to provide space for four seats and a 120-liter trunk. The interior does not skimp on technological advancements and modern design, including a 10.1-inch screen that integrates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems. The dashboard is completed with wireless charging and an electronic handbrake.
The DR 1.0 EV motor has 61 HP, which might seem low but is enough to move the vehicle’s slightly over 1,000 kg, especially with the support of refined mechanics, including four disc brakes and independent suspension. However, the most convincing performance of this electric compact car is its range: the 31 kWh battery promises a range of 210 km, which even goes up to 294 km in urban driving conditions. It is available in a well-equipped version with a starting price of €25,900.
Speaking of city cars suitable for urban traffic, we can also mention the Volkswagen e-Up!, which can reach up to 260 km of range and starts at a price of €23,000.
History Repeats Itself: FIAT 500e
It’s the first fully electric Italian car. And it could only be the iconic Fiat 500. It seems poised to conquer the world again, even in its electric version, as it is among the best-selling electric cars in several European countries.
The design of the FIAT 500e makes it one of the most modern and successful cars of recent years, elegant and enjoyable to drive, with a perfect blend of style and technology. But it’s not just about aesthetics: equipped with advanced connectivity systems, the car is drivable and functional, with well-organized and spacious interiors, featuring a 185-liter trunk.
FIAT 500e is available in two variants, differing in motor power and battery size. The base version comes with a 95 HP motor and a 23.7 kWh battery, allowing it to reach 100 km/h in 9.5 seconds, with a top speed limited to 135 km/h and a range of under 190 km.The version with 118 HP, paired with a 42 kWh battery, offers a range of 321 km. However, it comes at a €3,000 premium compared to the starting price of €33,150.
We started with the most affordable, and now let’s conclude with the largest: the British automaker MG has launched the new MG4, the first vehicle that the company has developed exclusively as an electric car. Designed based on the Nebula platform, the MG4 boasts a distinct and recognizable style, with a sporty profile in line with MG’s tradition.
Measuring 4.29 meters in length, with ample interior space and a 363-liter trunk, the MG4 doesn’t sacrifice agility thanks to its dynamic design. Inside, technology takes the lead: the dashboard is entirely digital, and all functions are mediated through two screens connected to the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems.
The MG4 is not just big in size but also in terms of power and range. In the base version for the Italian market, the 51 kWh battery and the 170 HP motor guarantee excellent performance (0 to 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds) and a range of 350 km.
The more advanced version, with a 64 kWh battery and a 204 HP motor, accelerates to 100 km/h in less than 8 seconds. It offers a range of 450 km and benefits from a rapid charging power of 135 kW in direct current.
Regarding price, there’s a €4,000 difference between the base model and the top model: the 51 kWh version with Standard accessories starts at €30,790, while the 64 kWh Comfort version costs €34,790.
Bonus Track: The Avenger
And since we’ve climbed in terms of price and size, let’s also reserve a mention, as if it were the bonus track of this compilation, for a more expensive model that is also one of the most intriguing ones entering the market: the Jeep Avenger. Prices start at €35,400 for a vehicle that measures 4.08 meters in length. The 54 kWh battery promises a range of 392 km, a 156 HP motor accelerates from 0 to 100 in 9 seconds, with a top speed of 150 km/h. Booking it online offers a €3,300 discount. All in all, it’s a reasonably priced option to embrace your energy transition with the strength and charm of the Jeep brand.
There’s Also the Used Option
Finally, for those who want to start their journey into the world of electric vehicles more cautiously and with a smaller investment, excellent opportunities also come from the used car market. With a budget of around €8,000, you can get the performance of the most popular electric car models: prices for the Citroen C-Zero, Peugeot iOn, and Mitsubishi i-MiEV start at €6,500. For the previously mentioned Smart fortwo, prices are around €7,500, while the Dacia Spring is available starting from €10,000, and you’ll need €17,000 for a second-hand Fiat 500-E.
If you want to savor a taste of the futuristic experience associated with cutting-edge electric mobility technology, you can find a used Tesla Model 3 starting at €29,000.