the 10 cheapest electric cars in 2021

Electric driving without breaking the bank? Of course it’s possible. If the models were too expensive and the choice too limited a few years ago, the market has normalized. Competition, anti-pollution laws and public aid have allowed the arrival of zero-emission vehicles accessible to all. Automobile Propre has identified the 10 cheapest electric cars in 2021.

“Electricity is only for the rich”. If that statement was true a decade ago, it is no longer the case today. Supported by public aid mechanisms (eco-bonus, scrap-bonus, local aid, etc.), the zero-emission vehicle market now offers models suitable for almost all budgets.

We’ve listed the 10 cheapest electric cars by their “gross” starting price, excluding help and bonuses. These are new vehicles available on January 1, 2021, to be driven with a B license, all categories combined.

#10 – The Volkswagen city ID.3

The ranking starts with the “most expensive of the least expensive”: the Volkswagen ID.3. The compact is available in several versions of different powers and autonomy. The most accessible is ID.3 City, which starts at € 34,300 excluding government premium. It has a useful 45 kWh battery for 350 km of WLTP autonomy and a 150 hp motor for 310 Nm of torque.

Attractive performance for an entry-level finish. You will simply have to accept the slightly slower recharge as the ID.3 City accepts up to 7.2 kW in alternating current (AC) instead of 11 kW for the other versions. At direct current (DC), it peaks at 100 kW, or 25 small kilowatts less than more expensive finishes. A small compromise of downside in relation to the great benefits offered by this vehicle.

The Volkswagen ID.3

#9 – The Peugeot e-208

The lion electric city car is a hit. As of January 1, 2021, it is the best-selling electric car in France. A success in part due to its price, which starts at € 32,700. A price without compromising performance, identical in any finish. The Peugeot e-208 thus has a 136 hp engine for 260 Nm of torque and its useful 46 kWh battery offers up to 340 km of WLTP autonomy. The city car has arguments in its favor, namely its design and interior equipment, but also some weaknesses such as its consumption that tends to fly on the road.

Peugeot e-208

The Peugeot e-208

#8 – The Renault Zoe

The iconic city car remains the best-selling electric car in France, before being dethroned earlier this year by the Tesla Model 3 and its great rival, the Peugeot e-208. Its price is also very close to its competitor: € 32,500, ie 200 € less. The match is so tight on performance. The entry-level version of the new Renault Zoé uses a 110 horsepower (R110) engine for 225 Nm of torque.

Its useful 52 kWh battery allows it to travel 395 km on the WLTP mixed cycle. However, it stands out for its AC charging power of 22 kW, currently the highest on the market. An advantage balanced by a defect: the absence of direct current charging as standard. The option sells for €1,000 and gives access to just 50 kW DC of maximum power.

The new Renault Zoe

#7 – The Opel Corsa-e

The Opel Corsa-e is the twin brother of the Peugeot e-208. The two vehicles share the exact same technology, derived from the Stellantis group’s (ex-PSA) common e-CMP platform. In short, only the bodywork and interior layout differ. The latter is more consensual aboard the Opel Corsa-e, giving a sober atmosphere far from the high-tech style of the e-208. Its price is a little lower, despite a strictly identical motor and battery. It is offered from € 30,650or €2,000 less than its twin.

The Opel Corsa-e

#6 – The MG ZS EV

It is the first electric SUV in our ranking. In this category, the MG ZS EV is also by far the cheapest, with prices starting at € 29,990. If the vehicle bears the emblem of the famous British manufacturer, it no longer has much to do with its country of origin. The brand has been owned by the Chinese group SAIC Motor since 2006. The MG ZS EV is logically assembled in China, which allows it to present a very competitive price.

The SUV delivers decent performance through its 143 hp engine for 353 Nm of torque. It is equipped with a useful 44.5 kWh battery that allows 263 km of WLTP autonomy. The ZS EV is capable of charging standard DC up to a power of 80 kW, which is a good point for a low-end vehicle.


#5 – The Smart Fortwo and Forfour

The most famous mini-city car was launched in electric version… 14 years ago! Its less-aged 4-seater version has been on the market since 2017. At the end of its career, despite several refurbishments, both models remain among the least expensive zero-emission cars: €26,750 for the Fortwo and €27,600 for the Forfour. However, they blame it on outdated technology. Limited to 17.6 kWh of usable capacity, its battery offers only 119 km of WLTP range.

A very limited range compared to the competition, especially since electric Smarts don’t have DC fast charging. Its built-in AC charger is weak at 4.6 kW maximum power (default, + €1,000 for the 22 kW option). The Smart Fortwo and Forfour are undergoing major changes. The Chinese group Geely must resurrect them by 2022 in a completely renewed way.

The electric Smart Fortwo and Forfour

#4 – The Fiat 500e

L’Italienne is available in a low-cost version with prices starting at € 24,500 excluding bonus. This is the “Active” finish, whose performance is much more modest than the other more expensive versions. Fiat had a hollow nose in trimming some parameters to push prices to more affordable levels.

The cheaper Fiat 500 thus offers a modest 23.8 kWh battery useful for 180 km of WLTP autonomy. It has a 95 hp engine perfectly suited for urban and suburban use. The small Italian low-cost electric is also capable of recharging in DC up to 50 kW and 7.4 kW in AC. The price-performance ratio therefore looks very good.

The Fiat 500e

#3 – The Volkswagen – Skoda – Seat triplet

Three micro-city women win the ex-aquo bronze medal. It makes sense that the Volkswagen e-UP, Skoda Citigo iV and Seat Mii electric all exploit the same technology base. There’s an 83 hp motor for 212 Nm of torque and a small 32.3 kWh useful battery. They therefore have an identical range of 260 km WLTP. As standard, the triplet can be recharged either in AC up to 7.2 kW or in DC up to 40 kW.

Limited DC charging capability, but welcome on such affordable vehicles. Micro-citys are in fact sold between €21,600 and €23,440. It should be noted that the assembly of the Seat Mii ended on June 18, 2021, having reached production quotas. The Skoda Citigo iV and Volkswagen e-Up will also face the same fate in the coming months. However, you can still buy them at concessions while supplies last.

#2 – The electric Renault Twingo

The electrified version of the new Renault Twingo takes second place in the ranking thanks to its price of €21,550. At this price we find a smart and very economical city car in use, in line with previous versions. Its useful 21.3 kWh battery can cover 180 km on the WLTP mixed cycle. A small capacity that can, however, satisfy the vast majority of daily trips.

Like the petrol versions, the electric Twingo has the particularity of being rear-wheel drive. Its 81 hp engine and 260 Nm of torque is therefore placed at the rear. Sadly, it lacks DC charging, but it makes up for some by offering a powerful 22 kW built-in AC charger.

The electric Renault Twingo

#1 – The Dacia Spring

Unsurprisingly, the Dacia Spring wins France’s cheapest new electric vehicle award in 2021. A well-deserved first place, as its price starts at €16,990, excluding bonuses. A price without major autonomy concessions, as there is a useful battery of 27.4 kWh that offers a range of 230 km WLTP.

Its engine is, however, the least powerful of all electric cars to drive with a license, delivering just 44 hp for 125 Nm of torque. On the recharging side, the Spring reaches 7.4 kW in AC, but reserves its 30 kW DC for the subscription of an option still sold for €600.

The Dacia Spring

You just have to choose! Do not hesitate to tell us in the comments if one of the cars of this TOP seduced you or not.

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