While it is quite difficult to find an electric vehicle under $25,000 right now in the current crop of EVs, if you are willing to take a step back and look at the last generation of battery electric vehicles, you can easily find some great finds! While they may not quite have the range or technology of the current generation of EVs, they do offer a fantastic used vehicle value.
You will also quickly notice that this list is dominated by electric vehicles that are based on a gas counterpart, where as modern EVs are generally based completely on their platform to help with efficiency in arranging the batteries, but also for aerodynamics.
You might be surprised to find that VW created an electric version of its famous Golf! The e-Golf was difficult to tell apart from its gasoline (and diesel) counterpart, with almost the same styling as the ICE version. However, instead of utilizing fuel, it was able to utilize its all-electric drivetrain to travel up to 125 miles. While the car was only available from 2015 until 2020, it was replaced by the ID.3, and the Golf is again gas only. That said, this car became an awesome value, as very few people knew it existed, making it an easy choice for an EV under $25K.
The BMW i3 was one of the first, somewhat normal electric vehicles. I say somewhat, as it is still a uniquely designed, battery-electric vehicle from BMW. While the newest i series vehicles offer more conventional styling, this compact car was built to stand out as a small city car that got up to 153 miles of range. It is a common sight in cities and was quite successful, however, as inventory is quite high for this vehicle, the price has dropped to well below $25,000 for potential buyers.
Back before we saw the new IONIQ 5 and 6, there used to just be the IONIQ (without any numbers) which came in both a hybrid and an all-electric version. The battery-electric version carried over its more basic styling (as opposed to a more stylish vehicle now found in the IONIQ 5) and was able to get up to 124 miles of battery only range. Due to their lower sales figures and demand, you can find these sedans for under $25K.
You would be forgiven easily if you weren't aware that there was a Kia Soul that didn't include a gas motor, and instead ran on battery only. These looked identical to their ICE counterparts but did away with the fuel. The Soul EV was able to get up to 93 miles of range, which should be good enough to get to work and back for most people (but not much more). Due to being replaced by the other, more forward-thinking EVs in Kia's lineup like the Kia EV6, you will find a Kia Soul EV for a bargain price under $25K.
If you like the styling of the Fiat 500, and its classic styling, but wish it didn't have a gas engine, you are in luck! From 2013 until 2019 they built an electric version of this little car (the 500e), and now that it has had time to age a bit, you can easily find them at an affordable price. For the price, it even can come with a great range of up to 150 miles, making it a bargain if you live in or around a city.
You have more than likely heard of the Nissan Leaf! It was one of the original EVs, all the way back in 2010 (before the Tesla Model S hit the roads). That means you have plenty of years, options, trims, and more to choose from, and easily stay within your budget of $25K. The early generation Leaf (which is the one to get on this budget) can achieve up to 107 miles. While that may not be insanely impressive, it should be able to get the job done.
Much like the Nissan Leaf, the Chevrolet Bolt has been around for a while! This leaves plenty of inventory to choose from. You can even get a newer one with an impressive range, and lower miles for under $25,000 nowadays. These are great battery-only vehicles! That said, they can be a bit bland, and there are more exciting (but more compromised on their range) vehicles to choose from.
Like many other options on this list, Ford was trying to make an EV from their gasoline options, rather than creating their platform (like you will see in the more modern Mustang Mach-E). That said, this should be a fun little electric vehicle that promises to get up to 115 miles of range on its battery platform. I do like the way these little hatchbacks look, and an electric version should be an awesome option.
If your dream was to ever own a Mercedes, that was a cross between a hatchback, wagon, SUV, and a GL-Class, this is your best bet! This unique option would work awesome for businesses looking for a smaller vehicle, propelled by a battery, that is still fun to drive. That is, you need to make sure you aren't looking to travel more than 87 miles, as its range will keep you within that before you need to stop and charge your EV. Its lower range figures help it out in keeping it well under the $25,000 budget of this article!
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I hope this article helped you find a unique, and awesome option for an electric vehicle under $25,000! I am sure as time goes on, we will start to see other options on their dedicated EV platforms like the Tesla Model 3, VW ID.3, and even Hyundai’s IONIQ 5 on this list. However, for the time being, we have these!
Austin has been a car enthusiast his entire life. He's owned dozens of cars, including multiple Toyota Celicas, an Audi TT, an Oldsmobile Alero, a Dodge RAM 1500, a very sad looking Saab, and many more! Now, he enjoys helping others rev up their car knowledge. Current dream car: Ford Raptor
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