EVs That Are Easiest on The Wallet

A look at the top four electric vehicles under $40,000 in 2016, from the Nissan Leaf to the Ford Focus Electric

Electric vehicles have been around for some time now, and as technology continues to progress, they are providing more performance and efficiency and, perhaps most importantly, are becoming more affordable. These are some of the best models under $40,000 that 2016 has to offer.

NISSAN LEAF

Range: 133 kilometres (S), 172 kilometres (SV/SL)

Price: $32,698 starting MSRP

Top selling point: An EV pioneer that possesses a class-leading range

It’s a big year for the Leaf, which has quickly become a leader in the EV segment since its launch in 2010. A new 30-kilowatt battery available in SV and SL trim extends the maximum range for a total of 172 kilometres. What’s impressive is that the upgrade involves improvement of the internal lithium-ion cells and hasn’t increased the physical size of the casing. The battery drives an electric motor producing 107 horsepower and 187 lb-ft of torque, and the ride is comfortable and quiet.

A dark blue Nissan Leaf

 

SMART FORTWO

Range: 109 kilometres

Price: $26,990 starting MSRP

Top selling point: Fun to drive and easy to park in the city

Although the gasoline-consuming Smart fortwo is entering its third-generation featuring an inside-and-out redesign, the Electric Drive version hasn’t followed suit quite yet, and 2016 models retain the previous body style in both coupe or convertible form. That said, the diminutive EV fortwo is equipped with a smooth single-speed automatic transmission and is fun to drive, despite a relatively low output of 74 horsepower and 96 lb-ft of torque. At 240 volts, a full charge takes about seven hours.

A white and green Smart fortwo

KIA SOUL

Range: 149 kilometres

Price: $37,020 starting MSRP

Top selling point: Practical, exceptional range for price point, funky styling

Recipient of the 2015 Automobile Journalists Association of Canada Green Car of the Year award, the colourful Kia Soul EV is one of the most well-rounded pure electric cars available right now. The 27-kilowatt battery can keep the wheels turning for up to 149 kilometres with a full charge, and has a flat design allowing it to be mounted underneath the floor to retain maximum passenger and cargo space. A high torque rating of 210 lb-ft gives the feel of instant acceleration whenever the gas pedal is pressed.

A bright blue Kia Soul EV

The Kia Soul: Winner of the 2015 Automobile Journalists Association of Canada Green Car of the Year award

FORD FOCUS ELECTRIC

Range: 122 kilometres

Price: $31,999 starting MSRP

Top selling point: Everything people love about the Focus in EV form

Compared to other EVs on the market today, the Ford Focus Electric is one of the most conventionally styled, and that might not be a bad thing given the Focus’ inherently good looks. When plugged into a 240-volt charger, charging the 23-kilowatt battery full takes fewer than four hours. The MyFord Mobile smartphone app allows owners to receive a notification when charging is complete, as well as monitor the status of other important vehicle functions. The 2016 model year also includes SYNC 3, Ford’s newest infotainment system. With 143 horsepower, this electric hatchback has sufficient get-up-and-go, with similar handling to the regular Focus.

A red Ford Focus Electric

 

 

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