The Best Affordable Electric Cars on the Market

Guest Contributor April 25, 2016

In March, hordes of electric car enthusiasts lined up around the world for a chance to preorder Tesla Motors’s Model 3, which promises to bring long-range EV autonomy to the masses. The company’s most affordable offering right now, the Model S 70D, would set you back a cool $75,000 before government incentives, whereas the Model 3 is purported to cost roughly half as much (final Canadian pricing has yet to be revealed.)


Tesla Model 3

The thing is, production of the Model 3 is slated to begin in late 2017, with the first of several hundred thousand preorders going to the West Coast before gradually making its way east. No one knows exactly when the cars will ship, so for Ontarians willing to park Tesla’s latest in their garages, putting down a deposit could amount to granting a multi-year, interest-free, $1,000 loan to Elon Musk and the gang.

So, what if you’re in the market for an affordable electric car at this moment? Well, there are several excellent options available, some of which you may not be aware of. Granted, none of the current “cheap” EVs have the range of a Tesla, and that may or may not be a deal-breaker depending on your driving habits. But assuming you’re part of the 89.5% of Canadian commuters who drive fewer than 60 kms a day*, all the cars below will meet your daily driving needs by a comfortable margin.

To help weigh the options against your specific needs and budget, we’ve included the current MSRP along with the listed range for each vehicle. Remember the government of Ontario offers rebates of up to $13,000 when you purchase an electric or hybrid vehicle – the incentive is lower if you lease. Here is the list of eligible vehicles.


CAA has compiled important information about electric vehicles, including the types of electric vehicles and how to calculate the energy cost and environmental impact of operating an electric vehicle. In addition, CAA has compiled a list of over 1,800 electric vehicle charging stations across Canada to help address concerns about range.


By Mathieu Rainville

About the author: Mathieu Rainville comes from a family of auto workers and gearheads. When he’s not peering under the hood of the latest 4-wheelers, you can find him in the garage trying to fine-tune the carburettors on his leaky old motorcycles. Again.