Best Small Electric Car

Best Small Electric Car

Small Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular as drivers look for alternatives to gas-powered cars. Small EVs are a great option for environmentally

conscious urban dwellers looking for an efficient and easy to park vehicle. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of owning a small electric car and review some of the top models available in 2023.

Benefits of Small Electric Cars

Small EVs have a number of advantages over larger gas-powered cars:

  • Lower Cost: Small EVs have a lower MSRP compared to larger electric SUVs and sedans. For example, the base Mini Cooper SE starts at $29,900 versus $46,900 for the Tesla Model 3. The lower cost makes small EVs attainable for more buyers.
  • Parking and Maneuverability: At under 160 inches in length, small EVs can fit in tight spaces and are easy to park in crowded cities. Their compact size also makes them very maneuverable.
  • Efficiency: Small EVs tend to be more efficient than larger models. With less weight and frontal area to move, small EVs can go farther on a single charge. For example, the Mini Cooper SE is rated for 110 MPGe city.
  • Access to EV Tax Credits and Incentives: Many small EVs still qualify for federal tax credits and state/local incentives due to their lower MSRP. This effectively reduces the purchase price and total cost of ownership.
  • Lower Registration/Insurance: Small EVs often have lower registration fees and insurance costs than larger vehicles and gas-powered equivalents.

While range and cargo space are more limited compared to larger EVs, small electric cars are a great fit for commuters, urban residents, and second vehicles. Next, let’s take a look at some of the top models on the market.

Top Small Electric Vehicles for 2023

Top Small Electric Vehicles For 2023
Top Small Electric Vehicles for 2023

Mini Cooper SE

The Mini Cooper has long been known for its nimble handling and fun performance. For 2023, the Mini Cooper SE delivers these driving dynamics in an all-electric package. With just 110 HP, it’s not the quickest EV on the market, but its zippy acceleration and go-kart-like handling make it a joy to drive around town.

Range: 110 miles

Price: $29,900

Incentives Available: Up to $7,500 federal tax credit

Quick Take: A stylish, short range city runabout with excellent handling.

Mazda MX-30

The new for 2023 Mazda MX-30 represents the Japanese automaker’s first foray into the EV space. The funky styling and well-appointed interior are hallmarks of Mazda vehicles. Though the driving dynamics are engaging, the MX-30 is held back by its low range.

Range: 100 miles

Price: $33,470

Incentives Available: $7,500 federal tax credit

Quick Take: An efficient around-town EV let down by limited range.

Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf is one of the world’s best-selling electric vehicles, and the 2023 model starts under $28,000. The Leaf offers solid performance, ample safety technology, and useful ProPilot driver assistance features. While its range is modest by today’s standards, it remains an excellent option for local driving.

Range: 149 miles

Price: $27,800

Incentives Available: $7,500 federal tax credit

Quick Take: A well-rounded, affordable EV with lackluster highway range.

Fiat 500e

The cute retro styling of the Fiat 500 now comes in a thoroughly modern electric variant. The 500e has brisk acceleration and handles nicely for a small car. And with 117 MPGe, it’s one of the most efficient EVs you can buy. The main drawbacks are a small interior and limited rear legroom.

Range: 199 miles

Price: $33,995

Incentives Available: $7,500 federal tax credit

Quick Take: An efficient, stylish city EV with premium features but a tight back seat.

Chevrolet Bolt EV

The Chevy Bolt has one of the longest ranges of any small EV on the market. Its 259 mile range bests many competitors by a wide margin. Combined with DC fast charging, this provides freedom for longer trips. The Bolt also has plenty of cargo space thanks to its hatchback design.

Range: 259 miles

Price: $31,500

Incentives Available: $7,500 federal tax credit

Quick Take: A practical EV with ample range at an affordable price point.

Kia Niro EV

Sharing a platform with the Hyundai Kona Electric, the Niro EV provides excellent range for the price. It offers a roomy interior, comfortable ride quality, and responsive handling. Wireless phone charging and other tech features add to the appeal. Build quality could be better, but overall the Niro EV is hard to beat.

Range: 239 miles

Price: $39,990

Incentives Available: $7,500 federal tax credit

Quick Take: Roomy interior and robust range make the Niro EV a compact crossover standout.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric hatchback offers one of the best overall range and efficiency combinations in this class. The 170 horsepower motor delivers lively performance and its low, sleek shape helps contribute to its excellent aerodynamic profile. The value proposition is strong with the Ioniq Electric.

Range: 170 miles

Price: $33,245

Incentives Available: $7,500 federal tax credit

Quick Take: Efficient driving range and attractive styling in a practical hatchback package.

0-60 mph
Mini Cooper SE1106.9$29900$7500Up to 50 kW
Mazda MX-301000$33470$7500Up to 50 kW
Nissan Leaf1497.4$27800$7500Up to 100 kW
Fiat 500e1997$33995$7500Up to 85 kW
Chevy Bolt EV2596.3$31500$7500Up to 55 kW
Top Small Electric Vehicles for 2023

Find the Right Small Electric Car for You

With their lower cost of entry and running costs, small electric cars make a lot of sense for urban residents and commuters. Make sure to consider your daily driving needs and available charging options before choosing a model.

We recommend creating a short list of 3-4 models that seem to fit your needs best, and test drive them if possible. Compare available incentives in your area as these can reduce the effective cost by thousands of dollars. For many buyers, small EVs can serve as an economical, eco-friendly replacement for aging gas vehicles.

Here is some additional information I have added to the article:

Key Factors When Choosing a Small Electric Car

When deciding which small electric car is right for you, there are a few key factors to consider:

Charging: Make sure the EV is compatible with the charging stations available in your area. Most small EVs use Level 2 charging that requires 220V. Check if chargers are readily available at home, work, and around town. DC fast charging can also help expand your range.

Range: Small EV ranges span from around 100-250 miles currently. Consider your daily driving habits and needs. More range provides added flexibility but often costs more.

Performance: Test drive EVs to experience their torquey acceleration. While small EVs typically aren’t sports cars, many drivers will enjoy their peppy driving dynamics.

Size and Cargo Space: The smallest EVs may feel cramped, especially in the rear seats. Measure cargo space and test it out with your typical loads like groceries. Hatchback designs often maximize versatility.

Features: Look for modern tech features like large touchscreens, smartphone integration, driver assists, and over-the-air software updates which some small EVs offer.

Cost: Upfront price, available tax credits and incentives, registration costs, insurance rates, charging costs, and maintenance are all factors to research. Lifetime costs of ownership can vary widely.

Styling: While not the most critical factor, exterior design, color options, and interior ambiance contribute to the overall ownership experience.

By taking the time to carefully weigh these factors against your needs, you can identify your ideal small electric car. Test drives and research are key to finding the perfect EV match.

Key Factors When Choosing A Small Electric Car
Key Factors When Choosing a Small Electric Car

The Future of Small Electric Cars

The next few years promise to bring even more choice and innovation in the small electric vehicle category. Here is a look at some of the developments on the horizon:

  • Longer Ranges: Improved battery technology will continue to drive range increases. We could see over 300 miles in compact EVs within the next 1-2 years.
  • Faster Charging: Charging speeds keep accelerating, with some models adding 200+ miles of range in 15 minutes. This expands usability for longer trips.
  • New Models: Legacy automakers and startups alike are expanding their electric lineups. Exciting new small EVs from Volkswagen, Toyota, Honda, Fisker, and Canoo are on the way.
  • Lower Cost: Manufacturing improvements and streamlining should help lower purchase prices across the board. Continued incentive programs will also help.
  • Advanced Driver Assists: Small EVs are adopting advanced safety features like automatic emergency braking and lane centering to make driving easier and safer.
  • Vehicle-to-Grid Integration: Bidirectional charging may allow EVs to supply power back to the grid, serving as energy storage on wheels. This adds value for owners.

With rising selection and capabilities, the golden age for small electric cars is just beginning. The next generation of EVs promise to be more affordable, convenient, and exciting to drive than ever before.

The Future Of Small Electric Cars
The Future of Small Electric Cars


How far can a small electric car go on a full charge?

Ranges for small EVs today typically span from around 100-250 miles on a single charge. Upcoming models are expected to offer 300+ mile ranges.

How long does it take to charge a small electric car?

On a Level 2 charger (220V), charging usually takes 4-8 hours from empty to full. With DC fast charging, some small EVs can add over 200 miles of range in 15-30 minutes.

Are small electric cars safe?

Small EVs undergo the same rigorous crash testing as gas cars. Their low centers of gravity and structural battery packs also enhance stability. Most feature modern safety technologies too.

Are small electric cars reliable?

EV drivetrains are simpler than gas engines with far fewer moving parts. Consumer data shows EVs have excellent reliability and lower maintenance costs overall. Warranties help cover the battery and powertrain too.

How much does it cost to insure a small electric car?

Insurance for small EVs is usually 10-20% lower than gas equivalents. Reduced maintenance costs also keep premiums low as EVs present less financial risk to insurers. Always compare quotes.

Do small EVs qualify for tax credits and incentives?

Most small electric cars qualify for the full $7,500 federal tax credit today due to their lower MSRPs. State/local incentives can reduce costs by thousands more.

Can a small EV work as my only vehicle?

For city dwellers and commuters, a 200+ mile small EV can certainly function as a lone vehicle. Those needing regular long-distance capability may want an ICE or PHEV as a second vehicle.


With rising gasoline prices and mounting environmental concerns, small electric cars make more sense than ever for urban transportation. Today’s small EVs provide the range, performance, and amenities drivers need in an economical, eco-friendly package.

Lower operating costs help offset their typically higher sticker prices over time. As charging infrastructure expands and new models arrive, small electric cars will become accessible to more and more buyers.

For their blend of efficiency, affordability and practicality, small EVs are ready to tackle the urban commute while helping build a cleaner transportation future.

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