The Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Smart ForTwo Electric Drive and Chevrolet Spark EV are the three cheapest electric cars available in the United States as of 2015. Each is priced under $28,000 before the available $7,500 electric car tax credit offered by the U.S. government.
Mitsubishi's i-MiEV may have one of the shortest cruising ranges of any electric car available at just 62 miles, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, but it comes at a relatively low MSRP price of $23,845. The i-MiEV seats four passengers and attains 112 miles-per-gallon-equivalent, an EPA energy efficiency rating that roughly parallels what an owner's expenditure would be to travel the same distance burning gasoline.
The Smart ForTwo, built by Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler, is a two-seat electric that comes in both coupe and convertible variants, the latter the only open-topped electric on the market. Pricing starts at $25,750. The ForTwo Electric Drive has an EPA-rated range of 68 miles and attains 107 MPGe.
The Chevrolet Spark EV shares its platform with the Spark gas-powered compact car and features seating for four passengers. Its 105-kW electric motor roughly doubles the power output of the i-MiEV and ForTwo, although the Spark is a bit heavier. The Spark EV also has a higher efficiency rating than those vehicles, coming in at 119 MPGe, while driving range is around 82 miles, states the EPA.
Each of these and every other production battery-electric vehicle on the market saves buyers up to $7,500 on federal income taxes, applying to the calendar year in which the vehicle was purchased. However, the government has only authorized a finite number of such credits for each automaker.