3 Used Electric Cars You Can Buy for Under $20,000

Up to now, most electric vehicles (EVs) on the market have been on the expensive side. However, American consumers realize that automakers are working hard to move toward electric cars in an effort to protect the climate. Additionally, many automakers have pledged to produce EVs at more reasonable prices moving forward.

In the meantime, there are some excellent discontinued and used EVs that you can buy for less than $20k. There are three such EVs that we’d like to tell you about.

The Chevrolet Volt

The rear end of a Chevrolet Volt electric sedan seen in Dublin, California
Chevrolet Volt | Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

According to AutoBlog, the Chevy Volt is among the best used car bargains in the U.S. Hopes were high for the compact plug-in hybrid electric vehicle when it debuted. It yielded 35 to 40 all-electric miles after being plugged in overnight. Once those miles were used, the Volt’s efficient combustion engine took over seamlessly for an anxiety-free experience. Later, in its second generation, the 2016 Chevy Volt had a better electric range and fuel efficiency. 

Many were disappointed when GM discontinued the Volt in 2019. With the push toward fully-electric vehicles, the Volt still makes a lot of sense as a used vehicle. According to CarGurus, you can get a used Volt for around $10k to just under $25k for a low-mileage model from the last year of production. 

The Fiat 500e

The Fiat 500e is also a compact electric car. With its 83-kW motor and 111-hp rating, it doesn’t sound like it would be that fast. In Car and Driver’s testing, the 2019 model could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds. It was discontinued in the U.S. for the 2020 model year.

Still, the Fiat 500e has an efficient powertrain and a cozy, well-appointed interior. For those with shorter daily commutes, it offers great value. It can get 84 miles on a single charge which isn’t keeping up with Tesla but would work for many. 

Thanks to its smaller dimensions, the 500e is easy to park and navigate in the city and on highways. If you’re looking for affordable, basic electric transportation, it would be hard to find a better vehicle. According to CarGurus, you can get a used Fiat 500e from under $10k on the low end to under $20k for a low-mileage newer model.

The Volkswagen e-Golf

The Volkswagen e-Golf was the automaker’s first all-electric hatchback, and it was sold from 2015 through 2019. As Driving Electric points out, it’s practical and fun to drive.

It wasn’t explicitly designed to be an EV, though. The e-Golf was based on the seventh generation Golfs. It has an electric motor with a power output of 115 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque and a battery pack in the back. Its driving range was around 130 miles on a single charge in later models. 

The e-Golf isn’t a competitor for Tesla, but it can tackle freeway traffic like a champ. It feels more athletic than it looks on paper and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 9.6 seconds. Thanks to the instantaneous torque from the electric motor, you can reach higher speeds quickly enough.

If you didn’t know better, you could mistake it for a regular Golf hatchback. The cabin has the same amount of space and the same finish. One key difference is the digital instrument panel and the distinct 16-inch wheels. According to CarGurus, you can get a used e-Golf from around $25k on the high end for a newer model with fewer miles to under $15k for an older model. 

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