Affordable Electric Vehicle and Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) Sedans and Coupes Under $50,000: Buyer’s Guide

Many buyers are looking for the best electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) cars on the market this year. Below is a list of EVs and PHEVs under $50,000 that are available right now or in the coming months. Some of these electric cars are still eligible for the federal tax credit, but this is subject to change.

Affordable electric vehicles under $50,000

2020 MINI Cooper SE is an Affordable Electric Vehicle and Plug-In Hybrid
The 2020 MINI Cooper SE is an affordable electric vehicle | MINI

Check out the EV options from Tesla, Nissan, Hyundai, Chevy, and more below. Some trim levels will push buyers over the $50,000 limit but keep an eye out for the federal tax credit changes with the recent infrastructures bills. Right now, some of these electric vehicles and PHEVs are still eligible for the credit. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “cars purchased new in or after 2010 may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500.” 

Most of these have been reviewed by the experts at Edmunds and Consumer Reports should you need more details on a particular electric vehicle or PHEV.

2020 MINI Cooper SE electric vehicle

  • Range: 110 miles
  • Price: $29,900
  • Federal tax credit amount: $7,500

The 2020 MINI Cooper SE electric vehicle doesn’t have the longest range out of all the electric vehicles on this list, but 110 miles gets the job done. It offers plenty of cargo room and a low price, plus it is still eligible for the federal tax credit at the time of publishing. It gets from 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, too.

2021 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus EV

Tesla Model 3 in white photographed in a black studio environment. electric vehicle
Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

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  • Range: 263 miles
  • Price: $39,990
  • Federal tax credit amount: $0

The 2021 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus keeps inching up in price. Right now, the regular rear-wheel-drive Model 3 can still be had for under $50,000, but just barely. The Model 3 is one of the more popular EVs on the market and comes with bells and whistles. If you are considering it, get your order in before the price of this electric car goes up again.

2021 BMW i3 electric vehicle

electric vehicle
2021 BMW i3 | BMW
  • Range: 153 miles
  • Price: $44,450
  • Federal tax credit amount: $7,500

The 2021 BMW i3 is another electric vehicle that will come in just under $50,000. The i3 is quick and fun to drive, with EV-like styling from BMW. It has been on the market since 2014 and hasn’t seen too many changes. However, it has been improved upon over the years and has a better range for 2021. It won’t get you across the country, but it’ll do for most daily commutes. The i3 will likely be replaced by the i4 and iX electric vehicles, so you might find a better deal on one of these when those roll out.

Affordable Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV) under $50,000

2021 Toyota Prius Prime PHEV

Plug-In Hybrid electric vehicle
2021 Toyota Prius Prime | Toyota
  • EV-only range: 25 miles
  • EPA fuel economy: 133 MPGe
  • Price: $29,200

The 2021 Toyota Prius Prime replaced the OG Toyota Prius that had been around for almost 10 years. It isn’t going to win you any races or track days, but the Prius Prime is under budget and within a reasonable range.

Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

plug-in hybrid
Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid | Honda
  • EV-only range: 47 miles
  • EPA fuel economy: 110 MPGe
  • Price: $34,395

The Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid looks like an electric car from the early 2000s, which isn’t a deal-breaker. It is about the side of a Honda Accord and has room in the back for cargo and essentials. The Clarity PHEV is on its way out after 2022, which might mean a better deal on the outgoing model.

2021 Mini Cooper S E Countryman All4

Plug-In Hybrid
MINI Cooper S E Countryman All4 | MINI
  • EV-only range: 17 miles
  • EPA fuel economy: 73 MPGe
  • Price: $42,350

The 2021 Mini Cooper S E Countryman All4 goes by the name of Sport Activity Vehicle. The hybrid battery and other components don’t cramp the interior of the MINI, which leaves extra cargo room. One thing to note is that even though it offers both gas and battery power, it has a pretty small tank. It only gets 300 miles, even with a full battery. Not a deal-breaker, but worth mentioning.

2022 BMW 330e PHEV

2022 BMW 330e | BMW
  • Range: 22 miles (RWD), 20 (AWD)
  • EPA fuel economy: 75 MPGe (RWD), 67 (AWD)
  • Price: $45,545 (RWD)

The 2022 BMW 330e slides in just under $50,000. BMW says it offers to “maximize efficiency with the all-electric range, perfect for short commutes and local trips.” The 330e is rear-wheel-drive, and it is still eligible for a rebate of $5,836. BMW seems to emphasize that the electric vehicle is suitable for short trips, so this won’t be a road trip vehicle. The interior is luxurious, as expected.

2021 BMW i3 REX

Plug-In Hybrid
BMW i3 | BMW
  • EV-only range: 126 miles
  • EPA fuel economy: 100 MPGe
  • Price: $49,295

The 2021 BMW i3 REX, aka the i3 with a Range Extender or the i3s with Range Extender. Both of these are plug-in hybrid models are still eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit. The i3 looks a little funky on the outside but is pretty upscale on the inside. The electric vehicle also only has room for four passengers, making it as small as it looks.

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