In the early days of electric cars and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), they had the big advantage of using little or no gas, but the big disadvantage of being prohibitively expensive for most drivers. However, electrified vehicles have come a long way, and we’re at a point where a budget of $20,000 can get you a really nice PHEV or EV that could potentially save you a ton of money in fuel in the long run, not to mention their environmental benefits.
Here are six great electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids you can find on Autotrader for under $20,000 in 2019.
2016-2019 Chevrolet Volt
The Chevrolet Volt is synonymous with PHEVs since it was the first one to hit the mainstream market. Its second generation that began for the 2016 model year has already depreciated to a point where used examples are not uncommon under the $20k mark. It has an impressive all-electric range of 53 miles, which is a nice bump over the previous model’s 38-mile range. When you run out of electric range, the gas engine kicks in and it’s still a super efficient hatchback getting 106 MPGe plus nice technology and unassuming, yet sleek styling. For a normal hatchback that happens to run on both electricity and gas, the Volt is a no-brainer. Find a Chevrolet Volt for sale
2013-2019 Ford Fusion Energi
If you’re looking to keep your environmental friendliness under the radar, the Ford Fusion Energi is an efficient plug-in hybrid that’s perfectly disguised as a normal midsize Ford sedan. "Energi" is Ford’s name for its PHEV vehicles and this one achieves an electric-only range of about 20 miles. Like the Volt, the Fusion Energi is still very efficient when the electric battery dies and it gets an 88 MPGe rating from the EPA. With a budget of $20k, a loaded Fusion Energi Titanium model with heated and cooled leather seats, Sony premium audio and navigation is well within reach. Find a Ford Fusion for sale
2014-2019 BMW i3
The BMW i3 is now a 5-year-old design, but it still looks just as futuristic now as it did when it first came out. This subcompact hatchback, which is available as either an EV or a PHEV with what is basically a gas-powered motorcycle engine acting as what BMW calls a "range extender." The i3 has many quirks inside and out and as small as it is, it’s actually roomier than you might think on the inside. We wouldn’t call it a family car, but it’s a great commuter for one and it’s not afraid to bring a few people along for the ride. Most i3 EV models have an electric range of 81 miles making it an excellent city car. Find a BMW i3 for sale
2015-2019 Kia Soul EV
There’s a lot to love about the charming Kia Soul and its EV variant makes it even more appealing. You get all of the functionality and versatility of the boxy, space-efficient Soul with its surprisingly roomy cabin, but without burning any gas. The eco-friendliness under the hood continues in the interior with some parts being made from sustainable materials like corn and sugarcane. It has an impressive 93-mile electric range and if you use its standard DC fast-charging port, you can charge the battery up to 80% in just 30 minutes. The Soul EV is already a strong value when new, and it’s an even better value on the used market. Find a Kia Soul EV for sale
2016-2017 Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf has been around long enough in high enough volumes that it’s become a rather ubiquitous electric car. Unfortunately, the second-gen Leaf that came out for 2018 is still too new to be found for less than $20k on the used market, but the last two model years of the first-gen Leaf are a great value. These models have a bigger battery than earlier first-gen models giving it a nice 3-digit all-electric range of 107 miles making the Leaf a little more usable for more drivers. With a budget of $20k, you should be able to find one of these in the luxurious SL trim which gives you leather seats, navigation, Bose premium audio, and more. Find a Nissan Leaf for sale
2014-2017 Mercedes-Benz B-Class
This one you might have a hard time finding because it’s simply not that common of a car, but it’s one that’s worth keeping an eye out for. The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive, which was renamed the B250e for the 2016 model year is the only variant of the B-Series we got in the U.S. It’s all-electric with a range of 87 miles makes it good for around town and the average commute. The big difference between this Mercedes and something like a Nissan Leaf is the luxury car factor making it more premium inside and out with standard equipment including synthetic leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 7-in infotainment system with navigation. Find a Mercedes-Benz B-Class for sale