Cheapest Electric Cars in Canada 2021

Cheapest Electric Cars in Canada 2021

Written by Mark Gregorski
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated April 15, 2021

Though the first electric car was developed back in 1832, it’s only in the last two decades that they’ve gained prominence, especially with popular and laudable brands such as Tesla. Rapid developments in technology have made electric cars accessible to the general public. They’re dropping in price with more expansive production, all while offering an abundance of excellent features and an enjoyable driving experience.  

Canada has been no stranger to embracing the new wave of electric cars. Today, there are a variety of brands available.

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What is an Electric Car?

An electric car has a battery and electric motor designed to deliver performance using electricity rather than gasoline. Electricity is used as fuel to power an electric car. They operate by plugging into a charger and drawing electricity from a grid. The electricity is stored in a rechargeable battery, which powers an electric motor, enabling the car to move.

There are two types of electric cars: plug-in hybrid and fully electric.

Plug-Electric

A plugin-hybrid combines a gasoline engine with a significantly larger battery that is charged by an external power source. When the battery is working, The car is powered by electricity. The gasoline engine remains inactive and only begins functioning when the battery drains completely.

Plug-in hybrids can offer you flexibility and fuel savings, as they can run on gasoline and electricity. For short trips, it’s economical to drive on the electric battery and not use any gas. In contrast, long journeys can use the gasoline engine as a backup. 

Fully Electric

A fully electric car runs solely on electricity, as it has no engine. Because they can’t rely on a gasoline engine as a backup, fully electric vehicles have larger and more powerful batteries that can operate over longer ranges.

New vs. Used Cars

Pros and Cons of Owning an Electric Car

There are many benefits to owning an electric car:

  • Fewer repairs and maintenance costs – The components of electric cars are more sophisticated and robust, so they don’t require the type of upkeep associated with regular vehicles. You’ll save money on oil changes, coolant flushes, filters, batteries, and other car repairs.
  • Reduced fuel costs – You can save a considerable amount of money on fuel. The average person travels about 20,000 kilometres per year, which can translate to as much as $2,000 in fuel costs. If your car is fully electric, you’ll save 100% of this amount.
  • Better for the environment – Electric cars help contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since they don’t emit carbon dioxide while in operation.
  • Smooth driving experience – Electric cars produce no engine or transmission noise, which results in a quiet and peaceful driving experience. Also, they feel lighter and agile while driving since they accelerate faster than regular cars.

Despite the advantages that electric cars have to offer, you should be aware of the drawbacks as well:

  • Higher price tag – Electric cars are slightly more expensive than regular cars, with a price tag between $30,000 and $45,000.
  • Limited Driving Range – You can typically drive an electric car for only about 80 to 160 kilometres before having to recharge it. As a result, they’re not the ideal vehicle for a lengthy drive – you could easily find yourself stranded in an area with no charging station nearby.
  • Long recharging time – Depending on the model, electric cars can take anywhere from 4 hours to 20 hours to fully recharge.
  • Limited choice – Since the electric car industry is still in its infancy, you have relatively few brands and models to choose from.

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Cheapest Electric Cars in Canada

Here are some of the electric cars that offer the best value for your money:

2020 Ford Fusion Energi

One of the most affordable hybrids on the market, this midsize sedan was first introduced in 2013, and Ford’s continuous adjustments have kept it relevant. 

This hybrid boasts roomy seats, heated side mirrors, an intuitive infotainment system, and a high-quality, spacious interior cabin. It comes with many standard features and can drive very quietly, even at highway speeds.

Despite its enticing price tag, this model has some drawbacks: poor handling, small trunk space, and short-lived driving range.

  • MSRP: $32,930
  • Category: Plug-in hybrid
  • Charging time: 2 hrs
  • Electric driving range: 42 km
  • Transmission: Continuously variable-speed automatic
  • Drive type: Front-wheel drive
  • Horsepower: 188 hp @ 6000 rpm

Check out if you should get extended warranty when buying a car.

2020 Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota’s Prius Prime is an excellent combination of cutting-edge smart technology, stunning fuel efficiency, and an impressive interior. The 2020 model contains a revamped infotainment system and a back seat with two additional USB ports and a fifth seat. 

The Prius Prime’s short electric driving range is perfect for those looking to use it to get around the city. With its competitive price and appealing fuel economy, it’s worth checking out. 

The car does have some drawbacks, including a small cargo area and impassive acceleration. Driving can also get a bit turbulent when encountering rough surface areas.  

  • MSRP: $32,990
  • Category: Plug-in hybrid
  • Charging time: 2 hrs
  • Electric driving range: 40 km
  • Transmission: Continuously variable-speed automatic
  • Drive type: Front-wheel drive
  • Horsepower: 121 hp @ 5200 rpm

Learn how to budget for a car.

 2020 Ford Escape PHEV

Having undergone a massive transformation since its 2005 debut, The Ford Escape electric hybrid offers an array of new technology and safety features, as well as a striking design and spacious interior.

The compact SUV has an exceptional driving range that helps save on gas. The updated design makes it leaner, agile, and more fuel-efficient.

On the downside, there’s no all-wheel-drive option, and cargo and rear-seat space are limited when compared to the standard Escape.

  • MSRP: $34,155
  • Category: Plug-in hybrid
  • Charging time: 3.3 hrs
  • Electric driving range: 61 km
  • Transmission: Electronically variable-speed automatic
  • Drive type: Front-wheel drive
  • Horsepower: 221 hp @6250 rpm

Have an old car? Consider trading in your used car for a new one.

2019 Volkswagen e-golf

The e-golf is Volkswagen’s debut in the fully electric car market. The hatchback comes equipped with various energy-saving technologies, a high-end interior, and generous trunk space.

The style and design of the electric version of the Golf are pretty similar to its regular counterpart, with only some subtle tweaks to the exterior and interior. While it’s not the most eye-catching car, it offers a smooth ride, premium craftsmanship, and the practicality associated with the standard Golf. 

A significant drawback is the low driving range, which may be unacceptable to those relying on a fully electric car for long trips.

  • MSRP: $37,895
  • Category: Fully Electric
  • Charging time: 5.3 hrs
  • Electric driving range: 198 km
  • Transmission: Single-speed automatic
  • Drive type: Front-wheel drive
  • Horsepower: 134 hp @ 3000 rpm

Be sure to ask your dealer these questions before buying a car.

2020 MINI Cooper SE

The first fully-electric MINI, this car is nifty, stylish, and possesses strong performance, able to go from zero to 60 in 6.1 seconds. A few design adjustments differentiate it from the regular gas-powered version, namely the interior, but it remains relatively unchanged. There are enough features on the base level model to keep the average driver pleased, making it one of the most affordable all-electric cars available.

The MINI Cooper does have a few disadvantages, including a short driving range, small backseat capacity, and choppy handling on uneven roads.

  • MSRP: $39,990
  • Category: Fully Electric
  • Charging time: 4 hrs
  • Electric driving range: 177 km
  • Transmission: Single-speed automatic
  • Drive type: Front-wheel drive
  • Horsepower: 181 hp @ 1000 rpm 

Find out if your should lease or finance your car.

2020 Hyndai IONIQ Electric

This electric version of the popular Hyundai hatchback possesses an outstanding driving range and high standards, even at the base level. 

Originally launched in 2016, the latest version includes a faster onboard charger, a larger battery pack, and various optional features to elevate the driving experience. The IONIQ comes equipped with helpful driving aides, plentiful cargo space and is distinct for having one of the highest fuel efficiency ratings in the electric car market.

On the downside, the back seat is very constrictive, and speed and agility are hampered while driving on rough road surfaces.

  • MSRP: $41,499
  • Category: Fully Electric
  • Charging time: 5.8 hrs
  • Electric driving range: 274 km
  • Transmission: Single-speed direct drive
  • Drive type: Front-wheel drive
  • Horsepower: 134 hp @ 6000 rpm

Electric Car FAQs

What incentives are available if I purchase an electric car? 

The Canadian Federal government offers a purchase incentive of up to $5,000 if you buy an electric car. British Columbia and Quebec also offer their purchase incentives for $3,000 and $8,000, respectively.

Do electric cars require more maintenance than regular cars? 

lectric cars require less maintenance than regular cars. You don’t have to perform things like oil changes, filter changes, and exhaust systems repairs, which can save you hundreds of dollars each year.

How many times will I need to change my electric car’s battery?

An electric car’s battery is built to last the vehicle’s lifespan, so you’ll never have to worry about replacing it. In contrast, batteries for regular cars typically last only three to five years. However, the battery in an electric vehicle will deteriorate over time, and this could affect your driving range. Most electric car batteries come with an eight-year warranty.

How much money can I save on gas by driving an electric car?

On average, you can save $1,500 – $2,000 per year on fuel and maintenance costs. The amount you save will vary if you drive a plug-in hybrid since it also runs on gasoline.

What is the cheapest electric car available in Canada?

The most affordable plug-in hybrid is the Toyota Prius Prime, which costs $32,990. The most affordable fully electric car is the Volkswagen e-golf, which costs $37,895.

Thinking About Purchasing an Electric Car?

If you’re shopping for a new car, an electric model may elicit some anxiety at first, given the high sticker price. But when you factor in the money you’ll save on fuel, repairs, and maintenance, an electric car can easily wind up being the best choice in the long run. If you’re looking for the right financing to help you purchase a new electric car, Loans Canada can help.


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Mark is a writer who specializes in writing content for companies in the financial services industry. He has written articles about personal finance, mortgages, and real estate and is passionate about educating people on how to make smart financial decisions. Mark graduated from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology with a degree in finance and has more than ten years' experience as an accountant. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing poker, going to the gym, composing music, and learning about digital marketing.

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