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Looking to Buy a New EV for Cheap? Start with the Nissan Leaf

by | April 25, 2024

On average, the price of a new electric vehicle has dropped throughout the year. So if you’re looking for a good deal on a new EV, you’ll want to start with the Nissan Leaf.

Several automakers cut prices on EVs, including Nissan with the Ariya, looking to draw more buyers — and it’s worked. Sales were up in Q1.

According to Cox Automotive, the Leaf — the first mainstream EV — was now the least expensive, selling for $27,956 during the first quarter of 2024. That’s 19% less than its average transaction price of $34,706.

Nissan owns the top two spots on the list as its newer and larger Ariya crossover was second, coming in at $35,556, which is a 31% decline from its average transaction price of $51,438. The automaker offered substantial price cuts in early March. The move was necessary to keep up with competitors like Tesla, Ford, and others that made big cuts.

To be clear, it worked. Ariya sales jumped nearly 45% in Q1.

Rest of the cheap-est

2024 Hyundai ioniq 6

Hyundai’s new Ioniq 6 was the third most affordable electric vehicle in the U.S. during the first quarter.

Hyundai’s Ioniq 6 was next at $36,506, a 22% slide from its ATP. To some, it may be a surprise its taken this long to get to the Tesla Model 3, since the EV company’s repeatedly cut prices during the past 18 months, including twice in the first quarter.

The Model 3’s average during Q1 was $40,547, which was only 7% cheaper than its overall ATP. Again, Tesla’s cut prices so often in recent months, the drop wasn’t that dramatic. It most recently cut prices again hoping to spur sales in the second quarter of 2024, and offset concerns about the company’s tough Q1 earnings and sales numbers.

The fifth most affordable EV is the Toyota bZ4X, which was $40,646, or 15% off its average ATP, according to Cox. Like other automakers, the Japanese automaker was looking to keep pace. Considering the bZ4X isn’t a big seller anyway, a move needed to be made.

More EV News

EV sales in America

If everyone’s cutting prices, prices should be falling overall, right. Well, they did, but change is coming.

Tesla Model 3 update front 3-4

Tesla’s multiple price cuts this year made the Model 3 the fourth-most affordable electric vehicle through the first three months of 2024.

The average price Americans paid for an electric vehicle in March was $54,021, up from a revised $53,707 in February, according to Cox Automotive and Kelley Blue Book estimates. EV transaction prices in March were lower year over year by 9.7%, compared to February, when prices were lower by 10.5% year over year.

“Notably, lower EV prices have supported EV sales volume in the U.S., particularly for key Tesla models,” said Stephanie Valdez Streaty, director of Industry Insights at Cox Automotive.

“The average transaction price for a new EV decreased by 9.0% in Q1 compared to Q1 2023 and dropped 3.8% quarter over quarter. However, as noted in our Q1 EV sales report, lower EV prices have not generated appreciably higher sales volume so far.”

2023 Toyota bZ4X pair

Currently, Toyota offers only one EV in the U.S., the bZ4X — and it’s been made more affordable.

A little push

Incentives remain high on EVs to help move them off dealer lots, but ATPs in April are up a bit.

After a quarter of overall EV prices being pulled down by Tesla’s price cuts, the market’s general EV price increased this month, partly due to increased prices for the Tesla Model 3. Transaction prices for the Model 3 last month, at $46,169, were lower year over year by 5.6% but up 6.7% month over month.

Incentives on the Model 3 were 8.2% of ATP, or $3,778. Tesla’s overall incentives were 11.8% of ATP in March but were not the highest among EV manufacturers. In March, incentives at Polestar were 14.4% of ATP, and Lucid was 13.6%. High incentives and discounts on most EV models continue to play a role in lower EV prices.


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