These are 2 of the cheapest electric cars you can buy

The world is going electric, and the more it does, the more electric vehicles (EVs) are joining the used car market. The exorbitant costs of new electric vehicles have prevented much of the population from considering electrification. However, buyers can buy one of the cheapest electric cars and avoid the exorbitant price tag. What if you don’t want a Prius? What if you wanted to go all-electric like a Nissan Leaf? These two vehicles could be your ticket to owning an EV or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) without breaking the bank.

A used Nissan Leaf is one of the cheapest electric cars you can get

A charging Nissan Leaf | John Walton, Getty Images

Nissan’s fashionable little electric hatchback is a great way for potential buyers to pick up an electric vehicle without breaking the bank. Although the Leaf is affordable, with examples selling for as low as around $12,000, it has its flaws. Specifically, the Leaf had a range of less than 100 miles, and fast-charging technology is nearly obsolete. Still, owners could potentially use the Nissan Leaf for everyday driving applications and rent a Tesla for travel.

Chevrolet’s Bolt is now discontinued, but there are used examples you could pick up for less than $20,000

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Buying a used PHEV is a great way to enjoy the fuel savings and environmental benefits of electrification without committing to an all-electric car. A used Chevrolet Bolt seats four comfortably and will cost you half the fuel cost of a comparable gas-powered Honda Civic. Considering its affordability, the Bolt is one of the cheapest electric cars you can buy, and the PHEV feature comes in handy. Additionally, the Bolt offers owners the ability to drive out of town and beyond, unlike owning a Nissan Leaf.

If you compare the savings to a reliable gas-powered small car, the fuel savings are quite obvious.

CleanTechnica compared ownership of the Leaf EV, Bolt PHEV and internal combustion engine (ICE) Honda Civic. The comparison looked at factors such as insurance, maintenance costs, repairs, taxes, financing and other operating costs over a five-year period. Additionally, CleanTechnica’s metrics took average depreciation into account when comparing the three different car types.

The Nissan Leaf is one of the 2 cheapest electric cars you can buy

A new Nissan Leaf on Electric Avenue | Charlie Crowhurst, Nissan

Despite the widely held belief that owning an electric vehicle costs more than alternatives, the numbers favored the Nissan Leaf. The only category where the Leaf was more expensive than the comparable Honda Civic was insurance costs. Car and Driver reports that electric vehicles are generally more expensive to insure than gas-powered vehicles due to the initial cost and the cost of repairs.

Should you buy one of the cheapest electric or PHEV cars?

Depending on your needs and where you live, you might be better off with an electric vehicle like a Nissan Leaf. However, if you live in a place where the charging infrastructure isn’t up to city standards, you might want to consider a PHEV. With a PHEV, owners can enjoy a cheaper, cleaner ride and the engine for longer trips. These two are among the cheapest electric cars available and cheaper to run than a Civic. Scroll down to the next article to learn more about things to consider before buying an electric vehicle.

RELATED: Electric vehicles: are EVs really green?

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