Cash for Clunkers

Tara Hornor
Written byTara HornorUpdated - December 21, 2023
Tara Hornor
Tara Hornor

Tara Hornor is an experienced writer and entrepreneur with over two decades of experien... | See full bio

John Rush
Edited and Fact-Checked byJohn RushEditor
John Rush
John Rush
Automotive Content Accuracy Auditor|||

With over four decades of experience, John Rush is a highly accomplished business owner... | See full bio

The Best Electric Vehicles Under $50K: New Ranking


  • New Research shows that Tesla Model 3 is the most popular EV under $50K with 23.1M searches.
  • Tesla’s search volume is 7 times higher than Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 which is the second by popularity in the list.
  • The list includes three Hyundai models, with the Ioniq 6 not being available in the market yet.
  • The Chevrolet Bolt EV is the most affordable on the list, priced at $26.5K, despite having less search popularity.

Automotive experts at Cash for Clunkers have recently compiled a list of the most sought-after and budget-friendly electric vehicles. This ranking, based on data from Google Keyword Planner, sorts the cars by their search popularity. The top trending vehicles under $50K were selected by their electric range, motor power and other functionalities.

The Tesla Model 3 dominates the list as the most searched electric vehicle under $50K in 2023, with over 23M searches. With a price of $42,000, the Tesla leads the ranking, even though it’s not the leader in other aspects like electric range or motor power. This particular Tesla model has become popular mainly because of the brand’s strong reputation in the market.

Hyundai Ioniq 5, secures  the second spot with over 3M searches which is nearly 7 times less than the amount of Tesla’s searches. Costing $41,450, this car gained its popularity for having one of the best electric ranges on the list and due to its quick charging capabilities.

The Volvo EX30, with about 2.7M searches, ranks third and is priced at around $34,950. Having lower price compared to the Tesla and Hyundai models, it has one of the most powerful motors on the list, ranking just behind Tesla in motor performance.

The Volkswagen ID.4 comes in fourth with over 2.5M searches, costing $38,995. Although the Volkswagen ranks last with both motor power and electric range, it gained its popularity  among electric vehicle enthusiasts, likely because of its optimal charging time and high safety score.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV, with nearly 2.5M searches, takes the fifth spot. The car is the most affordable option on the list at $26,500. Despite ranking lower in motor power and electric range, its popularity comes from its budget-friendly price, attracting buyers even with its less advanced features.

The Kia EV6 is in sixth place with over 2M searches, priced at $42,600. The Kia model, with an electric range just slightly behind Tesla and one of the best motors on the list, surprisingly ranks lower than many less powerful models. This could be because of its relatively higher starting price, which exceeds even that of Tesla.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E, is seventh with around 2M searches and is priced at $42,995. Despite being the leader in motor power and surpassing the Tesla and Volvo models in this aspect, this sporty car is ranked towards the bottom of the list. This lower ranking might be due to the brand’s lesser-known status as an electric vehicle producer and the fact that this car is the most expensive model on the list.

The Kia Niro EV is ranked eighth with about 1.8M searches and is the second Kia car in the list. Priced at $39,550, this car is at the bottom of the list in terms of both electric range and motor power. Additionally, it has the longest full charging time, which could be a factor in why it’s not as popular as other similar models.

The Hyundai Ioniq 6, ranks ninth with 1.8M searches, has the same search amount as the Kia Niro, despite not being available for sale yet. With a price of $38,615, this model has the best electric range on the list, even outperforming Tesla in this aspect. Set to be available for sale in 2024, it has already secured a solid position in the rankings, despite not being on sale yet. This is largely due to its enhanced features over the Ioniq 5 model, currently in second place by popularity.

Finally, the Hyundai Kona Electric,  with over 1M searches, completes the list at tenth. At $35,000 this is the third Hyundai model on the list. Although it doesn’t rank as high in motor power and electric range, it still captures the interest of electric vehicle enthusiasts and secures its place in the list by popularity. 

Cash for Clunkers list summed up: 

Car Name Starting Price Electric Range Search Volume Motor power
Tesla Model 3 $42,000.00 333 mi 23,166,430 450 hp (336 kW)
Hyundai Ioniq 5 $41,450.00 303 mi 3,017,740 168 hp (125 kW)
Volvo EX30 $34,950.00 275 mi 2,683,590 422 hp (200 kW)
Volkswagen ID.4 $38,995.00 245 mi 2,534,370 201hp (77 kWh )
Chevrolet Bolt EV $26,500.00 259 mi 2,476,740 200 hp (150 kW
Kia EV6 $42,600.00 328 mi 2,049,660 320 hp (77.4 kWh)
Ford Mustang Mach-E $42,995.00 300 mi 2,000,290 480 hp ( 358 kWh)
Kia Niro EV $39,550.00 285 mi 1,794,770 204 hp (150 kWh)
Hyundai IONIQ 6 $38,615.00 338 mi 1,781,510 149 hp (175 kWh)
Hyundai Kona Electric $35,000.00 200 mi 1,027,390 133 hp (100 kWh





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