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2024 Is the Year the Affordable EV Died In America - Part 3

The number of affordable EVs sold in America in 2024 is dramatically lower than in prior years. We break down why this is so, and provide a list of $30K EVs that may - or may not be coming in the near future. 

The Q2 2024 electric vehicle deliveries are now posted, and the news is not good for those seeking to purchase an affordable EV near $30K. No brand has begun deliveries on any new EV priced near $30K this year, despite the EV advocacy media’s attempts to convince you they have. 

Back in January, we predicted in a story providing very fine detail, Affordable EV Deliveries Will Drop Dramatically in America in 2024. That story was updated after Q1, and the delivery facts support the story title entirely. Affordable EVs models are being delivered in tiny numbers in America, and though already small, these numbers have declined in 2024.

Here is an update on the affordable EV deliveries through Q2. Scan down the page for a very detailed look at the status of affordable EVs proposed by automakers, but not yet being delivered to customers.

Chevrolet Bolt - Final Deliveries
The wildly successful and much loved Chevrolet Bolt was killed by GM last year despite being the highest-volume affordable EVsold in America. None have been produced in 2024. However, GM’s product pipeline apparently works at a snail's pace. For this reason, the Bolt has continued to trickle out to eager buyers. GM reports deliveries of 1,374 Bolts in Q2, compared to a whopping 13,959 in Q2 of 2023 one year ago. Affordable EVs from GM dropped by 90% last quarter. On a year-to-date basis, they are down 75%. We don't expect any more Bolt deliveries this year, other than a few dozen that may still be working through the GM dealer pipeline. 

Like all EV manufacturers, GM is focusing on six-figure EV trucks and SUVs along with some EV crossovers priced between $45K and $75K. We will address the status of the new Equinox EV below. 

Nissan Leaf
Nissan’s Leaf is barely on sale anymore. Less than 1,000 per month are being sold in America. Through Q2, Leaf deliveries declined by 28% to just 3,067 units. It is clear that Nissan has no interest in the Leaf being a mainstream vehicle and has looked to its much more expensive Ariya EV as its successor. 

Hyundai Kona EV and Kia Niro EV
Two of our very favorite EVs overall are the Hyundai Kona EV and Kia Niro EV. These front wheel drive crossover hatchbacks are fun, and affordable in lower trims. However, Hyundai and Kia sell so few that they don't even bother to break out the delivery numbers. They are also not on sale in all markets in America. We can't report on the data, but if the deliveries had jumped up, we’re sure these respected manufacturers would be telling us in their delivery reports. Neither brand highlighted these EVs in its Q2 delivery report.

The Status of Affordable EVs In America 2024

With American-market battery-electric vehicles, it seems like it’s always tomorrow. Coming soon. Next year. Or in five years. A massive industry has been formed around hyping imaginary and prototype EVs, and it is wildly successful. 

By our count, there are five not-yet-delivered EVs being promoted by the EVangelist media. Will they ever really be for sale at the prices promised? Maybe. If that time comes, we will report the facts. Here is a breakdown of the low cost affordable EVs that the media wants you to think are actually available but are not. 

Tesla Model 2
Tesla has been promising lower-cost EVs for over a decade, yet its most recent model is the most expensive. The average transaction price of Tesla’s just-released Cyberglutton, pardon us, Cybertruck, is $108,667, according to Cox Automotive’s latest data (June 2024). Forgive us if we are skeptical of companies that talk about affordable vehicles but introduce ones that are the exact opposite. 

Media groups such as Forbes and Inside EVs seem in agreement that the imaginary Model 2 will have a price of $25,000. That would not just make it an affordable EV, but it would also be among the least expensive vehicles of any type for sale in America if it were available right now. Which, of course, it is not. Would the price be before or after federal tax incentives and state EV rebates? Will the $25,000 price include its delivery charge? Could it sell for $25K without massive taxpayer price support? Not a chance is our analysis. 

Chevrolet Equinox EV 1LT
While the Tesla Model 2 is the most imaginary vehicle on our list, the Chevrolet Equinox 1LT, or perhaps just “LT,” is the one that actually could exist and could sell tomorrow if GM wanted to sell it. The Chevy Equinox EV is real. Many media members have had a chance to drive it. In Q2, GM delivered 1,013 units of the higher and more expensive trims starting in the mid $40Ks. Watch our Q3 update to see if the low-cost Equinox has actually been delivered. 

Respectable media outlets have made the case that the Equinox EV is the “most affordable EV on sale now.” We disagree since Nissan dealers less than ten miles from our HQ are selling Leafs for $21K. 

Volvo EX30
Like the Equinox, the Volvo EX30 is a real vehicle. It has been sold in other markets, and folks seem to like it. We LOVE all the modern Volvos we have tried, but we never speak of them in the same breath as “affordable” vehicles. Are they a good value? Sure. Are they “affordable?” Hard to argue they are. 

Here is what Volvo’s U.S. media team released October 3, 2023: “Volvo Car USA announced today pricing for its first small premium fully electric SUV, the Volvo EX30. Unveiled to the world this past June in Milan, Italy, the EX30 expands the Volvo Cars lineup of fully electric vehicles to four models. With an attractive starting price of just $34,950, Volvo customers can get a premium fully electric SUV for a similar price to an internal combustion engine-powered equivalent.”

The EX30 is made in China. This is the most tricky part of the EX30. You see, the U.S. government does not want to see low-priced Chinese electric vehicles succeed or even be for sale in America. We could dive into the current tariffs, duties, rules, and all that jazz, but why bother? The bottom line is he EX30 is not being sold in America right now.

The latest update on the EX 30 came in June. It is being recalled in other markets due to software problems and the EX30's entry into the U.S. market is now "delayed."

Volkswagen ID.2
The VW ID.2 is a subcompact hatchback car smaller than the Honda Fit. The automotive press loves VW hot hatches, so any talk of an electric hatchback gets them pretty worked up. A lot of stories about the ID.2 coming to America priced around $25K have now been written. Inside EVs quoted a VW representative speaking about the ID.2 in America as saying, “Do we have a plan? Not yet, but it is on our radar. The majority of the cost comes from the batteries." Well, duh. Of course, the batteries are a big part of the cost. 

VW’s EV in America, the ID.4, has some enthusiastic owners, but at the end of Q1, deliveries were down 37%. At the end of Q2, deliveries were down by 15%. When we last checked, dealers were still sitting on new, unsold 2023 model-year cars, and the discounting was getting kooky. Can VW succeed with a $25K car of any type in America? If yes, then why haven’t they?

Jeep - $25K EV
The media all have similar headlines for Jeep’s imaginary $25K battery-electric vehicle. “Coming soon.” Well, when is “soon?” Nobody can say. What is the name of the EV that is coming soon? Nobody knows. Where are the images of the factory that is already outfitted to build the EV that is coming soon? Nobody seems to have any. 

Kia’s $30K EV3
The most recently invented low-cost EV for the American market is the EV3. We trust that Kia may someday build the EV3 for the U.S. market. However, the timeline is sketchy as is the reporting. 

Elektrek says, “With expected starting prices of around $30,000 to $35,000, the EV3 will be among the most affordable EVs in the US.” The plan is for Kia to make this vehicle in Mexico. Kia does have production in Mexico, so that is plausible. But with no images of the factory actually making K3s there, the first deliveries are a long way off. 

The Problem With Future Price Points
One problem with all of the imaginary low-cost EVs is that since they are in the future, whatever price point folks dream up for them today is likely to be wildly inaccurate when they start being delivered. Inflation is funny that way. 

Conclusion - The Automotive Media Like Imaginary EVs More Than Real Ones
Kia, Hyundai, and Nissan all offer vehicles equipped with battery-electric powertrains for under $40,000 right now. We’ve tested them, and they are fine vehicles. After dealer discounts, new Nissan Leaf EVs are on sale in America right now for around $21K, and you don’t have to hassle with any tax implications to buy one. So why are they not selling in huge numbers?

The problem is these vehicles are real. They have real-world downsides. Some are slow to charge, and some don’t use CCS or NACS DC fast charging ports. The ranges are nothing special. None of them have a spare tire. None have AWD. None are what an enthusiast would call sporty. Few would call them “cool.” Will affordable EVs soon be everywhere? We hope so and will report if it comes to pass. 

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John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his eleven years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can connect with John on Linkedin and follow his work at our X channel. Please note that stories carrying John's by-line are never AI-generated, but he does employ Grammarly grammar and punctuation software when proofreading.