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The Top 6 Budget-Friendly Electric Cars

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Over the past few years, provincial governments across Canada have come up with money-saving initiatives to encourage people to ditch their gasoline-fueled ride and choose an electric car instead. However -- at least in Ontario -- there are still fewer electric cars on the roads today than originally anticipated. Across the entire country, only 6,933 brand new electric vehicles were sold last year.

Under the recently-released Climate Change Action Plan, the Ontario government wants five per cent of all vehicles sold within the province annually to be electric -- that's about 14,000 of these types of cars every year.

The Ontario government is also planning to install a network of almost 500 electric car charging stations throughout the province -- including at various office towers, select stores like IKEA and fast-food eateries such as McDonald's and Tim Hortons. There will even be stations situated outside Pearson Airport. All of this is set to be in place by March 2017, at a cost of $20-million.

Why we aren't Embracing Electric

So what's stopping Canadians, then, from going out and buying electric vehicles? At least for some buyers, there are concerns about reliability. What happens if the battery runs out? According to Ontario's Transportation Minister, that's one of the reasons behind the increase in charging stations -- the hope of reducing "range anxiety" that some drivers may associate with electric cars.

Another factor that's keeping would-be buyers away is the initial price point. Electric cars are still rather new to the automobile market and as the new kid on the road, can still be quite expensive. Buyers may turn to used electric vehicles to cash in on savings, but there aren't many used electric vehicles to be found.

But when it comes down to it, an electric car can actually save you thousands of dollars down the road when it comes to fuel costs. In addition, some provinces have launched incentive campaigns to help drivers subsidize the initial purchase price. In Ontario for example, drivers can save up to $13,000 on eligible vehicles thanks to incentives.

So What's Available in Canada?

When electric vehicles come to mind, many motorists may automatically think of Tesla. However, these state-of-the-art, driver assisted technology-filled vehicles can be extremely costly. But there are plenty of other battery electric vehicles (BEVs) on the Canadian market with a good range that are more budget-friendly.

Here are our picks for the top six electric vehicles that won't break the bank:

6. Mitsubishi i-MiEV

2016-09-01-1472754765-4786519-MitsubishiiMiev.jpg
Source/credit: Dreamstime

Car Type: Hatchback All-Electric
2017 Model Starting MSRP*: $27,998
Max Electric Battery Range**: 95 km

5. BMW i3

2016-09-01-1472754848-3410539-BMWi3.jpg
Source/credit: Dreamstime

Car Type: Hatchback All-Electric
2016 Model Starting MSRP*: $45,500
Max Electric Battery Range**: 130 km

4. Ford Focus Electric

2016-09-01-1472754931-1797207-FordFocusElectric.jpg
Source/credit: Dreamstime

Car Type: Hatchback All-Electric
2016 Model Starting MSRP*: $29,404
Max Electric Battery Range**: 122 km

3. Chevrolet Spark EV

2016-09-01-1472754995-7160280-ChevroletSpark.jpg
Source/credit: Dreamstime

Car Type: Hatchback All-Electric
2016 Model Starting MSRP*: $32,445
Max Electric Battery Range**: 132 km

2. Kia Soul EV

2016-09-01-1472755065-9768364-KiaSoulEV.jpg
Source/credit: Dreamstime

Car Type: Crossover All-Electric
2016 Model Starting MSRP*: $35,195
Max Electric Battery Range**: 150 km

1. Nissan Leaf

2016-09-01-1472755133-8918669-NissanLeaf.jpg
Source/credit: Dreamstime

Car Type: Hatchback All-Electric
2016 Model Starting MSRP*: $32,698
Max Electric Battery Range**: 135 km

Regardless of what you choose and what your car's source of energy may be, Kanetix.ca is your best resource for shopping around when it comes to your auto insurance. In fact, some insurance providers will even offer discounts for electric vehicles, making it easier to go green. If you haven't switched providers in some time, it might be worth your while to check out other options to see what ultimately can leave more money in your wallet.

To find out more about electric vehicle government incentives in your province, visit:

*Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) as listed on the manufacturer's website
**Maximum electric battery range as tested by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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