Upstart EV maker targets U.S. market with surprisingly affordable model: ‘There is a real need’

Electric vehicles cause much less pollution than gas-powered cars, but one knock against them has always been their high price tag, making them available mainly to the wealthy.

Fortunately, however, a few EVs are — while not exactly cheap — more affordable, and joining those ranks is a new offering from Stellantis.

The Fiat-branded car, called the Citroën e-C3, is expected to reach the United States market in 2024, with a price tag of $27,000 and a battery range of 186 miles — a small range compared to other EVs currently on the market, but certainly usable and at a comparably very low price. The model reportedly debuted in India in early 2023.

The reigning most affordable EV available to U.S. customers is the Chevy Bolt, which also starts at around $27,000 but further qualifies for up to a $7,500 EV federal tax credit, which can make it significantly less expensive.


GM announced that it was discontinuing the Bolt earlier this year, leading to a lot of consumer anxiety about affordable EV options. Amid the outcry, GM reversed course and announced that it was bringing the Bolt back. According to the Chevrolet website, as of late August, the new Bolt starts at $26,500, not factoring in the tax credit, which means that it will retain its title as the most affordable entry-level EV (and with a much larger range than the Citroën e-C3, at 259 miles, estimated).

Still, it is good news that consumers will have more options for EVs at or around this price point. Even if it trails the Chevy Bolt, the Citroën e-C3 will be among the lowest-priced EVs on the market.

The more people that switch from gas-powered cars to EVs, the better it is for the environment. Gas-powered cars run on dirty energy that pollutes the air, whereas EVs, while not perfect, generate far less pollution overall. One recent study found that switching from a gas-powered car to an EV would reduce the planet-overheating gases produced by 52% over the vehicle’s lifetime.

For comparison, Tesla’s lowest-priced model is the Model 3, which currently starts at $40,240 (before the federal tax credit, any state incentives, and gas savings Tesla factors in online) and has an estimated range of 272 miles.

Other entry-level EVs include the Nissan Leaf, starting at $28,140, as well as the Mini Cooper SE, Mazda MX-30, and Hyundai Kona.

“There is a real need for more affordable EVs,” Fiat CEO Olivier Francois said, per The Street.

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