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The best electric cars you can buy for under $40,000

1. Chevy Bolt

1. Chevy Bolt

Starting price: $37,495

Specs: 238-mile range and 119 MPGe (combined); the 60-kWh battery gets 200 hp and 266 lb.-ft. of torque; forward-wheel drive

The breakdown: The Chevy Bolt is the first mass-market, long-range electric car to hit the market. Business Insider's Matt DeBord has called it a "serious Tesla competitor." For less than $40,000, it's arguably the best battery-powered vehicle you can buy right now.

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2. 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

2. 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Starting price: $30,335

Specs: 124-mile range and 136 MPGe (combined); the 28-kWh battery gets 118 hp and 215 lb.-ft. of torque; forward-wheel drive

The breakdown: The Ioniq Electric is the best option when it comes to fuel efficiency and price compared, earning it a top spot on this list.

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3. 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

3. 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

Starting price: TBD. The car has yet to hit the market, but will be introduced before fall of this year

Specs: 125-mile range and 119 MPGe (combined); the 35.8-kWh battery gets 134 hp and 214 lb.-ft. of torque

The breakdown: Volkswagen gave its e-Golf a nice upgrade for 2017. It has 41 extra miles of range and more raw power than its predecessors. You can also pay extra for Volkswagen's driver assistance package, when offers adaptive cruise control.

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4. 2017 Kia Soul EV

4. 2017 Kia Soul EV

Starting price: $33,145

Specs: 93-mile range and 105 MPGe (combined); the 27-kWh battery gets 109 hp and 210 lb.-ft. of torque; forward-wheel drive

The breakdown: The Kia Soul is the most limited when it comes to range, but it's a cool-looking car and one of the cheapest out there.

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5. 2017 Nissan Leaf

5. 2017 Nissan Leaf

Starting Price: $31,545

Specs: 107-mile range and 112 MPGe (combined); the 30-kWh battery gets 107 hp and 187 lb.-ft. of torque; foward-wheel drive

The breakdown: The Nissan Leaf has been the world's best-selling electric car, but that's largely a product of it being an early, affordable contender in the electric car market. It's fairly limited in range at 107 miles, but Nissan says its 2018 model will be capable of driving at least 200 miles on a single charge.

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