With new petrol and diesel cars only available for nine more years, and growing social awareness of climate change, electric vehicle sales are steadily growing.
They’re cleaner, quieter, and generally cheaper to run – but which is the best EV out there?
Whatever your reason for switching to electric, here’s a rundown of the top rated electric cars to help you choose the best electric vehicle for you.
Best Small Electric Cars
Smaller cars and smaller batteries mean lower prices and less energy consumption.
However, small electric cars also have a lower range because of the reduced battery capacity.
These small cars are best for smaller budgets and single people or small families who don’t drive long distances very often.
VW e-Up (from £23,555)
This electric Volkswagen model has a blockier design than other small electric cars on the market, but VW fans might prefer this look.
There’s plenty of opportunity to personalise it, though, with different trims, roofs, mirrors, and wheels available.
It comes with an all-electric range of 260km or 161 miles and has a smartphone-enabled time delay feature to get the most out of charging at non-peak times.
Mini Electric (from £26,000)
This 3-door 4-seater looks almost exactly the same as a standard Mini, so you get all the character without the drawbacks of a combustion engine.
The Mini Electric is marketed as being fully chargeable from empty in just over 3 hours using a home wallbox.
With an average cost of 4p per mile and a range of 140-145 miles, this trendy model can get you where you need to be affordably.
Renault Zoe (from £27,495)
The Renault Zoe E-Tech Electric has already been named the best value small electric car for 2021 by What Car.
Charging this model for 1 hour with a 7kW home wallbox gets you 30 miles of range, while its 52kWh battery offers a range of up to 245 miles on a full charge.
It’s a great all-rounder mixing dynamic design with plenty of innovative performance features for comfort and convenience.
Honda E (from £28,215)
The first all-electric car from Honda offers a maximum range of 137 miles and can charge up to 80% in 31 minutes with a 50kW rapid charger, or just over 4 hours with a 6.6kW home charger.
It has a sleek futuristic design that makes it stand out from other electric models, with the added feature of a sky roof.
Specially manufactured for agile driving in urban areas, it’s perfect for modern city dwellers.
BMW i3 (from £33,805)
If you’d prefer a sporty yet minimalist model that can get you up to 190 miles on a single full charge, check out the BMW i3.
It takes 3-5 hours to charge from 0% to 80% with a home charger, and you can control your BMW i3 remotely with a mobile app.
Features like sport suspension and automatic traction control give the feel of a bigger and speedier model.
Mercedes EQA (from £44,495)
If you’re looking for a compact and stylish SUV from a high-end brand with all the benefits of going electric, the Mercedes EQA is a top choice.
It has an all-electric range of up to 163 miles and brags of charging from 10% to 80% in just 30 minutes with an 100kW fast charger.
Standard home chargers are usually 7kW, however, so you can expect an overnight charge of 11 hours to go from empty to full.
Best Family Electric Cars
Growing families need more space, but often have a tighter budget with more expenses per person.
Switching to electric is a great way of saving money for the family by reducing running costs, but electric cars can be expensive upfront.
Here are some of the best value family electric cars out there to help your family live more sustainably.
MG5 EV (from £25,095)
MG electric cars aren’t well known, but their sturdy practical build and lower price are making them more attractive to families on a budget.
The newest MG5 models offer a zero-emissions experience with a 52.5kWh battery and 214-mile range for much less than competitive brands.
It may be plain-looking, but its roomy capacity and capable features make this electric car a bargain.
Nissan Leaf (from £25,995)
The Nissan Leaf is the most popular and most well-known electric car in Britain, but there are several Leaf models available to choose from.
The more expensive versions get a step up from the standard 40kWh battery to 62kWh and an increased range from 168 miles to 239 miles.
It’s such a popular choice because Nissan Leafs have all the features you want in a practical and family-friendly electric car at a more affordable price than most EVs on the market.
Kia e-Niro (from £30,345)
Like the regular Niro model, the electric version of the Niro is a comfortable family car with a range of safety and security features.
Smart start and cruise control, reverse cameras, parking sensors, and a touch-screen display make family drives a breeze.
The standard version has a 39kWh battery with a range of 180 miles, while the e-Niro 2 with a 64kWh battery can last up to 282 miles on a full charge.
Hyundai Ioniq (from £30,550)
Hyundai’s fully electric Ioniq model is an aerodynamic coupe-style car with Hyundai Roadside Assistance included in the purchase.
Its Bluelink connectivity lets you control heating and charging remotely from your smartphone, so your car will be ready for you in the morning.
The Ioniq can charge up to 100% in just over 6 hours with a Hyundai-approved Pod Point home charger.
Citroen e-C4 (from £33,340)
The new fully electric C4 is what Citroen claims to be a reinvention of the hatchback, just as robust as an SUV but more compact.
It also boasts of exclusive cushioning hydraulics and thickened foam seats for an extremely comfortable experience for drivers and all passengers.
The e-C4 is drivable all day with an estimated range of 196 miles, and fully chargeable in around 6 hours on a 7.4kW home charger.
Volkswagen ID.4 (from £40,800)
On the heels of the ID.3 is VW’s newer range of ID.4s, sophisticated and spacious all-electric hatchbacks.
The ID.4 variants all come with a 77kWh battery and ranges upwards of 300 miles, with 7kW or 11kW Pod Point home chargers recommended by the manufacturer.
The more expensive the model, the fancier the features, including heated front seats and steering wheels and microfleece seat covers to keep your family comfortable.
Volvo XC40 Recharge (from £49,450)
The pure electric XC40 Recharge is an emission-free urban SUV ideal for sustainably-minded families.
Its 78kWh battery offers a projected range of up to 250 miles, meaning fewer recharges even for on-the-go lifestyles.
The higher price gets yoU a faster yet smooth and stable drive with a protective body structure and smart storage, on top of built-in assistive technology.
Best Luxury Electric Cars
Everyone’s heard of Teslas by now, but these high-end cars don’t come at an accessible price point for many people – or so you might think.
There are actually quite a few electric cars from prestige brands out there at similar prices to non-luxury brands.
Here are the best premium electric cars currently available for people looking for a little more.
Polestar 2 (from £39,900)
The Polestar 2 is a progressive and purposefully designed minimalistic electric model with tons of stunning design features to compete with the higher-priced heavy hitters.
The long range dual motor model can accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 5 seconds, comparable with more expensive sports cars, and has the power to tow up to 3300 pounds.
All models work with both AC and DC charging and offer ranges from 273 to 335 miles from a full charge.
Tesla Model 3 (from £40,990)
Driving a much-lauded Tesla, the trailblazing premium electric car, is now more attainable with the Model 3.
Even as an entry-level basic model, it has all the futuristic design and cutting-edge technology for a brag-worthy performance.
Tesla famously has an excellent system of Superchargers for rapid charging, but a full charge can get you up to 360 miles without needing to stop off at a Supercharger.
Lexus UX 300e (from £41,745)
The first fully-electric Lexus is the UX 300e, adapting the distinctive refined Lexus style and pleasant city driving capabilities for a more sustainable future.
The Premium Plus version comes with upgrades like keyless smart entry, heated seats and steering wheel, and privacy glass.
This compact SUV can fully charge from 0 to 100% in 8 hours using a 6.6kW home charger, with a range of 196 miles.
Audi E-tron (from £62,025)
Audi’s all-electric e-tron comes in a variety of styles to suit every taste, with the lowest-priced being the standard Technik.
Practicality meets super-sophistication with snazzy features like progressive steering, adaptive air suspension, deluxe climate control, and two HD touch screen displays.
The 50 Quattro version has a 71kWh battery offering a 194-mile range, while the 55 Quattro version has a 95kWh battery with a 249-mile range.
Jaguar I-Pace (from £65,245)
Jaguar’s first all-electric car offers the speedy acceleration you’d find in a regular sports car.
Its high-capacity 90kWh battery can last up to 292 miles on a full charge, and the electric motors can adapt independently to different surfaces and speeds for smooth, safe driving.
Plus you get the refined exterior and classy interior you’d expect from a Jaguar vehicle.
Mercedes EQC (from £65,720)
The EQC model is an all-electric 4×4 with a range of up to 255 miles and capable of rapid charging in 40 minutes.
It comes with features like keyless entry, HD widescreen display, and autonomous assistance systems for extra safety, plus the ability to go from 0 to 62mph in 5.1 seconds like a sports car.
Many components of the EQC are also made from reusable materials like natural rubber, hemp, and recycled plastic, reducing your environmental impact even further.
Porsche Taycan (from £70,690)
The all-electric Taycan saloon gives you everything you’d want from a designer sports car, just minus the growling combustion engine.
Agile steering, superfast acceleration, adaptive rear spoiler, anti-corrosion brake coatings – the Taycan guarantees a thrilling drive and comfort from the highest-quality elements.
You’ll have the choice of a 79.2kWh or 93.4kWh battery, with up to 268 or 300 miles of range.
Best Electric Car To Buy In 2021
- Nissan Leaf (from £25,995)
- Renault Zoe (from £27,495)
- Kia e-Niro (from £30,345)
- Hyundai Ioniq (from £30,550)
- VW ID.4 (from £40,800)
- Tesla Model 3 (from £40,990)
- Jaguar I-PACE (from £65,245)
Depending on your budget and the size and features you’re looking for, one of these could be your ideal electric car.
What’s the best electric vehicle for me?
Electric cars are definitely a big investment, and it can be difficult to make a choice when there’s more options available than ever.
Asking yourself questions about your lifestyle like these can help you narrow down which electric car best fits the bill:
- Do I need a vehicle for mainly urban driving, long motorway journeys, or a combination?
- What kind of range would my journey types require?
- Do my local routes have public charging infrastructure?
- How long does a full charge take?
- Do I have off-street parking to install a home charger?
This is on top of the usual questions like which aesthetics you prefer and how many seats, how much storage, and which technology you want your car to have.
Once you’ve made a decision and ordered your electric car, you’ll need to decide which home charger to install.
As approved providers of top EV charger manufacturers including Pod Point, Zappi, and Rolec, Downtown Electrical can carry out the installation and take care of the government grant discount for you.
Contact Downtown Electrical to get the best EV home charger to go with your new electric car and start saving the environment with every journey.