The age of the electric car is on us as more people move to embrace zero emission motoring and more manufacturers release an increasing number of models to choose.
While there’s still some way to go to establish a nationwide charging network, there’s expansion all the time, removing the worry that some might have about charging their car on the move.
These are our favourite electric cars, all fully reviewed by us covering a range of crossovers, compact and larger SUVs, across all price points. These cars are all available to buy now, with many more to come in the future.
Best electric cars available in the UK
- 282 mile range, 64kWh battery
- Prices from £34,495
What the Kia e-Niro does is squeeze a long range out of a modest battery, thanks to its efficient design. It’s a crossover so has appeal with a high ride height – great for the school run – but it doesn’t go to the luxury extremes that some other models do, and it’s lighter as a result, which is beneficial in an EV.
It’s a great car, because you get a lot of miles for your money, features to support EV driving and a great spec even at the entry level. The problem? There might be a bit of a waiting list to get one, but as EVs go, it’s superb.
Tesla Model 3
- Compact saloon
- 254 miles (Standard Range Plus)
- From £39,500
The Tesla Model 3 is shaking up the EV world. Pitched as the affordable electric car, it comes in several variations, with the cheapest having the shortest range – but while the step-up (Long Range) offering an impressive 310 miles and all-wheel drive.
There’s a minimalist interior but with a customary huge central display, safety features like Autopilot, as well as huge brand value because it’s a Tesla – and that’s very much the name in electric cars right now.
Tesla’s advantage also extends to the Supercharger network, which at busy points in the UK’s road network often provides many more rapid chargers than are available to other EV drivers.
Hyundai Kona Electric
- Crossover, SUV style
- 300 mile range, 64kWh battery
- Prices start at under £37,950
The Hyundai Kona is perhaps the most attractive all-electric cars available. You get a lot of tech and safety gear, plus ample space for a family of four thanks to the SUV styling. The 64kWh version is the most appealing, but it only comes in Premium SE trim, which lifts the price but basically gives you everything on the spec sheet. There’s also a 39kWh version in SE and Premium trims, which start at £29,600.
It shares a lot with the Kia e-Niro, so you get a lot for your money. Yes, the price is elevating, but it’s still competitive against its rivals, with SUV charms.
Kia Soul EV 2020
- 282 mile range, 64kWh battery
- Prices from £33,795
The Kia Soul EV is now in its second generation, sharing a lot with the Kia e-Niro when it comes to the battery, range and overall driving experience. It’s a touch cheaper for the First Edition, making this one of the most affordable longer range EVs on the roads right now.
Yes, the design does divide opinion with its boxy looks, and the interior space is geared towards the passengers rather than the boot. But this is a great electric car, lovely to drive and does away with common pain points like range anxiety.
Nissan Leaf and Leaf e+
- 168 mile range, 40kWh battery
- Prices from £26,845
The Nissan Leaf builds upon one of the best selling electric cars in the UK, firmly lodged in the hatchback segment. A new design, a bigger battery with longer range and a great drive give the Nissan Leaf plenty of appeal. There’s options for trim – without getting too expensive – and a drive that’s positive and fun.
There’s a Leaf e+ for those wanting more power and range, but the new Leaf e+ N-Tec at £33,295 with 240 miles of range is very appealing.
There’s oodles of tech – including the option for ProPilot for semi-autonomous driving – in a package that’s plenty refined. Looking for a small electric hatch? It’s probably the Leaf you want.
- Compact hatch
- 137 mile range, 35.5kWh battery
- Prices from £26,160
The Honda e is all about style. It’s totally unique and certainly one of the most interesting cars on the road, certainly from the interior. The huge expanse of displays, the lounge style interior and the happy exterior styling give the Honda e plenty of appeal.
But this is also a small electric car, with a smaller battery than many, meaning the range if strictly local – but that’s also reflected in the cheaper price.
- 193 mile range, 38.3kWh battery
- Prices from £29,950
The Hyundai Ioniq is a nod to efficiency. While cars like the Kona push SUV styling, the Ioniq is designed to be as efficient as possible. That it can achieve the range it does from the limited battery is a testament to that and that also helps keep the price in check. Because you get a lot for your money in the Ioniq which is why it’s proven popular – and is now in its second generation.
There’s a lot of tech no board, a long warranty and pretty much everything comes as standard. Hyundai offers two levels of trim, but when it comes to value for money, you get a lot from the Ioniq.
- Compact hatch
- 130 mile range, 32.6kWh battery
- Prices from £24,900
The Mini Electric – or Mini Cooper SE as it’s technically known – is one of the most recent additions to the UK’s roads. It takes the Mini Hatch and packs in a small 32.6kWh battery, good for between 120-140 miles, so again, this is more of a local driver rather than something you’ll want to take long range.
For the Mini lover it’s everything the Cooper S is – it’s sporty, fun to drive and basically looks and feels exactly the same as the petrol Mini. At the same time, not much has changed in bringing this out as an electric car.
Tesla Model S
- 379 mile range, 100kWh battery
- Prices from £81,200
If you were looking for the daddy of electric cars, it has to be the Tesla Model S. It marries the economic and environmental benefits of electric power, with a serious helping of luxury and speed. It also has the intelligent Autopilot mode that can keep you in lane on the motorway whilst monitoring cars around you adapting your speed and changing lanes for you.
The Tesla Model S was wowing with its speed and huge interior touchscreen while electric cars were still a twinkle in many other manufacturers’ eyes. While most have focused on small car or SUV, the Tesla Model S cuts a swathe through the executive saloon segment. There are two versions to choose from: long range and performance.
- 300 mile range, 90kWh battery
- Prices from £64,495
The Jaguar i-Pace was one of the first big marque, completely electric, cars on the road. The i-Pace pushes into SUV styling, giving you space and practicality inside, but with a sporty drive. It’s very much the luxury electric car to excite. There’s oodles of tech, but it’s the smoothness of the driving that really makes this car feel like the embodiment of an electric future.
There’s oodles of power, while the realistic driving range comes in somewhere in the 220-250 mile range. Jaguar wants to offer refinement in the premium segment and it manages that with aplomb.
- 250 mile range, 95kWh battery
- Prices from £71,560
The Audi e-tron is the company’s first all-electric vehicle – and perhaps the car to normalise electrification. Why? Because this Audi SUV looks, feels and drives, well, just like most other Audi cars. It just happens to be electric.
With a 95kWh battery, capable of 250 miles range, the extra size and weight means it can’t go quite as far as some others, so it’s not really a long-range beast. It’s expensive, but there’s now a cheaper model with shorter range too.
Where the e-tron really wins is with its tech. The interior offers Audi’s Virtual Cockpit and a similar layout to Audi’s recent cars, with dual touchscreen interfaces – it’s a great car to drive overall.
Tesla Model X
- Up to 7-seater SUV
- 314 mile range, 100kWh battery
- Prices from £86,200
The Model X is the fastest SUV on the planet and will catapult you to 60mph in 2.9 seconds, although that’s a costly update you probably won’t opt for. The other talking point of the Model X is the falcon wing doors, that open up and out the way to allow passengers to easily access the second and third rows of seats. What Tesla has really done, however, is make electric cars sexy and it’s very much a car of the moment.
You get long range, access to Tesla’s Supercharger network and the infamous Autopilot – as well as the chance to own a Tesla. But the price is high and the competition is getting stronger all the time, with rival luxe brands starting to flex their marque muscles. None yet will match the speed, however, but Jaguar and Audi both come in cheaper than the Model X.
- High-roof hatchback
- 160 mile range, 42.2kWh battery
- Prices from £36,025
The BMW i3 certainly turns heads with its somewhat unusual looks. But under that boxy exterior, the i3 is as much a BMW as any of its regular, fuel-powered cars. One of the first pure electric – and designed to be electric first – cars, the BMW i3 is also one of the most popular on the roads. It’s not got the size of an SUV, instead being a high-roof hatchback design.
It’s practical, it’s comfortable, it’s futuristically designed – and it’s a reasonable performer. The battery is small compared to some others, but that helps keep the pricing in check. BMW has updated the i3 a couple of times, but there’s a feeling that it’s slowly reaching the end of its tenure.
- 186 mile range, 36kWh battery
- Prices from £30,340
The e-Golf takes the regular, well-selling Golf, rips the engine out and replaces it with an 136PS electric motor, with a 36kWh battery instead. It’s 186 mile claimed range is pretty respectable, although we were hitting closer to 125 miles per charge.
With VW now pushing new models designed to be electric first – like the VW ID.3 – the future of the e-Golf seems questionable to us and indeed, it’s available from stock only now. Still, it’s a great car that’s entirely normal. Apart from the lack of sound, no one will really know you’re driving an electric car.
- Up to 250 mile range, 22-40kW battery
- Prices from £21,220 plus monthly battery rental
The Renault Zoe is well engineered, enjoyable to drive and – although the interior has a certain eco feel – not an unpleasant thing to be in. It’s often forgotten in the sea of BMW i3s and Teslas, but as an everyday electric car, it barely puts a foot wrong. A new model has just been announced, so it’s probably worth hanging on for the updated car.
The price is pretty low, but the cheapest models require ongoing battery leasing at £49 a month for the 22kW battery, or £59 a month for the 40kW battery – and they come with milage limits etc, which need to be factored into ownership. There’s a new version of the Zoe currently trying to launch and we’ll soon be replacing this model with the 2020 Zoe.