Top 11 Best Electric Cars for 2018

When talking about the best electric cars, you’ll rarely finish the discussion without the word ‘Tesla’ popping up mid conversation. 

Yes we all love Tesla and there’s no doubting the quality of their cars, but many people don’t realise there are now plenty of incredible (and often more affordable) alternatives on the market. 

We’ve created this guide to cover all the best electric cars on the market in 2018, including a couple of the best new Tesla models for good measure. 

1. Jaguar I-PACE

The recent release of Jaguar’s brand new electric ‘I-PACE’ model has taken the industry by storm. It’s being hyped as the best of a new breed of uncompromising electric vehicles which not only takes on its fossil fuel predecessor, but outperforms it. One of the first electric SUVs, it not only trumps the original F-PACE which it supersedes, but it’s also in strong competition with Tesla’s Model X (also a stand-out electric SUV).

The Tesla Model X will set you back a minimum of £79,000, whereas the Jag  I-PACE starts at just £63,000. But does it stand up to the Tesla?

The best electric car of 2018?
Jaguar’s new I-PACE electric is taking on the Tesla Model X

Auto Express have suggested the I-PACE can transform the Jaguar brand – this is high praise indeed. But considering the car’s luxury feel, spacious interior and futuristic additional features (there’s a setting that allows you to replace the absence of engine noise) we feel comments like this are well deserved. Not only that, but it has a top speed of 125 mph!

To conclude, it’s the first electric car to really take on the Model X and survive. If you are going down the electric SUV route, it’s an important vehicle to consider.

Price: starts at £58,500 (with Government grant) or £63,000 (without)

Distance on a full charge: 298 miles 

Advantages:

  • Plush exterior and interior
  • Spacious
  • impressive top speed 

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive
  • A bumpy ride at low speeds

2. Hyundai Kona Electric

In early 2018, the Hyundai Kona Electric became known as something of a game changer in the auto industry.

Some industry experts called it the first of a ‘second generation’ of electric cars, combining excellent range with a low cost.

This thing will do 300 miles on one charge. That’s impressive. Before its release, you had to pay upwards of £60,000 to own a new car that will go that far before needing a re-juice.

The Hyundai Kona Electric starts at around £30,000 – at just half the price of the Jaguar iPace, you can see why they’re calling it a game changer!

Hyundai Kona Electric 2018
The 2018 Hyundai Kona Electric in all its efficient, long range glory

Range aside, at a weight of 1.7 tonnes, it’s a bit heavy and not the most practical car – and it doesn’t feel quite as fast as many other slicker EVs.

But it’s got all the features you’d want in 2018 – including a charging pad with higher-end models. The handling isn’t the best but it’s comfortable, and with 300 miles of range for £30,000 it’s generally hard to quibble!

This one should definitely be on your short list. 

Price range: from £25,000

Distance on a full charge: 200-300 miles

Advantages:

  • Excellent value
  • Incredibly high mileage for the price
  • Futuristic looks

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive to service and insure
  • Poor ride, mediocre handling and it’s heavy
  • Less spacious and more impractical that the iPace and Tesla Model X

3. Mercedes EQC

The Mercedes EQC is the first in an all-electric range coming from Mercedes in 2019. It’s a totally bespoke, built-for-purpose electric vehicle – not a re-boot of an existing model.

The EQC should be able to get you a whopping 280 miles on a full charge and the battery can be charged from flat to 80% full in just 40 minutes.

It has two electric motors (for both sets of wheels) and will do 0-60 in just 5.2 seconds.

As well as being speedy, it’s worth noting that this is a super-luxurious model, as you’d expect from Mercedes. It has ‘metallic textiles’ and inside it looks like something straight out of a futuristic sci-fi film.

Not surprisingly, it is not cheap. It’s likely to cost you from around £55,000 to £75,000 with added specs, trims and other options.

Mercedes EQC
The Mercedes EQC at the Paris Motor Show 2018. Hello future!

It’s more expensive than the Hyundai Kona Electric of course, but given you get two crystal-clear Mercedes ‘infotainment screens’ and speech recognition software built-in, it’s probably more than worth it to feel like you’re living in the future. It’s amazing to look at too. Bonus.

Price range: from £55,000

Distance on a full charge: 250-300 miles

Advantages:

  • Luxury exterior and interior
  • Spacious (thanks to being an SUV-style vehicle)
  • 2 x electric engines for speed and performance 

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive
  • There may be limited stock in early 2019

4. BMW i3

If any electric car can credibly described as a ‘Tesla killer’ it would be this one. Top Gear named it the best small premium EV you can buy and you can see why. Its stunning looks never fail to impress.

The i3 has been around for more than four years now, yet still manages to look forward thinking. You’ll get to 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds and reach a top speed just shy of 100mph (93mph to be precise).

BMW i3 2018
BMW’s flagship BMW i3, one of the very best electric cars to buy in 2018

There are various models available, some with more oomph under the hood and others with more range.

With the new and improved i3S (Sport Edition) due out this year, the i3 has to be top of the pile of the best electric cars of 2018. 

Price range: £30,925 – £46,595

Distance on a full charge: 80 – 125 miles

Advantages:

  • Speed
  • Build quality
  • Futuristic looks

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive to service and insure
  • Poor low speed ride

5. Tesla Model 3 

The Tesla model 3 is the electric car everyone is talking about. Stunning, futuristic and reasonably priced, this electric is a smaller, cheaper (half the price) version of the Model X (which we’ve also reviewed here).

It is a vital part of the Tesla’s master plan to provide and sell an ecosystem of sustainable products – but there’s a small spanner in the works… they won’t be widely available in the UK and Europe until at least mid-2019. That’s a lot of waiting around…

Tesla’s latest – the ‘Model 3’

That being said, there are still a fair few to buy on the market (whether new or used) and Tesla recently announced a successful ramp up in production.  Not only that, but in October 2018, Elon Musk also suggested a newer,  cheaper Model 3 may be just round the corner.

All in all, there may be more available to purchase in 2019 than some auto pessimists suggested earlier in the year, so those waiting lists could be shorter than at first thought.

But whatever the supply situation, the auto press has been singing the Model 3’s praises since it was first announced.

This thing is quick, it’ll do 0-62mph in just 4.4 seconds while the more expensive P100D version does it in an amazing 2.7 seconds and it drives much better than many of its rivals. Not only that, but it drives up to 350 miles on a single charge which thumps many of its power-hungry rivals.

It’s also full of cutting edge tech, you start the thing with a credit card you ‘wave around’ for a start! Another benefit to owning a Tesla is the potential for autonomous driving. An ‘autopilot’ option will give you all the cameras you’ll need in the future for some slick, autonomous functions. It may not be the cheapest or the most unique, but it’s still the one to beat for futuristic tech.

Price range: £30,000 – £38,000 [TBC]

Distance on a full charge: 300-350 miles

Advantages:

  • You’ll impress your friends!
  • Full of tech (it’s a Tesla after all)
  • Very quick

Disadvantages:

  • There could be a lengthy waiting list
  • May draw unwanted attention  
  • Elon Musk may not be to everyone’s taste

6. Volkswagen e-Golf

The historic e-Golf was the first ever VW Golf to drop the internal combustion engine and go 100% electric. If you have ever driven a petrol or diesel Golf you’ll know how solid, dependable and fun-to-drive they are.

The electric version doesn’t differ from a regular Golf too much, other than the fact it’s got a 24.2kW lithium ion battery between the axles. Going electric gives you speedier acceleration, but generally a lower top speed (87mph for this Golf).

Volkswagen eGolf 2018
VW’s eGolf. An updated electric design for an ever-popular model

All the internal goodies are top notch, as we’ve come to expect from the Volkswagen Golf range. A sturdy mid-range  electric winner!

Price range: £17,570 – £34,095

Distance on a full charge: 100 – 118 miles

Advantages:

  • Comfortable ride and handling
  • Practical
  • Cheaper to run than the BMW i3

Disadvantages:

  • High month PCP payments
  • Slightly dreary interior

7. Audi E-Tron Quattro

The Audi E-Tron Quatro (not officially on the market until early 2019) is without doubt an electric car you should have on your radar. It’s Audi’s flagship electric SUV, taking on the Jaguar I-PACE and Tesla’s Model X.

Its 248-mile real-world range means it comes in at a little under the Model X’s roughly 300 mile range but with a charging time of less than 30 minutes on 150kW you won’t need to stop long to go further.

The Audi E-Tron Quattro (Coming in 2019)


The E-Tron will manage 0-62mph in under 6 seconds and has a top speed of 124mph, like many electrics it’s extremely nippy off the mark – especially for an SUV of this size and weight.

It also comes with a “Range Mode” which will allow you to reduce the electricity consumption and travel further by taking power away from things like the air conditioning (not required much outside of summer in the UK).

Advantages:

  • Be an owner of the first ever Audi electric
  • Audi build quality
  • Full of tech
  • Good range

Disadvantages:

  • Not released until Jan 2019
  • Not fully tested and reviewed yet

8. Renault Zoe

We’ve chosen to look at the Renault Zoe electric car as they start at just £14,245 (with a Government grant) making it the cheapest EV on the market in the UK. The only downside to that low initial cost is the slightly odd fact that you have to lease the battery at an additional cost.

Renault Zoe
Renault’s Zoe, the budget-friendly electric car for 2018

You can buy the car outright (Zoe i model) but it’ll set you back more upfront. The benefit to a lease however is that Renault will replace the battery free of charge if the range drops below 75% of what it was when bought new. Quite an attractive offer with anyone familiar with owning an old mobile phone.

The Zoe has the biggest driving range of any sub 30K EV so if range is a worry, the Zoe could be for you.

Price range: £14,245 – £31,215 (depending on spec/ finance choice)

Distance on a full charge: 96 (basic) – 178 miles (top of the range)  

Advantages:

  • Very low running costs
  • Battery replacement guarantee
  • Quiet
  • Great range

Disadvantages:

  • Average performance, poor brake feel
  • Battery lease agreement may put off some
  • Dull interior

9. Tesla Model X

The Tesla Model X is one of Elon Musk’s most successfully adopted electric cars yet. It was designed to crush the opposition in the SUV/ MPV markets and during its three-or-so-year-reign it did a pretty good job.

It’s been around since December 2015. Back then there were basically no rivals in the market, but now we have direct competitors like the Jaguar i-Pace, Audi E-Tron Quattro and even Tesla’s own Model 3. 

So how does the Model X stand up now? Well, the new 100D version sill packs a punch! For a start, the falcon wing doors will always give it a wow factor and for that alone, it feels like something out of Back to the Future (available to buy in the present)…

Tesla's popular 'Model X'
Tesla’s popular ‘Model X’

It’s super-quiet to drive, like most electrics and has HUGE punch on the acceleration front – reaching 0-60mph in a blistering 5.2 seconds.

For a car that weighs 200kg, it’s seriously impressive. Again, all new Tesla’s come equipped with Tesla Autopilot (one of the best driving assistance packages on the market). Thinking about stopping distance? Tesla has you covered by locking in automation to slow you down if required. It can also change lanes for you. Still a contender then…

The only (and perhaps the only) downside is the price…

Price range: from £79,000

Distance on a full charge: 250 – 350 miles

Advantages:

  • Impressive falcon doors
  • Smooth drive
  • Great range

Disadvantages:

  • High cost
  • Doors can be awkward

10. 2018 Nissan Leaf

WhatCar? Have named the Nissan Leaf their Electric Car of the Year for 2018 and it’s hard to argue with them.

Now in it’s second generation, the original Leaf was launched back in 2010 – making it the world’s first mass-market EV model.

Nissan Leaf 2018
Top of the tree of electric cars in 2018? The Nissan Leaf

There have been many improvements made since the first generation edition. The new massive battery range sits at a proven 168 miles and the engine produces much more power at 150bhp.

Price: £21,990 (Including Government grant)

Distance on a full charge: between 168 – 235 miles (top of the range)  

Advantages:

  • Cheap to own
  • Very quiet and smooth drive
  • Spacious

Disadvantages:

  • Boxy design is a bit over-used and boring
  • Not many options beyond the standard spec
  • Awkward driving position

11. 2018 Hyundai Ioniq

Hyundai may not have been the first brand that popped into your head when thinking about electric cars, but they should be considered. The Ioniq is key to Hyundai’s plan to produce a range of 22 green cars as soon as 2020.

This model is also available as a petrol/ electric and plug-in petrol electric hybrids, but it’s the fully electric model we’re focused on here.

2018 Hyundai Ioniq
Hyundai? Not a brand normally associated with electric cars, but the Ioniq is a great fresh pick for 2018

This car has a modest maximum range of 174 miles and a super-smooth feel and ride, but it can be a bumpy drive when dealing with rough roads.

Price: £28,995 (Including Government grant)

Distance on a full charge: between 168 – 235 miles (top of the range)  

Advantages:

  • Plush exterior and interior
  • Spacious
  • Low running costs

Disadvantages:

  • Options on specs are limiting
  • A bumpy ride on less-smooth roads
  • No ultra fast charging

Want to know more about electric cars?

If you would like to learn more about electric cars, we can highly recommend reading our definitive guide to electric cars. In this comprehensive article, we cover charging, Government grants, battery range, costs and more! It’s well worth a read.

Worried about diesel? Try our guide to diesel cars and the toxin tax.