Top 13 Best Electric Cars
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 technological brilliance of their cars, but many people don’t realise there are now plenty of incredible (and often more affordable) electric cars on the market.
And with options growing and prices falling, perhaps now is the time to make the switch away from fossil fuels?
With new electric car buying options expanding every month and many car manufacturers joining forces to roll out new models faster, the amount of choices will keep rising for many years to come. But what are the best electric models to buy right now? Read on to find out…
We’ve created this guide to cover all the best electric cars to purchase in 2020, including a couple of the best new Tesla models for good measure.
The best electric cars to buy are reviewed below:
- Jaguar I-Pace
- Hyundai Kona Electric
- Kia e-Niro
- Mercedes EQC
- BMW i3
- Tesla Model 3
- Volkswagen e-Golf
- Audi E-Tron Quattro
- Renault Zoe
- Tesla Model X
- Nissan Leaf
- Hyundai Ionic
- Volkswagen e-up
But what about the next 12 months? We’ve peered into the future to see what new electric cars are just around the corner.
Electric cars coming in 2020:
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 I-PACE is hands down the strongest Tesla alternative on the market.
The Tesla Model X will set you back a minimum of £79,000, whereas the Jag I-PACE starts at just £63,000. But how does it actually stand up to the Tesla?
Very well it seems. 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. It’s no slouch.
To conclude, it’s the first electric car to really take on the Model X and survive on all fronts. 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
- Impressive top speed
- Plush exterior
- Spacious interior
- 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 £35,000 – at just half the price of the Jaguar iPace, you can see why they’re calling it a game changer!
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 2020 – including a smartphone charging pad with higher-end models. The handling isn’t bad, and the range you see is what you’ll actually get, unlike most of the other current EV’s whose range evaporates as soon as you turn the heating on.
This one should definitely be on your short list.
Price range: from £35,000
Distance on a full charge: 200-300 miles
- Futuristic looks
- Excellent value
- Incredibly high mileage for the price
- Poor ride, mediocre handling and it’s heavy
- Less spacious and more impractical that the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X
- Expensive to service and insure
3. Kia e-Niro
The new fully-electric Kia e-Niro has the potential to completely change the electric car market in the same way as the electric Hyundai Kona has. In fact the Kia E-Niro shares many components with its Hyundai compatriot. For example its motors and batteries are identical.
Kia claims it will do an impressive official range of 282 miles between charges and all that at a price that’s around half the cost of many of its rivals… £36,495 to be exact.
In real world driving conditions the Kia managed 253 miles in one charge – a staggering result. That’s further than a Tesla Model S, and double the VW e-Golf (which is in the same price bracket).
The ride is impressive. You’ll get a smooth, easy drive with plenty of punch from the 201bhp electric motor. Handling will never be quite as good as a petrol or diesel equivalent (mainly because of the heavy battery pack) but this electric Kia handles more than well enough around corners and in town.
So what is the difference between this and the Hyundai Kona? Well for a start the handling is slightly better (even though Kia is a tad heavier).
The interior of the Kia is slightly higher quality than the Kona too and you’ll get a better driving position. There’s also more space in the rear seats.
For the price it’s very hard to argue that the Kia E-Niro shouldn’t be on your wishlist. The downside is that at the time of writing, the Kia E-Niro has a waiting list. So contact your local Kia dealer to see how long it will take to get one on your drive.
Price range: starts at £36,495 (depending on spec/ finance choice)
Distance on a full charge: claimed 282 miles, real world 253 miles!
- Bargain price!
- 7 year Kia warranty
- Incredible range!
- Average performance, average handling
- Heavy car
- There’s a waiting list…
4. Mercedes EQC
The Mercedes EQC is the first in an all-electric range from Mercedes. 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. Prices start from £65,640 with prices spiraling if you pick higher level trims or optional extras.
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 £65,640
Distance on a full charge: 250-300 miles
- Luxury exterior and interior
- Spacious (thanks to being an SUV-style vehicle)
- 2 x electric engines for speed and performance
- There may be limited stock as early orders are fulfilled
5. 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 like it’s fallen from another world. You’ll get to 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds and reach a top speed just shy of 100mph (93mph to be precise).
There’s only one trim level these days but the choice of two different power outputs, one with 125 kW, the equivalent of 170 HP or a more powerful 135 kW, which is roughly 184 HP. The latter sacrifices range in favour of power, but will still manage around 173 miles on a single charge.
With the new and improved i3S (Sport Edition) also on sale that 0-62 drops to 6.9 seconds, it will cost you from £37,840 though.
Price range: £35,350 – £37,840
Distance on a full charge: 173 – 189 miles
- Build quality
- Futuristic looks
- Expensive to service and insure
- Poor low speed ride
6. Tesla Model 3
The Tesla model 3 is the electric car everyone is currently talking about. Stunning, futuristic and eventually reasonably priced, this Tesla is a smaller, cheaper (half the price) version of the original Tesla, the Model S.
The all important budget version of the Model 3 hasn’t hit the market yet, to do that Tesla first need to shift a lot of the more expensive dual motor long range models, so you’ll be waiting a few more years until that elusive £25,000 Model 3 can be yours.
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. Waiting lists are still rather long though.
All in all, there may be more available to purchase in 2020 than some auto pessimists suggested earlier last year. 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 5.3 seconds while the more expensive ‘Performance’ version does it in a super car killing 3.2 seconds and it handles 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: £38,500 – 52,000
Distance on a full charge: 250-348 miles
- You’ll impress your friends!
- Full of tech (it’s a Tesla after all)
- Very quick
- There could be a lengthy waiting list
- Still not the affordable EV Tesla have promised
7. 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 32kW lithium ion battery between the axles. Going electric gives you speedier acceleration, but generally a lower top speed (93mph for this Golf).
All the internal goodies are top notch, as we’ve come to expect from the Volkswagen Golf range. Just make sure you spec the optional ‘heat pump’ if you’re buying in a cold country like the UK, otherwise those chilly months will see the range dip as low as 60 miles.
Also the model may not be round for much longer, the upcoming ID.3 will kill the e-Golf as we know it.
Price range: £27,575
Distance on a full charge: 120 miles
- Comfortable ride and handling
- Cheaper to run than the BMW i3
- High monthly PCP payments
- Slightly dreary interior
8. Audi E-Tron
The Audi E-Tron has recently hit our roads, it is without doubt an electric car you should have on your radar. It’s Audi’s flagship 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 E-Tron will manage 0-62mph in 5.7 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).
Price range: from £71,560
Distance on a full charge: 248 miles
- Be an owner of the first ever Audi electric
- Audi build quality
- Full of tech
- Good range
- Super expensive
- Incredibly heavy
9. Renault Zoe
We’ve chosen to look at the Renault Zoe electric car as they start at just £21,920 (with a Government grant) making it the cheapest EV on the market in the UK.
They’ve also announced the second generation Zoe which will be on sale around November/December 2019.
Renault used to force you to lease the battery at an additional monthly cost, thankfully they’ve now ditched that in favour of allowing you to purchase the whole car outright…like every other EV model on th emarket.
Renault constantly update the Zoe with increased battery sizes and different motors, so if you’re buying second hand beware, they may all look the same but underneath that cuddly interior is some very different tech depending on the year and badge on the back.
Currently the only model you can get is the R110 with the Z.E.40 battery, this should give you a range of up to 186 miles on a full charge. It will also charge in 1 hour 40 minutes from a 43 kW charger.
The Zoe has the biggest driving range of any sub £30,000 EV so if range is a worry, the Zoe could be for you.
Price range: £21,920 – £22,770
Distance on a full charge: 186 miles
- Very low running costs
- Great range
- Average performance, poor brake feel
- Build quality average
10. Tesla Model X
The Tesla Model X is Elon Musk’s most costly electric car to build, he often says the doors were a considerable unnecessary headache.
It was designed to crush the opposition in the SUV/ MPV markets and during its ‘first to market’ three year reign it did a pretty good job.
It’s been around since December 2015. Back then there were no rivals, but now we have direct competitors like the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi E-Tron .
So how does the Model X stand up now? Well, the new ‘Performance’ version sill packs a punch with a 0-62 time of 2.7 seconds!
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)…
For a car that weighs 2000kg, it’s performance is 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: £82,200 – 96,400
Distance on a full charge: 300 – 315 miles
- Impressive falcon doors
- Smooth drive
- Great range
- High cost
- Doors can be awkward
11. 2019 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.
Improvements for this year include an all new 62 kWh battery pack giving a range of 239 miles from a single charge. Dubbed the Leaf e+ it will set you back £35,895 but will also give you a 0-62 time of 7.1 seconds, far quicker than any Leaf that’s gone before it.
The normal version is still capable of 168 miles and both feature the Nissan e-Pedal which effectively lets you drive with just one foot. Charging from 20-80% takes just 60 minutes on a 50kW fast charger, 90 minutes for the e+ model.
Price: £27,995 – £35,895
Distance on a full charge: 168 – 239 miles
- Cheap to own
- Very quiet and smooth drive
- Boxy design is a bit over-used and boring
- Not many options beyond the standard spec
- Awkward driving position
12. 2019 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.
This car has a modest maximum range of 194 miles and a super-smooth feel and ride, but it can be a bumpy drive when dealing with rough roads. Performance is also a little lackluster at 9.9 seconds.
2019 also see’s the inclusion of rapid DC charging, this enables the Ioniq to charge to 80% in just 57 minutes from a 50kW charger.
Distance on a full charge: 194 miles
- Plush exterior and interior
- Low running costs
- Options on specs are limiting
- A bumpy ride on less-smooth roads
13. 2020 Volkswagen e-up
VW’s teeny tiny electric car has been out for a few years now, but for 2020 they’ve rebooted the model giving it an incredible range of up to 164 miles, the old model could manage just 99 on a good day.
To boost the range VW have shoehorned in a 32.3kWh battery to fill the space of the old 18.7kWh pack. It will be priced just under £20k after the Government plug-in car grant is applied.
Deliveries should start to arrive in spring 2020, VW have ruled out adding the e-up to their new I.D range, but there could well be a small Polo sized I.D vehicle in the pipeline for 2023.
Distance on a full charge: 164 miles
- Small, great for around town driving
- Could well be the cheapest EV on the market
- Lower range compared to the Renault Zoe
- Based on a traditional ICE car, not a lightweight platform
New electric cars in 2020
So we’ve looked at the current line-up of EV’s on sale right now, but what about the next 12 months? Here’s what we can expect to see hit out streets soon.
Taycan is the German marques first ever fully electric vehicle, it could well be the Tesla killer that the industry is waiting for. High build quality, German engineering and a badge with a performance pedigree.
But expect to pay a lot for it, the cheapest model we’ve seen starts at a cool £116,000, so Tesla Model S money and then some.
It looks a lot like an extended, four door Porsche 911 rather than the stretch limo looking Panamera. 0-62 will be around 2.8 or 3.2 seconds depending on what power output you go for, one will have 680 bhp, the other 761. Both powered by a huge 93.4 kWh battery.
Top speed will be around 161 MPH and both models carry the ‘Turbo’ badge, even though they lack any sort of turbo device. Porsche, clearly going for the performance aspect of the name.
Range will be between 256 and 280 miles, you’ll also be able to charge up quickly on one of Porsche’s new ultra-fast 800-volt chargers, which are currently few and far between.
Price: From £116,000
Distance on a full charge: 280 miles for the Turbo, 256 in the Turbo S
- German engineering and know-how
- Superb handling
- Incredibly expensive
- Lack of 800v fast charging infrastructure
Tesla always likes to do things differently, but with their latest model – a pickup truck – they’ve genuinely blown the competition out of the water.
Scheduled for deliveries in late 2021/2022 the Tesla Cybertruck aims to reinvent the way we think of pickups.
Angular lines are the order of the day, with the rear bed section dubbed the ‘Vault’ it features a built-in roller door to keep your cargo secure.
Made from stainless steel it also claims to be bulletproof, so parking dents should be a thing of the past. It will only withstand a 9mm rounds though, and as their demo famously showed, the armour glass is a work in progress.
So yes, it will be incredibly tough and durable. There’s no official UK pricing as of yet, but if you base the $40,000 entry price on exchange rates, expect it to be around the £31,000 mark – incredibly affordable.
That is however far cheaper than any Tesla has sold for new in the UK, a figure of around £35,000 is probably more realistic.
That entry price will be for a single motor, rear-wheel drive Cybertruck with a range of 250 miles and a 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds, a top speed of 110 MPH and a towing capacity of 3400 KG
A dual-motor, all-wheel-drive model, will increase the range to 300 miles, drop the 0-60 time to 4.5 seconds, increase the top speed to 120 MPH and the towing capacity to 4545 KG.
Lastly is an all-new setup for the brand, a tri-motor all-wheel drive. This increases range to a whopping 500 miles, lowers the 0-60 time to just 2.9 seconds and ups the top speed to 130 along with the towing capacity to 6350 KG.
Fully autonomous driving is an extra £5,800 in the UK, and you can reserve a Cybertruck now for £100.
Price: Probably starting from £31 – 35,000
- Looks like no other road going vehicle on Earth
- Lots of range
- Not all will like the looks
- Long wait time for deliveries
Possibly one of the cutest cars of the last decade, the ‘e’ is Honda’s first fully electric car. Oozing Japanese style the e is a small hatchback designed for around town use.
It takes retro styling that harks back to the first generation Civic but mixes it up with modern lines and LED’s galore.
In terms of range it’s nothing impressive, a mere 136 miles form a 36kWh battery pack. The charging port is centrally located on the bonnet and can be topped up from 0 to 80% in just 30 minutes.
There will be two models available at launch, a 136 HP ‘e’ and an ‘e Advance’ with 154 HP. The former has a 100kW motor while the Advance has a 113kW version for faster acceleration.
Pricing will start around the £26,000 mark after the Government grant. The Advance model costs £28,500.
Neither are cheap, and when you consider the price of the current Renault Zoe the cost per range tips in favour of the Renault. You’d really have to love the looks of the Honda e to forfeit the extra range the Zoe offers for far less money.
You can order the Honda e Advance now, while the normal e will be available from early next year. Deliveries for both will happen in summer 2020.
Price: Starting from £26,000
Distance on a full charge: 136 miles
- Cute looks
- Gorgeous modern interior
- Retro chic
- Low range
- High cost
One of the most popular cars on UK roads, the humble Corsa, most of us will have owned or driven one in our lives and now the Corsa is getting an electric reboot.
Vauxhall haven’t scrimped on the development of the Corsa-e either, underneath that familiar exterior sits a huge 50kWh battery pack, which can be juiced up from 0 to 80% in 30 minutes from a 100kW rapid charger, while charging at home will take around five hours for a full charge.
Range is stated to be around 211 miles, but if using ‘Eco’ mode you could boost that by an incredible 40%. Equally there’s a ‘Sport’ button which will increase acceleration but lose you around 20 miles off the stated range.
0-62 takes just 8.1 seconds, but 0-31 is a rapid 3.1 meaning the 136HP will feel incredibly nippy around town.
Production starts early 2020 with deliveries in the spring.
Price: Around the £26,000 mark, no official pricing as yet
Distance on a full charge: 211 miles
- Great looks
- Slightly less boot space than the petrol/diesel model
- Long wait for deliveries
Another favourite on our UK roads is the MINI, yes it may be owned by BMW these days but they still sell in the thousands. The brand may have come up trumps with one of the most affordable EV mid sized hatchbacks, he MINI Electric.
Prices will start around the £24,400 mark, putting it roughly in line with the likes of the Renault ZOE, but for that money you get far more style and quality.
Range will be a little on the low side though, just 145 miles on a single charge. This pales into insignificance when you put it against the Zoe or the Corsa-e, but as with all these small EV’s they’re meant for around town or commuting short distances.
MINI say they went for the best balance of performance, cost and weight so only opted for a 32.5kWh battery. It could well be a hard sell when everyone is seemingly only interested in range when it comes to EV’s.
That being said they’ve already had 40,000 registrations of interest.
0-62 is a spritely 7.3 seconds, with a top speed of 93 MPH, order books are open now with deliveries expected summer 2020.
Distance on a full charge: 145 miles
- Looks just like any other MINI
- High build quality
- Great interior
- Lots of interest – long waiting lists
- Styling not individual enough
Another car maker first, this time BMW with it’s first ever fully electric SUV. Based on the existing BMW X3 it will pack a 70 kWH battery, that should equate to around 270 HP.
The iX3 can be charged in just 30 minutes form the latest generation fast chargers, and expect up to 249 miles from a full battery.
BMW have also tidied up the design of the X3, add in the electric blue touches around the badges, grille and skirts the iX3 certainly stands out as something just a little bit different.
There’s no word on UK pricing yet, or a release date, but you can register your interest.
Distance on a full charge: 249 miles
- Superior build quality
- Well engineered
- Smart exterior touches
- No pricing yet
- No delivery estimates yet
Most likely sharing many components with the Corsa-e, the all new Peugeot 208 could well be the car that brings EV’s into the mainstream.
Looking like any other petrol/diesel 208 the changes are subtle so you don’t stand out as an EV driver. Priced keenly from £25,000 after the Government grant deliveries will start in early 2020.
Peugeot offer an 8 year or 100,000 mile battery warranty as standard, while the 208 will have a range of up to 211 miles on a full charge. It can also be filled to 80% in just 30 minutes from a rapid charger.
In ‘Sport’ mode the 208 will hit 60 from a standstill in 8.1 seconds, there’s also a ‘Normal’ mode for everyday driving and an ‘Eco’ that will save as much juice as possible to give you more range from that 50kWh battery.
The EV model is available across four trims, Active, Allure, GT Line and range topping GT, the latter costing nearly £30k. All models are available to order now.
Price: £25,000 – £29,650
Distance on a full charge: 211 miles
- Incredible interior
- Great French design flair throughout
- Affordable in base spec
- Not a huge range
- Best looking ‘GT’ model is incredibly costly
Want to know more about electric cars or other AFVs?
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.
Not ready to make the jolt to electric? We’ve got some guides to help you out.