Best Electric Cars

If you want a car with no emissions, a government grant worth £4,500 and lower fuel charges, chances are you're considering a fully electric car. Renault, Nissan, BMW and Tesla are currently the only car brands making all-electric vehicles. Choosing the right one will depend on your budget, range and charging needs.

All of the cars on this page fall under category 1 of the Plug in Car Grant (PICG) scheme, since they are fully electric. They qualify for 35% off the list price, up to a value of £4,500. The starting on-the-road prices for each car listed below reflect this £4,500 government grant which is handles by the dealer.

Best Cheap Electric Car

Renault Zoe Expression NAV R90

Key Features

  • 90-mile range
  • 22kWh battery
  • £19,845 starting on-the-road price
  • £14,245 starting price without battery
  • Battery hire from £49/month, mileage dependent
  • 338 litres of boot space
  • 0 - 62 mph in 13.5 seconds

The cheapest all-electric car on the market is the Renault Zoe, Expression NAV R90 model. With one of the smallest batteries available (22 kWh), expect a real-life range of around 90 miles (106 in summer, 71 in winter) per full charge. Those looking to minimize their initial purchase price have the option to rent the battery instead of buying it.

Purchased with a battery the Zoe Expression R90's on-the-road price starts at £19,845. Buying the car without the battery knocks £5,600 off the purchase price, bringing the on-the-road price down to £14,245. Renting the battery will cost you between £49 and £89 per month, depending on mileage. For more information see our article on Best Cheap Electric Cars.

Best Electric Cars for Range

Renault Zoe Z.E. 40 R90

Key Features

  • 155-mile range
  • 41 kWh battery
  • £23,770 on-the-road starting price
  • £18,170 starting price without battery
  • Battery hire from £59/month, mileage dependent
  • 338 litres of boot space
  • 0 - 62 mph in 13.5 seconds

The Renault Zoe Z.E. 40 has the longest range of "affordable" all-electric cars - 186 in summer and 124 in winter for an average range of 155 miles from a full charge. (The Tesla models sport a longer range, but for 3.5 times the price.) You can get in the driver's seat of a Zoe Z.E. 40 R90 for a starting price around £24,000 (with battery) or £18,000 (without battery).

Purchasing the car without a battery means you hire a battery instead. Leasing the battery lowers your initial purchase price by £5,600, with monthly battery hire charges from £59/month (up to 4,500 miles per year) to £110/month (unlimited miles per year).

Tesla S 100D

Key Features

  • 340-mile range
  • 100kWh battery
  • £90,000 starting price
  • 0 - 60 mph in 4.1 seconds
  • 894 litres of boot space

The Tesla S 100D has the longest range of any all-electric car on the market, offering drivers around 340 miles on a full charge. With its £90,000 starting price tag, the Tesla S 100D is only suitable if you're after a luxury car. For more information about how far electric cars can go on a full charge, see our Best Electric Cars for Range article.

Best Electric Car for a Family

Nissan Leaf

Key Features

  • 80 or 130-mile range
  • 24 kWh or 30 kWh battery
  • £21,680 on-the-road starting price
  • 370 litres of boot space
  • 0 - 62 mph in 11.5 seconds

The Nissan Leaf is our top pick for best all-electric car for a family, due to the large boot space. Not only does it seat 5 to accommodate extra kids, but the boot space is a generous 370 litres behind the seats for school bags, sports bags and some shopping. If you ever need more storage space, folding the rear seats will provide 720 litres of storage. Choose from a 24 kWh or 30 kWh battery, which will give you realistic ranges around 80 miles and 130 miles, respectively.

Fastest Electric Cars

BMW i3

  • 125-mile range
  • 27.2 kWh battery
  • £28,570 on-the-road starting price
  • 0-62 mph in 7.3 seconds
  • 260 litres of boot space
  • 4 seater

If you want a zippy electric car, the BMW i3 will get you from 0 - 62 mph in 7.3 seconds, 45% faster than the Renault Zoe and 35% faster than the Nissan Leaf. Expect a respectable range of 125 miles on a full charge, and a cost per mile driven around 3.5p. You do pay for speed; the BMW i3 starting on-the-road price is £28,570 (after the £4,500 government grant), more than the Zoe or Leaf. Be aware that the i3 is a 4 seater, with only two seats in the rear.

Tesla S P100D

Key Features

  • 300-mile range
  • 100 kWh battery
  • £130,000 on-the-road starting price
  • 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds
  • 894 litres of boot space

The Tesla S P100D will get you from 0 - 62 mph in a blistering 2.5 seconds. Tesla describes it as "Ludicrous Speed." No kidding. Expect to pay £130,000 for this beast. Or perhaps we should say beauty. You'll get around 300 miles of range on a full charge, one of the longest on the market for an all-electric car and only beaten out by the 100D.

Summary of Best All-Electric Cars in the UK

Below is a recap of the all-electric cars available in the UK, sorted by approximate real-life driving range.

Electric CarReal-Life Estimated Range (miles)Boot Space (litres)Starting Price
Nissan Leaf 24 kWh80370£21,680
Renault Zoe 22kW R9089338£19,845
Nissan Leaf 30 kWh130370£25,790
BMW i3 90Ah125260£28,570
Renault Zoe Z.E. 40 R90155338£23,770
Renault Zoe Z.E. 40 Q90 Quick Charge143338£24,520
Tesla S 75210894£61,500
Tesla S 75D230894£66,500
Tesla S P100D300894£131,800
Tesla S 100D340894£90,000

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