Electric cars are more popular today than they have ever been. And why wouldn’t they be? An electric vehicle (EV) lets you travel in silence and produces zero emissions. You don't have to pay road tax, London dwellers don’t need to worry about the Congestion Charge, and the government will even give you a grant to buy one.
As the range between top-ups increases and the charging infrastructure improves, an EV is already a viable alternative to petrol- or diesel-fuelled models for a significant portion of British drivers. However, the EV market is still very much in its infancy, and choice is proving slow to grow.
Having first appeared around ten years ago, the market’s first EVs were cars with around 80 miles of usable range, priced at a 50 per cent premium over their petrol-fuelled counterparts. Today, in many cases, real-world range has more than doubled and that price premium has almost disappeared.
This is a list of our top ten affordable electric cars compiled considering factors such as range and usability, driving dynamics and value for money. Some are still subject to relatively high prices compared to combustion-engined cars, but their premiums can be offset against lower running costs.
Best Affordable Electric Cars 2020
Along with its sister car, the Hyundai Kona Electric, the Kia e-Niro redefines how much real-world range we should now be expecting from an electric vehicle towards the more affordable end of the price spectrum. For around £35,000, the 64kWh battery pack common to both enables them to comfortably travel 230 miles on a single charge. A few years ago, that would be the sort of range you’d be expecting from something far pricier, and probably with a Tesla badge on its nose.
That genre-challenging relationship between range and affordability isn’t the sole reason why the e-Niro now crowns this list. Indeed if it was, the Hyundai Kona would be right up there, too. Where e-Niro pulls ahead, though, is that it also remains a thoroughly useable, pleasant-to-drive electric vehicle. It’s roomier than that of its relative, and it rides and handles with a greater level of sophistication and commitment. It may lack some of the accelerative potency of the Kona off the line, but as a well-rounded, truly usable affordable electric vehicle, the e-Niro is going to take some beating.