Electric cars have certainly been a long time in rising to prominence, but this looks like the year when they finally might hit the big time. And why wouldn’t they? 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 mains charges increases and the charging infrastructure improves, an EV becomes a more viable alternative to petrol- or diesel-fuelled models almost by the month. Choice has been slow to grow so far, but is set to mushroom in 2020 as debutant EVs from Mini, Honda, Peugeot and others all arrive.
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
The Kia e-Niro redefines how much real-world range and family-friendly usability we should now expect from an electric vehicle towards the more affordable end of the price spectrum. For around £35,000, the car’s 64kWh battery pack enables it to comfortably travel 230 miles on a single charge; and further still if you stay off the motorway or around town. 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, usability 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 practical, dynamically well-resolved and pleasant-to-drive electric vehicle. It’s roomier than almost every other EV at the price, and it rides and handles with a greater level of sophistication and accomplishment than most. It may lack some of the accelerative potency of it rivals, but as a well-rounded, truly usable affordable electric vehicle, the e-Niro is going to take some beating.