The UK government's changing financial incentives, which are intended to drive the adoption of electric cars, might well have made pricing up your next EV a confusing task over the past 12 months. The plug-in car grant was cut from £3000 to £2500 in March 2021, with qualifying cars needing to cost £35,000 or less; and then cut again, in December 2021, down to just £1500 on cars priced at £32,000 or less. Finally, in June 2022, the government axed the financial contributions completely, meaning any discouting is now down to you and the manufacturer having a bit of a haggle. This contrasts sharply with Continental Europe, where countries such as France, Italy and Germany are still offering buyer incentives worth up to €12,000.
Needless to say, it is now more important than ever that makers of mid-sized, affordably priced EVs hit a pretty keen entry-level price point if they want to remain competitive for buyers on a budget. The equipment levels of such entry-level models from all kinds of brands had already been reappraised of late, and their prices realigned, so expect more of the same in the second half of 2022.
The good news is that there are plenty of usable, five-seat, five-door, all-electric hatchbacks that shouldn't break the bank, incentives added or otherwise. But which should you pick for an easy transition into electric car ownership? Even in this segment, there’s plenty of choice: front-driven hatchbacks play off against compact crossover SUVs, compact saloons and even the odd estate car. There are rear-wheel-drive options here too, as well as cars with a dose of driver appeal; although with some of them, that only comes at a price.
Even if you need an EV with a real-world range above 250 miles, with room for several adult passengers and a usable boot, you can now find it here. If you know where to shop, you can actually find most of that for less than £35,000 in 2022. Read on to learn exactly where.
Best mid-sized electric cars 2022
1. VW ID 3