Not so long ago, you'd struggle to compile a list of the cheapest electric cars in the UK because they were, by most definitions, not so cheap! Much has changed in recent years, however, as more manufacturers invest heavily in the concept, or commit their entire future to the EV world. As battery technology keeps pace and comforts those with range anxiety, electric vehicles now enter the mainstream. But what is the cheapest all-electric car in the UK today?
If you like to blaze your own trail and do not necessarily have other family members to worry about, the Renault Twizy could be right up your street. You will certainly turn some heads if you drive one of these futuristic and barely practical vehicles, but the good news is, you won't have to pay that much for the privilege. Renault suggests a price of £11,695 for the Expression and £12,395 for the Dynamique. You'll get around 60 miles of range, and will certainly find it easy to park in your congested town centre. Technically it's a quadricycle but it will just about seat two people.
Staying with the diminutive theme, Smart will offer you the fortwo, a model name that adequately describes its appeal. You can top 80 miles an hour in this car, and it will take you about three hours to charge it to 80% of its capacity at home. Like the Twizy, this vehicle is designed for urban dwellers and retails for £17,500. If you need a tad more space, you can trade up to the forfour for just an additional £500.
Volkswagen Audi Group has several electric cars under its wing, and the Citigo-e iV is the tongue-twisting version from Skoda. This entry into the list of cheapest all electric cars in the UK has an 80 hp electric motor and can carry you 170 miles, giving you quite a lot more range than the smart. Skoda will offer you two different versions, the SE and the SE L, with a starting price of £17,455. Recharge this vehicle to 80% in four hours from your wall box.
VAG has a second offering for you to consider in the shape of the SEAT Mii. It's another unashamed city car with, perhaps, a little more refinement. The Mii shares the same general make-up as its stablemates, of course, but this one does not come with an automatic transmission. If you want a little more style, you can upgrade to the FR, with its nifty wheels and suspension tweaks. £19,800 is the starting price.
If you're looking for something recognisable and a little less quirky, then BMW has your answer. The MINI has a cult following, and the Electric does not disappoint, as it is easy to drive, easy to park and almost as quick as a top of the range Cooper S. This EV is well-equipped, will get you to 62 mph in 7.3 seconds on your way to a top speed of 93 miles an hour. When it's time to recharge, you can use your home wall box to get up to 80% in a little over three hours, or half an hour if you have a 50 kW quick charger. MINI suggests a starting price of £25,100.
The MG ZS EV has SUV characteristics at a sensible price. It's equipped with a 44.5 kWh battery and can cover up to 163 miles on a full charge. The single electric motor gives 140 bhp, and you will race to 62 mph in 8.5 seconds. Choose from two levels of trim and plenty of capacity if you need to carry a lot of gear regularly. As with other vehicles in this affordable category, you will still get plenty of technology, with driver aids and a decent sound system. The ZS starts at £25,495.
If you're looking for quirky, don't go to Peugeot. The French company has opted to blend this electric model in with its ICE counterparts, and you will struggle to spot the difference from the outside. Yet the company does pack in a lot of technology and connectivity, so you always know that you're driving something state-of-the-art from that point of view. Charge the e-208 in eight hours from your wall box, or get 100 miles of range in 45 minutes from a rapid charger. When you head out, you'll cover up to 217 miles from a full battery. You can also choose from several different models, starting at £17,155.
If it looks you're after, the Honda E may be an acquired taste. Officially, the Japanese manufacturer describes this vehicle as a compact electric urban car, and its "car of the future." Yet some people think that they are going for the MINI look and while they have packed a lot of extras into the vehicle, it's towards the high end when it comes to the cheapest electric cars in the UK. Prices begin at £26,150, but you get crash avoidance systems and cameras instead of wing mirrors. 0 to 62 ticks over to 9 seconds, the motor delivers 134 hp, and you'll get about 137 miles per charge.
The Nissan Leaf is the granddaddy of the cheapest electric cars. In fact, it's one of the bestselling EVs of all time, and its Japanese owner has steadily improved this offering over the years. As such, you can expect quality and practicality, with a new high-capacity battery to boot. With the largest motor fitted you'll get up to 239 miles and can accelerate from 0 to 62 in around eight seconds. Prices start at £26,845 for the Acenta model.
Whether you can classify a car that has a starting price of £32,990 as "cheap" may be a matter of conjecture, but the all-new Volkswagen ID.3 can certainly fit the bill for those who may have range anxiety. After all, the 125 KW motor is good for up to 345 miles on a full charge. Apart from that, VW has nicely configured the ID.3 with two separate touchscreen displays and plenty of interior room.
Low emission and cheap electric vehicles qualify for a UK government grant, covering all cars under the £50,000 ceiling. The grant will cover 35% of the purchase price, to a maximum of £3,000, and the dealer will automatically deduct the discount from the quoted price.
if you're looking for the cheapest electric cars in the UK in 2020, you'll have plenty of choices. As always, shop around for the keenest price and don't forget that government grant.