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 2019
The Nissan Leaf, in first-generation form, set the mould for the affordable electric car approaching a decade ago – and in new second-generation form, it’s back on the top of the pile of contenders who are following in its tread marks.
Having had a 25 per cent boost on battery capacity, the Nissan now leads many of its rivals with a WLTP-certified range of 168 miles. It’s also got significantly more power and torque than its direct predecessor; performs fairly keenly; feels like a more rounded car to drive generally; and has one of the strongest showings here on daily-use practicality for a small family.