The electric hatchback has come on in leaps and bounds over the last five years. 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 doubled and that price premium has almost disappeared.
This is a list of our top ten electric hatchbacks compiled considering factors such as range and usability, driving dynamics and affordability. Some are still subject to relatively high prices compared to combustion-engined cars, but their premiums can be offset against lower running costs.
Best electric hatchbacks 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 followed 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.
A value proposition that’s also improved, and is now on a par with that of a mid-market, conventionally fuelled family hatchback once you take the government’s £4500 PiCG grant into account, cement the car’s market-leading position. It’s our default recommendation for anyone looking to simply replace their fossil-fuelled family hatchback with an electric one well-capable of doing the same job – and doing it well.
Until quite recently, an electric car good enough to combine a genuine 300-mile daily-use range with a sub-£30,000 price point seemed an awfully long way off. The Hyundai Kona Electric has made it a reality, however; quite a coup for its aspiring Korean maker.