From 2030, sales of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK will be banned. It’s a huge, game-changing moment that’s less than a decade away, so it’s no surprise that manufacturers are already turning to EVs in earnest.
From being a relative novelty to present nearly everywhere, electric cars are fast creating a revolution. So to make sure you don’t get left behind, we’ve compiled a list of all the EVs that are currently on sale in the UK.
We’ve not included the button number, flight-of-fancy hypercars but instead concentrated on the machines that we’ve driven at Autocar and that you could walk into a dealership today and test drive before putting down your cash (or in Volvo’s case clicking on ‘pay now’ in its virtual online store) before driving away.
It’s probably no surprise that Audi’s first foray into the world of EVs had a very SUV flavour. Available in standard or rakish Sportback guise, the E-tron was deliberately designed to look as ‘normal’ as possible, so as not to put off buyers nervous about its high-tech underpinnings – although its door ‘mirrors’ that beam pictures to screens in the cabin are fairly futuristic. Comfort is the order of the day, with soft suspension and excellent refinement. All variants feature twin motors and four-wheel drive, while the larger-battery 55 claims up to 261 miles of range. The tri-motor S packs 496bhp, a 0-62mph time of 4.5sec and greater agility.
Sharing its underpinnings with the Porsche Taycan, the E-tron GT is in many respects a better all-round bet than its cousin. Sleek four-door coupé styling helps it stand out, while on the move it effortlessly blends blistering pace and back-road agility with long-distance quietness and comfort for impeccable grand touring credentials. The 637bhp RS version steals all the headlines for raw performance statistics, but with up to 523bhp available in brief spurts of overboost, the standard E-tron GT is no slouch, claiming a 4.1sec 0-62mph time and a longer (298-mile) range. Better still, 800V electrical architecture means a full charge can be achieved in as little as half an hour.
Audi’s entry-level EV is arguably its least convincing battery-powered offering. Based on the same MEB platform as the Skoda Enyaq iV and Volkswagen ID 4, it delivers arguably the same driving experience and range (up to 316 miles) yet charges you more for the privilege. Only the second Audi (after the R8 RWS) to offer rear-wheel drive, the Q4 is also available in twin-motor Quattro guise. Both are capable and composed to drive, but neither are inspiring, while the spacious interior feels no more special than that in the Skoda or Volkswagen. Still, the eye-catching Sportback version adds visual appeal, plus any Q4 can rapid charge at either 100kW or 125kW.
It’s hard to believe the innovative and quirky i3 has been around for the best part of a decade now. Designed from the ground up to be battery-powered, the tall and narrow compact hatchback still looks and feels like nothing else on the road. It features a light and strong carbon-reinforced plastic structure, suicide doors at the rear plus a minimalist interior packed with sustainable materials – although it seats only four and its boot is cramped. Despite skinny tyres, it’s good to drive, particularly the more powerful i3s, but its age is starting to show through its maximum range of 190 miles and 50kW rapid-charging limit.
On paper, the i4 is essentially an electric version of the new 4 Series Gran Coupé, but there’s more to it than that. It has been heavily re-engineered to take the 80.7kWh lithium ion battery and either one (rear-drive) or two (four-wheel drive) motors, while inside it gets bespoke digital instruments and infotainment set in a large curved screen set on top of the dashboard. Near 50:50 weight distribution front to rear means engaging and agile handling, while a slippery 0.24Cd drag figure helps the entry-level eDrive40 Sport deliver a 365-mile range. The 536bhp M50 will crack 62mph in just 3.3sec and is BMW’s first ever M-badged EV. Crucially, every i4 is capable of 200kW rapid-charging, which can add 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes.
Like the i4, the iX3 uses existing ICE architecture, in this case the X3. In fact, apart from a flush-fitting front grille and some natty blue trim inserts, it’s largely the same as its fossil fuel-fed cousin. Curiously, it’s rear-drive-only, the 282bhp motor driving the back axle via a single-speed transmission. Still, it’s as good to drive as the ICE X3s, while the typically low noise levels and adaptive dampers make it comfy. The EV drivetrain robs 40 litres of boot space, but at 510 litres, it’s still roomy enough and bigger than that of X3 PHEVs. There’s just the one battery available, but the 74kWh lithium ion pack can be rapid-charged to 80% in just half an hour.
Few recent arrivals have stirred as much controversy as the iX, BMW’s flagship EV. Beauty has always been in the eye of the beholder, but surely even the most ardent BMW fan will struggle to put forward any praise for the slab-sided and awkwardly proportioned iX. Loosely based on the brand’s CLAR scalable architecture, it mixes the i3’s CFRP with aluminium, while the battery (a large 100kWh on the range-topping 500bhp xDrive50) is mounted low in the floor. Motors front and rear deliver four-wheel drive, while versions with that big pack claim an impressive 380 miles between charges. Air suspension means comfort is the order of the day, plus the interior is vast and lavishly finished – and at least you can’t see the exterior when you’re sitting in it.
It may look a little like a Portaloo on wheels, but the quirky Ami is packed with novel engineering and design that harks back to Citroën’s innovative heyday. Technically a quadricycle, this teeny-tiny EV (it’s just 2.41 metres long) has been designed as a low-cost urban runaround. Its simple composite front and rear panels are interchangeable, as are its two doors, while its two-seat interior is masterclass in minimalism. Power comes from a 5.5kWh battery and the motor makes just 8bhp, meaning a range of just 43 miles and top speed of 28mph – both of which are perfect for inner-city excursions.
Mixing rakish looks with a smattering of SUV styling cues, the ë-C4 is quite a bold and interesting looking family hatchback, standing out more than most. It’s based on the standard C4, ditching that car’s ICE power for a 134bhp electric motor and 50kW battery that delivers a claimed 217 miles, and it has 100kW rapid-charging potential. It’s an easy car to get along with, if not one that’s as exciting to drive as it looks. Soft suspension makes it comfortable and easy-going but also one that won’t thank you for hustling it through corners. That motor also means performance is brisk rather than quick, with a 0-62mph dash of 9.0sec. Still, like the standard C4, its interior is roomy and it’s boldly styled as the outside, plus there’s loads of standard kit.
Like its Peugeot Rifter and Vauxhall Combo Life cousins, the Berlingo is now available with battery power. Under the square-rigged by eminently sensible body is a 134bhp motor and 50kWh lithium ion cells, which combine to deliver adequate performance (think 1.2-litre turbo petrol but smoother and quieter) and a slightly disappointing 170 miles range – although 100kW rapid-charging is available. The rest of the car is the same, which means it’s packed with all the features that make it such a great family hauler, including the sliding rear doors, cavernous cabin and optional Modutop that combines panoramic roof and 92 litres of aircraft-style overhead storage. It’s also supremely relaxing on the move, thanks to a supple ride and high-set driving position.
The much larger e-Spacetourer is genetically identical to the Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life and Peugeot e-Traveller. Available with either eight or nine seats, this large MPV is really only for the biggest families or private hire taxi firms. It’s car-like to drive and its 134bhp electric motor makes it reasonably spritely, thanks to the relatively short gearing of its single-speed transmission, although top speed is only a whisker over 80mph. However, although Citroën claims the spacious interior is designed for long-distance comfort, you’re unlikely to speed much time in there, thanks to the 50kWh battery’s short 143 mile range.
For its first foray into the EV world, DS has unsurprisingly taken aim at the profitable compact crossover class. Using the same CMP 1 platform as the Citroën ë-C4 and Peugeot e-2008, the strikingly styled (and lengthily named) 3 Crossback E-Tense also uses the same 134bhp electric motor and 50kWh battery, which delivers a range of up to 206 miles. On the move, its emphasis is on comfort, although the soft ride can get crashy, while the lifeless steering discourages press-on motoring. Still, the distinctively designed interior looks good and is well equipped, even if its premium aspirations don’t live up to a price that’s the wrong side of £30,000.
Reinventing its cute city car as an EV was a bold move for Fiat, but the end result proved it was a gamble worth taking. Fractionally bigger than the ICE 500, the new 500 EV retains well-resolved retro lines, while its interior quality and technology have taken huge leaps forward. Entry-level models get a 92bhp motor with a 24kWh battery, and on pricier versions these figures jump to 117bhp and 42kWh, increasing range from 124 to 199 miles. The 500 isn’t as fun to drive as the Mini Electric, but it feels like a more grown-up package and has a more useful range.
Ford arrived a little late to the EV party, but with the Mustang Mach-E, it certainly made an entrance. Taking the name of the Blue Oval’s iconic muscle car ruffled a few feathers, but there’s no doubting that the Mustang Mach-E does justice to it, even if it is an SUV. There’s a choice of rear- and four-wheel drive models and a 68kWh or 88kWh battery, the latter giving up to 379 miles of range and the availability of 150kW rapid-charging. The flagship GT version delivers 480bhp, but all Mustang Mach-Es are surprisingly satisfying to drive, with a nicely judged ride-and-handling balance. Top versions are expensive, but at around £41,000, the entry-level model makes a compelling case for itself.
The cute and quirky E is hobbled by a real-world range that limits it to about 100 miles (officially 136 miles), but as nippy and nimble suburban runaround, it has bags of appeal. For starters, it looks great, oozing retro appeal, while its interior is beautifully finished and features a surprisingly intuitive widescreen digital dashboard. With either the 134bhp or 152bhp motor, performance is brisk of the line, while its diddy dimensions and near-nine-metre turning circle give it dodgem-like agility, especially around town. It’s cramped in the back, the boot is small and it’s limited to 50kW charging, but if it fits in with your life, this Honda is a fun and characterful choice.
In terms of range for your cash, the Kona Electric takes some beating. The recently facelifted compact crossover claims 189 miles in entry-level 39kWh guise and a hugely impressive 300 miles with the larger 64kWh battery, and both figures are entirely realistic. Another highlight is the powerful and responsive electric motor, which is available with 134bhp in with the smaller lithium ion pack and 201bhp on all other models. The Kona Electric also looks distinctive and is decently roomy, plus it’s backed by a five-year manufacturer warranty. It’s capable rather than fun to drive, while interior quality isn’t up to the standard of a car that starts at around £30,000.
Featuring an unfashionable five-door family hatchback body, the Ioniq Electric is often overlooked by customers clamouring for crossovers. Costing a similar amount to the entry-level Kona Electric, it uses the same 134bhp motor and 39kWh battery, but superior aerodynamics allow it to eke out a slightly longer (193-mile) range – although it can charge at a maximum rate of only 50kW. Performance is brisk and responsible, but the ride is crashy and there’s plenty of road roar. You will also quickly come to ignore the interesting route home, because its lifeless steering and dull handling do little to lift spirits. Yet as a functional, roomy and good-value EV, it’s not without merit.
The Ioniq 5 is the car that confirms Hyundai as being at the very forefront of the EV revolution. Not only does the boldly styled five-door crossover look like nothing else on the road, it also features an interior that’s equally distinctive and uses the packaging advantages of an electric drivetrain to create a bright, airy and roomy atmosphere. Under the skin, it has 800V electrical architecture (like the Audi E-tron GT and Porsche Taycan) for the very fastest charging, plus there’s a choice of a 58kWh or 73kWh battery pack. The former gets a 168bhp motor, while the latter comes with either 201bhp (RWD) or 300bhp (4WD). Whatever you choose, the Ioniq 5 is surprisingly agile and fun to drive, making it one of our favourite EVs.
One of the first EVs from a ‘legacy manufacturer’, the I-Pace also proved to be one of the best. Featuring a 395bhp twin-motor, four-wheel-drive set-up, the battery-powered Jaguar isn’t short of poke, but it’s the agile and engaging handling that really stands out, making this an EV that’s fun to drive. It looks distinctive, too, with its coupé-SUV lines, while its interior is roomy and beautifully finished. Recent updates have improved its infotainment and added three-phase 11kW capability for faster home charging. Its 295-mile range remains impressive, while on a public rapid-charger, the I-Pace can accept a rate of 100kW, meaning it can gain 78 miles’ worth of energy in just 15 minutes.
Quirky and capable, the third-generation Soul is sold exclusively as an EV in the UK and Europe. Using the most powerful motor-and-battery combination from the closely related Hyundai Kona Electric, it delivers an impressive range of 280 miles. The 201bhp motor serves up surprisingly brisk performance, while the quick steering and compact dimensions result in accurate and agile handling. The ride is a little firm and the boxy looks won’t be to all tastes, but as a cost-effective, roomy and well-equipped family runaround, the 64kWh Soul EV has plenty going for it. And, of course, it’s backed by Kia’s market-leading seven-year warranty.
It’s not the most exciting EV to drive, typically rapid acceleration aside, but the e-Niro is one of the most complete cars of its type on sale. Like the Soul EV, it takes its batteries and motor from the Hyundai Kona Electric, meaning a choice of 134bhp and 39kWh or 201bhp and 64kWh. The former is best avoided, as it doesn’t cost much less but delivers a range that’s more than 100 miles short of the latter’s impressive 282. The e-Niro’s handling is secure rather than scintillating, but it’s quiet and rides well. And while its cabin feels a little low-rent, it’s roomy, it’s well-equipped and it has a decent boot. With prices starting at around £30,000, not much else currently gets close.
Perhaps one of the most eagerly anticipated mainstream electric cars yet, the EV6 hasn’t disappointed. While it shares its underpinning with the impressive Ioniq 5 from Hyundai, the Kia is intended as a sportier proposition, which is reflected in its higher power outputs of 226bhp for the RWD model and 321bhp for the 4WD, while the only battery option is the larger 73kWh unit. Its interior is cosier and more compact, but it handles with greater precision and control, while its more slippery coupé-style body delivers an even greater (328-mile) range. The best news is that Porsche Taycan-rivalling (yes, really!) 577bhp GT model is on the way.
Lexus has made no bones about its commitment to hybrid power, meaning its first full EV is a bit of a half-hearted effort. A fully electric version of the angular UX crossover, it falls short of its similarly priced premium rivals in almost all areas. Its 201bhp motor is short on poke, its 196-mile range falls about 100 miles short of most and its maximum rapid-charging rate of 50kW is disappointing in an increasingly 350kW world. It;s fairly lacklustre to drive, too, with average performance and lacklustre handling. Still, it rides well, looks distinctive and is beautifully built.
There’s lots to like about Mazda’s first stab at an EV, not least its crisp handling, which has become a welcome trademark of the Japanese brand. The MX-30 looks good, too, in a quirky SUV sort of way, while details such as the rear suicide doors are nice nod to the old RX-8 sports coupé. Engineers were keen to save weight, which is good from a dynamic point of view but less so for range; the MX-30’s compact 35.5kW battery results in a paltry range of 134 miles. You’re also only able to charge at a maximum of 50kW, although that small battery means an 80% range will take just 36 minutes. Characterful and good to drive it may be, but the MX-30 feels like a missed opportunity.
This is the entry point to Mercedes EV ownership, although that still means a base price of at least £40,000. Essentially an electrified GLA compact crossover, the EQA is currently only available in front-wheel drive 250 guise at the moment, which means a modest 187bhp but a respectable range of 263 miles, plus the ability to charge at up to 100kW. It looks smart enough and its interior has a premium feel that mainstream rivals can’t match. Yet it’s also cramped compared to rivals, while its firm ride and uninspiring handling make it less practical and satisfying choice than rival models such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Volkswagen ID 4.
As its name suggests, this is the all-electric versions of Mercedes’s GLB SUV, which with its relatively modest dimensions and seven-seat layout has carved out it’s own niche in the upmarket compact SUV class. Having been designed from the outset to house a big battery and electric motors (one at the front and another at the back for four-wheel drive), the EQB has managed to retain all three rows of seats, giving it something of USP. In other respects it’s merely average, with the 350 4MATIC delivering a so-so range of 257 miles and a maximum charging rate of 100kW. Still, the interior is classy and it’s a doddle to drive, if far from invigorating. It’s not cheap, but if you want a compact seven-seat EV SUV it’s the only game in town.
Mercedes has hit the ground running with its first electric car, the EQC proving more than a match for rivals such as the Audi E-tron and Jaguar I-Pace. The large SUV looks fairly conventional inside and out, but it has plenty of presence and its roomy interior is sumptuously finished. Featuring front- and rear-mounted motors, the 402bhp EQC can hum from 0-62mph in just 5.1sec and squeeze 255 miles out of a full charge. Standard air suspension combines a cushioned ride with handling precision, while 100kW charging capability means it can take 40 minutes for the battery to reach 80% capacity.
The EQS isn’t exactly an electric S-Class, but it fulfills a similar role as showcase for Mercedes’ latest technology. Featuring a bespoke platform, it’s a sleeker and more stylish affair than the firm’s familiar ICE limousine, plus it handles with more poise and agility – yet it’s just as comfortable and even quieter. The luxurious cabin is dominated by a vast, 1.4-metre-wide digital display, while under the skin is a large 107.8kWh battery pack that delivers an astounding range of 485 miles in the 450+ and 420 miles in the more powerful 580. The best EV in the world? It’s certainly up there.
Based on the V-Class people carrier, the EQV makes a compelling case for taxi and private hire firms that want to carry up to six passengers in quiet and cosseting luxury. Featuring 201bhp motor, it offers adequate performance, while its 90kWh battery provides a useful 213 miles between charges. The lithium ion cells sit under the floor so cabin and boot space are unaffected (it’s vast inside), while the optional air suspension serves up a plush and near-silent ride. It’s reasonably precise to drive, the commanding driving position and great visibility making it easy to place, while 100kW charging capability should mean you won’t be stationary for long.
With a dated exterior design, a relatively low-rent interior and underwhelming driving experience, the MG 5 won’t necessarily be at the top of your EV shopping list. Yet despite its flaws, the Chinese family estate car makes a decent case as practical and cost-effective entry to zero-tailpipe-emissions motoring. There’s a handy 464-litre boot and a new, larger 61.1kWh battery offers enough energy for a claimed 273 miles of motoring. With 154bhp the motor delivers very brisk acceleration, while the soft suspension delivers good comfort and quietness. And the best bit is that it costs just a little over £26,000.
Like the MG5, the electrically powered ZS sets out its stall with the value for money calling card front and centre. For just over £31,000 you get a roomy, practical and well-equipped SUV that undercuts by thousands mainstream rivals such as the Kia e-Niro. Yes the interior materials are a bit cheap and cheerful, but it looks smart enough on the outside and the 154bhp motor delivers a decent turn of speed, while its 72kWh battery claims a rather impressive 273 mile of range. Is that enough to offset imprecise handling and refinement that’s not quite as whisper-quiet as you’d expect from an EV? I guess that depends on how deep your pockets are, but for many the MG’s combination of price and range will be hard to resist.
Few EV models have taken as long to reach the showroom as the Mini Electric. The British brand has been testing battery-powered versions of its three-door hatchback for more than a decade, but series-production versions didn’t arrive until 2020. Luminous yellow detailing aside, it looks almost identical to the ICE Mini 3dr, plus it drives in a similar manner, thanks to its punchy 181bhp motor and agile and entertaining handling. The only downside is that you won’t be able to enjoy it for long, because the titchy 28.9kWh battery allows a range of only 144 miles, which will be closer to 100 miles in real-world use. Like the Honda E, it’s a fun runabout but will prove limited if you want to carry people and things over longer distances.
Arguably the first true family EV, the Leaf is now in its second generation and is as capable and useful as ever. Based on the original model’s platform, it’s not as cleverly packaged as the Volkswagen ID 3 or Hyundai Ioniq 5, but it’s roomy enough, easy to drive and delivers a claimed 239 miles on its 40kWh battery. It also features the brand’s e-Pedal technology, which provides enhanced regenerative braking that allows you to drive using just the throttle, as lifting off allows you to slow quickly to a stop without touching the brakes. The interior looks dated and the handling is fairly uninspiring, but it’s a practical, usable and attractively priced option.
Very much a people carrier in the ‘van with windows’ vein, the e-NV200 Combi has a certain utilitarian appeal and in lower-specification guises represents decent value. It’s 107bhp motor delivers adequate performance and is perfectly suited to urban and suburban hops, which is no bad thing, considering its claimed range of just 124 miles. There’s room for seven inside, while the sliding rear side doors make access to the rear two rows fairly straightforward. It’s easy to drive and see out of, but the ride is a little crashy and there’s little fun to be had behind the wheel.
One of the best small EVs, the e-208 combines a healthy 217-mile range with grown-up driving dynamics and a dash of style. Conceived from the outset to house an electrified drivetrain, the Peugeot remains as impressively roomy as the standard ICE car, with which it shares its classy interior finish and neat 3D dials. The 134bhp motor delivers eager performance and there’s a 100kW rapid-charging option for its 50kWh battery – a rarity at this end of the market. It rides well and offers strong refinement, plus it handles neatly even if it gets a bit scrappy at the limit.
Essentially a high-riding, SUV-flavoured version of the e-208, the e-2008 is a fairly convincing battery-powered compact crossover. It looks good, for a start, while its interior is eye-catchingly styled and packs just enough space for most – its 434-litre boot is particularly useful. Under the sharp looks is the familiar 134bhp motor and 50kWh battery combo, which delivers brisk acceleration off the line and a respectable 206 miles between charges (like the e-208, 100kW rapid charging is an option). Precise handling and a refined ride make it an easy-going companion on the road.
Peugeot’s brilliantly rational Rifter has been given the electric treatment, sharing the same 134bhp motor as the e-208. The extra weight of the boxy MPV’s body means that performance is similar to the petrol-engined versions, although it feels faster around town. It’s also hampered by a slightly smaller battery, meaning it covers just 172 miles on a charge (166 miles for the longer seven-seater). Still, the interior is as vast as ever with endless useful storage cubbies and a large boot, while its soft ride, excellent visibility and torquey motor make it a doddle to drive.
Like the Mercedes EQV, the e-Traveller is better suited to private-hire firms looking for a zero-emissions airport shuttle than it is to families after a large MPV. It can seat up to eight in its cavernous van-based body, but by sharing the Rifter’s 50kWh battery, it’s limited to a claimed 148 miles between charges, meaning it’s better suited to short hops than long hauls. This is backed up by the familiar 136bhp motor that’s mated to a single-speed transmission geared for low-down response (top speed is just 81mph). It’s easy to drive and rides well, but the e-Traveller’s commercial roots mean it doesn’t feel as sophisticated as some.
Volvo’s all-electric start-up has delivered a strong first effort in the 2, a classy hatchback that combines coupé and crossover styling cues to surprisingly good effect. Better still, it’s good to drive, with satisfyingly agile handling and a supple ride, assuming you steer clear of the expensive Performance Pack and its manually adjustable Öhlins dampers. The twin-motor set-up delivers a scorching 0-62mph pace and all-wheel drive, while the 78kWh battery offers 292 miles of range and 150kW charging. A less costly and powerful single-motor model has just arrived, promising 335 miles between charges in Long Range guise. All versions play the sustainability card, with vegan interiors available if you so desire.
We knew the automotive world was serious about EVs when Porsche unleashed the Taycan. Built on a bespoke platform, the all-electric saloon delivers new standards of performance and precision, being almost as exciting and invigorating to drive as the brand’s ICE models. The 751bhp Turbo S models are shatteringly fast, but there are no slouches in the line-up, while handling is engaging, adjustable and agile. The interior is beautifully finished and supremely comfortable, while an 800V architecture allows 270kW charging and the range is as much as 301 miles. The rugged Cross Turismo adds a bigger boot and some tough plastic body cladding for an SUV vibe.
Few EVs offer such a stripped-out, back-to-basics experience as the Twizy: the Citroën Ami is positively profligate by comparison. Essentially a four-wheeled scooter, the Renault has a roof but no doors to speak of, while the two occupants (driver at the front and passenger in a rear jump seat) are perched on plastic moulded chairs. With a 62-mile range and just 17bhp, the short and narrow machine is at its best on city streets, where its rear-wheel-drive handling and quick steering make it surprisingly fun to drive. It’s cheap to buy but a rock-hard ride and exposure to the elements mean this is one for dedicated fans only.
Europe’s best-selling EV makes lots of sense on paper, not least because it’s affordable to buy and run, has a good range and is usefully practical. A recent facelift has sharpened the supermini’s looks and improved the interior quality, including the introduction of a slicker infotainment system, but it’s the addition of a 52kWh battery that’s the biggest improvement, good for a 245-mile range. Both the 108bhp and 134bhp electric motors deliver eager acceleration, although the regenerative braking mode is weak. It’s easy to drive, with direct steering and decent grip, but there’s little fun to be had and the ride is a touch firm. However, as a great-value and practical small family car, it’s got a lot going for it.
Production of the Spanish all-electric city car has officially stopped, but with plenty of unregistered examples still floating about, the Mii is still on Seat’s price lists. Based on the already axed (blame punitive CO2 regulations) ICE model, the small Spaniard features a 160-mile range, which will be fine for the sort of journeys most will use it for. The 81bhp motor delivers nippy performance, while the Seat retains the petrol car’s nimble handling and composed ride. It’s well packaged too, with space for four adults and a useful 251-litre boot. Increasingly sophisticated rivals are arriving all the time, but at the right price the Mii is a fun and versatile city runaround.
With the demise of the Citigo iV, the Enyaq iV is Skoda’s only all-electric option. Still, it’s one of the better family-sized EVs you can buy, blending space and practicality with an impressive range and assured driving dynamics. Based on the same rear-engined MEB platform as the Volkswagen ID 4 and Audi Q4, the Skoda is even roomier and packs an interior ambience that’s every bit as upmarket as that of its close relatives. There’s a choice of 62kWh or 82kWh battery packs, with a claimed maximum range of 331 miles for the latter. A 261bhp twin-motor all-wheel-drive version has just been launched, offering a 6.7sec 0-62mph time. Rapid 125kW charging is optional, 50kW is standard.
Fortwo and Forfour
Quirky and compact, Smart city cars have been largely forgotten over the past few years. Now only available as EVs, the two-seater Fortwo and four-seater (you’ve guessed it) Forfour remain a niche choice for owners who rarely see themselves going beyond the city limits. Why? Well, with a tiny, 17.6kWh battery, the furthest you’ll go on a charge is a claimed 81 miles. Still, it’s agile and wieldy around town, and the Smart also offers fairly quick low-speed acceleration from its rear-mounted 81bhp motor. There are endless trim choices and customisation options, too, making it the ideal four-wheeled fashion accessory.
Britain’s top-selling EV is the car that forced legacy car manufacturers to sit up and take notice. While Tesla’s Model S and Model X were niche products bought by early adopting technophiles, the company’s current entry-level machine has found a much broader customer base. It’s not hard to see why, either. Even the standard rear-wheel-drive car will zip to 62mph in under six seconds, while the four-wheel-drive Performance takes just 3.1sec. All versions handle with agility and precision. The Long Range can crack 360 miles between charges, while the firm’s public Supercharger network makes it quick and easy to top up on the run. It’s also spacious, well equipped and better built than previous Tesla efforts.
Tesla’s first full production car after the Lotus Elise-based Roadster, the Porsche Panamera-chasing Model S got the jump on established automotive brands. Continual updates have kept it competitive statistically, with up to 405 miles on a single charge for the Long Range, while the triple-motor Plaid delivers nearly 1000bhp and a sub-two-second 0-62mph time. A huge infotainment screen and an optional seven-seat layout help it stand out, but its handling is still wooden and its fit and finish still feels a little low-rent compared with premium rivals. As with other Teslas, the Supercharger network is a big selling point, offering easy, on-the-fly charging.
With its distinctive gullwing rear doors, the Model X SUV has no trouble standing out from the crowd. Using much the same architecture as the Model S, the high-riding seven-seater combines blistering straight-line pace with class-leading claimed range, with up to 360 miles possible between charges. There’s also the 986bhp Plaid model, plus the inclusion of Tesla’s controversial Autopilot autonomous driving technology. It still lacks the solidity of the Model 3, while the handling remains fairly lifeless despite numerous suspension updates.
Now it’s part of the Stellantis group, Vauxhall shares much of its technology and CMP architecture with other brands such as Peugeot, which explains why under the skin the Corsa-e supermini is essentially an e-208. That’s no bad thing, however, as it means the handsome hatchback gets the same zippy 134bhp motor and a 50kWh battery that’s capable of 100kW rapid charging. Its range is a little shorter at 209 miles, but it’s enough for a car that will be expected to tackle the odd long haul. Refinement is good and while the handling lacks panache, it is at least precise and vice-free. There’s also loads of kit and a wide variety of trim levels.
As with the Corsa, the mud-plugging-tinged Mokka-e takes its hardware from another Stellantis sibling, in this case the Peugeot e-2008 compact crossover. It looks a little more distinctive than the French car, while inside its widescreen wraparound TFT screen gives the interior a premium feel. With around 1500kg to haul around, the 134bhp Mokka-e doesn’t feel much faster all out than the 1.2-litre petrol, but it’s obviously quieter and quicker of the mark, while the handling is secure if lacking in sparkle. Its 310-litre boot is cramped by class standards, but it’s most hobbled by its 201-mile range, which is some way short of the similarly sized 64kWh Hyundai Kona.
Essentially a rebadged version of Citroën’s e-Berlingo and Peugeot’s e-Rifter, the Combo-e Life is a family car that puts practicality first. Sliding rear side doors, a cavernous boot and a vast interior packed with hidden storage mean you’re likely to run out of belongings before it runs out of space, plus there’s a seven-seat XL version. Under the boxy exterior is the same 134bhp electric motor that offers just enough performance, plus a 50kWh battery that can only squeeze a claimed 174 miles between plug-ins – although 100kW rapid charging means 80% capacity in half an hour. A soft ride and light controls make it an easy-going choice.
Another of Vauxhall’s badge-engineered models, the Vivaro-e Life is the brand’s largest MPV, offering up to nine seats in steel-wheeled, utilitarian Combi guise. The more luxuriously appointed Elite can only squeeze in eight occupants, but they do sit in leather-lined and climate-controlled luxury while bathing in the light of a panoramic glass roof. Regardless of version, you get the 134bhp electric motor and 50kWh battery that delivers a claimed 143 miles of range, making it fine for executive shuttle duties or as a short-haul family transporter, but less useful for long-haul holiday use. It’s easy to drive and has a smooth ride, but the diesel versions will show it a dirty pair of heels in a straight line.
Unlike its Seat and Skoda siblings, the Up range has survived largely unscathed, with the petrol models continuing alongside the all-electric e-Up (careful with those Yorkshire gags). The EV model features an 81bhp motor and can travel 159 miles on a full charge, which should be more than enough for numerous inner-city sorties. It’s been around nearly a decade now, but the Up still has many small car rivals licked for grown-up feel behind the wheel, while the surprisingly spacious interior mixes minimalism with top-notch quality. It’s well equipped with heated seats and cruise control, plus its smartphone-based infotainment is brilliant in its simplicity.
Perhaps no electric car has arrived with such a weight of expectation as the ID 3, the first bespoke EV from the manufacturer that gave us iconic family car creations such as the Beetle and Golf. In many respects it doesn’t disappoint, looking futuristic and featuring a spacious cabin that makes the most of the packaging opportunities delivered by its rear-mounted motor and battery beneath the floor. There’s a choice of battery capacities and power outputs, with the maximum claimed range a strong 340 miles, while 100kW rapid charging is available across the range. It’s not exciting to drive, but the polished dynamics and comfortable ride make it easy to live with.
Following hot on the heels of the ID 3 was the predictably SUV-flavoured ID 4. Offering a raised ride height and even roomier interior, the big VW is a still more practical choice. Essentially a reskinned Skoda Enyaq (or Audi Q4), it’s only available with the larger, 77kWh battery, meaning a minimum claimed range of 316 miles. On the move it drives with same assurance as the ID 3, while its rear-mounted motor is available in the same states of tune. The recently launched GTX offers GTI levels of fun and has twin motors, four-wheel drive, lower suspension, plenty of red trim inserts and 295bhp.
Essentially an XC40 Recharge in a sharp suit, the C40 is the first Volvo to be offered exclusively with an EV heart. Taking the now fashionable SUV-cum-coupe route, the sleek Swede features a 402bhp twin motor set-up and a 78kWh battery for a very handy, WLTP-ratified 273 mile range. Despite the impressive power output, the C40 is happier wafting along motorways than waltzing down back roads, its soft suspension and hefty 2185kg kerb weight dissauding you from getting too carried away. Still, it’s refined on the move and has a classy interior with the brand’s trademark Google infotainment. It’s only problem is that the XC40 is more practical and the equally closely-related Polestar 2 is more dynamic.
Few firms have been as eager to end their reliance on fossil fuels as Volvo, but it’s taken a while for the Swedish firm to launch its first all-electric offering. Essentially a taller and slightly roomier version of the Polestar 2, the XC40 Recharge uses the same twin-motor layout that delivers 402bhp and four-wheel drive, but a bluffer SUV body is why the 75kWh battery delivers a claimed 259, rather than 292, miles of range. Its softer suspension and high-riding stance mean it’s less capable in corners too, even if the straight-line performance is equally scorching (0-62mph in 4.7sec). Less costly and lower-powered versions will make more sense but, like the P8, they will only be available to order online as the brand continues to look towards a digital future.