Automotive

Guide to the most affordable electric cars: 2021/22

most affordable electric cars

Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) are increasing every month in the UK. It’s easy to see why – electric cars aren’t just good fun to own and drive, but they’re cheap to run, sidestep emissions charges like Vehicle Excise Duty or London’s Congestion Charge, and most importantly they prepare the owner for 2030, when the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned altogether.

But electric cars are expensive to buy compared to their combustion-engined siblings, and for buyers more used to browsing second hand cars for sale their high purchase price might be off-putting.

But prices are coming down, and in most cases it hasn’t come with a drop in quality. Below you’ll find some of the most affordable electric cars on sale in the UK today – and remember, these are all available with an additional £2,500 off the purchase price thanks to the government’s Plug-in Car Grant [https://www.gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants].

Fiat 500 Electric

Price: From £23,495

The 500 Electric is a reborn version of the brand’s 500 city car – itself a reborn version of the 1950s original. Now well up-to-date with a fully electric powertrain, it’s among the best small cars you can buy today – so good in fact that Parkers.co.uk awarded it its Best Small Electric Car award for 2022 [https://www.parkers.co.uk/car-awards/2022/small-electric-car-of-the-year/], high praise indeed.

Cute looks, up to 199 miles of all-electric range and all the space two people reasonably need – the Fiat 500 Electric really nails the brief for what an affordable electric car should do.

MG 5 EV

Price: From £27,495

MG specialises in low-cost models, but despite its budget leanings almost a third of its sales are of fully electric cars, such as the 5 EV. One of only two electric estate cars on sale today, the 5 EV may not look particularly appealing but it has plenty going for it.

Bags of equipment for your money, up to 250 miles of range and space for all the family plus their kit, you can forgive the dowdy looks and bargain-basement interior.

MINI Electric

Price: From £28,500

The MINI Electric has all the character of its petrol-powered sibling. The wheel-at-each-corner stance and perky performance means it’s great fun to sling around the city streets, and with the right specification it barely looks any different to any other MINI, making it a great option if you don’t want to shout about your new-found eco stance.

The cool image does hide rather a weedy range – you’ll be lucky to get 145 miles from a charge – but if you do most of your driving in the city that’s more than enough.

MG ZS EV

Price: From £28,595

Not a fan of the MG 5 EV’s dull looks? The ZS EV offers a very similar package but in a fashionable (and genuinely quite good-looking) SUV package.

The range isn’t quite as impressive – only 163 miles – but the high ride height and driving position make it great for using round the city, and it’s a very practical family car, too.

Peugeot e-208

Price: From £29,725

It may be the most expensive car on this list but the Peugeot e-208 looks and feels the business, with striking styling and the nicest interior you’ll find this side of a premium-badged supermini. A maximum range of over 200 miles is impressive and performance is perky even though its 136hp electric motor is quite low-powered compared to some rivals.

Criticisms? Not everybody will get on with its quirky i-Cockpit dashboard arrangement, and it’s not exactly the most spacious car available.

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