These days there are more electric cars available than ever before and it’s hard to find a big brand car manufacture that doesn’t have a model or are working on one. Most will have heard of Elon Musk’s Tesla range of cars but for many these are out their price range. The two biggest questions for most is the initial cost and the range the battery will offer. Prices have fallen and ranges have increased but often a balance needs to be found depending on taste and personal needs. Here we bring you ElectrcDrives best electric cars under £30,00.
Skoda Citigo E iV £17,455
Skoda’s neat compact Citigo E iV is one of the cheapest electric cars on the market. It makes owning an electric car more affordable than ever before, and despite being a compact car it doesn’t compromise on space, with enough room to seat four adults comfortably. Plus, there’s a 250-litre boot area offering ample space for a weekly shop or whatever you might need to stash in the back. Another bonus of its bijou size is that it’s easy to park even in tight spaces.
Being smaller and lighter than some of its competitors also helps when it comes to range. The E iV offers up to 165 miles (265km) thanks to a 36.8kWh lithium ion battery mounted underneath the floor. A recharge of around four hours delivers roughly 80 percent of the battery capacity. With a top speed of just over 80mph (130kph) it’s plenty fast enough and will help to keep you legal. This makes it ideal for short commuting duties, shopping and the school run. It’s not surprising that this compact sold out when it first went on sale.
Smart EQ ForFour £18,035
The instant pull of Smart’s five door EQ ForFour is its sub £20,000 price point, but it is at the smaller end in terms of size of what’s available in the electric car world. The latest version was updated in 2020 but the downfall of this rear-wheel-drive car is that doesn’t have the range of some of its competitors offering just 81 miles (130km) from its 17.6kWh battery. This produces a top speed of 81mph (130kph) and accelerates from 0-62mph (0-100kph) in 12.7 seconds. Fast charging will see it hit 80 percent in around 40 minutes.
The EQ ForFour often divides people when it comes to aesthetics but the styling is sporty both inside and out. It’s fun and easy to drive but not as smooth handling over rougher terrain as some of its competitors. It fits four adults and has ample head room for all but those over six feet tall. The rear doors are small and awkward to get in and of, but this is often the way with mini-sized electric cars. The flipside to this is that it’s easy to park and will get into spaces most others won’t fit into. It is a cheap electric car ideal for town use but faces stiff competition from the Skoda Citigo E iV.
Mini Electric Level 1 £24,900
The revival of the Mini has been one of BMW’s big success stories in the small car market, and the coming of an electric version makes it even better when it comes to green credentials. The size and styling of the electric version is similar to the combustion engine versions which will keep Mini enthusiasts happy. This British built car offers a range of up to 145 miles from a full charge, and can be charged to 80 percent in just 36 minutes from a 50kW quick charger. The 32.6kWh battery offers 181bhp taking it from 0-62mph (0-100kph) in a speedy 7.3 seconds with a top speed of 94mph.
Inside and out it feels it like a Mini which is a good thing. It easily seats four adults but like the non-electric Mini boot space is relatively small. This is just 211 litres but there’s enough room for day-to-day items, and the seats do fold down offering ample space when there’s a need to transport larger items. The inside of the electric Mini feels sporty in a modern way but with a sprinkling of nostalgia. All of this combined will be enough to keep lovers of the Mini design happy. It’s a solid player when it comes to style, performance and handling, and kindness to the planet.
MG ZS EV £25,495
The big attraction of MG’s ZS EV is that it’s one of the cheapest electric sports utility vehicles (SUV) on the market. It’s bigger than the other cars here which will appeal to those who prefer a larger family car. It has a modern stylish exterior and is powered by a 44.5kWh battery that offers a 163-mile (262km) range. While it might not compare to the likes of the Renault Zoe, it holds its own with most in this price range, especially when size is considered. Acceleration is solid here with the ZS EV reaching 0-62mph (0-100kph) in an impressive 8.5 seconds. Top is speed is only 87mph but for most law abiding citizens this shouldn’t be a problem.
The inside of the ZE EV feels spacious like you’d expect from an SUV, and there’s plenty of room with its vast 448-litre boot area. The cockpit feels modern and is easy to navigate, and the overall drive is fine. There’s no doubt that ZE EV offers outstanding value for money for a family sized SUV, and it works brilliantly for day-to-day duties, but it’s hard not to think a car of this size would be used for longer journeys where range could become a more of an issue.
Renault Zoe £26,495
While the Renault Zoe might not be as cheap as some here the big pull here is the range it offers. This smart looking compact delivers up to 245 miles (395km) from a full charge from its 52kWh 400 V lithium-ion battery. An 80 percent charge can be achieved in around 70 minutes when using a 50kW charger. It’s also good to see Renault back up their batteries with an eight year or 100,000-mile (160,934km) warranty if they fall below 66 percent of their original capacity. The base model R100 Zoe provides 106bhp with a top speed of 84mph, and delivers it from 0-62mph (0-100kph) in 11.4 seconds. This isn’t particularly quick but it is a family car so won’t be a game changer for most potential customers.
On top of the substantial range the Zoe more than justifies its price tag when it comes to the drive, handling and overall feel. Plus, it’s offers far more room than any of the sub £20,000 cars here, so you do you get what you pay for in this instance. It’s more than comfortable for four adults with a generous 338-litre boot space, and the rear split seats can be dropped if bulky items need to be transported. The Zoe has evolved over the years and the latest incarnation offers a superb balance of real life practicality and price.
Honda E £26,600
The Honda e is their first completely electric car aimed at city use. It’s hard not to be swayed by the looks and is aimed at those who appreciate its design. What might be a harder sell for such a compact car that costs over £25,000 is the 137 mile range from its 35.5kWh battery. Unfortunately, at this price point it sits next to the Renault Zoe which excels in this department. A rapid charge using a 50kW charger will get this Honda to 80 percent in just 31 minutes, though.
What makes the Honda e stand out besides its external styling is the ride. It’s fun to drive and will accelerate from 0-62mph (0-110kph) in just 8.3 seconds making it a snappy little mover. It’s also hard not to be impressed once inside with it’s nice and airy environment, and the spaceship style dashboard with all its cameras and electronica that make daily driving easier. There’s room for four but as with some compacts rear leg room is minimal. The boot space is just 171 litres but this works for most daily chores. Regardless of this, the Honda e remains a classy looking town car, both inside and out. It’s fun to drive and a car you’ll be happy to be seen in, if you’re less worried about range.
Vauxhall Corsa E £28,000
The Corsa E is a stylish hatchback that brings plenty to the electric car table. At the heart of the Corsa E is a 50kWh battery that delivers 134bhp taking it from 0-62mph (0-100kph) in just 8.1 seconds, with a top speed of 93mph (151kph). Fortunately, the range isn’t overly compromised as a consequence with the Vauxhall offering up to 209 miles from a full charge. It will also charge up to 80 percent in as little as 30 minutes using a 100kW charger. There are three driving modes; Normal, Eco and Sport, which cover all bases for most situations and driver types.
Inside, it feels modern and sensible but it’s not as sporty or space age as some here. There’s plenty of room for four and the 267-litre boot space offers sufficient room for most driving situations. Vauxhall have achieved a good balance with their Corsa E. It offers a sporty feeling hatchback that delivers on performance yet has a good range. It works equally well for young singletons or the family who don’t want to feel like boy racers.
Nissan Leaf £29,790
The Leaf has been a forerunner in the electric car space having been produced for the last decade. It pre-dates the Tesla Model S by two years and at nearly £50,000 cheaper it’s no wonder it has become a much loved small family electric car. The latest version offers a good balance of performance and driveability with a range of up to 168 miles from its 40kWh battery. It’s not the biggest range by any means price considered, but it’s ideal for general around town use and short commuting tasks. With a 50kW rapid charger it can be charged to 80 percent of its capacity in around an hour.
Nissan’s e-Pedal system is a neat feature that allows for one pedal driving which makes life easier, especially in traffic. This combined with the light road feel and ease of driving make it a forgiving car to live with. It’s not a complete slug either when it comes to acceleration delivering 0-62mph (0-100kph) in 7.9 seconds. The styling of this hatchback is sporty both inside and out, and carries out most family duties with ease. The Leaf has developed with the times and has become the car that many of its competitors have tried to emulate.