Electric cars

Electric cars are growing in popularity. The best electric cars are fun to drive, extremely quiet, have no harmful emissions and are cheap to run. As battery technology improves, the distance electric cars can go between charges is increasing, as is the number of electric vehicle (EV) charging points, making them more practical for many people. So if you’re considering an electric car, our team of experts has rounded-up the best models below. Read on to hear what they had to say.

The best electric cars are... simply good cars that just happen to be powered by a battery pack and an electric motor. So they are practical, have comfortable interiors and good levels of equipment. Electric vehicles are great fun to drive thanks to their immediate acceleration and the cars here have decent a decent range too.

1
Tesla

Packed with futuristic kit and a minimalist interior dominated by a 15-inch touchscreen infotainment system, the Tesla Model 3 certainly makes a statement. It's fun to drive and cheap to run too.

2
Kia

With the Kia e-Niro you get a stylish, well-equipped electric car that has a decent boot, an impressive 280-mile range and peace of mind too – thanks to Kia's seven-year warranty.

3
Audi

If you are after an electric SUV with an impressive turn of speed and one of the poshest interiors of any electric car, the Audi e-tron is for you. Tech fans will appreciate the impressive infotainment system and the optional rear facing cameras that replace traditional door mirrors.

4
Jaguar

The Jaguar I-Pace is one of the most fun electric cars to drive. But it's not just about the drive - it comes with a plush, high-tech cabin too, with lots of leather, brushed aluminium trims and three digital displays.

5
Mercedes
EQC

Elegant and stylish, with a roomy interior and lots of high-tech features, the Mercedes EQC is an upmarket electric car yet still cheaper to buy than the Audi e-tron.

6
Hyundai

An impressive range, competitive pricing and a decent list of standard kit are the reasons the Hyundai Kona EV gets on this list. You get a nice, high driving position and a fun driving experience too.

7
Nissan

Decent range, decent space, decent equipment, decent tech and you can pick a Nissan Leaf up for a decent price too. All in all, the Leaf is a pretty decent electric car that should be on your shortlist

8
Renault
Zoe

The Renault Zoe is a small electric car with punchy performance and an impressive range. Recently updated, it looks pretty smart inside and out - and you can even get the dashboard made with eco-friendly recycled material.

9
BMW
i3

One of the most instantly recognisable electric cars, the BMW i3 has a funky interior, an clever infotainment system and is surprisingly quick for a small car. It has room for four people and a predicted range of around 180 miles.

10
Volkswagen

The Volkswagen e-Golf takes pretty much all the quality, practicality and comfort of the standard Golf and adds the attraction of zero-emission motoring. Expect good deals on this car, ahead of the all-new VW ID.3 coming in 2020.

You may have heard of range anxiety - the fear of being stranded in an electric car if its battery power runs out. Pick one of these electric vehicles with a long range to allay those fears.

1
Kia

With an official range of over 280 miles, the Kia e-Niro nearly tops this list of electric cars by range. Practical and spacious, it’s the all-rounder of electric cars.

2
Mercedes
EQC

The Mercedes EQC is an upmarket electric SUV that’s very comfortable to drive and comes with a spacious, well-built cabin. Officially, the car can manage up to 280 miles between charges.

3
Jaguar

The stylish Jaguar I-Pace tops this list thanks to its official range of nearly 300 miles. It’s just a shame it takes a long time to get to full charge.

4
Hyundai

The Hyundai Kona Electric is quick and has a long range, just a few miles fewer than the e-Niro. Its boot is smaller than the standard Kona but it's still practical enough to be a usable family car.

5
Audi

The Audi e-tron electric car has a posh interior that’s also very practical. Its two electric motors give an impressive turn of speed. It can manage upto 250 miles between charges.

Electric SUVs combine the best of all words - great fun to drive, practical interiors and are emissions free. Bookmark this page and come back regularly as more electric SUVs come on sale.

1
Mercedes
EQC

The Mercedes EQC has stylish looks and is very comfortable to drive. You get the benefit of a good, high-up driving position and lots of high-tech features too.

2
Audi

Posh and practical, the Audi e-tron is a quick and spacious electric SUV. Packed full of high-tech kit, the interior looks like it's been lifted out of a spaceship.

3
Jaguar

Consider the Jaguar I-pace if you’re after an electric SUV that’s packed with futuristic features, just be prepared for a high price tag.

4
Kia

There's not much to choose between the Kia e-Niro and the Hyundai Kona EV. The e-Niro is slightly bigger, has a slightly longer range and is a bit more expensive.

5
Hyundai

The Hyundai Kona Electric is quick and has a long range. Its boot is smaller than the standard Kona but it's still practical enough to be a usable family car.

Thinking of buying an electric vehicle but not sure whether you can combine practical family transport with emissions-free driving? Worry no more, the cars below are spacious, practical and easy to drive, making them the best electric cars for families.

1
Kia

The Kia e-Niro is a family-friendly SUV that’s roomy, has a long list of standard kit, a big boot and a range of around 280 miles. All this is more than enough to put it at the top of our best electric cars for families.

2
Hyundai

Even though it shares its electric car tech with the e-Niro, the Hyundai Kona Electric isn’t quite as spacious as the Kia, however the trade-off is that it's a little cheaper and so grabs second place on this list.

3
Volkswagen

The VW Golf has set the standard for the small family car for decades, and the e-Golf delivers everything you'd expect of a car with this name badge, but with electric power that's good for a 125-mile range in the real world.

4
Hyundai

Well equipped and spacious, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric ticks most of the boxes you want an electric family car. It may not look the most stylish but it's easy to drive and has a range of around 150 miles.

5
Tesla

It may be the most expensive electric car on this list but it’s one of the best. And which family wouldn’t like a car that can make fart noises when Auntie Agnes sits in the front seat? It’s practical too, with a boot space both at the rear and the front of the car.

These are brilliant for zipping around towns and cities thanks to the combination of zero emissions and their great acceleration away from traffic lights and coming out of junctions.

1
Nissan

The Nissan ‘Leaf’s’ clever e-Pedal means you can accelerate and brake just by using the accelerator pedal – a brilliant innovation that scooped it our Innovation Award at 2018’s carwow Car of the Year Awards. The Leaf costs buttons to run, is easy to drive and surprisingly nippy. Shame that its infotainment system is outdated and the interior quality is inconsistent.

2
Kia

The e-Niro is quite similar to the Hyundai Kona EV. The e-Niro is slightly bigger, is a bit more expensive and has a longer warranty.

3
Hyundai

Good range, practical interior, fun to drive... the Hyundai Kona Electric is one of the best electric cars on sale.

4
Renault
Zoe

The Renault Zoe is one of the cheapest routes to electric-car ownership and also one of the best electric cars period – which is why it won our Eco Award at the 2018 carwow Car of the Year Awards. It is a fantastic small electric car with stylish looks, a competitive price and low running costs.

5
BMW
i3

If you’re looking for an upmarket small electric car that’s easy to drive and has a super stylish interior take a look at the BMW i3. Other electric cars are more comfortable, however.

Mainstream electric cars have been on sale for a number of years, which means there is a number of used models for sale now. These are the carwow best five used electric cars.

1
Volkswagen

Spacious, practical and packed with traditional Volkswagen build quality ensures the VW e-Golf is at the top of our used electric car list. With a real-world range of around 125 miles it’s ideal for zipping around town.

2
Renault
Zoe

The Renault Zoe has been on sale since 2013 and is ideal for scooting around town. If you lease the batteries you don't be concerned about battery performance - Renault promises to replace your battery if it isn't able to hold on to 75% of its capacity.

3
Nissan

More than 400,000 Nissan Leaf electric cars have been sold worldwide so finding a used one for sale shouldn't be too difficult. The latest model is smart looking, spacious enough and has a decent range but you’ll find loads of the first generation Leaf for sale too.

4
Hyundai

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric comes with a five year warranty as standard, which is passed on to subsequent owners a used version could come with that extra peace of mind. It’s also spacious and well equipped and has a range of around 150 miles.

5
Tesla

The Tesla Model S is one of the most expensive electric cars you can buy, so a used version after a bit of depreciation could be the way to go if you love the car’s high performance, high luxury, long range and zero emissions.

FAQs

The amount of time that it takes to charge your electric car varies based on car's battery capacity and the power of the charging point, but figuring it out should be pretty simple a pretty simple calculation. For example, if your car has a 70kW (kilowatt) battery and is plugged into a 7kWh (kilowatt/hour) charger then it will take ten hours to charge from empty to full. For more details read our blog: How long does it take to charge an electric car

How much it costs to charge an electric car depends on the type of electric car you drive, the batteries it has and where you buy the electricity from.

You can charge your car at home, at a public charging point or at fast-charging points at motorway service stations and each entail slightly different costs. Generally , charging at home is the cheapest but you will probably need to install a charging point.

For more details read our blog: How much does it cost to charge an electric car

You can get a discount on the price of brand new low-emission vehicles through a grant the government gives to vehicle dealerships and manufacturers.

You do not need to ask your dealer about the grant nor do you have to apply for it - the dealer will include the value of the grant in the vehicle’s price.

The grant will cover 35% of the price of the electric vehicle, up to a maximum of £3500.

You may have heard the phrase 'Category 1' or 'Plug-in grant' in relation to the cars eligible for the grant, however, these related to the previous scheme that was open to hybrid cars too albeit with a lower grant. But the rules were changed and simplified in October 2018 to cover only vehicles with CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and can travel at least 70 miles without any emissions at all.

The cars in the scheme are:

Audi e-tron

BMW i3 and i3s

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Nexo

Jaguar I-Pace

Kia e-Niro

Kia Soul EV

Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive

Mercedes EQC

Mercedes eVito Tourer

Nissan e-NV200

Nissan Leaf

Renault Zoe

Smart EQ fortwo

Smart EQ forfour

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model 3

Toyota Mirai

Volkswagen e-up!

Volkswagen e-Golf

How far an electric car can go on a single charge varies depending on the car you drive, how you drive it and the conditions in which you drive it – much like a petrol or diesel car, in fact.

Most modern electric cars can go well over 100 miles between charges, with the many of the latest cars having a 'range' of around 250 miles.

For more details read our blog: How far can an electric car go

To find out where you can find a charging point, take a look at our electric cars charging points finder.

To find out if an electric car is for you, use the carwow Fuel Chooser.

The interest-free Electric Vehicle Loan, funded by Transport Scotland (an agency of the Scottish Government), currently offers loans of up to £35,000 to cover the cost of purchasing a new pure electric/plug-in hybrid car or up to £10,000 to cover the cost of purchasing a new electric motorcycle or scooter.
If you can't find your nearest charger, carwow has a handy Electric Car Charging Points Map. It knows every electric car charging point in the UK and even lets you search by town, city and/or postcode.