Updated: Jul 26, 2021
Sales of electric cars are at an all-time high, accounting for 6.6% of new car sales in 2020. It’s not difficult to see why. The market’s premier vehicles create little noise, are cheaper to run than their petrol and diesel counterparts and provide the most gratifying of drives.
Moreover, their popularity is set to intensify further as legislation passes that limits the usage of the petrol and diesel vehicles within inner city regions.
The main barrier preventing sales in even greater numbers is often what’s known as ‘range anxiety’ - the worry that your shiny new electric car will run out of juice before you’ve got from A to B. However, range anxiety is withering away as many of today’s models can box off more than 200 miles between charges.
So, if you’re in the market for a car powered by electricity, what are the best ones out there?
To help you decide, we present our top 10 electric cars of 2021.
10. Kia Soul EV
RRP from £37,545 to £37,545
Though it may give off Fiat Multipla oddball vibes, the Soul EV isn’t one to discount too readily. There’s a surprising amount of grunt under the bonnet, it boasts an impressively long range and comes equipped with lots of interesting features.
However, those with substantial storage requirements might want to exercise some caution. Because the Soul is compact by SUVs standards, the boot isn’t the biggest out there.
Relatively small boot
Rear seats lack flexibility
Good driving position
Impressive driving range
Long equipment list
9. Jaguar I-Pace
RRP from £65,195 to £74,395
To say it’s Jaguar’s first ever electric car, the company engineered outstanding range for the I-Pace. Driven sensibly and it can cover 250 miles on a full charge.
Geared more towards thrill-seekers, the I-Pace also delivers all the performance you’d expect from a Jag, offering a sporty drive, with arguably the classiest interior of any Jaguar that’s come before it.
Though there are alternatives to the I-Pace that are cheaper and charge faster, the I-Pace remains a compelling choice.
Long range between charges
Poor rear visibility
Pricier than some alternatives
Rivals can charge at faster speeds
8. Renault Zoe
RRP from £29,995 to £34,495
With the basic model coming in at less than £30k, the Zoe is one of the cheapest electric cars you can buy new.
Along with an attractive price tag, the running costs are low, and the Zoe’s range is longer than many of its rivals. If pushed though, we’d have to say the Peugeot e-208 is the better all-rounder.
Longer range than similar-priced rivals
R135 model has punchy acceleration
Tight rear head room
Flawed driving position
Automatic emergency braking unavailable on entry-level trim
7. Peugeot e-208
RRP from £29,725 to £32,975
The e-208 just pips the Zoe, courtesy of its higher quality interior, more generous rear head room, and extra safety kit.
Petrol versions of the 208 were famed for their impressive boot size and the e-208 is no different. However, also like the petrol 208, the driving position is not to everybody’s taste.
The Zoe covers more miles between charges
Spongy brake pedal
Not the cheapest
6. Kia e-Niro
RRP from £32,845 to £39,395
The e-Niro is another entry that kicks range anxiety into touch. For standard everyday driving, you can bank on up to 250 miles on a full charge.
As well as practicality, the e-Niro offers capable performance, decent comfort, and enough features to keep dashboard-fiddlers happy.
250-mile-plus range in real-world driving
Pricier than closet rival the MG ZS EV
No Euro NCAP safety rating
5. BMW iX3
RRP from £61,900 to £64,900
Apart from a few styling adjustments and an electric motor sitting where a combustion engine normally would, the iX3 is essentially a BMW X3 – and that's a good thing.
Buyers of the iX3 acquire a head-turning yet practical SUV containing the best infotainment system you’ll find in any electric vehicle. It handles better than its rivals and provides a luxurious, zero emissions ride. In fact, the extended range between charges is merely a cherry on the cake.
Longer range than most rivals
Great infotainment system
Comparatively well priced
Weaker performance than rivals
The E-tron is quieter
Tesla Model 3 offers longer range and faster charging
4. Fiat 500
RRP from £13,260 to £29,995
If it’s urban driving you’re looking for, look no further than the new Fiat 500. More compact than its main rivals, it fits into the spaces they have no choice but to abandon.
With a tight turning circle, feather light steering, and superb forward visibility, the 500 is a cinch to manoeuvre as it zips through the bustling city streets. It also offers decent range for those longer drives, and, unlike its rivals, there are convertible models.
Decent range between charges
Great for urban driving
Tiny rear seats
Noisy on the motorway
Rivals can go further on a full charge
3. Porsche Taycan
RRP from £70,745 to £139,221
If you're feeling flush and want an electric car that comes with all the benefits you’d expect, but also want something that gets the adrenaline pumping, then it’s hard to look past the Porsche Taycan.
Despite its beautiful interior and ability to go from zip to 62mph in just over 5 seconds, the Taycan is also surprisingly practical. Yes, it’ll hit your wallet a bit harder than the rest, but you’ll be getting a formidable vehicle in return.
Capable and fun in corners
Wonderful interior quality
...and that’s without the extras
Range isn’t great
2. Volkswagen ID.3
RRP from £31,670 to £42,290
Courtesy of its rear-wheel drive, pinpoint steering and joyous handling, the ID.3 is a car lovers’ car.
With abundant room inside, it ticks all the practicality boxes while boasting notable performance and great range.
For buyers who like to keep one eye on the pennies, predicted resale values for the ID.3 are high and it’ll be cheap to run whether you’re a private buyer or looking for a new company car.
Plain interior quality
Charging network weaker than some
Infotainment system is basic
1. Tesla Model 3
RRP from £43,490 to £59,990
Few cars attract the kind of pre-launch hype as the Model 3 enjoyed, and there’s good reason for that.
Tesla's most affordable car to date provides an ecstatic drive and is packed full of all the tech you’d expect from a manufacturer directed by a man obsessed with space travel. More practical than you might imagine, the Model 3 also offers insane performance and will have you travelling at 62mph from a standstill in under 4 seconds.
Factor in a starting price of just over £40k with the Ferrari-matching performance, and the Model 3 isn’t just the best all-rounder amongst electric cars in 2021, it’s one of the best cars, period.