Sales of electric cars in 2020 were one small bright spot in a difficult year for the automotive industry.
The good news is that there is now more choice than ever when it comes to EVs and while high-end models still cost well into six figures, there are far more affordable options for buyers on a tighter budget.
Here we’ve rounded up the 10 cheapest electric cars on sale in the UK right now. Due to recent unexpected changes to the Plug-in Car Grant and the unpredictability around the policy we’ve decided to remove it from our figures so all prices here are before the grant - currently worth £2,500 - is applied.
1. Smart EQ fortwo (£21,700)
The unique Mercedes-backed city car has been brought bang up to date to meet the changing automotive landscape. The shape is instantly recognisable but the tiny petrol motor has been replaced by a single 80bhp electric motor. A 17kWh battery offers between 75 and 80 miles of range, and charging at a domestic 7kW wallbox takes just under three and a half hours. If the tiny two-door isn’t big enough, there’s always its big brother...
2. Smart EQ forfour (£22,295)
As the name suggests, this is a four-door, four-seat relative of the fortwo. The forfour uses the same electric drivetrain as the fortwo with the same power, battery capacity and charging time. The added weight of the larger car means it’s a second slower to 62mph (hardly a concern in city driving).
3. Seat Mii Electric (£22,800)
The Mii is one of two electric city cars based on the same VW Group platform and slightly undercuts its VW relative. It looks just like any other Mii but this compact five-door model has an electric motor producing 82bhp and a massive 156lb/ft, meaning it can reach 31mph from a standstill in only 3.9 seconds. The car’s 36.8kWh battery provides up to 160 miles of range from a single charge and allows for rapid charging to 80 per cent capacity in an hour.
4. Fiat 500 (£22,995)
The latest Fiat 500 is another familiar name given an electric makeover. It’s a 100 per cent new car, sharing nothing but its name and immediately recognisable styling with the previous version of the retro city car. The cheapest versions come with a 90bhp electric motor and 23.8kWh battery good for a claimed 118 miles of driving. Spending an extra £3,500 will upgrade this to a higher spec model with a 118bhp motor and 42kWh battery with 199 miles of range.