One of the most appealing features of electric automobiles is their ability to go around cities quietly and without adding to local pollution. Manufacturers are aware of this, which is why there is an ever-increasing selection of tiny electric cars to choose from – ideal for the daily commute and the occasional longer-distance trip.
Electric cars are now more accessible than ever before to a wider range of drivers. Manufacturers began their transition to electrification by installing electric motors in large SUVs and saloons, which came with higher pricing and better profit margins. However, there is now a diverse range of small electric vehicles to choose from, and compact electric vehicles make a lot of sense.
They may be fitted with smaller batteries, weigh less overall, and cost less, and with the rapid performance of electric motors, they are the ideal way to zoom in and out of city traffic, discreetly and without emitting any exhaust emissions.
These are the four best small electric cars on the market right now.
Peugeot e- 208
The Peugeot 208 is only slightly above average as a typical combustion-engine supermini. It is, however, one of the most enticing little vehicles and best small electric car available in all-electric form, because to its combination of useful range, performance, pricing, practicality, style, perceived quality, and driver appeal.
The battery has a range of up to 217 miles. The front wheels are driven by a 136bhp engine that accelerates the car from 0 to 62mph in 8.1 seconds, and the e-208 accepts a 100kW charge that replenishes the battery at a rate of six miles per minute.
Using a rapid public charge station, you'll be able to charge the e-208's batteries from empty to 80 percent full in just 30 minutes. Using a 7kW wall charger at home to charge the e-208 takes about 7 hours and costs between £8 and £9 depending on your electricity plan.
The interior of the Peugeot e-208 is stylish and well-made, although some plastics seem cheap, and the black trim scratches quickly. The steering wheel is the size of a cotton reel, just like the regular 208, and despite its diminutive size, it can hide the elegant 3D instrument binnacle with its varying depth, dizzying layers of information.
The e-208's boot is the same size as the conventional 208's, giving you 311 litres of room, which is 100 more than a Mini Electric. So it's a good size, but keep in mind that you'll have to carry your charging wires in a bag, which takes up some space.
The Peugeot e-208 is a joy to drive in town. Its electric engine provides quick response, and you can do a lot of driving without touching the brakes - the car begins to slow down as soon as you take off the throttle.
The Renault Zoe is one of our favorite little electric cars, and at around £27,595 after the government's Plug-in Car Grant, it's a wonderful price. The first Renault Zoe demonstrated that electric vehicles don't have to be pricey or full of gimmicks, and the latest iteration of the electric hatchback has only improved on that. It has a great design, is enjoyable to drive, and has a reasonable range between charging stops. It's not the most practical EV on the market, but it's reasonably priced for an electric vehicle.
The battery has a range of up to 245 miles. It can cover up to 239 miles of lab-test range on a single charge thanks to its 52kWh battery. A WLTP range of 245 miles is likewise impressive, and nearly double that of the similarly priced Mini Electric and Honda E.
The new Renault Zoe is capable of more than just going to the store. You'll be able to travel roughly 240 miles with its batteries completely charged, which takes three hours using a public 22kW charger. Charging at home takes eight hours with the regular 7 kWh setup, but a speedy charge to 80% with a 50kWh charger takes 70 minutes on the more powerful model. A 30-minute charge will offer you 90 miles of range.
The Renault Zoe's cabin is stylish and well-equipped, yet it still has a cheap feel about it in several areas. In the practical, five-door Zoe, iconic trim is all you'll need because it comes with plenty of excellent safety gear, good connectivity, and niceties like LED headlights and parking sensors.
The Renault Zoe has a boot capacity of 338 litres. That's more than 25% larger than the VW e-boot, Up's but significantly smaller than the Nissan Leaf's 435-litre boot. The boot entrance is broad, and the load lip isn't very high, so you won't strain your back lifting in bigger objects. Only Iconic versions and up get two-way split-folding seats, allowing you to transport a person in the rear and some lengthy stuff from the boot at the same time.
In city, the Renault Zoe is a breeze to drive. You'll have no issue slipping through traffic thanks to its small dimensions, short turning circle, and wide windows. A big pillar beside the bootlid blocks rear view slightly, but you can add rear parking sensors and a reversing camera to assist you avoid bumps and scrapes in the parking lot.
With plenty of interior room and a long electric range, the Volkswagen ID.3 makes the transition to electric automobiles feel seamless. The unusual switchgear will take some getting accustomed to, but once you do, you'll be driving something truly special.
Three alternative battery packs are now available for the ID.3. The ID.3 has a claimed range of 217 miles with the smallest pack, and 336 miles with the heaviest pack. Those battery sizes are also linked to varied electric motor power outputs. The ID.3 produces 145, 150, or 204 horsepower, depending on the option you select.
The drawback of getting a bigger battery is that it takes longer to charge. The 58kWh model will be fully charged in 9.5 hours using a 7kW home wall box, while the 77kWh model will take 13 hours. The 58kWh model can be charged to 80% using a DC rapid charger in just 31 minutes, while the 77kWh variant takes just under 40 minutes.
The VW ID3 cabin is attractive and futuristic, but the quality isn't what you'd expect from a Volkswagen, and the air-conditioning controls are difficult to use while driving. Volkswagen has gone for a minimalist design in the cabin, so there isn't much in the way of actual switchgear. The dash top is dominated by a big 10-inch touchscreen infotainment device, as well as a smaller digital instrument display operated by the steering wheel controls.
With the back seats elevated, the new Volkswagen ID.3 boasts 385 litres of cargo space, which is more than enough to compete with the current Golf's 381 litres. It's also bigger than the 375-litre capacity of the newest Ford Focus.
In the city, electric vehicles are at their best, and the ID.3 is no exception. With 204hp, acceleration from a standstill is instantaneous and surprisingly snappy, allowing you to easily weave in and out of traffic gaps. This acceleration continues to be strong even when you approach the national speed limit, which is really useful for making safe overtakes on the open road.
The Mini Electric brings all of the brand's fun element to the compact EV category, but with a few equally typical use limits and accounts in the best small electric cars. The performance is really strong, and while the range leaves something to be desired, there is plenty of equipment to keep you entertained.
It can drive up to 145 miles between charges because to its 32kWh battery and electric motor. That's a little further than a Honda e, but not quite as far as the Peugeot e-208 or Renault Zoe, which are both less expensive.
A 7kW wall box charger can charge the Mini Electric's battery from empty to full in just under five hours at home. Finding a 50kW rapid charger on the street, on the other hand, will take just 28 minutes to charge from 10% to 80%. That complete home charge will set you back roughly £5, which is about £16 less than filling up a typical petrol car over the same distance.
With some indications at pure-electric power, the usual wacky Mini style and outstanding quality apply. Mind you, some people will favor the more rational dash designs of the alternatives. The only significant indication that this Mini is a bit different inside are some beautiful new digital dials, aside from a fluro starter button and drive selector. They have a nice matte finish and are virtually circular in shape, displaying your range, power usage, speed, and trip information effectively.
The Mini Electric's boot is the same size as the standard three-door Mini's, so you get 211 liters, which is about 100 liters less than a Peugeot e-208 or a Renault Zoe. As a result, there's not much room inside, and while there's a fake floor to help avoid any loading lip, the car's charging wires take up some of the area beneath it.
The Mini Electric is simple to see out of in town and has a good turning circle for scything through congested streets. The Honda e, on the other hand, has a smaller turning radius and hence seems more maneuverable while parking in tight spaces.