The 10 best electric cars to buy now

Ahead of a ban on fossil-fuelled cars by 2030, here's the pick of the EVs you can buy now in terms of range, efficiency and desirability

best electric cars on sale buy now
The choice of plug-in cars is expanding apace, but which are our current favourites?

The Government has brought forward the ban on sales of new petrol- or diesel-engined cars by five years to 2030, as part of its “green industrial revolution” initiative announced last night.

In other words, in 10 years’ time, the UK’s new car sales market will probably be almost entirely electric – for the moment at least, hybrid cars have been reprieved until 2035. That means manufacturers have until then to get a range of electric models on sale and available to us to replace the vast array of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars currently on offer.

No small feat, frankly. And of course, an electric car won’t suit everyone; finding a solution that works for those whose annual mileage is too great, or who simply don’t have access to an electric car charger at home or nearby, will be imperative in the intervening years. 

But if you can make the switch, electric cars offer plenty of benefits, even now. Not only are modern electric cars fast and quiet, but they’re also cheap to run and maintain and mechanically very simple. 

And such is the pace of development that, with a couple of exceptions, this top 10 bears little relation to our pick of EVs on a couple of months ago.

Besides, switching to electric before we’re forced to could help you to get your head around the ins and outs of charging, as well as to work out whether range anxiety really will affect you. Fancy it? If so, we reckon these are the best EVs on sale today. 

10. Polestar 2

Price: from £46,900

Range: 292 miles

Energy consumption: 3.9 miles per Kilowatt-hour (mpkWh)

Beneath its mildly awkward styling sits an electric car of real talent, with a long range, excellent performance and the sort of slick user experience that is likely to give Tesla sleepless nights. The standard car is comfortable, if a little roly-poly in corners, but you won’t care too much about that because you’ll be too busy enjoying the gorgeous interior. Not the best electric car out there – but a very good one nonetheless. 

9. Peugeot e-208 

Price: from £25,050

Range: 211 miles 

Energy consumption: 3.9mpkWh

While it might not be able to match its chief rival, the Renault Zoe, on range, the e-208 does have one trick up its sleeve, which is that rapid charging comes as standard. And while the ride is somewhat on the firm side and the extra weight of the batteries dampens the handling slightly, the e-208 still boasts all the style, technology and sense of quality that makes the standard 208 such a cracking little car. 

8. Renault Zoe 

Price: from £26,495

Range: up to 245 miles

Energy consumption: up to 3.6mpkWh

A process of constant evolution has meant that, despite the age of its basic design, the Renault Zoe is still right up to date. A bigger battery and a new interior came along last year to keep it fresh, and while rapid charging is still only an optional extra, the Zoe remains one of the most composed and compelling electric cars out there. Indeed, nowhere else can you find this much range for this little cash – although beware the high electricity consumption, which will make it more costly to run than the most efficient electric cars.

7. Volkswagen ID.3

Price: from £35,880

Range: 260 miles

Energy consumption: 4.3mpkWh

It might not wear the Golf badge, but be in no doubt: the ID.3 is the shape of Volkswagen’s family cars to come. And by and large, that’s a good thing, given the classy way it drives, with supple suspension that glosses over all but the worst bumps and safe, solid driving dynamics. Inside, it’s less Golf-like, with lightweight materials that feel somewhat cheap in places, but there’s plenty of space on offer and the ID.3 is very efficient – all of which makes it one of the more refreshingly down-to-earth electric cars out there.

6. Peugeot e-2008

Price: from £29,065

Range: 206 miles 

Energy consumption: 3.7mpkWh

With its stylish interior, compact dimensions, a beautifully smooth ride and a smooth powertrain that makes it effortless to drive, the Peugeot e-2008 is one of the slickest electric cars around. There’s a decent amount of space in both front and rear seats, and a smart boot with a neat false floor, too, and it’s even reasonably priced by EV standards – although if you want one of the top-spec versions, you’ll have to fork out quite a bit more. Avoid doing so, though, and the e-2008 is one of the most complete electric car packages out there. Had it a longer range, it’d place even higher in this list. 

5. Kia Soul EV

Price: from £34,295

Range: 280 miles 

Energy consumption: 4.4mpkWh

One of the more distinctive electric cars, the Soul EV’s styling makes it stand out from the crowd, even if it isn’t to everyone’s taste. Whatever you might think of its looks, though, beneath the skin this is an electric car of real talent; it’s practical, spacious, well equipped and great to drive, and thanks to impressive energy efficiency it has a sizable range from a battery that isn’t too large or weighty. And, of course, it comes with Kia’s whopping seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty. 

4. Porsche Taycan 

Price: from £84,189

Range: up to 258 miles

Energy consumption: up to 3.0mpkWh

It’s one of, if not the best-driving electric cars in the world, but until recently, the Taycan’s high price made it hard to justify. But now, with the addition of the entry-level 4S version, it suddenly seems a bit more reasonable. It’s beautifully finished inside, with four doors and a proper boot, and build quality the Tesla Model S can only dream of; if you can stretch to it, then, the Taycan is a pretty special bit of kit.

3. Jaguar i-Pace 

Price: from £65,195

Range: up to 292 miles

Energy consumption: up to 2.8mpkWh

A cavalcade of awards met the arrival of the Jaguar I-Pace last year, and that comes as no great surprise, for not only is it far more exciting than most electric cars to drive, but it’s beautifully appointed, handsome, fast, and boasts a very usable range. Only its poor energy efficiency knocks it back a little, but if you can live with that, it remains one of the classiest electric cars out there. 

2. Tesla Model 3 

Price: from £40,490

Range: up to 348 miles

Energy consumption: up to 4.2mpkWh

It should come as no surprise that the Model 3 has won over thousands of buyers across the world. With a better level of finish than its older and larger Model S stablemate, it’s even banishing some of the reasons not to buy a Tesla. Throw in the smart, minimalist interior, access to Tesla’s Supercharger network and a price that actually seems rather reasonable, given the whopping range and super-saloon performance, and the Model 3 is very tempting.

1. Kia e-Niro

Price: from £29,595

Range: up to 282 miles

Energy consumption: up to 4.2mpkWh

With the arrival of more affordable variants, the Kia e-Niro is once again our favourite electric car. Not only does it offer a huge range for reasonable money, putting much pricier electric SUVs to shame, but it’s efficient – and therefore relatively inexpensive to run. Throw in a comfortable, quiet ride, a smart interior and enough space to serve as ideal family transport, and you have a winning combination. 

All prices take into account the £3,500 Government plug-in car grant Where quoted, range and energy consumption figures were obtained using the official WLTP Combined test cycle.

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Which electric car would you hand the number one spot to? Let us know in the comments section below.