Concerns about the environment have been one of the push points that has led vehicle developers and manufacturers to design and produce electric cars. In 2021, sales of electric vehicles reached 190,727. Electric car sales in that year were higher than diesel car sales.
The biggest consideration with any electric vehicle is the range that it can achieve on a full battery. This is important because you need to know if you can do the school run and get to work in the morning and do the reverse in the afternoon. In our list that follows, we have picked out the cheapest electric vehicles that can still reach a decent distance, so balancing cost and performance.
We will start by looking at electric cars and hybrids. Next, we will examine the reasons that are motivating people to purchase electric vehicles. In the main section, we will describe the cheapest electric car options out there, and end with a brief look at a leasing option for electric vehicles.
Electric Versus Fuel-Dependent Vehicles
There is still a crossover between fully electric cars and fuel-dependent vehicles. Currently, there are three possibilities:
- Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) – fully electric and no emissions
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) – has a charging point and a gas tank
- Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) – electric motor and gas-powered, uses fuel only
Why So Many People Are Going Electric
How come everyone is buying electric cars today? They are clearly in demand as new models are launched almost daily. Supply is greater than demand, and hence, prices have been decreasing. In the beginning few people could afford an electric vehicle. So, what are the reasons for more and more drivers deciding to go battery?
Initially, buyers were wary of electric vehicles. Many worried that they would get stuck somewhere from running out of battery life. As more cars were purchased and discussed amongst consumers, the fear and anxieties were assuaged.
The UK ban on internal combustion engine (ICE) cars to reduce CO2 emissions being released into the atmosphere has had the predominant effect on increased electric car sales.
There are multiple electric vehicles to choose from, but we have provided you with a list of the cheapest electric cars ranging upwards in price from £22,335 to £40,000. The cars on this list all have an adequate battery range as well.
Fiat 500 Electric
The Fiat 500 Electric retails from £22,335 and has a battery range of 115 miles. Its feel-good factor and utility both scored five stars in a 2022 review. However, it received three for handling and performance. It also scored the Best Small Electric Car 2022 from Parkers.
The Fiat 500 Electric range makes it more suitable for city driving and commuting to work and back. The long-range model, while more expensive, has a battery range of just under 200 miles.
The MG 4’s lowest cost is £25,995. It has a range of 218 miles. The vehicle is good value for many money, being considerably cheaper than cars with similar features. This car makes for a great driving experience due to its rear-mounted motor. Great on the outside, the trimmings inside match this low price.
If a range of 218 miles is not acceptable, have no fear because there is a Long Range electric vehicle upgrade with a nifty 281 miles before you need to recharge. This will only increase the purchase price by £2,500. If you are doing daily commutes to work and back, you need not upgrade as 218 miles is plenty of range. But if you like extended road trips and to tour the countryside on vacation, you would be advised to go with the Long Range car. If you are still unsure about buying outright you can lease an electric car at an affordable rate.
The MG 5 will give you a range between 200 and 250 miles. It comes with a price tag of £26,695 and a seven-year warranty. The MG 5 has achieved popularity with fleet managers and minicab drivers. Its dreary internal appearance is not out of place, given its clientele. With higher sales than Citroen, Land Rover, and Skoda, it is not surprising that the car was voted into the top cars list for 2022.
The Nissan Leaf will set you back £28,995 and can cover a range of 168 miles. When electric cars came out, the Nissan Leaf was evidentially the most popular vehicle on the road, being the bestselling electric car. Although it has not sustained its place at the top, it continues to be sold in high numbers. There is a long-range version.
The Vauxhall Corsa-e is a supermini and has a range of 222 miles, according to WLTP-certified testing. Whereas, in reality it reaches about 160 miles. It is sold from £29,305 up. What makes the Vauxhall Corsa-e so friendly on the budget is that it comes with offers of leasing packages and easy finance options.
MG ZS EV
The MG ZS EV goes for £29,945 or more and covers a WLTP-certified 273 miles. This puts in in the ballpark with some long-range electric cars but at half the price. It also makes it a family car. There is not much to boast about in the vehicle’s interior.
The Renault Zoe has a range of 245 miles and sells for £29,995. In practice, it will get to around 200 miles before needing to be recharged. This is excellent for such a small vehicle. The Renault Zoe has one major selling point drawback. The vehicle was tested by Euro NCAP for safety in crashes. Its score was zero stars. This indicates that its safety features are not fantastic.
Buying or Leasing an Electric Car
If you are still undecided about buying an electric car, another option is leasing an electric car. This gives you the chance to get used to driving an electric car without fear. Bear in mind that you only have until 2030 before ICE vehicles are outlawed for good, so leasing a vehicle will also give you the chance to try out different electric cars until you find your match.
Currently, the electric car market favours the buyer, and these vehicles are available in abundance at very low prices. This is because manufacturers are getting new models out to dealers, creating a high supply with a much lower demand. As 2030 approaches, many people will suddenly start purchasing electric vehicles. This will push up the demand and decrease the ready supply of electric cars. Prices will therefore rise and it will become a lot trickier to find the electric car you want at a price you are willing to pay. You will no doubt end up paying more than you anticipated in a suppliers’ market.
Buying a new electric car can be daunting. Getting all the information about its upkeep and maintenance, regular dealer inspections (every 7,500 miles), checks you should perform at set times, e.g.. monthly, and knowing how and where to charge it will help you to overcome your nerves and take the leap.
With this information you can conduct your own research into models of electric cars and work out your budget or how you will finance the purchase.