With electric cars usually costing thousands more than their petrol or diesel counterparts, the thought of going electric can be a daunting one. After all, of all the cars for sale out there, electric ones arguably have the biggest compromise, range.
Thankfully you can dip a toe for less than you think, with many electric cars out there available for very competitive monthly amounts. You’ll find a list of some of the most affordable below, but first a few words of advice.
As a general rule of thumb, the larger the battery the longer the range. It’s also worth looking out for the miles per kilowatt hour (kWh) figure, this is similar to mpg in a regular car only the figure is distance per unit of electricity.
Although undercut by a few cars on this list, the VW ID.3 is one of the cheaper mainstream electric hatchbacks out there. Its minimalist interior won’t appeal to all and the infotainment can be frustrating, but it’s spacious inside and has a reasonable boot.
Range varies depending on battery size, although at the time of writing only the 58kWh was available and in one trim level due to the chip shortage. A wider variety of models including a larger battery version is available on the used market, though.
We’ve got used to good value but rather uninspiring MG electric cars, but the MG 4 is a genuinely great EV hatch with a bargain price. Two battery sizes are available with even the top spec model thousands cheaper than the ID.3.
The long range can do up to 281 miles and is genuinely good fun to drive, with punchy performance and entertaining handling. The interior is a bit cheap-feeling in places, but it’s also spacious and well equipped.
MG 5 EV
If the MG 4 is a little too small, there’s always the MG 5 estate. It has a much bigger boot and a larger battery to give over 250 miles of range. Equipment levels are good, and a facelift has modernised the car’s look compared to its drab predecessor.
It’s still not particularly great to drive, with uninspiring handling and lots of body roll. Still, the MG 5 is surprisingly swift in a straight line, so you can always have fun destroying dozing hot hatches away from the lights.
Looking almost identical to a regular 208, the e-208 doesn’t have any less space inside. That’s quite impressive considering the claimed range is north of 200 miles. Interior quality is a cut above the MGs and even the ID.3, especially if you opt for one of the higher spec trims.
Acceleration is nippy enough, if not quite as rapid as the Mini Electric. We suspect most would prefer the e-208’s supple ride, though.
MG ZS EV
It’s a hat trick for MG, with the ZS EV SUV also making our list of bargains. It’s family-sized with a usefully big boot and reasonable rear seat space, if not the most attractive of interiors. Range is good if you go for the long range and performance isn’t bad, either.
Despite being a similar size to the ZS EV, the Mazda MX-30 gives up some usability for a greater sense of style. Its reverse-opening rear doors make access trickier than conventional ones, and the boot isn’t massive, either.
The battery is a tiny 35.5kWh giving around 90 miles of real-world range but fast recharge times. It also makes the MX-30 lighter and more fun to drive whilst keeping the price cheap, too.