Electric cars (EVs) are emission-free vehicles. They don’t burn fossil fuels like cars with internal combustion engines (ICE). Instead, they rely on battery power and use electricity from the national grid to charge these batteries.
When you brake in an electric car, kinetic energy is transferred back into the batteries. The energy that usually goes to waste in ICEs is reused and allows EVs to travel further on a single charge.
Electric cars aren't just different to ICEs because they run on battery power rather than fossil fuels. Other big differences include:
While some hybrid cars can run on battery power alone, their range is much shorter than a pure electric car. In many cases, the battery is only there to make the engine run more efficiently.
Petrol & Diesel (ICE) Cars
A hybrid car is fitted with an internal combustion engine, an electric motor and a battery pack. These work together to make a hybrid more efficient than a pure ICE. However, because of the presence of fossil fuels, they are not as environmentally friendly as electric cars. Mild hybrids also cannot run on battery power alone.
The four main advantages of buying an electric car over a hybrid or ICE are:
The four main disadvantages of buying an electric car over a hybrid or ICE are:
Electric cars are becoming much more common in the UK. Worldwide sales increased 160% in the first half of 2021 (vs 2020). As of November 2021, there are over 345,000 electric cars on UK roads and new EV sales currently hold a market share of 10%. This is higher than new diesel cars (8%). SMMT expect that electric cars will outsell diesel and mild hybrid cars by the end of 2022 and, by 2030, all new car sales in the UK will be electric vehicles.
You can currently buy an electric car from the following brands:
As of November 2021, the average price of a brand-new electric car in the UK is £43,196. This ranges from £20,745 RRP for the Smart ForTwo up to £99,995 for the Mercedes EQS.
The following prices are the starting point for the specified electric car, as of January 2021. They are either the RRP or On-the-Road Price as specified by the manufacturer.
|Audi e-Tron||£61,275||Audi e-Tron GT||£81,915|
|Audi Q4 e-Tron||£42,540||BMW i3||£33,805|
|BMW i4||£51,905||BMW iX3||£60,970|
|BMW iX||£71,805||Citroën ë-C4||£33,395|
|Citroën ë-Berlingo||£32,075||Citroën ë-Spacetourer||£34,495|
|DS 3 Crossback E-Tense||£34,000||Fiat 500e||£23,835|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E||£42,530||Honda e||£34,365|
|Hyundai Kona Electric||£28,950||Hyundai Ioniq Electric||£30,550|
|Hyundai Ioniq 5||£37,420||Jaguar I-Pace||£65,245|
|Kia EV6||£40,945||Kia e-Niro||£32,895|
|Kia Soul EV||£34,995||Lexus UX300e||£41,745|
|Mazda MX-30||£27,145||Mercedes EQA||£45,645|
|Mercedes EQB||£52,145||Mercedes EQC||£67,320|
|Mercedes EQS||£99,995||Mercedes EQV||£71,645|
|MG 5 EV||£27,945||MG ZS EV||£29,495|
|MINI Electric||£27,000||Nissan Leaf||£26,995|
|Nissan e-NV200 Combi||£27,855||Peugeot e-208||£29,760|
|Peugeot e-2008||£33,265||Peugeot e-Rifter||£32,910|
|Peugeot e-Traveller||£49,100||Polestar 2||£39,900|
|Porsche Taycan||£72,850||Renault Zoe||£27,595|
|Skoda ENYAQ iV||£34,850||Smart ForTwo||£20,725|
|Smart ForFour||£22,295||Tesla Model 3||£42,990|
|Tesla Model S||£73,990||Tesla Model X||£82,990|
|Vauxhall Corsa-e||£25,805||Vauxhall Mokka-e||£29,365|
|Vauxhall Combo e-life||£33,328||Vauxhall Vivaro e-Life||£39,334|
|VW e-UP||£22,585||VW ID.3||£32,300|
|VW ID.4||£34,995||Volvo C40 Recharge||£679 per month (subscription only)|
|Volvo XC40 Recharge||£43,550|
The UK Government offers a grant for all 0 emissions vehicles that cost less than £32,000. This is up to a maximum of £1,500.
Electric cars eligible for this government grant are:
Alternatively, you could lease an EV or sign up to an electric car subscription service. This offers far more flexibility as you can choose any length of contract and change cars regularly. Electric car subscriptions also provide extra ease as they include insurance and servicing costs all in one monthly payment.
Leading EV subscription services include: