The cheapest electric cars you can buy in 2020

  • We list the cheapest electric cars on sale today
  • Could one of these tempt you into an electric car?
  • Compare cash prices with their leasing costs

Electric Vehicles (EVs) have existed since the dawn of motoring, but in recent years interest in them has really taken off. Environmental concerns, political pressure and taxation incentives are all playing a part in leading people towards them – and that is why it's expected that 120,000 new electric cars will be sold in the UK in 2020.

The good news is that EVs are getting better and better. Developments in battery technology have rapidly extended the distance they can travel between recharges – for many people, they are becoming viable alternatives to petrol- and diesel-engined cars.

Not only do electric cars produce no CO2 emissions while they're driving, meaning there’s no VED car tax charge or London Congestion Charge to pay, the government will give buyers up to £3,000 towards the cost of them through the Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG).

The cheapest electric cars on sale now

We’ve saved you the trouble of running your batteries low by rounding up the best of the cheapest sub-£35,000 electric cars on sale. They're not all there – the Renault Twizy is a quadracycle, for instance – but models we have listed are all usable electric cars.

Stay tuned as we update this list – and remember that all cash prices are excluding the government Plug-in Car Grant, if the lease deal isn't showing that's because it's not yet available, and the driving range we've quoted are official WLTP Combined figures.

>> Read next: The Parkers electric car guide
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Read next: The best electric cars to lease

Smart EQ Fortwo

Smart EQ Fortwo (2020) front view

>> £20,350 - £24,425
>> Range : up to 83 miles (official WLTP Combined)

>> View lease deals: from £168 per month
>> View for sale 

The popular two-seater city car is back in EQ form with a freshened-up new look and a completely electric line-up of cars. It's packed with up-to-the minute safety equipment and driver tech, and represents a lot of fun for the money. But a maximum range of 70 miles means it's best left in the city.

Smart EQ Forfour

2020 Smart EQ Forfour side view, driving

>> £20,785 - £25,565
>> Range : Up to 68 miles (official WLTP Combined)
>> View lease deals: from £175 per month
>> View for sale 

Like its two-seater sister car, the Smart EQ Fortwo, the Forfour is perfectly suited to city driving thanks to its compact dimensions and tiny turning circle. Its appeal is limited by its short range (not a problem if you're city-bound, though), and the strong competition offered by the more expensive Volkswagen e-Up and Fiat 500.

Fiat 500 Electric

Fiat 500 Electric (2020) driving

>> £22,995 - £29,995
>> Range : Up to 199 miles (official WLTP Combined)

>> View lease deals: from £341 per month
>> View for sale 

The Fiat 500 Electric is a new arrival on the UK electric car market for 2021, but could well be something of a gamechanger, given its sub £20k cash price (after government Plug-in Car Grant) for the entry-level model. It's impossibly cute to look at, perfect for the city and manages to bring the Fiat 500 kicking and screaming into the electric car era. Expect to see many coming to a city near you.

Volkswagen e-Up

Volkswagen e-Up (2020) front view

>> £23,555
>> Range: Up to 162 miles (official WLTP Combined)
>> View lease deals: from £267 per month
>> View for sale 

The Volkswagen e-Up is set to remain around for a little while yet, following its 2020 facelift which incorporated a larger battery and more efficient motor. The e-Up is good to drive, has a decent range, and is an excellent introduction to EV ownership that comes highly recommended. We can't wait to see how the new Fiat 500 Electric (above) compares with it.

MINI Electric Hatch

MINI Electric Hatch (2020) driving

>> £27,900 - £33,900
>> Range: Up to 145 miles (official WLTP Combined)

>> View lease deals: from £388 per month
>> View for sale 

It might not be blessed with the greatest range, but the MINI Electric Hatch is well priced in comparison with the other cars in this list, great to drive, and has a cool image. The MINI manages to retain the best bits of its petrol-engined cousins, but is city-friendly and comes packed with battery-saving tech shared with the more expensive BMW i3 that you'll need to keep moving.

MG ZS EV

MG ZS EV (2020) front view

>> £28,495 - £30,495
>> Range: 163 miles

>> View lease deals: from £268 per month
 >> View for sale 

The MG ZS EV is proving very popular as the UK's cheapest family-sized EV. It's basically a Nissan Qashqai-sized car that in EV form has a five-star Euro NCAP rating and is priced very similarly to its petrol-powered rivals. It’s accessible, unintimidating and very cheap – and comes with a seven-year warranty. Pick of the range is the top-spec Exclusive model, which gains additional safety tech. Even at £2,000 more than the basic version, this is still usefully cheaper than all of its EV-powered opposition.

Peugeot e-208

Peugeot e-208 (2020) front view

>> £28,550 - £32,750
>> Range: up to 217 miles (official WLTP Combined)

>> View lease deals: from £266 per month
>> View for sale 

We're really impressed with the Peugeot e-208. It combines all of the appeal of Peugeot's new supermini hatchback – great handling and an interesting interior – and wraps it up in a refined and efficient EV package that delivers a potential range of 217 miles. It looks good, feels solid and drives almost as well as its lighter petrol-powered siblings. We suspect this is going to be a lot of people's first EV – and what a great introduction it would be.

Renault Zoe

Renault Zoe (2020) being charged up

>> £29,179 - £32,870
>> Range: up to 245 miles (official WLTP Combined)

>> View lease deals: from £216 per month
>> View for sale 

Thanks to no longer being offered on Renault's battery leasing scheme, the Zoe can no longer claim to be the UK's cheapest four-seater EV. But its appeal remains undented thanks to recent improvements in design and efficiency. It now comes with 50kW fast charging for those who want to more easily venture beyond the 200-plus miles of single-charge range. It's practical, fun, good looking and simple to drive – no wonder it's even more popular now than when it was launched.

Honda e

Honda e (2020) front view

>> £30,160 - £32,660
>> Range: Up to 137 miles (official WLTP Combined)

>> View lease deals: from £443 per month
>> View for sale 

The Honda e is an exciting addition to the electric car market, combining a tech-laden, but highly-usable, dashboard with some interesting trims and colours inside, and an impossibly cute body. If you think this beauty is skin deep, though, think again – the Honda e is a great to drive and works fabulously well in the city. Sadly, it's hampered with a very short usable battery range, which might make this car a non-starter for those who need to undertake longer journeys.

Vauxhall Corsa-e

Vauxhall Corsa-e (2020) front view

>> £30,610 - £34,160
>> Range: up to 209 miles (official WLTP Combined)

>> View lease deals: from £353 per month
>> View for sale 

Although it's closely related to the Peugeot e-208, the Vauxhall Corsa-e looks and feels quite different. It boasts smart styling, wide choice of exterior colour combinations and a decent range and on-road driving experience. Like the Peugeot e-208, the Corsa-e looks almost identical to its petrol-powered cousins, which is a positive for those who want their electric car experience to be as 'normal' as possible.

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf (2020) driving

>> £31,145 - £39,525
>> Range: 180 miles

>> View lease deals: from £293 per month
>> View for sale 

What's left to be said about the Nissan Leaf? It's been around since 2011, and more than 500,000 have now been built. Available with a large 62kWh battery pack, it's competitive with its newest rivals – and comes with the advantage of being a tried-and-tested product that's known and trusted. The e-Pedal set-up makes it a doddle to drive (like a bumper car, you just go and stop with the throttle) It might look visually challenged compared with newer rivals, but if want to make an EV statement, here's where to begin.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Hyubdai Ioniq Electric (2020) driving

>> £32,950 - £34,950
>> Range 130 miles
>> View leasing deals: from £269 per month
>> View for sale 

The recently-facelifted Hyundai Ioniq Electric seems reasonable enough in isolation, it's been rather left behind by newer rivals (especially the brilliant Hyundai Kona Electric, below) in terms of price, range and tech. It's a likeable option, but at current prices you might be served well looking elsewhere.

Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric (2020) front view

>> £33,150 - £41,500
>> Range: up to 279 miles (official WLTP Combined)
>> View lease deals: from per month
>> View for sale 

We really rate the Hyundai Kona Electric. This one shifted the goalposts on battery range when it was first launched in 2018, being capable of achieving more than 280 miles when driven gently. That's the top 64kWh model, but even the entry-level 39kWh model is on the pace, with 180 miles returned in the official WLTP Combined test. But there's more to the Kona than a long range – it's easy to drive and practical, and like all Hyundais, comes with a solid five-year warranty and one of the best brand reliability records.

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