2022 Renault Megane E-Tech Electric

Five best electric cars to buy in 2023

More choice than ever

The 267,203 battery-electric vehicles sold in the UK last year represented a 40 per cent rise on 2021’s figures, and electric cars now comfortably outsell diesel and hybrid-electric vehicles. Indeed, the nation’s third best-selling car in 2022 was the pure-electric Tesla Model Y, coming well ahead of perennial favourites such as the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Golf.

There are a wide range of factors driving British motorists’ appetite for battery-electric motoring. Concerns about the environment and fuel supply play a part, certainly. Many drivers also undoubtedly see the writing on the wall with the government’s 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and are getting onboard ahead of time.

Although electric vehicle purchase prices remain higher than their internal combustion equivalents, these are expected to reach parity by the second half of the decade, and for those that cover higher mileages, the lower running costs do go some way to offset the higher initial purchase price or PCP payments. And business users see the biggest benefits, in terms of 2% Benefit-in-Kind tax rates — well below even hybrid models.

Further driving demand is the ever-increasing choice of new electric cars on the market, which are now ticking more buyers’ boxes than early entrants to the EV market such as Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe.

This greater choice means that whether a buyer’s priority is good value, high quality, performance or looks, there’s likely now an electric vehicle out there offering a genuine alternative to a petrol or diesel model.

Bigger batteries, more efficient powertrains and an expanding public charging network are also helping to eliminate range anxiety, one of the biggest factors that has, up to recently, deterred drivers from making the electric switchover.

Below are some of the best electric vehicles on the market right now at a range of different price points.

Fiat 500 Electric

From £27,364

The Italian city car has been reinvented for this new era of electrification and is a great introduction to electric motoring. Priced from £27,364, the Fiat 500 Electric is one of the cheapest electric cars you can buy right now.

Yes, it’s tiny and no, it’s not the most practical car in the world, but the 500 Electric is fun to drive with a chic cabin that’s reasonably well made, too. What’s more, it’s available as a hatchback or as a cabriolet, making it one of the few electric cars on sale offering open-top driving.

There are two battery options, starting with the 24kWh version for that budget-friendly £27,364. The caveat is the range is only good for about 118 miles according to official figures, so that’s strictly for city and suburban use.

The 42kWh version costs a bit more (from £30,364), but offers a lot more driving between charges; up to 190 miles according to the official figure. It’s also got more power for nipping around city streets and keeping up with traffic away from them.

Mercedes EQS

From £104,750

The EQS is Mercedes’s electric equivalent of its flagship S-Class saloon and as such is a showcase of what the company can do with an electric vehicle. With its massive 107.8kWh battery (in the 450+ model), sleek aerodynamics and up to 453 miles between charges, the EQS is the longest-range EV on the UK market right now, as well as being packed full of the latest advanced technology.

Inside, the cabin centres around the dashboard-spanning Hyperscreen incorporating the digital instruments, central infotainment screen and another display for the passenger. The EQS is also the first car to go on sale in Europe featuring Level 3 self-driving technology meaning that in the near future (when regulations allow), at low speeds on motorways drivers will be able to take their eyes and hands off the wheel and let the car take over. Impressive, but very pricey too.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

From £43,150

Nothing on the road looks like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 with its retro concept car styling. For many buyers, this will be one of the Ioniq 5’s biggest draws. Peeling away the skin though still leaves a particularly fine car.

The Ioniq 5 shares its underpinnings with the equally accomplished Kia EV6 meaning a choice of single and dual motors and a maximum range in the version with rear-wheel drive and the larger 73kWh battery of up to 300 miles.

Although these are decent figures and the outside looks great, the Ioniq 5’s party piece might actually be its lounge-like interior and fully-reclining seats, which make taking a rest while recharging a comfortable prospect.

The Ioniq 5 is bigger than it looks in pictures, so interior space is plentiful and the 527-litre boot is also useful.

BMW i4

From £49,995

The BMW i4 is easily one of the best driving EVs on the market to date and packages everything keen drivers love about the handling of classic BMW saloons – but with zero emissions.

Based on the 4 Series Gran Coupé, the BMW i4 is a joy to drive, no matter which version you go for. There are three i4s to choose from, starting with the eDrive35 and eDrive40 with rear-wheel drive. These are both more involving to drive than most EVs and the latter is the range champ of the line-up with up to 365 miles possible between charges.

For more performance there’s the i4 M50 with 537bhp and twin-motor, all-wheel drive. The i4 M50 will sprint to 62mph from rest in a blistering 3.9 seconds to an enhanced soundtrack by none other than Hans Zimmer, the famous composer.

Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric

From £36,995

Renault has reinvented the Mégane hatchback as a pure-electric model that gives the well-established Volkswagen ID.3 a serious run for its money. Based on an all-new platform — shared with the Nissan Ariya — with a new thin battery design and lightweight electric motor, the Mégane E-Tech is a stylish electric option, offering comfort and refinement.

The Mégane’s 60kWh battery is good for a range of about 280 miles, while standard 22kW AC charging means the Mégane will charge quicker than many other EVs on the market at kerbside AC chargers.

The Mégane’s well-built cabin has plenty of space and offers some of the best technology of the segment including a specially developed Google operating system.

Related articles

Latest articles