5 Of The Best Small Electric Cars On Sale In 2021

5 Of The Best Small Electric Cars On Sale In 2021

Small electric cars are becoming a more viable option for many not only because of the lower entry price point but also because they predominantly will be used for smaller trips to the shops and school runs, etc,  and the issue of battery range anxiety then becomes almost negligible.

 

They are smaller and lighter than their bigger electric car cousins and therefore fewer battery cells are required and this is reflected in their lower price, so for some, buying a new small electric car is a no-brainer especially when you also take into consideration the manufacturers finance deals, government grants, and fossil fuel savings. The only question left is which small electric car should you buy? Electric Road looks at 5 of the best small electric cars on sale in the UK in 2021.

 

Vauxhall Corsa-e

 

The Vauxhall Corsa-e is certainly one of the favourites small electric vehicles on sale in the UK. With a range of up to 209 miles under WLTP testing, the five-seat Corsa-e is ideal for an everyday car. The 50kWh battery supports up to 100kW rapid charging, with an 80 percent charge taking just 30 minutes, and is covered by an eight-year/100,000 mile warranty.

 

To optimise performance, drivers can choose from three driving modes – Eco, Normal and Sport. Eco extracts the maximum range from the vehicle, extending its range by up to 40 per cent, with little impact on comfort. Sport promotes responsiveness and dynamics with a moderate driving range loss of around 10 percent. Normal mode combines the best of each for the perfect balance in day-to-day driving.

 

With a 100kW (136hp) electric motor and 260Nm of instantaneous maximum torque, the  Corsa-e combines emission-free driving with a maximum “fun-to-drive” factor, needing just 2.8 seconds to sprint from zero to 31mph and completing 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds before reaching an electronically controlled top speed of 93mph.

 

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Further improving efficiency, the Corsa-e features regenerative braking to recover the energy released under braking and deceleration. The kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy and either used immediately or stored in the battery for additional range. Instead of a conventional HVAC (heating ventilation air conditioning) system, the Corsa-e uses a heat pump to warm and cool the interior, delivering even more efficiency.

 

The Corsa-e is as easy to charge as it is to drive. The 50kWh battery supports domestic 3-pin plugs, wall boxes, fast charging, and rapid charging technologies.

 

Starting price: SE NAV PREMIUM 7.4kW £27,140 OTR after PiCG

(Pricing correct at point of writing, please refer to the manufacturer website for latest prices here)

 

Book a test drive of the Vauxhall Corsa-e here 

 

 

Honda E

 

 

The Honda e first appeared in concept form in 2017 as the ‘Urban EV’ and the production-ready car was given its full global premiere in 2019. The compact EV features cutting-edge technology and advanced intelligent connectivity to keep owners in sync with everyday life.

 

Designed with a focus on functionality and usability, the Honda e features a sleek and modern appearance. From the signature front and rear LED light combinations and glass charging port cover, to the clean lines and flush features that optimise aerodynamic efficiency and refinement, the Honda e reimagines the identity of a small Honda for the next era of urban mobility.

 

The Honda e is available in two grades – all models provide a comprehensive standard specification, whilst the Advance grade adds a choice of 16” or 17” alloy wheels, increased motor output, and a Centre Camera Mirror System which can be switched on to relay the image from a central rear-facing camera to the rear-view mirror display.

 

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The Honda e includes fast-charge capabilities to meet the demands of everyday commuting. The high-capacity 35.5 kWh battery provides a range of 137 miles (WLTP), with 80% of charge added in just 30 minutes of rapid charging. A unique thermal management system optimises battery range in high and low temperatures, allowing the car to maintain optimal range capability and enabling more frequent rapid DC charges.

 

The Honda E is the first Honda to be built on a dedicated EV platform and has been designed from the ground up to provide exceptional handling, agility and ride comfort. With a rear-wheel drive set up and high-performance motor, the Honda e delivers fun-to-drive dynamics and usability unrivalled in the compact electric car segment. Available in two power outputs: 136PS & 154PS with a 0-60 mph time of 8.3 seconds respectively.

 

For complete charging flexibility, the 35.5kWh Lithium-ion battery can be charged using either a CCS2 DC rapid charger or Type 2 AC connection. The latter charges the car to full in 4.1 hours, via a 7.4 kW supply.

 

Starting price: Honda e Standard OTR after PiCG £28,215

(Pricing correct at point of writing, please refer to the manufacturer website for latest prices here)

 

Book a Honda e test drive here 

 

 

Renault Zoe

 

 

Renault claims the third generation Zoe is more sophisticated than ever with a new 52kWh battery that boosts maximum range to 245 miles on the WLTP cycle, a more powerful 100kW R135 electric motor for stronger performance achieving 0-60 mph in 9.5 seconds, the option of 50kW DC fast-charging and a new regenerative braking B mode that allows one-pedal driving making this model a very strong contender in this segment. Redesigned inside and out, New ZOE has a dynamic look and technology upgrades including LED headlamps, Renault’s latest EasyLink multimedia system and always-on 4G connectivity.

 

A full battery charge typically costs less than £5, based on the car being charged overnight using an Economy 7 tariff, and this provides a range of up to 245 miles. New ZOE comes with a free home wallbox charging point, supplied and installed by BP Chargemaster.

 

Standard for all models is a new 10-inch TFT instrument cluster displays the main driving information, including an eco-meter to encourage eco-friendly driving habits and maximises range. The display provides exceptional clarity and enhances the driving experience by enabling the driver to personalise it to suit their needs or preferences. As well as selecting from different layout and lighting options, they can also choose to have sat-nav instructions displayed directly in front of them, for safer, less distracted driving.

 

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The new centre console highlights New ZOE’s premium, high-tech status. The most prominent feature is a redesigned gear selector that features a metallic surround and Renault’s distinctive Z.E logo. It gives a more luxurious appearance and puts the driver firmly in control, allowing them to switch easily between settings, including the new B mode that boosts regenerative braking and encourages simple one-pedal driving. All models now come with an electronic parking brake, replacing the traditional style handbrake. This has doubled storage space on the centre console which, as standard on Iconic and GT Line models, now contains new wireless charging for topping up compatible devices. In the rear, passengers have access to two USB sockets that can be used to charge smartphones, tablets and portable games consoles. The optional Bose sound system available for GT Line models is the result of a long-running partnership between Renault and the premium audio brand. Specially tailored to the acoustics of New ZOE’s cabin, this innovative audio system delivers a clear, powerful listening experience in every seat.

 

Starting price: Zoe i Play R110 Z.E. 50 OTR after PiCG £27,495

(Pricing correct at point of writing, please refer to the manufacturer website for latest prices here)

 

Book a Renault Zoe test drive here 

 

 

VW  e-up

 

The latest version of the VW e-up has a vastly improved, WLTP-certified range of 159 miles – almost double the previous version’s 83-mile range. First released in 2013, the e-up! was Volkswagen’s first mass-produced electric vehicle and as the brand’s smallest electric vehicle, the e-up! represents the entry point into Volkswagen EV ownership. With the introduction of the new e-up,  VW made their pioneering electric technologies accessible to everyone, which means you can look forward to driving a technically refined, ground-breaking electric vehicle that’s ideal for everyday use, built with high levels of quality and comfort as standard at a great entry price point.

 

The e-up! is powered by a 82 PS electric motor transferring power to the road through a single-speed gearbox. The battery has a net capacity of 32.3 kWh (36.8 kWh gross) and accelerates up to city speeds quickly, while 0-62 mph takes 11.9 seconds and top speed is limited to 81 mph.

 

There are five different energy recovery levels and three efficiency modes tailor the energy consumption of the e-up! to a driver’s individual preference and needs. Climate control, cruise control, Composition in-car entertainment system and Lane Assist included as standard, as are front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and heated front seats.

 

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With the Combined Charging System (CCS) the e-up! can make use of 40 kW DC charging, this makes it possible to charge an empty battery to 80% in just 60 minutes. Using a 7.2 kW AC charger the same charge would take four hours. This latest battery has 168 pouch cells collected into modules of 12, this creates 14 modules which are formed into two blocks, a flat long one under the front seats and a short high one under the rear seats. Despite almost doubling the range, the battery pack weighs 248 kg – just 15 kg more than the previous e-up, and thanks to the new pouch cells has a
volume 20 litres smaller.

 

Starting price: e-up OTR after PiCG 21,055

(Pricing correct at point of writing, please refer to the manufacturer website for latest prices here)

 

Book a VW e-up test drive here 

 

 

MINI Electric

 

 

The MINI Electric is based on the same body shell as the 3-Door Hatch, with a number of specific differences. An embossed MINI Electric logo appears on the car’s side scuttles, as well as on the tailgate and front radiator grille.

 

The motor is the latest, powerful version of the synchronous electric motor developed by the BMW Group and provides a maximum output of 184 HP and maximum torque of 270 Nm. As a result, the car accelerates to 62mph in just 7.3 seconds with top speed limited to 93mph.

 

Electric drive takes the trademark MINI go-kart driving feeling to new heights, thanks to new suspension technology designed for this model. With a centre of gravity that is at least 30 millimetres lower than in the MINI Cooper S and the reduced weight over the front wheels thanks to the electric motor, close to perfect weight distribution helps the new MINI Electric achieve exceptional driving dynamics.

 

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The car offers as standard four MINI Driving Modes – SPORT mode has more direct steering and more rapid power delivery. The MID setting has less aggressive steering while GREEN mode features more gentle accelerator actuation. In GREEN+ mode, some comfort functions such as air conditioning are limited or deactivated to save further power and increase range.

 

The MINI Electric comes with both home and public charging cables as standard, designed for AC and DC charging using Type 2 and CCS Combo 2 plugs. At a 50kW DC fast-charging station an 80 per cent charge is reached from zero in 36 minutes.

 

There are three trim levels, beginning with the standard trim then the mid-level model offers a cloth/leather-look upholstery, additional exterior body colour, and wheel options, as well as adding rear Park Distance Control (PDC), Rear Camera, Seat Heating, Driving Assistance Pack and Logo Projection.  For customers looking for a premium driving experience, the top-level offers the following on top of the mid-level trim: front PDC, Park Assist, Harmon Kardon sound system and Head-up Display. It also adds a Panoramic Sun Roof, Matrix LED’s and provides an upgrade to the 8.8” infotainment touch screen. Wireless phone charging is also included, in addition to MINI Yours Leather Lounge upholstery, a choice of five alloy wheels and six exterior body colours.

 

Starting price: MINI Electric Level 1 OTR after PiCG £24,400

(Pricing correct at point of writing, please refer to the manufacturer website for latest prices here)

 

Book a MINI Electric test drive here 

 

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