EV price vs range comparison

Since the electric vehicle industry is developing rapidly, Next Green Car's EV 'affordability' index has been updated. Here, we take a look at one aspect of an EV's value-for-money offering, taking in two elements that often make electric vehicle headlines - price and range.

Evolving prices and new models on the market mean that much has changed since our last evaluation, including the removal of Renault's Zoe from the top of the table. The new Hyundai Kona Electric has not only come in and taken top spot right from the off in NGC's Price vs Range comparison with the long-range 64 kWh model, its 39 kWh stablemate has also taken fifth spot.

In fact, Hyundai has three models towards the top of the list, with Renault's Zoe taking two spots - including second position for the more powerful, non-rapid charge capable R110 - the Nissans Leaf and e-NV200 are in third and seventh respectively, before the VW e-Golf, BMW i3, and Smart fortwo coupe EQ round out the top 10.

The below table provides information on all new EVs available to buy or order in the UK. Details provided are official range, estimated real-world range, OTR price (including the Plug-in Car Grant), and the cost per mile of range - OTR price divided by official range.

Which EVs offer best value for money?

Model Official
range (miles)
range (miles)
OTR price
(inc. PiCG)
Price per
mile (OTR / Range)
Hyundai Kona Electric 64 kWh 339 271 £29,495* £87
Renault Zoe R110 250 200 £24,020† £96
Nissan Leaf 40 kWh 235 188 £22,790 £97
Renault Zoe Q90 230 184 £24,770 £108
Hyundai Kona Electric 39 kWh 214 171 £24,995 £117
Hyundai Ioniq Electric 174 140 £25,345 £146
Nissan e-NV200 Combi 174 139 £26,035 £150
VW e-Golf 186 149 £28,230 £152
BMW i3 186 149 £29,575 £159
Smart EQ fortwo coupe 99 79 £16,420 £166
Kia Soul EV 155 124 £25,995 £168
Citroen C-Zero 93 74 £15,995 £172
Peugeot iOn 93 74 £15,995 £172
Smart EQ forfour 96 77 £16,915 £176
BMW i3s 174 139 £32,480 £187
Smart EQ fortwo cabrio 96 77 £18,560 £193
Jaguar I-Pace 298^ 238 £58,995 £198
Tesla Model S 75D 304 243 £67,950 £224
VW e-up! 99 79 £21,140 £214
Tesla Model X 100D 351 281 £91,350 £260

Notes: Figures based on OTR of base models including the UK Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) at £4,500, and official EV range supplied from NEDC test cycle. Newer models tested under the stricter WLTP protocol use the NEDC converted figure for comparison purposes.
* Kona Electric pricing includes PiCG - see 'The Admin' below.
† Renault Zoe prices based on "i-" models with outright purchase - see 'The Admin' below
^ Jaguar I-Pace uses WLTP range - see 'The Admin' below.

The Kona Electric has done what we suspected it would and become an EV that offers excellent value for money. A combination of long driving range with relatively low price means the 64 kWh model has topped the table straight away. It's the first time we've completed this analysis where the Renault Zoe hasn't been in first spot.

Hyundai's Kona Electric 64 kWh has a range of 339 miles when converted back to NEDC figures from WLTP results. The reason for us using the NEDC results - despite NEDC statistics being woefully out of date and 'optimistic' - is because there are a number of EVs that have not been retested under the newer WLTP protocols.

As such, comparisons using the Kona Electric's quoted range would be unfair, though it is interesting to note that the Kona Electric 64 kWh is such good value in terms of cost per mile of range that it would still be in third place with a value of £98, just behind the Zoe and Leaf.

That's even with the unfair weighting, considering we would be looking at the Hyundai's figures achieved under tougher test conditions. By next year, we will be able to compare models against official WLTP range, so the issue will have passed, but until then, we are using the only available common figures.

Nissan's Leaf 40 kWh has propelled the popular EV back up the value-for-money table, having been in seventh position last time we had a look at the figures with the 30 kWh model. A significantly longer range and accessible price point mean the Leaf competes again with the Zoe, and fends off the Hyundais Ioniq and Kona 39 kWh.

There are few surprises when looking at the best value EVs in terms of range. The positions each model has come in show that Hyundai not only has a few options in the EV market, but that they are also very competitively priced. Equally, the fact that BMW's i3s is not in the top half of the table should raise few eyebrows due to its slightly sportier (and less efficient) focus.

One interesting piece of news towards the bottom of the table - apart from how expensive the VW e-up! is when looking at price vs range - is that Jaguar comes in ahead of its Tesla rivals, and that's using the I-Pace's official WLTP range.

Jaguar has not put out an NEDC converted figure in its literature or technical specifications, but we can estimate that around 336 miles would be about right. Should we use an NEDC figure of 336 miles, the Jaguar's price per mile would drop to £176, and put it joint 14th with the Smart forfour EQ. Considering the I-Pace is currently being compared unfairly with the Tesla models - which have an NEDC figure available - the I-Pace is comfortably better value when looking at costs compared to driving range.

The bigger picture

Jaguar's I-Pace

Taking a step back, what the refreshed analysis shows is how much the EV market has moved on. Last year, five of the top ten models had an official range of more than 150 miles, and only seven of the list of 18.

This time around, nine of the top ten models have 150+ mile ranges. A full house is only missed by a single mile from the Smart EQ fortwo's point of view. Other than that, those models with a range in excess of 150 miles actually offer an official range of more than 170 miles. A total of 14 of the 20 models looked at can cover more than 150 miles on a single charge, and the only models that can't are urban-focused city cars from the likes of VW and Smart.

What's more is that the top five will all travel more than 200 miles on a charge (and 170+ real-world miles) . . . and they all cost less than £30,000 when new. Just 12 months ago, there were three models on the list that had a range of greater than 200 miles, and two of those were a Tesla, with prices starting at more than £50,000.

What is perhaps most exciting is not only the rate of progress over the last year - making long-range EVs affordable to more buyers - but what's coming up too. Models such as the Kia Niro EV, Mercedes Benz EQC, and Audi e-tron quattro are likely to be added to this list, and that's just before the end of the year.

The Renault Zoe might have been out on its own in terms of low-cost long-range EVs last year, but the competition has caught up - which is only good news for customers.

The admin

We've only looked at models that are either available to buy or that can be ordered. Those where reservations can be taken have been ignored currently since, with a long time still until launch, market variations add plenty of guesswork to EV driving range and UK pricing.

For all models listed, the best value variant has been used. There are usually more expensive versions of the same powertrain available due to increased levels of equipment. Therefore, typically the best value variant is the entry level model.

Tesla's Model S and Model X are slightly different since the core changes to price relate to battery size, and thus range. Here we've used the best performing version of each model. For reference, the Model S 100D and P100D end with values of £228 and £323 respectively. The Model X 75D and P100D are rated at £288 and £384.

Hyundai's Kona Electric - both variants - have been quoted with OTR prices including the Plug-in Car Grant. At time of publication, OLEV approval hasn't been given, so quoted prices (including on Next Green Car's model pages) exclude the grant and are £4,500 more. However, since the model comfortably qualifies for Category 1 approval, we expect the grant to be in place before customers get deliveries. We've jumped the gun, but think it's a fair assumption.

Only the 'i-' specifications of the Renault Zoe - again, both variants - have been considered. There are lower quoted OTR prices available for a new Zoe, thought these are not outright purchase models. Non-i models require mandatory battery leasing, and since none of the other models on the list offer this, comparisons would be unfair had we included them. As such, the Zoes listed are all outright purchase models.

Finally, the Jaguar I-Pace is at something of a disadvantage since Jaguar does not list an NEDC-corrected figure. New models undergoing type approval testing must go through the WLTP procedures, with manufacturers able to then adjust figures to an NEDC equivilent to allow for comparison purposes. Jaguar has chosen to only publicise WLTP range, so the only official figure we can work with is that one.

Hopefully this simple (and light-hearted) guide will help if you are looking at EVs, though it is worth remembering that price-vs-range is only one aspect of choosing which EV is right for you. As new models become available, we will attempt to update the table to reflect the changes they bring, so keep checking back for more information.

Take a look at NGC's EV Buying Guide here

Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:6th Aug 2018

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