NGC's EV price-vs-range comparison

The UK's electric vehicle market has seen a number of developments recently, with a range of new models either soon to arrive, or on the road already. As such, we have updated our price-vs-range guide, looking at one aspect of an EV's affordability - namely, how much it will cost to buy a mile of range in a new EV.

This time around, we have changed things a little - more than simply adding in the new models and updating prices. Whereas previously, we have worked on the official NEDC range as our base figure to compare the OTR against, this time around we are using WLTP/Real World figures - you can read why below.

Last time around the Hyundai Kona Electric came in and took its spot at the top of the table from the previously untouchable Renault Zoe. New models, revised ranges, and altered prices could see things mixed up though. New to the list this time around are the Kia e-Niro, Nissan Leaf e+, and Audi e-tron.

BMW's updated i3 120Ah is also included, and many OTR prices have changed due to the altered Plug-in Car Grant levels since the last edition. All this has shaken the list up somewhat, so cast your eyes downward for the best value EV in the UK in terms of purchase cost against driving range.

Which EVs offer best value for money?

Model WLTP / Real World 
range (miles)
OTR price
(inc. PiCG)
Price per mile
(OTR / Range)
Kia e-Niro 282 £32,995 £117
Hyundai Kona Electric 64 kWh 279 £32,845 £118
Renault Zoe R110 186 £25,020 £135
Renault Zoe Q90 186 £25,770 £139
Hyundai Kona Electric 39 kWh 180 £27,250 £151
Nissan Leaf e+ 239 £36,795 £154
BMW i3 192 £30,495 £161
Nissan Leaf 168 £31,095 £185
BMW i3s 177 £33,435 £189
Hyundai Ioniq Electric 140 £26,745 £146
VW e-Golf 144 £29,230 £203
Jaguar I-Pace 292 £59,995 £205
Kia Soul EV 124 £26,995 £218
Smart EQ fortwo 79 £17,420 £221
Smart EQ forfour 77 £17,915 £233
Nissan e-NV200 Combi 124 £29,195 £235
VW e-up! 74 £19,615 £265
Tesla Model S 100D 314 £89,650 £286
Tesla Model X 100D 281 £91,650 £326
 

Notes: Figures compiled by Next Green Car based on OTR of base models including the UK Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) at £3,500, and either official WLTP range supplied by manufacturers or, where WLTP data is lacking, NGC's calculations as to Real World Range. Italics: Nissan Leaf e+ figures based on Nissan's forecast WLTP range (official test figures not yet available).

Thanks to a similar OTR and slightly longer WLTP range, the Kia e-Niro has trumped its Hyundai-Kia Group stablemate - the Kona Electric - to take top spot in this price-vs-range table. It's a close run thing though as we round results to the nearest whole pound. There is in fact only 72p in it, with the e-Niro sitting at £117 exactly, and the Kona Electric 64 kWh less than £1 away from retaining its title.

It's not too surprising that the two models top the table though, because of their combination of long driving range and mass-market affordability. Having tested both, we reckon the WLTP ranges are comfortably achievable, so those figures quoted above are reasonable statistics to work with.

The Renault Zoe R110 rounds out the top three, with a smaller - but still very useful - driving range compensated by a saving of more than £7,000 over the cost of the Hyundai or Kia. It remains a very practical proposition for EV ownership, reflected by the fact that the lower-powered, but rapid chargable Zoe Q90 sits just below it in the table.

The new Leaf e+ proves that a longer range helps improve value for money generally, as it beats the conventional Leaf 40 kWh by two spots. There's no mistaking the ground Nissan still has to make up to Hyundai and Kia though, as the South Korean brands provide longer range EVs, with similar levels of practicality, for less cost than even the latest 62 kWh Leaf e+.

BMW's improved i3 now features a 120Ah battery, which sees it move ahead of rivals such as the Leaf, e-Golf, and Ioniq Electric in the chart. The I-Pace proves significantly better value for money in terms of price-vs-range compared to rival offerings from Audi and Tesla.

Analysis

The market has moved on significantly in just the four months or so since we last carried out this analysis. In August 2018, only the top five models had a driving range of more than 150 miles - based on the Real World figures. Now, the top nine models can travel more than 150 miles on a single charge.

Of the 20 models listed, six models have WLTP/Real World ranges in excess of 250 miles, seven offer more than 200 miles on a single charge, and 13 EVs will cover more than 150 miles.

The upward trend in EV range will only continue in 2019. The likes of the Mercedes Benz EQC and new Kia Soul EV will both come in with driving ranges of 250 miles or more. Tesla's Model 3 should be in the hands of UK drivers before the year's out - and certainly have official pricing revealed by then.

New models from DS Automobiles, Mini, Vauxhall, Peugeot, and VW are also due in the next 12 months, and this piece will be updated as they come along.

Our notes

There are a number of EVs that have an official WLTP figure, and only a handful of older models that are yet to have WLTP figures confirmed. As such, we have decided the time is right to switch to the range quoted from WLTP tests, which uses a tougher test cycle than the outgoing NEDC system.

In testing a number of EVs recently with WLTP figures for its driving range, we have frequently found the quoted distance one that is achievable in day-to-day driving. Clearly various driving styles, environments, and weather conditions will have an effect on the range available from a single charge, but we are yet to find a WLTP figure that seems unattainable, unlike many of the older NEDC-derived statistics.

Therefore, we're sticking with official results where possible - for accurate comparison purposes - and have filled in the gaps with our calculated Real World range statistics where there isn't a WLTP figure. Our analysis to date confirms that our Real World estimates correspond well to the new WLTP data.

We only include those models available as new from a manufacturer with an official range and pricing - effectively those with an OTR cost, and OLEV approval for the Plug-in Car Grant. This grant is included in all referenced costs.

The only exception in this instance is the Leaf e+, which has not been homologated for testing on WLTP protocols, but we can expect Nissan's forecast to be pretty accurate. Should it change, we will update the table accordingly. Confirmed models such as the Mercedes Benz EQC and Kia Soul EV Mk II are not included because there is no UK pricing available yet.

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 75D and P100D end with values of £292 and £419 respectively. The Model X 75D and P100D are rated at £346 and £499.

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.

While we hope that this simple but useful metric will help if you are looking to buy an EV, 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.

Find out more about electric cars

Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:11th Jan 2019

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