17.12.2019Best electric cars 2020
The electric car market is developing at pace. Manufacturers are improving their EV offerings seemingly all the time, and buyers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits electric cars can bring.
Lower tax, fuel, and maintenance costs persuade the head, while the fun-to-drive nature of many EVs sways the head. Combine these attributes with driving ranges that will comfortably cover the majority of trips in the UK, and it's easy to see why EV sales are climbing rapidly.
Where only a couple of years ago, electric car choice was available but fairly limited. That's certainly no longer the case, with longer-range models entering both the premium and mass-market sectors, plus the addition of new models at lower prices while still being capable of covering 150+ miles on a charge.
Below, Next Green Car has picked the ten best pure-electric cars on sale in the UK, and it’s a list that is regularly evolving - so keep checking back for updates.
The popular electric supermini is now on to its second generation model - though we've lost count of the number of updates it's received. This latest version benefits from sharper styling and a much classier interior. The biggest changes come under the surface however, with a new 50 kWh battery enabling a range of 242 miles on a single charge.
Buyers can now also opt for CCS DC rapid charging for the first time on the Zoe, and there remains a choice of two motors. The 80 kW unit remains from the previous Zoe, but is now the lower powered of the two options. Renault has developed a new 100 kW motor as the other option.
Read NGC's review of the Renault Zoe Z.E. 50 here, or click below to find out more.
Another car that’s been subject to regular improvements in its lifecycle, the BMW i3 is now on its third battery pack - and it's now twice the capacity of the original model's offering. This allows for a range of 188 miles on a single charge, which is a significant boost over the previous i3 94Ah model.
The rest of the i3 remains the same, though that's no bad thing. With great driving dynamics on offer, a lightweight and high-tech construction, a punchy motor, and CCS rapid charging capabilities, the i3 has won over plenty of fans already. The longer range simply tempts more buyers in. For those wanting an even better driving experience, the i3s is available with a little more power and tweaked suspension.
Read NGC's review of the BMW i3 here, or click below to find out more.
Tesla Model S
Tesla's Model S has long been the poster-car of the EV market, and thanks to regular upgrades from Tesla it remains one of the best on the market. Now available with a range of up to 379 miles on a charge, very few drivers can claim that EVs don't go far enough for their needs.
Improvements to motor power, efficiency, and suspension settings have improved Tesla's offering further, and the stylish executive hatchback remains a popular choice. The company's ultra-rapid Supercharger network is a huge benefit to its drivers, with Model S owners able to top up quickly and conveniently on longer trips.
Read NGC's review of the Tesla Model S, or click below to find out more.
Hyundai Kona Electric
The Hyundai Kona Electric was the first mass-market model to really challenge the driving range offered by premium EVs. Able to cover 279 miles on a charge, it costs around half that required to buy a Jaguar I-Pace for example, but offers a similar range.
The Kona Electric ticks the two main UK car buying trends - crossover and electric - and provides a well-built cabin, fairly stylish design, and excellent efficiency from its powertrain. The 64 kWh model has a 150 kW electric motor and ultra-rapid charging at 100 kW DC on the CCS inlet.
Read NGC's review of the Hyundai Kona Electric here, or click below to find out more.
If there's one criticism that can be aimed at the Hyundai Kona Electric above, it's that it won't be practical enough for some; Kia's e-Niro is the answer. For those that need a bit more space or want a family car, the e-Niro is better suited yet boasts almost identical powertrain, performance, and range figures to the Hyundai.
Also able to cover 282 miles on a charge, the e-Niro is a practical family workhorse that happens to be electric. Ultra-rapid 100 kW DC CCS charging helps keep recharging times down, and the 150 kW electric motor is more than up to the task of shifting the Kia along.
Read NGC's review of the Kia e-Niro here, or click below to find out more.
The electric Jaguar has won numerous awards around the world, including the UK, European, and World Car of the Year Awards; it's a bit special then. The premium EV looks like an SUV, but is relatively compact and doesn't have the bulk that some of its rivals carry around.
That helps with a range of 292 miles on a charge, and a driving experience that will win over just about everyone who gets behind the wheel. Ultra-rapid 100 kW CCS charging brings top-up times down to a respectable level on the move, and the I-Pace has a driving experience to match its looks. Put simply, the Jaguar I-Pace is one of the best cars on the road.
Read NGC's review of the Jaguar I-Pace here, or click below to find out more.
Whilst Jaguar's I-Pace is a new direction for the company, the only thing unusual about the e-tron is its electric powertrain. To look at, sit in, and drive the Audi e-tron feels just like the rest of the manufacturer's SUV range.
A range of 271 miles on a charge is possible, alongside 150 kW ultra-rapid charging for one of the fastest recharging set-ups on the market. The e-tron offers a comfortable ride, superb cabin, and practical interior, plus plenty of performance on tap from the 265 kW electric motors.
Read NGC's review of the Audi e-tron here, or click below to find out more.
Nissan's Leaf is a pioneer in the electric car market, but that hasn't seen the Japanese manufacturer rest on its laurels. Regular updates and the launch of a second generation model mean the Leaf has exceeded or kept pace with the market.
The Leaf e+ is the latest improvement, with more power and a larger battery for increased range. Rapid charging is via the CHAdeMO inlet, while the 62 kWh battery allows for a range of 239 miles on a charge. The practical family hatchback is the most common pure-electric car on the road, and with constant improvements, it's easy to see why.
Read NGC's review of the Nissan Leaf here, or click below to find out more.
Tesla Model 3
Eagerly anticipated, and now delivering on its promise, the Model 3 brings much of the Tesla tech, range, and design to more customers thanks to a lower price. Accessible to those looking at executive saloons, buyers now have the choice to go full-electric in the sector, with a choice of Standard Range +, Long Range, or Performance versions.
These mean a variety of ranges and performance figures are on offer, with drivers able to cover up to 348 miles, or complete the 0-62mph sprint in just 3.2 seconds depending on specification. The Model 3 sees the launch of CCS charging on Tesla models, with ultra-rapid charging available from both the Supercharger network and conventional CCS charge points.
Read NGC's review of the Tesla Model 3 here, or click below to find out more.
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
The Ioniq Electric is one of three electrified models using the Ioniq badge, and a battery upgrade has boosted range to keep it competitive. A focus on efficiency means the battery capacity is less than that offered by the Leaf for example, yet it manages a similar range, with the benefit being shorter recharging times.
An improved interior is the other core change to the Ioniq Electric, which allows the pure-electric hatch to prove an attractive option for those looking at a practical family car. A range of 194 miles on a charge comfortably covers most trips, and the Ioniq Electric can be charged at 100 kW on CCS rapid points.
Read NGC's review of the Hyundai Ioniq Electric here, or click below to find out more.
Top electric vehicles 2020
Following on from a busy 2019 for new electric cars, 2020 looks set to be busier still. The number of models on the above list that have been introduced or upgraded is extensive, and some have even seen improvements made within the year of launch.
All this means that the strength in depth of the EV market is excellent, and getting better all the time. Keep checking back on this list to see how it evolves over the next 12 months - we're confident a few new names will be added.
For those who want to see which EVs are available to buy, use NGC's Electric Car Search below for a complete list. It's worth taking a look at our buying guide too which explains in greater detail the positives and negatives of EV ownership and what to look out for, to make sure a plug-in car is the best choice for you.