The 10 most affordable electric vehicles for 2021

26 Aug 2021
3 min read

The vehicle of tomorrow doesn’t have to cost a fortune today.

The information provided was correct at the time of publication.  Some incentives and grants may no longer be available.

The electric vehicle (EV) landscape is changing quickly. The UK government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, with only 100% zero-emissions vehicles on sale from 2035. This target has seen a fresh push for EV infrastructure and innovation, and car manufacturers are responding with a wide range of options for all tastes and budgets.

Despite plans for an all-electric future, though, the government earlier this year shocked EV advocates by reducing the maximum grant for electric cars from £3,000 to £2,500. The price cap for cars eligible for the subsidy has also been reduced from £50,000 to £35,000. The move was understandably controversial, although the government justified it by claiming the changes “reflect the greater range of affordable vehicles available”, and to help funding go further as more drivers make the switch to EVs.

Nonetheless, as technology improves and it becomes clear that the internal combustion engine’s days are numbered, EVs are becoming increasingly affordable, especially compared to traditional cars which now cost an average £38,585 to buy new! Here are this year’s cheapest EV models.

  1. Renault Twizy, £11,995

What do the pros say?

“While the measly 17bhp and woeful top speed of 50mph may put a lot of people off, Renault claims it costs just £1 to fully charge, putting a lot of people on” – Auto Express

  1. SEAT Mii electric, from £20,300 (including government grant)

What do the pros say?

“The Mii Electric is pleasant enough to drive, has a good range, and is an excellent introduction to EV ownership” – Car Magazine 

  1. Fiat 500, from £20,495 (including government grant)

What do the pros say?

“It’s impossibly cute to look at, perfect for the city and manages to bring the Fiat 500 kicking and screaming into the electric car era” – Parkers

  1. VW e-Up, from £20,695 (including government grant)

What do the pros say?

“The e-Up is good to drive, has a decent range, and is an excellent introduction to EV ownership that comes highly recommended” – Parkers

  1. Smart EQ Fortwo, from £21,345 (including government grant)

What do the pros say?

“Although it’s small, the mini EV still gives you a lot of style and car for the money” – Car Magazine

  1. MG 5 EV, from £24,495 (including government grant)

What do the pros say?

“It’s a roomy five-door estate and as such currently has no rivals in the UK’s electric car market at this price point. You get bags of equipment for your money” – Parkers

  1. MINI Electric, from £25,500 (including government grant)

What do the pros say?

“You don’t buy a MINI hatchback for its overwhelming practicality, but the Electric model could be ideal urban transport” – Auto Express

  1. Peugeot e-208, from £26,725 (including government grant)

What do the pros say?

“The French electric supermini has great handling coupled with a fine Continental interior, and finishes the job with a range of 211 miles – one of the higher numbers on this list” – Car Magazine

  1. Renault Zoe, from £29,179 (including government grant)

Note: No longer offered on Renault’s battery leasing scheme, the famed Zoe has recently lost the title of the UK’s cheapest EV.

What do the pros say?

“It’s practical, fun, good looking and simple to drive – no wonder it’s even more popular now than when it was launched” – Parkers

  1. Honda e, from £30,160 (including government grant)

What do the pros say?

The E feels plush, composed and easy to operate, with medium-paced steering but a tight turning circle, and moderate but responsive performance” – Autocar



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