10 electric cars under £40,000 that go farthest on a single charge. Subscribe to Electric Vehicle News Bitesize Podcast for FREE to hear more!
The word “affordable” is relative. What may be within one person’s budget may not be within the reach of another.
Some will argue, and perhaps rightly, that electric cars sold in the UK today don’t fall into the ‘affordable’ category.
This is underscored by a recent report on the EVs reporting the longest range, many of which cost more than £100,000. For the masses, battery-powered driving is not at that price!
But there are models that are much cheaper and can last a week on a full charge (the average weekly car mileage in the UK is 131 miles, according to the latest figures).
We have set a price cap of £40,000 for electric cars that can enter the countdown. This is the “premium tax” benchmark for vehicle excise duty, and all owners of new electric cars above this amount will be forced to pay an additional £355 a year in vehicle excise duty at the standard rate for the first five years.
Here are 10 electric cars that avoid the tax and go the longest per charge, according to their ‘official’ figures…
Nissan Leaf 239 miles
The Nissan Leaf is one of the longest-running and most popular electric vehicles on the market. Launched in 2011 and on sale since 2017, this second-generation version has seen numerous updates and upgrades over the decade. It was the fifth best-selling electric car in the UK last year with 9,178 registrations.
An ‘e+’ version of the Sunderland-assembled family electric hatchback has been on sale since 2019 and offers a larger 59kWh battery and longer range. The official driving range between charges is 239 miles.
For those looking to spend a little less, the Leaf Acenta with a smaller 39kWh battery is currently sold in Britain for £28,995, though the official range is just 168 miles.
Peugeot e-208 248 miles
Peugeot’s e-208 is a sister car to the Vauxhall Corsa-e, but it wanted better battery life. However, that’s only the case if you opt for the most expensive version in the range, which costs £15,000 more than the entry-level 208 petrol.
While all other e-208 models sold in the UK come with a 136hp 50kWh battery, the top-spec GT variant (from £34,995) has a slightly larger 51kWh package that boosts grunt to 156hp.
This also extends range to 248 miles from 225 miles on all other models (from £31,345). That’s better than any competing Electric Vehicle in its subcompact segment, and it’s a suitably small, pocket Electric Vehicle that’s fun to drive.
MG5 Electric Vehicle 250 miles
The updated version of the MG5 Electric Vehicle Estate hit the UK market late last year. The pre-facelifted model was the eighth best-selling electric car in the UK last year with 7,030 registrations, as the Chinese brand continues to lure customers with its relatively affordable models.
Not only does the SE Long Range offer plenty of room and a roomy boot, but it’s claimed to have a range of up to 250 miles per charge. That’s impressive for a family Electric Vehicle that costs just over £30,000.
The MG5 Electric Vehicle is only sold with the 61kWh battery, and there’s a Trophy Long Range option (£33,495) with more equipment. However, this lowers the official range, reducing it to 235 miles.
Volkswagen ID3 264 miles
Volkswagen only recently unboxed an updated version of its ID3, but for now, the one in the showroom (with a year-long waiting list) is the original car.
Only one specification of the ID3 qualifies for our sub £40,000 Electric Vehicle list, and that’s the Business trim level. It comes with a smaller 58kWh battery and has a range of 264 miles.
For those willing to break the £40,000 cap – or those seasoned bargain hunters – the ID3 Tour with its 77 kWh battery has the longest range of all 339 miles, despite its staggering £47,470 price tag. Considering you can pick up a 1 litre petrol VW Golf Life for £25,765 in the showroom, that means a £20,000 premium over the longest-range electric alternative.
Cupra Born 265 miles
Look similar? It should! That’s because the Cupra Born is a rebranded version of the aforementioned VW ID3.
Like its Volkswagen Group sibling, it has the option of a 58 kWh battery or a larger 77 kWh unit. Like the ID3, only the entry-level V1 and the mid-spec V2 are below the £40,000 threshold. The former has a maximum official range of 265 miles.
Stretch your budget a fraction above the price point set here £40,150 and you can upgrade to a larger battery, offering a range of 343 miles on a single charge.
MG ZS Electric Vehicle 273 miles
Another MG included in the count down is the ZS Electric Vehicle, the brand’s only electric SUV model.
It is sold in four different specifications, starting at £30,495 and going up to £35,495. They also offer different battery ranges, with the cheapest model (SE trim) offering 198 miles and the SE Long Range officially offering 273 miles here.
What it lacks in flair, the car makes up for in utility and relative affordability. In fact, it’s the cheapest electric SUV on the market.
Kia Soul Electric Vehicle 280 miles
The Kia Soul Electric Vehicle is a car that feels like it’s been around for ages. It offers compact family hatchback dimensions, a bold look, and it’s priced considerably higher than other, more established models on this list.
The entry-level version with a 39.2kWh battery and 171 miles of range costs £32,845, while fourth in our countdown is the 64.8kWh ‘Explore’ option with a range of £39,045.
The latter has an official range of 280 miles.
MG4 281 miles
One of the newest kids in the countdown is the new MG4 Electric Vehicle. The practical electric hatchback was only launched late last year, but it’s proven popular — and that’s largely down to its modest price point.
The cheapest version starts at £26,995, but the standard ‘SE’ model comes with a smaller 51kWh battery and a maximum official range of 218 miles.
The farthest traveled on a single charge is the mid-range “SE Long Range” an impressive 281 miles. What makes it a real contender is that this variant costs just under £30,000, with an Recommended Retail Price of £29,495.
Kia Niro Electric Vehicle 285 miles
The Kia Niro Electric Vehicle hasn’t been on the UK market for long, but it’s picked up the baton from its predecessor as a very popular Electric Vehicle option for those looking for a family car.
The South Korean automaker sold 11,197 units of the former e-Niro and new Niro Electric Vehicle in 2022, making it the third best-selling electric vehicle behind Tesla’s Model Y and Model 3.
It currently comes in 3 different trim levels in the UK, from 2 to 4. The “3” and “4” models are also sold with the option of an additional heat pump to make them perform better in colder conditions. However, the second version on this list is the ‘2’ at £36,795. It has a range of 285 miles.
Hyundai Kona 300 miles
Like the Kia Niro Electric Vehicle above, the new Kona Electric will arrive soon from Kia. Still, the version to replace will still have the longest range of any sub £40,000 battery model available today.
Kona Electric is available in three different levels: SE, Premium and Ultimate. Prices range from £32,450 to £39,900, so all examples qualify for this list.
However, it’s the Premium trim, with mid-range specs and a larger 64kWh battery, that takes the top spot in our countdown. Official figures show that it can go 300 miles on a single charge for just £37,750.
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