The best electric cars you can buy in 2019

The best electric cars you can buy in 2019
When it comes to cars, the future is definitely electric — but on forecourts across the country, that electrified future is already here.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, sales of alternative fuel vehicles — including electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid models — grew by 26.3% in 2018 and now make up around 6-7% of all vehicle sales in the UK.

But if you’re looking for an electric vehicle this year, what model is right for you? We take a look at some of the best EVs on the market in 2019.

Guide contents



Best electric car for families

The best-selling electric vehicle of all time, the Nissan Leaf has long-since cemented its place as the nation’s favourite EV and accounted for around half of all alternative fuel models sold in the UK in 2017.

Now in its second generation, the Leaf has significantly improved its offering to motorists, including a new real world driving range of 239 miles for its ‘e+’ version, an increase of 50% on the Leaf’s first-generation model.

An improved re-charge time — the battery will charge from empty to 80% in just 40 minutes at a 50kW charging point — makes this well-sized family motor even more appealing for parents looking to contribute to a greener future.

Best electric car for urban driving

If you’re looking to buy a sleek little city run-around then you’ll be hard pushed to find a better option than the funky-looking BMW i3, one of the best electric cars on the market today.

The sporty exterior hides a real range of around 160 miles and a carbon-fibre structure more likely to be seen in Formula 1 cars due to its lightweight nature, meaning it takes less power to enjoy the full driving thrill of a BMW.

It might not be the cheapest model on this list, but it comes with BMW quality throughout and you’ll feel like you’re driving a in the future when you pull up to the traffic lights behind the wheel of the i3.

Best electric SUV

When Hyundai released the Kona Electric in 2018, it was seen as a watershed moment for the electric vehicle market, with the Korean manufacturer pushing the boundaries of what consumers expect from an all-electric SUV.

If that sounds exciting, you’ll be pleased to know the Kona Electric also has the longest real range of any electric vehicle, with its more expensive version squeezing up to just under 300 miles between charges from its huge 64kWh battery.

As well as having the interior space you’d expect from an SUV, the Kona also packs a punch of up to 201bhp — substantially more than any other EV in this price range and setting the Kona apart from its competition.

Best electric sports car

No list of the best electric cars is complete without mention of that EV powerhouse, Tesla, which offers one of the quickest all-electric drives outside Formula E with its Tesla Model S.

The Model S is ridiculously fast — the quickest model, the P100D, goes from 0-60mph in an awe-inspiringly rapid 2.5 seconds — and rivals any of its more illustrious competitors for speed without producing a single emission.

As you’d expect, the Model S isn’t cheap, but if you’re on the lookout for the ultimate electric driving experience that also boasts a real range of over 300 miles, you’d be hard pressed to find something better than a Tesla.

Best value electric car

When it was released around the same time as the Nissan Leaf, the Citroen C-Zero was seen as a trailblazer for the European EV market as one of the first all-electric everyday cars you could easily buy.

These days, the C-Zero has been somewhat overtaken by its rivals which is reflected in its pricing strategy, but that’s great news if you’re in the market for a good value electric car that’s perfect as a first car or inner-city run-around.

Best real range electric car

If you spend a lot of time on the road, you might be more interested in the amount of mileage you can squeeze out of a full charge, particularly with the UK’s charging infrastructure patchy at best.

If you can’t afford a Tesla Model S, the best real ranges are offered by the Hyundai Kona and the Kia e-Niro, with the two Korean cars getting around 275-300 miles out of their 64kWh models.  

Best plug-in hybrid car

As part of BMW’s move towards electrifying a quarter of its cars by 2025, the Mini Cooper SE Countryman is the first-ever Mini plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and, as you’d expect from a Mini, one of the most entertaining PHEV drives around.

The 1.5-litre engine helps the Countryman get from 0-60mph in under seven seconds, although more impressive is the all-electric driving range of up to 26 miles, which should be enough to cover your daily commute.

As well as being fitted out with the quirky finishes you’d expect from a Mini, the Countryman is also practical, with a spacious boot and interior that means it’s perfect for families looking for room to grow.

Best hybrid car

Perhaps the most well-known alternative fuel vehicle of all-time, the Toyota Prius is the world’s best-selling hybrid car and it still offers one of the smoothest hybrid drives on the market.

Also available as a PHEV, the hybrid Prius uses a 1.5-litre petrol engine — perfect if you’re looking to move away from traditional fuels but aren’t quite ready to ditch your petrol motor just yet.

Safety features like the Simple Intelligent Park Assist and Toyota’s Safety Sense system coupled with a reasonable pricing strategy make the Prius hard to ignore if you’re looking for a hybrid.

Best electric cars coming in 2019

The electric revolution is set to pick up the pace in 2019, with a whole host of new models hitting the UK market in the coming twelve months, from high-end Teslas to everyday Renaults.

Alongside two new Tesla models, 2019 will also see Aston Martin release its first ever all-electric vehicle, the Rapide E with a 200-mile target range, while the Taycan will be the first much-anticipated fruit of Porsche’s £5.3 million investment in EV projects.

At the other end of the scale, Kia and Renault are expected to release second generations of their Soul EV SUV and Zoe, respectively, while looking further ahead Volkswagen should release the first of their long-awaited all-electric ID range in 2020.

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