We have come a long way from there only being a handful of electric cars available to buy. There is now a considerable choice available, in a range of styles and budgets, with more models due to arrive later this year.
Having seen a number of EVs launched in the past few months, we’ve updated our price-per-mile guide, which looks at one aspect of an EV’s affordability – how much it costs to buy a mile of range in a new EV.
We’ve highlighted the best value model in the manufacturer’s line-up as the champion for each particular badge. Note that the table shows base models only – other trim, OTRs and ranges may be available.
All figures shown are compiled by Next Green Car based on OTR of base models including the UK Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) at £3,000 where available and applicable, and official WLTP range supplied by manufacturers.
Which EVs offer best value for money?
|Model||WLTP range(miles)||OTR price (inc. PiCG)||Price per mile (OTR / Range)|
|Skoda CITIGOe iV||162||£17,455||£108|
|Renault Zoe Z.E.50||242||£26,170||£108|
|Kia Soul EV||280||£34,295||£122|
|Seat Mii Electric||161||£19,800||£123|
|Hyundai Kona Electric 64 kWh||279||£35,900||£129|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E SR RWD||280||£37,270||£133|
|Tesla Model 3 LR||348||£46,490||£134|
|Nissan Leaf e+||239||£36,395||£152|
|DS 3 Crossback E-Tense||200||£30,990||£155|
|MG ZS EV||163||£25,495||£156|
|Hyundai Ioniq Electric||194||£29,450||£152|
|Smart EQ fortwo||84||£17,350||£207|
|Volvo XC40 Recharge||249||£53,155||£213|
|Tesla Model S LR||379||£82,190||£217|
|Smart EQ forfour||81||£17,785||£220|
|Nissan e-NV200 Combi||124||£29,755||£240|
|Mercedes Benz EQC||259||£65,720||£240|
|Audi e-tron 55 quattro||271||£71,560||£264|
|Tesla Model X||314||£87,190||£278|
|Audi e-tron Sportback||277||£79,900||£288|
|Porsche Taycan 4S+||287||£88,035||£307|
Skoda has taken the top spot in this table with its first EV. A combination of decent range and relatively low price have seen the Citigo-e iV snatch the lead away at the first attempt from the previous incumbent, Renault’s Zoe. However, it was a close run thing.
The Zoe remains excellent value for money, and is only just pipped to the post. With less than a pound per mile in it, the figures have both been rounded to £108 per mile. In fact the Skoda scrapes into the high £107s while the Zoe is in the low £108s.
The Zoe had only just regained the top of the table on our last analysis in October, having held the top spot for a many of the initial analysis pieces. The previous generation lost its title when the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro came along, but the current version retook the lead last time around.
It says a lot about the recent surge in affordable EVs coming to market that the Kia e-Niro, which only last year was rated as the best value EV in terms of price-per-mile of range, is now only sixth – still a highly respectable placing.
If the competition for first place was tight, the fight for third was no less fierce. Peugeot’s e-208 has pipped the new Kia Soul EV to the post, again with less than a pound’s difference, and both figures rounded to £122. Just £2 per mile covers places three to six.
Seat’s Mii is the Spanish brand’s equivalent of the Skoda Citigo-e iV, sharing a powertrain, platform, and battery with both it and VW’s e-up!. As such, it was always going to be a question of price as to which of the electric triumvirate triumphed, and Skoda has pitched its EV cheapest.
The VW has long been hampered in this analysis by a relatively short range and fairly high price. This new version offers a much longer range at a lower price, and sees the e-up! shoot up the table to seventh.
The now well-established Kona Electric continues to offer premium EV driving range at a fraction of the cost, comfortably seeing the crossover EV into the top ten, whilst Ford’s new EV does well straight of the box.
The Mustang Mach-E comes in ninth ahead of the Vauxhall e-Corsa (the British manufacturer’s version of Peugeot’s e-208) in its best value guise, the Standard Range rear-wheel drive version – its entry-level model.
The Ford is one of a number of models that is starting to present us with a (welcome) headache when compiling this list. As the electric car market develops, we’re starting to see more choice within an EV’s model range.
A number of EVs now present different options under a single badge or body style, be it battery capacity, motor power, or both. Having only been the preserve of Tesla initially, there is now choice in a wide number of models.
The pioneering Leaf has both the standard 40 kWh model, plus the longer range and more powerful e+. The Zoe has two different motors on offer, Audi has expanded the e-tron range to the entry-level 50 under the standard 55, and added the sleeker e-tron Sportback.
It is perhaps Ford that presents the largest choice of any single-badge EV currently. It has four different powertrain combinations, while Porsche has three with a key battery option effectively making it four. All this means we’ve decided to display only the best value model for each name/body style, rather than present each different powertrain.
This means that the Mustang Mach-E and Taycan, as well as the Leaf, e-tron, and Kona Electric, plus less obvious models like the Zoe, BMW i3, and the new Honda e only have one listing per badge, with the best value version presented. Where this has taken place, we have listed the model’s powertrain that represents best value for money in terms of price vs range.
This increased choice is one change in this latest version of our analysis. The other key development is the removal of the Plug-in Car Grant for those EVs costing more than £50,000, and the reduction by £500 to £3,000 for the rest of the pure-electric market.
It means prices have shifted, and those models costing more than the grant threshold have seen their price vs range value increase, while some manufacturers have absorbed much of the cost change, or prices have been altered to keep the model under the crucial £50,000 mark.
Looking at the market overall, it’s clear when looking at the table that the majority of EVs now have a range of more than 200 miles, and only the Smart line-up sees these figures drop below the 100 mile mark.
Newer entries from Mini, Mazda, and Honda haven’t focused on outright driving range, which sees them come in at under 150 miles, but it is the 150+ miles available from the VW, Seat, and Skoda – combined with a low OTR – that sees all three towards the top of the list. These three EVs and the four models from the PSA Group – Peugeot, Vauxhall, and DS – are driving accessibility to EVs in core markets.
What’s clear is that more choice is available than ever before, and that driving ranges on offer comfortably cover regular trips. There’s everything from budget EVs at less than £20,000 with a range of more than 150 miles on a charge, to long-distance machines from the likes of Tesla, Jaguar, Kia, and Hyundai; with sporty stuff from Porsche, Mini, and Honda mixing it with family friendly models from the likes of MG.
With models in the key supermini and crossover markets from the likes of Mini, Peugeot, and Vauxhall, EVs are increasing in visibility for those that would normally pop into a showroom to pick up a Corsa, 208, or Mini Hatch.
All models listed use the official WLTP range figure, which we have found to be a reasonable and achievable distance on the whole during 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.
To be included in the list, all models must have a UK price confirmed – with or without PiCG – which is why the likes of the VW ID.3 and BMW iX3 are not yet factored in. They will appear in future updates.
As mentioned above, all model pricing is inclusive of the £3,000 UK Plug-in Car Grant where applicable. Where models aren’t yet approved by OLEV for the grant because they are too new, as long as they meet Category 1 regulations and are expected to come in beneath the price cap, we have applied the grant ourselves to make for a fairer comparison.
Model OTR is that quoted by the manufacturer, and does not include any deals or offers that may be available.
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.