Best Small Family Hatchback Electric Cars 2021: Top 5

renault zoe electric car

The narrative is simple: love your family, love air quality, love zero-tailpipe emission electric vehicles!


It does not matter where in the UK or world you live. Family matters! Love and protection are core themes for us parents. We strive to enable a better future for our children. There are many ways to create a better world and improving air quality is one of the ways.

In the UK, cities, towns and villages sadly have one thing in common: increased air pollution. Though a number of factors contribute to air pollution, one of the key offenders has been tailpipe emissions from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. This has resulted in a significant increase of air pollution, that has impacted the health of a number of individuals, to include the vulnerable, in particular the children. According to the UNICEF, across 86% of the UK, children are breathing harmful levels of toxic air.

climate change
The Environment Is At The Forefront Of The Individual and Family Narrative

We do not have the luxury to wait to improve air quality. We need to act now, with a determined urgency. Electric cars have many advantages over petrol and diesel cars, but none more so, than the positive impact in regards to air quality. All-electric cars have no tailpipe emission and therefore do not contribute to increasing pollution. Every parent can make a difference to the quality of their children’s future by simply replacing polluting vehicles by zero-emission battery-electric vehicles.

There is now an abundance of choice in the availability of pure electric vehicles, from all-electric SUVs, all-electric saloons, all-electric crossovers, all-electric superminis and yes, the favourite, all-electric hatchbacks. All these electric vehicles come in different sizes, to suit the needs of all families.

Moreover, electric vehicles (EVs) have become much more affordable, in particular, the small electric cars. In fact, running a small pure electric car can cost as little a 2 pence per mile. Wow!

ashvin suri e-zoomed founder
You Can Recharge A Pure Electric Car For £5 (Ashvin Suri, Founder e-zoomed)

Apart from the environmental benefits, small electric cars can save individuals and families a lot of money. As an example, if you charge a small electric car overnight, you can achieve a fully charged EV battery in under £5. To fill a petrol and diesel small car is significantly more, and in most case more than £50 for a full tank.

Small electric cars are perfect for small families and couples. The electric car range of small EVs have increased, with most achieving closer to 200 electric miles (WLTP) on a full-charge. In some case, it is even more than 200 miles. The all-electric Renault Zoe Play has a electric range of 245 miles. Moreover, these green cars come with rapid charging, reducing significantly the charging time at public charging stations. In some case up to 80% of the EV battery can be charged within 40 minutes. Perfect time for getting the kids fed on the road!

In any case, in the UK the average car journey is 12 miles, so for most requirements, a small electric hatchback family car, like a Nissan Leaf EV will be perfect. Moreover, most small electric cars only need to be charged once or twice a week. For those with larger families, we would encourage either buying a larger pure electric family car, or an all-electric SUV or pure electric compact crossover.

Hatchback are by design very family-friendly. In our top picks for hatchback electric cars, we have considered design, practicality, costs and performance. All the pure electric hatchback cars are well suited for small families living in cities, towns or even the countryside.

The pure electric hatchbacks combine elegance, performance and practicalty with ease. There is ample room for children to sit on the rear seats and to carry their school gear and more in the boot. Moreover these hatchbacks are also a perfect getaway vehicle for family outings and weekends, without worrying about range anxiety! Of course these electric cars are also well suited for chores like grocery shopping, school-runs etc. You can lease electric cars at fantastic prices via e-zoomed to include family electric car!


Best Small Family Hatchback Electric Cars: Top 5 Picks


  • The All-Electric BMW i3 Hatchback
  • The All-Electric Corsa-e Hatchback
  • The All-Electric Nissan Leaf Hatchback
  • The All-Electric Renault ZOE Hatchback
  • The All-Electric VW ID.3 Hatchback


Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we would recommend a read of the following articles:


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The All-Electric BMW i3 Hatchback


The BMW i3 electric hatchback is part of the BMW zero-emission sub brand ‘BMW i’. The plug-in electric i3 car is the first mass-market BEV manufactured by BMW. The BMW i3 made its debut at the International Motor Show in Germany 2011, with production commencing in 2013 in Leipzig, Germany.

The BMW i3 has won a number of awards, to include, the World Green Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year, World Car of the Year and an iF Product Design Gold Award. The larger EV battery pack (42.2 kWh) was announced in 2018. In October 2017, the 100,000th BMW i3 rolled off the production line and the 200,000th BMW i3 rolled off the Leipzig production line in October 2020.   

BMW i3 electric car
The All-Electric BMW i3 (credit: BMW)
At A Glance
EV Type:Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Vehicle Type:Hatchback
Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG):Available
Engine:Electric
Available In UK:Yes

Trims (2 Options)
BMW i3 (from £33,805)
BMW i3s (from £34,805)

PROSCONS
Good performanceDC charging limited to 50 kW
Good design and stylingSmall boot and rear headroom limited
11 kW on-board chargerCheaper alternatives available

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size (42.2 kWh)
Charging:50 kW rapid charging (0%-80%: 42 mins). On-board charger 11 kW AC
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:0g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

BMW i3 120Ah
EV Battery Capacity:42.2 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):182-190 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (miles/kWh):3.9-4.1
Charging:50 kW rapid charging (0%-80%: 42 mins). On-board charger 11 kW AC
Top Speed:93 mph
0-62 mph:7.3 seconds
Drive:Rear-wheel drive (RWD)
Electric Motor (kW):125
Max Power (hp):170
Torque (Nm):250
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:4
Doors:5
Driving Modes:N/A
Unladen Weight-EU (kg):1,345
Colours:7

The All-Electric Corsa-e Hatchback


Vauxhall (Opel) announced the launch of a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) Corsa in December 2018. The all-electric Corsa-e looks very similar to the hugely popular internal combustion engine (ICE) Vauxhall Corsa supermini. But this is where the similarity ends. The Corsa-e is fully electric and has zero tailpipe emissions. It also has a longer wheelbase compared to the petrol variant.

vauxhall corsa-e electric car
The All-Electric Vauxhall Corsa-e (credit: Vauxhall)
At A Glance
EV Type:Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Vehicle Type:Hatchback
Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG):Available
Engine:Electric
On Sale In UK:Yes

Trims (3 Options)
SE NAV Premium (from £24,140)
SRI NAV Premium (from £24,710)
ELITE NAV Premium (from £26,545 )

PROSCONS
Good all-rounderFor those seeking a more futuristic design, this BEV will disappoint
Familiar designInterior lacks inspiration
Impressive rangeInfotainment system could be improved
100 kW fast charging as standardVisibility from the car limited at the rear
Quicker than Zoe or Mii electricSlightly more expensive when compared to other smaller EVs

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size (50 kWh)
EV Battery Warranty:8 years/100,000 miles/70% capacity
Charging:100 kW rapid charging (charge up to 80% in 30 minutes). Two options of on-board charger (7.4kW and 11kW)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:0g (CO2/km)

Corsa-e SE NAV Premium (7.4kW)
EV Battery Capacity:50 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):209 miles
EV Operation Efficiency (kWh/100km):16.5 kWh
Charging:100 kW Rapid Charging (on board charger: 7.4kW AC)
Top Speed:93 mph
0-60 mph:7.6 seconds
Drive:Front-wheel drive
Electric Motor (kW):100 kW
Max Power (PS):136
Torque (Nm):260
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Kerb Weight (kg):1,530
Colours:6

The All-Electric Nissan Leaf Hatchback


The Nissan Leaf, is one of the best-selling electric cars globally, with more than 500,000 sold. The BEV was first introduced in 2010 in Japan & the United States. It was introduced in the UK in 2011. The electric Leaf is now sold in over 59 markets across the globe. In fact, in celebration of the inaugural World EV Day (September 9th 2020), Nissan marked the production of the 500,000th Leaf. Europe remains the largest market for the plug-in electric Leaf, followed by the United States and Japan.   

It has the unique distinction of being the first mass-market electric car in the world.  Since its launch, the ubiquitous EV has won numerous prestigious awards, to include, the 2018 World Green Car at the New York International Auto Show for the second generation Leaf.  The first generation Nissan Leaf won the 2011 World Car of the Year. In 2019, the Nissan Leaf was awarded the ‘Car of the Year’ in the Stuff Gadget Awards.

nissan leaf electric
The All-Electric Nissan Leaf (credit: Nissan)
At A Glance
EV Type:Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Vehicle Type:Hatchback
Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG):Available
Engine:Electric
Available In UK:Yes

Trims (5 Options)
Acenta (from £25,995): Nissan LEAF
N-Connecta (from £27,995): Nissan LEAF
Tekna (from £29,995): Nissan LEAF
e+ N-Connecta (from £30,445): Nissan LEAF e+
e+Tekna (from £32,445): Nissan LEAF e+

PROSCONS
A good all-rounder BEVThough design has evolved, still not the best looking EV
Good rangeReliability assessment poor in the 2020 What Car? reliability survey
Affordable and practicalHeadroom for rear seats limited
Ample boot space (435 L)Sluggish infotainment system
High spec safety packageInterior materials feel cheap

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in two battery sizes (40 kWh and 62 kWh)
Charging:On-board charger: 6.6 kW. Port for Rapid Charger CHAdeMO type: 50 kW (60 mins-90 mins 20% to 80%)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:0g (CO2/km)

Acenta
EV Battery Capacity:40 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):168 miles (combined)
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):242 miles (city)
Electric Consumption (kWh/100km):N/A
Charging:On-board charger: 6.6 kW. Port for Rapid Charger CHAdeMO type: 50 kW (60 mins 20% to 80%)
Top Speed:90 mph
0-62 mph:7.9 seconds
Drive:Front-wheel drive
Electric Motor (kW):110
Max Power (PS):150
Torque (Nm):320
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Kerb Weight (kg)1,580-1,640

The All-Electric Renault ZOE Hatchback


The all-electric Renault ZOE was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 2012, with deliveries commencing in the French market in December 2012. Since then, the ZOE EV has been a success for the French automotive behemoth, Renault. It has ranked as one of the best-selling top 10 electric cars globally in 2015 and 2016 and also been a top selling EV in Europe for the same years. In 2018, the ZOE won the ‘Best Green Car‘ at the inaugural FirstCar awards. In 2021, WHAT CAR? awarded the pure electric car, the prestigious accolade ‘Car of the Year 2021: small electric car best value’.

According to the company “Despite the sanitary situation, sales of electric vehicles in Europe remain very dynamic with growth rates of around 70 to 80% in the main European markets. EV sales now account for around 5% of the total market. More than 84,000 ZOE have been sold since January 2020, doubling the volume compared to 2019. The two main markets are France with 33,000 units and Germany, where more than 25,000 ZOE were sold. Throughout its evolutions, ZOE has been praised for its versatility and its best-in-class range, making it the most sold electric car in Europe year-to-date in November 2020.”

Renault has made significant improvements to its flagship plug-in electric car model, the ZOE pure electric car.  According to Renault, more than 150,000 ZOE zero-emission EVs have been sold across Europe over the past six years.

The All-Electric Renault Zoe (credit: Renault)
The All-Electric Renault ZOE Hatchback (credit: Renault)
At A Glance
EV Type:Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Vehicle Type:Hatchback
Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG):Available
Engine:Electric
Available In UK:Yes

Trims (3 Options)
ZOE Play (from £27,495)
ZOE Iconic (from £27,995)
ZOE GT Line (from £29,995)

PROSCONS
Perfect for city drivingFast charger not standard
Good rangeReliability assessment poor in the 2020 What Car? reliability survey
Affordable and practicalHeadroom and legroom for rear seats limited
A good track recordDrivers seat positioned high, but cannot be lowered
High spec safety packageInterior materials feel cheap

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size (52 kWh)
Charging:50 kW rapid charging available all variants except Play
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:0g (CO2/km)

ZOE Play
Engine:ZOE i Play R110 Z.E. 50
EV Battery Capacity:52 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):245 miles
Charging:Rapid Charging not available
Top Speed:84 mph
0-60 mph:11.4 seconds
Drive:Front-wheel drive
Electric Motor (kW):80
Max Power (HP):110
Torque (Nm):225
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Kerb Weight (kg)1,502-1,563

The All-Electric VW ID.3 Hatchback


The launch of the Volkswagen ID.3 five-door family hatchback is part of the company’s broader strategy, to offer affordable EVs to the mass-market via the VW ID. family range of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). The 2020 ID.3 was first shown as the concept ID prototype electric car at the Paris Motor Show in 2016. 

The all-new ID.3 five-door hatchback launch model ‘ID.3 1st Edition’ was revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The EV model has been positioned as an affordable electric car for ‘everyone’.  The battery-electric vehicle (BEV) ID.3 model is marked as ‘3’, as this will be the third most important chapter for the German automotive company, after the Beetle and Golf models.

The plug-in electric car uses the MEB bespoke electric platform. Manufacturing commenced in November 2019. As another first for Volkswagen, the ID.3 is carbon neutral upon delivery to its customers.

The pure electric ID.3 has received positive reviews from Auto CarAuto Express and What Car?. According to What Car “There are few electric cars that ride any better, unless you spend an awful lot more dosh.” The ID.3 is can be leased via e-zoomed at fantastic price. Simply follow this link!

vw id3 electric car
The All-Electric Volkswagen ID.3 Available For Lease Via e-zoomed (credit: VW)
At A Glance
EV Type:Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Vehicle Type:Hatchback
Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG):Available for certain models
Engine:Electric
Available In UK:Yes

Trims (8 Options)
ID.3 City (from £30,870)
ID.3 Style (from £34,970)
ID.3 Life (from £32,470)
ID.3 Business (from £35,710)
ID.3 Family (from £36,640)
ID.3 Tech (from £39,500)
ID.3 Max (from £41,530)
ID.3 Tour (from £42,600)

PROSCONS
A good option for families looking to switch to pure electric drivingWill disappoint those seeking a futuristic styling and design
Design is ‘familiar’ and not futuristicInfotainment system could be improved
Good range and vast options of battery sizesInterior materials feel cheap for some variants at higher price
Plenty of space (boot and interior)Rear view slightly limited
Good performanceSoftware delays

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in three battery size (45 kWh, 58 kWh, 77 kWh)
Charging:50 kW rapid charging standard. Mid-range models 100kW and top-end model 125kW
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:0g (CO2/km)

ID.3 City Pure Performance
EV Battery Capacity:45 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):217 miles (combined)
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):292 miles (city)
Charging:50 kW Rapid Charging (on board charger: 11kW AC)
Top Speed:99 mph
0-62 mph:8.9 seconds
Drive:Rear-wheel drive
Electric Motor (kW):110
Max Power (PS):150
Torque (Nm):310
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Unladen Weight (kg)1,772

wallbox ev charger
EV Charging Stations Available Via e-zoomed (credit: Wallbox)

For those of you seeking to buy EV home charging points, we offer a vast range of high quality and high performance electric car charging points at competitive prices. We also offer EV charging cables, EV leasing and green energy.



Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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