Best Electric Cars 2023: The Top 15 Complete Guide For The UK

best electric cars 2023



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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Overview


It does not matter where you live in the UK, in all probability, you have seen an electric car driven on your local high street or in your neighbourhood. Or better still, you have driven in an electric vehicle (EV) or own an EV! In larger cities, like London, electric vehicles are commonplace, to include, passenger e-cars, electric taxis, electric buses, electric vans and more!

Though the earlier adoption of electric cars was driven primarily by legislation i.e. the introduction of electric car incentives, lower taxes etc., it is clear, in that, consumer choice has now become the key driver for the continued migration to electric driving.

Both, business and private consumers, are seeking products and services with a lower environmental impact, to include, even cars! Climate change and the environment are centre stage in our day-to-day narrative. Sectors, like transportation, have a significant negative impact on our environment, and seeking more environmentally-friendly transportation solutions, is key, in achieving a better future for us all!

Putting this in context, there are over 30 million passenger cars in operation in the UK. The vast majority of these vehicles are conventional petrol and diesel internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, that have high tailpipe emissions. In fact, road transportation contributes to more than 30% of air pollution. Replacing petrol and diesel cars, with zero-tailpipe emission electric cars, is a step in the right direction in improving air quality and also lowering the overall environmental impact from road transportation.

Put another way, the sooner we can replace the ‘on the road inventory’ of over 30 million polluting cars with pure electric cars, the better for us all. Of course, do keep in mind, that the UK government has already announced its intention to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030. However, we at e-zoomed expect the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to reduce significantly much sooner, as automotive manufacturers (OEMs) focus on delivering cleaner electric cars!

This utopia is not far-fetched. In 2022, the share of diesel car registrations in the UK dropped by 38.9%. A continuation of a downward trend over the past few years. In fact, as of the end of 2022, the market share of diesel cars had dropped to a mere 5.1%! Even petrol car registrations have echoed a similar negative trend. In 2022, the registration of petrol cars was down 10.4%, compared to the previous year. The market share for petrol car registrations dropped from 46.3% in 2021 to 42.3% in 2022 (source: SMMT).

In sharp contrast, the registrations of new passenger electric cars could not be more different. Spurred by consumer demand, electric cars achieved yet another milestone in 2022. The combined market share of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) crossed 20% for the first time. In fact, the combined market share of PHEVs and BEVs was a whopping 22.9%. The clear winner between these two types of electric vehicles, are pure electric cars. For those new to electric driving, a BEV is more commonly referred to as a pure electric car. In 2022, a total of 267,203 pure electric cars were registered in the U.K.

But is is not only consumer confidence in electric cars that is responsible for these buoyant trading conditions. It is also the significant improvement in the performance and availability of the latest-generation pure electric cars. The improvement in electric range, vehicle efficiency, EV battery performance, onboard technology and exterior styling for EVs has been significant. Not only are the automotive manufacturers delivering superior electric cars, but so are other manufacturers in the electric driving ecosystem, to include, EV charging station manufacturers.

The incredible improvement in electric cars has been matched by the significant enhancement of electric car charging stations, to include, AC and DC EV chargers. Smart residential EV chargers are now the norm, and DC charging infrastructure continues to grow in availability and performance. 50 kW to 100 KW public DC charging destinations are now commonplace, with the latest-generation of DC chargers up to 350 kW DC expected to come online soon.

The best electric cars 2023 come in all budgets and body styles. However, the list below does represent a broader trend in the automotive market: the continued popularity of SUVs. It is clear that automotive manufacturers are keen to capitalise on this demand, but worth noting that hatchbacks and saloons also feature on our list.

In our assessment, we have considered a number of factors, normally considered for such an exercise for choosing the best cars. However, we have given particular emphasis on features important to electric driving. These include: EV battery size, electric range (WLTP), onboard AC charger, DC charging capability, vehicle efficiency and more! Of course, we have also taken into consideration pricing, build quality, onboard technology, performance, exterior styling, practicality etc.

It is indeed, good to note, that a number of best electric cars on our list, offer multiple EV battery size options. We at e-zoomed believe this is an excellent approach, as it gives consumers greater choice to select an EV battery size appropriate for their needs. The range of EV battery sizes is vast and impressive. At one end of the spectrum is the 24 kWh onboard EV battery in the fabulously cute Fiat 500e electric car. At the other end of the spectrum is the 114 kWh onboard EV battery for the Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback!

Similarly, the emission-free electric range on our list ranges from 118 miles (WLTP) for the Fiat 500e, to a whopping 453 miles (WLTP) for the Mercedes-Benz EQS saloon. Of course, these WLTP quoted ranges and will need to be adjusted for real-world driving conditions.

In terms of performance, these electric cars do not disappoint. Do keep in mind, electric cars benefit from instant torque. As an example, the all-electric Lotus Eletre R SUV can achieve 0-62 mph in a mere 2.95 seconds. Even the BMWi7 delivers a stellar performance. The pure electric saloon achieves 0-62 mph in 4.7 seconds.

Though the plug-in car grant (PiCG) is no longer available for electric cars, do keep in mind that driving an electric car is far cheaper than driving a conventional petrol or diesel vehicle. Moreover, combining on-site renewable energy generation, with battery storage and EV charging, further increases the affordability of driving an electric car. We encourage using clean energy to charge an EV, as this way, the ‘well-to-wheel’ tailpipe emissions are truly zero!

Bottom-line, expect the strong momentum in demand for pure electric cars to continue in 2023 and beyond. The future is truly electrified! You can read a complete guide on each of the electric cars listed below on the e-zoomed Electric Living Blog by following the links.


Benefits: Electric Driving: Top 5
Lower driving costs per mile
Lower maintenance and running costs
Zero-tailpipe emissions: lower air pollution
Lower noise pollution
Instant torque and smoother drive


Best Electric Cars 2023


Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback, Audi Q4 e-tron, BMW i7, BMW iX SAV, Cupra Born, Fiat 500e, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai IONIQ 5, Kia EV6, Lotus Eletre, Mercedes-Benz EQS, MG4EV, Polestar 3, Smart #1, Tesla Model Y


Best Electric Cars: Top 15


Brand/ ModelBattery Size (kWh)Electric Range (WLTP)Body Type
Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback95 kWh/ 114 kWh261 – 345 milesCoupé-SUV
Audi Q4 e-tron55 kWh/ 82 kWh208 – 316 milesSUV
BMW i7 105.7 kWh367 – 387 milesSaloon
BMW iX SAV76.6 kWh/ 111.5 kWh247 – 369 milesSports Activity Vehicle
Cupra Born58 kWh/ 77 kWh249 – 339 milesHatchback
Fiat 500e 24 kWh/ 42 kWh118 – 199 milesHatchback
Ford Mustang Mach-E75 kWh/ 98 kWh248 – 379 milesSUV
Hyundai IONIQ 558 kWh/ 77 kWh238 – 315 milesSUV
Kia EV677.4 kWh328 milesSUV
Lotus Eletre112 kWh304 – 373 milesSUV
Mercedes-Benz EQS108.4 kWh336 – 453 milesSaloon
MG4 EV51 kWh/64 kWh218 – 281 milesHatchback
Polestar 3111 kWh347 – 379 milesSUV
Smart #166 kWh260 – 273 milesSUV
Tesla Model Y75 kWh283 – 331 milesSUV


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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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