Best Small Electric Cars 2023: The Top 10 Complete Guide For The UK

small electric car



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


The expression ‘good things come in small packages’, could not hold more true for small electric cars. Though the recent years have witnessed a significant surge in popularity of larger SUV family cars, smaller cars continue to remain a favourite among urban drivers.

We at e-zoomed believe that smaller cars are a better way forward for us all, to include, those living in villages, towns and cities. In general, all types of smaller family cars, offer numerous advantages over larger cars in reducing the negative environmental impact from road transportation, on our day-to-day lives. We encourage families and companies to always opt for a smaller vehicle than a larger vehicle.

In terms of small cars, pure electric cars are best placed to meet our urgent need for a cleaner solution to road transportation. Both, worsening air quality and increased traffic congestion, are now centre stage in the narrative of our villages, towns and cities. Though road transportation is not the only culprit for the increased air pollution, it is certainly a significant contributor (over 30%). In regards to increased road congestion, large petrol and diesel cars are literally clogging our streets and lungs!

We would encourage, both families and company car drivers, to carefully consider their needs. If indeed, a smaller electric car can fulfil most day-to-day needs, then, using a smaller EV would be a better choice. Do keep in mind that the majority of the time, vehicles are left parked up to 80% of the time. Some estimates have suggested up to 95% of the time!

Moreover, most journeys in the UK are short. An average commute is a mere 12 miles and an average distance covered a day is just 30 miles. Do you really need a large family car? For journeys that require the use of a larger vehicle, the vehicle can always be borrowed or rented!

In our list of the best small pure electric cars, the EVs offer real-world practicality for most needs. At one end of the spectrum is the all-electric Citroën Ami Quadricycle. An irresistibly cute and compact zero-tailpipe emission electric car. The Ami incorporates a 5.5 kWh onboard EV battery, with a 46.6 miles pure electric range. For those individuals or businesses that don’t need significant cabin and luggage space, and travel short distances, the Ami is certainly worth considering. It can be, either a primary or secondary vehicle, depending on the needs of the individual, family or business.

All the other small electric cars on our list are ‘regular’ family cars, in terms of interior space and boot size. These EVs incorporate an onboard EV battery from 24 kWh to 66 kWh, with an electric range from 118 miles to 281 miles. Even adjusting for real-world driving conditions, these small family electric cars offer a very practical emission-free electric range. The majority of the small EVs on our list are hatchbacks, except for the Ami and the all-electric Smart #1 SUV.

Also on our list, is the recently introduced all-electric Abarth 500e Scorpionissima. Like the all-electric Fiat 500e, the Abarth 500e targets primarily urban drivers, but the difference being, offering more ‘hardcore fun’ than the Fiat 500e. Like the Fiat 500e, the Abarth electric also offers an onboard 42 kWh EV battery. The manufacturer has not yet released the WLTP range for the EV, but we can expect it to be close to the claimed 199 miles (WLTP) range of the Fiat 500 electric car.

Another small electric car worth considering is the all-electric MG4 EV. The MG4 EV is available in two EV battery sizes: 51 kWh and 64 kWh (Long Range). The choice of two EV battery sizes increases the potential customer base, as not every EV driver needs a large onboard EV battery and long electric range. Both battery sizes offer a useful and practical pure electric range. The 51 kWh has a range up to 218 miles (WLTP), while the 64 kWh offers a range up to 281 miles (WLTP).

It is worth noting that the latest generation of pure small electric cars incorporate DC charging from 50 kW DC to 150 kW DC. All the e-cars on our list, except the Ami, are capable of DC charging. Most EVs can be charged 10% – 80% in 30 minutes using a rapid DC charger.

Of course, the majority of electric cars are charged at home, usually overnight. These small electric cars incorporate a single-phase onboard AC charger, with some offering a three-phase onboard AC charger. Given that most homes in the UK are powered by single-phase power supply, a single-phase onboard charger is more than sufficient. We discourage the use of a domestic 3 PIN plug for charging an electric car. We recommend using a dedicated home EV charging station, like myenergi zappi.

Though a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), is a better option, compared to a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE), petrol or diesel car, a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) remains the best option. For those new to electric driving, a BEV is also often referred to as a pure electric car. Bottom-line, small electric cars are good for the environment and the wallet. Moreover, these EVs are also practical and fun! Think big, drive small!


Advantages: Small Electric Cars
Lower acquisition and financing costs
Lower maintenance and running costs
Zero-tailpipe emissions: lower air pollution
Reduction in road and parking congestion
Easier to drive and park in congested areas
Lower taxes
Lower environmental impact during production
Lower noise pollution

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.



Best Small Pure Electric Cars 2023


Abarth 500e, Citroën Ami, Fiat 500e, Honda e, MG4 EV, MINI Electric, Peugeot e-208, Renault Zoe, Smart #1, Vauxhall Corsa-e


Best Small Pure Electric Cars: Top 10


Brand/ ModelBattery Size (kWh)Electric Range (WLTP)Body Type
Abarth 500e42 kWhN/AHatchback
Citroën Ami5.5 kWh46.6 milesQuadricycle
Fiat 500e 24 kWh/ 42 kWh118 – 199 milesHatchback
Honda e35.5 kWh131 – 137 milesHatchback
MG4 EV51 kWh/64 kWh218 – 281 milesHatchback
MINI Electric32.6 kWh140 – 144 milesHatchback
Peugeot e-20850 kWh218 – 224 milesHatchback
Renault Zoe E-Tech 52 kWh223 – 238 milesHatchback
Smart #166 kWh260 – 273 milesSUV
Vauxhall Corsa-e50 kWh222 milesHatchback


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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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