2022’s best small electric cars

If you’re looking at used cars these days, then you might well be considering going electric for the first time. So we’ve rounded-up the 10 best small electric cars on the market, which combine zero-emissions motoring with some of the cheapest EV pricing around. Making the switch to a small electric car will be easier than you might think.

They come in all sorts of different shapes and types, and are among the best choices of vehicle for low running costs – increasingly important in this era of rising energy costs. Driving ranges are shorter than in many larger electric cars, but services such as Zap Map can help make sure you can easily locate nearby charging points if you need to – making even longer journeys straightforward with just a bit of extra planning.

The best small electric cars

10. Renault Twizy

You can no longer buy a new Renault Twizy, but if you’re looking for an eye-catching all-electric device for commuting, this tiny quadricycle is a fun to drive and turns heads like little else on the road. It’s even got an official driving range of 62 miles per charge. Just make sure you buy one with windows and doors if you plan to use it year-round – amazingly these were only optional.

9. MINI Electric

The MINI Electric offers all the fun of a standard MINI hatchback but with zero emissions and a clean, green conscience. The 145-mile range isn’t that great compared to some rivals, the boot is a bit small and the ride rather firm. But it accelerates as fast as many hot hatches – so it’s quick – and the suspension and chassis makes it lots of fun to drive, too, making the compromise well worth it. 

8. Honda e

A contender for the coolest interior of any car currently on sale, the retro-tastic Honda has a amazing tech-laden cabin with screens galore and some really neat touches. Including a plug socket that means you can power other devices with the battery pack. Just don’t got too crazy – the 125-mile range is short enough without any superfluous extra use. A great city car, but a pricey one.

7. Volkswagen e-Up

Quick, fun and surprisingly practical – the VW e-Up is a really competitive small electric car. Especially when the later versions  were capable of up to 159 miles per charge (just watch out for earlier models that don’t get anywhere near this driving range). No longer available to buy brand new but still definitely worth seeking out – alongside the SEAT and Skoda equivalents.

6. BMW i3

Another small electric car that’s now second-hand only. But the BMW i3 really is something special. With its weight-saving carbonfibre construction, spacious, lounge-like interior and impressive 186-mile driving range (in the latter versions at least), no other small EV has ever given us such a fantastic taste of the future. We can forgive the firm ride, but not BMW for discontinuing it.

5. Kia Soul EV

The Kia Soul EV is an impressive all-rounder. It has a 280-mile driving range and a 204hp motor, while as the largest car we’ve allowed on this list it has plenty of space inside as well. Consider Kia’s high-value (if no longer actually cheap) pricing and seven-year warranty, and you this is an electric car that makes a lot of sense for a lot of people. 

4. Peugeot e-208

The Peugeot e-208 is a stylish, small electric car that shares its technology with the Vauxhall Corsa-e. The interior combines quality with a quirky small steering wheel with high-mounted instrument cluster, helping to set it aside from rivals. The 211-mile official range is impressive on paper, too – but in testing we’ve found it limited to more like 150 miles in real life. Still, it’s great around town.

3. Vauxhall Corsa-e

The Vauxhall Corsa-e is the electric version of the UK’s bestselling car – and so it’s should be no surprise that it does most things rather well. The 209-mile is more like 150 miles in real life, but once you’ve got your head around that everything is fine – especially since you can return it to 80% charged in 30 minutes or less using a public electric car charger. A very sound choice.

2. Renault Zoe

Already on its second generation when some brands haven’t even managed their first small electric car, the Renault Zoe is one of the most established EVs of any type on the market. This means tried and tested capability, with everything working as it should and a driving range that’s not too far away from the official 250-mile claim in reality. Euro NCAP has marked it poorly recently, however. 

1. Fiat 500 Electric

Tiny but chic, with eager handling and a surprisingly roomy interior, the electric Fiat 500 is perhaps the ultimate city car. You can choose between two battery sizes (for 115 or 199 miles per charge) which helps keep the pricing down if you don’t do long journeys, and the on-board tech is understandable and clever. Our first choice for a small zero emissions runabout without a doubt.

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Adam Regan
Adam Regan
Deputy Editor

Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.

Email Adam@MarkMeets.com
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