In our last guide, ‘Changes to UK grants for electric cars and home chargers’, we wanted to remind our readers that the UK government has reduced the grant available for plug-in vehicles, down to £1,500 off an EV costing up to £32,000.
This came into play in December 2021, and means those who buy an electric car will get £1,000 less in grant allowance (it was £2,500) and the cost of the electric car has to be lower (it had been capped at £35,000). But don’t fear, there are lots of great electric cars that still qualify for £1,500k off, at very reasonable starting prices, with ludicrously low running costs.
Here’s our pick of five great choices….
As previously mentioned, Vauxhall have slashed their prices in order to offer drivers their electric models at £32,000 or below, so they can benefit from the grant.
The Vauxhall Mokka-e looks brilliant, it’s fun to drive, and has a respectable official WLTP range of 209 miles from a 50kWh battery.
Real-world range during the winter and on motorway high speeds will drop the range to around 100 miles, but in summer conditions with easy driving, 180 miles can be achieved.
Rapid charging capability of 100kW is also useful, and quicker than most others in this price range, and means a 100-mile top-up will take around 20 minutes from a 150kW rapid charger. Which is rather good. If you can find one.
Plus, you get a great 10-inch touchscreen, heated seats, and keyless entry, as well other useful tech.
Price: £30,435 (after the reduced Plug-in Car Grant).
MG ZS EV
The MG ZS EV has just been updated with a bigger 72.6kWh battery that gives a WLTP range of 273 miles. Meaning you’ll get around 180 to 250 miles range in winter and summer real-world use respectively. That’s the longest range you’ll find at this price, and it’s in a very smart and spacious family SUV.
You have to stick with the entry-level model to squeeze in under the new £32,000 PiCG eligibility cap, but you still get an updated 10-inch touchscreen (infotainment includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), digital driver’s display, houndstooth fabric upholstery, climate control, and even adaptive cruise control.
50kW rapid charging isn’t as quick as the competition, but you’ll still get a 100-mile top-up in 30-40 minutes. Overall, it’s one of the finest budget EVs you can get.
Price: £29,495 (after the reduced Plug-in Car Grant).
Peugeot e-208 Allure Premium
A superb-looking small electric car, with an upmarket interior, perky handling, and lots of equipment.
The official range of the Peugeot e-208 is up to 232 miles (from a 56kWh battery), which is very good, and translates to between 130 to 200 miles in real-world use.
You can get a well-equipped, mid-spec Allure Premium that qualifies for Government’s PiCG, that includes gloss black exterior highlights, part-leatherette upholstery, reversing camera, LED headlights, and a 7-inch colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Price: £29,525 (after the reduced Plug-in Car Grant).
Nissan Leaf 40kWh N-Connecta
The Nissan Leaf is already a classic electric car, and one of the most popular family EVs, as one of the first electric cars on the block.
This version has the smaller of two batteries on offer, with up to a WLTP range of 168 miles, meaning you’ll get just under 100 miles in wintery motorway conditions, and up to about 150 miles on balmy summer days.
Rapid charging of 50kW is fine for mainly local commutes, but what stands out is the equipment levels, offering: 8-inch colour touchscreen (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), around-view parking camera, climate control, adaptive cruise control, heated seats, and auto lights and wipers.
If you are interested in buying on monthly payments then the Leaf is one of the cheapest EVs, and often available with interest-free offers.
Price: £28,995 (after the reduced Plug-in Car Grant).
Renault Zoe S Edition
Another electric car classic. The Renault Zoe is well established as one of the best small electric cars on the market, particularly due to its long range of up to 239 miles. In real-world range this translates to between 150 to 210 miles, from high speeds at low temperatures, to more typical driving speeds on clement days.
The 50kW rapid charging is again fine for those who mainly do local commutes rather than regular motorway miles, and thus aren’t in need of the fastest on-the-go charging available.
It feels more like a city car than the sportier Peugeot e-208, but it has a nice interior, good touchscreen system, and very efficient motor, to make it an excellent small EV.
Furthermore, Renault’s prices are low enough that you can get a higher-spec trim, including reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, 16-inch alloys, and cruise control, and still qualify for the grant.
Price: £28,595 (after the reduced Plug-in Car Grant).
Other great electric cars qualify!
There are other EVs that fall below the current £32,000 grant cap too, including the Mini Electric, Hyundai Kona Electric, MG5, and the Honda e. All are well worth considering if you feel your lifestyle would suit them.
This shows that despite the Government’s abrupt changes to the Plug-in Car Grant, there is still an appealing array of EVs available at increasingly affordable prices.
You can also use our EV finder tool, to put in your requirements, and we can help you find the electric car that best suits your wants and needs….