Fancy venturing into the EV world but don’t want to fork out for a Tesla? Here are some cars that we think will do the trick instead.
If you’re thinking about straying from fossil-fuelled cars and navigating down the EV path, there are plenty of options available without needing to pay top dollar. With a second-hand EV, you’ll still get all the benefits such as a smooth driving experience, instant power delivery and, in most cases, a good range.
First on our list of second-hand EV’s is the Renault snatched the ‘Europe’s best-selling EV’ trophy straight from Tesla in 2020 with the Zoe. Its cutesy styling, large 338-litre boot and, at the same time, tiny dimensions made it a popular choice for those zooming around tight towns or ULEZ areas. Cars from 2012-2015 had a 22kWh battery underneath the floor, which powered an 88bhp motor with 220Nm delivered instantly in one dollop. From empty, charge took around 3-4 hours and it would deliver between 62 and 93 miles. Prices for early cars start from as little as £6,500.
When released in 2016, the Ioniq was described as a Renault Zoe that’s grown up. It had five seats, a 350-litre boot and an official 174-mile range figure, condition dependent, although real-world tests showed closer to 130 miles. Its 28kWh battery assisted the motor with generating a healthy 119bhp and 295Nm of torque, and helped it crack the 0-62mph dash in 10.2 seconds. As standard, drivers got Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, LED lights, a reversing camera, adaptive cruise control and sat-nav. Today, prices start at just £14,495.
Kia Soul EV
Kia is on a roll with their new electrified family and the Soul was their first stab at an electric car. Lift the bonnet and, of course, you wouldn’t find an engine but instead, lots of wires and a 109bhp electric motor. According to Kia, when it was fully charged and was driven in ideal conditions, the Soul EV could return up to 132 miles, although real-world tests have shown closer to 100 miles. Prices for 2015 cars start at around £11,000.
Mercedes-Benz B 250e
Manufacturers will often develop new architecture and tech for their electric cars but Mercedes just used a standard B-Class and gave it some electrical gubbins. Space was generous with its 500-litre boot while its tall sides and high roof meant passengers had plenty of headroom. The electric drive was sourced from Tesla and Mercedes claimed the 28kWh battery was good for 142 miles, although this was proven to be closer to 100 miles, whilst the 250e would charge in around nine hours via a house socket. Prices start at around £14,000.
Okay, so this one isn’t quite a car but is instead classed as an ‘urban mobility object’ – a quadricycle, so makes it to our second-hand EV list. Weighing in at just 458kg, the Ami is designed to take the place of the underground or the bus in a city environment and with it measuring 2.4m long and just under 1.4m in width, it’s easy to park in a city centre while you and your passenger nip in for some shopping – don’t get too much though as there’s only a small selection of cubbyholes. The 5.5kWh battery feeds the 6kW motor which means its top speed is restricted to 30mph and will deliver around 47 miles of range. An Ami can be had for as little as £7,700.
With the ID.3 fetching close to £30,000, its predecessor, the e-Golf, is a great and cheaper alternative. Its look is subtle and it gives very few hints that it’s an electric car. Under the skin lies a single e-motor with 134bhp – enough to shove its 1,615kg to 62mph from rest in 9.6 seconds. The 35.8kWh battery gives an official range of 186 miles, although the real-world figure is around 120 miles. If charging from a 3.6kW charger, the e-Golf will charge in 10 hours while a 7kWh charger will do it in six hours. Prices start at around £16,000.
MG ZS EV
In size, the MG ZS sits between the Nissan Juke and the Qashqui. As standard, MG packed the ZS EV with a superfluity of tech such as lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and traffic jam assist with braking. The 44.5kWh battery has rapid charging capabilities and helps to feed the 141bhp and 353Nm motor and also gives an official range of 163 miles. If you have a large family and need the boot space, you shouldn’t be disappointed with its 448 litres which grows to 1,375 litres with the rear seats folded flat. One can be sat on your driveway for £16,000.
When it arrived in 2013, the i3 looked as though it had been teleported from the year 2050. Everything from its LED lights, flush rear boot lid, undulating shape and concept-car-like interior made it truly unique. Plant your right foot and the 168bhp/electric motor instantly perked up allowing it to zip to 62mph in just 7.2 seconds – putting it in hot hatch territory. BMW claimed the i3 was good for 128 miles after its eight-hour charge via a conventional socket, and the real-world figure was close, at 121 miles. Good examples can be had for around £12,200.
Seat Mii Electric
For those after a second-hand EV that’s a tad smaller than the Renault Zoe, the Mii might just do the trick. It offers 82bhp, giving it nippy performance while the 36.8kWh battery suggests an official range of 165 miles, although this is said to be closer to 130 miles. Charging from empty to 80 percent takes just four hours via a 7kW charger while 10 to 80 percent using a rapid charger takes one hour. Although it’s electric, it doesn’t try to look like a spaceship launch pod, but instead, is quite subtle. Prices start at around £16,000.
Nissan raked in the compliments and the world-wide rewards when they released the Leaf in 2011 as it set the EV benchmark, so it had to be on our second-hand EV radar. Cars were first released with a 107bhp electric motor and a 24kWh battery which gave a range of around 120 miles and in 2016, a new 30kWh hit the market with a 155-mile range to comfort those with range anxiety. Charging from a house socket takes around eight hours whereas an 80 percent charge from a fast charger takes just half an hour. Early cars can be had for around £5,000 and the revised 150bhp 40kWh 2019 variants can be had from around £14,000.
If you found this article of interest, you may also enjoy…