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Best cars

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Electric cars are part of the mainstream these days – here are the 10 best currently on sale

Best electric cars

Electric cars are no longer just a left-field alternative reserved for tech lovers and eco warriors; they’ve earned their place as a credible alternative to traditional combustion-engined cars, with some EVs outperforming them in key areas. But with a surge of new electric cars hitting the market from all manner of brands, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep on top of which are the best.

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The best electric cars should offer good value for money, practicality, reliability, a great driving experience and cheaper running costs than an equivalent petrol car. We consider all of the above when reviewing new electric cars and have ranked the top 10 that we feel do the best job. The selection below covers a range of bodystyles and price points, so there should be an EV to suit all buyers.

The best electric cars on sale

If you often drive long distances, take a look at our guide to the longest-range electric cars, while our list of the best plug-in hybrids may also appeal to town drivers who aren’t quite ready for a full EV. We’ve also covered the top 10 cheapest electric cars on sale for budget-conscious buyers.

BYD Dolphin review - our favourite new car

carbuyer car of the year 2024
Carbuyer rating

4.3 out of 5

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  • Priced from £26,140

While the BYD brand might not be a household name yet, the BYD Dolphin recently won not just our Best Small Electric Car Award in the Carbuyer Awards, but also ran away with our Carbuyer Car of the Year Award. Quite simply, it’s hard to ignore the great value the brand’s smallest electric car offers. It’s one of the cheapest electric cars on sale, and yet it boasts a respectable 265-mile official range and a great amount of tech and gadgetry inside. 

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When we tested the BYD Dolphin we were even impressed with how well it drove – although it’s not a sporty model, it’s actually quite fun to drive, with plenty enough power for most drivers, sent to the front wheels by a 201bhp electric motor. The Dolphin is offered in a choice of four trims: Active, Boost, Comfort and Design, but with so much tech provided even on the entry-level models, including a 12.8-inch rotating infotainment screen, a five-inch digital gauge cluster, adaptive cruise control and a full suite of safety systems, we actually think most buyers would be satisfied enough with Active trim.

Hyundai Kona Electric review – more refined, spacious and upmarket than before

Hyundai Kona Electric driving
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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  • Priced from £34,995

The main thing that struck us about the latest Hyundai Kona was how it looked – quite honestly there’s nothing else on the roads like it at the moment, thanks to its wide front and rear light bars and futuristic styling. Of course, looks can be subjective, but there’s plenty more to like about the Kona Electric.

For starters, it feels a lot more grown up, polished and upmarket compared with its predecessor. We liked the high-quality materials used throughout the interior, and in the face of many other modern electric cars, the Kona Electric retains a good balance of physical and touchscreen-based controls, rather than ditching dials and switches entirely in favour of virtual ones. 

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It’s also larger than the old model, so its increased practicality now fits with its SUV looks. Hyundai is a brand at the forefront of the shift to electric power, so the Kona Electric’s powertrain is also pretty well sorted. It’s relaxed and refined to drive with even the lower-powered version providing enough oomph for most. You can expect up to 234 miles or 305 miles from a single charge, depending on the battery size, and both are fairly competitive given the price brackets they sit in.

Kia EV9 review – a great seven-seater electric SUV

Kia EV9 front quarter dynamic
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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  • Priced from £65,025

We were mightily impressed by the Kia EV9 when we tested it earlier this year. It isn’t just one of the best large electric SUVs on sale, it's one of the best large SUVs full stop. With masses of interior space, an excellent electric powertrain and a good driving experience, it ticks all the boxes that family car buyers need, while looking sharp from the outside, too.

Sure, it’s expensive at just over £65,000, but the EV9 couldn’t be any more different to a humble Kia Picanto or Ceed. It lives up to that lofty price tag with an interior that’s streets ahead of any model we’ve seen before from the brand in terms of quality and space. As expected, you get all the tech you could possibly want, plus physical controls for important interior functions and a choice of six or seven-seat configurations. Fold down the third row of seats and you have an enormous 828 litres of boot space.

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All UK cars come with a 100kWh battery, hooked up to either a 201bhp single motor or a pair of motors in top-spec models, combining to produce 378bhp. The latter is surprisingly quick for a car of this size, but we think most buyers will be better off with the slower and cheaper option. It gets a better range, too, with up to 349 miles possible on a single charge.

Skoda Enyaq review – a spacious, fool-proof electric SUV

Skoda Enyaq iV SUV - front 3/4 dynamic
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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  • Priced from £38,970

The Skoda Enyaq is, on paper, a cut-price alternative to the Volkswagen ID.4 SUV. However, it’s far from inferior, offering more practicality and better value for money than the VW. For example, entry-level Enyaqs have a range of over 250 miles, while the equivalent VW has to settle for 213 miles between charges. We reckon the interior is better too, feeling more spacious and featuring a more intuitive infotainment system.

Skoda has packed the Enyaq with plenty of its innovative features, such as an umbrella in the door. For the eco-conscious, the interior can be made from recycled plastic bottles or leather that was tanned using olives from sustainable trees. Pair that with plenty of boot capacity and interior space, and this is an impressive electric SUV built for everyday life. For those willing to sacrifice a bit of space for more style, the svelte Skoda Enyaq Coupe is also available. 

Hyundai Ioniq 5 hatchback review

Hyundai Ioniq 5
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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  • Priced from £43,445
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Few cars stand out in the school car park quite like the Hyundai Ioniq 5. The retro-inspired design broke new ground for the brand when it appeared in 2021, proving that electric cars didn’t have to look bland. The boxy, squared-off silhouette has the added benefit of maximising interior space – there’s room for five with an impressive 527 litres of boot space behind.

Buyers will be pleased to know that the Ioniq 5 is just as good to drive as it is to look at. It’s heavy, but the batteries are mounted in the floor so that weight is kept low down, helping the Ioniq 5 corner with minimal body roll. It definitely leans more towards comfort than sportiness, but we think it’s all the better for it. The interior comes with Hyundai’s usual tech, with a pair of 12.3-inch screens sitting above separate, physical climate controls.

There’s a choice between 58kWh or 77.4kWh battery packs, providing 238 and 315 miles of range respectively. More impressive is the charging time, which is significantly faster than most rivals – a 10-80% charge can be completed in as little as 18 minutes using a public rapid charger. A facelifted Ioniq 5 is heading our way this year, bringing a larger battery pack and a longer range.

Tesla Model 3 review - one car to rule them all?

Tesla Model 3 facelift
Carbuyer rating

4.4 out of 5

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  • Priced from £39,990
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The Tesla Model 3 set out to be a successful, more mainstream model than the pioneering Model S, and just as CEO Elon Musk planned, it’s proven incredibly popular. A recent facelift has only served to keep the Model 3 ahead of many of its main rivals, bringing tweaked styling, a redesigned interior and improved range and refinement. Even the entry-level version will now travel up to 318 miles on a single charge, while the Long Range can manage up to an impressive 421 miles – that alone will make it popular with buyers.

As is now expected of the brand, the facelifted Tesla Model 3’s interior is even more minimalist than before, but quality has been much improved over the outgoing model, giving an even more premium feel. The infotainment screen has increased in size from 14 inches to 15.4 inches, and now rear passengers even get a small screen to control functions and provide entertainment in the back – we found the new Model 3’s infotainment to be slicker than ever in testing, and although it doesn’t get Android Auto or Apple CarPlay compatibility, it offers some of the best in-car software on the market.

Renault Scenic review - class-leading range

Renault Scenic UK
Carbuyer rating

4.4 out of 5

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  • Priced from £37,495
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The Scenic has been reborn for 2024 as an all-new electric SUV. Despite ditching the old model’s MPV form factor, the new Scenic is still packed with plenty of family-friendly features, including a flat floor to improve passenger space and a vast boot. Perhaps the Scenic’s biggest selling point is its 388-mile range – an admirable figure for a car of this size and price point.

The impressive range is achieved through some clever engineering that has kept the Scenic’s weight down to around 1,800kg. That pays dividends when it comes to the driving experience, too; the suspension is soft, taking the worst out of our lumpy roads, but there’s still decent body control. The 217bhp front-mounted motor isn’t going to pin you back in your seat, but it has more than enough punch for family buyers.

The cabin represents a big leap forward from the Renault of a few years ago. Materials are excellent, the technology is up there with the best in its class, while physical buttons remain for important functions like the climate controls. We think it's an excellent all-rounder and a compelling family SUV, electric or otherwise.

BMW i4 hatchback review - electric cars can be fun

Carbuyer best company car BMW i4
Carbuyer rating

4.4 out of 5

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  • Priced from £50,755

The BMW i4 offers all of the luxury and performance one expects of a sports saloon in a zero-emissions package. The top-of-the-range i4 M50 is the first electric car to be tinkered with by BMW’s ‘M’ division and provides sports-car-like thrills while remaining practical, thanks to four doors and a hatchback tailgate.

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The i4 retains the striking styling of its petrol and diesel-powered cousin, the 4 Series, with the large kidney grille on the nose. However, on the i4, the grille is blocked off and the would-be exhaust pipes are replaced by trim pieces to improve airflow and efficiency. The i4 has a maximum range of 367 miles but expect to pay handsomely for it, since this BMW is far from the most affordable electric car around.

Kia EV6 review - one of the best EVs on sale

Kia EV6
Carbuyer rating

4.4 out of 5

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  • Priced from £45,275

The Kia EV6 was the South Korean brand’s first dedicated electric car, and it remains one of our favourites on the market four years later. Underneath the sleek five-door hatchback bodywork you’ll find the same EV architecture used in the Hyundai Ioniq 5. The latter is quirkier with its boxy, retro styling, but some buyers will prefer the more conventional look of the EV6, although boot and rear space are slightly sacrificed.

There’s no complaining about the way the EV6 drives, however. The batteries are mounted low in the chassis, keeping the weight close to the ground for better handling. The ride is slightly firmer than the Hyundai but it’s never uncomfortable, and it feels sharper through the corners as a result. Buyers can choose between the entry-level rear-wheel drive model, an all-wheel drive dual-motor model, and the mad EV6 GT with 577bhp. Unless you’re looking to set lap records, we’d ignore the latter and stick to the entry-level model instead. It’s more than quick enough for most drivers and achieves the longest range – up to 328 miles.

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The EV6 received a facelift in 2024, gaining a sharp new front-end design inspired by the Kia EV9. It also gets a larger battery pack, helping to improve range.

Porsche Macan Electric review – a sporty and upmarket electric SUV

Porsche Macan Electric
Carbuyer rating

4.3 out of 5

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  • Priced from £69,800

The Porsche Taycan may have been the German marque’s first fully-electric car, but the new electric Macan is the first truly aimed at families. It’s a far more practical proposition, taking on similar SUV proportions to the normal combustion-engined Macan, which will continue to be sold alongside the electric model this year. The electric Macan is an entirely new car, however, designed from the ground up as a pure EV and packing a 95kWh battery that can provide up to 381 miles of range.

During our in-depth test, we were most impressed by the driving experience that the Macan delivered. The steering is weighty and precise and the body movements are well-controlled, allowing the Macan to corner with impressive agility. The ride quality can be harsh over imperfections in the road, but this is improved by optioning one of the smaller sets of 20-inch alloy wheels. The Macan is currently offered in ‘4’ and ‘Turbo’ trims, the latter packing 630bhp. We think that’ll be overkill for most drivers, and not worth the £25,000 premium it commands over the Macan 4.

Things to consider when buying an electric car

The best electric car for you will depend on your needs and how you’ll use it, but the good news is that EVs are now offered in as many different body styles as conventional petrol and diesel cars, so there’s plenty of choice in this respect. There are electric SUVs, electric hatchbacks and electric performance saloons to name just a few, and the powerful electric motors of many of these mean they will often have higher performance than you might expect of an equivalent combustion-engined model.

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Electric cars have traditionally been much more expensive than petrol or diesel cars, but the good news is that with more competition now on the market, the tide seems to be changing. We’re big fans of good value at Carbuyer, so you’ll find that many of our best lists include more affordable models that offer so much for a low price, and this is certainly true for our EV list. There are also a few premium electric cars for buyers after a more high-end package.

These days, most electric cars are capable of travelling well over 200 miles on a single charge – more than 350 miles in some cases – and their recharging times have tumbled. The Government expects pure electric cars to account for half of all car sales in the UK car market by 2027, while the number of available charging points continues to increase exponentially. From 2035 onwards, new car buyers will only be able to choose between an electric or hydrogen car.

Electric cars – also known as battery electric vehicles (BEVs) – don’t emit the same harmful exhaust emissions as petrol and diesel cars, offering much lower running costs to offset their typically higher asking prices. For example, electric cars are exempt from paying the London Congestion Charge, while they’re also exempt from paying VED (road tax) until the rules change in 2025. Company car drivers will reap the biggest benefits, however, as all EVs currently fall into the lowest 2% Benefit-in-Kind tax bracket.

You might wonder if an electric car is for you at all, given the fact that they’re still a fairly new prospect for mainstream buyers. This situation is changing, however, with new charging stations continually emerging and support growing for EVs. The range of companies and schemes does seem confusing, but our guide to the best chargepoints should take the hassle out of charging during journeys.

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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