Best small electric car 2024
There are many reasons why a small electric car makes a lot of sense. Ask yourself, do you really need something bigger than one of these diminutive electric all-stars?
If you spend most of your time driving alone, darting between the office and the gym or nipping into town for some retail therapy, you might not need anything larger than a city car or small hatchback. And because they're smaller, you'll be able to zip through small gaps in the traffic and park in those really tight spaces that nobody else can squeeze into.
The news gets better, because buying something small is the cheapest way to join the electric revolution – prices are getting lower all the time. Oh, and a small battery means it takes less time to recharge, which is good news for your social life and your wallet.
Here is a list of our favourite small electric cars currently available in 2023.
Best small electric cars
Fiat 500 Electric
The pretty 500 Electric is a pure EV version of Fiat’s famous city car, a classic model first seen in the 1950s. This thoroughly contemporary EV, which rivals the Mini Electric, is the best 500 yet. Its minimalist body is a beautiful reinterpretation of the original, while the comfortable cabin has plenty of modern features, including a versatile touchscreen. It’s very refined on the move, and electric performance isn’t bad: pick from 95hp or 118hp power outputs. The cheapest 500 Electric has a 115-mile range, but the 42kWh battery option stretches this to nearly 200 miles. Fiat says rapid charging will add enough power for a typical day’s driving – that’s 30 miles – in just five minutes. With prices from around £28,000, the 500 Electric is a really tempting small electric car.
The MINI Electric is a pure EV version of the fashionable three-door MINI hatchback. Visually, it’s almost identical to Cooper and Cooper S alternatives, as the British firm looks to normalise electric motoring. You won’t notice many changes inside either; it has the same sporty driving position, compact rear seats and small boot as the petrol MINI. A 144-mile range makes it best suited to use in cities, but an eye-opening 184hp power output means rapid acceleration, and guarantees you’ll be one of the first away from the lights. As usual for a MINI, configuration options are vast beyond the three core trim levels, so it’s easy to create a custom MINI Electric that’s genuinely a one-off just for you.
Vauxhall Corsa Electric
The Vauxhall Corsa is one of Britain’s best-selling cars, and the Corsa Electric variant is a pure electric alternative to the regular petrol models. Like its Peugeot e-208 rival, it’s virtually indistinguishable from its fossil-fuelled family, with the 50kWh battery hidden beneath the floor and a 136hp motor taking the place of a combustion engine. Vauxhall claims a driving range of 222 miles, which extends further if you keep it for city use. A smart looking car with a welcoming interior, the affordable Corsa Electric is intended to open up electric motoring to the masses. Growing popularity proves that Vauxhall’s strategy is paying off.
Like the Vauxhall Corsa Electric, the Peugeot e-208 is an all-electric version of the conventional 208 five-door supermini. Peugeot identifies its EV credentials with electric blue detailing for the grille and badges. There’s a single 50kWh battery option, which is available across several well-equipped grades. A recent battery boost has stretched the driving range to 224 miles, while performance is punchy thanks to a 136hp power output. A stylish car, one highlight of the e-208 is its distinctive interior, which is packed with sculptural surfaces and integrated digital screens. There’s even a 3D effect for the main instrument binnacle, furthering the French car’s futuristic feel.
The Avenger is the first Jeep to win the prestigious European Car of the Year award, which bodes well for the firm's first all-electric car. It certainly looks the part, with styling that leans on Jeep's off-road heritage while fusing elements of Minecraft and Lego. Just the thing for the urban jungle, but don't venture too far off the beaten track because, despite the Jeep badge, this is a two-wheel drive electric car; a proper 4x4 version will arrive in 2024. For now, you can expect a range of 248 miles and prices starting from around £35,500.
The cute and oh-so-pretty Honda e is a loveable little car that’s unlike anything else on the road. Its designer toured European cities to find out what buyers of small electric cars needed, then returned to Japan and created the perfect answer. Measuring less than 3.9 metres long, the Honda e is a breeze to drive on congested streets, and its tiny turning circle rivals a London black cab for manoeuvrability. However, it also has five doors, plus reasonable short-hop space in the back for two adults. The dashboard is another highlight, with a full-length array of display screens and luxury-car levels of equipment. It’s not cheap, but the Honda e is a fascinating small electric with a range of 137 miles.
Renault Zoe E-Tech
The Renault Zoe E-Tech is a popular electric car that has been winning fans for several years now. This version was heavily revised a few years ago, with clean and modern styling to give it a contemporary feel. We love the use of natural materials inside, which complement the digital displays monitoring the state of the battery. Impressively, the Zoe E-Tech has an electric driving range of up to 239 miles, which will stretch even further in the city. The five-door layout can also accommodate adults in the rear, while the 338-litre boot is impressively roomy. Only a surprisingly poor Euro NCAP safety score drops it down the order here.
Small cars don’t get much smaller than the Citroen Ami. Although, if you want to get technical, it’s not actually a car – it’s a quadricycle. But that makes it even better for urban running, because it’s very affordable, light, manoeuvrable and can be driven by someone as young as 16, without a full licence. Its top speed of only 28mph means it’s not much use outside of the city anyway, but its battery range of up to 47 miles will be more than enough for a day’s urban touring. It’s also one of the quirkiest looking cars on sale, and sure to turn heads as you go past. With prices starting at just £7695, it’s difficult to find anything more affordable for your inner-city electric motoring.
The MG4 EV is pushing the limits of what a small electric car is, as it’s bigger than the other cars on this list. But we think it’s worth a mention, because it’s very affordable, and sits in the same price range as other cars on this page. Prices start at just £26,995, and for that you get a car about the same size as a Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf – still pretty compact, in the grand scheme of things. It comes with a lot of features for the money and boasts lots of interior space, so if you have a family to transport it could be just the ticket. Charge the battery and you’ll get up to 218 miles out of the standard model, while the Long Range SE model will manage up to 281 miles. All that, and it drives well too.
Kia Soul EV
Its looks won't be to everyone's taste, but if you can look beyond the bold styling you'll find an electric car that's got a lot going for it. Thanks to a 64kWh battery pack – the same one you'll find in the Kia Niro EV – the Soul EV can travel up to 280 miles on a single charge. The car's boxy dimensions means there's enough room for two adults in the back, although at 315 litres, the boot is a little small for a car of this size. The 'Urban' version (pictured) costs £33,000 and comes with a long list of standard equipment and Kia's seven-year warranty.
What is the cheapest small electric car on sale?
If you’re not too picky on the exact definition of ‘car’, the quirky Citroen Ami is the most affordable electric runabout on sale at £7595. For something more traditionally car-like, however, then look at the £26,995 MG4 EV or wait for the 2024 arrival of the Dacia Spring, which is expected to cost around £20,000.
What is the battery range for a small electric car?
Gone are the days when you could expect no more than 100 miles of range from a small electric car. The Fiat 500 Electric offers up to 199 miles, for example, and both the Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Corsa Electric have ranges of more than 220 miles.
How spacious are small electric cars?
The best small cars are surprisingly spacious anyway. But take away the engine and even more room can be created for passengers. The commodious Kia Soul EV is a great example of this, while the MG4 EV is another good example of a small car that’s large on the inside.