Most and least reliable electric and hybrid cars

Electric and hybrid cars offer low running costs, but they can be expensive to buy so they need to be dependable to keep owners happy. Which are the most and least reliable?...

Most reliable electric and hybrid cars

Electric and hybrid cars are still relatively new to the mainstream, so they need to be reliable to attract buyers and inspire confidence in their technology. But how do you know which ones are?

Well, using feedback from more than 18,000 car owners, we've rated 218 models from 31 brands, based on how many faults they suffered in the last year, how long each problem kept the car off the road and the cost of any repairs.

Here we use that data to name the most and least dependable electric and hybrid cars, aged one to five years old. And we're currently running our reliability survey again, so once you’ve read the story, please tell us about your own car.

The 10 most reliable electric and hybrid cars

10. BMW i3 (2013-present)

BMW i3 2018 front cornering

Score 95.2%

Although 22% of i3s had a problem, most work was covered under warranty and all cars could still be driven, even if some took more than a week to put right.

According to owners, the most common area of concern was bodywork, followed by non-engine electrics. There was also a small percentage of issues with the exhaust and fuel systems on range extender models.

Kia e-Niro front

Score 95.7%

Our data includes the hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Niro, plus the all-electric e-Niro. Owners told us that 16% of cars had a problem, with the engine the main area of concern on hybrid models, followed by bodywork and the sat-nav, with problems reported on a small percentage of all versions. 

Half of cars took more than a week to repair, but most were fixed for free; only a small number of owners paid between £501 and £750.   

Save money on a Kia Niro with What Car? >>

8. Lexus IS (2013-present)

Lexus IS

Score 98.3%

Only 14% of IS owners reported a fault with their car. Bodywork was the main issue, followed by the sat-nav. All cars could still be driven and were fixed in less than a day. Even better, all work was carried out under warranty. 

Save money on a Lexus IS with What Car? >>

7. Toyota Prius (2016-present)

Toyota Prius

Score 98.4%

Just 9% of the Priuses we were told about had a problem, and the only areas affected were the bodywork and non-engine electrics. Although some cars took more than a week to put right, all work was done for free. 

Save money on a Toyota Prius with What Car? >>

6. Telsa Model S (2014-present)

Tesla Model S

Score 98.9%

Of the Model S owners surveyed, 16% reported an issue with their car, but the blighted areas weren't the most serious: problems were split evenly between bodywork and non-engine electrics.

Around half of the cars were out of action for a week or more, but all repairs were completed for free.