Top 10 used electric cars
Electric cars are on-trend, and if you buy used you don’t need to spend a fortune to get into one. Here we count down our top 10 favourites.....
Electric vehicles may have been around since the invention of the car, but it’s fair to say it's only been in the past 10 years that public interest has been spiked and manufacturers have started to produce a wide range of EVs in different shapes and sizes.
Now, with constant improvements in battery technology and range, and the proposed legislation regarding the banning of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 looming, demand for them is growing and sales of both new and used cars are on the up.
Buying used will get you into EV motoring for a lot less cost than buying new, though. Our top 10 has everything from small city cars to top-of-the-range luxury SUVs to whet your appetite; some of them are cheaper than others, but all of them represent the best of their type.
10. Volkswagen e-Up
Basing your electric car on the cute little Up is not a bad place to start since it’s one of the best city cars on sale. Trouble is, because the battery pack on earlier e-Ups is so small, the range is only really 66 miles, which limits it to those who mostly do urban driving and have easy access to a charge point.
Still, if you regularly commute into central London, not needing to pay the congestion charge or ULEZ is useful. A 7kWh charger will refill your e-Up in about six hours, while the rapid-charging facility means you can be back in action in 30 minutes.
A 2019 facelift brought a 37kWh battery, good for a claimed range of 161 miles. At the same time, it was announced that the Up's siblings, the Seat Mii and the Skoda Citigo, would only henceforth be available from new as fully electric cars.
9. Kia Soul EV
The Kia Soul EV is proof that electric cars need not look boring. And it’s still a highly practical five-seat family car that’s much cheaper to run than the standard car.
A home charger should recharge a fully depleted Soul in six hours, while a fast charger will get the battery to 80% in about 30 minutes. The claimed range of earlier Souls is a respectable 132 miles.
In 2019 the Soul EV was updated to incorporate the latest technology from its sibling, the former What Car? Car of the Year, the Kia e-Niro. This upped its claimed range to a far more healthy 280 miles. Used prices for this model are still healthy, so we've highlighted the older model here.
We found: 2015 Kia Soul EV, 30,000 miles, £13,000
Here’s proof that you can even have a premium-badged electric car for a fraction of what it cost new.
You can buy a used i3 in either range extender (this was dropped in 2018) form or pure electric. Of the two choices, the EV actually has the longer electric power range, and you should be able to go for 120 miles between charges. Later models upped this to around 160 miles, and then a 2019 facelift upped it again to between 177 and 193 claimed miles, depending on the power output. A recharge from empty using a 7kWh home charger takes four hours, and the i3 can be fast-charged so you can get it up to 80% within 40 minutes.
Once topped up, the i3 is quite pleasant to drive and grips the road well, even with those skinny tyres. The ride can be a little firm, but it means the i3 resists roll despite being fairly tall.
We found: 2017 BMW i3 E 94Ah, 33,000 miles, £18,000