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The number of electric vehicles available in the UK is rapidly growing, with almost all major brands now offering an alternative. We take a look at the breadth of offering, and how the various vital data points compare

Battery electric vehicles made up 7.2% of new car registrations in the first four months of this year, and more than 40,000 have already been registered across the first third of 2021, with incentives such as ultra-low levels of company car benefit-in-kind helping to drive fleet drivers into plug-in power in their thousands.

According to Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the “majority of zero-emission cars registered last year were for business or fleet purchasers”.

But the breadth of offering is also a key part of the shift, with almost all major manufacturers now having at least one electric vehicle in their portfolio. In fact, only 14 of the 41 manufacturers selling in the UK don’t have a full EV on sale, and of those the only ones with a market share of more than 0.5% are Dacia, Land Rover, Suzuki and Toyota.

 

WHAT’S ON OFFER
We’ve looked at the full spectrum of electric vehicles on sale today, according to the Kwik Carcost whole-life costs system, and picked out a raft of data to give a full breakdown of the variety of EVs on sale, and their capabilities and key statistics, to illustrate how they differ and show that there is an EV for every need.

Company Car Today - Plug in Charging general imageSome of the categories are obvious: the P11D price range from top to bottom )where there is more than one EV in the line-up) official maximum range figure; power (converted from kW to hp) and number of variants in the model’s line-up are all self-explanatory. So is whether the car is eligible for the Government’s reshaped plug-in car grant, which now offers £2500 off the list price (but not P11D tax value) of a full electric car costing less than £35,000. There was a mass scramble late in Q1 when the change was announced, with several cars that sat just over the new threshold dropping in price, including price cuts or new models added by BMW, Citroen, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan and Vauxhall.

 

EFFICIENCY
Electric vehicle efficiency is still a fledgling issue, with the focus continuing to be more on the maximum range of an electric car as users seek to overcome range-anxiety.

But sooner or later firms will realise that some cars are more efficient than others, and will therefore return home with more battery power left, so won’t cost so much to recharge. It’s great having a huge battery that offers a range of more than 300 miles, but that energy to restore it to full range capability has to be paid for, and a more efficient car with a slightly shorter range but much smaller battery will cost less to top up. This will be especially important when paying the higher public charging costs, over and above home energy bills.

BP Pulse charge point 2021

BP Pulse charging stations

The industry is yet to settle on a universal way to measure this, but we’ve gone with miles per kWh of energy. The car’s official range, divided by the usable battery kWh level, gives the amount of energy it takes to cover the distance. The bigger and less efficient cars are getting under three miles for each kWh, smaller and more efficient are up to 50% better at around 4.5 miles for each kWh.

Using the BP Pulse network, for example, the cost to charge is 18p-42p per kWh depending on subscription level and charge speed, so efficiency will make a big difference over an ownership period.

 

MAXIMUM CHARGE SPEED
Another big number that isn’t yet a big deal is the vehicle’s maximum charging speed. It doesn’t matter for anyone only charging at home, because home charge points won’t be putting electricity into a car fast enough to hit the maximum level of anything on sale.

Porsche Taycan 2021

Porsche Taycan

But as more public charging points with higher capabilities are installed, the speed of charge will have a big impact on the length of mid-journey stops to replenish the battery. For example, Moto has recently announced it will be installing 350kW chargers in all its motorway service stations by the end of this year, which is more power than any electric vehicle can take (the maximum is 262kW by the Porsche Taycan). Others, such as the Honda e won’t take more than 56kW no matter how fast the charger is, while cars such as the new Ford Mustang Mach-e have different rates depending on model.

There are varying levels of ease by which this data can be come across, with some manufacturers keener than others to make it easy to find, so we’ve used the figures published by www.ev-database.uk to compare the maximum charging speed. Because how quickly you can get enough charge into the car to get you home, where it can be fully recharged overnight, will become important as drivers start travelling longer distances.

We’re using the EV-Database figures on how long it takes a car to charge from 10-80% charge, in best possible miles per hour added to the battery.

EV-Database founder Arne Brethouwer tells Company Car Today: “Maximum charging power doesn’t tell you much; some vehicles can sustain it over a 10-80% charging session, but most of the time the peak charging power will only be available for a very limited time. For some, this could be less than 10% of the charging session.

“Over a typical 10-80% session, some vehicles with a higher peak charging power can charge slower than vehicles with a lower, but more sustainable peak charging power. The overall charging characteristic is much more relevant when comparing vehicles.”

ModelP11D Price RangeOfficial max range (miles)Power (hp)Efficiency (miles/kWh) Charging speed (miles added per hour)Number of variantsGrant eligible
Audi e-tron£61,220-£91,315283-296313/408/5032.4-2.9290-37016No
Audi e-Tron GT£79,845-£133,285250-260476/59830-3.1500-5205No
BMW i3£33,750-£36,750182-190170/1844.81602Yes
BMW iX3£58,795-£61,7952822863.43002No
Citroen e-C4£33,340-£34,9402171364.82103Yes
Citroen e-SpaceTourer£48,560-£49,5101431362.51502No
DS 3 Crossback£33,945-£38,545191-2061363.62105Some models
Fiat 500e£22,940-£21,940115-19993/1184.8/5.3140/2207Yes
Ford Mustang Mach-e£41,275-£58,025248-335269/294/3513.2-3.8220-2605No
Honda e£30,660-£33,160131-137136/1543.61202Yes
Hyundai Ioniq electric£32,995-£34,9951931364.51302Yes
Hyundai Kona electric£33,095-£41,445189/300130/2304.350/776Some models
Jaguar i-Pace£65,140-£74,3402924002.92103No
Kia e-Niro£32,790-£39,340180/2821363.9/4.1140/2203Some models
Kia Soul£37,4902802014.0771No
Lexus UXe£43,845-£53,4451962043.7973No
Mazda MX-30£28,490-£35,1401241453.31105Yes
Mercedes-Benz EQA£43,440-£44,9402631903.52602No
Mercedes-Benz EQC£65,655-£67,6602554082.82702No
Mercedes-Benz EQV£70,6102132042.41701No
MG ZS£28,540-£31,0501631433.41602Yes
MG 5£27,540-£30,0402141563.62102Yes
Mini hatch£28,445-£34,9941451844.21604Yes
Nissan e-NV200£32,700-£37,6201241092.41104Some models
Nissan Leaf£29,790-37,655168-239150/2173.0-3.5140/2406Some models
Peugeot e-208£29,670-£32,9202171363.82305Yes
Peugeot e-2008£33,175-39,1252061364.62105Some models
Peugeot e-Traveller£49,010-£54,4851481364.5TBC4No
Polestar 2£39,845-49,845273-336224/231/4083.2-3.6280-3404No
Porsche Taycan£70,690-£139,910254-283326-6252.4-2.9460-59010No
Renault Zoe£29,940-£33,400245107/1343.51405Yes
Seat Mii£24,990160834.21101Yes
Skoda Enyaq£34,440-£42,845256-333179/2044.3/4.4250-32011Some models
Smart ForTwo/Forfour£21,645-£23,39077-81823.8-3.9N/A7Yes
Tesla Model 3£43,435-£59,935278-360241/346/4493.8-4.4290-5703No
Tesla Model S£83,925-139,925390-520670/1020/11204.3-4.5*580-6303No
Tesla Model X£89,935-£117,225340-360670/11203.8-4.0*510/5302No
Vauxhall Corsa-e£29,585-£33,8402091363.72303Yes
Vauxhall Mokka-e£33,785-£37,9152011364.52104Some models
Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life£34,940-£50,5701431363.21402One model
Volkswagen ID.3£32,415-£42,545215-336145/2044.1-4.8160-34011Some models
Volkswagen ID.4£40,745-£49,935310-3232043.53104No
Volkswagen Up£23,500159824.21101Yes
Volvo XC40 Recharge£59,9952574022.62601No

 

Paul Barker