Why you need a small electric car

Electric cars are perfect for towns – that is where all the technology works at its best. The stop-start nature of traffic is ideal for the regeneration system that helps keep your range topped up, and the instant acceleration is great for nipping away from the lights.

Then there is the fact that you can drive right into the centre of cities like London without paying the congestion charges that you have to cough up if you are in a petrol or a diesel.

One thing there isn’t a load of in cities and towns is space, so what you really need is a small electric car – they are easier to park, less stressful when it comes to squeezing into small spaces and they tend to be cheaper to buy.

Confused by all the options and don’t know where to start? These are the five best small electric cars for sale in the UK right now.

  1. Kia Soul EV

The Kia Soul might have started life with a range of petrol and diesel engines, but this third-generation version is now all electric. It’s retained its funky, boxy looks as it has evolved into this version, which means that it has plenty of space for four adults, even if the boot isn’t the biggest. It also boasts a sharp looking dashboard and a powerful electric motor.

This motor, and the 64kWh battery to which it is paired, will give you a range of up to 280 miles and a 0-62mph time of just 7.9 seconds.

  1. Peugeot e208

Unlike the Kia Soul you can get the Peugeot 208 in petrol and diesel versions, but there is a strong argument for going for the electric model. Because it was designed to be electric right from the start, there are no compromises on the battery-powered version and it offers a familiar and reassuring driving experience with no loss to practicality.

It also allows buyers who don’t want to advertise their switch to electric to make the change without shouting about it – the e208 is understated yet smart with it.

  1. Vauxhall Corsa-e

Underneath it all, the Vauxhall Corsa-e is the same supermini as the Peugeot 208 these days, which means you get the same great 50kWh battery, 30-minute rapid charging time and 209-mile maximum range.

What it also gets is a more conventional cabin layout – the Peugeot has a small steering wheel that won’t be for everyone – and some excellent finance deals that might well be the tipping point for those who are changing to electric to save money wherever possible.

  1. Renault Zoe

Renault has been selling electric cars longer than many, and the Zoe has been around since 2012. It has evolved over that time to become the grown-up little electric car you can buy today.

The battery capability has particularly improved over the years, with the latest coming with a 52kWh unit that promises a 250-mile range these days. The interior has been upgraded over time, too, and now you get a simple but quality feeling cabin that features plenty of recycled materials on the dash and, in some cases, the seats.

  1. Fiat 500 Electric

The Fiat 500 has always been a popular choice with trendy urban drivers and the all-new model is set to ramp that up several notches. It will only be available as an electric car and it retains all the stylish flourishes of its forebears.

Unlike many of the other small electric cars you can buy, the 500 Electric comes with a choice of two batteries. You can either go for a 42kWh version with a range of 199 miles or a cheaper 24kWh model with a range of 115 miles. While the former is aimed squarely at those who are popping around town and staying close to their charging base, the reassurance of the larger battery is hard to ignore.