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Here are the best small electric cars to buy now, and in the future

Teeny EVs are sometimes cute, rarely capacious but often canny choices for local-area commuters

Dacia Spring EV
  • Renault Zoe

    Renault Zoe blue front action

    Set to be replaced by the reborn Renault 5 in due course, production of the best-selling Zoe will end at the end of March 2024. Though, its place in the electric hall of fame is already assured - mainstream EVs get no more trustworthy.

    Read Top Gear’s Renault Zoe review

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  • Fiat 500e

    Fiat 500 electric silver front

    Entirely capable in the city, and not shirking shorter-stint motorway action when needed, the 500e is an adorable, recognisable and well put together small EV.

    Read Top Gear’s Fiat 500e review

  • Mini Electric

    Mini Electric front action

    Turning the Mini into a fully electric car has compounded the belief that EVs don't need to be radically different to be competent and desirable. Plus, it's more fun to drive and offers a bigger boot than Fiat's electric 500.

    And if pootling about quietly in an electric Mini isn't enough to tempt you, the forthcoming Cooper Electric – a car that claims to take 'a giant leap into the digital era' – might persuade you yet.

    Read Top Gear’s Mini Electric review

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  • Peugeot e-208

    Peugeot e-208 front action

    The e-208's combination of range, easy personality, value and surprising desirability make it a strong contender.

    Read Top Gear’s Peugeot e-208 review

  • Vauxhall Corsa

    Vauxhall Corsa Electric red front action

    The Corsa Electric is a bit more subtle and a bit more sensible. That a bad thing? Not at all. Indeed Vauxhall's played it much safer than Peugeot in designing a small electric hatchback, and while the Corsa Electric will turn off plenty of people as a result, it’ll no doubt win over at least as many more.

    Read Top Gear’s Vauxhall Corsa Electric review

  • Jeep Avenger

    Jeep Avenger yellow front action

    Jeep – the brand all about off-roading – has created something splendid for the city. Entirely suited to urban landscapes, the Avenger is small, boxy and manoeuvrable with more than enough character for consideration on any small EV shortlist.

    Read Top Gear’s Jeep Avenger review

  • MG 4

    MG 4 orange front action

    The MG 4 isn't exciting, but it nails multiple categories of what it takes to make a good car. Rides and drives very well, comes with a decent slug of standard kit, and most importantly - although very boringly - has immense residual value. MG really has played a bit of a blinder here.

    Read Top Gear’s MG 4 review

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  • Citroen Ami

    Citroen Ami front action

    Known as an 'urban mobility object' in France, where kids from 14 years old can drive one without a full licence, the Ami has unique appeal. Limits of 28mph and 46 miles' range are, er, limiting. But it's cheap from new, so might suit some.

    Read Top Gear’s Citroen Ami review

  • Fiat Topolino (expected this year)

    Fiat Topolino in green, shot from behind with desert backdrop

    The Fiat Topolino – a name meaning baby mouse in Italian – showed off its cutesy credentials when it fan-carred with Disney. Like the Citroen Ami, it has a 6kW motor, a 5.5kWh battery and all the same limitations. But it's small and it's an EV, so it makes the list.

    This doorless wonder comes to the inclement UK later this year. Time to prepare the cheese?

    Read more about the Fiat Topolino

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  • Renault 5 (expected 2025)

    Renault 5 in camoflage

    Swinging in to replace the Zoe comes the reborn 5, and Renault confidently says it'll be the best small electric car to drive. Bold. The company reckons it has unlocked driving fun that its rivals can’t touch on account of using a multi-link rear axle, a setup usually reserved for higher, more expensive segments. We shall see.

    We've only seen bits and pieces of the 5, but find out more about the car here.

  • Alpine A290 (expected mid-2024)

    A static studio shot of the Alpine A290

    Alpine's take on the new Renault 5 will arrive later this year, and not a moment too soon - good looking thing, this.

    The beta version featured a central driving position and F1-inspired steering wheel, and was powered by a 215bhp motor and 60kWh battery.

    More as we have it...

  • Mobilize Duo (TBC)

    Static studio shot of Mobilize Duo

    Technically an 'electric quadricycle', the Mobilize Duo is the follow-up to the Renault Twizy. ('Mobilize' is the new electrification arm of Renault.) It's currently available in other parts of Europe on a car rental/sub basis – but we've not been told if that same model will be rolled out here in the UK.

    Consider our horses very much held.

  • Dacia Spring (coming 2024)

    Dacia Spring

    For many people the Dacia Spring will be the perfect introduction to the electric car. It will require minimal financial outlay and minimal confusion because it’s so straightforward to drive and operate. Not for the Spring are the agony of endless screen menus, modes and options.

    So it’s simple, it’s affordable and it’s fun to be in and around. 65bhp is enough when it’s pushing less than a tonne.

    Read the full review here

  • Citroen e-C3 (coming 2024)

    Citroen e-C3 (coming 2024)

    The e-C3 is the first car to be based on the new, ‘cost-efficient’ Stellantis Smart Car platform, which means there’s a 44kWh lithium ferro phosphate battery pack that provides up to 199 miles of range. With 100kW DC rapid charging, a 20 to 80 per cent top-up takes just 26 minutes, while a 111bhp electric motor allows for a 0-62mph time of ‘around 11 seconds’ and a top speed of just 84mph.

    Find out more

  • Volkswagen ID.1/ID.2 (2025-)

    Volkswagen ID.1/ID.2 (2025-)

    Volkswagen is looking into the possibility of creating an entry-level electric car below the already-confirmed, Polo-sized ID.2 (pictured here). Indeed the concept ID.2 featured two battery options - 38kWh and 56kWh - with the latter aiming for a range of 280 miles. Top speed will be 99mph, while a 125kW DC fast charge will be able to get you from 10 to 80 per cent in 20 minutes.

    The ID.1? Too early to tell, but here's what VW's technical development boss told us...

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