Dan Trent
27/06/2011 14:06 | By Dan Trent

Electric cars you can buy now

Electric cars on sale now (© Various)

Recently we highlighted our selection of the best electric cars around. Thing is, not all of them are actually on sale yet. So we're returning to the theme, this time highlighting the electric cars you can buy now.

That's buy as in walk into a showroom, lay down some cash and drive home in. So not manufacturer pre-production schemes open only to applicants willing to lease a car and contribute to the development programme like the MINI E.

No, these cars are actually on sale, in production form and have, in some cases, been on the market for a while now. Electric cars are still a rare sight outside London and other metropolitan centres though.

That's sure to change though with cars like the Nissan LEAF now offering as close to a regular car ownership feel as anything yet on sale, albeit with certain provisos like a high purchase price and the dreaded range anxiety.

And with free VED, a £5,000 government grant towards the purchase price, growing numbers of charging points and incentives like free congestion charging and, in places, parking in London, there are plenty of reason to embrace the electric age.

The best electric cars

Electric cars - pros and cons

Reasons to love electric cars

Living with an electric car

Range anxiety - the curse of the electric car?

Reva G-Wiz L-ion

Reva G-Wiz L-ion (© Reva)

Loved and loathed in equal measure, the G-Wiz has been much improved over its life with updated crash protection and, now, a lithium ion battery. It costs £11K, although agents GoinGreen boast a 70-mile, six-hour charge on a domestic socket will cost you just 90p.

Reva G-Wiz pics on Bing

Tesla Roadster

Tesla Roadster (© Tesla)

A true electric pioneer and about as different to the likes of the G-Wiz as it's possible to get, the Tesla is fast, fun, sexy and ... damned expensive at a smidge under £100K. Nonetheless, for proving electric cars can be still be drivers' cars it deserves applause.

Read a Tesla Roadster review
More Tesla Roadster pics on Bing

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Mitsubishi i-MiEV (© Mitsubishi)

A relatively small player, Mitsubishi has stolen a march on bigger rivals with neat integration of electric drive into its already clever i city car. Four seats, an 81mph top speed and 93-mile range offset a government-assisted £23,990 price tag.

Read a Mitsubishi i-MiEV review

On Bing: Mitsubishi i-MiEV pics

Citroën C-Zero

Citroen C-Zero (© Citroen)

Look familiar? Yes, the Citroën C-Zero is little more than a Citroën badged Mitsubishi i-MiEV and no worse for it functionally. Spec-wise the Citroën is the same but unlike the i-MiEV you can't buy it outright - instead it's a contract hire scheme costing £415 (+VAT) a month.

On Bing: Citroën C-Zero pics

Peugeot iOn

Peugeot iOn (© Peugeot)

As with the Outlander crossover SUV, Peugeot and Citroën sell the Mitsubishi electric car under their own brands and, like Citroën, Peugeot is offering its version, the iOn with the same four-year, 40,000-mile lease programme and, again, £415 per month plus VAT pricing.

Read a Peugeot iOn review

On Bing: Peugeot iOn pics

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF (© Nissan)

The i-MiEV and Peugeot and Citroën blood brothers are clever and a big step on from the G-Wiz but the LEAF is the real deal, a 'proper' car built like any other mid-sized hatch with one important exception - electric power. For £24K (including government help) it's yours to drive now.

Read a Nissan LEAF review

On Bing: Nissan LEAF pics

Vauxhall Ampera

Vauxhall Ampera (© Vauxhall)

OK, it's got a petrol engine. And it might, by roundabout means, end up powering the wheels too. But the £28,995 (including government grant) Ampera is still a massive step forward - the first range extender electric car to market and a huge technical achievement. And it looks kinda cool too.

Read a Vauxhall Ampera review

On Bing: Vauxhall Ampera pics

Toyota Prius Plug-In

Toyota Prius Plug-In (© Toyota)

OK, it looks like a regular Prius. But this one - on selected lease now and on sale next year - will qualify for the £5K government EV grant and can run for 12.5 miles and at up to 62mph on electric only power before reverting to conventional hybrid drive.

Read a Toyota Prius review

On Bing: Toyota Prius pics

Renault Twizy

Renault Twizy (© Renault)

One of a raft of electric Renaults coming our way, the bonkers Twizy is the most interesting and, at a confirmed European price of €6,900 (plus €45 a month for battery hire) opens up EV ownership to a whole new audience. We can't wait to have a go!

On Bing: Renault Twizy pics

NICE Mega City

NICE Mega City (© NICE)

Like the G-Wiz, the £13,925 NICE Mega City is technically a quadricycle and, by any stretch, not the coolest-looking product in the world. It is available now though, the lead acid battery, 40mph top speed and 60-mile range looking somewhat limiting compared with the likes of the LEAF and i-MiEV.

On Bing: NICE Mega City pics

The best electric cars

Electric cars - pros and cons

Reasons to love electric cars

Living with an electric car

Which green car technology is best for you?

The top hybrid cars on sale

Range anxiety - the curse of the electric car?

MSN Cars Green Car Guide

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10/06/2011 21:04

What about the Stevens Z-Van!?


A genuine show of UK enterprise and enginuity, without the clout of a major corporation behind them!


Nippy, Practical and 100% electric. ...C'mon MSN support the cause! Not the cheque at the end of the corporate name drop!!

10/06/2011 20:02
As with most technology, it's expensive to begin with. Prices will drop with time. That said, I agree with raggamuffin, they are either pretty awful and impractical or way too dear (Tesla). They ain't as green as the hype would like you to believe.
I'm not a tree hugger particularly, but neither do I like the vice like stranglehold the oil and car producers have on us. The sooner we stop this love affair with such motorised transport, the better off we'll be. That said, without the tax revenue cars produce, the govt will soon find another way to screw us over.

10/06/2011 14:44

It seems there is little middle ground. It's either a tiny, impractical and ugly monstrosity of a "car" or something verging on being a super car. Sure the Vauxhall is somewhat holding the middle ground, but for £30K...well it just seems unappealing.


I still can't see electric cars being a sustainable means of transportation should the whole world switch to it the manufacturing and pollution caused by it would be astronmical considering where we get our electricity from, primarily coal and gas power stations is anything but "green".


At present i'd stick to a small diesel which is around the 1.5 litre engine size to get 60+ mpg not some plastic fantastic electric car because I wouldn't want to be the one footing the bill when those battery cells start deteriorating and need replacing :) In a few decades when we can make reliable and cost effective batteries using materials which are plentiful then maybe it'd be a viable option, but I think people are jumping the gun at present, but in this consumerist society who geniunely cares if they're making a large profit?

20/05/2012 14:29
Looking at the price of these cars it still would be cheaper to buy a petrol one and run it ?
13/06/2011 01:22
Electric vehicles are fine for short commutes but I wouldn't trust them for a longer journey. I own an electric bike and it's great fun, more like a toy rather than a proper vehicle. It's good for the commute to and from work and going to the local supermarket but with a top speed of just 35mph and a range of 30miles, it just doesn't win my vote of confidence. Electric vehicles need a huge overhaul to make them practical and more importantly affordable. My bike cost me a grand, for a little bit more I could of got a proper bike that would go faster and further. Like I said before, it's just a big toy.

I agree with much of what your saying,but I do know that electric cars MUST be the way forward.

ANY manufacturer with an ounce of common sense, would see that out there, is a worldwide market awaiting the right electric car.

It reminds me of the C5, be honest,it was like a kiddies toy car for Christmas & a danger to itself & other road users.


The right 'market' to go for, is a standard size family & a small five door hatch,going for some 'sporty' or luxury niche, is stupid,it's the mass market where the return on investment is to be found.


10/06/2011 23:22

Mr. Jogga Singh Teidy says...


This is profiteering on the green agenda surely? 



The drive train does not require the same level of manufacture as the internal combustion engine.


Given that couple of bearings and copper wire windings suffice in the construction of the motors, then why the sky high prices?


Electric technology is simple, we have street cleaning machine whizzing around, all it needs is gear ratios adjusted, and we have unusable ANY ELECTRIC CAR...JUST CHANGE THE BODY STYLING.









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