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Top 10 Small Electric Cars 2024

As we look ahead, the landscape of electric vehicle (EV) ownership is on the brink of a significant transformation. The focus is shifting towards making EVs more accessible and financially viable for the average consumer, particularly in the realm of small, urban-friendly cars. This transition aims to break down the barriers of high costs and the challenges of integrating electric technology into compact vehicles, which are ideally suited for city living. The emphasis is on creating affordable, practical EV options that blend seamlessly with the demands of urban mobility and the preferences of those who rely on their cars for daily use.

Top 10 Small Electric Cars 2024

#1 Peugeot e-208

Peugeot e-208
best small electric cars 2024

The Peugeot 208 has long been a familiar sight on city streets, blending in with the myriad of combustion-engined superminis. Yet, it’s the all-electric version, the e-208, that’s truly turning heads. Offering a compelling combination of range, performance, and value, it stands out as a top contender for those considering their first foray into electric vehicles. Here’s a closer look at what makes the e-208 a notable option in the crowded EV market.

The e-208 Experience

What really sets the Peugeot e-208 apart is its holistic approach to the electric driving experience. Its interior is not only materially rich but also distinctive, echoing the stylish design of its exterior. It measures up well in terms of practicality, even outdoing some of its closest competitors like the Renault Zoe and the Mini Electric.

Refinement is another area where the e-208 shines, offering a smoother ride than many of its rivals, coupled with a performance that’s more than adequate for its class. The steering is notably direct, although enthusiasts might find the body roll a tad disappointing when pushing the car to its limits.

Yet, it’s the “roundedness” of the e-208’s driving dynamics that impresses the most. It strikes a balance between fun and functionality, making it a compelling choice for those new to the EV market. Its generous range only adds to its appeal, ensuring that drivers can enjoy the best of both worlds: the efficiency and sustainability of electric power, without the range anxiety that plagues many other electric vehicles.

#2 Fiat 500 Electric

Best small electric cars 2024

Fiat 500 Electric

Fiat’s lineup might seem a bit muddled these days, especially with the Fiat 500 Hybrid (which is actually just a mild hybrid) living alongside its groundbreaking sibling. But if you’re in the market for something truly innovative, it’s the new electric Fiat 500 that deserves your attention. At first glance, it retains the charm and retro flair we’ve all come to love, yet it’s only upon a closer comparison that the full extent of its evolution becomes apparent.

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A Leap into the Electric Age

Fiat has ingeniously managed to keep the iconic look of the modern-day 500 while transforming it into a beacon of the future. Developed from scratch as an electric vehicle, it boasts a sizable 42kWh battery, offering a theoretical range of 199 miles according to WLTP standards. However, real-world conditions tend to dial that down to around 140 miles, which is still quite respectable for city driving. There’s also a more budget-friendly Fiat 500 Action variant sporting a 24kWh battery, but the reduced range might not justify the savings for many.

Driving Dynamics

The electric 500 marks a significant improvement in driving pleasure over its predecessors. Powered by a 117bhp motor, it’s unexpectedly lively and agile, making it a delight in urban environments. The steering may feel light, but the car holds its ground with commendable grip and minimal body roll. High-speed motorway driving isn’t its forte, yet it manages quite well under those conditions too.

Interior and Comfort

Inside, the Fiat 500 has undergone a remarkable transformation. The interior, while still sporting quite a bit of plastic, looks visually appealing, featuring comfortable seating and a user-friendly, responsive infotainment system. For those who love the open air, there’s even a convertible option with a roll-back canvas roof. However, taller drivers might find the space a bit cramped, and the rear seats are best reserved for occasional use or short journeys.

Pricing and Value

The electric Fiat 500’s price has seen a significant increase since its launch, largely due to inflation and the discontinuation of the Plug-in Car Grant. Originally available for under 拢20,000, the starting price now hovers around 拢30,000, with the longer-range models commanding a premium. While this might seem steep for a small car, the electric Fiat 500 still holds a special place in our hearts. It’s a stylish, fun-to-drive EV that proves city cars can be both charming and environmentally friendly.

#3 Vauxhall Corsa Electric

2024 small electric cars

 Vauxhall Corsa Electric
2024 small electric cars

While it might not boast the same flair or the imaginative interior of its cousin, the Peugeot e-208, the Vauxhall Corsa Electric shines in its own right as one of the leading small electric vehicles on the market. It stands as proof that substance often trumps style, especially when it comes to the evolving world of EVs.

Under the Hood: More Than Just a Facelift

Initially, the Corsa Electric lagged slightly behind the e-208 in terms of range. However, a series of updates have significantly improved its performance. A taller final drive ratio and the inclusion of a standard heat pump pushed its range from 209 to 222 miles. Further enhancements, including a battery capacity increase and a new electric motor, have now extended its reach to an impressive 246 miles.

With its latest facelift, the Corsa Electric received a revamped front end and an updated multimedia system, though these improvements come with a notable price increase, now surpassing 拢35,000. Yet, even with its simpler aesthetics compared to the Peugeot, the latest Corsa manages to hold its own in terms of looks, presenting a handsome and appealing design.

Driving Dynamics and Features

The Corsa Electric offers a compelling driving experience, balancing a genuinely usable 220-mile range in everyday conditions with responsive handling and a smooth ride. Its compatibility with 100kW DC rapid charging as standard is a significant advantage, making it more appealing for those concerned about charging times.

Vauxhall sweetens the deal with attractive purchase incentives, including free home charger installation and access to special home energy tariffs. These benefits, combined with Vauxhall’s extensive UK dealer network and the brand’s willingness to offer meaningful discounts, have made the Corsa Electric a popular choice among UK buyers, particularly those new to electric vehicles.

A Best-Selling EV in the UK

The Corsa Electric’s success story is not just about its specifications or driving experience; it’s also a testament to Vauxhall’s commitment to making electric driving accessible and appealing to a broader audience. The brand’s efforts to provide value through incentives and discounts have played a crucial role in the Corsa Electric becoming one of the UK’s best-selling EVs.

#4 Mini Electric

Mini Electric

When the Mini Electric zipped onto the scene in 2020, it promised to inject the compact EV segment with the brand’s signature blend of fun and charisma. Drawing power from the same electric heart that once pulsed in the BMW i3 S, the Mini Electric is a little powerhouse with 181bhp and 199lb ft of torque under its belt.

Driving Experience: Pure Mini Joy

True to its heritage, the Mini Electric delivers a driving experience that’s both thrilling and distinctive. Its performance stands out in its class, offering more pep and zest than many would expect from a compact EV. The handling is exactly what you’d hope for from a Mini: grippy, quick on the turns, and exceptionally agile, embodying the brand’s enduring dynamic traditions. In short, it’s a joy to drive.

The Range Dilemma

However, the Mini Electric comes with its own set of limitations, most notably its range. While Mini advertises a 143-mile range, real-world conditions tend to dial that down to between 100 and 120 miles. This limitation is compounded by the car’s practicality constraints, such as a small boot and rear seats that are not only hard to access but also impractical for anyone but small children.

Pricing and Practicality Concerns

With a starting price just shy of 拢30,000, the Mini Electric positions itself as a premium option in the compact EV market. This price tag, coupled with its limited range and practicality issues, makes it a challenging sell for those prioritizing cost-effectiveness or versatility in their electric vehicle.

#5 Mazda MX-30

Mazda MX-30

Mazda’s inaugural venture into the electric vehicle domain with the MX-30 is a testament to the brand’s penchant for marching to the beat of its own drum. The MX-30 isn’t just another addition to the growing EV market; it’s a bold statement on practicality, design, and driving dynamics.

A Unique Approach to EV Design

The MX-30 captivates with its toy-car aesthetics, encapsulating an appeal that’s both modern and whimsically retro. Mazda’s decision to equip the MX-30 with a relatively modest 35.5kWh battery pack, yielding an official range of 124 miles, is grounded in a belief that bigger isn’t always better. This choice reflects a commitment to avoiding unnecessary costs and weight, suggesting a tailored approach to meet the actual needs of its owners rather than chasing the highest possible range figures.

Interior Space and Materials

Inside, the MX-30 offers a reasonably spacious environment, enhanced by an SUV-lite body design that aligns perfectly with current trends. The interior is not just about space but also about the choice of materials, creating a cozy and distinct atmosphere that sets it apart from its contemporaries. The inclusion of ‘suicide’ rear-hinged doors is a respectful nod to Mazda’s RX-8 coup茅, though their practicality in daily use might not be to everyone’s liking.

Driving Dynamics

On the road, the MX-30 presents a dichotomy. While it might not deliver a knockout performance in straight-line acceleration, with its 143bhp electric motor, the real joy of driving the MX-30 comes alive on winding roads. Here, its steering precision and the adept manner in which its suspension handles cornering echo the celebrated driving dynamics of the MX-5 sports car. In urban settings, however, the MX-30 might feel somewhat ordinary, lacking the dynamism found on the open road.

Rapid charging capability up to 50kW means that despite its limited range, the MX-30 can quickly bounce back, ready for more adventures. And for those who find the range a limiting factor, Mazda offers a creative solution with the rotary-engined, range-extended REV version, reaffirming the brand’s flair for innovation.

#6 BYD Dolphin

BYD Dolphin

As the quest for the most compelling small electric vehicles heats up, the BYD Dolphin secures its spot in the “Top 10 Small Electric Cars 2024,” offering a fascinating blend of value, space, and efficiency. Amidst a fiercely competitive segment, this compact model from the rapidly expanding Chinese manufacturer, BYD, stands out for several reasons, despite its quirks.

Pricing and Value

In the landscape of electric mobility, where cost and value intersect, the Dolphin presents an enticing proposition. With a starting price of 拢25,490 and peaking at 拢30,990 for the range-topping variant, it undercuts many rivals without skimping on essential features. This strategic pricing plays a significant role in its recognition among the “Top 10 Small Electric Cars 2024,” appealing to those seeking electric vehicle ownership without the premium price tag.

Practicality Over Perfection

While not without its flaws, the Dolphin’s appeal lies in what it offers for the price. Its handling might be described as “woolly,” and the interior choices, such as the leatherette, may not resonate with all. Yet, these are considered acceptable compromises by many, in light of its broader value proposition. A critical area of critique across the BYD range, the Dolphin’s infotainment system, with its cumbersome menus and lackluster phone integration, remains a notable drawback. However, this does not overshadow its strengths.

Strengths That Shine

What truly cements the Dolphin’s place in the “Top 10 Small Electric Cars 2024” is its combination of a plush ride, commendable real-world range of over 200 miles, and spacious interior compared to its peers. These attributes make it an attractive option for those prioritizing comfort, range anxiety relief, and interior space in a small electric vehicle. Moreover, the model’s generous equipment levels ensure buyers receive a well-rounded package, reinforcing the Dolphin’s value-focused appeal.

#7 Honda E

Honda’s left-field approach with the Honda E places it as a standout entry in the fiercely competitive “best small electric cars 2024” category. This unusually compact and innovative electric vehicle showcases Honda’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of what’s expected in the EV market.

Unique Design and Technological Innovation

In a segment filled with larger electric models, the Honda E takes a refreshing step back, focusing on compact urban mobility without skimping on innovation. Its rear-mounted motor was designed for packaging efficiency, a concept that, despite not being fully realized in terms of interior space, sets a precedent for future designs. Coupled with an all-independent suspension, the Honda E offers the ride and handling sophistication of a much larger car, emphasizing Honda’s commitment to quality and driver satisfaction.

Power, Performance, and Range

Offering two power outputs, 134bhp and 152bhp, the Honda E doesn’t lead the pack in battery capacity, housing a 35.5kWh unit that promises a maximum WLTP range of 136 miles on 16-inch wheels. Real-world experiences suggest a more modest range of around 100 miles with 17-inch rims, highlighting the ongoing challenge of balancing compact design with range and performance in the “best small electric cars 2024” arena.

A Driving Experience Focused on Comfort and Engagement

The driving experience of the Honda E is characterized by its plushness, ease of operation, and moderate but responsive performance. It might not be the most exhilarating car in the best small electric cars 2024 lineup, but it offers a remarkably relaxing and zero-emissions urban driving experience. Its one-pedal driving capability enhances efficiency and driver engagement, making the Honda E a joy to navigate through city streets.

Standout Styling and Appeal

What truly elevates the Honda E in the “best small electric cars 2024” category is its exceptional and endearing styling. It鈥檚 a testament to Honda’s vision for the future of urban electric mobility, combining practicality with a distinctive design that’s sure to turn heads.

#8 GWM Ora 03

 GWM Ora 03

The GMW Ora 03, previously known as the Ora Funky Cat, hails from the Chinese automotive giant, Great Wall Motors, and it’s a vehicle that’s bound to stir up some conversation. With its roots in the intriguingly named ‘LEMON’ platform, the Ora 03 brings a blend of practicality, price appeal, and a touch of mystery regarding its foundational acronym.

Design and Practicality

In the realm of its peers, the Ora 03 stands out for its size and practicality. It manages to offer a generous amount of space, setting a high bar for class standards in terms of roominess. Aesthetically, it strikes a balance between moderate attractiveness and functionality. However, it’s not without its design compromises; generous rear legroom comes at the expense of rear headroom, a trade-off resulting from the under-seat battery placement.

Interior: A Dichotomy of Quality

The cabin of the Ora 03 is a testament to contrast. On one hand, there are noticeable elements of material richness that elevate the interior feel. On the other, these are counterbalanced by equally noticeable cheap touches that detract from the overall sense of quality. The infotainment system, while rich in functionality, suffers from a user-unfriendly interface characterized by fiddly controls and overly small buttons, adding a layer of frustration to the user experience.

Driving Experience

On the move, the Ora 03 delivers a ride and handling that are adequate, though not remarkable. The steering feels overly light, lacking the reassuring weightiness that many drivers appreciate. Additionally, the car’s electronic stability control could benefit from finer tuning, as its current setup feels a bit rough around the edges. Performance-wise, the Ora 03 impresses with strong acceleration when the battery is fully charged, but this vigor fades as the battery’s charge diminishes. Another area where the Ora 03 falls short is in cabin noise isolation, which could significantly enhance the driving experience if improved.

#9 Citroen Ami

Citroen Ami

The Ami emerges as a distinctive figure in the landscape of small affordable electric cars, redefining urban mobility with its unique blend of simplicity, affordability, and charm. Crafted from durable ‘Blue Ami’ plastic over a no-frills box-section chassis, it exemplifies innovation in design and manufacturing. By employing identical front and rear panels and making side glass and doors interchangeable, the Ami not only cuts production costs but also passes on these savings to the consumer, making it a beacon of affordability in the electric vehicle market.

The Driving Experience: Pure Joy in the City

Slide into the driver’s seat of the Ami, and you’re in for an utterly delightful experience. It’s a vehicle that captures hearts as you meander through city streets, eliciting smiles and a sense of camaraderie that even the most luxurious supercar might struggle to match. The Ami represents the antithesis of over-compensation; it’s a humble companion for those whose daily journeys are measured in city blocks rather than miles. Its domain is the dense urban landscape, away from the bustling A-roads and motorways where its modest size and pace would be out of place鈥攁nd, indeed, not permitted by law.

Who is the Ami For?

You might wonder, who exactly is the Ami designed for? Its target audience is as specific as it is unique. The Ami caters to those looking for an alternative to the traditional urban commute, offering a solution that falls somewhere between cycling and public transport. It’s for the individual seeking refuge from unpredictable weather and the crowded bus or train, providing a private, secure, and, importantly, dry space to traverse the city. In essence, the Ami could be considered the world’s most elaborate umbrella鈥攁 shelter from the storm and a sanctuary from the stress of urban travel.

#10 Fiat Topolino

Fiat Topolino

Fiat’s decision to reintroduce the legendary Topolino nameplate as an electric vehicle (EV) in 2023 is a fascinating nod to its illustrious past, with the original Topolino playing a pivotal role in the brand’s post-World War II recovery. This move is not just about nostalgia; it’s a strategic embrace of modern urban mobility solutions, marking Fiat’s entry into the burgeoning market of electric quadricycles.

A Blend of Heritage and Innovation

The 2023 Topolino is a homage to the 500 Topolino produced between 1936 and 1955, mirroring its predecessor’s affordability, practicality, and user-friendliness. Yet, it brings a contemporary twist by being accessible even to those without a driving license in selected countries. This approach addresses the growing demand for flexible and inclusive urban transportation options.

Leveraging the technological synergy of the Stellantis group, the Topolino shares its underpinnings with the Citroen Ami and Opel Rocks, showcasing the benefits of cross-brand collaboration. Despite its shared foundation, the Topolino distinguishes itself with Fiat’s iconic design cues, particularly its front fascia, which pays tribute to the Fiat 500’s vintage aesthetic with round headlights and a classic silver bumper.

Design and Functionality

The vehicle’s design ethos is grounded in simplicity and functionality, from its innovative use of composite materials for the body panels to the efficient production process that allows for doors to be molded from the same press. This not only reduces manufacturing costs but also reinforces the vehicle’s eco-friendly proposition by minimizing waste.

Fiat’s customization options for the Topolino go above and beyond, offering features like a canvas folding roof, removable doors, and even the novel idea of using a rope for additional passenger security. These choices reflect a bold reinterpretation of what a city car can be, prioritizing open-air enjoyment and simplicity over complex features.

Interior and Technology

Inside, the Topolino accommodates two passengers and continues the theme of blending retro charm with modern functionality. The padded plastic seats and a dashboard that echoes the 1957 Fiat 500’s layout are nods to Fiat’s heritage. Meanwhile, the absence of a traditional infotainment system is mitigated by a dedicated smartphone app, allowing drivers to access vehicle data and additional functionalities through a simple USB connection.

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