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The best electric vehicles of 2021

As the year draws to a close, we take a look back at some of our favourite electric cars of the past 12 months.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

Ford Mustang Mach-E

While the number of electric cars on UK roads remains relatively low, there's no doubt that's going to dramatically change over the next few years.

The UK Government recently confirmed that the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars has been moved forward to 2030.

That, in turn, has seen more and more manufacturers develop new electric vehicles (EVs), meaning there are more models than ever, with longer ranges and faster charging times.

On top of that, EVs are becoming more affordable and the infrastructure in the UK for charging is continuing to improve.

So, it’s no surprise that EVs are becoming a more viable option for people when they’re searching for their next car.

Here at Arnold Clark, we recently opened our Innovation Centre, a space where visitors can learn more about the benefits of alternative fuel vehicles and why they are becoming so important.

There are also more than 40 vehicles on site available to test-drive, from plug-in and self-charging hybrids to fully electric vehicles.

Below, we take a look back at some of our favourite EVs of the past 12 months.

The best electric vehicles of 2021

KIA e-Niro

The Kia e-Niro is the most popular EV in 2021 according to statistics released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The e-Niro is a no-nonsense five-door crossover that makes electric car ownership more appealing than ever.

In this big-hearted five-seater, the driver and front passenger seats have plenty of room for head, shoulders and feet, and getting into a comfy driving position is easy.

Meanwhile, the e-Niro’s 451-litre boot is a good size, and the charging cables can be stored neatly under the load floor.

Tesla Model 3

The Model 3 is particularly popular in the UK, as it’s relatively affordable – the entry-level is priced from just over £40,000.

It’s a premium saloon that puts Tesla in direct competition with BMW and Mercedes-Benz and has an impressive range of around 360 miles.

Fiat 500e

The 500e comes with LED headlights on some grades as well as 15 to 17-inch alloys. Furthermore, a spoiler overhanging the rear windscreen adds an athletic aesthetic, while there are also electric buttons rather than handles on the doors.

The 500e is available in a couple of battery options – a 23.8 kWh or a 42 kWh battery pack. The former gives a range of around 115 miles, while the latter will see you right for about 199 miles.

Hyundai IONIQ 5

The IONIQ 5 looks like something from the future. With impressive 20-inch alloys, the cool, sleek look on the outside is equally matched in its cabin, with digital instrument display in front of the steering wheel.

Its range is estimated between 240 to 300 miles, while it’s described as a 'small SUV'.

Renault ZOE

The new electric Renault ZOE won the WhatCar? ‘Best Small Electric Car of Value’ for 2021.

At the more affordable end of the scale, the ZOE is a smart electric hatchback that gives a smooth and almost silent drive.

The ZOE is just £13,995 for an entry-level model and Renault even installs a home charger for speedy power-ups in between drives.

Its affordability and size make it perfect for a city car or as a first-time car.


Measuring 1,877mm wide and 4,648mm long, the iV delivers the kind of practicality and space that’s perfect for a family of five.

When it comes to the all-important range, the basic ENYAQ 62 kWh model is fitted with a 180PS motor that propels the ŠKODA’s rear wheels via a one-speed transmission. On a single charge, you can expect a range of up to 256 miles.

You’ll also be able to do 0 – 62mph in 8.7 seconds and go on to a top speed of 99mph. The larger 82 kWh, rear-wheel-drive iV produces 204PS and has a range of up to 316 miles.

Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar became the first of the premium brand manufacturers to make a long-range, practical, battery-powered electric vehicle.

If you can afford the £65,000 asking price, you may have everything you could want here: a 300-mile driving range, 395bhp, potentially zero emissions and a car that might be as comfortable taking to a racetrack as to a gravelly ravine.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

This isn’t an electric version of Ford’s iconic muscle car. Instead, Ford has chosen to use its fabled pony badge to add a combination of premium styling and sporting credibility to its first bespoke electric production car, which is an SUV.

The range depends on which model you go for, but you should expect between 280-379 miles on the official WLTP test cycle.

As for charging, it can be charged up to 150kW, meaning going from 10-80% could take as little as 38 minutes. Ford says a 10-minute charge can deliver 73 miles.


Essentially an electric version of the ever-popular X3 SUV with a range of around 285 miles.

The front grilles are closed off for aerodynamic purposes and the front bumper has been reprofiled to include vertical air ducts at each corner. Blue elements within the grille, sills and the lightly revised rear bumper are used to signal the iX3’s electric propulsion.

Volkswagen ID.3

If you’re looking for an all-electric family hatchback car, the Volkswagen ID.3 has three potential battery sizes to meet your range needs.

With the ID.3 you can choose between 45 kWh, 58 kWh or 77 kWh. The medium battery can recharge a range of up to 180 miles in 30 minutes, while with the biggest battery, you can travel up to 340 miles on a full charge.

Porsche Taycan

The Taycan, the first all-electric car Porsche has produced, is the perfect blend of performance and everyday usability.

Pricing starts at around £83,000 for the Taycan, which has a standard range of roughly 225 miles.

About the Author

Fraser Glen