12 Best Small Electric Cars You Can Buy

Big or small, short or tall — EVs have been around long enough to come in all shapes and sizes. We’ve looked at the big boys (like Tesla’s SUVs), but what about the little ones, the best small electric cars on the market?

Perhaps you find yourself on a tighter budget. Maybe you simply want something nippy, zippy, and environmentally friendly.

In that case, which of the small EVs out there pack the most powerful punch? And which ones will offer you the range you’re looking for without costing an arm and a leg?

Look no further — we’ve singled out the top 12 small electric cars based on speed, size, and technical specifications in the US, UK, or both.

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12 Best Small Electric Cars

1. Nissan Leaf

best small electric car
Source: DrivingElectric
  • Top Speed: 144 km/hr (89 mph)
  • Battery Capacity: 40 kWh
  • Average Range: 235 kilometers (146 miles)
  • 0-100 km/hr Acceleration: 7.9 seconds
  • Average Price: $27,400

The Nissan Leaf has been designed with a floor-mounted battery pack, allowing for a lower center of gravity and a smoother driving experience.

Even better, it has a single pedal! With only one pedal, you can accelerate (when you press down) and brake (when you lift your foot off).

Additional features of this buzzing EV are zero emissions, no need for oil changes, less maintenance, and the refreshing silence while driving.


2. Renault ZOE

small electric car
Source: The Driven
  • Top speed: 135 km/hr (83 mph)
  • Battery Capacity: 54.7 kWh
  • Average Range: 315 kilometers (196 miles)
  • 0-100 km/hr Acceleration: 11.4 seconds
  • Average Price: £27,600 (approximately $33 680)

The Renault Zoe is definitely value for money when it comes to small electric cars!

In fact, in 2021, this EV was awarded as one of the best small EVs out there.

You can expect great driver-assist features and various driving modes (currently only available in Europe).

This car is somewhat like your right-hand man — assisting you as you zip around the city to tackle your day!


3. Honda e

Source: Luxurious Magazine
  • Top Speed: 145 km/hr (90 mph)
  • Battery Capacity: 35.5 kWh
  • Average Range: 170 kilometers (105 miles)
  • 0-100 km/hr Acceleration: 9 seconds
  • Average Price: £34,365 (roughly $41 900)

Available in the European and Japanese markets, the Honda e is one of the most desirable small EVs on the floor.

Needless to say, this car has zero carbon emissions!

The Honda e has fantastic features, such as a rapid charge of 80% in just over 30 minutes – meeting the daily demands of having to commute.

This car is perfect for city life!


4. Hyundai Ioniq 5 (Standard 2WD)

tiny electric car
Source: Top Gear
  • Top Speed: 185 km/hr (114 mph)
  • Battery Capacity: 58.0 kWh
  • Average Range: 295 kilometers (183 miles)
  • 0-100 km/h Acceleration: 8.5 seconds
  • Average Price: $34,020

Reclining seats and relaxation are what you can expect with the Hyundai Ioniq 5!

While stress-free driving is the goal here, safety is still a top priority.

How so?

This is one of the small electric vehicles that offer an advanced virtual windshield display with lane guidance and warning functions – all while surrounded by the safety of seven airbags.

Safety and less stress — what more can you ask for?


5. Mini Electric

mini electric car
Source: Top Gear
  • Top Speed: 150 km/hr (93 mph)
  • Battery Capacity: 32.6 kWh
  • Average Range: 185 kilometers (115 miles)
  • 0-100 km/hr Acceleration: 7.3 seconds
  • Average Price: $30,750

Compatible with AC and DC charging, the Mini Electric is one of the sleekest and swiftest small electric cars on the streets!

This vehicle has been designed to suit the urban electric lifestyle — a charge with passion, if you will.

Oh, and the low-mounted battery is perfect for a stable drive, making every corner nothing short of a breeze.


6. BMW i3

little electric car
Source: Motor Authority
  • Top Speed: 150 km/hr (93 mph)
  • Battery Capacity: 42.2 kWh
  • Average Range: 235 kilometers (146 miles)
  • 0-100 km/hr Acceleration: 7.3 seconds
  • Average Price: $45,445

The BMW is all about unleashing your electric side! A bold and award-winning vehicle is what you can expect here.

Not only is the i3 crafted with materials up to 95% recyclable, but it also comes with a battery that converts into energy storage.

This small EV seals the deal of confidence with its warranty and battery guarantee — less stress on the roads and overall quality.


7. Vauxhall Corsa

best small electric car
Source: Totally EV
  • Top Speed: 150 km/hr (93 mph)
  • Battery Capacity: 45 kWh
  • Average Range: 285 kilometers (177 miles)
  • 0-100 km/hr Acceleration: 8.1 seconds
  • Average Price: £25,805(around $31 460)

Zipping through the streets of Europe, you can expect a performing player here!

The Vauxhall Corsa is stylish and compact, even winning the title for value car of the year in 2021.

With this EV, you can expect a plethora of driver modes with rapid charging capabilities, an 8-year battery warranty (free of charge!), and no carbon emissions!


8. Chevrolet Bolt EV

Source: Top Gear
  • Top Speed: 146 km/hr (90 mph)
  • Battery Capacity: 65 kWh
  • Average Range: 416 km (259 miles)
  • 0-100 km/hr Acceleration: 7.3 seconds
  • Average Price: $31, 995

Easy to drive, easy to charge, and maximum efficiency!

The Chevrolet Bolt EV is nothing short of fun to drive. This EV prides itself on its one-pedal driving and super sports mode.

More importantly, Chevrolet offers an additional bonus of free home charger installation upon purchasing a 2022 model.

With easy monitoring of your battery level, driving conditions, and surrounding weather forecast on the mobile app, you can expect excellent performance on the open road.


9. Peugeot e-208

Source: Inside EVs
  • Top Speed: 150 km/hr (93 mph)
  • Battery Capacity: 50.0 kWh
  • Average Range: 285 kilometers (177 miles)
  • 0-100 km/hr Acceleration: 8.1 seconds
  • Average Price: £28,260 (approximately $34 500)

Looking for an EV with a youthful flair? Then this car may be the one!

Distinctive and sporty on the roads, the Peugeot is a winner on the streets of Europe.

This is one of the small electric vehicles offering agility and assistance through its customized 3D i-Cockpit function.

What makes it so unique? It’s all in the design.

The 3D instrument panel is perfectly positioned to provide important information (such as risk warnings) while driving without compromising your visual field.


10. Fiat 500 Electric

Source: Drive.co.uk
  • Top Speed: 150 km/hr (93 mph)
  • Battery Capacity: 42.0 kWh
  • Average Range: 235 kilometers (146 miles)
  • 0-100 km/r Acceleration: 9 seconds
  • Average Price: $32,500

The Fiat 500 electric offers a fast charge like no other!

In only five minutes, this buzzing beauty can fast charge you for a full day’s worth of driving.

But one of the unique points that simply cannot be overlooked here is the sound experience.

Fiat has put extensive effort alongside the famous Andrea Bocelli to design a premium sound system for an unmatched audio experience. In other words, this car is undoubtedly one of the best in terms of acoustics for any music!


11. Volkswagen e-Up

Source: Top Gear
  • Top Speed: 130 km/hr (81 mph)
  • Battery Capacity: 36.8 kWh
  • Average Range: 205 kilometers (127 miles)
  • 0-100 km/hr Acceleration: 11.9 seconds
  • Average Price: £22,055 (around $27 000)

After high demand led to the EV being completely sold out, the Volkswagen e-Up is back and better than ever!

This European electric efficiency allows for effortless navigation to public charging stations, traffic warnings, lane assist, and a wireless connection system through its divine docking feature.

All that while still offering front and side airbags and seat occupant detection.

This car’s fresh and minimalistic face proves that simplicity still has a lot to offer.


12. Smart EQ

Source: Mercedes-Benz
  • Top Speed: 130 km/hr (81 mph)
  • Battery Capacity: 17.6 kWh
  • Average Range: 100 kilometers (62 miles)
  • 0-100 km/r Acceleration: 11.6 seconds
  • Average Price: $24,650

Although still a hit around the globe, the Smart electric vehicle is no longer available to buy new in the U.S. But you can be sure to find used models around the block.

The Smart is brilliant in every sense of the word!

Radar-based energy recovery to detect and tune optimal levels of energy recovery planned pre-entry climate control for better range, an eco mode for energy saving, and last but not least – the impeccable level of silence.

This is one of the small electric vehicles not to be underestimated!


What Is The Smallest Electric Car?

Citroen Ami Source: Driving Electric

The Citroen Ami is so small it’s technically classed as a quadricycle! That being said, this EV still offers space for two and some luggage.

It weighs 458 kilograms, comes at a top speed of 28 miles per hour with a range of 43 miles, has a battery capacity of 5.5 kWh, and is 2.41 meters long.

The Ami is perfect for an urban run-around car for shorter commutes and low-speed zones for an easy £6000.


What Is The Cheapest Small Electric Car?

US And UK

The small electric car that came in the cheapest and is available across both the United States and the UK is none other than the Nissan Leaf, coming in at $27 400.

Turn up the volume, put on your subtitles, and check out this first-hand experience with a Nissan Leaf!

Zero impact experience with a Nissan Leaf.

Regionally

The Smart EQ is the best small electric car that is the cheapest available in Europe, coming in at only $24,650.


How We Chose The Best Small Electric Cars

Choosing the best small electric cars is a combination of various factors. So, how did we do this?

We broke it down by finding the car models and choosing them based on their popularity and the size of the car.

Then we looked at the speed, battery, mileage, and price, to find the vehicles that give an affordable buzzing boost to get you to where you need to be.

Let’s take a look, shall we:

ModelDimensions
Nissan Leaf4,445mm Length; 1,770mm Width; 1,550mm Height
Renault Zoe4,087mm Length; 1,945mm Width; 1,562mm Height
Honda e3, 894mm Length; 1,752mm Width; 1,503mm Height
Hyundai Ioniq 54,635mm Length; 1,890mm Width; 1,605mm Height
Mini Electric3,845mm Length; 1,928mm Width; 1,432mm Height
BMW i33,999mm Length; 1,775mm Width; 1,578mm Height
Vauxhall Corsa4,060mm Length; 1,765mm Width; 1,435mm Height
Chevrolet Bolt4,145mm Length; 1,765mm Width; 1,611mm Height
Peugeot e-2084,055mm Length; 1,765mm Width; 1,430mm Height
Fiat 500 Electric2,322mm Length; 1,683mm Width; 1,527mm Height
VW e-Up!3,600mm Length; 1,645mm Width; 1,492mm Height
Smart EQ2,695mm Length; 1,663mm Width; 1,555mm Height
Small EV dimensions by model

What Each Model Offers

ModelTop SpeedBatteryAverage MileagePrice
Nissan Leaf144 km/hr40 kWh235 km$27,400
Renault Zoe135 km/hr54.7 kWh315 km$33, 680
Honda e145 km/hr35.5 kWh170 km$41, 900
Hyundai Ioniq 5185 km/hr50.0 kWh295 km$34, 020
Mini Electric150 km/hr32.6 kWh185 km$30, 750
BMW i3150 km/hr42.2 kWh235 km$45, 445
Vauxhall Corsa150 km/hr45 kWh285 km$31, 460
Chevrolet Bolt146 km/hr65 kWh416 km$31, 995
Peugeot e-208150 km/hr50.0 kWh285 km$34, 500
Fiat 500 Electric150 km/hr42 kWh235 km$32, 500
VW e-Up!130 km/hr36.8 kWh205 km$27 000
Smart EQ130 km/hr17.6 kWh100 km$24, 650
Technical specifications of the best small electric cars
Exciting extras: Did you know that EVs are often charged in public solar carports? Did you also know that you can build a DIY solar charging station?

What The Data Tells Us

It becomes pretty evident that the most powerful and best range small EV is probably the Chevrolet Bolt. It’s ideal for its small size and considerable range.

Alternatively, the Nissan Leaf offers a slightly lower range but is substantially cheaper. This car is an excellent choice for urban living and family life, with a little bit of traveling.

If you want to simply travel from point A to point B on smaller roads, then the Smart EQ is a great choice, providing you enough oomph to get around without breaking the bank.

Insights into what net-zero is.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have the top 12 small electric cars at your fingertips, you can confidently check out what’s available in your area and what suits your driving needs.

Whether it’s the zippy Zoe or the hustling Hyundai, there will be a perfect fit for you!

Take the time to read about your potential choices, and don’t hesitate to pop into a dealership for a test drive.

What better time to go green and strive towards a net zero carbon goal together than right now!

If you want to share your thoughts or ask us a question, please feel free to reach out to us in the comments section below! Alternatively, visit our forum and share your thoughts with us!

Charissa Worthmann, M.Sc.

Charissa Worthmann, M.Sc.

Charissa has a Master’s in Environmental Management (Environmental Science). Her research area of interest and expertise is in the interaction between energy and the environment. She practices as an environmental consultant and has extensive experience working on renewable energy projects.

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