Electric vehicles have been gaining market share in the past few years, and 2021 represented the best year sales, despite the lingering effect of the pandemic. The year saw the introduction of several models to the market while existing models continued to sell well.
- Tesla Model 3 (34,783)
- Kia Niro (12,271)
- VW ID.3 (11,032)
- Nissan Leaf (9,052)
- Audi E-Tron (7,396)
- Hyundai Kona (7,199)
- MINI (6,615)
- Renault Zoe (5,778)
- Vauxhall Corsa (5,605)
- MG ZS (5,380)
Tesla Model 3
This car almost needs no introduction. It is currently the best-selling EV globally and is not without reason that it sold 34,783 units in the UK in 2021. The model, the cheapest Tesla has to sell, offers up to 360 miles of driving range between charges, making it ideal for longer trips. Charging the battery with a dedicated wall charger takes about 12 hours but faster using Tesla’s Supercharger.
The Model 3 is swift, leaping from 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds in the fastest trim. Other features include Autopilot, which allows the car to drive autonomously, although you must be alert to take over. Inside, Tesla offers a large central display where you can access the settings and in-car entertainment, including games.
Another car that performed well in the UK in 2021 is the Kia Niro, moving 12,271 units. The electric hatchback offers more than 250 miles from a 64 kWh lithium-ion battery. An electric motor rated 210 bhp, and 291 lb-ft of torque provides propulsion. Inside, the Kia e-Niro takes four adults, but three kids can ride conveniently at the back. Kia lets you set the level of regenerative braking that you want so that you can top up the battery as you drive around. You will also get an eight-inch screen to control the car and use navigation. There is integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Extra features like wireless charging for your smartphone.
Volkswagen is among the companies at the forefront when it comes to EV manufacturing among legacy automakers. Its Golf-sized ID.3 was among the best-selling EVs in the UK in 2021, selling 11,032 units. Some interesting features of the ID.3 are the instrument cluster moves as you adjust the steering column and the car switching off when you exit the driving seat and walk away.
However, the ID.3 is no slouch when it comes to performance, although it is not in the same category as the Tesla Model 3. The electric motor produces 201 bhp and 229 lb-ft of torque to push the car from 0 to 60 mph in less than eight seconds.
The ID.3 comes in a different configuration, but the most extended range offers 338 miles on a single charge, as certified by the WLTP test. But, real-life ranges might differ.
The Nissan Leaf made it into the list of best-selling EVs in the UK in 2021 after buyers snapped up 9,052 units, and it is easy to see why. Apart from being one of the oldest names in modern-day EVs and the cheapest EVs, the mid-sized hatchback offers a list of practical features. While some buyers may balk at the 149 miles offered by the base model, Nissan sells a Plus model that yields 226 miles between charges, enough for most people’s driving needs.
The standard version comes with a 147 hp electric motor mounted on the front wheels, good enough for a 0 to 60 mph time of 7.4 seconds. The cabin can take five adults comfortably, and you get a seven-inch touch screen to control your car. The Nissan Leaf works with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Audi operates in the luxury segment, and the e-tron is no exception, despite being electric. The SUV, which sold 7,396 units in the UK in 2021, offers ample room in the cabin and remarkably spacious cargo space. It also provides a frunk or front trunk, ideal for storing your mobile charger. Some of the conveniences offered by the Audi e-tron include charging ports on either side. This means it doesn’t matter which side your home charger is located on when you park. Inside, you will find three high-resolution screens and a combination of soft-touch plastic and brushed metal.
The e-tron offers about 250 miles of driving range, plenty enough for everyday use. It has a two-electric-motor setup that outputs 408 hp for a 0 to 60 mph of 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 124 mph.
While 2021 was a good year of battery-electric vehicles in the UK, the expanding choices in electric cars indicate the sector can sustain its growth for 2022.
Did you purchase any of the models above or another EV recently, or plan to do so? Share in the comments below!