Electric car sales have hit headlines over the past 12 months, but what are the most popular EVs in the UK? And is your business driving any of these?
The facts and figures are now in from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) which has totted up the best-selling models for the whole of 2022. And here they are in ascending order.
10. Audi Q4 e-tron - 6,594
Audi’s smallest EV was the 10th most popular electric car in 2022, and one of two VW Group EVs in this list.
It’s perhaps surprising that the Q4 e-tron is on the list, considering the Audi shares its platform, battery, and electric motors with the VW ID. 3, ID. 4 & 5, Skoda Enyaq iV, and Cupra Born, but is more expensive than its stablemates.
A headline range of 328 miles is possible, but perhaps one of the key reasons the Q4 e-tron is on this list is because the interior is different from the EVs listed above - it’s more Audi, which is definitely a positive.
9. BMW i4 - 6,699
BMW’s electric saloon is only likely to start shifting up this list in years to come - so it’s impressive that the i4 is already in the top 10 EV models registered in 2022.
Only coming online at the start of the year, the i4 is effectively an all electric BMW 3 Series - the darling of fleet managers and drivers for decades.
Available with a range of up to 365 miles on a charge, there is no compromise for drivers switching from a petrol or diesel 3 Series to the electric i4. It also has all the first class driving characteristics of the 3 Series, but with even greater performance on top.
8. MG 5 - 7,030
The MG 5 EV is one of the best value cars on the road, clearly borne out by the number of MGs leased and bought in 2022. It’s one of a handful of electric estates available, providing a practical proposition for those needing plenty of space out back.
A range of around 180 miles at the start of the year was good, but part way through 2022, MG updated the 5 to offer a sharper design to the front end, improved interior, plus a significantly longer range, now up to 250 miles on a charge.
7. Polestar 2 - 7,345
The stylish Swedish crossover is a firm favourite with leasing customers, offering a blend of good driving range, performance, and interior design.
Sharing underpinnings with the Volvo XC40/C40, the Polestar 2 was the company’s first full-production model (after the limited-run Polestar 1 PHEV). It’s an instant hit if the SMMT figures are to go by, and it leads the way for an additional new car from Polestar each year until 2025. Business users queue here.
6. Mini - 7,425
The MINI electric hatch makes more sense as an EV in many ways than a petrol version. The supermini is a characterful drive regardless of the power plant, but by combining an instantly responsive electric motor with the sharp handling of the MINI, it recreates the ethos of the 1960s original perfectly.
Range is relatively short, but still more than 140 miles on a charge, and the compact battery means not only is weight kept low, but charging times are good too. Check out MINI leases here.
5. Nissan Leaf - 9,178
The original mass-market EV is still going strong into 2022, despite a number of manufacturers having caught up with the pioneering Nissan. The Japanese company has continued to update the Leaf throughout its life, with the second generation model getting a raft of new colours and equipment changes in 2022.
Two models are available - the Leaf and Leaf e+ - with the latter able to reach 239 miles on a charge. Nissan has launched a new electric car recently - the Ariya - but the Leaf is still clearly a key part of its EV offering for fleet users.
4. Volkswagen ID. 3 - 9,832
Now well established, the VW ID.3 is proving to be the electric Golf alternative it was always intended to be. A variety of battery sizes and motor outputs mean there is plenty of choice for business leasing customers to get the ID. 3 that’s just right.
The quoted best range is 339 miles on a charge, but regardless of the battery picked, the ID. 3 is a very practical hatchback, with the footprint of a Golf, but the interior space of the larger VW Passat.
3. Kia e-Niro - 11,197
Kia’s e-Niro - and surely the second generation, the Niro EV (pictured), which arrived towards the end of 2022 - has long been an excellent choice for fleet drivers who also want a family electric car.
Driving range approaches the 300 mile mark, and the new Niro EV not only charges faster, it also now features bi-directional charging, meaning you can power your computer, kettle, electric bike etc from the charging port.
2. Tesla Model 3 - 19,071
Tesla is the EV manufacturer that can get electric cars off the production line in serious numbers. By only making electric cars, the brand has not only got something of a cult following, but it also has expertise in regularly updating its models.
With just over 19,000 Model 3 saloons delivered in 2022, the Tesla reinforced its position as the best-selling electric car of all time in the UK, but it came up short as the best selling EV of the year to its stablemate. Despite that, recent price cuts mean it is surely going to stay popular with fleet and business drivers, and the choice of Standard Range, Long Range, or Performance guarantee a significant driving range and pace no matter the Tesla Model 3 chosen to lease.
1. Tesla Model Y - 35,551
Customers love a crossover/SUV, and many love an EV, so it’s of little surprise that Tesla’s electric crossover Model Y is top of the pops here. What is more surprising is the totality of its victory over the other models in this list. With more than 35,000 units, it is approaching double the amount of new Model 3s on the road in 2022.
Like the Model 3, the Model Y is offered in three different configurations of Standard or Long Range, and Performance. But customers get more interior space in the Y over the 3, and that higher driving position that many really crave. A great choice for business users, you can find the Model Y lease that’s right for you here.
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