In an effort to meet the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement, the UK is on a mission to achieve ‘net zero’ status by 2050. This means that, as a nation, we need to be looking for ways both to remove carbon from the atmosphere and to reduce carbon emissions. This is key to limiting global warming to below two degrees celsius and slowing down the rate and impact of climate change.
The natural starting point has been to assess the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and identify ways to tackle them. And with transport accounting for 27% of our country’s total emissions, this is now a firm focus. It’s reported that 91% of all transport emissions come from road vehicles. That’s 111 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent from road vehicles every single year.
Electric cars are greener. In fact, fully electric cars in the UK are shown to be responsible for 66% fewer emissions than their petrol counterparts, and 60% less than diesel. By switching to an electric car, we can all help do our part for the environment, and edge us closer towards our climate goals.
Top 10 electric cars for 2022
Decided to go electric? Great! One of the first things to consider when leasing or buying an EV is what type of electric vehicle you want. And with so much choice, it can feel a little overwhelming.
The good news is that we’re here to help. While there’s no right or wrong – any electric vehicle will help lower emissions – we’ve compiled a shortlist of our favourite electric cars for 2022. Take a look at our handy list below to see why we think these 10 vehicles are ‘best in breed’ for leasing this year.
Want to get straight to our favourite electric cars of 2022?
Hyundai Ioniq 5
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is an electric hatchback that was Auto Express’ ‘Car of the Year’ for 2021. One year later, it’s still one of the best electric cars around. Outside, it’s a chic crossover with an almost futuristic minimalist design. Inside, it’s got to be one of the most comfortable EVs on the road. With specialist relaxation seats, a sliding centre console, and a widescreen digital cockpit, this vehicle really is a pleasure to drive. The Ioniq 5 makes long journeys more enjoyable than ever.
The Ioniq 5 made history as the first car to be built on the Hyundai E-GMP Electric-Global Modular Platform, which will act as the primary platform for the brand’s future models. The car boasts an impressive 800V battery system which is compatible with rapid chargers, so long journeys are never an issue. With a 350kW rapid charger, the Ioniq 5 can charge from 10-80% in just 18 minutes.
From a performance perspective, you won’t be disappointed. The Ioniq 5 goes from 0-62 in 5.2 seconds, reaches a top speed of 115mph, and has a max range of 298 miles. And from an environmental perspective, the Ioniq 5 is one of the most ethical choices motorists can make today. Its interior has been crafted from eco-friendly leather, recycled yarn, and materials extracted from raw sugar cane, reducing the use of oil-based products in the manufacturing process.
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The Kia EV6 is an all-electric family car, and, like the Hyundai Ioniq 5, it’s also an award-winning vehicle. The EV6 was crowned ‘Car of the Year’ for 2022 at the WhatCar? Awards, beating out tough competition. This marks the second time an electric Kia has won the prestigious award, with the Kia e-Niro taking home the accolade in 2019. The highlight of the EV6 is definitely its clever design. Modern and sporty, the car has a more spacious cabin than what you may be used to with Kia’s petrol models.
Built on Hyundai's Global Electric Modular Platform, the Kia EV6 is capable of travelling up to 328 miles on a single charge, making it a good choice for long journeys. It’s also compatible with super-fast charging systems, and can charge from 10% to 80% in 18 minutes if needed. This ultra-fast charging option can give you 62 miles of charge in just 4.5 minutes, so you’ll never need to stop for long periods.
Performance from the Kia EV6 is nothing less than excellent. The car goes from 0-62 in 7.3 seconds; a little slower than some others in our top 10 list of best electric cars for 2022, but not noticeably. Top speed maxes out at 114 miles per hour. The EV6 is a top choice for eco-conscious drivers, with Kia taking sustainability very seriously. The EV6 features carpeting made from recycled plastics, and all interior ‘leather’ is made from beautiful yet ethical vegan-friendly alternatives.
SKODA ENYAQ iV
The SKODA ENYAQ iV is an electric SUV that made headlines as SKODA’s first fully electric car. But despite this being the manufacturer’s first attempt, they’ve really hit the nail on the head. Perhaps one of the best family-friendly EVs on the market today, the ENYAQ iV is spacious, comfortable, and has a fantastic range of onboard technologies and safety features. But the best thing about the ENYAQ iV? It’s practical. From short trips around town to long journeys, it’s the ideal size for it all.
The 331-mile range is impressive, and means you’ll never have to worry about charging up on longer trips. The EV has been built on Volkswagen’s powerful electric platform, giving it a head start over many other makes and models. SKODA is a participant in the Volkswagen parts-sharing programme, and the ENYAQ iV has a number of similarities with the ID.4 which just narrowly missed our list.
So why consider the SKODA ENYAQ iV? Firstly, it ranks among some of the safest vehicles in the world, with an 86% Euro NCAP rating. Secondly, it’s won awards for its incredible design, which reimagines the classic SKODA style. And thirdly, it’s one of the most responsible choices eco-conscious motorists can make. In fact, the ENYAQ iV is TUV NORD certified as a carbon-neutral product. So if you’re looking to really do your part for our planet, you can’t go wrong with this car.
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The Fiat 500 is an electric hatchback which we think is the ultimate runaround for 2022. It is, of course, inspired by the classic 1957 model. But this fully electrified version comes with a few features that instantly tell you this is something very different. The electric handle, LED infinity lights and streamlined design add a touch of modern style, without straying too far from the iconic look. The side arrows, front logo, and recognisable Fiat lettering all remain the same; a nod to excellence.
Although the Fiat 500 has a smaller range than, say, the SKODA ENYAQ iV, it’s still a top 10 contender in our book. With 199 miles to a single charge, this compact city explorer is perfectly capable of running around town for days – or even weeks – without needing attention. And when the battery does start to run low, you can get more than enough range for running everyday errands with a 5-minute blast.
Going 0-62 in 9.5 seconds, the Fiat 500 is a zippy little car that handles exceptionally well. And in this era of big estates and family SUVs, it’s refreshing to see a more city-sized 4-seat, 3-door electric car that was made for the everyday. But, of course, there’s really nothing ‘everyday’ about the in-car technology, which is remarkably futuristic. With a 7-inch digital display, 10-inch touchscreen, and built-in systems like Traffic Jam Assist, the Fiat 500 may be small, but it’s got everything you need.
The BMW i4 is an electric Gran Coupe that looks, feels, and behaves much like the beloved 4 Series Gran Coupe. There are a few differences, of course. Firstly, the i4 is a little bigger. Secondly, this is an all-electric version, and BMW’s first fully electric Gran Coupe offering. Sporty, chic and aerodynamic, the BMW i4 is on par with the Tesla Model 3, which also makes our list of the best electric cars for 2022. However, the iV has a slight edge over the Model 3 when it comes to its truly luxurious interior.
Even though this is BMW’s first electric Gran Coupe, it’s nothing short of excellent. It’s zippy, going from 0-62 in 5.7 seconds, and boasts a top speed of 118 miles per hour. It’s also packed full of useful driver-assist technologies, and features a large 12.3-inch digital instrument panel. There's also an even bigger 14.9-inch infotainment screen to enhance the in-car experience with navigation and more.
But ultimately, there are two main reasons why the BMW iV makes our 2022 list. Number one is the spaciousness of the vehicle. The already roomy 470-litre boot can be expanded to a massive 1290 litres, and unlike some other EVs out there, there’s plenty of space for three rear passengers.
Number two is the iV’s range and charging speed. The car can travel for up to 365 miles on a single charge. And it can generate 62 miles’ worth of power in a super-fast 4 minutes from a high-power charge point.
The BMW iX is an electric SUV that brings BMW into the future. However, while this is clearly a next-generation BMW, it’s certainly not ‘in your face’. The iX design embraces what the brand calls ‘Shy Tech’. This means that, while the car is jam-packed with the latest functionality, it’s incorporated in a subtle and modest way. Even the headlights and rear lights are the slimmest ever on a Series BMW. We think this is the perfect EV for any driver who prefers a more understated vehicle.
This is the second BMW to make our 2022 top 10 electric car list. And while the range on the iX is a little shorter than the i4 at 257 miles, this model was still crowned ‘Best Electric SUV for Long Distances’ at the WhatCar? 2022 Car of the Year Awards. It charges to 74 miles in just 10 minutes at a high-power charging point. Or it can charge to its full 257 mile capacity in less than 40 minutes.
Although it’s on the larger side, the iX handles more like a smaller, lighter vehicle. The basic iX model gets up to 62mph in just 6.1 seconds, and the top tier variant does it in under 5. So performance-wise, it definitely lives up to the hype. And perhaps more importantly, this is a car that really is a pleasure to drive. Especially with BMW’s newly re-engineered seating which enhances on-road comfort. Even the rear seats in the iX are the new ‘lounge’ style, so the kids will be comfy!
Ford Mustang Mach-E
The Ford Mustang Mach-E is an electric SUV, and the first fully electric SUV from the Ford brand. Aesthetically, this is a car that certainly has the wow factor. It’s sleek, stylish, and beautifully streamlined. So much so, in fact, that the car doesn’t even have handles. Instead, Ford’s E-Latch system recognises when you approach the vehicle, and illuminates a hidden button which you simply press to open. Nothing – not even handles – stand in the way of this smooth, unrivalled elegance.
The Mach-E comes with a 70kWh battery as standard, which gives you between 202-273 miles to the charge, depending on driving conditions and style. With a larger battery, the SUV boasts an extended range of up to 379 miles. So whether you’re simply nipping around town, or you’re planning lengthier journeys, this is a great choice. A high powered charger generates 73 miles of range in 10 minutes.
Performance-wise, the Mach-E is up there with the best. The higher-tier model goes from 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds, making it super-speedy for a larger, heavier SUV. Unlike some other EVs around today, the Mach-E has motors on both the front and rear axles (although a rear-wheel drive version is available), which makes a significant difference to performance. Driving is smoother, the car handles better, and when it comes to more challenging conditions – especially during the winter months – the Mach-E is still a complete pleasure to drive.
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The Porsche Taycan is an electric sports car that combines the timelessness of Porsche with the future of zero-emissions driving. The Taycan is instantly recognisable as a luxurious Porsche model. Yet it embodies some of the most advanced electric motoring technologies that have been seen to date. Tech and performance-wise, it’s similar to the Audi e-tron GT, as it’s built on the same platform. It’s essentially a GT in a sports car’s body, combining great performance with impressive looks.
As you’d probably expect from a Porsche, the Taycan is speedy. It’ll get you from 0-62 in 5.4 seconds, and boasts a top speed of 143mph. The fact that this is electric won’t slow you down. Range-wise, the Taycan is perfectly decent. The standard model offers an average of 268-301-miles to the charge in a mix of city, country, and motorway conditions, depending on the battery selected. And you can charge to 60 miles in less than 5 minutes.
So what makes the Taycan special enough to make our list of the best EVs for 2022? Its unexpected spaciousness. This looks like a smaller, slimmer sports car from the outside. But Porsche have been incredibly clever with the design, making this feel much roomier inside. The ‘foot garage’ – a carved space around the battery – adds tons more room. The boot size is remarkably decent, too. In fact, you can expect to pack about as much into it as you would a family-friendly Volkswagen Golf.
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Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 is an electric saloon, and the smallest of Tesla’s growing electric range. And if you’re a fan of the minimalist look, you’ll love the Model 3 interior. Everything is smooth. Everything is streamlined. And everything has its place. The only element that really stands out is the 15-inch central touchscreen, which looks even larger when there’s absolutely no clutter surrounding it. It may be a Tesla, but there’s nothing show-offy about the Model 3. It’s beautiful and practical, not flashy.
With a top speed of 162mph, and the ability to accelerate to 60 in just over 3 seconds, the Tesla Model 3 is a fast, responsive car. And it’s also got one of the longest driving ranges of any similar class EV out there. The clever battery technology and powerful motors allow the Model 3 to travel up to 374 miles without needing charging. And when it does, it takes 15 minutes to charge to 172 miles.
We’re including the Tesla Model 3 in our best EVs of 2022 list for two reasons. Firstly, its handling. Make no mistake, the Model 3 is heavy. But it doesn’t feel like it. The strategic positioning of the battery helps to keep the impact of the extra weight to a minimum. It drives more like a lightweight petrol car than an electric model. Secondly, safety comes first with the Model 3. It’s been built for safety from the ground up, giving extra peace of mind that this is a secure, family vehicle.
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Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y is an electric hatchback that’s similar to – yet bigger and more spacious than – the Model 3. If you love the look of the Model 3, but want an EV with more of a roomy, comfortable SUV feel, the Model Y is ideal. It’s got an impressive 2100 litres of cargo space, and easily accommodates 5 adults.
In fact, everything about the Model Y is oversized – including the 15-inch touchscreen, which acts as the hub of all Tesla’s driver-assist and navigation technologies.
With a 75kWh battery as standard, the Model Y can travel up to 331 miles on a single charge, making it good for both urban commuting, and longer trips or family holidays. With superfast charging, it’ll take just 15 minutes to generate 150 miles of range.
Acceleration-wise, the Model Y will get to 60 in 3.5 seconds, making it only a fraction slower than the smaller, lighter Model 3 saloon.
Why do we love the Model Y? It’s one of the few EV offerings in 2022 that expertly blends style and functionality. It’s got all the wow factor of Tesla. Yet it’s also got a level of practicality that makes it an excellent choice for families. It has some of the best safety features of any EV on the market today, giving families extra peace of mind that they can enjoy a safe, comfortable drive. Overall, we think it’s hard to find an electric SUV that ‘does it all’ to the same degree as the Tesla Model Y.
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Switching to electric in 2022
Thinking about swapping to an electric car this year? You’re not alone. Demand for electric vehicles is rising quickly, with many drivers considering making the switch. In the UK, over half of 16 to 49-year-olds say they’ll probably choose to transition to fully electric motoring within the next 10 years.
So why now? Why is now the right time to buy an electric car?
There are a number of reasons.
Firstly, the Government has announced a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030. This means that, for those wanting to buy new, they won’t have any choice but to go electric.
Secondly, using an electric car is becoming easier, almost by the day. The charging infrastructure is improving quickly, eliminating one of the biggest concerns of motorists. Today, there are more than 25,000 charging points across the UK. This means we have more chargers per 100 miles than anywhere else in Europe. Plans are now in place for 300,000 public charging points by 2030.
Thirdly, we need to act. Urgently. While we’re on a mission to cap the global temperature rise at two degrees, ideally we should be aiming to limit it by 1.5 degrees. The difference between a 1.5 and 2-degree rise is huge. For some communities around the world, it can mean the difference between life and death. The best way to keep temperature change at a 1.5-degree max is to act now. Not later.
More choice for motorists
The growing demand for electric vehicles means that manufacturers are launching more electric and hybrid models than ever before. Reports suggest that car manufacturers worldwide will invest 200% more in electric vehicle development between now and 2030, to meet this rising customer demand.
For motorists, this means there’s a huge amount of choice. Today, there’s everything from the compact Smart EQ forfour hatchback to the super spacious Mercedes-Benz EQV Estate minivan.
So which should you choose? What are the best electric cars in 2022?
Below, we’re sharing our thoughts on the top 10 best electric cars to drive this year.
How to choose the best electric car in 2022
Remember: these are just our top 10! There are plenty of other amazing electric vehicles out there that only narrowly missed the cut. If you’re unsure how to choose between all the great options that are available this year, here are some questions to ask yourself to help narrow down your choices:
What’s the environmental impact of the car?
Fully electric vehicles have zero exhaust emissions. This means that, while driving, you have complete peace of mind that your car is not contributing to air pollution. However, no car is 100% emission-free. Even the best electric car for 2022 will have some degree of impact on the environment across its lifetime. Emissions will come from the manufacturing process and end-of-life battery disposal.
If you are keen to lease a car that has as minimal an impact as possible, consider opting for a vehicle that’s been manufactured in a responsible, sustainable facility. Mercedes-Benz, for example, have pledged to become carbon neutral by 2039. Toyota operates five designated ‘Sustainable Plants’ around the world, including one in the UK. And BMW’s facilities are continually ranked as some of the most sustainable manufacturing plants in the world. So there are plenty of options to consider.
How far can the car travel per charge?
Not all electric vehicles were made equal. Some can travel for a maximum of 280 miles before needing to be recharged, while others may keep going for up to 400 miles… or even more. One isn’t necessarily better than the other. However, it’s important to consider your driving needs when making a decision. If you regularly take longer trips, a car with a larger range may suit you best.
99% of car journeys within England come in at under 100 miles. So in most cases, a 280-mile range will be more than sufficient. But if you travel as part of your job, or frequently spend time in different parts of the UK, a lower-range car may not meet your needs. This year, one of the most impressive ranges comes from the top-tier Mercedes-Benz EQS: 485 miles. The top-tier EQE promises only slightly less at 410 miles. Check out our list of the top 14 longest range electric cars for more options.
What type of driving do I do?
As part of your range considerations, it’s important to think about the type of driving you do regularly. Whether you drive around towns and cities, country roads, or dual carriageways & motorways can make a big difference to the range you’ll get. Along with factors such as temperature, wheel size, and use of heating/AC functionality, driving speed plays a huge role in calculating range.
Consider the Jaguar I-PACE, for example. According to the Jaguar range calculator, this electric estate can travel up to 292 miles in urban environments such as towns and cities. But this drops to 197 miles for motorway driving. A combination will see the range average out at around 252 miles. What this means is that it’s not just about range itself. For example, you may be able to choose a car with a lower maximum range if you usually drive around town, rather than on faster roads and motorways.
Does the car suit my individual needs?
We’ve brought together our top 10 personal favourites into the list above. But it’s important to remember that every driver has different needs. The Porsche Taycan, for example, is an outstanding business car. But with a 366-litre boot, there’s not as much space as a hatchback if you’re looking for a big family-friendly car. Similarly, the Citroen E-Berlingo may be a bit big for an everyday runaround!
The good news is that electric cars are no longer a worthy-but-difficult choice. Initially, motorists had to sacrifice a great deal in terms of practicality for the benefit of driving an electric vehicle. Today, however, things are different. In fact, we’re seeing more and more manufacturers launch fully electric vehicles based on their existing petrol range, so you could even select an EV that’s similar to what you have now. The Vauxhall Corsa-E, for example, is simply an electrified version of its popular petrol alternative.
What’s in store for 2023 and beyond?
As it’s clear to see, 2022 offers a huge amount of choice when it comes to electric cars. But what’s in store for the future? While it’s still early to tell, we believe that there are already a few electric concepts that are looking promising for 2023 and beyond. Here are our predictions for the best selling electric cars of 2023, and a glimpse into what the future of electric motoring could look like.
Toyota are starting to build their electric models on the new BEV-dedicated e-TNGA platform. And next year, we’re expecting the Toyota bZ4X – the first model to be built on the platform – to be a big hit. However, this sleek, futuristic SUV will be just one of around 70 fully electric models Toyota is planning to launch by 2025. So while the bZ4X may be a hit, we think there’s still a lot more to come!
Next year, Audi are planning to release the fully electric A6; a luxury vehicle that we first caught a glimpse of back in 2021 at the Shanghai Auto Show. Expected to be known as the ‘Avant’, the A6 electric will be built on Audi’s new PPE technology platform. The sportback car will embody that classic opulence of the Audi brand, while going above and beyond the existing e-tron capabilities.
The BMW i4 and iX are already proving to be popular this year. Next year, however, we anticipate that the new i5 will be a massive hit with eco-conscious motorists. The i5 is expected to be built on the same platform as the i4, which makes our top 10 list of the best electric vehicles for 2022. This means it’s likely to have similar capabilities and functionality, with around 300 miles to the charge.
Fiat have already electrified their petrol-based 500. Now, for 2023, the manufacturer is expected to launch a fully electric version of their 1980s Panda model. Fiat are keeping their plans closely under wraps. However, we anticipate that Fiat will enter 2023 with the Panda ‘Supermini’. This will test the waters before unveiling the larger, longer-range Panda SUV fully electric family-sized car later in the year.
According to the Ford company, they hope that they’ll be in a position to make 40% of their vehicle range 100% electric by 2030. While the company only has one 100% electric car today – the Mustang Mach-E, which makes our top 10 best electric cars for 2022 list – more are expected next year. Among them is the Ford Explorer, which will join the existing lineup of EVs and electric vans.
Porsche already has the Taycan, which gets a well-deserved mention in our ‘best electric cars for 2022’ list. Next year, we’re excited to see the launch of the new Porsche electric Macan, which will be built upon the same platform. The platform has been borrowed from the Volkswagen Group, so the Macan is expected to perform in a similar fashion to the e-tron and other PPE-built vehicles.
We already have the Kia EV6. And next year, we’re expecting the launch of the EV9. This family-friendly three-row SUV was first unveiled in 2021 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. And we think it’s going to be one of the most exciting EVs ever to be launched. With an interior made from 100% sustainable materials, and a solar panel in the bonnet, the EV9 is the future of sustainable motoring.
Ready to choose your new EV?
See something you like? Check out our leasing options to find great prices on the top electric cars for 2022. Perhaps you’d rather hold off until 2023’s updated models hit the market? Then keep checking in with the Gridserve news blog for up-to-date information about upcoming models.