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Britain’s most popular new electric cars revealed: The EV models drivers bought in biggest numbers last year


Before 2023 gets too distant in the rear-view mirror, there’s time to look back at the best-selling electric cars of the last annum.

Official industry figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal a Tesla takes the top spot and with quite a margin.

Registration data shows the 10 top selling electric vehicles (EVs) in Britain by sales figures, as well as the best-selling new cars across all fuel types.

Here’s the rundown of the 10 most popular EVs of the previous calendar year.

10. Skoda Enyaq iV – 8,136 sold

Price from: £38,980

The Skoda Enyaq iV shares many mechanical parts with the VW ID.4 and Audi Q4 e-tron but it looks vastly different. It's one of the least EV-looking EVs, which is why many buyers are so keen on it

The Skoda Enyaq iV shares many mechanical parts with the VW ID.4 and Audi Q4 e-tron but it looks vastly different. It’s one of the least EV-looking EVs, which is why many buyers are so keen on it

The Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech manufacturer’s first purpose-built EV. 

It just snuck into the top 10 EV best sellers, but there’s not much difference between positions 10, nine and eight.

Starting at £38,980 the Enyaq iV is a family-friendly electric SUV that delivers between 246 and 339 miles of range.

Perhaps popular because you can’t immediately tell it’s an EV, its generally considered to be better than the similarly-sized VW ID.4 and Audi Q4 e-tron.

It’s also the first entry from the Volkswagen Group that do very well in this league table. 

9. Volkswagen ID.4 – 8,459 sold

Price from: £46,640

The VW ID.4 placing in 8th is yet another sign of the dominance of the VW Group of late. Volkswagen was the UK’s best-selling new car brand for the third year in a row

And here’s the aforementioned similarly sized ID.4, coming in at number nine on the list.

Considering it’s so alike to the Skoda Enyaq iV, it’s not surprising that there’s only a few hundred units difference in the sales figures between the two cars.

Some 8,459 examples of the ID.4 were sold last year.

In general, Volkswagen had a very strong year in 2023, as it was the UK’s best-selling new car brand for the third year running.

Volkswagen doing well in the new EVs list is largely to be expected, then.

The ID.4 followed the hatchback ID.3 as the second all-electric ID car and it’s been well-received by the target buyer – families after a practical, comfortable electric SUV with decent range and tech.

8. BMW i4 – 8,940 sold

Price from: £50,755

The BMW i4 is one of those EVs that even the reductants find it hard to argue with. It's the biggest seller in BMW's all-electric range and last year 8,940 units were sold

The BMW i4 is one of those EVs that even the reductants find it hard to argue with. It’s the biggest seller in BMW’s all-electric range and last year 8,940 units were sold 

The i4 first went on sale in the UK in November 2021, and it’s been a great success ever since.

A bit like a futuristic 4 Series, even EV naysayers have admitted that it looks and feels like the best of BMW. The popularity of this electric gran coupe has helped it achieve number eight on the list of best-selling EVs for 2023.

With 8,940 units sold the BMW i4 is the standout model in BMW’s expanding all-electric range. Registrations were up a third (33 per cent) on 2022.

The i4 stands out in a list that’s dominated by SUVs  and it shines in a category that is underrepresented by saloon-style models.

7. Kia Niro EV – 10,084 sold

Price from: £37,325

The Kia Niro EV has been one of the most successful electric of the last 5 years and frequently appears on the top 10 EV best sellers list

The Kia Niro EV has been one of the most successful electric of the last 5 years and frequently appears on the top 10 EV best sellers list

It’s one of those mass market EVs you see everywhere – hop in an Uber and chances are it’s a Niro EV.

At number seven, with 10,084 units sold in 2023, the Niro jumps above the Enyaq iV, VW ID.4 and BMW i4.

A small SUV for the eco conscious family, the electrified Niro has always offered great range, comfort and a big boot for a price point. 

Last year the e-Niro had a relaunch as the all-new Niro EV.

It has regularly made appearances in the top 10 list of popular electric cars in recent years. But, while many manufacturers would be happy with seventh, it somewhat of a fall from grace for the Niro, which was third overall in 2022.

The year earlier, it was the second most popular EV with 11,197 units sold.

6. Volkswagen ID.3 – 10,294 units

Price from: £35,700 

The second appearance of VW in the top, the little ID.3 city car shifted 10,294 units last year bringing it in at sixth place

The second appearance of VW in the top, the little ID.3 city car shifted 10,294 units last year bringing it in at sixth place

VW is one of only two manufacturers to have two EVs on the best-seller list of 2023.

The little ID.3’s sixth place rounds off a very good year for the German manufacturer in terms of battery vehicle popularity. 

VW closed 2023 with an overall market share of 8.52 per cent across all fuel types, almost a whole point ahead of nearest rival Ford’s 7.57 per cent.

The ID.3 was launched as an electric alternative to the ever popular Golf, and its range of 268 to 356 miles makes it one of the easiest everyday small EVs to own.

The revision of the ID.3 in 2023 helped contribute to its continued success, with an impressive 10,294 units sold – showing that UK buyers continue to think it’s great value for money.

5. Polestar 2 – 12,542 sold

Price from: £44,950

The Polestar 2 is one of just two electric saloons to make it to the top 10 best-selling EVs of 2023. Polestar is a hugely popular brand with sales surging 174 per cent in the first seven month of 2023

Other than Tesla, Polestar is probably the car brand that comes to mind first when you think EV.

Sales surged 174 per cent in the first seven months of 2023 alone.

The electric-only Swedish brand has cleverly positioned itself as the driver’s electric car, bringing Scandinavian design, tech and marketing to the EV buying experience.

That positioning has led Polestar to claim number five on the best sellers list of 2023 with the Polestar 2.

While technically a hatchback, this more saloon-looking EV was updated in 2023 to have 400-plus miles of range on top models (more than the Tesla Model 3) and faster charging.

4. Tesla Model 3 – 13,536 sold

Price from: £39,990

It's hard to imagine a list of most popular EVs without the Tesla Model 3 appearing. It's unsurprising then that with 13,536 units sold its the fourth most popular EV of 2023 in the UK

It’s hard to imagine a list of most popular EVs without the Tesla Model 3 appearing. It’s unsurprising then that with 13,536 units sold its the fourth most popular EV of 2023 in the UK

An electric car that needs very little introduction; the Tesla Model 3 lands at number four with 13,536 units sold.

In 2023 Tesla hit the massive milestone of one million cars sold in Europe. The new Model 3 has just started to land in the UK with a big price reduction, so it’s only natural that sales would remain high for this ubiquitous compact saloon as EV enthusiasts placed orders for the facelifted car.

The new Model 3 is priced from £39,990. That’s £3,000 less than the cheapest version of the pre-facelift version.

It’s highly likely that the Model 3 will make another appearance next year too on the list of best sellers.

3. Audi Q4 e-tron – 16,757 sold

Price from: £51,440

The Audi Q4 e-tron is the second most popular electric SUV in the UK as of 2023, with 16,757 sold - clearly showing there's an appetite in Britain for a premium family electric car

The Audi Q4 e-tron is the second most popular electric SUV in the UK as of 2023, with 16,757 sold – clearly showing there’s an appetite in Britain for a premium family electric car

Now we’re into podium positions and taking home bronze is the Audi Q4 e-tron.

Before the Q4 e-tron Audi hadn’t really committed fully to electric cars, so this SUV was a turning point for the brand.

It’s based on the same MEB platform that many of the VW Group EVs use including the Skoda Enyaq iV and VW ID.4 that ranked 10th and ninth respectively.

A premium and more luxurious alternative to those two models, the entry price of £51,440 is substantially higher than its rival compact SUV, but that didn’t stop UK drivers snapping up 16,757 examples last year.

With a range of 322 miles on the entry-level Q4 e-tron, it is safe to say it’s a solid choice for constantly-on-the-go family life.

2. MG4 – 21,715 sold

Price from: £26,995

The electric MG4 is a huge success story for the revamped MG brand. Its multiple awards, as well as huge sales figures, are the result of the value for money this hatchback delivers

The electric MG4 is a huge success story for the revamped MG brand. Its multiple awards, as well as huge sales figures, are the result of the value for money this hatchback delivers

If you didn’t already know that MG is having a resurgence, then the MG4 snagging silver in the EV sales chart ought to be a pretty big clue.

With 21,715 units registered in 2023 alone, this zero emissions hatchback has transformed the trajectory of MG and firmly planted it as a leader in the new EV era.

By the end of last year more than 62,000 MG4s had been sold since 2022 launch, making it one of the top selling MG models in Europe and the Netherlands.

MG is now seen as a progressive manufacturer, delivering massive value for money with cheap cars that are packed full of tech, safety kit and space.

With a glittering record of awards, the MG4 was also crowned UK Car of The Year 2023.

1. Tesla Model Y – 35,899 sold

Price from: £44,990

First place to the Tesla Model Y: The best-selling car of 2023 in the UK and of all of Europe. This mid-sized EV starts at £44,990 and triumphed home with 14,000 more sales than the runner up MG4

First place to the Tesla Model Y: The best-selling car of 2023 in the UK and of all of Europe. This mid-sized EV starts at £44,990 and triumphed home with 14,000 more sales than the runner up MG4

And the most popular EV on 2023 was: The Tesla Model Y.

By a margin of more than 14,000 sales, the Musk-branded SUV is without a doubt Britain’s most-bought electric car of the previous calendar year.

It wasn’t just in the UK either – across Europe the Model Y was the best-selling car of 2023. Period.

Clocking up more than 250,000 registrations, it was the first time that a non-European and an electric model achieved the coveted spot at the top of the rankings.

This mid-sized SUV starts from £44,990 and is a bigger, taller version of the Model 3.  It’s loved for its instantly suave looks as well as its practicality.

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