Multiple people, too much luggage and not enough time? An electric car can cope perfectly well with family life. Yes, 7-seat EVs are a little thin on the ground unless you pick a van body, but there are plenty of others that can happily cope with a day in the life of the average family.
When picking an electric car for your family, you don’t have to go for the most expensive model with the largest battery pack. The key is to work out how you use your car, and what you are willing to pay for. For most families using a car as a runaround with occasional longer journeys, the ranges on offer these days are plenty. If you are regularly doing journeys over 200 miles with your family, you might also consider different maximum charging speeds as well as paying close attention to the overall efficiency of the car.
Whatever your needs, here’s our own pick of the electric family cars that we’ve got our eyes on, and hopefully there’s something that’ll work for you. If you’ve never leased a car, but are wondering if a lease is right for your first electric car, take a look at Aviva’s guide to leasing.
1. Kia EV6
Lease price: £525 /month
A shiny new car, that car journalists seem to love. Its a glimpse of the future, with super fast charging (up to 239kW). This is the kind of detail that gets it some attention from current EV drivers, but the max speeds of the public charger network might be a limiting factor in reality for few more years: 239kW is really fast, as most older EVs only charge at 50kW, and only the newest chargers get past 120kW. However, it’s expensive. Does your family car do all that many long journeys that can’t spare 20 more minutes for a charge stop?.
Currently only the long range version is available (72.5 kWh of useable battery and 245 real range). It’s a highly efficient car, doing well at motorway speeds. Inside are all the plugs inside you could imagine using on a road trip: USBs all over the place, even a three-pin plug to charge your laptop or even boil a kettle..
One design feature that put us off was the very small rear window view. A parking camera may come as standard, but reversing down country lanes might not be fun.
Best for: Many long distance family trips
Minus points for: it’s so wide! Its 188cm is 7.5cm wider than the eNiro and a few mm wider than the Volvo C40.
2. Hyundai Ioniq 5
Average Lease Price: £525/month
It has cool, ‘Back to the Future’ retro styling, which we love. Don’t be fooled by the pictures, at 4.6 metres long and 1.6 metres tall, the Ioniq 5 is bigger than it looks in a photo. As a result the space is great inside, with plenty of legroom in the rear seats. Plus rear seats can slide and recline, but at a reported width of 130cm, there’s still only just room for three childseats if you pick the right ones .
Overall it’s even wider than the EV6, at 189cm. It also has a 800v system that allows for much faster charging up to 175kW DC, similar to the Porsche Taycan.
Best for: Looks
Minus points for: Width and the price
3. Kia e-Niro 39kWh
Lease from: £375/month
A safe bet for your first electric car. The entry-level battery at 39kWh (145 ish real miles) is starting to sound limited compared to others here. The 64kWh which can do a real 230 miles may be worth the £50/month premium on a lease.
It’s 180cm wide, but the rear seat is completely flat. Though it’s not wide enough for three adults it really makes use of what it has got for kids and child car seats. The boot is an ample 451 litres, much less than bigger SUVs like the Enyaq at 585 litres.
Having been around a bit, the e-Niro is not the fastest at public charging: the 39kWh charges at 50kW DC and the 64kWh at only 77kW DC. This means 44 mins for either to go from 20-80%. A reliable charging network like Instavolt has plenty of chargers dotted across the UK, that can charge at 100kW+, so this may start to irritate you. But the question remains, is it worth paying for a newer model for just a handful of times you are really going to travel more than 230 miles and need to charge enroute?
Best for: Unpretentious, all rounder
Weak points: Relatively low charging speeds on rapid chargers
4. Nissan Leaf
Lease from: £333/month
Efficiency: 264 (280 for the e+)
The iconic, affordable Leaf has a 37kWh battery and is a great choice for a family runaround. If you do lots of motorway trips, you need know that the Leaf is a rare user of CHAdeMO (the betamax of charger types). This limits your fastest charging to 50kW. Definitely a four-person car, but a very comfortable rear seat, and comfortable interior. One of the few British-built electric cars.
The 2022 model comes with a 40 or 62 kWh battery
Weak points: CHAdeMO charging limits you to under 50kW
Best for: As a runaround
Price: from £325 (2020 version)
Pictured is the 2022 new look MG5, that is due out in Europe and likely to come across to the UK this summer. The price of an MG5 certainly has been persuasive and MG owners swear by these budget EVs. Not only is this budget-friendly, but an estate electric car is a rare find. The boot space is 464 litres.
Price: from £425
Huge 531 litre boot. Less headroom in the rear and a slightly elevated seating position, which would probably not bother most younger families. The lip into the boot makes getting pushchairs in slightly more difficult. Charging is at 118kW DC max, and that is plenty fast enough for most rapid chargers max at 120kW.
Find the right electric car
7. Skoda Enyaq iV
Price: from £400
It’s an ID.4 with a different badge, and they have done a great job. Reports are that more use is made of the space, and the interior is impressive, Being an ID.4 size this is a large SUV, bigger than the eNiro, and roughly the same as the Ioniq 5. Fast charging is a more than decent 128kW DC. Its an efficient drive, so even the 60kWh battery does around 200 miles. The boot is a whopping 585 litres. It has isofix in three seats. It’s basically the ID.4, cheaper with a better interior and an exterior that is less attention-seeking.
8. Model Y
Longer and higher than the Model 3. Disappointingly for families, it’s another 5 seater. There’s a 7-seater version in the US that may come to the UK at some point. The Model Y is in a class of its own for cargo volume, thanks to storage spots here there and everywhere. Autopilot not full self-driving as standard.
Best thing: Access to the superchargers!
Worst thing: Despite all the cargo space, the Tesla shape is less good for a large hound.
9. Hyundai Kona
Korean sister companies Hyundai and Kia have the EV market quite well sewn up. Kona was another very popular choice, until the younger eNiro pushed the slightly smaller Kona aside. Kona is roughly 20cm shorter.
9. Renault Megane E-Tech Electric
Price: coming soon from £450
Similar to the ID.3. A 40kWh battery charges at 85kW DC max, giving 155 miles of range. Renault will offer the Megane E-Tech with a 60kWh battery first, that delivers a real range of around 230 miles. Rapid charging is a maximum speed of 130kW. It’s narrower than it looks, at 177cm.