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Andy Harris
Motoring and Property Editor
@ytimesmotoring
1:00 AM 2nd December 2023
cars

Affordable Electric Cars Launching in 2024

 
Citroen Ami
Citroen Ami
As car manufacturers have rushed into electrifying their ranges, many of the cars launched have had distinctly premium prices. As a result, early adopters have predominantly been business users, attracted by the tax incentives for going green.

Private buyers seem to have been more reluctant to make the switch, though this will undoubtedly change in the coming years as the charging infrastructure continues to improve. However, at last we are beginning to see some more affordable electric cars coming to the market, so let’s take a look at some of my favourites, due in UK showrooms in 2024.

Citroen e-C3
Citroen e-C3
Citroen e-C3

Citroen already has the Ami in its portfolio, and although the circa £8,000 price is attractive, the top speed of 28mph and 46 miles range limit its appeal.

The e-C3 will attract a much wider audience and I am told that prices will start from around £21,000. Expect a range of up to 200 miles in ideal conditions. Power comes from a 111bhp electric motor mated to a 44kWh battery pack. There will doubtless be bigger battery versions available too, but how many miles does the average driver do each day?

It certainly looks good in the pictures, and I am hopeful that it will boast the cosseting ride that Citroen used to be renowned for. We should see the car on our shores in spring and I will be pushing for an early drive.

Dacia Spring
Dacia Spring
Dacia Spring

When Dacia first launched in the UK in 2013 you could buy a basic Sandero for just £5,995. No frills motoring at its finest, though most buyers paid more. It seems we all wanted the electric windows and central door locking that were missing in the range-opening model.

Dacia’s range of cars has improved immeasurably in recent times and prices have risen too. The Sandero now starts at £12,935.

The company’s first foray into electric car production is the new Spring, set to arrive in the UK next summer. European sales have already begun, and a sub £20,000 price here is expected.

Styling is SUV-like, which is so on trend, but dimensions are compact so it may well be best for those who spend most of their time in an urban environment.

The tiny 27kWh battery is mated to either a 45 or 65bhp motor, so performance is likely to be modest. Its lightweight should help it eke out as much range as possible, with 120-140 miles said to be achievable.

Safety kit is likely to be sparse, as is the Dacia way and the level of equipment should include all the essentials and no more. The company’s Jogger and Duster are two of my favourite family cars at the moment, so I have high hopes for the Spring.


Fiat Panda
Fiat Panda
Fiat Panda

I owned an original Panda, the Giugiaro boxy shaped version. It was cheap and cheerful, built down to a price and a huge amount of fun to drive. Mine was a 4X4 version with the climbing ability of a mountain goat. I regretted selling it, but shortly after a friend became its custodian it caught fire.

Details on the first electric Panda are a little sketchy. With the company’s 500e moving increasingly upmarket, the Panda is set to slot in below. A price around £20,000 perhaps, possibly a bit more…

It will be bigger than the outgoing model and although Fiat has revealed a show car, we doubt the back-hinged doors and detachable panel will make production. It would be lovely if they did. More details will come early in the New Year.


Kia EV3
Kia EV3
Kia EV3

We recently saw Kia unveil a whole raft of new electric cars, set to join the company’s existing offerings of Soul, Niro EV and EV6. The company’s battery technology continues to impress me, with decent real-world range in all weathers, unlike some rivals.

The EV3 has been confirmed for production in 2024 and it is likely to replace the Soul, an ageing design which began life as a combustion engined vehicle.

I am guessing at the price, but from around £25,000 seems likely and with it will come that attractive seven-year warranty, still the exception, not the norm in the industry.

I would expect a choice of battery sizes as well as two and all-wheel drive. As I write this, I am preparing to head to Scotland to drive Kia’s latest model, the six/seven seat family EV9.


Renault 5
Renault 5
Renault 5

I have a soft spot for the original Renault 5. Shortly after I got married, my wife owned one for a few years, trading it in for a fancy new Clio when it launched. Space for four adults and a perky 1.2-litre engine from memory, it served us well.

The name is back for a new affordable EV from the French manufacturer, and it will have the Citroen e-C3 and Fiat Panda firmly in its sights. A price sub £25,000 has been mooted, but there is little more information to go on. It does look stunning in the pictures.

What’s missing?

Growing up, we were a Ford family and the company always offered cars for all pockets. The Fiesta has now ceased production and Ford seem in no hurry to enter the affordable electric car arena. The premium Mustang Mach E is their only offering at present and there is a new Explorer model set to join it next summer. A price of £40,000 plus is expected.

Vauxhall can sell you a Corsa Electric but expect to part with £32,445 if you want one on your driveway. They are part of the large Stellantis Group, so perhaps they are leaving their Citroen brand to fight it out at a cheaper price point.

Whilst compiling this list, I can tell you that the flood of more expensive EVs about to hit the market shows no signs of abating. But that’s a story for another day.