We've tested the latest big-name electric and hybrid cars, including the Volkswagen ID.3, Mini Electric and Honda Jazz. This comes as a milestone is reached in the car industry's continued push away from traditional combustion engines, as one in 10 buyers chose an electrified car last year. We reveal which models are leading the pack in 2021.
Volkswagen's major push into electric cars began with the launch of its Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback, in late 2020. This model launches VW's new ID range of electric cars and our independent tests reveal whether it's worth buying.
The Mini Electric looks set to bring excitement behind the wheel, whereas the Fiat 500 Electric brings cute styling - and will save you around £8,000, compared with the Mini.
The new hybrid-only Honda Jazz aims to be the ideal choice for the more practically minded. We also tested the latest premium electric and plug-in hybrid SUVs from Audi, BMW and Volvo.
The launch of the latest electrified cars from the biggest brands makes 2021 set to continue this surge.
While 2020 was an unusual year, it was also the year that left no doubt about the future is electrified cars. Despite overall car sales dropping a third compared with the previous year (source: SMMT), demand for electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars almost tripled. One in 10 of all cars sold in 2020 were electrified.
With the impending 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars, it's a question of if, not when, new car buyers will make the switch. Even those who decide against buying a hybrid or electric car this time will almost certainly choose one for their next new car. And for those who don't yet want to make the change, used petrol and diesel cars will still be around to buy for many years to come.
The good news is manufacturers are making it even easier to make the switch. The all-new hybrid Honda Jazz, for example, doesn't even need plugging in and so can pretty much be driven like a normal petrol car. We highlight some of the most high-profile electrified cars below.
The Volkswagen ID.3 marks the culmination of Volkswagen's huge push to revitalise its brand for the electrified (and post-Dieselgate) era. describes it as a revolution on the scale of the VW Beetle in the 1930s and the Golf in the 1970s.
The ID.3 replaces the as Volkswagen's premier all-electric five-door hatchback, and its main rival is the . Its design is more sporty than the Volkswagen norm. There's a choice of batteries - a 58kWh or 77kWh, claiming ranges of 263 miles and 336 miles respectively.
Mini claims its driving range is up to 144 miles per charge, and that 80% of battery can be charged in 35 minutes with a 50kW rapid charger, or 150 minutes using a 11KW charger.
Brand new for 2021, in a sign of the times the latest Fiat 500 is sold exclusively as an electric car.
Driving range and cost are two of the biggest barriers for potential electric car buyers, and the Fiat 500 Electric aims to solve both of these.
You don't need to choose between getting an SUV or an electric car - there's plenty of brands offering both. The AudiE-Tron Sportback is a five-door coupe version of 2019's , which was the first-ever electric vehicle from .
Just like the regular E-Tron, it's a fully electric full-size SUV; but with sportier styling. There's a choice of a 71kWh or 95kWh battery pack, promising a respective 216-mile or 277-mile driving range.
The X3 Plug-in Hybrid combines a petrol and electric engine, with BMW claiming it can drive in all-electric mode for up to 34 miles. It makes some exceptional fuel economy claims too, of up to 128.4mpg.
The new Jazz is what is widely known as a 'self-charging' hybrid, meaning its batteries are charged while you drive, and you don't need to plug it in.
The Volvo XC40 compact SUV has been a hit for and this plug-in hybrid version, also known as the Volvo XC40 Twin Engine, means the brand now has at least one plug-in hybrid version in all of its models.
This plug-in hybrid promises improved fuel economy over the regular , as well as faster acceleration. The 261hp power output is slightly higher than the most powerful petrol-powered model. Volvo claims it can drive for up to 28 miles on electric power alone.