In order to classify this year's best electric cars, we will first take a look at the sales success of electric cars, both in Spain, Europe and worldwide.
10 best-selling electric cars in Spain
The best-selling electric car in Spain in 2020 has been the Renault Zoe with 1,997 sales. In second position, we find the Hyundai Kona Electric with 1,200 sales and the third position is headed by the Peugeot e-208 with 1,152 sales, leaving the great Tesla in fourth position, out of the top 3.
Good news for the Spanish manufacturer Seat is that it has managed to move up to fifth position on the list, thanks to the Seat Mii Electric; a simple vehicle at a very affordable price for electric vehicle drivers.
Therefore, in Spain, the sales success is taken by European manufacturers of electric cars, with a total of six vehicles positioned in the ranking (Renault Zoe, Peugeot e-208, Seat Mii Electric, Volkswagen e-Golf, Peugeot e-2008 and Mini Electric), above the Asian manufacturers with three vehicles positioned in the list (Hyundai Kona Electric, Nissan Leaf and Kia e-Niro) and, finally, the American manufacturer with only one vehicle positioned in the list; Tesla Model 3.
Therefore, these data show a high growth in the production of electric vehicles in the European market.
10 best-selling electric cars in Europe
According to the 2020 electric car database in Europe, the Tesla Model 3 leads the ranking with 15,702 sales. Second place goes to the Renault Zoe with 11,023 sales and third place is occupied by the latest Volkswagen model launched on the market; the Volkswagen ID.3 with 7,897 sales.
Thus, as far as the manufacturers of electric vehicles are concerned, the first position is taken by the European market, with six vehicles on the list (Renault Zoe, Volkswagen ID.3, BMW i3, Peugeot e-208, Opel Corsa-e and Volkswagen e-Golf).
The second position is taken by the Asian market with three vehicles positioned (Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia e-Niro and Nissan Leaf) and, finally, the American market with one vehicle positioned, but with a great success in sales; the Tesla Model 3.
10 best-selling electric cars in the world
According to the 2020 world electric car database, the best-selling electric vehicles this year are: in first position, and with a huge difference, the Tesla Model 3 with a total of 149,000 sales; in second position, the Renault Zoe of the French company with 38,000 sales and, in third position, the Volkswagen e-Golf with 30,800 sales.
However, the German company will certainly surprise us next year as it expects a great sales success for 2021 thanks to the new launches of the ID family.
So, with this ranking we can see where the different world manufacturers stand. We can see that the European market has four vehicles positioned among the best of the year (Renault Zoe, Volkswagen e-Golf, Audi e-tron and Peugeot e-208), the same number of cars as the Asian market (Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Kona Electric, GAC Aion S and Kia e-Niro); thus, demonstrating that, in this last year, the production of the European market has improved notably on a global level.
On the other hand, we see that the United States only has two vehicles positioned among the ten best electric cars in the world, and curiously, both belong to the Tesla car brand. But we must bear in mind that, although the US market only has two cars positioned in the list, one of them is the most sold worldwide and with a clear difference; 110,000 more sales than the second positioned vehicle, the Renault Zoe (38,000 sales).
Therefore, Tesla is the clear winner of global sales this 2020.
What should we take into account to choose the best electric car for 2020?
So, in order to define the best electric vehicle for 2020, apart from taking into account the sales rankings, we must also assess the following aspects:
Logically, the cheaper the car the better, right? In this sense, we must appreciate that the price depends on many aspects such as the features included in the vehicle: autonomy, battery, etc.
While it is true that, currently, electric vehicles are more expensive due to the cost of the batteries they include, the savings provided by the electric car are greater than we think. In fact, it will be increasingly so, because the price of electric vehicles is gradually falling thanks to economy of scale and the discovery of new, more efficient technologies in relation to batteries.
Undoubtedly, every day we are closer to seeing electric vehicles equated to the selling prices of combustion cars.
This has always been one of the main handicaps for the purchase of the vast majority of electric vehicles.
In our society, unfortunately, we like to have everything at our disposal as quickly and conveniently as possible. We have become used to having our lives made as easy as possible and the fact that we have had to wait to be able to drive our car has meant an obstacle for the electric vehicle market to grow exponentially from the start.
Fortunately, the charging periods of new electric car models are getting shorter and shorter, to the point where you can charge 80% of your vehicle in less than ten minutes thanks to super-fast charging.
Therefore, all those electric vehicles that are capable of charging a large part of their batteries in less than half an hour are valued very positively.
Surely you think that the more kilometres we can cover without worrying about running out of battery, the better, don't you?
Well, it is for this reason that the new models of electric cars coming onto the market are increasingly offering greater autonomies.
But watch out! We must take into account how much use we really make of the vehicle and how many kilometres a day we drive on average. Having a large number of kilometres of autonomy gives us confidence, but if what we are used to doing are intercity trips, with a vehicle that offers between 200 and 300 km of autonomy we have more than enough.
It's important to do our homework and assess what our real needs are!
This may be essential criteria when choosing our electric vehicle. The more extensive the network of charging points, the better.
In the case of driving hundreds of kilometres, a day, the main doubt would be whether to buy a Tesla or another vehicle, since the Elon Musk brand has its own charging infrastructure intended solely for its electric vehicles. And, at present, it could be considered the most extensive worldwide.
But thanks to the unstoppable increase in sales of electric vehicles worldwide and the emergence of new models, charging point installations are also on the rise and therefore the network of charging stations is growing and expanding globally.
At present, this is still a factor to be taken into account when choosing the most suitable electric vehicle for us, but the aim is that in a short time it will be an aspect that the driver of the electric vehicle will not have to worry about. And the expansion of fast charging networks such as those of Ionity or Volta can be key elements in achieving this objective.
So, what has been the best electric car of 2020?
Taking into account all these factors, we cannot choose a single car model as the best of the year, as we must assess the needs of the drivers and the way in which the different electric models cover these needs.
For this reason, we have established three classifications according to the number of kilometres driven by the driver, taking into account the best-selling electric cars of 2020, to obtain a list of the best electric cars on the market:
Best electric car of 2020 for city (10-30km per day)
If you usually drive a few kilometres around the city, the electric car you need has to meet basic needs, i.e. it doesn't have to have too much range. On the contrary, we are interested in an agile vehicle that adapts perfectly to the city, can be charged quickly and is not too expensive.
According to the electric car sales database and its characteristics, the vehicles we recommend for this category are the SEAT Mii Electric and the Renault Zoe.
The first has 83 HP of power, a range of 259 km (which is more than enough for city driving), relatively short charging time (80% of the battery can be charged in 1 hour) and all for a fairly affordable price: around 18,000 euros.
The second has more performance thanks to its 135 HP and 380 km range, but is also more expensive, costing around 30,000 euros.
Best electric car of 2020 for city and road (30-80km per day)
If you drive on urban roads, but make longer journeys and take highway sections, you need a vehicle with more features.
Following the electric car sales database, the best vehicle to combine city and medium-long road trips would be the Hyundai KONA Electric.
It is an ideal SUV for families that have, depending on the model of the battery, between 300 and 400 km of autonomy with combined use of city and road and with a charging time of about 80% of one hour with fast charging. It has a power of 130-200 HP and a price of around 38,000 euros.
Best electric car of 2020 for road (+80km per day)
If you like to enjoy the road and drive for kilometres and kilometres, the best electric cars for this mode are the famous Tesla Model 3 and/or the new Volkswagen ID.3.
The first has, depending on the model, 200-300 HP power, up to 580 km range and short charging periods, reaching 275 km in just 15 minutes thanks to its fast-charging Supercharger stations. However, the price is higher and stands at around 50,000 euros.
The second and last is the new model of the Volkswagen brand. It is a quite promising bet, since it has great features at competitive prices: 550km of autonomy and charges of 80% of the battery in only 34 minutes with fast charge. And all these features for a price ranging between 36,000 and 40,000 euros, depending on the model chosen.
Impact of Covid-19 on the electric vehicle market
New models of electric vehicles are coming onto the market all the time, but how has the pandemic influenced the production of the electric car?
Although economically 2020 has not been a good year in practically any area, the production of electric vehicles by car companies has skyrocketed thanks to the restrictions imposed by governments on CO2 emissions.
According to the European agency Transport & Environment, the emissions targets set for 2020-2021 were 95 g CO2/km; figures far from the current reality of emissions of 120.4 g CO2/km in 2018 and 121.8 g CO2/km in 2019.
The global pandemic, as in many sectors, has also affected the automotive sector causing a 25.6% drop in vehicle sales in general. However, fortunately, the electric vehicle has continued to increase its sales, reaching world record sales numbers!
The coronavirus pandemic has only highlighted the need to accelerate and definitively implement 100% electric and sustainable mobility. In fact, in a statement last October, Laura Ros, the Managing Director of VW Spain, confirmed that the pandemic "has only accelerated the transition to electric mobility".
Check it out! Here you have a list of the cheapest electric cars you can buy in 2021
💙 How does Place to Plug contribute to the transition to electric mobility?
At Place to Plug we are committed to expanding the network of charging points as much as possible and making it interoperable worldwide. For this reason, apart from offering a charging point management software and an app for drivers, we also have a platform for developers with an open API in order to offer the maximum charging solutions for the entire electric vehicle industry.