Top 5 Electric cars you can't buy in the UK (but we wish we could)
The pace of innovation in the electric vehicle (EV) market is staggering. Every year, new EVs are launched across the world, but unfortunately, not all of them reach the UK.
Despite being one of the largest car markets in Europe, the UK isn't as easy to cater for due to it being right-hand drive.
It means other mature markets like Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia are usually the first port of call in Europe for new EV innovations.
We've compiled a list of some of the most interesting and unique EVs that aren't available in the UK...yet.
Chevrolet Bolt EV
The Bolt was redesigned for 2023 and is one of the most affordable electric vehicles available in the US right now.
It has a zero-emissions range of up to 259 miles and uses a 65KWh lithium-ion battery that powers a single motor with 200 horsepower (or 150KW).
It's an interesting proposition as a value-focused product priced from just $27,495 in the US.
It's never a simple like-for-like comparison with prices, but that would be just over £20,000 if it was available in the UK.
That would create a big challenge to incoming Chinese brands looking to compete strongly on price in the established European electric car market.
Will the Chevrolet Bolt EV come to the UK?
It's extremely unlikely. Chevrolet exited the UK market back in 2015 due to dwindling sales and US-based parent company General Motors' (GM) continued losses in the European market.
GM instead opted to focus its efforts on Vauxhall and Opel in Europe, which were both closely linked with Chevrolet products anyway (a bit like Volkswagen Group's close links between brands like VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda).
GM is planning to introduce a value-focused hatchback to replace the Bolt in the future that will be based on the company's next-generation Ultium platform and battery electric vehicle technology.
Chevrolet Bolt EV alternatives
There is an Opel version of the Bolt called the Ampera-e, which has been on sale in Europe for a few years now.
However, this didn't make it to the UK with a Vauxhall version due to limitations with right-hand drive production.
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The Spring is another intriguing proposition for the UK electric vehicle market as it's another value challenger that will be competing with new Chinese carmakers looking to create a foothold in the UK.
Dacia's parent company Renault has been selling the electric urban SUV in Europe for a couple of years now but so far it hasn't made its way to the UK.
The Spring is currently on sale in Europe for around €17,300 and if it were to come to the UK under £20,000, it would stake a claim for the lowest priced EV and break down barriers to entry for anyone considering making the switch.
Will the Dacia Spring come to the UK?
Dacia has actually confirmed that a facelifted right-hand drive version of the Spring will go on sale in the UK this summer.
So in this instance while the previous version hasn't been up for grabs, the newest model will be soon!
Pricing hasn't yet been confirmed, but you would expect Dacia and Renault to make a bit of a statement and plant its flag in the ground for value with an extremely competitive price point.
Dacia Spring alternatives
If you're looking for value, the MG4 has solidified itself as one of the best budget options available since it went on sale in September 2022.
The entire MG range is worth considering for those looking for the best value option in the UK.
The Citroen Ami is one of the lowest priced electric cars on the market at £8,495, but it's technically a quadricycle, rather than a car.
Other value focussed options include models like the GWM 03 (previously called the Funky Cat), which is available to lease from £146 a month or a Vauxhall Corsa from £188 a month.
Welcome to the future. While some car manufacturers are trying to normalise electric vehicle design to make sure they don't stand out as much compared with petrol and diesel models, the Cybertruck is the complete opposite.
The design of this electric pickup is a perfect fit for a sci-fi logistics company making deliveries on a terraformed future Mars.
Love it or hate it, it's certainly a unique vehicle, particularly when looking at the zero emissions commercial vehicle space.
It has a towing capacity of 11,000kg, an estimated zero emissions range of 340 miles and will hit 0-60 in a quite ludicrous 2.6 seconds.
The launch of the Cybertruck in the US saw it beat a Porsche 911 in a drag race all while towing another 911.
Will the Tesla Cybertruck come to the UK?
The pick-up truck market in the US is clearly massive. There's a big need there, but it's not nearly as big in the UK - although it still has its own dedicated part of the car market with models like the VW Amarok, Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux.
Businesses and trades currently running pick-ups in the UK will eventually need an electric power alternative so there is a market here too.
There's no information on a definitive UK launch date, however the Cybertruck would have to pass strict European safety testing, which may prove tricky due to the angular design that has made it through to the production model currently on sale in the US.
So it's not an official no, but don't expect to see the Cybertruck on sale in the UK any time soon. Tesla needs to fulfil all the orders in the US first before it gets to right-hand drive markets.
Tesla Cybertruck alternatives
There are other manufacturers gearing up to launch electric and hybrid options for those looking for a pick-up.
Maxus's T90 EV is the first electric pick-up that's available in the UK and so it's the only option right now. It has a WLTP range of 220 miles and while it is an expensive proposition at nearly £50,000, some competitive leasing rates are available and it also qualifies for £5,000 in plug-in vehicle grant funding.
Ford has its Ranger plug-in hybrid due to launch in 2025.
It features a 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine, a 11.8-kWh battery and a 75kW electric motor.
A choice of electric vehicle driving modes means you can drive on petrol, on battery power, or a combination of the two.
It is targeting an electric-only driving range of around 27 miles, so it should be just enough for some electric urban driving.
VW is planning an all-electric version of the Amarok, which could also lead to an all-electric Ford Ranger model in the future too.
Both Ford and VW worked together for production on the previous Ranger and Amarok models.
Another option is the Fisker Alaska, which has been confirmed for a UK launch in the UK next year with the choice of a 75kWh battery or a 113kWh battery, offering an electric range of between 230 and 340 miles.
Isuzu is also expected to launch an electric version of its D-Max in the UK in 2025 as well.
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New Vietnamese car manufacturer Vinfast was formed by Vietnamese billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong in 2017 and the business has already rapidly launched into US and European markets.
Vinfast's VF8 mid-sized crossover SUV is already available in France, Germany and the Netherlands priced from €50,990.
Renowned Italian automotive design house was hired to style the VF8 and the model has a claimed zero emission range of up to 293 miles from its 87.7kWh battery.
Will the Vinfast VF8 come to the UK?
Vinfast is planning to launch vehicles in the UK before the end of 2024, although there's no official date for a launch for any of its models, including the VF8.
The business is building out its UK sales team so it looks likely that you might be able to get your hands on a Vinfast model in the next 12 to 18 months.
Vinfast VF8 alternatives
California-based Lucid launched its Air luxury electric saloon in 2021 as a direct rival to the Tesla Model S saloon.
The car was actually developed by the same person behind that led the development of the original Tesla Model S, so there's a bit of shared history and baked-in rival between the two companies.
Performance and premium luxury are the two touchstones for the Air, with a large 112kWh capacity battery offering a range of up to 516 miles.
There's a performance version of the Air that will hit 0-60mph in rapid 2.6 seconds.
It's also possible to top up that big battery very quickly too, if you can find a 300kW rapid charger, with 300 miles of range added in around 21 minutes.
Will the Lucid Air come to the UK?
Lucid does have plans to launch into the crowded premium EV segment in the UK in 2025, but it's unclear if the Air will make it across in its current guise.
It's possible that a smaller Tesla Model 3 rival may be the launch model in the UK.
A right-hand drive model priced at around £40,000 will play a big part in Lucid's plans to scale up and become more of a household name on its way to truly rivalling Tesla.
The Air is currently only available to lucky European customers in Norway, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland with a hefty purchase price of around £80,000.
Lucid Air alternatives
As previously mentioned, the Model S is the obvious choice due to its shared history with the Air, but there are other luxury electric saloons available too like the Polestar 2, BMW i7 or Genesis Electrified G80.