Best Electric Hatchbacks of 2020

Now that we are starting to move past simple hybridization, EV cars are becoming all the rage, and the zippy electric hatchback car seems to be the embodiment of this new automotive philosophy. By combining the practicality of the compact style with progressive powertrains, these fully electric cars are able to achieve remarkable fuel economy figures while still retaining an affordable price tag.

While there may not be many such models on the market right now, our informed reviews help your comparisons of rivals by weighing factors such as styling, performance, comfort, driveability, and, of course, mileage. Naturally, you need to know key facts about each contender, such as charging times, maximum range, and reliability ratings. We’ve done all the work for you so that shopping for your new vehicle can be just as easy and carefree as driving it.

What to Consider Before Buying

Unlike their plug-in hybrid cousins, every machine in this segment relies completely on electricity for power. The powertrain configurations generally consist of a single battery pack connected to one or two motors, which power the wheels. So, what are the advantages of departing from traditional combustion engines?

Pros

  • Unbeatable mileage figures
  • No carbon emissions
  • Near-silent running
  • Decent amount of horsepower and torque
  • Tax rebates in certain states of the USA

Cons

  • Maximum range is much lower than traditional vehicles
  • No engine soundtrack to accompany peppy performance
  • Availability in the US is a bit hit and miss
  • Once you’re out of “gas”, you’re basically dead in the water
  • Charge times are a drag

Some of the Best Electric Hatchback Cars

While the model list of the best electric hatchbacks isn’t particularly long, there are still some impressive names on it. In our top five are the following:

  • Chevrolet Bolt - Nabbing out top spot, this $37k EV boasts an impressive full-charge distance of 259 miles as well as a modern cabin with a respectable trunk.
  • BMW i3 - While the small machine does not boast the same opulent luxury of the brands’ larger automobiles, it is still quite stylish, especially inside. As such, it only offers 15.1 cubic feet of cargo space. It also has a subpar max range of 200 miles.
  • Nissan Leaf - At around $32,000, the Leaf is more visible on the roads of America. Its cabin is spacious, if a little nondescript, but it does not get the best infotainment suite.
  • Volkswagen e-Golf - More affordably priced than its German cousin, the VW still delivers an attractive cabin and the enjoyable driving dynamics that the brand is renowned for. It does not have the best range, though, and there are very few ways to customize your purchase.
  • Hyundai Ioniq EV - The fully electric variant of the Ioniq line-up, alongside the hybrid and plug-in electric hybrid, Hyundai’s EV has a terrible max distance of 170 miles despite getting the best mileage figures of 145/121/133 MPGe over the city/highway/combined cycles.

FAQs about Electric Hatchbacks

What is the best Electric Hatchback for 2020?

With a pretty impressive maximum range of 259 miles, along with competitive mileage figures of 127/108/118 MPGe, the Chevy Bolt claims the top spot on our rankings. It’s a little pricey at $36,620 MSRP, but it boasts a stylish and modern interior with plenty of standard features and a decently sized 16.9-cubic-foot trunk. But, as electrification is becoming more popular, you may want to keep an eye on some of the upcoming 2021 offerings before committing to a purchase.

Are there any affordable EV hatches?

While it’s all good to save money on the fuel bill, not everyone can afford the higher asking price. Unfortunately, the cheap Ford Focus Electric was discontinued in 2018, although you might still be able to pick one up used. That makes the Nissan Leaf the cheapest 2020 machine with a starting cost of $31,600. While neither Honda nor Audi offer hatch iterations to consider, the former offers an electric sedan at around $5k more than the Leaf, while the latter’s most affordable offering costs double that.

How long does it take to charge an EV battery?

Naturally, the time to fully charge a battery varies between makes, depending on a number of factors such as the type of charger and the size of the power pack. However, most of these automobiles achieve a full power in around ten hours, give or take a couple of hours.

BuzzScore
Design
Performance
MPG
Interior
Infotainment
Reliability
Safety
Value
#1
2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV
9.1
BuzzScore
8
Design
9
Performance
10
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#2
2020 Nissan Leaf
8.6
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
10
MPG
8
Interior
8
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#3
2019 Volkswagen e-Golf
8.4
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
7
Value
#4
2020 BMW i3
#4
BMW i3
8.3
BuzzScore
7
Design
8
Performance
10
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
8
Reliability
8
Safety
7
Value
#5
2020 Hyundai Ioniq EV
8
BuzzScore
7
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
7
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#6
2019 Fiat 500e
7.4
BuzzScore
8
Design
6
Performance
9
MPG
6
Interior
7
Infotainment
8
Reliability
8
Safety
7
Value
#7
2018 Ford Focus Electric
7.3
BuzzScore
7
Design
6
Performance
8
MPG
7
Interior
9
Infotainment
8
Reliability
7
Safety
6
Value
#8
2019 smart EQ fortwo Coupe
6.6
BuzzScore
5
Design
5
Performance
10
MPG
4
Interior
6
Infotainment
7
Reliability
8
Safety
8
Value