With improving electric infrastructure, better commercial choice and (perhaps most importantly) bans on internal combustion engines, electric vehicles are the future.

But if you want to get in on the all-electric action right now, it’s a bit of a minefield.

As manufacturers take their first steps into the EV sector, they will make mistakes and they will produce duds. (The Renault Twizy, for example, is a remarkable experimentation but woefully awful.)

And that brings us on to this list.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve scoured the market for all-electric vehicles then subjected them to dozens of rigorous tests (okay, we argued about it in the office for a bit) to select our 5 best all-electric cars you can lease for under £300 per month in 2018.

Oh, if you think we’ve missed anything off the list, let us know about it in the comments!

Unlike a lot of other car manufacturers, Nissan has a long history with electric vehicles. Back in 1995, the Japanese brand launched the Prairie EV and followed it up with the Altra EV and the Hypermini.

Okay, they only made 30 of the first, 200 of the second and 300 of the third, but it paved the way for more experimentation in the future.

It was in 2005 when things started to really pick up speed.

Remember the Pivo? It was a bizarre all-electric bubble car with a rotating cockpit. Nissan refined it over three iterations into something that actually looked (and drove) like a proper car.

Squint at the Pivo and you can see the outline of the Nissan Leaf. The ideas are all there but perhaps not in the right order.

Fast forward 12 years and Nissan rolls out their second generation Leaf, the all-electric car we’ve come to love.

With so much R&D behind it, the Leaf looks and feels like a very complete car.

The interior’s sturdy and high-quality, the design looks refined, the drive feels good. What more could you ask for?

The main drawback is a slightly truncated range, which tops out at 124 miles per charge. While this cuts out all the heavy drivers, it’s still a great choice for city driving.

55 viewed this car Leaf Hatchback View Gallery
8.0

Nissan Leaf Hatchback

5 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0
  • Fuel: E
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: A
  • CO2: None

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Renault has jumped into the deep end of the electric revolution. With a billion pound investment from the Renault-Nissan Alliance, its EV programme is better funded and more comprehensive than most others out there.

But even with so much cash behind it, Renault’s output has been slow.

There was the saloon-esque Fluence ZE, which spluttered then disappeared after its battery supplier went bust.

Then there was the Twizzy and the less said about that the better.

The Renault Kangoo, an all-electric van, launched in 2011 and did well enough to pick up the coveted Van of the Year award. But the Kangoo, sadly, was the one piece of good news to come out of the billion pound project.

So, what about the Renault Zoe?

Well, it’s Renault’s attempt at an affordable, mass-market supermini. It’s small, cute and relatively cheap so job done, right? Well, actually, kind of!

With adapted 'EVs' you can often tell that they were designed for internal combustion components because the weight distribution is all off.

However, the Zoe is a car designed to be an electric car, not just one that’s been adapted from an existing model. That means its engineers actually planned to have a lightweight electric motor and a big, heavy battery. In short, it it feels balanced.

Under the bonnet, the Zoe has an 88hp unit, which might sound a bit lightweight but when you add in barrels of torque you’ll fly off the line and through traffic. Put your foot down and the Zoe tops out at 84mph, which isn’t outstanding but I’m sure all you law-abiding folk never exceed 70mph anyhow.

With a range of 130 miles, it’s in the same bracket as the Nissan Leaf. It's a commuter car that you charge every night not a grand tourer or company car for a travelling salesman.

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7.1

Renault ZOE Hatchback

1 derivative available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0
  • Fuel: E
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: A
  • CO2: None

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If the dictionary still had pictures next to words, the Volkswagen Golf would definitely feature in the definition for hot hatch.

But change waits for no car and there’s an electric revolution on the go. So, out with that old fossil fuel-burning engine and in with a brand spanking new electric motor. Now, off you zoom!

Unfortunately, building a great electric isn’t quite as easy as whipping the engine out. Most cars are built for petrol or diesel engines and don’t like it when you replace them with substantially lighter motors and bulky batteries.

So, how does the e-Golf perform as an all-electric vehicle?

Surprisingly well!

You see, Volkswagen has reworked the entire platform, retaining just the basic layout of their MQB architecture.

That’s partly to account for the huge 318kg battery pack, which sits under the front and back seats.

The e-Golf is now onto its second generation and that’s helped iron out the difficulties of the first iteration.

While it drives well, the e-Golf doesn’t really feel like a Golf. It definitely looks like one but take it on a twisty B-road and the sim

Apart from that, it’s just another VW Golf. It looks like a

At a snip over £30,000, the e-Golf is up against the sensible Nissan Leaf and the awesome-loking BMW i3.

124 viewed this car Golf Hatchback View Gallery
7.7

Volkswagen Golf Hatchback

27 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.8
  • Fuel: D, P, X, E
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

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DISCLAIMER: Okay, you can't lease the i3 for under £300 per month...yet. But, watch this space, I reckon the price will fall below £300 soon!

I’ve put the BMW i3 and the Volkswagen e-Golf next to each other for a reason. You see, the e-Golf is an attempt to make an electric car look like just another car. The e-Golf is just like any other Golf but it has an electric motor. It’s the soft sell for electric vehicles.

The Beemer, on the other hand, is the exact opposite.

BMW's engineers have torn up the design handbook and set about redefining what an electric vehicle should be.

What they produced in the i3 is a megacity car built for the future and the headlines are impressive.

The i3 can manage about 180 miles between charges, it can seat four adult humans and it’s got a boot that you can actually fit things in. It gets from 0-60mph in just over 7 seconds and will whir on to a top speed of just under 100mph.

Oh, and it looks damn good, too.

Inside it lives up to the premium Beemer badge. Everything is slick and robust and it feels brilliant to use.

Considering all that, it’s not really much of a surprise that the i3 won the inaugural 2017 World Urban Car award, too!

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7.4

BMW I3 Hatchback

9 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0
  • Fuel: E
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: A
  • CO2: None

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“Does the Kia Soul look cool?” That’s a question that has divided families, ripped apart friendships and caused countless workplace shouting matches at LeaseFetcher HQ.

Personally, I'd say no. It's weirdly angular, boxy in all the wrong ways and just plain odd-looking. But I was outvoted and ordered to include the Kia Soul EV on my list.

Unlike some of the other purpose-built electric vehicles on this list, the Kia Soul EV is based on an existing model — the Kia Soul. (Surprise, surprise.) And aside from some structural tweaks to reinforce the body and some minor design updates, the Soul EV is virtually identical to the standard Soul.

The biggest change is the plastic insert which sits across the radiator grille and opens up to reveal twin charging points.

And since the stock Kia Soul is a damn fine car, the Kia Soul EV is too!

(And, yes, I'm aware the picture we've used is for the petrol-burning stock Kia Soul but it was really hard to find a decent shot of the Soul EV. So deal with it.)

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7.5

Kia Soul Hatchback (2016)

0 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 1.6
  • Fuel: D, P, E
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

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