The cheapest electric cars in the UAE

A key factor when deciding to purchase any vehicle is cost. Savvy car purchasers are no longer throwing bags of cash at dealerships and driving off the forecourt without a care in the world. With more choices than ever, consumers are looking for long-term purchases that will last and are more financially viable.

A combination of factors can contribute to making the right choice. These include maintenance and repair costs, longevity, and, of course, the price of fuel. Electric vehicles are no exception to these rules. And even though they’re by far kinder on the wallet when it comes to refuelling, the initial outlay is generally higher than the price of a combustion engine. Yes, this view is short-sighted, but it’s an all-too-common response when it comes to making a decision.

There’s also the looming threat of price depreciation. Every new vehicle suffers some form of price drop as soon as the owner drives it. According to a 2023 iSeeCars report, which analysed 1.1 million cars sold, EVs are currently not good at holding their value and have lost almost 50 per cent over five years. Some exceptions, such as Tesla, BYD, and Polestar, have slower rates of depreciation and more substantial resale potential.

This doesn’t necessarily matter if you plan to keep your car for a long time. However, with technological updates and advances making the next wave of EVs more robust, longer-ranged and safer, sticking with your slowly degrading ride isn’t particularly appetising. The answer? Find an EV bargain from the off.

With this in mind, we’ve conducted thorough research, scouring the UAE dealerships and second-hand markets for the cheapest EVs around. Buyer beware note: you must understand the risks involved when you purchase a vehicle from a third party. What might seem like a great deal can come back to bite you in the boot, especially if the car has been imported and there isn’t a licensed garage to fix any problems.

Anyway, the cheapest fully-electric cars you can buy in the UAE are as follows.  It’s worth noting that you can get some hybrid cars more cheaply…

The MG ZS is the cheapest new pure electric car currently on the market in the UAE.

Brand new: MG ZS EV – From AED 105,000

MG has had a renaissance in the last decade. Once famed for its classic sports cars, the UK manufacturer’s momentum stalled in the early 2000s. It’s now owned by the Chinese SAIC Design Group, which is dragging the brand into the 21st century with must-have vehicles such as the MG ZS EV.

It entered the UAE market back in 2021 with a splash. “The first EV under AED 100,000”, the headlines crowed – it was AED 99,500; technically accurate, but not as much of a bargain as it sounded. The price has since climbed slightly, but this is still a great deal for a good car.

It comes with a reassuring 8-year/200,000km battery warranty. There’s ample room inside for passengers, and that vast panoramic sunroof is a great touch. Maintaining the MG spirit, the ZS EV is a joy to drive thanks to its zen-balanced handling whether you’re in Normal, Eco, or Sport mode.

A Renault Twizy is the cheapest EV available, but with very limited space inside, it’s not a practical choice for most people.

Second-hand/Import market: Renault Twizy – From AED 15,000

Say hello to the Renault Twizy, one of the world’s most impractical EVs. This tiny, one-and-a-half-seater vehicle has a cult following on UAE reselling sites and is often sold quickly. Apart from the space for the driver and their contortionist friend squished in behind them, this slightly evolved go-kart contains no storage for anything else. So, if you have a lot of friends and family you need to ferry around, this isn’t the EV for you.

The French-made vehicle will travel a fairly decent 80km on a full charge, making it ideal for zipping around large communities and compounds in the UAE. But with barely any safety features and a build that resembles a toddler’s Cozy Coupe, it would be a pure white-knuckle ride to take it down Sheikh Zayed Road, especially as the vehicles alongside it could probably fit the whole car in its boot. Still, for AED 15,000, it is the lowest-priced EV you can buy in the UAE.

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