Nissan Leaf crowned Britain’s most iconic electric car

A DrivingElectric survey has revealed the Nissan Leaf is officially the most recognisable electric car on sale

A DrivingElectric survey of more than 700 people has revealed the Nissan Leaf as the most recognisable electric vehicle on sale. Now in its second generation and celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020, the Leaf is also the world’s best-selling electric car to date.

Of the survey respondents, 94% recognised the Leaf, with the Tesla Model S finishing a close second. The Jaguar I-Pace climbed the ladder to third place in this year’s round-up, pushing Tesla’s Model X into fourth – one place lower than before. The BMW i3 completed the top five, with the MINI Electric – new for this year’s table – in sixth.

With the exception of the MINI, new models like the Vauxhall Corsa-e, Peugeot e-208, Honda e and Mercedes EQC all occupied the second half of the table. All four beat the established Smart EQ ForTwo, however, which was ranked the least recognisable in the list of 16 electric cars. Just 45% of those surveyed had heard of the two-seat city car.

Richard Ingram, editor of DrivingElectric said: “The survey shows the brands that have been selling electric cars for the longest are the ones buyers are most aware of.

“But with the market now offering such a great array of fantastic plug-in models, it’s more important than ever that consumers do their research – and consider those models that might not be household names.”  

As well as revealing the most recognisable electric cars, the survey asked respondents which manufacturers they thought were leading the charge with electric vehicle adoption. Tesla topped both of these categories, with Nissan and Jaguar completing the podium. 

The third category asked those surveyed to rank manufacturers for electric-car innovation. Again, Tesla came top, with Jaguar and BMW finishing second and third respectively. However, that order was altered when the respondents were asked which maker produced the most visually appealing cars; Jaguar took top spot here, with Tesla and BMW close behind.

The full results for our 2020 electric-car survey are detailed below.

Electric car model awareness

  1. Nissan Leaf 
  2. Tesla Model S 
  3. Jaguar I-Pace 
  4. Tesla Model X 
  5. BMW i3 
  6. MINI Electric
  7. Volkswagen e-Golf
  8. Hyundai Kona Electric 
  9. Renault ZOE 
  10. Audi e-tron

Brands leading electric-car adoption in the UK

  1. Tesla
  2. Nissan
  3. Jaguar
  4. BMW
  5. Renault
  6. Hyundai
  7. Kia
  8. Volkswagen
  9. Audi
  10. Volvo

Brands producing the most innovative electric cars

  1. Tesla
  2. Jaguar
  3. BMW
  4. Nissan
  5. Hyundai
  6. Kia
  7. Volkswagen
  8. Renault
  9. Audi
  10. Honda

Brands producing the most visually appealing electric cars

  1. Jaguar
  2. Tesla
  3. BMW
  4. Audi
  5. Mercedes
  6. Volvo
  7. Volkswagen
  8. Peugeot
  9. Hyundai
  10. Kia

For more information and detailed reviews of the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S and Jaguar I-Pace, plus all the other cars mentioned in these lists, click the links above – or search via the DrivingElectric homepage.

Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.


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