Electric Cars have been around for some time now but their importance has grown significantly over the last few years. With growing concern over emissions, climate change, and the waning supply of fossil fuels the demand for alternatives has risen considerably.
Recently, world renowned physicist Stephen Hawking suggested that humanity must colonise another planet in the next 100 years due to the increased strain we are placing on the planets finite resources. Earth has also just passed what scientists call ‘the point of no return’ regarding climate change as carbon dioxide levels have reached 400ppm (parts per million) permanently.
Electric cars, whilst perhaps not a permanent solution or even the best solution, offer a chance at reducing these emissions significantly. If you feel like you want to be part of the solution for a cleaner world then check out CBR’s list of the best electric cars.
Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S is another one of billionaire and philanthropist Elon Musk’s creations. The vehicle is one of the main examples of how electric cars have changed in recent years as the common misconception regarding electrically powered vehicles is that they are slow, sluggish, and lack the power that many hydrocarbon based engines are capable of producing.
The Model S defies these expectations by being as quick and luxurious as a modern high end sports car with all of the eco-friendly trappings you would expect from an electric model. The pricier model comes with an 80kWh performance battery which is can last for over 300 miles and go from 0-60 in 4.2 seconds.
The Tesla Model S is available from £66,500
The Nissan Leaf was the first electric car to be sold en-masse in the UK and it remains one of the most popular, and cleanest, choices today. One of the more interesting features of the Leaf is that rather than buying the vehicle battery, consumers can simply lease them for as long as they own the car, which .
The Leaf is capable of distances of over 100 miles, so whilst it may not make a great vehicle for long journeys, it should have no trouble for those who make frequent short trips.
The Nissan Leaf is available from £26,000 but there is a £5000 government grant available.
The Volkswagen e-Up is an ideal solution for city drivers, not only is it small and nimble with a smart design both in and out, but it also qualifies as clean enough to negate the road tax and save a fair amount of money. However, it does cost almost twice as much as the petrol models which isn’t particularly enticing.
The battery also has some limitations, giving it a distance of just under 100 miles when fully charged. As a clean and swift alternative to city transport, it certainly does the trick. But for anything else, you’re probably best looking elsewhere.
The Volkswagen e-Up is available from £24,000
Looking for something with a longer range? Check out the cars on the next page
The Renault Zoe is definitely one of the best options available today when considering an electric car. This stylish and eco-friendly alternative to a gas guzzler affords all the comforts you’d expect to find in any other car, including room enough for four to sit comfortably.
As well as being emissions free and costing very little to maintain the Zoe is also considerably cheaper than most other electric cars on the market. The distance is also a lot greater than you’d expect, Renault say that you should be able to get at least 250 miles out of the car making it an excellent choice.
The Renault Zoe is available from £18,000
The Hyundai ioniq is a versatile model that comes in both hybrid, plug in hybrid and fully electric variants. Whilst the hybrid models may not have a low enough emissions rate to beat the London Congestion Charge, the electric version will have no problem.
Hyundai estimate that the car will last over 170 miles on the road, and its 118bhp electric motor will see it go from 0-62 in 9.9 seconds. Again, this may not be enough for long journeys but the spaciousness of the vehicle will make it a handy addition to any families driveway.
The Hyundai ioniq is available from £19,000
The BMW i3 is certainly a departure from the German luxury vehicle manufacturers usual wheel house, especially in design. The i3 has clearly been built from the ground up to stand out as something new in BMW show rooms, definitely to the machines benefit.
The i3 is a spacious and strong vehicle, despite being relatively low weight. BMW claim that the vehicle will be capable of distances of over 180 but that may not last if you try out the cars 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds for too long.
One of the more interesting aspects of the vehicle is that it does have a range extender that can easily double the distance expected. By utilising a petrol motorbike engine inside the electric one, the batteries can easily be topped off in exchange for a slight emissions increase.
The BMW i3 is available from £31,000
The Kia Soul is the Korean manufacturers first attempt at an electric car and it turned out to be a pretty good attempt. The car handles significantly better than it’s petrol equivalent and is significantly and, despite the price, comes with that 7 year Kia warranty ensuring that you’re well and truly taken care of.
The exterior design isn’t one of the most conventional and looks a bit boxy from certain angles. The interior however, is spacious and well decorated with some nice digital dials thrown in for good measure.
Naturally, the size of the car has some adverse effects on its range and you won’t be expected to go much further than 93 miles. That said the upcoming 2018 version of the vehicle will have an increased range of up to 113 miles. It’s still not the largest distance available but those additional 30 miles may be of use to anyone considering an electric car in future.
The Kia Soul is available from £25,000