Since the turn of the decade, we’ve seen car manufacturers increase their focus on producing electric or alternative fuel cars, such as the Toyota Prius or the Honda Clarity. We’re also seeing manufacturers pushing the limits of electric cars and trying to maximise their potential against petrol powered cars. In recent years we’ve seen increase in interest from the public towards electric cars because of competitions such as the Formula E Championships and the bi-annual World Solar Challenge in Australia.
1) Nissan Leaf
If you want to have an everyday family car that will become the workhorse of the family but also looking for a car that is kind to the environment then the Nissan Leaf is for you. Since its launch back in 2010, Nissan’selectric car has taken the world by storm, as the Leaf gives you plenty of room and comfort inside just like their petrol powered rivals. The Leaf is leading the way on how we view electric cars and is one of the bestselling electric cars in the world.
2) BMW i3
The BMW i3 is one of the more futuristic looking electric cars on the market today and one of the most environmentally friendly as they claim to say that up to 95% of the car is recyclable. The car has one of the best interiors and also comes with now-standard iDrive system – ideal for navigation or checking on the status of your battery life. If you are worried that the range of 125 miles is not enough, BMW gives you an option to buy a petrol range extender which takes it to 206 miles – essentially you are buying a small petrol engine that powers the battery.
3) Volkswagen e-up!
The Volkswagen e-up! is basically a VW up! with an electric motor but gives you more room for you and 3 passengers and more boot space as there is no petrol tank. The e-up! takes some notes from its petrol cousins by providing great handling and surprisingly good amount of power. The car has 3 driving modes, each has their own power saving function should you want to maximise the range of the car. However should you want to get a bigger, more spacious Volkswagen electric car then you’re in luck as VW also makes the e-Golf.
4) Renault Zoe
The Zoe is Renault’s take on the electric car, it’s very stylish and can easily fit 4 people inside. The Zoe also very clever in how it uses the electricity, put your foot down and you get instant acceleration, although the magic happens when you decelerate since the unused power will be given back to the car – this is the same technology that is used in Formula E cars. Should you decide to get the Zoe, you are getting a car built by a company that has put a lot of effort in Formula E and using the technological advances learnt in Formula E to give you a great electric car.
5) Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S completely revolutionised the electric car industry by proving to everyone that it is possible to create a luxurious sports car running on only electric power. The Model S allows you to select acceleration modes from the standard sport to insane and more recently ludicrous, either way, you are guaranteed to drive in one of the best luxury cars in the world – and it’s electric!
If you do decide to buy yourself an electric car, the UK government will contribute up to £4,500 for each new electric or plug-in hybrid car sold. If the car you want to buy is worth more than £60,000, you will unfortunately will not receive the government grant.