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There has been a significant increase in the amount of green cars being sold in the UK in the past five years. Buyers keen to save money on fuel and road tax and be kinder to the environment, are increasingly choosing green cars as an alternative option.
Green cars have lots going for them. Unlike a few years ago, when there were very few green cars available to choose from, there’s now a wider selection of electric and hybrid cars, all of which are environmentally friendly, economical and efficient.
Below, Trusted Dealers takes a look at some of the best electric cars currently on the market. All prices below include the government’s £5,000 grant.
Despite its all-electric power, the e-Golf retains most of the traits of the standard Golf including firm suspension and sharp handling. The 113-hp electric motor has a range of up to 83 miles and the batteries can be recharged through a normal household three pin plug in around 13 hours or a home charger which takes just 8 hours. You’ll pay a little extra for the E-Golf in comparison to rivals, but its spaciousness, refinement and practicality may just win you over.
Kia Soul EV (from £23,695 new)
The Kia Soul is competitively priced lower than many rivals making it a good option for those seeking a family-sized car with excellent green credentials. The Soul EV maintains all the qualities of the standard Soul such as a good driving position, practicality and plenty of standard equipment, but you’ll save even further on running costs and you’ll also benefit from Kia’s class-leading seven-year warranty.
The BMW i3 is an excellent choice of electric car – it offers all the luxury and quality of the BMW badge as well as superb green credentials. The electric motor is refined and innovative whilst the high quality cabin offers occupants a comfortable ride. Furthermore, its genuinely fun to drive. The electric motor has a range of 81 miles per charge and it can be charged in just 8 hours from a domestic plug. You’ll pay more for it than rivals, but you’ll benefit from a premium car with loads going for it.
Vauxhall Ampera (from £27,600 new)
The Vauxhall Ampera took the market by storm in 2013 thanks to its low running costs, excellent level of equipment and class leading 300-mile range. You can choose between two models, the Positiv and the Electron with standard equipment including a seven inch display, alloy wheels, a reversing camera and DAB radio. The only downside to the Ampera is its higher price tag. Even with the £5,000 grant, buyers will pay a substantial amount to own one.
The Volkswagen Up! has been a popular car ever since its arrival to the market back in 2011, and now VW has made an electric version, meaning buyers can cash in on even larger savings. The new e-Up has a maximum 93-mile range and manages 80bhp from its electric motor, and it can charge through a domestic power point in less than nine hours. The higher listing price is a result of VW opting to sell the battery with the e-Up rather than charging a monthly rental.
Renault Zoe (From £13,445 new)
The Renault ZOE is the fourth model to join Renault’s zero-emissions line-up and we think it’s their best effort yet. The ZOE is a stylish car offering zero fuel emissions, a well-equipped cabin and reasonable performance, all for a much cheaper price than rivals, in fact it costs a similar price to a diesel Clio! The ZOE has a driving range of around 100 miles and drives exactly the same as a normal car but using an electric motor with 87bhp in normal mode and 60bhp in Eco mode. Simply power it up, select drive and accelerate away!
The Nissan Leaf was one of the first electric cars on the market and it hasn’t lost any of its appeal. It’s still extremely cheap to run, comfortable to drive and offers plenty of room for a growing family, and if you opt for a leasing option, it’s a very affordable car. With a 124 mile range, a good sized boot and a spacious cabin it is genuinely a good replacement for petrol and diesel powered superminis. The only drawback is depreciation on the Leaf which is high – it loses as much (or more) of its value in its first year as many rivals do in three.