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Although electric vehicles or EVs as they are popularly known, have been around for a few years, they have yet to increase significantly in popularity, mainly due to the fact that extensive work is still being carried out to increase battery life and distance capability.
To help boost sales of EVs, the Government put an incentive in place in January 2011 which offers buyers a 25 per cent discount with a maximum spend of up to £5,000 off an electric vehicle. So far the take up has been quite slow, but the Government are confident that with measures in place to improve the recharging and refuelling aspects, EV sales will increase significantly in the next few years.
There are many advantages to purchasing electric vehicles, mainly being that they are kinder to the environment, cheaper to run than a fuel powered vehicle, and you will also be exempt from road tax and congestion charges. And with oil set to run out in the next thirty years, EVs are certainly looking like a sensible mode of transport for many decades to come.
The team at Trusted Dealers has been looking into some of the best electric vehicles suited to family living and below is our pick of the best.
The Nissan Leaf was the first mass-produced EV to hit the market back in 2010, and unlike some of its predecessors, it does not combine a fuel powered engine with an electric motor, moreover the Leaf operates exclusively on its 80 kW electric motor. It is the perfect sized car for a family of four, offering a decent amount of boot space and plenty of head and leg room for passengers. The driving range for the Nissan Leaf varies depending on how you drive and can be affected by features within the car such as climate control, but according to the EPA, the total range on a fully charged battery is 73 miles.
The Toyota Prius is a plug-in hybrid car which runs on a combination of fuel and electricity. It is similar in lots of ways to the standard Prius car which is designed well for families. It is also a popular choice with many celebrities such as Cameron Diaz and Leonardo Dicaprio who have both been spotted driving one in the past. The advantage of this type of car is that it can achieve a travel total of around 540 miles before it needs to be recharged. Re-charging times are also good and the plug-in Prius can be fully charged within three hours at 120 volts or 1.5 hours at 240 volts.
Ford Focus Electric
Ford has just brought out its first electric car in 2012 known as the Ford Focus Electric. The Ford Focus is already widely recognised as one of the most popular family cars and currently remains the number one motor of choice in the UK. Like the Nissan Leaf, the newly remodelled Focus features an all electric motor which according to the EPA is capable of achieving an all-electric range of 76 miles, equivalent to a whopping 105mpg! The Focus Electric features Ford’s latest entertainment system which is designed to keep its driver and passengers happy on longer journeys, whilst allowing you to charge and control the Focus entirely via remote control.