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Electric vehicles (EVs) are increasing in popularity across the UK as the pull for motorists to be greener gets stronger. There are lots of incentives offered to drivers willing to take the plunge and go electric, so look out for these when you’re searching for your next new or used car – you never know you might just be swayed.
EVs have grown rapidly in popularity over the past 7 years following the launch of several key models in 2010 to include the Mitsubishi iMiEV and the iconic Nissan Leaf. Since then, a series of manufacturers have followed suite in line with the government’s plans to reduce the amount of harmful emissions released.
At present, hybrid cars are monopolising the market thanks to their more flexible credentials – they can run on battery power alone or run on a combination of battery and fuel, giving motorists greater flexibility, but in the future it is predicted that EVs will dominate the market. The obstacles that once held EVs back have since been developed so that the best electric cars can now deliver more than 300 miles of range, produce 0-62mph times to rival supercars, and even offer 7-seat variants.
Take a look below at some of the electric cars we believe will dominate the market during 2018. Will you be buying one?
The Renault ZOE as just clinched the title ‘Electric Car of the Year’ at the inaugural Company Car Today awards, and it’s not difficult to see why. This stylish five-door supermini offers a range of 250 miles (NEDC) along with plenty of comfort and space. Currently the best-selling all-electric car in Europe, ZOE qualifies for the lowest nine per cent Benefit In Kind bracket and is available from just £14,245 (after Government PiCG). Attractive to business users and families alike thanks to its compact features offering exceptional efficiency and usability.
Tesla Model S
Tesla developed their electric vehicles based on the concept that electric cars could be just as fast and luxurious as their fuel counterparts. The Tesla Model S is an all-electric saloon taht’s quick, luxurious and as eco-friendly as a Nissan Leaf. Its around the same size as a BMW 7 Series and comes packed with technology, to include the all electric engine which offers a range of 311 miles – streets ahead of most other electric cars. Climb into the cabin and you won’t need a handbrake or a start button, you simply get in it and go. Unlike many electric cars on the market, the Tesla Model S appeals to the larger family or executive business user with rivals such as the Mercedes E-Class or the Audi A8.
The BMW i3 continues to deliver which is why its remained one of the most popular electric cars to buy in 2018. Not only does it appeal to the luxury market, it offers minimal running costs and a surprising amount of pace. Maintaining BMW’s rear-wheel-drive, it uses a 186bhp electric motor located in the boot floor combined with a lithium-ion battery pack. The i3’s range lies between 80 and 125 miles, which can be doubled with the use of the range extender. Around the size of a Ford Fiesta, the i3 caters to the smaller family, but it offers a surprisingly spacious interior that feels higher and larger than it should.
One of the original electric cars to kick-start the market back in 2010, the Nissan LEAF still remains one of the most popular electric cars to buy. The five door hatchback was an instant success due to its family-friendly layout and similar traits to conventional cars. Initially offering a range of just 80 miles, the LEAF has doubled this over the past 8 years due to a host of improvements. In addition, the time required for charging has also dropped significantly. Combining excellent performance with a decent level of equipment and low running costs, it’s easy to see why sales remain high.
A rival to the Nissan LEAF, this family hatch offers many of the same traits as its predecessor. Available in three guises, the Hyundai Ioniq has kept its options open and comes with the choice of a petrol-electric hybrid, a plug-in with extra range or as a pure EV. Larger than the LEAF inside, the Hyundai Ioniq EV offers a claimed range of 170 miles with power coming from its 118bhp electric motor and is the fastest of the three versions to accelerate with a 0=62mph time just under 10 seconds. Its USP lies in the level of comfort it can offer passengers – quiet and refined, its the perfect cruiser around town.
Smart ForTwo ED
A great alternative to the petrol option if you’re looking for a small compact two-seater city car which can now offer you green credentials as well. Choose the ED version to reduce your running costs even further and benefit from a workable range of 100 miles which is plenty for shorter urban journeys – the type the car is designed for. In addition, the short charging time of just 2.5 hours is appealing in comparison to rivals. Add in the standard ForTwo’s super-tight turning circle and compact dimensions and the Smart ForTwo ED could be just the ticket. Look out for the four seat Smart ForFour ED version due to hit showrooms soon.
The Tesla Model X is a full-sized SUV which offers room for seven and the credentials of the electric drive system found in the Model S saloon. One of its most unique features is its ‘falcon’ rear doors which open up like a bird’s wing, and are designed to boost access in tight spaces. The large boot and large storage space under the car’s bonnet add to its appeal as a highly versatile family-sized vehicle. Featuring the same electric drive system as the Model S, the Model X comes with four-wheel drive capability on all of its models and the standard car comes with a pair of electric motors, one for each axle, rated at 259bhp each and capable of achieving 0-62mph in just six seconds. Thanks to Tesla’s unique battery technology, its cars offer the best range of any EV on sale and the Model X comes with an estimated range of 300 miles, well ahead of the majority of other EVs.