Electric cars are the future and that’s fairly unavoidable.
There are still, however, issues that need to be ironed out before the viability of them being adopted by the masses is fully comprehended.
One of these problems is the inflated costs. It is often more expensive to manufacture electric cars over petrol and diesel as, in relative terms, the technology is fairly new.
As time goes on and production costs are slashed, these manufacturing overheads will be reduced making going electric more affordable.
In addition to cost, range is another factor.
To get one of the highest mileage EVs on the market, you’d have to shell out huge amounts of a lot of money.
For example, the production car with the largest range currently for sale is the Tesla Model S 100D which has 335 miles of range, according to EPA.
This car will cost around £90,000 to buy outright (before the government incentive).
There are however a number of completely competent and reasonably affordable options currently on the market.
Here is a list of the top electric cars on the market:
Price: From £14,245 – £20,420
Coming in first place is the Renault Zoe which, of the cars on the list, ticks most of the boxes.
For one, the price of the car is affordable coming in at £18,170 for the version we’ve chose here which has the increased range.
It can go 186 miles on one charge which will more than suit most drivers.
Powering the Zoe is a 41kWh battery and a number of motors which allows it to sprint from 0 to 60mph in 13.5 seconds and on to a 84mph top speed
It says a lot that the Zoe is Europe’s best-selling EV as it does achieve many of the desired criteria such as price, range and style.
In terms of its design it is hardly going to set the world alight but it is smart, cute and simple, which is enough.
Price (Leaf 2017): From £16,680
Price (Leaf 2018):From £26,490 (not available yet)
Okay, so there are a number of things counting against the Nissan Leaf but there are multiple factors that count in its favour.
Firstly its unconventional looks make it more like a mechanical bug than a car.
Secondly, there’s a new one coming out next year which not only looks cooler, but has a lot higher range.
This could be positive as prices of the vehicle are likely to be slashed considerably.
Either way the current Leaf has range of around 107 miles, which is not great but should be suitable for city driving.
You may squeeze a few more miles out of the 30kWh battery but I wouldn’t plan any cross country drives just yet.
It costs from £16,680 to buy in the UK, so it’s cheaper than the Renault but you do get less range for your money.
Price: From £25,280
It looks the most like a non-electric car on the list. You’d be hard pressed to find many details that distinguish it from a petrol or diesel car, which is a good thing.
Its cute styling and compact size makes it manageable and suitable for city driving.
Downside is, that for a car of that size, you are paying a lot of money.
The petrol variant costs from £9,135 so you are ending up paying over £15,000 more for a car that cannot reach the same heights as its fossil fuel powered sibling.
You’ll get just shy of 100 miles out of a single charge but it is fast charging enabled which can regenerate 80 per cent of its full charge in just 30 minutes.
Price (standard): From £34,070 (excluding grant)
Price (range extender): £37,220 (excluding grant)
The i3 is a great little car which has quirky looks and surprising amount of space for its size.
Range extender has north of 200 miles of range while the standard car can muster up around 125 miles of range.
It too can be recharged from 0-80 per cent at a quick-charging DC station in just 39 minutes
It is one of the more costly options on the list but prices for the car on finance start around £269, which his suitably more manageable.
Tesla Model S and Model X
Other notable electric cars:
Tesla Model S and Model X
Price (Model S): From £69,400 – £122,200 (excluding grant)
Price (Model X): From £70,500 – £128,250 (excluding grant)
It would be ridiculous to write a list of the best electric cars on sale without giving a nod to this Californian -born duo.
Tesla was the first electric car manufacturer to really capture the attention of the public. It offers stylish cars, top of the range tech and enviable range among its peers.
Model S 100D has the best range of any electric car currently on sale in the UK.
For all the benefits these cars have they carry a luxury car price tag which makes them out of the grasp of most.
I was tempted to add the Model 3 onto this list as it will cost a lot less when it goes on sale in the UK.
However, it will be at least a year until these cars start landing on British shores, so for now they can’t clinch a spot.
Price: £30,190 (excluding grant)
The bigger brother to the e-Up is, unsurprisingly, a superior car but you do have to fork out a lot more which is why the e-Up pipped to a podium position.
VW does claim, however, that you can achieve 186 miles from a single charge which is a significant bump up on the e-up! – but is it worth the extra cash?
Nissan NV200 Combi
Price: From £19,403 (excluding grant)
By design it is a van and looks like a van but it can be used as a people carrier and may be suitable for larger families on the school run.
Also it produces around the same amount of range as the standard Leaf (2017) but has the added practicality.
In addition to this 80 per cent charge in about 30 minutes using a rapid charger.
It’s not one of the more attractive options on the list, but is certainly one of the most practical.