Tense cars have come a long way in under a decade, and by 2021 analysts foreshadow we’ll reach a tipping point that sees them lease over as the mainstream choice. This year sees disparate carmakers’ first forays into the plug-in market – surprisingly Audi and Mercedes-Benz – and in Tesla, we have a brand that does as much to impel us into the future as it does to entertain us along the way.
The switch to excitement is about more than ditching fossil fuels – it has the undeveloped to revolutionise car design all over again, as we abandon a basic contriving structure that has been used for more than a century. And it supplies drivers a suite of new advantages and concerns; quiet cruising and brisk, torque-heavy acceleration must be weighed against range nervousness, slow charging times and developing infrastructure.
But whatever your live pros and cons, the smug satisfaction of potentially never attack a petrol station again holds a strong lure. They look the duty, too. From executive saloons and SUVs to family runabouts and burgh superminis, with one bona fide hypercar sneaking into the tip, here is our rundown of the best electric cars on the market favourably now.
Tesla Model S
Best for: Executives
It’s the car that did numerous than any other to change the public’s mind about moving cars. Say what you like about Tesla, or its real-life-Bond-Villain CEO Elon Musk, but the Show off S is a game-changer. It brought a 1990s nerd mentality to performance motoring with ‘easter eggs’ cast Ludicrous mode, which will take the P100D from 0-60 in a Ferrari-humbling 2.3 alternates, but remains a family car at heart. Now in its seventh year of production, it is being seized up by other manufacturers, but improvements to its charging system, headlights and air acclimatizing in 2016, plus regular over-the-air software updates, set up kept it fresh.
Best for: Adventure
Jaguar was the word go traditional manufacturer to get a premium all-electric SUV to market; some say it doesn’t look sufficiently get a kick out of a Jag, but the emergence of the E-Pace and F-Pace have shown that Jaguar’s Doppelgaenger is evolving rapidly. Head designer Ian Callum’s I-Pace looks sharper than either of them, with a individual snub-nosed body shape that hints at how cars can be outlined when you aren’t hamstrung by the engine and powertrain placement. It’ll do legitimate under 250 miles on a charge and, with a 100kw charger, can be 80 per cent recharged in 45 two secs.
Best for: First-timers
The Zoe manages something few machines in any category can: pairing good looks and a low price tag. As with all galvanizing cars, it does command a premium over its combustible twins but the little Renault starts from just £18,170 after the UK authority’s EV grant, and as with all the cars on this list, the money you tear back in petrol savings makes it an even better act. Renault claims a range of 250 miles, and although it’s not accurately nippy, it is rewarding to drive – a benefit of having been designed from the justification up as an EV rather than adapted from an existing petrol or diesel scale model.
Best for: Design addicts
BMW’s “i” cars tick all the boxes you’d hope for from the brand: premium tech on the options list, out of the ordinary looks both inside and out and excellent build quality. While it’s the i8 that actually turns heads, the i3 is arguably ageing better, balancing extreme details with elements that will feel well-known to anyone who’s driven a 3-series. From 2019, the i3 is only at ones fingertips as a pure EV, and the range has been upped by around 30 per cent to 153 miles. Carbon substance elements in its construction and minimal overhangs at front and rear navigate it extremely nimble around town.
Tesla Model X
Maximum effort for: Over-achievers
Building on the success of the Model S, Tesla’s twinkling model improves on practicality – seating seven with baggage – while retaining the same range of engines as its saloon sibling, and joins some new gimmicks in the form of gullwing doors (good for close car parks but overengineered in most situations) and an enormous panoramic windscreen. You can add a tow bar and bicycle mounts, and regular with a 1,000kg load behind it the 100D will contain 70 per cent of its 295 mile range. Assuming, that is, you turn ones back on the fact that this family wagon will notwithstanding out-drag most sports cars to 60mph.
Hyundai Kona Stimulating
Best for: Families
The battery-powered version of the Kona – chose after a Hawaiian island – launched in 2018 with two creme de la cremes of power pack. The larger will do 258 miles on a well-stacked charge (186 for the base model) which befits its go-anywhere spit. In truth it’s more middle-of-the-road than off-road, but it will do 0-60 in a surprisingly busy 7.6 seconds. The sales pitch focuses more on security, with lane assist, driver attention monitors, unconscious emergency braking and pedestrian alerts among the features on propose. And it’s big enough to swallow your family’s luggage with assist.
Best for: City living
Reserve the Yorkshire jokes. VW’s Up is a brilliant budget option in any of its guises, and the e-Up is no disagree with. With an electric powertrain, however, it is pricier than the Renault Zoe – but it’s livelier at low fly like the winds (4.9 seconds to 30mph won’t trouble any hot hatches but you’ll nip through traffic nicely). It’s also faster to foray – 30 minutes will see it 80 per cent full at a fast-charging side. Of course, that goes hand-in-hand with a shorter vary than most – just 99 miles – but if sundry of your daily driving is local and urban, that won’t be an issuing.
Best for: The school run
Is the Nissan Leaf effective to fill you with excitement? Probably not more than an factual leaf. But it is the world’s all-time best-selling electric car for a reason. It’s well-priced (starts at all over £26,000), practical, efficient and reliable. A new generation has just hit the expressways that now looks a lot more dynamic than version one, and there suffer with been technological upgrades as well, including increased register (226 miles) and Tesla-like software updates. Spec the top-level repair options and you’ll get Nissan’s Propilot lane assist and self-parking technology, too.
Superb for: Everyday use
If all the futuristic stylings of the i3, I-Pace or Leaf take ones leave of you cold, VW’s e-Golf is there, waiting like the automotive interchangeable of a favourite pair of trainers. There’s nothing edgy or uncanny about it; the appeal of a Golf has always been as the ultimate every-car, and VW doesn’t lust after that to change just because it’s lopped off the exhaust get a load of become quieter. Inside it’s trimmed out similarly to top-end fossil fuel Golfs, and wheedles VW’s deluxe infotainment system as standard. Range was increased in 2017 (to 186 miles) and the car has been set up to induce with more eager responsiveness than some EVs.
Most qualified for: YouTube drag racing
From $1.5m approx
And at length, the one that isn’t like the others. Chinese manufacturer NIO was only organized five years ago, but its flagship supercar has set lap records at some of the people’s toughest circuits, including the Nurburgring. It boasts a whopping 1,341 horsepower – a megawatt, in spells more suited to an EV – spread over four motors, one at each whirl location. The car weighs 1,735kg, generates as much downforce as a Formula 1 car, and has a top tear of 194mph. With all that, you’d expect the batteries to run down in records, but NIO claims a 265 mile range and a recharge time of 45 diminutives. Just sixteen cars have been made, each costing $1.2m.