As petrol prices continue to rise and more emphasis is placed on ways we can look after the environment, people are increasingly looking to electric cars to help get them from A to B.
Today more and more drivers are making the switch not just because it’s more environmentally friendly, but because they’re more efficient, more affordable and ideal for light city driving.
As the cars gain in popularity, consumers are starting to better understand electric cars and their benefits – these cars tend to be compact and more affordable than their petrol counterparts, and generous government grants make it easy to install a charging point and invest in a new vehicle without breaking the bank.
Do your research
If you’re thinking about trading up for an electric car, first it’s important to do your research. The technology behind electric cars has made some great strides in the last few years and today you can expect to purchase a vehicle that can drive nearly 100 miles between charges.
Simply by virtue of the fact that electric cars are new to consumers, it’s important to spend some time researching your options and understanding if an electric car is right for your lifestyle and the benefits of each make and model. What Car? Magazine is an excellent place to begin your search and offers expert opinions and reviews – articles like this one on the best electric cars and plug-in hybrids along with user guides for electric cars both offer in-depth information.
News about electric cars also feature regularly in National newspapers and provide the latest news and reviews about manufacturers, advances in technology and things to look out for. The Telegraph has put together a guide of its top 10 electric and hybrid cars, while the Huffington Post has also published its pick of the top 7 electric cars for 2013. While guides like the two above won’t make your decision for you, they do help you compare models from different manufacturers closely to see the advantages of each.
Finally, consumer watchdog group Which? has published a comprehensive electric cars guide – this is particularly useful when you’re trying to assess the range, running cost and financial implications of owning an electric car.
When it comes to cars, not all models are created equal, and this is just as true when it comes to electric cars. There are a few, however, that stand out from the pack and are the most popular with consumers thanks to affordability, range, reliability, and comfort. Some of the highlights include:
- Telsa Model S – Priced at the top of the line, the Telsa Model S has earned rave reviews from customers thanks to its ability to charge anywhere there’s an electrical outlet. Its engine gives 62 miles for every one hour of charging time with its Supercharge connectors.
- Toyota Prius V – One of the first hybrid electric vehicles to gain ground in this emerging market, Toyota’s 2013 Prius V is still among the best. It offers great interior space and has both an electric motor and a 1.8 litre four-cylinder engine to cope with the longer journeys.
- Nissan Leaf – Run entirely on electricity, the Nissan Leaf is at the top of its class with a 73-mile charge range, regenerative brake system and lithium-ion 24 kWh battery. What’s so special about this model is the technology inside it – a special dashboard indicator lets you know whether you’re spending energy or gaining some of it back to help stretch battery life to the very last drop.
- BMW i3 – BMW is a newcomer to the electric car market but is hoping to make a splash with its luxury i3 model. The vehicle itself has a similar range to the others on this list, but where it really stands out from the pack is with it’s luxury design – with the i3 you’ll get all the bells and whistles you’d expect from the German carmaker.