Sales of electric cars more than doubled in 2019 and despite the disruption that Covid-19 has brought to the market, we expect that the popularity of these vehicles will continue to rise. Gone are the days of limited choice in makes and models. Manufacturers have worked hard to bring a wide array of EV’s to each market segment so that they are really beginning to hold their own overall within the industry.
No matter what type you find yourself shopping for, there is now a great selection to choose from. Here, we take a look at an interesting option in each of the most popular segments.
The Small City Car – BWM i3
The i3 has been around a while and at its launch in 2013 it certainly surprised BMW enthusiasts. This is no shark nosed, six-cylinder machine that we are used to seeing from the German carmaker. But it does of course feature BMW DNA so you get the kind of dynamic driving experience you simply wouldn’t expect an electric vehicle to be able to provide. Aluminium makes up most of the bottom half, whereas the upper half is made from carbon fibre to keep weight low and efficiency high.
This model really upped the EV game at the time and while it is true that it now sees great rivalry in its segment, it still somehow manages to hold its own thanks to the updates it has since received. Updates such as a more efficient 120Ah battery model which claims to offer a range of 160 miles. This seems low in terms of overall EV capability these days, but not when you are in the market for a nippy city car. So, despite its age the still stylish looking i3 certainly isn’t one to be overlooked. Prices start from around £35,000 depending on your choice of i3, i3s and i3 range extender.
The Family Car – Nissan Leaf
Ask anyone to list some EV models for you and most would include the iconic Nissan Leaf. As the world’s first mass-produced EV it is one that most have heard of over the years. The first Leaf was, dare we say it…nerdy? However, as electric cars became more mainstream Nissan thought a 2.0 version was needed to freshen things up.
We are the first to agree that the interior is still bit of a let down when compared to more recent competitor offerings, however you are getting a very viable electric hatchback for families who tend to prioritise space and dependability over looks. Nissan claim you will reach 168miles with the 40kWh battery and up to 239 miles with the more powerful 65kWh battery.
These days, we are offered a dependable, relatively well priced Leaf with better battery tech and a fresh design. With a price bracket of £26,000 to £29,500 (once the government £3,500 grant has been applied) things look pretty good indeed.
The Compact Crossover – Kia Niro
Our mid-sized crossover choice must be the Niro. Launched in 2016, it includes a choice of self-charging hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and the pure electric e-Niro – voted ‘Best Electric Car 2019’. While Kia has not exactly redefined the electric car market with this model, it could be argued that what it has done is better – it has shown us just how far it has come in the sector with this very, very capable car. According to What Car?’s real-world figures it will do 253 on a single charge and thanks to the location of battery pack it boasts a steady centre of gravity which you would only really expect from a saloon or a hatch.
The maker also offers an attractive 7-year warranty which covers most issues which could arise. Pricing starts from around £25,000 for the Niro, £30,000 for the PHEV version and £34,500 for the e-Niro once you have deducted the government grant. For this price is it comfortable, spacious, well equipped, and good looking – what’s not to like?
The SUV – Peugeot e-2008
Peugeots smallest SUV offering is the new and trendy e-2008. It features a sporty, piano black interior similar to that of the 208 supermini and a choice of six trim levels. With a reasonable starting price of £29,000, many may be tempted by one of the more premium specs such as the GT or GT line trim which comes with a recognisable diamond black roof and glossy black wheel arch flares.
Possible buyers will be pleased to learn that the electric engine has not compromised the boot space, which is 434-litres in capacity, extendable to 1,467-litres with the back seat folded. The 50kWh battery gives you a range of 193miles between charges and you get all the space, technology and looks you would expect when spending your money in this segment.