Electric cars have certainly been gaining popularity for a long time, but it looks like a year when they can finally achieve great success. And why shouldn’t they? An electric car (EV) allows you to travel in silence and produces zero emissions. You don’t have to pay any road tax, Londoners don’t have to worry about paying tax for punctures, and the government will even give you a purchase grant.
Kia e-Niro redefines how real the range and usability of a family business can be expected from an electric car to the more affordable end of the price range. For £35,000, the car’s 64 kWh battery allows it to comfortably drive 230 miles on a single charge; and even more if you stay off the highway or around town. A few years ago, this would be the range you would expect from something much more expensive, and probably with a Tesla badge on the nose.
This link between range and availability is not the only reason why e-Niro now crowns this list. Indeed, if it were, the Hyundai Kona would also be up there. Where e-Niro is moving forward, it is that it also remains fully usable, practical, pleasant to drive an electric car. It is more spacious than almost any other EV in terms of price, and it drives and drives with great difficulty and perfection. It may lack the acceleration power of its competitors, but as a well thought-out, truly user-friendly and affordable electric car, the e-Niro electric car will take some of the wins.
Volkswagen ID 3
As Volkswagen plans to move on after the fallout from Dieselgate, ID 3 will take center stage as the brand’s environmentally friendly wunderkind. This golf sized hatchback, which has also received a new sub-brand ‘ID’, aims to do so with a kind of mass marketing sophistication and best-in-class practicality for which Volkswagen is rightly famous.
Built on a brand new rear-engined platform, the ID 3 has a long wheelbase that extends the space in the cab and is powered by a 201 HP and 229 GBP rear engine. Initial impressions of the 2019 prototype are that it excels in manoeuvrability and low speed response, and seems to meet the company’s high standards of sophistication.
Prices have not yet been confirmed, but the ID 3 is likely to be at the top of the EV hatchback class, with the entry-level model (with a 58 kWh battery) costing just under £30,000 (after PiCG) and the 77 kWh version, which should be able to withstand 300 miles in the real world, would cost closer to £35,000.
The all-electric version 208 super mini is one of several compact electric cars of PSA Group that will appear on the market this year. As it was written, it was the only one (next to the corresponding DS3 Crossback E-Tense and Vauxhall Corsa-e) that we drove on the roads of the UK. And for the combination of a useful range, performance, value, practicality, style, perceived quality and attractiveness for the driver, it clearly deserves to be shown to the best advantage if you buy your first electric car this year.
Unlike cheaper EVs with low rentals, the materially rich interior of the car distinguishes it as clearly as the stylish body. Practicality is on par with the Renault Zoe and is better than that of Mini Electric, sophistication surpasses both key competitors, and performance is quite strong.
The car drives with the flexibility not found in some small EVs, which often have difficulty keeping the body weight on the road. The steering wheel steers with striking straightforwardness, although body control is slightly impaired if you drive with great enthusiasm. Nevertheless, it is the roundness of driving that makes the e-208 really impressive.
The real distance is good for 170 miles of mixed driving, although it can be a bit lower if you spend long periods of time at highway speeds. For a car of this size and at this price it is commendable.
Hyundai Kona Electric 64kWh
Until recently, the electric car, which combined a real 300-mile range of daily use with a price of up to £30,000, seemed awfully far away. However, Hyundai Kona Electric made it a reality just a couple of years ago, which was a real coup for its budding Korean manufacturer.
With what should have been a significant competitive advantage for buying batteries, Hyundai took this car to the road with a greater advantage on board the electric storage than many of the cars, he competed with this list. This is enough for more than 250 miles of range at typical UK highway speeds, or more than 300 miles at a slightly slower clip or around the city. And, in this car, it comes with much more powerful acceleration characteristics than its closest rivals. Kona Electric is fast enough even to live with some hot hatchbacks away from traffic lights.
The fact that the interior of the car is slightly restrained, restrictive, does not quite correspond to a full-size family hatchback in practicality, is a little disappointing. In addition, there is some frustration with the car’s ride and handling, which seems to be somewhat compromised by its weight and the low friction tires it uses. But if you want to go beyond the small range, this is most likely the place where you can get it.
Mini has long been preparing to enter the electric car market, but now that it has finally arrived, it has certainly brought all the fun you expect from the brand – although packaged with a few equally typical usability restrictions.
Based exclusively on the three-door Mini body, the Mini Electric takes the transmission from the BMW i3S, giving it a very healthy 181 hp and 199 lb of torque. Performance is significantly higher than many cars you could compare it to on this list, and handling is exciting and muscular, as well as maneuverability in the strong dynamic tradition of the Mini brand.
Range – that’s the problem. The Mini qualifies for 144 miles; in reality, depending on how and where you ride it, you’re likely to get 100 to 120 miles. And that’s in a car with a pretty small trunk, the rear seats of which are hard to reach and hardly usable by anyone but small children anyway.
Obviously, this is not a “universal” kind of electric offer, but the price is surprisingly competitive, and if its limitations do not bother you, maybe the car itself to show you how rewarded an electric motor can be.