Low running costs, low or zero emissions and packed with the latest innovative technology, now could be the best time to buy an electric vehicle or hybrid car. Recent research claims that it’s now actually cheaper to own an electric rather than diesel car, plus with the government’s aim to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040, we’ll all have to make the switch eventually. There are more options available than ever before too, meaning whatever kind of lifestyle you lead there’s a great choice available.
Our pick: Renault ZOE
The Renault Clio is a great family car, so it makes perfect sense to use its design as a base for the all-electric Renault ZOE. It’s not just a straight copy though, the ZOE is a vast improvement with its larger size including enough space for four passengers, a boot that holds nearly 340 litres and a range of trim levels to fit different budgets. The newest models boast one of the best driving ranges of up to 250 miles on a single charge and some of the lowest starting prices for any electric vehicle. Delivering a quiet and smooth ride, your kids shouldn’t complain about the noise or bumps on the morning school run.
Our pick: Nissan Leaf
As one of the first and most popular electric cars on the market, the Nissan Leaf has built up a reputation for reliability, which is something all new drivers want. This makes it ideal as a first car, especially the latest models which have undergone various improvements over the years it has been on sale. These have a range of around 155 miles thanks to the choice between a 30 or 24kWh battery. And while older models have a more limited range, it’s one of the few models that’s been around for over five years so you can find a bargain; great for new drivers on a budget.
Our pick: BMW i3
Stand out in the office car park and on your daily commute with the funkily designed yet classy BMW i3. It’s a BMW hatchback but not as you know it, with bright blue or silver and black metallic paintwork and doors that hinge at the back rather than the front. A range of 125 miles as standard or further with the Range Extender (REX) hybrid model, that includes a two-cylinder petrol engine for when the batteries are running low, means there’s an option no matter how long your daily commute. The all-electric version is lighter and nippier though if you want a more fun drive to work.
Our pick: Tesla Model S P100D
Those with serious cash to spend could look to the top-of-the-range Tesla Model S P100D version that has a six-figure price tag when new. Claiming a range of nearly 400 miles (it’s more likely closer to 250 miles in real driving terms), and capable of doing 0 to 60mph in 2.4 seconds, it really is top of the class when it comes to electric vehicles. Then there’s the futuristic design, smooth and classy with a nicely rounded shape that oozes luxury. But unless you’ve been saving for years, affording such a vehicle could prove tricky.
Our pick: Kia Niro
Whether your family is growing with more children or dogs, as a compact hybrid SUV, the Kia Niro is practical for both such situations. A 472-litre boot provides plenty of space for your hounds, a pram or to load up for a family holiday. It’s affordable to run, boasting a combined fuel economy of 74.3mpg and CO² emissions of just 88g/km. Even when you switch from electric to petrol modes, the engine stays fairly quiet too, which should help keep any young ones or pets calm.
There are currently many electric and hybrid cars available, with some better suited to certain lifestyles than others. As they continue to grow in popularity the options are only going to increase.
Image courtesy of iStock.