The electric car revolution is well underway, and pressure is mounting for UK drivers to make the switch to EV, and ditch the diesel and petrol cars they’ve been driving for generations. While sales of EVs is still relatively small in the UK, compared to the huge number of petrol and diesel cars sold annually, that is about to change. With a growing selection of options available to drivers looking to switch to EV, more and more car manufacturers are jumping on the EV bandwagon and rolling out electric models with all the latest technology, longer driving ranges, speedier charging times, and more affordable prices.
With the infrastructure for rapid charging options improving across the UK, with the installation of chargepoints in evermore homes, businesses, and public locations, it’s never been easier to charge your EV, while the prices involved in topping up your charge are increasingly more reasonable.
With a petrol and diesel ban imminent, and huge ecological benefits to switching to a purely electric car, it’s hardly surprising demand for EVs has never been higher. If you’re new to electric cars, it can be tricky to know what type to go for. To help you out, we’ve put together a buyer’s guide to all the best electric cars 2019 has to offer…
More EV Models Than Ever Before…
The surge in popularity of electric vehicles in recent years is great news for motorists. Not only is EV technology becoming more accessible, there is more choice when it comes to EV models than ever before. From small models like the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe, to Tesla’s Model S executive SUV there’s an electric car for everyone. We’ll get into the details of choosing the perfect EV in a minute, but first here’s a run down of our top ten suggestions for the best electric cars available on the market this year:
- Jaguar I-Pace
- Hyundai Kona Electric
- Tesla Model S
- Kia e-Niro
- Nissan Leaf
- Audi e-tron
- Volkswagen e-Golf
- Renault Zoe
- BMW i3
- Tesla Model X
There are various factors that will affect which of these models is best for you…
Is An Electric Car Suitable For Your Lifestyle?
Before you make a decision it’s important to really consider if an EV is suitable for your lifestyle. While we’ll all be moving away from petrol and diesel cars eventually, there are other options, such as hybrids.
In particular, while the charging structure in the UK is rapidly expanding and becoming faster and more accessible every day, driving range is something to consider. If you regularly make very long trips that far exceed even the highest range EV, it may not be the best choice. This is particularly true if your travelling takes you to remote locations, where charging infrastructure is less readily available.
The perfect pattern of EV usage is an overnight charge while you sleep and electricity tariffs are at their lowest, and having no need to top up you charge during the day. Beyond that, a workplace chargepoint that allows you to charge while you’re in the office, switching off between home charging and workplace charging, is ideal.
If neither of these scenarios are going to be possible for you, consider how and where you would charge your car, before moving on to decide which car to buy.
Focus On The Running Costs, Not The Sticker Price…
When you’re first looking at electric cars you’re going to find the prices shocking. Compared to petrol and diesel equivalents, the prices are high. Don’t let this put you off. While the sticker price is indisputably higher, there are a few things that mitigate this and make EVs very economical.
Rather than just considering sticker price, do your maths and figure out how much the car will cost to run, then compare that the alternatives. Some EV manufacturers allow you to keep costs down by buying the car and separately leasing a battery.
Generally speaking, running an EV is far cheaper than keeping a petrol or diesel car on the road. And while the cost of charging affects this considerably, even if you’re using more expensive public charging stations, you’ll still pay a lot less overall.
Add to this the fact that, with an EV, you get free VED tax, can gain advantages from company car tax, and your maintenance and servicing costs for an EV will be a lot lower, as they don’t have either moving parts or the long-term costs.
All of these cost-saving advantages more than make up for the higher upfront cost.
Don’t Worry About The Practicalities Of An EV…
Another concern many motorists have when looking for the perfect electric car is the practical side of things. Time was, an EV was essentially just a regular internal combustion engine powertrain that had been switched for batteries and an electric motor. The result of this approach was a lot of compromises where boot space and interior were concerned. Modern EVs are run on platforms that are purpose-designed, and have either been created specifically for electric vehicles, or for use with propulsion systems of varying types. That means EVs now deliver both passenger and boot space in equal measure to their petrol and diesel counterparts.
Whether you’re looking at small SUV, supermini, or anything up to an executive saloon or luxury SUV, your EV will have all the practical benefits of a petrol or diesel version of the same model.
Enjoy The EV Driving Experience…
If you’re test driving EVs you’re likely to find they feel less nimble on the roads, especially if you’re traversing a winding route. This is because the electric systems of an EV make them considerably heavier than diesel or petrol models. Don’t let this put you off. There are many great benefits that come with driving an EV, which more than make up for this apparent drawback.
For starters, you’ll enjoy almost silent cruising, as electric motors produce near-zero noise. The car also slows itself in traffic as you lift off the throttle, making it possible to jaunt around town without needing to use the brake much at all. This all makes for an incredibly relaxed driving experience. At the same time, your EV will enjoy instant torque thanks to the electric motor, meaning that even the humblest EV can leave a hot rod for dust as you pull away from the lights.
The EV driving experience is certainly different, but it’s an incredibly enjoyable one once you’ve accepted the fact that different can be better.
If you’re all about the driving experience, we recommend Tesla’s Model S.
The Eco Benefits Of Getting An Ev…
With zero exhaust emissions coming from electric cars and the ability to charge using renewable energy sources, they’re the eco-friendly driving solution for any earth-conscious motorist.
Not only that, smart charging options mean that your EV not only has the capacity to charge on eco-energy, at off-peak and cheaper times of day, it also has the ability to stabilise the electricity grid and help ensure a more eco-friendly energy supply for the whole country.
If your biggest concern is finding an electric car that’s as environmentally friendly as possible, we recommend the Volkswagen e-Golf as the best option currently on the market.
The Best Range Electric Car 2019…
One of the big concerns surrounding EV is the range you get out of a car. While technology is constantly improving to give EVs greater range, ensuring you can make it to your next chargepoint is still a concern. Currently the best ranges available come from Kia’s e-Niro, which boasts a range of 282 miles, and Jaguar’s I-Pace, which can go 257 miles between charges.
How Reliable Are Electric Cars?
It’s tricky to judge the reliability of electric cars when they’re still selling in such relatively small numbers. We don’t have the same kind of data that’s available on petrol and diesel cars. That being said, we do know that the fact EVs have fewer moving parts than their combustion-engine counterparts, there’s little to break down beyond the batters. Data from hybrid cars indicates that battery performance doesn’t degrade substantially with use, though you will see a gradual capacity reduction.
If you’re after the most reliable EV currently on the market we recommend the Jaguar i-Pace or Nissan Leaf.
Whatever electric car you go for in 2019 you’re going to need somewhere to charge it. Get in touch today to speak to us about installing a home chargepoint, or setting up an EV charging station for your business…