Being seen to be green is important, especially as air quality is such a hot political topic these days. It can make economic sense, too, with alternative fuel vehicles benefiting from incentives to buy, along with exemptions from road taxes, congestion charges and parking fees.
Plus, these days, an electric car doesn’t have to be slow, dull or next to useless, with driver appeal, styling and usable range all easily attainable. There are hundreds of clean green cars for sale in the UK today.
Here are the 10 that are leading the charge…
10. Renault Zoe
The Zoe is a five-door, five-seater supermini with a decent amount of passenger space and a range of up to 250 miles. As electric cars go, it offers very little need to compromise, while it’s extremely keenly priced, too, thanks to Renault’s battery rental scheme. Plus, the styling is relatively conventional, too.
9. BMW i3 Electric
The i3 is as desirable as it is usable, with a funky image and a creditable amount of passenger space, thanks to its tall, roomy cabin. Performance is good, too. With a 194-mile range and rapid charging capability, it’s one of the most usable electric cars for families and fleet users, while it’s also extremely well made and great looking, too.
8. Smart ForFour Electric Drive
It’s more city car than supermini, but the ForFour still has five doors and – as its name suggests – four seats. It’s cheaper than larger electric cars, making it perfect for those who need occasional rear seats, while its 96-mile range will cover most people’s daily driving needs.
7. Hyundai IONIQ Electric
Hyundai’s first attempt at a competitive all-electric car is an astonishingly good one. The IONIQ Electric Premium is a full-size five-door five-seater, with all the practicality of an ordinary family car and a very useful 174-mile range. It can be home-charged in four hours, or rapid charged in just 30 minutes.
6. Citroen C-Zero
The C-Zero is one of the last of the old school EVs yet still has one of the lowest environmental impacts of any car on sale in the UK. The oddball styling and lofty driving position won’t be to everyone’s tastes but it’s environmental impact is minimal, and It has a 97-mile range with fast-charging capability.
5. Peugeot iOn
The iOn is effectively the same car as the C-Zero, with the same egg-shaped body and rather weird road presence. The pair were developed together with the Mitsubishi iMiev, which is no longer sold in the UK, and were some of the first truly usable EVs on the market.
4. Smart ForTwo Electric Drive
If all you need is a city car for zipping around town, then the ForTwo is just the job. Available as either a coupe or a fun convertible, the ForTwo has a range of 99 miles, making it perfect for urban dwellers with home charging capability.
3. Volkswagen e-Up
The five-door e-UP! is a mature electric city car with better practicality than the Smart ForTwo. It has space for four to travel in comfort, and has a range of 93 miles, with rapid charging capability giving it greater functionality than most urban EVs. It’s also great fun to drive and is probably the most environmentally efficient genuinely usable car on the market.
2. Hyundai Kona Electric
Based on the recently-introduced compact crossover, the Kona Electric combines the popular SUV shape with a future-proof electric powertrain that has a range of up to 300 miles. Available with two powertrain options that offer at least 200 miles on a single charge, it comes with all the practicality that a modern family would need, too.
1. Renault Twizy
The Twizy remains the UK’s most environmentally efficient car, though its open sides and two-in-tandem seating configuration aren’t exactly practical, especially not in the winter months. There are situations I which the Twizy works brilliantly, but you have to accept compromise to take advantage of its efficiency.