How much does it cost to charge a Tesla Model 3?

Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the most talked about cars in Britain. Our Tim Pitt said “it could be a game-changer for Tesla: the car that propels it into the mainstream“. But how much does it cost to charge?

You’d be forgiven for feeling slightly confused. Some Tesla owners don’t pay for using the Supercharger network, while others do. Cutting to the chase: you WILL have to pay to charge a Tesla Model 3.

Anyone who bought a Model S or Model X before 2 November 2018 enjoys free and unlimited access to the Supercharger network. Cars bought after this date are subject to an annual allowance of 400kWh before paying to use the network.

Then, in August 2019, Tesla reinstated the unlimited free Supercharging as part of the Model S and Model X sales package. It isn’t clear how long this will last, but it doesn’t apply to Model 3 owners. 

Model 3: cost of charging

How much you pay to charge your Tesla Model 3 depends on where you’re charging. The following guide is based on prices correct at the time of writing:

  • Tesla Supercharger: based on a price of 24p/kWh, a full charge in the Model 3 Standard Range Plus costs £12. This delivers a range of 254 miles.
  • Public charging network: using a Pod Point rapid charger should cost between £7.52 to £10.26 for a 20 to 80 percent charge. Other rapid chargers are available.
  • At home: based on a cost of 14p/kWh, it should cost £7 for a full charge when using a domestic supply.

Prices vary, while access to a rapid charger network could involve a registration fee and monthly charge.

Tesla Superchargers in Britain

There are currently nearly 15,000 Superchargers across the world, and that number is growing all the time. However, it’s worth noting that the Model 3 is the first Tesla to come with a CCS charging port, so you aren’t restricted solely to the company’s Supercharger network. 

Click here to read our Tesla Model 3 UK review.

Servicing an electric car: what you need to know

electric car maintenance

While not the main issue limiting widespread adoption of electric cars, the question of how to maintain them is an interesting one.

Obviously there are no oil changes, spark plugs or fuel filters. So what exactly needs to be looked at periodically on an electric car?

Electric car maintenance costs 

electric car maintenance

Powertrain maintenance should, in theory, cost a lot less for an EV than an equivalent petrol or diesel car.

Tesla’s website lists the following procedures under ‘recommended maintenance service’: cabin air filter (every two years), high-efficiency particulate filter (three years), brake fluid test (two years), air conditioning (between two and six years) and winter care (12 months or 12,500 miles).

It also says these checks are non-essential, even for maintaining the warranty. If there’s an issue with the car, Tesla can flag the issue up remotely and prompt maintenance as and when needed.

ClickMechanic highlights that electric cars usually make brakes last longer, too, given that regenerative braking saves on disc and pad use.

Electric Volkswagen Beetle

Electric car maintenance essentials

  • Tyres
  • Brakes
  • Lights
  • Wipers
  • Tracking
  • Suspension
  • Cabin filtration

What electric cars don’t need

  • Oil changes
  • Spark plugs
  • Belt changes
  • Coolant changes
  • Air filters
  • Transmission oil changes

What about EV batteries?

Range figures of electric cars need an ‘urgent rethink’

Here’s the big question for many people. The reality is that EV batteries seem to be holding up well. The battery and drive unit in Teslas is warrantied for eight years or at least 100,000 miles. With Model 3, a minimum of 70 percent retention for battery capacity over that period is claimed. 

Early Nissan Leaf owners, some of whom bought their cars nearly 10 years ago, are reporting more than 90 percent battery capacity retention.

“It’s clear that the demand for electric vehicles is growing and drivers can benefit exponentially from this”, said Andrew Jervis, co-founder and CEO at ClickMechanic.

“From lower servicing costs to a carbon footprint reduction, cars of a purely electric nature have a great deal of appeal to drivers in the UK, and could potentially shape the automotive industry and market for years to come.”

Hybrid Catalytic Converter Thefts

How to keep your car safe from catalytic converter theft

Hybrid Catalytic Converter TheftsRecent news has highlighted a dramatic increase in the theft of catalytic converters from cars, with police forces across the country seeing a surge in the expensive components being taken.

London has been hardest hit, with the Metropolitan Police recording more than 2,900 catalytic converter thefts in the first half of 2019. That compares with 1,674 thefts in the whole of 2018. 

What does a catalytic converter do?

Hybrid Catalytic Converter TheftsA catalytic converter forms part of the exhaust system on a car. It processes the emissions from a combustion engine into less harmful gases, before releasing them into the atmosphere. 

Catalytic converters first gained widespread use in the 1970s, with the United States making them mandatory from 1975 onwards. They became a common feature of modern cars in the UK from 1992. 

Why are they a target for theft?

The chemical reaction that takes place within the converter requires precious metals to act as the actual catalyst. These include metals such as palladium, rhodium, and platinum. 

Market values for these rare materials have increased substantially in the past 18 months.

Palladium can be sold for £1,300 per ounce, with rhodium is worth up to £4,300 per ounce. Such high figures naturally make catalytic converters a desirable target for thieves. 

How do thieves steal catalytic converters?

Hybrid Catalytic Converter Thefts

As part of the exhaust system, catalytic converters are left exposed beneath most cars. This means thieves can simply slide under the car to remove them. SUVs are particularly at risk, as the ride height makes access beneath the car easier.

Some are bolted onto the exhaust, with other types being welded into place. The latter can be removed by cutting through the pipework to free the cat. 

Most catalytic converters are unmarked, meaning they cannot be easily traced to an individual vehicle. Once taken, converters can then be sold to unlicensed scrap metal dealers. 

Why are hybrid cars being targeted the most?

Hybrid Catalytic Converter Thefts

Hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, have seen a larger increase in the volume of catalytic converters being stolen. 

Thieves target these vehicles as the catalytic converters are said to be less corroded. The hybrid drivetrain results in lower overall exhaust emissions, leaving the precious metals in better condition. In turn, this makes them more valuable to sell on.

What are manufacturers doing to help?

The problem of catalytic converter theft is not new, with the AA noting that it has been an issue for more than a decade. This has given manufacturers time to develop ways of keeping cats safe.

Toyota offers a special ‘Catloc’ device, which can be retrofitted to a number of vehicles made by the manufacturer. Priced between £200 to £250 including fitting, Toyota has said it sells the Catloc without making a profit. 

The company has also reduced the price of replacement catalytic converters, and increased production, to help get drivers back on the road quicker. 

What else can I do to protect my catalytic converter?

Hybrid Catalytic Converter TheftsNot all cars are at such risk, with some models having the catalytic converted mounted within the engine bay. This makes it much harder to steal. Drivers should check with their local dealership if they are unsure. 

The Met Police has also published advice on how to reduce the risk of your catalytic converter being stolen. These include:

  • Parking your car in a garage overnight
  • Ensuring your car is parked to make accessing the catalytic converter harder
  • Trying to park in a location that is well-lit and overlooked
  • Installing CCTV to cover where your car is parked
  • Marking your catalytic converter with a forensic marker, which can make it harder to sell on by thieves

A beginners’ guide to electric car charge points

Guide to electric charge points

If you’re considering an electric car, you might be getting tangled up in the various charge point types. Unfortunately, there’s no industry standard for these, so it pays to do a little homework before you buy an EV.

There are three types of electric car charge points: rapid, fast and slow. The names represent the charging speed, with power measured in kilowatts (kW). Here, we provide a brief description of the three different charge points and the associated connectors.

Rapid chargers

BP Chargemaster rapid charging hub at Milton Keynes Coachway

You’ll find rapid chargers at motorway service stations and close to major roads. As the name suggests, these provide the quickest charging time, recharging batteries up to 80 percent in just 20 to 40 minutes.

Manufacturers and press articles will often refer to an ‘80 percent’ charge in electric car literature as chargers have an automatic cut-off at this point. The reason is to protect the life of the battery.

You’ll find three different types of rapid charging in the UK: rapid AC (alternating current), rapid DC (direct current) and the Tesla Supercharger. The charging ranges from 43kW to 120kW, depending on the connector type.

The cable is tethered to the charging unit and only cars with rapid-charging capability can use the machines.

BP Chargemaster rapid charging hub at Milton Keynes Coachway

Rapid AC chargers use a Type 2 connector to will deliver power at 43kW, with the car’s onboard rectifier converting AC into DC. The Renault Zoe and Renault Kangoo ZE are examples of cars using rapid AC.

Rapid DC delivers power at 50kW straight to the electric car, bypassing the converter, making it quicker than rapid AC. There are three connectors: CHAdeMO (Charge de Move), CCS (Combined Charging System) and Tesla Type 2.

Cars with a CHAdeMO connector include the new Nissan Leaf and Kia Soul EV. Those with a CCS connector include the BMW i3, Hyundai Kona, Hyundai Ioniq and Jaguar I-Pace. As the name suggests, the Tesla Type 2 unit uses a Type 2 connector, but delivers charge at 120kW for Tesla vehicles only.

In the future, we can look forward to 150kW and 300kW chargers, which will deliver incredibly quick charging times.

Fast chargers

Mini Countryman PHEV charging in London

You’ll find fast chargers in locations where cars tend to be parked for longer periods of time, such as car parks, supermarkets, leisure centres and retail outlets. All fast chargers draw AC current from the grid and use the car’s onboard converter to turn it into DC.

This is the most common charger type, and almost all EVs can use fast charge points, with the network featuring both tethered and untethered units.

The majority of fast chargers are untethered and deliver power at 7kW, with a 30kWh battery recharged in 3-5 hours. A more powerful 22kW charger will do the same in just 1-2 hours.

Most EV owners will find a Type 2 connector in the boot, giving them full access to the fast charger network. Other fast chargers use a Type 1 connector (7kW) or Commando (7-22kW). Tesla ‘Destination’ chargers deliver 11kW to 22kW of power.

Slow chargers

Man charging BMW i3 at home

Slow chargers tend to be found in homes and offices, where a car can be left on charge overnight or during the working day. Most are 3kW, but some lamp-post installations will charge at 6kW.

Charging can be carried out by a standard three-pin socket, but the installation of a charging unit is highly recommended. There are three connector types: Type 1, Type 2 and Commando. All of these deliver power at 3kW, and it will typically take up to 12 hours to charge an electric car.

To find a charge point near you, visit

Can you jump start a car with an EV?

Can you jump start a car using EV

While it’s possible to jump start a car using an electric vehicle, it’s highly recommended that you don’t.

Electric cars feature two batteries: a large lithium-ion unit for the electric motors and a 12-volt battery for the accessories. This second battery is similar to the lead-acid battery found in petrol and diesel cars and it ensures the main lithium-ion battery can be charged.

However, the 12-volt battery in an electric car lacks the punch required to crank an internal combustion engine and you risk damaging it if you attempt to jump start another vehicle.

The RAC is pretty conclusive on the matter, urging motorists to “avoid using a hybrid electric car [for jump starting] as this could cause damage”.

Similarly, many manufacturers advise EV owners against jump starting conventional vehicles. In the handbook for the electric Leaf, Nissan states that it “cannot be used as a booster vehicle because it cannot supply enough power to start a [petrol] engine”.

However, it does go on to say that a conventional engine “can be used to jump start [the] Leaf’s 12-volt battery”.

‘Risk of damage’

Motorist holding jump leads

In the handbook for the Renault Zoe, you’ll find the following warning: “Do not use your electric vehicle to restart the 12-volt battery in another vehicle. The 12-volt electric power of an electric vehicle is not enough to perform such an operation. Risk of damage to vehicle.”

This could extend to unnecessary stress on the 12-volt battery, damage to the DC-to-DC converter, and confusion of the software that monitors the battery.

The internet is awash with examples of EV owners jump starting conventional cars, and some owners might risk it in an emergency, but it’s not recommended.

While it’s far from conclusive, a section in the handbook for the Tesla Model S suggests you might invalidate your warranty by jump starting another vehicle. It states: “Do not use the battery as a stationary power source. Doing so voids the warranty.”

However, there is some good news. Other electric vehicles can be jump-started – you just need to locate the battery. Also, you can indirectly charge a conventional car by using a charger that’s charged using the EV’s 12-volt DC outlet. There are plenty of options available online.

Electric car buyer’s guide: what you need to know

Electric car guide

Opting for a car that runs purely on battery power can feel like a risky move for many motorists. On the plus side, an electric vehicle (or EV) with zero tailpipe emissions will ensure you do your bit for air pollution, while also feeling suitably smug that you’ll never have to visit a petrol station again. Think of all the money you’ll save.

But you may also be asking yourself reasonable questions, such as how far can I drive before the battery is drained? Will I end up stranded on the roadside with no way to recharge it? And how long will it take me to recoup the extra cost of my advanced car’s elevated price tag? We’ve got the answers to all those niggly questions right here.

Do all manufacturers offer an all-electric option?

Not yet, but there’s an increasing number of electric cars on sale. From the Tesla Model X SUV to the humble Volkswagen e-Up city car, buyers have a huge range to choose from if they want to opt for an EV. That’s why 15,474 new electric cars were registered in 2018 – an increase of 13.8 percent from the previous year.

Nissan was the first to offer a truly convincing EV option when it launched the Leaf back in 2010. It was the first bespoke, mass-produced electric car in the UK, and it gained popularity thanks to its respectable range of up to 155 miles if you opted for the 30kWh version, and the fact that it drove like a normal car.

Electric car range UK

But an ever-increasing number of manufacturers have invested in the technology since, so you’ll now find electric cars on a number of forecourts across the UK. These include Renault’s Zoe supermini, Volkswagen’s e-Golf, plus BMW’s cutting edge lightweight i3.

In 2019, we’ll see a new raft of electric cars hitting the market, including the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron, Kia e-Niro, Tesla Model 3 and the Honda Urban EV.

What’s the typical range of an electric car?

Many electric cars go further than you perhaps think. It’s natural to have a little range anxiety when you’ve been used to filling up at ease on regular fuel, but modern EVs promise to run for between 150 and 200 miles in real-world use when fully charged. That figure does vary, depending on which model you opt for, but future models are likely to offer upwards of 300 miles.

Of course, using the air con, heaters and other battery draining in-car features will reduce that range further still, as will cold weather. But if you’re using the car for a commute, and there’s charging point at work, then you should never have to worry.

For long-distance journeys that are likely to stretch beyond that range, you’ll need to use a high-voltage power supply for at least half an hour for a reasonable recharge. Better still, plug it in overnight for a fully charged battery in the morning.

How much does it cost to recharge overnight?

Electric charging at home

You recharge your EV using the supplied adapter cable, which plugs straight into a special high voltage socket, which you can have fitted to the outside of your house or garage. The cost of the electricity used to recharge is then typically around £3 for a full charge, costing you roughly 2-3p per mile, depending on your EV’s range. Compare that to the cost of a tank of fuel, and you can start to see why this technology is such an appealing option to many motorists.

Where else can I charge an electric car?

If you’re struggling to find a suitable spot to park and charge, websites such as Zap-Map have them conveniently mapped out for you. Log on, and it will show you exactly where the chargers are located. These could be in town centres, supermarket car parks, motorway services stations and offices. It will also reveal how many charging points there are, the type of connector offered, and even user ratings.

As the availability of these charging points is often the deal breaker for motorists contemplating an EV, huge efforts have been made in the UK to keep their numbers rapidly rising year on year. At the last count, there were reportedly 7,000 charge point locations across the UK, providing nearly 12,000 devices and a massive 20,000 different connectors. On that note, if you’re unsure which connector you need, there’s also a search facility to find the right one for your model.

Of course, if you buy a Tesla then you’ll also have access to its ever-growing Supercharger network. Currently, there are around 1,400 sites that contain about 13,000 plug-in points between them. A half an hour charge here can add 170 miles to your Tesla’s range.

Where’s the best place to live in the UK if you own an EV?

electric Smart charging in London

Surprisingly, Scotland is in with a shout here! Although Greater London has 23.8 percent of all the UK’s connectors, Scotland is second with 14.1 percent. Next up is the South East with 13.8 percent.

In reality, the ease of locating a charging point in London is easier than anywhere else in the country, meaning there’s a little less risk of range anxiety if you own an EV in the South East.

Are there any roadside recovery services for electric cars?

Yes, most of the manufacturers offer their own bespoke breakdown and recovery package for the EVs that they sell. The major breakdown recovery companies, such as the AA and the RAC, offer EV-specific services as well.

What’s the typical lifespan of the battery?

The last thing you want is to end up with a car that, like a modern mobile phone, begins losing charge and becomes impossible to take out on anything but short stints. However, while EVs are not exactly new technology – let’s not forget that Sir Clive Sinclair was the trailblazer for electric car back in the 80s, when he unveiled the Sinclair C5 – they haven’t been on the road long enough to really know how those batteries will perform over, say, ten or twenty years.

Nissan Leaf

Some manufacturers – such as Renault and Nissan – offer a battery leasing scheme to alleviate those concerns. So if the cell fails, owners can automatically swap it for a new one. That also makes these cars much more attractive to second-hand buyers. While other brands will provide you with a separate warranty for the battery (typically five to eight years).

Are there any grants or subsidies for electric cars?

Yes! The Government’s Plug-In Car Grant offers up to £3,500 (or 35 percent) off the list price of an EV, while current Vehicle Excise Duty rules mean that EVs costing less than £40,000 are now the only cars that are road tax exempt.

Those with a higher price tag fall foul of a new Premium Model rate introduced in April 2017, however; albeit it at a discounted annual Vehicle Excise Duty of £310. That compares to a slightly higher rate of £450 a year for all other Premium Models. EVs are exempt from congestion charging in the Capital, and other cities which operate similar schemes, however.

Will an EV cost more to buy than its conventional fuel equivalent?

Volkswagen e-Up

Almost certainly. The increasing popularity of EVs means costs are coming down, gradually. But you should still expect to spend at least £20,000. As you can see below, the on the road price for the VW e-Up is around £7,000 more than its petrol-powered equivalent, even after deducting the government’s £3,500 Plug-In Car Grant. Although the price difference isn’t always this high between EVs and their conventionally-fueled equivalents, if you’re looking to reduce spend, opting for VW’s plug-in version of the Up might not make sense.

To be sure, you need to work out how long it would take to recoup your losses, opting for an electric version of this city car. To do that, you need to work out your annual fuel bill for both. Fortunately, we’ve done the maths for you (see below), and show that make an annual saving of £550 with the e-Up. Offset that against the £7,000 initial outlay, and you can see it would take around 13 years to recoup the extra initial outlay for the EV version of this car.

 VW High Up 1.0-litre 90PS (5-door)VW e-up 82PS electric motor
Price (OTR)£13,360£20,150^
Average fuel/charge cost120.6 per litre*£3
Combined mpg64.2mpg3p per mile
Annual fuel/charge cost^^£854£300

Of course, for most of Britain’s EV owners, the main decision to opt for an electric car is not a financial one. The big draw is these cars’ ability to ease motorists’ eco-conscience, thanks to their zero tailpipe emissions, and the impact that this ultimately has on reducing air pollution in the UK.

*Based on average fuel prices (March 2019)^Price includes £3,500 plug-in car grant^^Based on annual 10,000 mileage

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longestRange anxiety – the fear of not making it to your destination without recharging – is a big concern for those buying an electric vehicle (EV). We’ve done the research and ranked 20 battery EVs currently on sale in order of range when fully charged.

It’s important to note that we are listing purely battery-powered vehicles here, so plug-in hybrids are not included. The range figures are from New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) tests. A new ‘WLTP’ test-cycle is well on the way to phasing out NEDC results, and thus some of the newest cars on this list have estimated range results. Prices quoted include government EV grants where relevant.

Renault Twizy – NEDC range: 62 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

Is it a car? Well, technically the Renault Twizy is classed as a quadricycle, meaning it has to conform to limits on weight and power. Fitted with a 13kW (17hp) motor driving the rear wheels, the Twizy is capable of just 50mph. But being designed for city use suits it just fine, as does an NEDC range of 62 miles. Prices are also low, starting at £6,690, plus compulsory battery rental.

Citroen C-Zero – NEDC range: 93 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longestEssentially a rebadged version of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV – a car no longer sold in the UK – the C-Zero ups the power stakes to 49kW (67hp). The rear-mounted motor drives the back wheels, and is claimed to be capable of pushing the C-Zero to an 80mph top speed. Driving like that won’t help the 93-mile range, though. It costs from £16,020.

Peugeot iOn – NEDC range: 93 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

Identical to the C-Zero in looks and powertrain, the Peugeot iOn also matches its 93-mile NEDC range. Similarly, it takes nine hours to charge from a domestic plug socket, but can be topped up to 50% capacity in just 15 minutes when connected to a rapid charger. The iOn costs £15,995 – big money for a car that has made only a small impact on the UK electric car market.

Volkswagen e-Up – NEDC range: 99 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

Although Volkswagen is now fully embracing EVs, until very recently it chose to base electric cars on existing models. Out goes the regular petrol engine from the Up, and in comes a 60kW (82hp) electric motor powering the front wheels. Rapid charging will fill the 18.7kWh battery in just 30 minutes, and the e-Up enjoys a range of standard kit including parking sensors, cruise control and DAB radio. But, with a price of £21,140, this is a very expensive city car.

Smart EQ – NEDC range: 99 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

We’ve had the pleasure of little Smart cars on our roads for 20 years now. It seems like a car that should always have been electric-powered. As it happens, electric Smarts are available now, in three flavours no less: four-door ForFour, ForTwo Coupe and ForTwo Cabriolet. With less than 100 miles range, they’re not exactly long-distance haulers, but they’re certainly capable city cars. Pricey, though, with the ForTwo coupe kicking off the range from £20,920.

Volkswagen e-Golf – NEDC range: 144 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

It might look like a Golf but, as with the e-Up, this is anything but a normal VW underneath. There’s a 100kW (136hp) electric motor driving the front wheels, which makes the e-Golf capable of 0-62mph in mild-to-warm 9.6 seconds. The 214lb ft of torque also helps acceleration feel brisk, even if top speed is only 93mph. An NEDC range of 144 miles is just about reasonable, but the price is steep. The e-Golf starts from £32,730.

Morgan EV3 – NEDC range: 150 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

We’re still waiting on a finalised production version of this battery-powered Morgan 3 Wheeler, but it’s too cool not to include. Morgan claims the EV3 will have a range of 150 miles, along with the ability to hit 62mph in nine seconds and a top speed of 90mph. With a planned weight of less than 500kg, and packing a 20kWh battery, those figures are fully believable.

Kia Soul EV – NEDC range: 155 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

The Soul is a fairly unique looking vehicle to begin with, so Kia making it electric probably shouldn’t seem surprising. More startling is the price tag of £25,995. That represents a jump of more than £2,000 from the most expensive petrol-engined Soul, and makes this a direct competitor to premium rivals like the e-Golf. Notably, the EV still comes with a seven-year/100,000-mile warranty like any other Kia model, which is a big deal in the EV world.

Nissan e-NV200 Combi – NEDC range: 174 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

Ignore the fact it looks like a van, and that it even comes in van form. Nissan wants you to think of the e-NV200 Combi as an electric-powered people carrier. An ‘EVMPV’, if you will. With sliding rear doors, and seating for up to seven, it’s certainly one of the more practical ways to experience battery propulsion. The 0-62mph dash takes 14 seconds and top speed is just 76mph, but we doubt this is high on the list of priorities for any buyer – unlike the £30,480 list price.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric – NEDC range: 174 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

The Ioniq isn’t just one model. No, Hyundai has taken the path of building three versions of the same car: hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery EV. With an 88kW (120hp) motor, the Ioniq is one of the few lower-end models with a top speed exceeding 100mph – admittedly by just 3mph. It also features a Sport Mode, which drops the 0-62mph time to 9.9 seconds when engaged. Keenly priced at £25,745, the Ioniq shows the benefits of designing an EV from the ground up, rather than converting a conventionally-powered model.

BMW i3 42kwh – NEDC range: 225 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

If you want a motorsport-style carbon-fibre chassis, rear-wheel-drive and 19-inch alloy wheels, an electric car might not be your first choice. But those features are exactly what the BMW i3 offers, along with an NEDC range of 225 miles with the recently revised 42kWh battery pack. You’ll also get 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds, funky ‘suicide’ rear doors and the benefit of a premium badge. Prices for the updated model haven’t been confirmed yet, but the starting list price for the 33kwh car was £27,880.

Nissan Leaf 40kWh – NEDC range: 235 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

From £25,190, you now get an NEDC range of 235 miles in the new 2018 Leaf. The updated looks are less apologetic, the cabin is much more attractive and the real world range of 150 miles is workable. The second-generation Leaf is a major step on indeed. The e-Pedal makes driving easier than ever, too, with regenerative deceleration calibrated such that normal braking is just a matter of lifting off. What’s more, a 60kWh version with even more range should be here soon.

Renault Zoe R110 ZE 40 – NEDC range: 250+ miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

Fitted with the larger ZE 40 battery and now available with the new R110 motor, the Zoe can be charged from 0-80 percent in just 65 minutes via an appropriate charging station and will cover an NEDC-equivalent 250 miles – real world, that’s around 180 miles. The old Q90 motor is still available, although overall range is compromised slightly. The main question is whether you rent or buy the batteries. The former leaves a starting price of £18,420, the latter more than £24,000.

Mercedes-Benz EQC400 80kWh – NEDC range: 280 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

Beating the Audi E-tron to the punch was the EQC crossover SUV from Mercedes-Benz. Packing a comparatively small 80kWh battery, on balance, the EQC’s 280-ish NEDC equivalent range is impressive. While not using all of its 400hp, you can expect around 250 miles of real-world driving. Price-wise it shouldn’t be too far north of £60,000 when it arrives in 2019. Expect a veritable tidal wave of EQ-branded electric models from Mercedes going forward.

DS 3 Crossback E-Tense – NEDC range: 280 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

Fresh from its Paris Motor Show debut is the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense. It’s the car that suggests an EV variant should be the norm. It packs a 50kWh battery and is good for an NEDC-rated 280-mile range. Not bad, but not quite up there with certain Korean rivals. It’s got French style on its side, though. No prices just yet, athough it shouldn’t cost much more than the Hyundai/Kia dream team…

Audi E-tron 95kWh – NEDC range: 300+ miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

The freshly-revealed Audi E-Tron is a relatively late entry to the EV market for a marque that’s been so publicly curious about electric power over the last decade. Still, better late than never. The E-tron looks promising to say the least. An official NEDC number hasn’t actually been quoted, but based on Audi’s 250-280-mile post-homologation estimates, that could reasonably see it past an NEDC-rated 300 miles. As well as that, you get up to 400hp and cameras instead of wing mirrors for your £71,000 or so. It marks the start of a 12-car Audi EV onslaught.

Jaguar I-Pace – NEDC range: 336 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

The Jaguar I-Pace has the Germans licked for now. Not only has it got to market months earlier, it also offers what seems to be superior range. While Audi and Mercedes are talking about between 250 and 280 miles of homologated range, Jag was there months ago with 280+ real-world miles or 336 miles on the NEDC cycle. Couple that with 400hp and startling looks to make the relatively humdrum Germans fade into the background and you’ve got a leader in this fledgling £60,000-£80,000 premium EV segment.

Tesla Model X P100D – NEDC range: 336 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

There are of course many variants in the Tesla range. The 90D Model X will get you 303 miles of NEDC driving. If you really need to make six passengers vomit profusely, but with the guilt-free feeling of using electric power, the Model X P100D is what you need. The ‘P’ stands for performance, and means a 100kWh battery pack mated to uprated electric motors. The result is a range of 336 miles, but a 0-60mph time of 2.9 seconds is the bigger party-trick for this £129,200 SUV.

Hyundai Kona Electric 64kWh – NEDC range: 339 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

Devoid of I-Pace levels of fanfare, Tesla levels of hype or E-tron levels of teasing, comes the humble circa-£30,000 Hyundai Kona Electric 64kWh. It’s a silent revolution, obviously in terms of the powertrain but also in terms of fuss. It’s delivering premium EV range for half the price. You aren’t getting better range-per-pound anywhere else. There’s also a 40kWh model that manages an NEDC-rated 214 miles for around £5,000 less.

Kia e-Niro 64kWh – NEDC range: 339 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

Borrowing much from its Hyundai Kona Electric sister car, the Kia e-Niro is just as impressive. A circa-£30,000 price point when the 64kWh model arrives seems tall for a Kia. However, as with the Hyundai, it’s I-Pace-beating range for half the price. If you value substance over style, these Korean EV twins rule the world right now.

Tesla Model S 100D Dual Motor AWD – NEDC range: 393 miles

Going the distance: electric car range from shortest to longest

Forgo the need to get ‘Ludicrous’ with your Model S and you can save £41,900 – and gain an additional 12 miles in NEDC range. The long-distance EV still achieves supercar-rivalling performance and, at present, offers the furthest you can go in an EV on a single charge. As with all the cars featured here, remember the NEDC range is purely for comparison purposes. Real-world figures will vary due to weather, driving style, and traffic conditions.

Read more:

Charging an electric car: everything you need to know

Charging an electric car: everything you need to know

Charging an electric car: everything you need to know

If estimates are to be believed, one million of us could be driving electric cars within the next four years. Like it or not, it’s probably time to consider whether an electric vehicle could work for you.

The actual process of driving an electric car is very simple. Many are very similar to petrol or diesels in the way that they drive albeit with an automatic transmission and instant torque. They generally feel more relaxing than equivalent petrols or diesels, but they can also offer surprising performance.

It’s recharging that’s a little more difficult. Rather than simply stopping at a petrol station and filling your car’s tank within a few minutes, charging an electric car can be a time-consuming process. But it doesn’t necessarily need to be difficult and, for many of us, it’s easy enough to fit it into our lives.

How do you charge an electric car?

Charging an electric car: everything you need to know

Think of charging an electric car the same as charging your phone. You can do it using a simple three-pin domestic plug socket, leaving it overnight for a fully-charged car when you wake up the next day.

Although it depends on your electricity supply, the specific car and, of course, how flat the batteries are, it typically takes around eight hours to charge an EV using a three-pin socket.

For faster charging, a professional can install a home charging point. This would normally cost around £1,000, but there’s currently a £500 government grant available for EV drivers. This can reduce charging times by up to 50 percent – meaning you can have a fully-charged EV in about four hours.

But that’s longer than filling up with petrol…

Charging an electric car: everything you need to know

True, most people don’t have four hours to waste waiting for their car to charge. But with the range of many electric cars (i.e. how far they will travel on a charge) now exceeding 200 miles, ask yourself how often you exceed that in one day? If your daily mileage is usually less than 200 miles, just charge your electric car at home overnight.

For those occasions when you do travel further afield, there are alternatives to charging at home. There’s a network of more than 14,000 chargers at around 5,000 different locations around the UK, with the number of fast and rapid chargers growing quickly.

Rapid chargers are usually found at motorway service stations. They can top an electric car up to 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes  ideal if you’re on a long journey and want to break it up with a coffee and a refill. They do cost, though, with Ecotricity (the firm that owns UK’s rapid charging network) implementing a £3 connection charge, plus 17p per unit of electricity used.

Alternatively, there are a number of slower public chargers available to use for free. These include more than 7,000 fast chargers, often found in shopping centres and supermarket car parks. These can charge an electric car in a couple of hours  perfect if you’re spending an afternoon shopping.

Tell me about charging networks

Charging an electric car: everything you need to know

Wouldn’t it be handy if there was a streamlined charging network around the UK? Several different companies run public chargers across the country, meaning you may need various different cards or methods to access them.

The best thing we did when we ran a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV for six months was to obtain a Polar Plus card from Chargemaster. For £7.85 a month, this gave us access to more than 6,000 charging points across the UK. This live map showed us where we could use the card  including live information  and then all we had to do was swipe the card and plug in.

The majority of chargers at motorway service stations are operated by Ecotricity which, as we’ve mentioned, does charge you for a, er… charge. Tesla owners, meanwhile, can use the brand’s own Supercharger network.

Read more:

Renault Zoe

Electric cars: what you need to know

Renault Zoe

In a depressed new car market, electric cars are a rare beacon of hope for the carmakers. Year-to-date registrations are down 9.3%, but sales of alternative-fueled vehicles are up 41.0%.

Sales of pure electric cars are a significant factor, with registrations up 37.3% to 11,127 units by the end of September. All of which means electric cars are emerging from the shadows of petrol and diesel cars, switching from niche to mainstream.

The threat of anti-diesel legislation and concerns over public health have led to a backlash against diesel, which is fuelling a rise in the number of people considering an electric car. With this in mind, what do you need to know if you’re considering making the switch?

What is an electric car?

The electric vehicle is nothing new. In fact, electric cars date back to the late 19th and early 20th century, and electricity was once the dominant means of propulsion. For many people, the one and only experience of an electric vehicle is the sound of the milk float delivering fresh pints to our doorsteps.

But today’s electric cars are a far cry from the milkman’s chariot. The technology and infrastructure have moved on to such an extent, an EV makes practical sense for a large number of motorists.

An electric car is just that: a car that runs on electric power. An electric motor sources power from a battery, which can be recharged by plugging the car into a power source.

Is an electric car right for you?

As the technology moves on and the infrastructure continues to grow, there’s no doubt that an electric car is becoming a realistic prospect for a greater number of motorists. But there are some questions to be asked before you take the plunge.

Do you have access to a charging point?

Realistically, you’ll need to install a home charging point if you’re buying an electric car. The good news is that some manufacturers will offer a free charging kit as part of a finance package, while grants are available towards the cost of installing a charge point.

If you haven’t got access to a garage or parking space with access to a plug socket, an electric car will be a non-starter. Trailing a charging cable across a pavement is not a good idea, while carmakers advise against using an extension lead.

Alternatively, you could charge up at work, but if a charging point isn’t available at home or the office, we’d suggest an electric car isn’t for you. Not yet, anyway.

Daily commute

Once upon a time, 100 miles was the maximum range you could expect from an electric car, but cars like the Tesla Model S, and to a lesser extent, new versions of the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf are able to travel much further.

Even so, if your daily commute is further than 100 miles, we’d recommend a plug-in hybrid, rather than a pure electric vehicle. An EV is best suited for shorter commutes, trips to the station and predominantly urban use.


While you can buy a new petrol car for as little as £6,000, you’ll need to fork out at least £15,000 for an electric vehicle, and that’s before factoring in the cost of the battery.

And because EV technology is still relatively new, the used car market isn’t loaded with cheaper alternatives. More on this later.


Purchase price

Generally speaking, electric cars are more expensive to buy than their petrol or diesel counterparts, but the tide is shifting in favour of EVs. Taking the Renault Twizy quadricycle out of the equation, you’ll need to find at least £15,000 for a brand new electric car.

Looks good on paper, but be warned: the purchase price doesn’t necessarily include the battery, which will be leased on a monthly basis. For example, battery rental on the Renault Zoe costs from £49 to £110 per month, depending on spec and mileage. That adds between £588 and £1,320 a year.

You can purchase the battery outright on the Nissan Leaf, but it adds £5,000 to the purchase price, taking the cost of the cheapest Leaf 24kWh to £21,680. There are pros and cons associated with leasing or buying a battery – more on this later.

As a guide, these are the entry-level prices for electric cars on sale in the UK (correct as of October 2017):

Renault Twizy: £6,995
Renault Zoe: £14,245
Peugeot iOn: £15,995
Smart Fortwo Electric Drive: £16,420
Nissan Leaf 24kWh: £16,680
Nissan e-NV200: £19,403
Volkswagen e-Up: £20,780
Hyundai Ioniq: £24,995
Kia Soul: £25,495
Volkswagen e-Golf: £27,690
BMW i3: £29,570
Tesla Model 3: $35,000 (estimated)
Tesla Model S: £60,200
Tesla Model X: £66,000


Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Government Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG)

The prices listed above include the government’s Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG), which is currently set at 35% of the purchase price, up to a maximum of £4,500. To qualify for the maximum (Category 1) grant, vehicles must emit less than 50g/km CO2 and be able to travel at least 70 miles on electric power.

Scrappage discounts

The threat of anti-diesel legislation has prompted many carmakers into launching so-called scrappage schemes, designed to encourage the purchase of cleaner vehicles. The deals can be more lucrative on electric and hybrid cars.

For example, Volkswagen is offering £5,500 off the price of an e-Golf when you trade in an old diesel vehicle. The saving is £3,300 on the e-Up and is in addition to the government’s plug-in vehicle grant.

Under Nissan’s ‘Switch Scheme’, owners of cars built before 2010 can claim up to £5,000 on top of the car’s trade-in value if they agree for it to be exchanged. It means that the Nissan Leaf is more affordable than ever.

But there’s more because Nissan is also offering a discount on an approved-used Leaf. Buyers will receive up to £2,000 on top of the trade-in value and a special three-year, 3.9% APR PCP scheme to spread the payment. You could pay as little as £87 a month and receive a free home charging kit worth £279.

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED)

The new Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) tax bands, introduced in April 2017, eliminated the zero-rate of tax for all but the cleanest of vehicles. In fact, only zero-emissions vehicles are exempt from paying any tax.

That said, all cars above £40,000 pay a £310 annual surcharge for five years starting in year two, which affects the rate of tax for the Tesla Model S and Model X.

London Congestion Charge/T-charge

The London Congestion Charge is a £11.50 daily charge for driving a vehicle within the charging zone between 7pm and 6pm, Monday to Friday. This fee can be reduced by £1 a day with Auto Pay, which costs £10 to register per vehicle.

But worse is to come for motorists entering London, with a new Toxicity Charge (T-charge) for older, more polluting vehicles. From 23 October 2017, vehicles that don’t comply with the Euro IV exhaust standard as a minimum will be charged £10 for entering central London.

This means that, in effect, all vehicles registered before 2006 will have to pay to enter central London, with the T-charge on top of the Congestion Charge. Electric cars are exempt from both fees: a potential saving of £21.50 a day.

The T-charge will be in force until the Ultra Low Emission Zone is introduced in 2019.

With politicians and local authorities seeking to clean up our urban areas, you can expect other towns and cities to follow the London lead. Soon, zero- or low-emissions cars might be the only vehicles welcome in city centres.

Buying a used electric car

With the electric car in its infancy, you’re not exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to buying a used EV. At the time of writing, only 744 of the 450,000 or so cars for sale on Auto Trader were electric, of which 696 were used or nearly new.

You’ll also need to factor in the cost of battery leasing, especially if buying a Renault electric vehicle, as 95% of the French firm’s EV product has a leased battery. Conversely, only 5% of Nissan Leaf product featured a battery purchased on a lease.

If the used electric car includes a battery purchased outright, there’s the worry of how well it keeps its charge. If the battery is past its best, the cost of replacement could be enormous, and as the car gets older, more than the vehicle is worth.

Battery: lease or purchase?

For most people, leasing a battery makes more sense, as it removes any concerns about resale value or battery life. The charging infrastructure and limited range mean that many electric cars cover limited miles and the tariffs tend to reflect this.

We’ve provided examples based on two versions of the Renault Zoe.

Renault Zoe 22kWh
Up to 4,500 miles: £49 per month
Up to 6,000 miles: £59 per month
Up to 7,500 miles: £69 per month
Up to 9,000 miles: £79 per month
Up to 10,500 miles: £89 per month

Renault Zoe Z.E 4.0
Up to 4,500 miles: £59 per month
Up to 6,000 miles: £69 per month
Up to 7,500 miles: £79 per month
Up to 9,000 miles: £89 per month
Up to 10,500 miles: £99 per month
Unlimited: £110 per month

Based on a three-year contract at 10,500 miles per annum, a Renault Zoe Expression Nav 22kWh will cost £14,245 to buy and £3,204 in battery hire, providing a total cost of £17,449. Bought outright, the cost would be £19,845.

When leasing, Renault will provide a battery performance guarantee to at least 75% of its original capacity. If it drops below 75%, Renault will repair or replace the battery. When buying outright, Renault will provide a guarantee of eight years or 100,000 miles, as well as guaranteeing the battery to at least 66% of its capacity.


Nissan Leaf charger

Charging an electric car can be done at home, at work or at a public charging point. According to Zap-Map, there are currently charging points at 4,887 different locations in the UK, providing a total of 7,535 devices and 13,971 connectors.

These figures are up from 4,003 devices and 10,839 connectors in November 2016, which proves that the infrastructure is catching up with demand. But the overall figure tells only half the story: what’s just as important is the type of charger available at any given location.

There are three types of charger available in the UK: Slow, Fast and Rapid. These can be summarised as follows:

Slow chargers (3kw)

As recently as five years ago this was the most common type of charging point in the UK, but today, the slow charger is in the minority. The clue is in the name: a full charge could take anything between six and 12 hours. Most electric cars are supplied with a charger allowing you charge using a standard 13-amp three-pin plug.

A slow charger is best reserved for charging overnight when at home or during the day at the office. A home charging point is recommended, with some carmakers incentivising purchases via a free home installation.

Fast chargers (7-22kw)

You’ll find fast chargers in supermarket car parks and shopping centres, or somewhere an electric car can be left for a more extended period of time. A 7kW charger will recharge an EV in 3-5 hours, while a 22kw charger could complete the job in less than a couple of hours.

Today, the fast charger is the most common charging point in the UK, with 7kW home chargers the norm for electric car households, especially those with 80-100A supplies.

Rapid chargers (43, 50 or 120kW)

A rapid charger can provide up to 80% of charge in just 20-40 minutes, making them ideally suited to motorway service stations. 

Chargemaster – the self-proclaimed ‘biggest name in electric vehicle charging’ – could install a charging point at your home within two weeks, with prices starting from £279 for a 3kW charger. Its entry-level Homecharge point is 60% faster than a 13A plug.

A 7kW charger is three times faster than a 13A plug and costs £354, while a 22kW charger – 10 times more rapid than a 13A plug – costs £1,200. The Homecharge points are suitable for indoor and outdoor use and covered by a three-year warranty.

Cost of charging

According to Pod Point, it’ll cost around £3.64 for a full charge when charging an electric car overnight at home. Assuming a typical range of 100 miles, that equates to less than 4p per mile.

Many public charging points remain free, although you’ll have to pay for rapid chargers, such as those found at motorway service stations. Similarly, while Tesla offers free access to its Supercharger network for Model S owners, it will introduce ‘pay per use’ charging on the Model 3.

Ecotricity claims that its electric vehicle charging network is the ‘most comprehensive in Europe’, featuring around 300 electric charging points. Each charging session costs 17p per kWh of electricity used, plus a £3 connection fee.

Polar – the UK’s largest EV charging network – provides access to 5,000 public charging points via a subscription service. The first three months’ membership is free, after which you pay £7.85 per month, which provides access to all charging points, 80% of which are free to use.

Pod Point suggests budgeting £6.50 for a 30-minute rapid charge at a motorway service station.


The range you can expect from an electric car is dependent on the battery, the time of year and the style of driving. For example, the driving range will drop considerably in colder weather. Renault estimates up 186 miles in the summer and 124 miles in the winter for the Zoe Z.E. 40.

As an overview, here are the official New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) figures, as provided by the manufacturers. In all cases, you’re unlikely to achieve the claimed figures.

Peugeot iOn/Citroen C-Zero: 93 miles
Volkswagen e-Up: 93 miles
Smart Fortwo Electric: 96 miles
Nissan e-NV200: 106 miles
Nissan Leaf 24kWh: 124 miles
BMW i3: 124 miles
Kia Soul EV: 132 miles
Renault Zoe 22kWh: 149 miles
Nissan Leaf 30kWh: 155 miles
Hyundai Ioniq: 174 miles
Volkswagen e-Golf: 186 miles
BMW i3 33kWh: 195 miles
Tesla Model 3: 220-310 miles
Renault Zoe Z.E. 40: 250 miles
Tesla Model X 75D: 259 miles
Tesla Model S 75D: 304 miles
Tesla Model X P100D: 336 miles
Tesla Model X 100D: 351 miles
Tesla Model S P100D: 381 miles
Tesla Model S 100D: 393 miles

Servicing and maintenance

Electric car servicing

A pure electric car has three main components – the motor, the charger and the inverter – which meaning servicing and maintenance is much more straightforward and cheaper than on a petrol or diesel car.

Using data from KeeResources, Go Ultra Low published cost comparison information for electric cars versus their petrol and diesel equivalents. The data – based on four years and 60,000 miles – is quite telling:

BMW i3: £2,264.05 (total maintenance)
BMW 118d: £2,929.94
Cost saving for EV: £665.89

Hyundai Ioniq: £1,543.20
Hyundai Ioniq h-GDi: £2,120.88
Cost saving for EV: £577.68

Kia Soul EV: £1,203.57
Kia Soul GDI: £1,570.86
Cost saving for EV: £367.29

Volkswagen e-Golf: £1,730.69
Volkswagen Golf GTD: £2,965.29
Cost saving for EV: £1,234.60

In all cases, the cost-saving needs to be balanced with the initial outlay, which tends to be higher for an electric vehicle, but it proves that maintenance and servicing should be easier to manage.


Electric vehicles typically have between five and eight years’ warranty on the electric motor and battery components. For the rest of the car, the length of warranty depends on the manufacturer – ranging from three years and 60,000 miles to seven years and 100,000 miles.

The battery guarantee will also depend on the manufacturer. For example, Renault will guarantee performance to at least 85% of its original capacity, or pay for repair or replacement, when you lease the battery. If you’re buying outright, the battery is covered for eight years or 100,000 miles, along with a performance guarantee to at least 66% of its original charge capacity.

As the technology improves, batteries are becoming more robust. Owners forums are a good place to discover real-world experiences of EV owners. For example, we discovered that a Tesla Model S will retain between 90 and 95% capacity, even after 93 miles. After 150,000 miles, only 15% capacity will have been lost.


Euro NCAP conducted the first crash test of an EV in 2011 when the Mitsubishi i-MiEV was awarded a four-star rating. Other EVs have since been tested, but it’s worth noting that a Euro NCAP test in 2017 is more rigorous than the equivalent test in 2011.

Here’s a list of pure electric vehicles tested by Euro NCAP, together with the date tested and star rating:

Five stars

Hyundai Ioniq (2016)
Tesla Model S (2014)
Renault Zoe (2013)
Nissan Leaf (2012)

Four stars

BMW i3 (2013)
Kia Soul EV (2014)
Citroen C-Zero (2011)
Peugeot iOn (2011)
Mitsubishi i-MiEV (2011)
Renault Fluence: 4 stars (2011)

Three stars

Nissan e-NV200: 3 stars (2014)

Latest electric car news

In what is seen as a significant step forward for electric cars in the UK, Shell is to install vehicle charging points at its petrol filling stations.

Drivers will be able to recharge 80% of their battery in 30 minutes at forecourts in London, Surrey and Derby, with a further 10 service stations to feature rapid chargers by the end of the year.

“There’s no doubt the electric vehicle market is developing fast. And we want to offer customers choice: it doesn’t really matter what kind of vehicle they’re driving, we want them to drive into a Shell station, refuel in whatever capacity the fuel is,” said Jane Lindsay-Green, future fuels manager at Shell UK.

Meanwhile, the government has introduced a bill to make electric charging points mandatory at large petrol stations and motorway service areas.

The Automated and Electric Vehicles bills will double the number of charging locations in the UK, leading to multiple points at some of the busiest areas.

Transport minister, John Hayes, said: “We want the UK to be the best place in the world to do business and a leading hub for modern transport technology, which is why we are introducing the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill in Parliament and investing more than £1.2 billion in the industry.

“This bill will aid the construction of greater infrastructure to support the growing demand for automated and electric vehicles as we embrace this technology and move into the future.”

NEXT> The best value new electric cars for 2017

Britain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

Britain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

Britain’s most wanted hybrid and electric carsWhen you clambered out of bed this morning, were you desperately hoping to discover what were Auto Trader’s most viewed electric and hybrid adverts in 2016? If so, we bring good news, as here are the answers, kicking off with the most viewed hybrids, presented in reverse order. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

10. Honda Civic HybridBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

Remember the Honda Civic Hybrid? Probably not, because it lived in the shadow of the more popular Toyota Prius, but it makes a terrific used buy. The Mk2 is powered by the 1.3-litre engine from the Honda Jazz, which works with an electric motor to deliver the economy of a 1.1-litre car and the performance of a 1.6. Prices range from £1,250 to £6,000.

9. Lexus GS 450hBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

The petrol-electric 450h is the flagship of the Lexus GS range, powered by a 3.5-litre V6 engine mated to a CVT transmission. New, you’ll spend upwards of £52,995 on a GS 450h, but used prices start at £4,000. That’s an awful lot of car for the money.

8. Mercedes-Benz E-ClassBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

Whether you’re looking at a used E300 diesel-hybrid or a brand new E350e petrol-hybrid, the Mercedes-Benz is a popular search on Auto Trader. The new E350e plug-in hybrid pairs a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with an electric motor to deliver CO2 emissions of just 49g/km. Prices start from £45,510.

7. Lexus RX 400hBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

The Lexus RX 400h arrived in 2005 and immediately struck a chord with eco-conscious SUV drivers. The petrol-electric version of the RX paired a 3.3-litre V6 engine with an electric motor to deliver best-in-class fuel economy and brisk performance. Used prices range from £4,000 for a high-miler to £14,000 for a more recent example. These things are very good at holding their value.

6. Lexus IS 300hBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

Lexus’ near dominance of the hybrid sector continues with the IS 300h. New, you’ll spend £29,995 on the entry-level IS 300h SE, and in return you’ll see CO2 emissions of 97g/km and a claimed 67.2mpg. Used prices start from around £12,000.

5. BMW i8Britain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

We take a break from this Lexus party to bring you a slice of the future. Thanks to its supercar-styling, the BMW i8 is the poster child of the hybrid sector, with a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor combining to create a total system output of 357hp. New, you’ll pay upwards of £104,660, while used prices start from a not unreasonable £60,000.

4. Toyota Auris HybridBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

Meanwhile, back in the real world… A Toyota Auris Hybrid will set you back at least £20,895, and in return you could see up to 80.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 79g/km. The Auris Hybrid pairs a 1.8-litre petrol engine with an electric motor, and while it’s not the most exciting car on the planet, it does a reasonable job of protecting it. It should be reliable, too.

3. Lexus RX 450hBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

We return to Lexus, where we find the RX making its second appearance. The current RX is available with a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine in the form of the 200t, but the 450h petrol-hybrid is far more interesting. The 3.5-litre V6 engine and electric motor combine to deliver 262hp, whilst delivering CO2 emissions of just 120g/km. Other SUVs are available, but we doubt any will be as dependable as a Lexus RX.

2. Lexus CT 200hBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

The self-proclaimed “world’s first full hybrid luxury compact” is the most affordable entry point into the Lexus brand and a rival to the likes of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, BMW 1 Series and Audi A3. It’s not as exciting as Lexus would have you believe, but it is well equipped and should be reliable. Prices start from £22,495.

1. Toyota PriusBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

So here it is: the most popular hybrid on Auto Trader. We’re offering no prizes if you guessed that the Toyota Prius would be sitting at the top of the hybrid tree as it has become the near brand generic for eco cars. You can pick up a really early Prius for around a grand, while new prices start from £24,100.

Top 10 electric carsBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

So that’s the top 10 most viewed hybrids on Auto Trader in 2016, but what about electric cars? Read on to discover the most popular EVs…

10. Mitsubishi i-MiEVBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV was one of the first all-electric cars to be available in the UK, but sales suffered from a high price tag, buyer apathy and a relatively small real-world range of 80-100 miles. New, you’d have paid around £30,000 for this pioneering EV, although the price was later reduced. Only one used i-MiEV is for sale and it could be yours for £5,500.

9. Peugeot iOnBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

The Peugeot iOn is essentially a rebadged version of the i-MiEV but, crucially, it’s still available to buy new. The price is a not unreasonable £15,995 and Peugeot claims you could drive up to 93 miles on a full charge. The game has moved on, which is why the i-MiEV, iOn and Citroen C-Zero were never big sellers.

8. Volkswagen e-GolfBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

Take a wander through the streets of London and you’ll spot countless Volkswagen e-Golfs charging by the roadside. Right now, you can buy the all-electric Golf for £275 per month after a deposit of £7,034.77.

7. Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric DriveBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

Alternatively, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is available for £299 per month after a £2,999 deposit and £7,194.57 dealer contribution. The Electric Drive will sprint to 62mph in 7.9 seconds and offers a range of up to 124 miles.

6. Renault FluenceBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

The Renault Fluence was a short-lived EV available in the UK from 2012 to 2013. New, you’d have paid £17,850 after a £5,000 government grant, but that price didn’t include the cost of leasing the battery from Renault. Something to factor in if you’re thinking of spending between £3,000 and £4,000 on a used Fluence.

5. Renault TwizyBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

The Renault Twizy: there’s quite literally nothing else like it on the road. It’s a bit of a hard sell in the UK, not least because you have to pay extra for the doors! Prices start from £6,690, but you’ll need to factor in the cost of battery hire, of which prices range from £45 to £67 a month, depending on mileage and length of contract.

4. Renault ZoeBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

And so to the ‘big four’ of the electric car world, starting with this: the Renault Zoe. The popular EV has recently been updated and now offers an NEDC range of 250 miles, with real-life estimates of 186 miles in the summer and 124 miles in the winter. Prices start from £13,995 after the government grant, but you’ll need to find at least £59 per month for the ZE 40 battery hire.

3. BMW i3Britain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

In standard form the BMW i3 offers a range of up to 125 miles, or 206 miles if you opt for the Range Extender model. It’s currently available from £269 a month after a £3,999 initial rental. Alternatively, used prices start from around £15,000.

2. Nissan LeafBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

The Nissan Leaf is available in two configurations: a Leaf 24kWh offering 124 miles of range, and a Leaf 30kWh offering 155 miles. That said, as in all electric vehicles, you’ll need to drive with care in order to achieve these targets. Right now, Nissan is offering a Leaf Tekna 24kWh for £199 per month with a £1,000 Nissan deposit contribution. The offer includes free insurance and servicing.

1. Tesla Model SBritain’s most wanted hybrid and electric cars

Visit the Tesla website and you’ll find a very handy range calculator. Adjust the speed, outside temperature, size of wheels to discover the impact they have on the real-world range. Thanks to a network of Superchargers and a realistic range, the Model S makes EV ownership a realistic proposition. It doesn’t come cheap, mind.