Range figures for electric cars need ‘urgent rethink’

Range figures of electric cars need an ‘urgent rethink’So-called ‘range anxiety’ remains foremost in the minds of many electric car buyers. To help, engineering and testing consultancy Horiba Mira reckons an overhaul of how range is calculated is urgently needed, with more realistic figures the intended goal.

“Increasing the number of people willing to switch to EVs will largely depend on a positive change in customer perceptions; particularly in tackling ‘range anxiety’,” said Ben Gale of Horiba Mira. 

“It is therefore imperative that government and EV manufacturers respond accordingly, to accelerate EV adoption.”

Range figures of electric cars need an ‘urgent rethink’

A report by the company says conventional ways of testing how far a charged EV will travel need to be reviewed. At the moment, a car that is claimed to have a 300-mile range might manage 250 miles in the ‘real world’. 

Horiba Mira considers current testing conditions to be unrealistic. Temperature, driving style, the type of journey and other factors all have a dramatic effect on range. Jaguar has recognised this with its online tool for I-Pace owners, which helps estimate range in varying conditions.

Range figures of electric cars need an ‘urgent rethink’

“At present, the use of insufficient range data in real-world conditions is playing a part in fuelling range anxiety, putting many motorists off making the switch to EVs,” Ben added.

“Globally, vehicles are tested at just one temperature – one that is considered the ‘optimum’ for vehicle comfort and lithium-ion batteries – but when you add in air conditioning or heating requirements, additional battery power is required, depleting the published range of an EV at an alarming rate.”

Can an electric car really save you money?

Can electric cars save you money?

Claims about electric cars saving you money usually pertain to how much they cost to ‘fill up’.

Tesla’s website has a calculator that shows how much you pay for charging, allowing comparisons with a tankful of petrol or diesel. The figures are impressive, but does an electric car actually save you money overall?

MoneySupermarket has crunched the numbers to find out which fuel type ends up the cheapest over the ownership of a car. The results are interesting.

Electric versus fuel: buying and running

Can electric cars save you money?

The overall figures are fairly damning for electric cars. At present, EVs are around £10,000 more expensive to buy than petrol-engined cars. Diesels are a bit more expensive, but still markedly cheaper than an EV upfront.

Where it gets interesting is lifetime running costs. This includes servicing and ‘fuelling’. Over the course of a year, MoneySupermarket reckons an EV could save you £500 in ‘fuel’ versus petrol, and £425 versus diesel.

Electric car servicing is cheaper, too, costing £167 on average, compared with £228 for petrol and £309 for diesel. Add up the average cost of tax, which is £143, and you’ve got an overall annual saving of £711 against petrol, and £710 against diesel.

A petrol car will cost you around £10,000 to run over six years on average, by comparison with around £6,400 for an EV. Over six years, including both purchase and running, a petrol car costs an average of £26,941. A diesel costs £36,698. Electric, meanwhile, averages out at £37,699.

Can electric cars save you money?

Assuming that expenses stay the same, including servicing, fuel and electricity, over 12 years the saving is £7,200 in an EV. However, that still doesn’t make up the difference versus a petrol car.

In fact, it would take around 14 years for your EV to comparatively ‘pay you back’.

Why people haven’t switched yet

Can electric cars save you money?

The above cost is reflected in people’s reasoning around electric cars: 51 percent would switch if they were cheaper to buy.

Inconvenience is the second major factor, with 40 percent saying they hadn’t switched to an EV because of the lack of charging infrastructure.

Then again, fuel will get more expensive and electric cars are getting cheaper. The jumping-off point is coming, sooner or later, for most car buyers. It just needs the numbers to add up – even if they don’t yet. 

The slowest depreciating electric cars

Jaguar I-PaceDepreciation is the difference between the price you pay for a new car and the amount you receive when you come to sell it.

Most cars lose between 50 and 60 percent of their value in the first three years, with the biggest hit taking place in the first 12 months.

Here, we reveal the slowest depreciating electric cars, with data supplied by CAP. The results are presented in reverse order, with the slowest depreciators at the end of the gallery.

14. Renault ZoeRenault Zoe

In nearly a decade, the Renault Zoe has shifted from concept to close to 150,000 registrations, establishing an 18.2 percent share of the EV market in Europe. Used prices start from £7,000, so it’s not particularly good at holding its value. CAP says the Zoe will lose just under £16,000 in three years, giving it a retained value of 47.5 percent. It’s the only car on the list to finish below 50 percent.

13. Nissan e-NV200Nissan e-NV200

We’re braced for a new wave of electric cars to roll in on the tide, but the Nissan e-NV200 is one of the more established members of the EV fraternity. Launched in 2014, the e-NV200 is an all-electric version of the NV200 van, with the early versions offering a range of up to 110 miles. A 2014 model year e-NV200 should retain 52.6 percent of its value after three years.

12. Kia Soul EVKia Soul EV

The first Kia Soul EV was never more than a niche player in the UK, with the boxy SUV let down by a high price tag and a limited range. The all-new model should come with a similar price, but with a more realistic 280-mile electric range. In the meantime, the old Soul EV should retain 52.8 percent of its value after three years, losing around £14,500 in the process.

11. Nissan e-NV200Nissan e-NV200

It’s the Nissan e-NV200 again, this time in post-2015 guise. It’s available in five- or seven-seat guise, with post-grant prices starting from a little under £30,000. You can expect a range of between 124 and 187 miles, which is 60 percent further than the previous-generation battery. It will retain 56.2 percent of its value after three years, helped in no small part by the fact that you’re not exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to all-electric seven-seaters.

10. Smart EQ Fortwo CabrioSmart EQ Fortwo Cabrio

The electric Smart Fortwo Cabrio appears twice, with the recently rebranded EQ version up first. Right now, this is your only choice if you’re after an electric convertible, although you’ll have to make do with two seats and a limited 70-mile range. CAP says the Smart drop-top will lose £11,730 in the first three years, giving it a retained value of 56.7 percent.

9. Smart EQ ForfourSmart EQ Forfour

In pure monetary terms, the four Smart cars on this list lose the least amount of cash. Take the Smart EQ Forfour, which costs upwards of £18,190 after the plug-in car grant, but will lose just £9,420 after three years. So while two electric cars at opposite ends of the price spectrum might have similar rates of depreciation, the financial hit will be more severe on the expensive EV.

8. Smart Fortwo CabrioSmart Fortwo Cabrio

It’s the Smart Fortwo Cabrio again, this time in pre-EQ branding guise. Strangely, CAP reckons the older version is better at holding its value, retaining 58.4 percent of its purchase price after three years. Right now, the Smart EQ Fortwo Cabrio is available on a three-year personal lease for £279 a month after an advance rental of £1,585.

7. Smart EQ FortwoSmart EQ Fortwo

The EQ Fortwo is the smallest electric Smart, but the one with the largest retained value after three years. With a tight turning circle and tiny dimensions, it’s perfect for the city centre, where the 70-mile range should be enough for the majority of buyers. Buy one today and it should retain 59.7 percent of its initial value in 2022, but with EV tech moving on at such a rate, it might find itself outmoded by the likes of the Honda e, Mini Electric and Peugeot e-208.

6. Tesla Model STesla Model S

Although the Tesla Model S arrived in 2012, the CAP depreciation data relates to the facelifted model, introduced in 2016. Prices start from £77,200, with performance variants available from £91,800, and used examples remain in strong demand. On average, a Model S will lose £39,200 of its value in the first three years, giving it a retained value of 60.8 percent.

5. Hyundai Ioniq EVHyundai Ioniq EV

The Hyundai Ioniq is a relative newcomer to the electric car party, but its residual values are worth making a song and dance about. CAP says the Ioniq EV will retain 61.7 percent of its value, losing £11,740 in the first three years. It helps that it will still have the remainder of its five-year warranty, giving peace of mind to the new owner.

4. Nissan LeafNissan Leaf

To date, more than 400,000 Nissan Leaf electric cars have been sold globally, making it the world’s most popular electric car. Recently, Nissan unveiled a new range-topping Leaf e+ Tekna, which delivers 217hp of performance and 239 miles of electric range. Buy a new Nissan Leaf today and it could be worth 64.5 percent of its original purchase price in 2022. That said, you need to factor in variables such as mileage, condition, market trends and spec.

3. Tesla Model XTesla Model X

With an entry price of £82,200 for the standard version, rising to £96,400 for the performance variant, the Tesla Model X is the most expensive electric car to feature in the CAP data. It should retain 64.6 percent of its value after three years, although new electric SUVs from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi could put a dent in its residual values. It will be interesting to see how the new Model 3 performs on the used car market.

2. Volkswagen e-GolfVolkswagen e-Golf

Such is the rate of progress in the EV segment, the Volkswagen e-Golf is beginning to look a little dated. At around £30,000 after the plug-in car grant, it’s relatively expensive, while the 144-mile range simply isn’t enough for a car of this ilk. But it’s biggest problem is the imminent arrival of the ID.3, a car designed from the ground up to be an electric vehicle. That said, the e-Golf will retain 66.3 percent of its value after three years.

1. Jaguar I-PaceJaguar I-Pace

The current World Car of the Year is also top dog when it comes to depreciation. CAP reckons the Jaguar I-Pace will retain an impressive 74.6 percent of its value after three years, as motorists clamour to get their hands on one of the most sought-after cars on the market. Next year, the I-Pace SUV will be joined by an all-electric XJ saloon.

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New electric car study reveals buyer ‘tipping points’

electric vehicle adoption tipping points

Just one in four people would consider buying an EV in the next five years, according to a Consumers, Vehicles and Energy Integration (CVEI) study into the adoption of electric cars and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).

The research, conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), reveals the ‘tipping points’ for when mainstream consumers are likely to adopt fully electric vehicles and PHEVs, with information gathered from vehicles and charge points for 584,000 miles of journeys and 15,700 charge events.

As part of the study, British motorists were given three different Volkswagen Golfs to drive for four days each: an electric e-Golf, a Golf GTE plug-in hybrid and a GT Edition.

The drivers were interviewed after the study, with 75 percent of them claiming they would not consider buying a fully electric vehicle within the next five years.

Rapid chargers will up the pace

BP Chargemaster rapid charging hub at Milton Keynes Coachway

But some of the other key findings painted a brighter picture for the adoption of electric vehicles. These include:

  • Fifty percent of consumers said they would choose a PHEV as a main or second car, or an electric vehicle as a second car, within the next five years.
  • Fifty percent of consumers would consider an electric vehicle as a main car if its range increased to 200 miles; increasing to 90 percent if the range was 300 miles.
  • Consumer adoption can be encouraged by the provision of rapid chargers every 20 miles on motorways and A-roads, along with the roll-out of 150kW chargers.
  • Direct financial incentives are critical to electric car adoption, with grants rated as the most important.

Adoption dictated by consumer demand

Honda e electric city car

Dr Neale Kinnear, head of behavioural science at TRL, said: “The need for cleaner, more efficient modes of travel is increasingly required to meet objectives such as the Road to Zero. However, the pace of this change will ultimately be dictated by consumer demand.

“With this ground-breaking CVEI project, TRL and its partners are providing vital evidence proving the mass market is willing to make the switch to electric vehicles, within particular parameters. The detailed findings will help inform UK and European policy and industry, including what is required by the energy sector to enable it to successfully contend with the resultant significant increase in electricity demand.”

Hannah Al-Katib, CVEI project manager, added: “This innovative project has required the expertise of a wide range of partners in order to deliver findings that will have real-world impact. As well as the data generated from this project, the unique challenges of delivering these ambitious and complex trials has provided insights into the types of challenges we face in transitioning to a future of zero emission vehicles.”

2025 will be ‘tipping point’ for electric cars, say experts

Electric car charging

The cost of buying an electric car will match conventional petrol or diesel models by 2025, say experts at Auto Trader.

This “tipping point” will see electric vehicle (EV) sales equal and then overtake internal combustion-engined (ICE) rivals. By 2030, the majority of new cars will be battery-powered.

More than 99% of UK journeys are within the range capability of today’s EVs. However, upfront cost remains a stumbling block for many. A new Renault Zoe costs £21,920, while an equivalent Clio diesel starts from £15,695.

Equally, the average price of a second-hand EV on Auto Trader is £17,744. That compares with £10,550 and £14,390 for used petrol and diesel cars respectively.

Volkswagen ID Buggy

Ian Plummer, Manufacturer and Agency Director at Auto Trader, says EV prices will tumble over the next six years. He highlights Volkswagen’s innovative MEB platform – used for the ID Buggy concept, pictured above – as one example of how costs will be slashed. MEB is due to underpin a whole range of electric cars.

Perceptions are changing apace, too. A year ago, just 25 percent of Auto Trader customers said they’d consider an alternative-fuel vehicle (hybrid or electric). Now, that figure is 71 percent.

The key to mass adoption of electric cars, says Plummer, is collaboration: between car manufacturers, governments, energy companies, infrastructure providers and telecoms firms. 

Electric dreams: amazing cars of the future debut in Geneva

Pininfarina BattistaThis year’s Geneva Motor Show may well be a watershed moment in the movement towards the electrification of cars. From tiny superminis to luxurious off-roaders and even hypercars, seemingly everything has the potential for battery power in 2019.

We’ve taken a look at some of the most impressive battery-powered concepts and production-ready vehicles making headlines in Geneva.

Kia ‘Imagine by Kia’ concept

Kia is not messing around when it comes to the future of electric cars, and the special ‘Imagine by Kia’ concept proves it. Yes, the name might be a little weird, but this high-riding four-door crossover features dramatic styling inside and out. A compact electric powertrain sits beneath the swooping exterior.

In fact, Kia has used the Imagine to take a shot at other car manufacturers, and the trend for giant multimedia screens. The Imagine features 21 individual displays across the dashboard, as a “humorous and irreverent riposte” to modern trends.

Alfa Romeo Tonale

Arguably one of the prettiest concept cars making its debut at the Geneva show, this plug-in hybrid SUV manages to stand out against the countless competitors on display in 2019. Not only is it Alfa’s first step into the mid-size SUV category, but also the first car from the Italian brand to feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The name comes from the Tonale Pass, located in the Alps and not far from the Stelvio Pass – which lends its name to Alfa’s current SUV offering. Although pegged as a concept vehicle for now, a production version seems highly likely in the near future.

Volkswagen I.D. Buggy

The Volkswagen Group has a range of concepts on display at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, all making use of the new MEB modular electric platform. Volkswagen has become adept at platform-sharing, and the move to electric vehicles means that attitude will only increase in importance for the company.

The beauty of the modular MEB platform is that it allows different bodies to be added. Volkswagen is even touting the idea of offering it to third-party suppliers, just like dune buggies of old. For now, this is very much a concept, albeit with 204hp from an electric AWD system.

Skoda Vision iV concept

Making use of the same MEB platform, but in a much more production-focused design, Skoda is rightly excited about the Vision iV concept. There’s a dramatic coupe-crossover design, with more than 300hp on offer from the electric drivetrain. The traditional wing mirrors have been replaced by cameras, and the centre console can be moved.

Vegans will be pleased by the vinyl fibres used to finish the seat-backs, while the carpets are made from pure biodegradable wool. Ignoring some of the more fanciful design features, we can expect to see an actual production version of the Vision iV towards the end of 2020.

Audi Q4 e-tron concept

Seemingly even closer to reality than the Vision iV, and naturally using that same MEB platform, Audi’s Q4 e-tron is just one model in the brand’s major electric vehicle strategy. Set to become the fifth production electric vehicle from Audi, the Q4 will go on sale in 2020.

An 82 kWh battery uses almost all the space below the passenger compartment, but allows for a range of up to 279 miles when fully charged. Top speed is limited to 111mph, but 0-62mph takes just 6.3 seconds.

Seat el-Born

It’s that Volkswagen MEB platform again, but this time with a Spanish flair to proceedings. Appearing somewhere between a tall hatchback and an MPV, the el-Born will be Seat’s first all-electric car. Expect a range of 261 miles on a full battery, plus the ability to charge to 80% capacity in just 47 minutes.

It might be named after one of Barcelona’s most famous districts, but the forthcoming el-Born will be built in Germany. Volkswagen’s Zwickau factory will be responsible for churning them out, with production slated to begin in 2020.

Honda E Prototype

We were wowed by the original Urban EV concept, and hoped Honda would put it into production unchanged from that cute creation. Thankfully, Honda seems to have listened, with the E Prototype borrowing much of the Urban EV’s style, but in a more practical five-door hatchback body.

Curiously, Honda admitted to designing the production car before the concept version, seeing the show model as necessary to generate interest. It certainly worked, and a finished car should go on sale with a battery range of around 125 miles. Perfect for urban life.

Pininfarina Battista

At the opposite end of the scale to the Honda, the Battista offers up an astonishing 1,900hp from its electric powertrain. That huge amount of power means 0-62mph in less than two seconds, but all with the smug eco-satisfaction of using electricity.

The Battista marks the first actual production car to be sold under the Pininfarina name alone, with 150 units to be offered to customers. They’ll need to stump up some £2 million for one, but that seems almost reasonable for the performance on offer. That it looks rather a lot like a Ferrari 488 can only be a bonus…

Aston Martin Lagonda All-Terrain

Aston Martin Lagonda All-Terrain Concept

On an Aston Martin stand featuring two shock new supercars, it was almost easy to overlook the importance of the Lagonda All-Terrain. Any other day this would be major news, as Aston sets out its stall for Lagonda to become an all-electric brand.

A production version won’t appear before 2022, and Aston Martin is obviously light on details at the moment. But expect an electric all-wheel-drive setup, long-range battery capabilities and a luxurious interior. Oh, and the key levitates in the centre console using magnets.

Mercedes-Benz Concept EQV

Thought the MPV was dead? Not according to Mercedes-Benz, which is bringing the idea back with electric power. In fact, the MPV concept is perfectly suited to electric propulsion, as the battery packs can fit neatly beneath the flat floor of the EQV.

Although billed as a concept vehicle, this looks fairly close to being ready for production. A 100 kWh battery pack offers up to 250 miles of range, while the interior can be configured to seven- or eight-seater layouts. Not sexy, but a practical EV future.

Skoda Klement electric bike concept


Skoda Klement electric bike

Not content with creating electric concept cars, Skoda has also unveiled a concept bike in Geneva. An electric motor attached to the rear hub generates 4kW, allowing for a top speed of up to 28mph. Thankfully, the brakes feature ABS assistance.

Given that Skoda began life manufacturing bicycles, the Klement is a neat nod to the history of the company. Although we imagine LED lights and an electric range of 39 miles are ideas Skoda’s founding fathers could only have dreamt of.

Fiat Centoventi

Another genuine surprise at this year’s Geneva show, the Centoventi is a 120th anniversary present from Fiat to itself. Radical in nature, the styling previews what is expected to be the next version of the Panda city car. Fiat is mooting the idea of selling them only in one colour, with buyers able to have panels wrapped to their own preferences later.

Even more radical is the electric powertrain underneath. A sliding rail connects the battery packs, allowing more to be quickly added to boost range, with a maximum of 310 miles. The tailgate can be used to display digital messages, and the roof also acts as a solar panel.

google maps electric car charging

Google Maps now shows where to charge your electric car

google maps electric car charge

Google has provided a solution to the problem of where to charge your electric car. The latest version of its Google Maps navigation app comes complete with charging locations.

It’s an issue we’ve contended with regularly when testing electric cars. We’ve often found ourselves giving up and draping a wire across the pavement from home. 

Unless you’re local and know your charge points, or have done some research ahead of setting off, finding a suitable charging point for your electric car can be tricky. Google’s latest Maps update should, in theory, lessen this struggle by including charging locations in its database – as it already does for petrol stations.

How does the Google Maps update work?

electric car charge

All you need to do is search for a keyword like “EV charging” and the nearest supported stations will be displayed.

Information on the types of ports available, charge speeds and how many ports there are is included, too. As with most registered locations on Maps, users will be able to upload photos, plus rate and review these charge points. Any businesses that feature chargers will also be able to add information on them within the app, too.

Charge points included for the UK are Tesla superchargers, Chargemaster and Podpoint, and coverage also includes the USA, Australia and New Zealand. We assume that will only expand in the future.

The update is available now and we’re keen to test it out.

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Electric car MOT

How much does servicing an electric car cost – and is it cheaper?

Electric car servicing

A new study by automotive data experts Cap HPI has revealed the average servicing and maintenance costs for electric cars. It shows that EVs cost, on average, 23 percent less to run than petrol vehicles over a three-year/60,000-mile period.

For smaller cars, the gap gets wider still. An electric Renault Zoe will set you back £1,100 in servicing and maintenance over three years, but a Vauxhall Corsa 1.0 90 Design costs nearly £1,500. That’s more than 35 percent extra.

The Nissan Leaf, currently the best-selling EV in the UK, costs just under £1,200 over three years. Compare that to the VW Golf 1.0 TSI at £1,429 and you’re staring at a saving of nearly 20 percent.

The number of electric vehicles on the road has jumped by 128 percent over the past three years, with more than 21,000 drivers taking the leap between April 2015 and April 2018. Purchasing costs are still notably higher than a comparable petrol-powered car, but servicing is where you can potentially claw that back.

Electric car servicing

As for the most popular EVs, the Nissan Leaf leads the BMW i3, Volkswagen e-Golf and Renault Zoe in the sales charts.

“An electric car motor has far fewer moving parts than a petrol or diesel engine” said Chris Plumb, senior valuations editor at Cap HPI.

“While the purchase price is often higher at the moment, but coming down all the time, drivers will find an EV much cheaper to run, with significantly lower costs to charge rather than visiting the pumps  plus lower maintenance costs.”

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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.

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Green plate

Government debates green number plates for ‘green’ cars

Green plate

Your ‘green’ car may soon come with a green number plate, letting the world know you’re driving a clean vehicle – and giving you access to special low-emission vehicle lanes.

A forthcoming government consultation will discuss whether green plates could work in the UK. Similar schemes have been implemented in Norway, Canada and China in a bid to promote the uptake of cleaner vehicles.

It’s not just aesthetics, either. A road network crafted to reward low- and zero-emissions vehicles could use green number plates to identify cars that are allowed to use dedicated lanes and zones in cities. Plate scans could keep EV charging bays free of smog-makers looking for an easy parking spot, too.

“This new cleaner, greener transport has the potential to bring with it cleaner air, a better environment and stronger economies for countries around the world” said Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary.

Jaguar I-Pace

“Adding a green badge of honour to these new clean vehicles is a brilliant way of helping increase awareness of their growing popularity in the UK, and might just encourage people to think about how one could fit into their own travel routine.”

The Motoring Research view

Would we drive a zero-emission vehicle if it came complete with a green ‘badge of honour’ number plate?

Although the visual aspect feels somewhat trivial, the integration of green plates into a system that rewards owners is appealing.

Anything that helps cement a comprehensive electric and hybrid car infrastructure, and offers benefits for those who go green, gets a thumbs-up from us.

Renault Zoe

The announcement of these plans comes ahead of a multi-nation summit begining tomorrow (September 11) in Birmingham. It’s to be the first of its type dedicated to the discussion of zero-emissions vehicles.

The aim is to get international agreement on the so-called zero-emissions journey, charting uptake and integration of EVs and other low-polluting vehicles across the globe.

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