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The best electric cars — UK 2018 models

15 Feb 2018

White Electric Volvo Getting Recharged

In just a few short years, the market for electric cars in the UK has really taken off.

Not long ago, they were considered something close to a novelty item or at best, a rich person’s toy — but all that has changed. Today they’re increasingly mainstream and the preferred choice for more and more buyers.

Many of the “old problems” of the early days, such as short ranges and difficulties in finding re-charging points, are well on their way to being solved.

Some issues and mass-take-up inhibitors may remain for a little while yet, including price and re-charging time – but this is going to be a dynamically growing marketplace. For example, over a quarter of a million electric and hybrid vehicles were registered in the UK in 2017. There’s no obvious reason to assume that figure won’t be exceeded by some margin in 2018.

Of course, when speaking of the best electric cars, opinions differ. Here, however, are a few that we’ve seen nominated by respected industry bodies such as “What Car?

In descending order with the best at the top:

1. Renault Zoe.

electric blue Renault Zoe electric hatchback

This vehicle scores well on interior space and “nippiness”. It’s even been described as a “Supermini”. The very latest models claim re-charging to 80% in about an hour or so;

2. Tesla Model S.

white Tesla Model X electric car

Seen by many as the very definition of performance electric cars, the model S also benefits from the cachet of having the association with the now almost legendary Elon Musk. Fantastic performance figures but the prices, starting at around say £60,000+, may inhibit many buyers;

3. BMW i3.

blue and black BMW i3 electric car

This is a very appealing smaller electric car. Carrying the BMW badge won’t do its sales prospects any harm either. Nice styling and clearly one that will appeal to inner-city drivers who don’t need to gallop long distances up the motorway every day;

4. Volkswagen e-Golf.

A big advantage here is that externally, this looks like a conventional golf rather than having bodywork looking like something that’s been a huge compromise to try and save weight to accommodate the battery. Plenty of space and again that “VW” marque will help make this popular in terms of perceptions of reliability and build quality;

5. Hyundai Ioniq.

white Hyundai Ioniq electric car

This gives a choice of three options — full EV, plug-in hybrid and conventional hybrid. They’re all nicely styled and this is a slightly larger vehicle offering even more space;

6. Tesla Model-X.

Another great-looking vehicle from the Tesla stables. Described as a “performance SUV”, it has those gull-wing type doors that certainly catch the eye. This is an expensive vehicle though, with prices at the time of writing starting in the £70,000+ levels;

7. Kia Soul.

silver Kia Soul EV electric hatchback

This car has gained an enviable reputation for its handling characteristics, with some claiming it’s superior to the same model with a conventional combustion engine.

The position with EVs is constantly evolving and new models are arriving almost continually.

As mass take-up of the technology continues, it might be safe to anticipate that prices will fall and some of those last remaining technical limitations will be finally addressed.

If you’re a “green-inclined” driver, the future looks bright!

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