Like it or not, electric cars are slowly gaining a healthy market share in the global car market.
This was kick-started by Tesla a few years back, but now EVs are emerging into the lower end of the market with the likes of the new Vauxhall Corsa-e, Skoda Citigo iV and the VW I.D. 3.
Today, I've come up with a list of seven electric cars that are well worth your attention if you're in the market.
Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus
I've sung the praises of the Tesla Model 3 as it's truly an excellent car. The Model 3 is now on sale in the UK and starts at £38,900. For that, you get the Standard Range Plus model which is rear-wheel drive only but offers a WLTP approved range of 258 miles, a top speed of 140mph and a 0-60mph time of 5.3 seconds.
That puts it on par with a lot of small performance cars, but without any CO2 output, you are helping the environment.
All Model 3s can use Tesla's 200kW Supercharger network which means it can regain 218 miles of its range within half an hour.
The Audi e-tron is probably the best electric premium SUV on sale today, bettering the Tesla Model X, and it's on a par with the Jaguar I-PACE. The e-tron is currently offered in one spec until the more powerful version comes later this year. The best thing about the car though is that it just looks like a normal Audi, which I prefer, as I like EVs to look like normal cars.
Spec wise, the e-tron starts at £71,520 and for that, you get a WLTP approved range of 259 miles, a top speed of 124mph and a 0-60mph time of 5.7 seconds. The charging tech isn't as good as the stuff seen in the Tesla Model 3 though – the e-tron charges at a peak of 150kW and in half an hour, you regain 193 miles of range.
Jaguar's I-PACE is arguably the best looking EV on sale today and was penned by legendary designer Ian Callum. It is a direct rival to the Audi e-tron and the two cars are both better than the Tesla Model X. It's hard choosing between the I-PACE and e-tron as both are excellent cars, but if you were looking at the two, it all comes down to which one you prefer looking at.
The I-PACE starts at £64,495 for the basic S model but no matter what spec you go for, all I-PACE's share the same basic powertrain. Speaking of, the I-PACE offers a WLTP range of 292 miles, a top speed of 124mph and a 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds. It may be better in terms of performance and range than the Audi but the Jag charges slower. On a half hour charge using a 150kW charger, it only regains 153 miles of range.
Nissan LEAF 3.ZERO e+
The Nissan LEAF is a good car if you ignore the, ahem, interesting styling. Sure, it's not as ugly as the old model but it still isn't much of a looker. But it makes for a good electric family car, with a spacious interior, a good range – and it's reasonably priced.
The one to buy is the LEAF 3.ZERO e+ which basically means it's the top of the range model. The 3.ZERO 3+ model starts at £35,895 which means it's nearly as expensive as the cheapest Tesla Model 3. But specs are promising with a WLTP range of 239 miles, a top speed of 98mph, and a 0-60mph time of 7.3 seconds. The LEAF does support rapid charging but it is limited to just 50kW which means a half hour charge will only give you 86 miles of range back.
Tesla Model S Ludicrous Performance
The Tesla Model S Ludicrous Performance is probably the internet's favourite electric car as it can crush supercars in terms of raw performance from a standstill. The Model S was refined earlier this year with a simplified model line up to match the Model 3. However, the Ludicrous Performance version still remains.
The Ludicrous Performance comes in at a whopping £95,050 but you do get a WLTP range of 365 miles, a top speed of 155mph and a 0-60mph time of 2.4 seconds. Using a 150kW charger, this car will regain 165 miles of range within half an hour. This isn't as good as the Model 3 but keep in mind that the Model 3 uses far newer tech.
Having a normal looking electric car in your line-up is important as it gives consumers a sense of familiarity and reassurance that an EV can look like a regular car.
The VW e-Golf does just that. Sure, there are some slight cosmetic differences but it's just a Golf at the end of the day. That hasn't helped much though as the e-Golf hasn't sold that well in the UK.
There's a reason why it didn't sell well when you look at the specs. Starting at £33,840, you get a WLTP range of 143 miles, a top speed of 93mph and a 0-60mph time of 9.3 seconds. It doesn't have much of an impressive charge rate either. Using a 50kW charger, the e-Golf only regains 75 miles of range on a half hour charge. For how much VW is asking for the e-Golf, you're better off waiting for the I.D. 3 which will be VW's first dedicated EV when it launches later this year.
Renault Zoe R110
The Renault Zoe R110 probably offers the best value for money when it comes to an affordable EV. It does have quirky looks but Renault are proving that they can actually design good looking cars again.
Speaking of value for money, the Zoe R110 starts at £18,420 (before battery lease) which is actually quite good. You get a WLTP range of 186 miles on a full charge, a top speed of 84mph, and a 0-60mph time of 11.6 seconds. Unlike the other cars on this list, the Zoe doesn't support fast charging which means you're limited to a maximum AC 3-phase rate of 22kW, meaning it'll charge the Zoe R110's battery pack from empty to full in two hours, at a rate of 94 miles in an hour.