Electric cars make complete sense for drivers who cover short distances and have the ability to recharge at home and/or at work. Here’s our top ten countdown of what we consider to the best electric vehicles (or ‘EVs’ as they often called) on sale in the UK in 2014. The list includes Extended-Range Electric Vehicles and Plug-in Hybrids, two segments currently gaining market share in the green car sector.
The reviews all contain detailed car specifications and pricing information and most involve a fairly intensive road test by the Green Car Guide team. If you want to know the basics about electric cars then see our specially written guide About Electric Vehicles, which covers technical stuff, benefits and issues and has a video guide too.
Pure Electric Cars
The BMW i3 is the first all-electric family hatchback from a premium manufacturer, and in keeping with BMW traditions it even has rear-wheel drive.
The Renault ZOE is an ideal city car – it’s easy to drive, quiet, has a decent range, and for an electric car, it’s relatively affordable.
The Nissan LEAF was the first electric car from a mainstream manufacturer and it still remains a very refined – and zero emission – way to travel.
The Tesla Model S is a pure electric car with a 300-mile range, a 0-60mph time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 132mph. It also has seven seats and looks fantastic.
The Renault Twizy may not be the most practical form of transport for the average driver in the UK, but it’s great fun to drive and of course it’s zero emission.
Extended-Range Electric Vehicles
The BMW i3 is available as a range-extender as well as a pure electric car, effectively doubling its driving range.
The Vauxhall Ampera was the original Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV), combining an electric motor and a petrol engine in an effort to avoid range anxiety.
The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid features all the benefits of the normal Prius hybrid, together with the ability to plug the car into the mains to gain a longer electric-only range
The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid has an official combined fuel economy figure of 155mpg, along with 48g/km CO2, four-wheel drive and a 0-60mph time of 5.8 seconds.
The Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid is a two-tonne, four-seat luxury sports saloon that does 167mph and 91mpg. Really? Yes, it’s true – and there’s a £5,000 government grant towards its purchase.