If you’re looking at buying an electric car as your next vehicle, then look no further.
We’ve put together this electric car guide to help you find the perfect make and model for you. From exploring hybrids to evaluating running costs, we’ve got you covered.
What is an electric car or electric vehicle (EV)?
An electric car (EV) is a vehicle that runs off a battery so instead of filling up with petrol or diesel, you plug it in to a charger.
This probably isn’t news to you as there’s been a massive increase in popularity in terms of both buying and producing electric and hybrid vehicles. They don’t emit as many gases and so are thought to be much better for the environment. But it can be hard to navigate this new car market to find the best electric car for you.
Types of electric cars
When looking at the best electric cars to buy, it’s important to understand the differences between the three different types. Depending on your lifestyle, driving habits, and budget, you’ll need to consider which vehicle would make the most sense for you.
Also known as a Battery Electric Vehicle, these cars are fully electric so are entirely powered by their battery. A fully electric car is a famously smooth ride due to the lack of combustion engine and automatic gearbox.
A plug-in-hybrid has both an electric battery and petrol or diesel combustion engine. Similar to BEVs, the car must be plugged in to charge – usually much more often than a fully electric vehicle, due to the battery’s reduced size. How the car is powered depends on the model, but PHEVs typically use up their electric power, then switch to combustion once this has run out.
At the moment, PHEVs are the go-to choice for plug-in vehicles for most UK drivers. This is likely because they offer a balance of performance (petrol) and sustainability (electric). However, recent government changes mean PHEV drivers may no longer be eligible for a plug-in car grant as they still produce a significant amount of CO₂ emissions, which could shift the tide towards pure electric vehicles.
Like plug-ins, hybrid vehicles have both a battery and combustion engine. When looking at the difference between hybrid and electric cars, the most important thing to note is that hybrids are ‘self-charging’, meaning the battery does not have to be plugged in. The combustion engine charges the electric battery, and only uses its fuel supplies to power the car once you reach over 20mph.
What are the best electric vehicles?
Once you’ve considered what type of EV might work best for you, it’s time to take a look at some of the best electric vehicles on the market.
Fiat 500 (BEV)
Available in hatchback or convertible, this classic Fiat has gone all-electric and now epitomises the modern city car. It has an impressive 199-mile range, fast charge and enhanced safety features.
Vauxhall Corsa-e (BEV)
The reliable Corsa has futureproofed itself with the new BEV model. The car also has optional Sport and Eco modes depending on how you like to drive and comes with eight years battery warranty.
Toyota Yaris Hybrid (HEV)
The Toyota yaris has been around for nearly a decade emitting less than 100g/km of CO2 according to What Car. It’s agile, durable, and focused on efficiency and safety – what’s not to love?