Some people argue that electric cars are the future, while other argue that besides being the future, they are also the present, although still having some limitations and drawbacks. An electric car has an electric engine (as its name indicates) and moves using electrical energy stored in a battery that is recharged by plugging the car into a wall outlet. As simple as that. You already charge your smartphone, your laptop or your iPad. Adding the car to the list is just a matter of time.
Every day, the number of manufacturers who release at least one model of electric car is increasing and they appear all around the world, from Japan to the USA and Europe. In this article, we will review seven models that you can buy today, and it is possible that at this hour they are the best you can get in this field.
Pros and Cons of electric cars
Before we describe some of the electric vehicles on the market, we should know a little bit more about their strengths and also their drawbacks, so when the time to buy one comes we are prepared.
The most important advantages you should take into consideration are that they are very efficient and they produce zero gas emissions. In addition, the engine is very silent and responsive and they are very easy to drive. The cost of the “fuel” is lower comparing to regular cars using fossil fuels.
On the other hand, an electric car has two major drawbacks: it is still much more expensive than a car with regular engine and it has limited autonomy. This type of vehicle can be easily used in the city, for shopping, going to our job etc. but it cannot be used to travel very far from home. You can always have this car as the second one in your house, the one that does the hard job moving in the city.
Smart ForTwo Electric Drive
The first model from our list is the smallest of all seven. The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive is a (very) urban version of a car with two seats and three doors, being only 2.69 m long.
If to the fact that Smart is a car that moves into the city like fish in the water and it can be parked in the smallest spaces we add the electric engine, silent and without gas emissions we obtain the ideal combination for an urban vehicle.
With 75 HP, it accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 11.5 seconds and it reaches a top speed of 125 km/h. The downside of this model is it low autonomy, allowing you to travel 145 km until you have to recharge. The price is between 12.000 and 16.000 €, depending if you want to rent or buy the batteries.
It is still a quite small model, but bigger than the Smart: it has 4 seats and a 250 l trunk. The performance is similar to his smaller brother, but the autonomy is higher, reaching 160 km still more than enough to move through the city.
The price is somewhere around 26.000 € and you can find it with the possibility of a super-fast recharge (in less than half an hour).
The model from Renault is quite large, pretty close to a medium-sized compact car. It measures 4.08 m with five doors, five seats and a generous 338 l trunk. It is the perfect car for you if you don’t like small spaces (like the Smart or the e-up!) but you still want to protect your planet and want to drive silently through the city.
As you probably have already thought, this model is a little bit different than the other three – it has a certain aura of sportiness and exclusivity specific to the BMW brand.
It is also a small car, measuring 4 m long but it has an aspect of a minivan, with five doors and four seats. It is a bit odd, as the rear doors cannot be opened if the front ones are not open and their windows are immobile.
In terms of performance, it is very powerful and quite fast and driving it is a pleasure. It has 170 HP, accelerates from 0 to 100 in 7.2 seconds and it has a top speed of 150 km/h. – all this, without making any noise!. The i3 is built of aluminum, carbon fiber and plastic for a reduced weight and it has autonomy of 190 km. Of course the price is significantly higher, starting from 35.500 € including the batteries.
It is the best-selling electric car in the world, with a total of 100,000 units sold and still counting. It is a mid-sized sedan, 4.4 meters long, with five seats and a 370 l trunk.
Its design is a bit special, perhaps due to the Japanese origin with many aerodynamic details. It is a very refined and comfortable car, having 109 HP and an approved autonomy of 199 km. You can find it at a relatively small price (compared to the BMW) starting from 24,000€.
The e-Golf is the electric member of the Golf family, very well designed and constructed. It has 5 seats, 5 doors and a large trunk and the interior details are very refined and of good quality. The engine has 116 HP, reaches a top speed of 140 km/h and autonomy of 190 km.
The price fits the quality of the car, starting from 30,000€.
Tesla Model S
If we want to talk about THE BEST electric car on the market (and also the most expensive) we cannot forget the Tesla Model S. It is a large car, with five doors, five seats but it can optionally have two more seats for children. It also has two trunks, of 895 l in total.
There are three different versions, with different performance and autonomy: it can have 306 HP ans 375 km of autonomy, 367 HP and 502 km of autonomy or 422 HP and 502 km autonomy.
In terms of prices, don’t forget we talk about a premium car, not a walk-through-the-city electric car. The basic versions costs around 66.700€ and if you want the 502 autonomy with 422 HP you will have to pay about 89,000€.
Concluding, if you are an environment-loving person, interested in using energy in an effective way and you don’t travel a lot outside your city, an electric car is perfect for you. You can also choose to buy a hybrid car, which uses a combination of electric and combustion engine offering the high autonomy of a classic engine and the reduced gas emission of the electric engine.