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Top 5 Tuesdays: Best Electric Cars 2015

March 24, 2015

We’re going green this week and taking a look at the best electric cars of 2015. Are you a petrol-head with a conscience? Don’t worry – going eco-friendly doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style! Since the government announced their ‘plug-in car grant’ allowing up to a maximum of £5000 off eligible electric cars, sales have steadily increased. And in this week’s Top 5 Tuesdays, we’re looking at why more people are opting for electric cars and how you can get your hands on one of your own.

BMW i3

BMW i3

Original image by NRMA Motoring and Services

Despite being an electric car, this beauty retains many of BMW’s typical features – not least the rear wheel drive. No mechanics means more room in the minimalist cabin and, while the suicide doors look great, they’re not very practical for those sitting in the back – with the front doors always having to be opened first.

This minor negative can be overlooked on account of the i3’s impressive performance figures – as the car boasts 170 bhp, a max speed of 93 mph, and a 0-62 mph acceleration time of 7.2 secs. The all-electric mode allows for a range of approx 80 miles and takes roughly 10 hours to charge from a normal 3 pin main socket. To double the distance, the range extender model will cost an extra £3,000. Starting at £30,980, the i3 might be pricey to purchase but, once it’s yours, the cost of running it is exceptionally low.

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf

Original image by Abdullah AlBargan

With impressive dashboard features, keyless entry and a push-button to start the car, the Nissan Leaf comes with plenty of welcome extras for tech lovers. The Nissan Leaf app allows you to turn on climate control from your iPhone from the comfort of your own bed – meaning your car can be nice and warm by the time you get in on frosty mornings.

With 108 bhp and a top speed of 89 mph, this EV is impressive for such a small car. The lack of cabin noise is a real plus for the interior – and large door bins and 310 litres of boot space mean plenty of storage. While the car will take 8/9 hours for a full charge, a fast charger is available and will charge the Leaf to 80% in just 30 minutes! Rolling in at £21,490, the Leaf is a fairly cheap price to pay for a stylish EV.

Audi A3 e-tron

Audi A3 E-tron

Original image by Robert Basic

A plug-in hybrid, the great thing about the Audi A3 e-tron is its petrol engine allows you to extend the range. Boasting CO2 emissions of just 37 g/km, the e-tron is exempt from road tax just like its EV counterparts.

The e-tron can do 80 mph for about 20 miles before it’ll need recharging, with charging time taking as little as 2-4 hours – and different modes allow for varied performance. If you want the car to run solely on electric power, the EV button offers this option. While the car pulls away using the electric motor, it switches between that and petrol to give you the best performance and economy. This auto-hybrid mode boasts 60 mpg. Costing £29,950 (after the plug-in £5000 grant is deducted), the Audi A3 e-tron is a worthy contender in our best electric cars round-up.

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

Original image by raneko

Space in the Tesla is a huge plus, with the lack of engine allowing for handy up front storage. The large boot also makes it ideal for plenty of luggage, and the false floor lifts up to reveal to child seats if you need extra room for passengers – although the rear can comfortably accommodate three adults.

The electric motor in the Tesla Model S claims a range of 312 miles and produces 420 bhp, with plenty of options available. Your choice of Teslas includes: Model S 65 which has a 60 kWh battery (240 mile range); a Model S 85 with rear-wheel drive and a 85 kWh battery (310 miles of range); an 85D with an electric motor at the front and rear, which gets from 0-60 mph in an amazing 5.2 seconds (9310 mile range); or finally, at the top of the range, there’s the P85D – which takes a miniscule 3.2 secs to hit 60 mph. Although it’s a pricier option, ranging from £49,900 to a sizeable £69,080, we can see why this sexy little number would be on your must-have list.

Volkswagen e-Up!

Volkswagen e-up

Original image by scottmcpollux

In terms of styling, the e-Up! is very similar to the normal Up! But, unlike with a petrol engine, the motor delivers instant power to get the car moving. In terms of range, the e-Up! boasts 90 miles on full charge, making it ideal for those cruising in the city. The regenerative braking system has five modes available and these allow the car to slow automatically when the accelerator is released – reducing the need for the brakes. With Volkswagen quoting 0-62 mph in 12.4 seconds, the e-Up! is rather respectable in the speed stakes. The all-electric Volkswagen e-Up! comes in at £19,250 and is a budget-friendly choice for anyone searching for their first EV.

Whether it’s the nifty Nissan Leaf or the bold BMW i3 that takes your fancy, our flexible lending options can help get you on the road. Apply now or check out our car finance calculator for an instant quote.


About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.