“What is the best Electric Vehicle” is a question that is commonly asked by those considering a more environmentally friendly form of transport. So what is the answer?
Well the simple answer is that the best Electric Vehicle (EV) is the one that takes you the furthest while using the least energy i.e. an electric scooter.
Yes that is right. The vehicle with the least weight is likely to be the one that is the most energy efficient and therefore the best when it comes to miles per kWh of energy used. Now scooters aren’t really practical for most, and not legal on UK roads (if you use them on the road or pavement you could be fined), so very limited in terms of where they can be used. So not a practical option at the moment for many.
Therefore, when considering EVs you are talking about real Electric Vehicles like cars or motorbikes, so which car or electric bike should we be considering? The answer to that is it depends on what you are looking for.
If you are looking for something that can be used as a commuter then we would suggest you consider an electric motorbike like the Zero . These machines look like real bikes, allegedly drive like real bikes (to be honest we haven’t ridden one) reaching 124 mph AND best of all they can go 200 miles on one charge. Now that is a decent range (note this assumes you buy the power tank which extends the range from around 160 miles to 200 miles). The great thing is that it only takes around 80 minutes to reach the optimal charging state for most electric motorbikes (giving you full range). Now that if a coffee and a cake while sitting in Starbucks so you could easy go the whole day driving your electric motorbike.
At a cost of between £12k and £20K, depending on model selected, the Zero is a reasonably cheap buy when compared with top range electric cars offering similar levels of performance. So an electric motorbike is a very practical option for some (those with a motor bike licence). However, if you don’t have a motorbike licence then your only real option in respect to EVs is an electric car?
Now Tesla are supposed to be great cars. They have a range from 300 to 600 on one charge depending on what model you select. They are top class in terms of luxury and styling and as for performance well lets just say the Roadster can hit 250mph – so very difficult to beat. However, the one big downside of the Tesla range (to date) is that they are expensive. That said the model 3 is being promoted at $35,000 which is competitive when considering other EVs in the range such as the Volkswagen e-Golf or the BMW i3 (all in this price range).
So what would I personally choose when considering EVs?
Well for fun I would likely buy an electric motorbike, as I do have a motorbike licence and live a rural location which means I am not motorway driving every day. However, for practical reasons I would likely buy a hybrid car, not a plug in electric car. The reason for this is that I don’t have (or want to spend) $35,000 on an electric car, also I live in a rural location and my main shopping centre is around 25 miles away which means a low range car (low cost car) such as the Nissan Leaf wouldn’t make it to and from the shops without being charged. Now I know there are more charging stations being installed weekly BUT I like to shop in certain shops which are located in an area which doesn’t have a charging point, so it would be less convenient for me to use a plug in electric car.
Thus to get the best of both worlds I would look to buy a second hand hybrid electric car mainly because you can pick one up at a reasonable price and you still get the benefit of using both electric and petroleum to achieve a good mpg. Given freedom of choice of all the hybrids in the market we here agree that the three we like the most are the BMW 530e, the Lexus LC500h and the Gold GTE all are classy cars which give excellent mpg.
Now that said if you are still keen on a plug-in electric car and money isn’t a restriction then there are some real smart cars out there that are not only good for the environment but can be a whole lot of fun. The ones we propose you may want to consider are the Tesla Roadster (as mentioned), the BMW i8 Roadster (our favourite) or even the Porsche Mission E which is due on the market this year (would definitely buy this if I had the £85,000 spare in the bank).
EVs are a great idea. In practical terms they are still limited in terms of range and cost. However, the manufacturers are moving closer to getting cars on the road with reasonable ranges and at reasonable prices. Perhaps when we start to see more petrol stations with charging points being made available (not roadside cafes but actually the petrol station) then that will be the time I trade in my mini and buy the EV of my dreams (like all guys going through a mid life crisis it has to be sports car and so it has to be anyone of the Roadsters proposed).
Look forward to jumping into my luxury EV soon.