A compact 5 door/5 seat hatchback designed from scratch and introduced to the UK market in 2011. Generally considered to be the first mass volume electric car. Currently the world’s biggest selling electric car.
Initially sold with a 24 kwh battery giving a real world range of circa 85 miles.
Upgraded to 30 kwh battery in model year 2016 giving real world range of circa 105 miles. Upgraded again in 2018 to 40 kwh giving a real world range of 145 miles.
Sold in various trim levels and with various options.
New car warranty 3 years/60k miles
Engine and inverter warranty 5 years/60k miles
Battery and drivetrain warranty varies from 5 – 8 years according to battery specification but mostly based retaining at least 9 performace bars out of 12.
NCAP 5 start safety rating
Tesla Model S
A 5 door/5 seat luxury saloon with liftback rear opening introduced to the UK in 2014. Available in a wide range of battery, performance, and drivetrain options. Real world range varies from below 200 miles to more than 300 miles.
Outsold the Nissan Leaf in 2015 and 2016, which for a premium product is an amazing achievement. Currently 2nd in world sales to Nissan Leaf.
Highly desirable options include panoramic sun-roof and auto pilot. 60 kwh battery
Dual motor (4 wheel drive) Performance version
Tesla have their own super charging network. Many cars have free super charging for life, and this appears to be transferable to 2nd and subsequent owners. 4 year/50k miles new car warranty.
Drivetrain and battery warranty 8 years/either unlimited mileage, or some versions limited by mileage.
NCAP safety rating 5 stars
Mercedes Benz B Class Electric Drive
A premium compact 5 door/5 seat hatchback derived from the petrol- and diesel-powered model. Introduced to the UK market in 2016 with a 22kwh battery delivering a real-world range of circa 100 miles.
VW E UP
Smart for two
Jaguar I pace
A premium compact 5 door/4 seat hatchback designed from scratch and introduced to the UK market in 2014. Uniquely, it has a carbon fibre tub construction for strength and lightness. Range extender option (REX – see below). Highy regarded by motoring journalists. Generally considered to be a ‘driver’s car’.
Initially sold with 22kwh battery giving a real-world range of 90 miles.
Upgraded to 33.2kwh in model year 2017. This upgrade applies to UK cars registered from circa August 2016. Real-world range circa 140 miles. Upgraded again in 2019 to 41kwh.
Rapid charging facility delivers 80% charge in 39 minutes
0-60mph in 7.2 seconds, top speed limited to 93 mph.
BMW general warranty 3 years/unlimited miles. 8 year/100,000 mile on battery and drive unit
Service scheduling appears to be every 2 years (advised by car display). This is primarily a diagnostic check as there is no starter, fuel system, engine oil, air filter, oil filter or clutch to take care of (unless you specify the REX range extender – see below).
Service packs are available for 3 years/36000 miles for £239 (source Parkers Guide) covering parts and labour.
All BMW I3 models are available with a REX range extender option. This is a 647cc petrol engine generating 34 hp which can be switched on at the driver’s discretion to keep the batteries charged whilst on the move. This adds an extra 80 miles approximately to the range. It can be a useful option but it does add weight which reduces the battery-only range, reduces acceleration, and will add considerably to servicing costs (see above). Many users report they regret buying this option as they never use it., and this causes problems with the fuel (petrol) becoming stale. Some reported warranty problems with water ingress.
NCAP 4 star safety rating. Downgraded from 5 stars primarily because of pedestrian safety.
Volkswagen Golf E and GTE/Audi e-tron
The Golf E is a 5 door/5 seat compact hatchback derived from the standard petrol- and diesel- powered version. Introduced to the UK in 2014.
26.5 kwh battery Initial versions had a real-world range of circa 80 miles
Upgraded in model year 2017 to 35.8 kwh battery with a real-world range of circa 150 miles
Also available as a GTE plug in hybrid version (and the Audi e-tron equivalent). 8.8 kwh battery and 1.4 TSI petrol engine. Capable of 30 mile real world range when driven on electric only.
A sub-compact 5 door/5 seat hatchback designed from scratch and introduced to the UK market in 2013. Its major market is in France which accounts for circa 50% sales.
Initially sold with 22kwh battery giving a real-world range of circa 80 miles
Upgraded with new engine in 2015 which gave an increase in range of circa 20 miles Upgraded in October 2016 with optional 41 kwh battery giving a real-world range of 190 miles
Batteries are leased (straightforward transfer of lease to 2nd and subsequent owners)