With diesel and petrol coming under pressure – not just from demand, but also from governments looking to reduce harmful emissions – electric cars are increasingly looking like the future of motoring.
To begin with, a limited range, poor performance and lack of practicality meant even the best electric cars were no match for conventionally powered machines. But today, some electric cars can surpass 300 miles of range, produce 0-62mph times to rival supercars, and even offer 7-seat variants for those who need space above all else. Battery technology has evolved to the point where drivers no longer need to recharge their vehicles after short journeys.
The majority of mainstream manufacturers are either selling electric cars or developing one for release in the near future.
Jaguar, for example, is developing its first electric car with the I-Pace SUV.
Nissan is looking to strengthen its Leaf by developing autonomous systems for the electric hatchback.
Here are the best electric vehicles coming out this year:
Powered by- Hydrogen fuel cell technology, the EV converts hydrogen gas and oxygen into electrical energy, which is then stored in battery cells.
No long charging times associated with standard battery-electric vehicles.
Prices start at £66,000
Tesla Model 3
A 220-mile-per-charge battery pack and a 0-60mph time of 5.6secs
The range-topping variant comes with a 310-mile-per-charge battery and goes from 0-60mph in 5.1secs.
Pricing starts at £35,000
Two electric motors perched on the front and rear axles.
Power output of 395bhp and a zero to 60mph time of around four seconds.
90kWh battery, which Jaguar says boasts a range of 300 miles and can be charged in just over two hours.
80bhp electric motor coupled to an 18.7kWh battery to offer a claimed range of around 99 miles.
Charging takes just 30mins from a dedicated DC charging station
Pricing from £25,280, with a range of paint options from £270 to £515
Tesla Model X
An electric powertrain.
Pricing for 75D at £75,400, while the range-topping P100D offers a sub three-second and longer battery life for £135,600. There’s also a mid-range P90D that costs £84,000.
Click here to read more about the Tesla Model X SUV.
Faraday Future FF 91
A claimed zero to 60mph time of 2.39secs
It’s packed with the latest automotive technology, including onboard cameras that scan the user’s face to give access to the vehicle.
Owners will also be able to customise and control their car using the FFCTRL companion app, which will be available on most smartphones closer to the car’s release.
Click here for all the details on Faraday Future’s first production car.
Powered by an electric motor coupled to a 28kWh lithium-ion battery, which combined produce 120bhp and 218lb ft torque.
In sport mode, the Ioniq can go from zero to 62mph in 9.9secs and on to a top speed of 103mph.
Its battery has a range of up to 174 miles
It can be charged using a traditional household electric socket.
Prices start from £24,495. Metallic and pearlescent paint options are an additional £565.
Powered by a lithium-ion pack and electric motors. It comes with Nissan’s ProPilot software that allows drivers to switch lanes and manoeuvre through traffic autonomously. It won’t appear at launch, but it’s expected to become available through an over-air update later in the car’s life cycle.Prices start at £27,000.
It maintains the brand’s rear-wheel-drive tradition, but it uses a 168bhp electric motor under the boot floor, combined with a lithium-ion battery pack. It is also available as the Range Extender (REx) with an optional two-cylinder motorcycle engine on board that keeps the batteries topped up.
Without the range extender, the BMW i3’s range stands at anywhere between about 80 miles and 125 miles depending on how you drive; with the range-extender those numbers could double.
Thanks to the electric motor’s instant torque, acceleration is rapid, and it manages a 0-60mph time of 7.2 seconds.
There’s a choice of Comfort, EcoPro and EcoPro+ drive modes, and the latter two are designed to save energy, with EcoPro+ going as far as switching off the climate control and limiting speed to 56mph to maximise range.