Electric cars in the UK are becoming increasingly common, with companies like Tesla Motors, BMW and Nissan battling it out for supremacy in 2016.
With so many options to choose from, just what is the best electric car to buy in the UK?
Tesla Model S
When it comes to choosing a best electric car of 2016, there really is only one choice: the incredible Tesla Model S.
With more Tesla Superchargers coming to the UK and offering free charging, the Model S is set to continue its dominance and firmly plant itself as the best electric car on these shores.
Since launching in the UK in 2013, the Tesla Model S has become a hit with those wanting an electric car with a little more oomph.
With a huge range of up to 330 miles and a 0-60mph time of as little as 2.8 seconds, it’s no wonder why UK customers are opting for the Model S as the best of the electric car bunch.
Ever-evolving, the Model S received some new updates in 2015 in order to keep it ahead of the other electric cars in 2016.
The new Autopilot feature allows the car to take control of some of the driving autonomously, while the 2016 Tesla Model S P85D model features something called ‘Ludicrous Mode’ – believe us, that will take your breath away.
The Model S comes with all of the goodies that you would expect in a new electric car that costs over £50k (even after the £5,000 Government Plug-in Car Grant), including a 17-inch touchscreen, heated front seats, Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone climate control, and a reversing camera.
Named the UK Car of the Year 2014, the BMW i3 is certainly a worthy adversary to any model for the crown of the best electric car in the UK.
With its unorthodox design, the i3 stands out on UK roads and is definitely one of the more eye-catching cars that you’ll see in 2016.
Helping the car’s aim to be the best electric car on the market is the fact that there are two versions to choose from: a standard pure electric model and a Range Extender version.
While the standard i3 has a range of between 80 and 100 miles, the i3 with Range Extender has this figure boosted to around 180 miles, with only 13g/km of CO2 emitted.
The extended range for the latter version is all down to a small 0.6-litre petrol generator that will kick-in when the electric battery is running low.
Not only does the model offer quirky looks and an optional Range Extender, it also comes with some nifty gadgets.
Those with a smartphone can connect it to the car via the BMW i Remote App, which lets you check the vehicle’s location, charge level and whether or not it’s locked – from personal experience, this is definitely handy!
With neat handling, an overall fun drive and a long spec list that includes Bluetooth hands-free, a BMW Navigation system and rear park distance control, it’s no wonder why many hail the BMW i3 as one of the best electric cars in the UK in 2016.
The first of its kind to be manufactured in the UK, the Nissan LEAF is currently the world’s best-selling electric car, so all those customers can’t be wrong!
One of the most practical and appealing electric cars on the market in 2015, the Nissan LEAF is spacious, well-equipped and quite nippy when travelling around town. It comes as no surprise, then, that the LEAF is the electric car that you’ll probably see most on UK roads.
If buying an electric car outright has you worried, then Nissan can alleviate those fears. The LEAF offers customers the opportunity to either lease the car’s batteries during ownership (LEAF FLEX), or purchase them with the car outright.
With LEAF FLEX, the customer will save money on the initial purchase by only leasing the battery. When put on top of the £5,000 Government Grant, this results in an excellent customer saving.
The Nissan LEAF is packed full of desirable kit like climate control, electric windows and a CD/radio player, while it also offers a 370-litre boot that can rival popular cars such as the Ford Focus and VW Golf.
When it comes to choosing the best electric car in the UK in terms of affordability, you can’t go much wrong with the Nissan LEAF in 2016.
The Renault ZOE is similar to the Nissan LEAF in that it offers a good alternative to petrol and diesel vehicles when looking for an electric car as a daily commuter or urban runabout in the UK.
Although perhaps not quite as fun as the Renault Twizy (let’s be honest, what is?), the ZOE is a spacious electric supermini that would suit stylish drivers in 2016 who want a green car.
A respectable 0-60mph time of just over eight seconds, along with its small size and 220Nm of instantaneous torque make the ZOE feel quite nippy when commuting through a city.
While it may not be the best electric car when it comes to standard spec, the ZOE does offer a decent amount of kit, including the Renault R-Link infotainment system with a touch-screen display.
If you’re looking at buying an electric car in the UK at the start of 2016, you can be sure that the ZOE is a good choice as Renault knows what it’s doing. The French manufacturer produces a wide range of electric vehicles including the Fluence, Twizy, Twizy Cargo, and Kangoo Van Z.E.
Kia Soul EV
One of the more recent additions to the UK’s growing electric car scene in 2016, the Kia Soul EV is a fully-electric urban crossover that offers style in abundance.
If electric cars with radical designs like the BMW i3 put you off, then the fact that the Soul EV isn’t a far departure from the standard model is a massive bonus.
Although it is late to the UK electric car scene, it’s certainly giving the best of the bunch a run for their money in 2016 with a respectable 132-mile range, lots of standard kit and an industry-leading seven-year warranty.
When we say the Soul EV has a generous standard spec list, we really mean it. With sat-nav, keyless entry, heated front seats and steering wheel, and a DAB radio offered, not even luxury saloons can match the model.
The Kia Soul EV offers a lot of space within, with its practicality making it one of the UK’s best electric cars for families in 2016. Although the 281-litre boot is 30 litres smaller than the standard Soul, headroom is excellent, while the cabin is comfortable throughout.
Let’s be honest, when it comes to power and performance, the Kia Soul EV is not the best electric car in the UK, far from it. However, if you’re looking for a practical and very stylish model, then the Soul EV may just be the best electric car for you in 2016.