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The Complete Electric Car Buyer Guide

It’s official, electric cars have arrived, with 2019 being seen by many motoring experts as the year the UK public start to go electric.

The UK is on course for 60% of its new cars to be electric by 2030, according to current growth projections by Chargemaster.

However, to many people, electric cars are still a relative rarity on UK roads, only hearing about them from friends and family, or motoring shows such as Top Gear and The Grand Tour. This means many consumers looking to purchase a new, economically friendly vehicle still have so many questions about electric cars and their capabilities.

In order to help anyone looking at buying or leasing a car in 2019, Select Car Leasing has created the most comprehensive electric car guide, answering all the key questions that consumers have about electric cars before they make the plunge to buy or lease an electric car.

Use our interactive graph below, which displays every electric and hybrid car currently available in the UK, along with those to be released in the near future. Compare the range, performance, efficiency and review rating of each car by using the handy filters in the top left hand corner of the graph to find the right electric car for you. You can view the graph in full here


Click below to navigate to through our electric car buyer's guide:

- The advantages of electric cars: why you should go electric in 2019

- The top 10 electric cars on the road right now

- Which electric cars have the longest range?

- Top 5 electric cars we’re excited by in the future

- Top 5 electric SUVs you can buy today

- Top 10 fastest accelerating electric cars on sale today

- Top 10 electric cars with the highest top speed

 

The Advantages of Electric Cars: Why you should go electric in 2019

If you’ve considered buying or leasing an electric car it's very likely you will have found yourself confronted with a swarm of fears and worries on everything from range to reliability. We’re here to quash those theories and show you there’s much more benefit to driving an electric car than just reducing your carbon footprint.

There are loads of great reasons to drive an electric car and with more models arriving than before, now’s the time to jump in.

Here we outline six of the greatest key advantages of driving an electric car:

1. Low Running Costs


Electric cars are much lighter on your back pocket. With a standard petrol or diesel car, it’s easy to rack up expensive running costs – even if you’re just nipping around town. Whether you choose to charge your car at home or at a charging station, the costs compared to paying for fuel are nearly always cheaper. In fact, a study carried out by Cap HPI found that on average, electric cars cost 23% less to run compared to petrol cars over a three-year period.

Because pure electric cars are zero emission, they’re exempt from road tax too. This is another thing that significantly lowers running costs, and it’s not just full-electric that qualify for this - hybrid cars also benefit from significantly lower road tax.

 

2. Government Grants

The UK government offers a grant for low emission plug-in vehicles of up to £3,500. There’s a list of electric cars from major manufacturers that are eligible for this grant, including the BMW i8 and i3s, Renault Zoe and Volkswagen e-Golf. Taking advantage of this scheme means you can save a considerable amount of money when financing a new vehicle.

 

3. Low Emissions

Pure electric cars have zero tail pipe emissions, making them incredibly environmentally friendly. There’s no doubt that the sheer number of vehicles on the road is harmful to the environment and pollution and global warming are beginning to creep into our daily reality. Electric cars go a long way to helping the situation.

Critics of electric cars often point out that the way electricity is generated at power plants is also harmful to the environment, but even when taking this into account, electric cars are still much better for the environment overall.


 

 

4. Lower Maintenance Costs

The cost savings on electric cars don’t just stop on the road, with lower maintenance costs being another very welcome advantage of electric cars. If you look at a standard petrol car there are a huge number of parts. These include oil, spark plugs, fuel injection systems, starter motors, etc. Electric cars are far less reliant on several moving parts, running off three main components – the electric motor, the charger and the converter.

Because of how much simpler electric cars are in their construction it means they’re much less liable to develop problems and therefore require less maintenance and servicing. 

 

5. Increasing Consumer Choice

The winds of change are sweeping across the new car market. More than 60 fully electric or electric variants will be arriving in 2019 and 2020 as the motoring industry begins its most significant shake up for decades. And of course, those new models bring with them better charge times, longer ranges and more impressive car technology and car safety features.

 

6. Home Charging

A huge advantage of electric cars is the innovative technology that’s making owning them so much easier. An example is the ability to charge your car using a 3 pin socket from the comfort of your own home.

Furthermore, having an electric car charging station installed at your home is also available via a government grant and is often far cheaper than public charging spots, which will charge a subscription fee for use. The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) provides funding of up to 75% for the cost of installing an electric charge point at your home.

 


The Top Ten Electric Cars on the Road Right Now

1. Jaguar I-Pace

As far as high-end electric cars go, the Jaguar I-Pace is one of the very best and easily a match for Tesla’s range of EVs. The I-Pace has an impressive driving range of 235 miles, which makes it one of the electric cars with the longest range currently in the market. In addition to its great range, it also drives extremely well, looks great and is very spacious inside.




The I-Pace justifies its sizeable price tag with incredible luxury and a host of impressive technology you'd come to expect from Jaguar. If you’re looking for an electric car with great looks and a driving experience to match, the I-Pace more than delivers. 

 

2. Hyundai Kona Electric

Practical and affordable – The Kona by Hyundai might not provide the exciting driving experience of some higher priced models, but it more than makes up for this in other ways. For one thing, the base model of the Kona can do a very respectable 180 miles on a single charge which should cover the majority of drivers. Even if this isn’t enough, there’s also a Kona model with a 64kWh battery that can cover roughly 245 miles.  

Overall, the Hyundai Kona Electric is an excellent choice, especially as a first electric car, increasing its appeal to the mass car buying market. 

 

3. Kia e-Niro




Winner of the prestigious 2019 What Car? Car of the Year Award, the e-Niro is another great example of an affordable, practical electric car for 2019. It manages to combine a compact design with a very generous driving range of approximately 235 miles. It’s also eligible for the UK government grant to support electric car buyers.

The e-Niro’s versatility, comfort and generous space both in the cabin and the boot space make it an excellent choice for a family car. We expect the Kia e-Niro to get a lot of interest once adequate supply is available in the UK. 

 

4. Renault Zoe

Renault Zoe

Renault’s first electric car continues to be a huge success across the world. The Zoe is a stylish and trendy hatchback with a low purchase price and an all-electric range that brushes shoulders with many of the bigger players in the market.

There’s up to 250 miles of range available and with a recent update providing the Zoe with power enhancements – it is one of the most affordable and enjoyable hatchbacks you can currently drive.

 

5. Volkswagen e-Golf




The electric version of Volkswagen’s extremely popular Golf offers the same great looks and driving experience of its petrol counterpart, except you get all the pros an electric car provides, such as a smooth and silent drive, no tax to pay and lower running costs.

The e-Golf is also eligible for the UK government’s grant for electric car buyers, making it an affordable choice for people venturing into the electric car market for the first time.


6. Tesla Model 3




The Model 3 is the latest in the line of electric cars from the renowned US manufacturer and has plenty of people excited. Being capable of 0-60mph in just 3.2 seconds and with a long driving range of over 300 miles, the Model 3 is easily one of the most capable electric cars there is.

Staring at £38,000 the Model 3 marks Tesla’s official assault on the mainstream market and the vehicle is a serious challenger to its petrol and diesel counterparts. 


8. BMW i3s




Released in early 2019, the ‘S’ version of BMW’s popular i3 electric car has some notable differences to the earlier model. Firstly, there is an additional 14 bhp, taking it up to a significant 182 bhp in total. The i3s also has larger 20-inch wheels, as well as lowered suspension and a revamped body kit. The boost to the bhp means the i3s is capable of 0-60mph in 6.9 seconds.

Overall the i3s provides a smooth drive, lavish interior as well as huge connectivity and great new car technology options to boot.


9. Audi e-tron




The Audi e-tron is Audi’s first all-electric model and caused shockwaves when it was first unveiled. Boasting a 250-mile range, the e-tron can incredibly reclaim 80% of its battery life in just 30 mins on a 150kW charger and travels from 0-60mph in under six seconds.

Highly refined and featuring Audi’s much admired Virtual Cockpit on its dashboard, the e-tron represents both cutting-edge technology and class available in modern electric cars.


10. Nissan LEAF




The LEAF is now in its second generation and firmly established as one of the UK's leading electric cars. An affordable, economical alternative for your next family hatch – the Nissan LEAF has been kitted with an improved battery which allows for a maximum range of 168 miles. The LEAF is great to drive, almost silent on the road and its eye-catching exterior design helps to a complete a highly accomplished vehicle.

In addition to the models covered above, there are also some incredibly exciting new electric cars set to release in the very near future. These include the Honda E, Mercedes EQC, Mini Electric, VW iD, Peugeot e-208, Vauxhall e-Corsa and Porsche Taycan to name just a few.

 


Which Electric Cars Have the Longest Range?

Driving range is one of the biggest selling points that electric car manufacturers stress and for good reason.

Range is a key sticking point for many people when considering an electric car – in the past vehicles were unable to cover even the most basic distances and the electric car industry was blighted by fears of breaking down or getting stuck. The fact is, as the electric car market balloons there are now more cars than ever that will get you from A to B, and back again, without even breaking a sweat.

With this in mind - we bring to you the electric cars on the market with the longest range. 

1. Tesla Model S – Range: 325 Miles




The Tesla Model S is one of the most capable and desired electric cars on the market today. It has a range of 325 miles, making it the by far the best electric car in this regard by quite some distance. Although it has an official range of 375 miles, this is closer to 325 miles in practical conditions – still incredibly impressive.

 

2. Tesla Model 3 – Range: 300 Miles




The newly released Model 3 is another Tesla with a very impressive driving range. Advertised as being able to do 348 miles, the real-world mileage is closer to 300, which is still more than enough for most practical uses. Its compact design and lightness certainly help when it comes to achieving this impressive range.

 

3. Tesla Model XRange: 285 Miles




The Tesla Model X can cover an impressive 285 real-world miles. Classed as an SUV due to its height, it’s also one of the few electric cars to have seven seats. Although it can’t cover quite as many miles as the Model S or Model 3, it still has a very impressive driving range and would handle most journeys without the need to charge.

 

4. Audi e-tron - Range: 248 Miles

The Audi e-tron is incredibly striking in its design and has an impressive range of 248miles. The e-tron is Audi’s first mass market venture into the electric car market but it still comes with everything you would expect from a high-end electric vehicle, including great performance, incredible build quality and good range.

 


 

5. Hyundai Kona Electric - Range: 245 Miles




Considering its generous driving range of 245 miles, the Hyundai Kona Electric is surprisingly affordable, costing less than £33,000. There’s also a version of the Kona Electric available with a smaller (39kWh) battery if you don’t want to spend as much. Of course, the smaller battery also means a short driving range – 180 miles in this case.

 

6. Kia e-Niro – Range: 235 Miles




The Kia e-Niro is capable of roughly 235 real-world miles. The fact that a car in its price range has such a high driving range has made it very popular with buyers in the short time it’s been on the market and was enough to win it the WhatCar? Car of the Year Award in 2019. The Kia e-Niro is understated, yet practical in its design and performs very well under most conditions.

 

7. Jaguar I-PaceRange: 235 Miles




If you’re looking for long range in a luxury and sporty vehicle then the Jaguar I-Pace is just that. It’s capable of covering roughly 235 miles and can easily match more expensive models for driving experience.

As you would expect, the I-Pace doesn’t come cheap, starting at £64,995 for the most basic model. It is however still cheaper than top of the range Tesla models. 

 

8. Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 4MATIC - Range: 220 miles




With a range of roughly 220 miles, the Mercedes EQC is a good match for its rivals, including the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X. It has the strong build quality you would expect from Mercedes as well as generous boot space and a solid driving experience. 

 

9. Nissan Leaf e - Range: 215 Miles 




Nissan has long been one of the leading manufacturers of electric cars and its Leaf e model, released in 2018, doesn’t disappoint. In addition to having a range of approximately 215 miles, the e also introduced Nissan’s e-Pedal technology, which allows you to break and accelerate using the same pedal while also charging the battery. 

 

10. Renault Zoe - Range: 160 Miles

Given how popular the Renault Zoe is it might be quite surprising to learn that it has a considerably lower driving range (roughly 160 miles) than the other models on this list. However, considering its affordability and compact size, it performs exceptionally well and has plenty of features that users have grown to love, such as TomTom navigation and Bluetooth connectivity.



Top 5 electric cars we’re most excited by in the future

The mainstream adoption of electric cars has arguably been stunted by their high cost and low driving range. However, in the last couple years that’s all changed.

There are now some excellent models on the market that are easily capable of doing 200 miles, even 300 in some cases, while still remaining affordable for the average buyer or leaser.

This trend only looks set to continue as major manufacturers bring some incredibly exciting models to the fore over the course of 2019 and early 2020. Today, we’re taking a look at some of these mouth-watering new EVs and what makes them so exciting.

 

 

1. Honda E: The First Electric Car Classic

Set to release in early 2020, the Honda E has already garnered a lot of attention thanks to its blend of striking exterior looks and Scandinavian styled interior. Despite its compact design, the Honda E manages to fit in rear doors, making it as practical as it is stylish.

 



With an exterior that almost resembles a retro Golf, it’s the interior where the Honda E comes alive. There are dual touch screen displays on the dashboard as well as connectivity for smart phones and an HDMI port. The E can do 125 miles on a single charge, meaning it’s more suited as a city car. It’s fast to charge using the latest chargers and will start at around £30,000 when it releases.

 

2. Tesla Roadster: A Physics Defying Record Breaker

The Tesla Roadster is easily one of the most anticipated new electric cars in the world and for good reason. The US manufacturer is renowned for its high-end EVs and the Roadster looks to be the most impressive of all.

 



The Roadster is rumoured to be capable of an astonishing 0-60mph in just 1.9 seconds, making it faster than any other electric vehicle in the world by far, possibly physics defying.  It will also have an incredible driving range of more than 600 miles, thanks to its 200kWh battery. Of course, this all comes at a price and it’s expected the Roadster will go on sale for around £200,000.

 

 3. Porsche Taycan: The Lively Young Electric Horse




Coupe style electric cars are quite rare so the Taycan’s looks alone have already got tongues wagging. The Taycan has a lot more to offer than great looks, though. It’s four-wheel drive and has two electric motors, meaning it has plenty of power and should handle very well under most conditions.

It will be able to do 0-62mph in under 3.5 seconds and will have a driving range of 310 miles, making it a rival to the most expensive Teslas currently on the market. The Taycan is set to release in early 2020 and is likely to start at around £60,000.

 

4. Mercedes-Benz EQC: Honest Aesthetic Meets Rugged Practicality




The EQC marks the beginning of a new era for Mercedes, as they launch their ‘EQ’ electric sub-brand of cars which the German manufacturer hope will spearhead their entire range.

The EQC strongly resembles the GLC in its exterior design but offers a clear distinction between its combustion engine cousin, with an interior that offers a glimpse into the future. Two widescreen digital displays control the car's functions and there’s ambient lighting and a virtual cockpit to aid driver enjoyment. Pre-launch models have already been tested, the EQC is on the horizon for late 2019.

 

5. Audi e-tron GT: Simply Gorgeous

Audi has already had initial success in the electric market with the e-tron and this looks set to continue this with its latest model – the e-tron GT. And it's bloody gorgeous. Although it’s not set to release until early 2021, the e-tron GT is already an electric car that many people are anticipating.




With twin electric motors, the e-tron GT will be capable of hitting speeds up to 149mph and has a billed driving range of 248 miles on a single charge. Although official pricing hasn’t been released yet, the e-tron GT is expected to start at around £100,000.

These are our picks for the most exciting, but they are joined by a tantalising line-up also set for release, including: Bollinger B1, Kia Soul EV, Mini Electric, Jaguar XJ, Alfa Romeo Alfieri and BMW Vision iNext. 

 


The top 5 electric SUVs you can buy or lease today

Electric Cars and SUVs represent some of the hottest property in the UK car market at the moment, with all car manufacturers falling over themselves to launch ever new variants and sub-types.

After crossovers first hit the roads in 2013, there has been an explosive growth of SUVs of all shapes and sizes over the past 6 years.  Couple this with an increasingly environmentally conscious consumer and the electric SUV is a match made in heaven.

In the last 18 months, manufacturers have been jostling for a slice of the market and there are now several excellent electric SUV options to satisfy your sports utility vehicle craving, whilst at the same time not compromising on emissions or running costs.

Below we have rated the top five electric SUVs currently on the market, starting with the Kia e-Niro…

 

1. Kia e-Niro - Stylish both inside and out




The award-winning Kia e-Niro is a superb electric model for a lot of reasons. Aimed squarely at the mid-range family market, the e-Niro is significantly cheaper than a lot of the other electric SUVs, including the Jaguar I-Pace. It has an advertised driving range of 282 miles and is very spacious and comfortable inside

The driving experience with the Kia e-Niro is excellent and overall, it’s an ideal choice of electric car, both for newcomers to the market and those looking to upgrade from another model. 

 

2. Jaguar I-Pace - High performance joins jaw-dropping style

Considered by many to be top of class when it comes to electric SUVs, the Jaguar I-Pace has been a hit since it was first released and scooped the prestigious '2019 World Car of the Year' accolade. With 395bhp, it’s capable of doing 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and has a driving range in excess of 230 miles, making it both powerful and practical.




The generous boot space makes it perfect as a family car and it’s likely that the I-Pace will continue to be one of the best-selling electric SUVs in the future. 

 

3. Hyundai Kona Electric - The Affordable Long Distance Runner




The Hyundai Kona Electric ticks plenty of boxes for those looking for a reliable and practical family SUV. Firstly, its advertised 300-mile driving range makes it practical for long-distance journeys as well as city use.

The Kona Electric also offers plenty in the interior, with good connectivity as well as plenty of space both in the cabin and the boot. All round, it’s an excellent choice of SUV that provides a great driving experience. 

 

4. Tesla Model X - Luxury SUV with a performance spark  

If you’re looking for an electric SUV that’s practical but also has plenty of style and power, then the Tesla Model X is a superb choice. From its upward opening ‘gullwing’ doors to its beautiful spacious interior – the Model X feels premium throughout.




The Model X has a practical driving range of roughly 285 miles, which makes it reliable for long journeys and highly efficient as a family car.  It’s also incredibly speedy, being capable of 0-60mph in 2.7 seconds. It might not come cheap, but the Model X is a superb electric SUV for those willing to fork out.


5. Audi e-tron - Ushering in the new era of SUVs

The e-tron has a lot going for it - in addition to its 248 miles of range, the e-tron also has a very generous boot space of 660 litres, trumping many competing SUVs. The driving experience is also very solid, and it handles well under most conditions.

Though its weighty frame means it’s not quite as efficient as others on our list, it still packs a punch power wise – capable of racing from 0-60mph in under six seconds.  




In addition to the SUVs currently on the market, there are also some great models set to be released in the near future. These include the Porsche Taycan, Seat Minimo, Aston Martin Lagonda and BMW i4. 


Top 10 fastest accelerating electric and hybrid cars on sale today

Thanks to their battery technology, electric and hybrid cars are responsible for some of the fastest 0-60mph times ever recorded.

Below we've listed the 10 fastest accelerating electric and hybrid cars, with the fastest on the list, the 918 Spyder and Model S Ludicrous, actually being the fastest accelerating production cars of all time. The cars listed below will power you from A to B in the blink of an eye - far eclipsing many of their combustion engine rivals.

Below is your ultimate guide to the fastest electric and hybrid cars in a 0-60 sprint.

CAR TYPE 0-60 MPH (secs)
PORSCHE 918 SPYDER HYBRID 2.2
TESLA MODEL S P100D LUDICROUS ELECTRIC 2.2
FERRARI LAFERRARI HYBRID 2.4
FARADAY FUTURE FF91 ELECTRIC 2.4
RIMAC CONCEPT ONE ELECTRIC 2.6
TESLA MODEL S P90D LUDICROUS ELECTRIC 2.6
HONDA NSX HYBRID 2.7
TESLA MODEL X PERFORMANCE LUDICROUS ELECTRIC 2.7
TESLA MODEL S P85D LUDICROUS ELECTRIC 2.8
TESLA MODEL X P100D LUDICROUS ELECTRIC 2.8

 



Top 10 electric cars with the highest top speed

Electric cars and their hybrid cousins are redefining top speed as we know it, with many capable of reaching past 200mph and well beyond.

The list is topped by Rimac's simply outstanding Concept One and is bookended by four Tesla models. More widely available than many of its rivals above, the Model S and Model X can reach the giddy heights of 155mph while in 'Ludicrous' Mode.

Below we've compiled the definitive list of the speediest electric and hybrid cars.

CAR TYPE TOP SPEED (MPH)
RIMAC CONCEPT ONE HYBRID 227
MCLAREN P1 HYBRID 217
FERRARI LAFERRARI HYBRID 217
PORSCHE 918 SPYDER HYBRID 211
FARADAY FUTURE FF91 ELECTRIC 200
HONDA NSX HYBRID 191
TESLA MODEL S PERFORMANCE ELECTRIC 162
TESLA MODEL S P100D LUDICROUS ELECTRIC 155
TESLA MODEL S P90D LUDICROUS ELECTRIC 155
TESLA MODEL X PERFORMANCE LUDICROUS ELECTRIC 155

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