Top electric cars to buy in 2019

Motoring 2019-1-31
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Check out our top pick of electric cars to buy in 2019.

We understand that buying a car is one of the biggest financial decisions most can people make. NOT only will it be sat on your drive for years to come, but it will also be an essential part of daily life.

With consumers becoming increasingly conscious of the environment, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are becoming more common on our roads.

That’s why we’ve have put together our pick of the electric cars that you should seriously consider buying this year.


Things you need to know before buying an electric car

Your daily average – Knowing how many miles you cover day-to-day is important when choosing your new car. Each model has a different drive range so be sure you go with the most suitable one for your lifestyle.

Charging options – Even though public charging points are becoming more common, it’s still best to check that you have access to one in a convenient place – just in case you get caught short. There are plenty of apps available to help you locate ones nearby. Also, bear in mind that there are different types of cables available which can affect charging time.

Battery: To buy or lease – Car manufacturers are now offering customers the choice of whether to buy or lease the battery for their EV. The theory behind this is that when improved batteries are released, customers can upgrade without much financial pressure.

Electric bill – You might be saving money at the petrol pumps but don’t forget about your home electric bill. Smart charging during off-peak hours will help keep costs down and if you already have solar panels, you can charge your car for free.

Government grant -  Most electric cars are eligible for a government grant of up to £3,500 which is great news as brand new cars can be a little pricey. In addition to this, you won’t need to pay road tax or a congestion charge (if you’re driving through London) which will save you £££’s.

  • Our resident car expert told us: “EVs have improved greatly over the last several years; the examples listed here are seriously capable and represent the future of motoring.


Renault Zoe – Under £20K

For such a small car, the Zoe definitely packs a punch. Not only have Renault upgraded the battery to the new Z.E 40 so you can get up to 250 miles from a single charge, but you can also opt for a quick charge upgrade which will get you to 80% in just over an hour – perfect if you’re on a road trip.

Similar to the Nissan Leaf, Renault has designed this car from scratch rather than adapting a previous model. This means that everything on this car has been thought out and carefully placed to make your driving experience a pleasant one.

If you prefer a smaller car then this one is perfect and you’ll have no issues getting into a tight parking spot or making a quick turn in the road.

The only other thing to consider with the Zoe is that you will either have to pay a monthly cost for the battery or buy outright which may increase the initial outlay cost.

  • Drive range: 250 miles
  • Top speed: 84mph
  • Boot space: 338L

Charge times:

Rapid 43kW

Fast 22kW

Fast 7kW

Slow 3kW

1 hour 

2 hours 

6 hours 

13.5 hours 

0-80%

0-100%

0-100%

0-100%


Nissan Leaf - Under £30K

If you’re looking to upgrade, then this is a great little family car. Not only is it super easy to drive (it’s an automatic) but when it comes to braking, the car actively slows down quicker when you take your foot off the accelerator so you’ll have more time to come to a steady stop. Another nifty feature is the ‘E-Pedal’ which is featured in the new longer-ranged models. The pedal can be used both for acceleration when depressed and braking when released which increased driving efficiency in urban areas.  

If you're not a fan of the EV look, this could be a good choice for you as it doesn’t look like your typical electric car. Plus the tech that’s included won’t leave you disappointed. It comes with a built infotainment system, 360-degree camera and parking assistance (which is helpful when getting into those tight parking bays).

Space isn’t an issue as it comes with a generously sized boot and loads of leg room in the back.

  • Drive range: 150 miles
  • Top speed: 93mph
  • Boot space: 435L

Charge times:

Rapid 50kW

Fast 22kW

Fast 7kW

Slow 3kW

30 mins

4.5 hours

4.5 hours

10 hours

0-80%

0-100%

0-100%

0-100%

Volkswagen e-Golf – Under £35K

Looks like a Golf, feels like a Golf, drives like a Golf, but it’s all electric. VW have created their first ever fully electric car and it’s seriously impressive.

Even though the top speed of this car is only 87mph, real-world driving in this little beauty allows you to pull away quickly, get a great boost from stand-still and the throttle response is a whole 5 times faster than the petrol engine version. With the braking, it’s pretty much the same story - with a rapid decline in speed once you let up off the throttle meaning you don’t have to go heavy on the brake pedal.

From the driver’s seat, nothing has really changed and is pretty much as you would expect to see in any other Golf. The digital display is easy to use which comes in 8-inch as standard (9.2-inch as an upgrade). The only visible difference is the blue stitching on the interior and power dial that replaces the rev counter.

It’s a great little car for city driving but once on the motorway, its performance doesn’t falter.

  • Drive range: 118 miles
  • Top speed: 87 mph
  • Boot space: 341L

Charge times:

Rapid 50kW

Fast 22kW

Fast 7kW

Slow 3kW

35 mins 

5 hours 

5 hours 

12 hours 

0-80%

0-100%

0-100%

0-100%

Kia e-Niro – Under £35K

For an electric SUV, this car is well worth a look. Not only is it stylish, but it's well-equipped, has a generous boot and has one of the best ranges currently available –282 miles on a single full charge.

The quality of the interior is also more than most customers would expect as it comes with a leather interior, soft-touch plastic finishes, and piano trim.

The tech won’t disappoint you either – an 8-inch touch screen with sat nav, premium sound system, reversing camera and compatible Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s super easy to use with short cut buttons to make it easier to use when driving.

The drive is as simple as pressing the accelerator and off you go – no engine/gearbox combinations to worry about so this makes driving in the city a doddle.

The only downside is that this car isn’t available to buy until April 2019 so, unfortunately, you’ll have to wait.

  • Drive range: 282 miles
  • Top speed: 104mph
  • Boot space: 451L

Charge times:

Rapid 100kW

Rapid 50kW

Fast 22kW

Fast 7kW

Slow 3kW

30 mins 

1 hour 

9 hours 

9 hours 

26 hours 

0-80%

0-80%

0-100%

0-100%

0-100%


Basic public charging etiquette

As electric vehicles are still quite new to most of us so we may be forgiven for not knowing all the dos and don’ts - here are some of the basics to help you out.

Move your car when you’re fully charged – There’s nothing worse than having your car on 10% and someone is hogging the only charging point in the vicinity. Rapid charge points are for quick boosts only so try to stay with your vehicle until it’s done or grab a coffee nearby if you don’t want to sit in your car – just give that 3 hour shopping trip a miss.

If you’re not plugging in, don’t park– It goes without saying that just because you have an EV, that doesn’t give you the right to park in a charging bay if you have no intention of using it. Don’t be that person - just park somewhere elsewhere instead. It’s not fair on drivers who need to charge up their car.

Use the apps available – Finding a charging point is not also easier but try to plan ahead so that you’re not caught short. Features on apps such as ChargePoint can let you know when your car has reached full charge and allow fellow users to communicate with you to ask if they can unplug your car to charge their own..


If you want to get your hands on a brand new EV then check out our low cost Car Loans from just 3.2% APR Representative between £7,500 and £25,000.

Hitachi Hints and Tips is intended to be informative and interesting. It does not constitute financial advice, and you should always do further research when making any financial decisions. All information was correct at date of publication.
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