Is it the right time to go down the electric car route?

The Government has set a target that all new cars and van sold from 2030 be zero emission or zero emission capable as one of a range of measures to meet our climate change commitments.

So with the focus on electric cars, we look at the key characteristics of five you can buy. Is one right for you?

Tesla Model S

It’s impossible to think of a modern electric car without a Tesla popping first into your head. Elon Musk’s premium brand has very quickly established itself as the leader of the electric pack when it comes to alternatives for conventional power.

The Model S has spearheaded the success of the California-based manufacturer and it’s easy to see why. Not only can it deliver an impressive 409-mile range (albeit requiring a nine-hour charge), should you opt for the P100D model, you can get near-supercar levels of performance too.

Tied together with a luxurious and well-equipped package, you’ve got one of the coolest cars on the planet. That said, it’ll set you back at least €120k.

Renault Zoe

OK, so it’s got a silly name, but that doesn’t make the Zoe a silly car. First of all, it’s a cheap way to enter the EV scene. Included with that is your own home wall charger, which can take the battery from flat to full in five hours.

Not that you would have to plug it in too much if you were using it purely as a city car, as the Zoe can manage 250 miles on one charge.

Volkswagen e-Golf

Electric cars don’t always have to be bespoke models with wild styling and funky names. Here, you simply get a Volkswagen Golf that so happens to have an electric motor in place of a combustion engine.

Having said that, it is pricey for a Golf, starting from €32,000 (including €5,000 SEAI grant and €5,000 VRT rebate).

Couple that with a rather limited 186-mile range and it’s difficult to justify if you’re just in the market for a new Golf. However, if you want to join the electric revolution in something that doesn’t make a fuss about what’s underneath, this may just be the right car for you.

Hyundai Ioniq

Admittedly the Hyundai Ioniq is not the most inspiring car on this list, but it’s by no means a bad one. It’s understated in design (perhaps even a bit bland, depending on your tastes) and makes for an alternative choice to some of the more conventional cars in its sector, if nothing else.

It’s certainly one pricey Hyundai though and with a measly range of 174 miles that takes eight hours of charging to replenish, it’s going to take a very dedicated Korean car fan to justify buying this one.

BMW i3

This is one for those looking to stand out. Styled like something that would usually barely make it past the concept phase, the BMW i3 is certainly a striking thing to look at.

It’s pretty tech heavy in its construction too, with a body made largely of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic which alone offsets the weight of the 230kg battery pack.

If you’re one for function over form though, the i3 isn’t going to be for you. With a rather poor 81-mile range, it’s not going to serve you well if you fancy taking it out of town. There is a version with a petrol range extender available, but that kind of ruins the point of it being all-electric, no?


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