Pros and cons of the 5 most widely-sold electric cars
They do not pollute or make noise, and they already seduce many drivers. Battery-powered cars are finding a place for themselves in the market, among other reasons because the designs have improved a lot and because their autonomy has grown. Now you can be sure that the car is not going give up on you suddenly.
Last year, 8,645 electric vehicles were registered in Spain. This might not seem many (and it is true), but the figure is not bad at all: sales grew by 82% compared to 2016, according to data from the Spanish Association of Automobile Manufacturers and Trucks (Anfac). The future lies with clean vehicles; electric cars are here to stay.
The reasons are easy to understand. To begin with, because they pollute less and it is necessary to reduce emissions. The European Environment Agency notes that 13% of the polluting particles in the 28 countries of the European Union come from road transport, and the real alternative to combustion engines are electric.
In addition to this, the price of battery-powered cars is no longer so high; they are still more expensive than traditional models, but the aid from the administration (with subsidies of up to 5,500 euros depending on the different government support plans) is an incentive for drivers, without forgetting that there are tax exemptions and that the price of electricity is lower than that of traditional fuels.
And what about their autonomy? When electric vehicles began to come on to the market, they guaranteed the outward trip, but not the return. Current models have improved a lot and cover the urban needs of any driver.
It is not so clear for the open road, but the solution is a matter of (little) time. Batteries are likely to evolve fast and many cars will be able to house a more powerful battery, without having to change vehicle. Until that time comes, these are the electric cars that most seduce drivers.
Born directly as pure electric (not based on an earlier version), this has a theoretical range of 403 kilometres. The actual figure drops to about 300, which is not bad.
Price: from €21,000
In favour: Apart from the autonomy, its 92 HP respond well in the city, correctly on the road and acceptably on the motorway. It is not large (4.08 metres), but it accommodates five adults relatively well. The central screen offers a very complete information.
Against: The inside is somewhat austere, with few details.
The best-selling electric car in the world is also well received in Spain, and even more now that the Japanese brand has updated the model; and it has improved a lot, with a real autonomy now exceeding 300 kilometres.
Price: from €29,800
In favour: Includes the ProPilot system semi-autonomous driving system, capable of dealing with everything on its own on the motorway (always in the same lane, of course). Speaking of driving, the new Leaf is much more precise; thinking about the design, the change is remarkable: now it is much prettier. It looks like a normal car and not a strange electric vehicle, as it used to be.
Against: Although the e-Pedal could be an advantage, because of the novelty of the system, it is not clear at all. With this system it is possible to accelerate and completely brake the car with the accelerator much more sharply than in other electric vehicles, regenerating the energy at the same time.
But it is difficult to get used to, the response is very hard. What’s more, the interior comfort and habitability are not its strong point, despite its length (4.48 metres).
Perfect for drivers looking for originality. With its sophisticated and distinctive design, obviously futuristic in appearance, it is the most striking electric vehicle.
Price: from €38,200
In favour: A very powerful engine (170 HP) and an acceleration like that of sports models: from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds. This means that it is agile, fast and great fun to move around the city.
The autonomy has also been improved and it now reaches the official 300 km (up to 230 in actual use). And it's a BMW, with all the character (and quality) that the German brand offers.
Against: It has a small boot, only four seats and it is difficult to get into the rear seats.
Another electric car of urban spirit that displays all the virtues of its combustion brother (an agile car, easy to drive and easy to park).
Price: from €12,175
In favour: A very attractive new design and a special offer together with an electricity company: 10,000 kilometres of free refills. What’s more, if the driver is going to make a long trip by road, the brand offers a Mercedes for rent at a special price.
Against: The electric Smart (which is also sold in the Cabrio and Forfour versions) fails in autonomy, which remains at about 120 kilometres of real use. It's not much, although for the city it may be enough.
The German compact vehicle has been on the market for almost four years and in 2017 it made a great leap in quality with a new version: the autonomy increased to the official 300 kilometres (up to 230-240 in actual use) and the engine also gained power to reach up to 136 HP.
Price: from €692.49/ month
In favour: In addition to a good acceleration (from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.6 seconds), it offers a quiet and relaxing ride (as in most electric vehicles) and above all very similar to that of traditional cars, without forgetting that it is a Golf, with what that means in terms of image, space, presentation and overall quality.
Against: The price is rather high and the boot is very small.