A Special Report is content that is edited and produced by the Special Reports unit within The Irish Times Content Studio. It is supported by advertisers who may contribute to the report, but who do not have editorial control.

Top 10 electric cars on the market

With increasing interest in electric vehicles, which ones are worthy of the attention?

BMW i8 plug in hybrid: Damian Dolan from Hi Line Energy gets a closer look at a  at the SEAI Energy Show. Photograph: Alan Betson

BMW i8 plug in hybrid: Damian Dolan from Hi Line Energy gets a closer look at a at the SEAI Energy Show. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Bear in mind that naming the best electric car is akin to trying to nail jelly to a moving wal, given that the state of the art advances almost on a daily basis, so consider this list a snapshot of a fast-evolving EV market.

1. Kia eNrio & Hyundai Kona electric : €38,130

Kia eNiro : €38,130

I’m bundling these two Korean models together as they’re, under the skin, identical. The Kia is a little roomier and arguably less stylish, the Hyundai more striking to look at but less satisfying inside. Both have exceptional one-charge range (more than 400km in real-world conditions) and are relatively reasonably priced, so that’s why they’re at joint No.1.

3. Jaguar I-Pace: €81,585

Good enough to be our Irish Times best car of 2018, and Jaguar’s best new product in years. The I-Pace looks cool, is huge fun to drive, has decent one-charge range (close to 400km) and very fleet-footed performance. You do pay for it, though, this one ain’t cheap.

Car of the Year 2019 winner: Jaguar I Pace. Photograph: Denis Balibouse/ Reuters
Car of the Year 2019 winner: Jaguar I Pace. Photograph: Denis Balibouse/ Reuters

4. Renault Zoe: €24,990

Did someone say cheap? The Zoe is actually the most affordable electric car in Ireland right now, and yet comes with a battery big enough to give it a decent range. It looks cute too, but the slightly plastic-y interior does let the side down a little.

Renault Zoe: €24,990
Renault Zoe: €24,990

5. BMW i3: €35,760

Oddball looks on the outside, funky, almost Scandi-style cabin on the inside, and proper performance from a 170hp electric motor. The i3 is engaging to drive, has good range, and exceptional quality but it’s a bit small inside.

6. Volkswagen eGolf: €36,770

The most normal of all the electric cars around at the moment, the eGolf is a little short on range, compared to its best rivals, but it hits back with a more composed driving experience than most, and the comfort and security of that familiar Golf shape. Cleverly priced-and-specced Business edition appeals to the BIK brigade.

7. Nissan Leaf: €28,690

Europe’s best-selling electric car right now, and that’s hardly surprising. Nissan has worked hard to hone the second generation Leaf’s performance, and the ‘one pedal’ driving setup, thanks to the electric motor’s strong braking effect, is handy around town. One-charge range is a little disappointing, but there is a bigger-battery version coming soon.

Tesla has become inseparably synonymous with electric cars and the Model S is impressive

8. Tesla Model S: €96,503

The Tesla phenomenon can probably take as much credit for the boom in electric car sales as the scandal over diesel emissions, and the changes in legislation. Certainly, Tesla has become inseparably synonymous with electric cars, and the Model S’ electric motors, batteries, range, and infotainment system are all hugely impressive. Build quality is rather less so, not least thanks to that loft price tag.

9. Hyundai Ioniq Electric: €29,745

Hyundai’s first all-electric car has become rather overshadowed by its big-selling Kona brother but it remains an impressive EV even now. Range is a tiny bit short, compared to more recent models, but it’s still good enough for many purposes, and while it’s not much fun to drive, it is comfortable, roomy, and efficient to run.

10. Tesla Model X: €101,212

Tesla’s seven-seater (or six, depending on which options you pick) sure doesn’t lack for kerbside drama, with those astonishing ‘Falcon’ back doors, and like the Model S, it’s hard not to be impressed by its range, and the savage performance of its electric motors. Also like the Model S, though, build quality is not commensurate with price.