FAMILY Electric cars

Best FAMILY Electric cars...

1. Tesla Model S

Long Range: $81,190 Performance: $101,190

...Tesla’s co-founder, Elon Musk, is constantly in the news for his electric car exploits. Many people see him as a bond-villain like character, but trust us, he can make a great car. After all, Tesla really nudged electric cars from mildly interesting to desirable when it launched its Roadster in 2008.

The company's best known car is the Model S. Specific model names and prices have changed throughout the years, but the one you’ll be looking out for is the 100D. These get a massive (19in) central screen to control everything, a 90kWh battery capable of around 393 miles between charges, and autonomous capabilities. You can’t hand over control of the car entirely, and you do need to be alert at all times. But it can change lanes on the motorway for you, which is helpful.

The five-door hatchback shape is remarkably conventional for such an unconventional car, which lends itself to family-life really rather well. The all-electric power takes up less room than a conventional petrol or diesel powered car, which means there’s more space in side. There’s also a big boot, which can house two extra seats, making it a seven seater.

2. Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Price when new £19,995

..Hyundai offers its sensible Ioniq family car in a variety of powertrains – including a pure electric version, which costs £30,950 after the government grant. If you're still nervous about going full EV, you can alternatively pick a hybrid or plug-in hybrid version, providing a tad more reassurance on longer journeys. All Ioniqs have decent cabin space for families of four or five, as well as a decent boot, and their refined and relaxed nature makes them ideal for daily use.

Aggressive. The entry-level Hybrid starts at £19,995, the Electric version costs from £28,995 – and that’s before the £4500 government grant for ‘class one’ electric vehicles.

Prius pricing starts at £23,295, for comparison – and while you can buy a Leaf for as little as £16,395, it will come with the smaller 24kWh battery pack on a monthly rental agreement, good for 124-miles max per charge; to outright purchase an Ioniq-equivalent Leaf with 30kWh battery and claimed 155-mile range costs £29,730 (before grant).

We drove the Hybrid first, and found it tolerably pleasant, but not sensational. The dual-clutch gearbox is a definite enhancement, but it’s still quite a noisy thing whenever you put your foot down, and since there are no paddleshifters on the steering wheel (what owner would bother, we suppose) and the manual shift on the central selector is the wrong way round (up for up may seem logical but it’s less intuitive in practice) there’s little incentive to moderate this yourself.

3. Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL

....The family electric car for urban areas: compact five-seater with battery-powered electric drive and a range of over 200 km

Following the B‑Class F‑CELL fuel-cell car, Mercedes‑Benz now introduces the new A-Class E-CELL as its second electric car built in series-production conditions. The five-seater with battery-powered electric drive meets all the requirements for a family car for everyday use. It is based on the five-door version of the current A‑Class, and features a generously dimensioned interior and luggage compartment for maximum versatility. No compromises have been necessary in terms of space and variability, with compact storage batteries that are located extremely well-protected and in a space-saving way in the vehicle underbase. The car’s two high-efficiency lithium-ion batteries provide a range of over 200 km (NEDC). The car is powered by a quiet, locally emission-free electric drive with peak output of 70 kW (95 hp), developing a high torque of 290 Nm. A total production run of 500 A‑Class E‑CELL cars will be built at Rastatt from autumn 2010. The vehicles will be leased to selected customers in several European countries, including Germany, France and the Netherlands.

Five doors, five seats, the same luggage compartment volume as in the internal combustion engine A‑Class (435 to 1370 litres), a 350‑kilogram payload measured as per the relevant EC directive and high variability of the interior and luggage compartment: this is what makes the new A-Class E-CELL a family car for everyday use.

4. Jaguar I-Pace

...Latest Jaguar I-Pace deals from £46.690

Jaguar’s new I-Pace heralds a brave new era for the British brand. It’s a Tesla competitor with a similar range, and like the Tesla Model X, the Jaguar I-Pace a large crossover that’s practical and looks great.

There’s acres of space in the front and rear, and the boot is a cavernous 656 litres. That’s even more space than a Hyundai ix35, a conventional petrol powered SUV.

Power from those batteries equates to 90kWh, giving it a range of 292 miles. This makes it the car with the longest electric range that has been measured using the latest WLTP tests.

Striking design

Scintillating performance

More than 200 mile range on one charge

5. Peugeot e-208 GT

...From £11,3497

Electric supermini appeals with its standout design and charging potential, but lacks finesse out on the road.

The e-208 is different because it exists on the same modular platform as the regular 208. It also uses the same body and interior as the regular 208, and will be assembled on the same production line. It gets a slightly wider rear axle to make space for the battery and there’s additional strengthening in the subframes, but by and large it’s the same car. Only electric.

And on paper the e-208 looks reasonably impressive. For now there's a 50kWh lithium-ion battery, giving a WLTP range of 211 miles – enough, says Peugeot, for typical owners to get away with only one weekly charge, assuming they charge completely.

However, broadly speaking the Peugeot e-208 is a likeable effort. Attractive inside and out, it has a good but not exceptional driving range, makes no concessions in terms of interior space and comes prepared for the time when 100kW public charging stations are widespread.


...from £34,995

If the high cost of the posher electric cars puts you off, worry not – prices are starting to tumble. Case in point: MG has just launched its first all-electric car, the ZS EV, and the first 1000 customers benefited from an introductory price of £21,495. Now that offer has expired, the price – inclusive of the government grant – is a still-reasonable (comparatively speaking) £25,495. This is no sluggish, short-range affair with limited practicality, either; the ZS EV can accelerate from 0-62mph in 8.5sec, cover 163 miles on a single charge and accommodate the needs of most families thanks to its vast boot and large cabin.

7. Lexus UX 300e

...Debuts As Brand’s First-Ever Electric Vehicle.

It does 250 miles (400 kilometers) on the NEDC cycle.

Some would say Lexus couldn’t have picked a worse time to unveil its first electric vehicle as all eyes are on Tesla and its futuristic Cybertruck that just debuted in Los Angeles. Nevertheless, it’s still an important moment in the company’s history and the world premiere takes place today at Auto Guangzhou 2019. Why there? Because China will be a key market for the UX 300e, but the electric crossover will also be sold in Japan and Europe.

It weighs about 1,900 kilograms (4,188 pounds) and features a retuned suspension with revised dampers to handle the extra weight. To make sure the vehicle is heard by those around it despite the lack of a traditional engine, Lexus has installed what it refers to as an Active Sound Control (ASC) system that “transmits natural, ambient sounds.”

The UX 300e represents Lexus’ first EV, but more are to come as Toyota’s luxury division is working on a new platform dedicated to zero-emissions cars. The first car to be developed from the ground up as an EV is due early in the next decade when Lexus will also introduce its first PHEV model.

It virtually retains the design of the conventionally powered model, right down to the placement of the fuel cap, although we’re noticing its round shape has been changed to an angular and slightly larger cap to make room for the charging port. There are some subtle changes compared to the standard UX, such as the new aerodynamic wheels, 20 millimeters (0.8 inches) lowered ride height, and redesigned underbody cover to make the vehicle as sleek as possible in a bid to enhance efficiency. Inside, the look of the instrument cluster is the only thing that has changed.

8 Chevrolet BOLT EV

...Go farther than you think

From your weekday commute to weekend trips and all the places in between, Bolt EV is ready to take you wherever you want to go. This ride is an affordable all-electric vehicle that offers an EPA-estimated 259 miles of range on a full charge.† Plus, it offers advanced safety technologies, plenty of space and good looks on top of that. With Bolt EV, there’s nothing holding you back.

Key Features

  • 10.2-inch diagonal color touch-screen
  • 8-inch diagonal Driver Information Center
  • Apple CarPlay®†compatibility
  • Android AutoTM†compatibility
  • Available 4G LTE Wi-Fi®† Hotspot
  • myChevrolet Mobile App† for 5 years, including EV mobile commands and Remote Key Fob services

Bolt EV offers an EPA-estimated 259 miles of range,† nearly 10% more than previous model years, or 21 miles farther than before. You can go a day – or possibly even a few days – without needing to charge. That means you’ll have all the range you need for your daily routine plus a few stops along the way.