You don’t have to wait for the electric car revolution to begin, it’s here with us now. And today, in an exclusive eight-page supplement in the Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine, we set out what every motorist needs to know.
This is especially important when new petrol and diesel cars are likely to be outlawed, perhaps in as little as 15 or even 12 years.
In simple, no-nonsense language, my guide beats a high-voltage path through the costs, benefits, and pitfalls of living with an electric car. Jargon-free, it sets out in simple terms what motorists need to know about buying or leasing, subsidies, charging times, range issues and running costs, as well as a survey of some popular, practical, family friendly, speedy and high-spec battery-powered vehicles on sale, or about to be.
Long ranger: The new funky and boxy Kia Soul EV, has a range of up to 280 miles
Today’s guide coincides with the chance to win a new Hyundai Kona, worth £39,000. Hyundai is also setting up a new electric-only sub-brand called Ioniq, with the Ioniq 5 crossover out next year, the 6 sports coupe (based on the concept Prophecy) in 2022, and the 7 large SUV in 2024.
Together with its value-for-money sibling Kia, the Korean firm aims to sell a million electric vehicles a year globally by 2025. Kia’s electric e-Niro meanwhile has Hollywood star and near-namesake Robert de Niro plugging its electric credentials.
Priced from £29,595 to £36,146 (after deduction of the £3,000 plug-in grant) and with a 282-mile range, it was named What Car? of the year in 2019.
And the new funky and boxy Kia Soul EV, costing £34,295 (after the grant) has a range of up to 280 miles, accelerates from rest to 60mph in 7.6 seconds up to 104mph.
Nissan’s Leaf has been named most reliable electric vehicle in a study carried out by Warranty-wise which looked at the frequency of repairs, common faults, cost of repair and age at the time of repair.
‘HASSLE-FREE’ SHOWROOM OPENS
Farewell, Arthur Daley. A ‘hassle-free’ showroom where staff are forbidden from selling you a car opens today.
As an antidote to high-pressure, hard-sell tactics, customers can look over models on offer, take advice from non-commissioned specialists, dubbed ‘brand ambassadors’, configure their ideal vehicle on screens and even take a road test.
New concept: It’s been set up by Volvo’s electric car spin-off Polestar (Polestar 2 pictured), both part of the Chinese giant Geely
But they can only buy their car online and in their own time — either from home or with non-pressured guidance in store.
The compact, boutique-style showroom in the Westfield Shopping Centre, West London, has cars to view and sit in, but there’s no stock to ‘shift’ to meet-targets.
It’s been set up by Volvo’s electric car spin-off Polestar (Polestar 2), both part of the Chinese giant Geely. Similar ventures in Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham are possible.
CITROEN MAKING COST OF CARS MORE TRANSPARENT
Citoen is slashing prices — and discounts — to make the cost of its cars, including the C1, pictured, more transparent to customers in the UK, in showrooms or online.
It means less haggling over an inflated showroom price because the published retail price will be far closer to what the customer actually pays.
Less haggling: Its Fair Pricing initiative also aims to protect the longer-term residual value of its cars
Its Fair Pricing initiative also aims to protect the longer-term residual value of its cars. Surveys show many customers are put off buying if they must haggle.
Examples of reductions from December 1 are:
Up to £700 off a Citroen C1 (from £11,015 to £10,315)
Up to £1,175 off a new C3 super-mini (£16,280/ £15,105)
Up to £1,775 off a C3 Aircross Compact SUV (from £21,445 /£19,670)
Citroën UK’s MD Eurig Druce added there was now a 75 per cent chance of the all-electric AMI pod car — at around £5,000 — coming to Britain next year.