ONE thing’s for sure, 2017 has been a big year for electrified vehicles.
Tightening emissions regulations and the government’s announcement that it intends to ban the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 means manufacturers have been launching alternatively-fuelled vehicles left, right and centre.
Here, we take a look at some of our favourites from the past year.
While many electric cars boast out-there styling that may not be to everyone’s tastes, the e-Golf just looks like a regular hatchback – perfect for those who don’t want to stand out from the crowd. It’s 134bhp electric motor is driven by a 35.8kWh battery, allowing for a real-world range of 124 miles.
Including the government’s plug-in car grant, the new e-Golf costs from £27,690.
When BMW launched the original i3 back in 2013, it was one of the most futuristic-looking cars on the market. In 2017, BMW introduced a revised model that maintained those looks, but added a bit of extra power for those drivers who wanted a bit more shove from their electric vehicle.
It now develops 181bhp and can sprint from 0-60mph in 6.7 seconds. It’s also got a range of 174 miles.
The i3s costs from £32,475 after the government grant has been applied.
Renault Zoe Z.E.40
The Renault Zoe is not only a highly likeable electric car, but it’s also one of the more affordable models on sale.
Earlier this year, the French manufacturer fitted the Zoe with its new Z.E.40 battery, which saw the electric supermini’s range increase to 250 miles.
With the government’s plug-in car grant, the Zoe can be had for as little as £14,245 – although that doesn’t include the monthly battery hire fee.
BMW i8 Roadster
Like its smaller i3 stablemate, the BMW i8 was an exquisitely futuristic-looking car when it was launched.
The plug-in hybrid sports car boasted Porsche 911-rivalling performance, but also didn’t cost the earth to run thanks to its quoted 135mpg economy figure.
Now the convertible version has been revealed, and we can’t wait to get behind the wheel. The i8 Roadster is priced from £124,730.
Mercedes-AMG Project One
The Mercedes-AMG Project One showcases the extreme end of hybrid motoring.
This new hypercar is expected to cost around £2 million, and features the same drivetrain used in the firm’s Formula One cars, while four electric motors power each wheel giving it four-wheel drive.
Power stands at a monstrous 992bhp, allowing the Project One to hit a top speed of 217mph and sprint from a standstill to 124mph in just six seconds. Who said electrified cars were boring?
Tesla Model 3
Tesla’s Model 3 is set to be the American manufacturer’s most accessible model, and will go head to head with the likes of the BMW 3 Series in the compact executive market.
It promises 220 miles of range on a single charge, as well as a 0-60mph time of less than six seconds.
Although production has already begun, there have been a few hiccups, meaning it likely won’t reach British customers until later in 2018. Prices are expected to be around the £35,000 mark.
Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-hybrid
Sitting at the top of the Panamera range, the £137,140 Turbo S E-Hybrid is another example of how electric power can be used to make a properly exciting performance car.
Power from its V8 engine and electric motor stands at a combined 671bhp, allowing it to sprint from 0-60mph in just 3.2 seconds.
If this wasn’t good enough, it also boasts an all-electric range of 30 miles, and a combined fuel economy figure of 94.2mpg on the combined cycle. Not bad for a high-performance Porsche.
Toyota’s Mirai isn’t your conventional electric car. It uses a hydrogen fuel cell to power an electric motor, with water being the only thing to be emitting from its tailpipe.
Instead of plugging the £65,219 Mirai in to charge, it is refuelled with compressed hydrogen – much in the same way you would fill up a conventional petrol car.
If the relevant infrastructure can be installed – progress is already being made here – cars such as the Mirai could prove to be a popular alternative to petrol and diesel-powered vehicles.