Audi’s e-tron shows its rivals how to do a fully electric large SUV. If you like the idea of a mid-sized or large premium-badged SUV but can’t stomach the thought of such a vehicle’s impact on greenhouse gases, then this Audi e-tron model will be right up your street.
It’s a slightly more imposing thing than Jaguar’s I-PACE – and from the next technological era on from a Tesla Model S. In short, you could imagine your top management colleagues being impressed at your decision, should you take the plunge, ignore a lot of more conventional but very desirable luxury machinery and decide to run an e-tron.
We still think driving range will be a dissuading issue with some buyers though. In this day and age, you should be able to take a full-electric luxury segment car of this price and be able to embark upon a five-hour round trip without a moment’s thought about driving range.
You still can’t do that with this Audi. But that’s not Ingolstadt’s fault; it’s where the technology currently is. Given that, this is, without doubt, state of the art.
MINI’s take on battery-powered motoring certainly has its appeal.
As the world faces new environmental, social and economic challenges, so perhaps the arrival of this MINI Electric is just as opportune. We have some reservations about its rather limited driving range capability, but if you’re going to be regularly town-based anyway, that may not be too much of an issue.
SEAT Mii electric
The Mii Electric is SEAT’s first full-electric car. The Mii was always an under-rated city car and it will probably be an under-rated electric runabout too. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth putting on your shopping list if you’re making the move towards battery power with a little urban scoot like this.
This model’s slightly more affordable than a Volkswagen e-up! and the top version of the Skoda CITIGOe iV, both cars share its engineering – but there’s not much in it. Still, if a SEAT dealer is more convenient for you and you happen to prefer the look of a Mii, we can see why you might choose it over the VW and the Skoda.
Skoda CITIGOe iV
The CITIGOe iV is Skoda’s first full-electric car. It makes value sense too. Some city cars sell on cute and cuddly virtues. This isn’t one of them. Here instead, the urban runabout has grown up, become mature and got itself properly sorted with full-electric power.
If that puts off the twentysomethings who’d prefer something more fashionable, then Skoda won’t mind. This, according to Skoda, is ‘engineering excellence with a human touch’ – a design someone’s clearly thought very carefully about.
True, there are trendier electric city cars you could consider: maybe more charismatic ones too. But none that better deliver on the promise of two words that sum up this CITIGOe iV. Simply clever.
Vauxhall Corsa e
With a little Gallic assistance, Vauxhall has rejuvenated its Corsa supermini to make sure it stays relevant to buyers in this crowded market. Ultimately, what we’re looking at here is a Corsa that can.
It can be fun to drive. It can deliver a big car feel. And it can stack up well on the balance sheet. It’s a small Vauxhall for which no apologies need to be made. All that will worry obvious supermini rivals. After all, this model’s predecessor lacked a little in all these areas, yet still racked up very respectable sales against them.
This MK5 version is still very competitively priced but has become a contender in this segment that sells on more than just sheer value. It’s not perfect of course. It doesn’t lead its class in terms of either space, efficiency or driving dynamics. And more work is still needed under the bonnet, to deliver an engine range in which all the options are as good as the mid-range three-cylinder turbo petrol unit.
The key though, is that this Vauxhall is now there, or thereabouts, in the three main areas we’ve just mentioned. Add to that the wide model line-up and the likely deals on offer and you’ve a supermini that more than ever, needs to remain high on any family’s shopping list.
smart fortwo ev
smart is making electric mobility more attractive and proof is found in the form of this fortwo EQ electric drive city car. The smart EQ fortwo is a charming piece of electric drive technology that works extremely well, drives nicely and seems a perfect technological fit.
It’s far more convincing than Nissan’s LEAF at doing the city car thing and makes some other electric vehicles seem a generation or so behind. In short, it just works. A wider network of recharging points in car parks and service stations would be needed for vehicles like the smart electric drive to really take off. That and further incentives to make electric cars more attractive to consumers.
This smart appears to have the basics just about right though, and in urban areas particularly, it makes real sense.