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4. Jaguar I-Pace
The first luxury electric car from a mainstream manufacturer to directly challenge Tesla at the high end, the I-Pace delivers on its brief with exceptional interior quality and a striking design that’s slightly more SUV than saloon. The lack of 100kW chargers dents its potential as a long-range tourer (although that will improve over time as infrastructure grows) and infotainment could be better, but it sets the standard for EV handling, and delivers ample performance from its twin 197bhp motors.
5. Nissan Leaf
When it first arrived, the Leaf showed what affordable electric cars were capable of. Now in second-generation guise, it has received a 25% boost in battery capacity, for a WLTP-certified 168-mile range. Increases in power and torque over its predecessor help it feel more engaging to drive, and it is practical enough for small families to use as their main mode of transport. With the government plug-in car grant bringing the price down to that of mid-market conventional hatchbacks, it looks like even better value.
6. Renault Twizy
More microcar than city car, Renault’s smallest EV is even shorter than a Smart Fortwo, and six inches narrower. The 1+1 seating layout and central driving position are bike-like, and doors are optional, but a large motorcycle might actually have more storage space. Neither speed nor range are strong points, the 6.1kWh battery pack managing 43 miles between charges and taking a leisurely 8.4sec to get to 30mph with a passenger in the rear. Still, for commuters with short journeys (and a warm winter wardrobe) the Twizy is an inexpensive electric alternative to public transport.