There is very little left to debate about the future of electric cars. Technological advances have made them as good, if not better, than their gasoline driven cousins. Rising fuel costs and a growing concern for the environmental well-being of our planet are now pushing manufacturers to research and release cars which are efficient and emission free. When 'plug-in' electric cars first appeared, they were very expensive and did not have sufficient range to be considered a practical alternative. However, costs have now fallen dramatically and range has also increased as well with some cars giving over 200 miles of range on a single charge. Insurance rates in Dubai, New York and other cities around the world are increasing, so are pollution taxes. Buying an electric car is now not a statement of one's enthusiasm for the planet's well-being but a practical step with a look towards the future. Below, are some of the top electric cars in the market today.
BMW researched and monitored the driving habits of a thousand people over 20 million miles over 6 years while developing the i3. The result is a car that does 0-60 in around 7 second and has a range of almost 120 miles on a single charge. It's also a great looking car and fun to drive around in. Though not cheap, subsequent sales will probably drive prices down and there is already a very demand for it.
Tesla Model S
The Model S is marketed as the world's first premium electric sedan. It does 0-60 in 5.4 seconds and hits a top speed of 125 mph. There are three battery options to choose from: the 60 kWh one having a range of 230 miles and the 85 kWh and the performance version increasing the range to around 300 miles. The Model S is not cheap but it does have some tax deductions that go along with it.
An original trailblazer in the electric car segment, it was considered impractical and expensive when it first came out. However, the new version sees a substantial price cut. There is also a bigger boot and an increased range. It does around 124 miles on a single charge and has a top speed of around 90 mph. The extended range and top speed come from lighter bodywork and improved batteries.
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG coupe Electric Drive
The Benz is an amazing feat of engineering. It does 0-60 in 3.9 seconds! Power comes from four electric motors which are powered through a liquid cooled 400 V lithium ion battery. The figures don't stop there, the motors produce 1,000 Nm of torque and around 751 hp. Range is around 155 miles. Not for everybody though, the Benz costs a hefty half a million dollars in the US markets. However, the technological marvel that it is must be appreciated. This car is perfect for those in the ultra premium market. The recent change in policy towards parking rates and insurance rates in premium markets such as Dubai will provide the Benz with a ready market for a super fast electric car.
Chevrolet Spark EV
The Spark EV got great reviews primarily because of its enjoyable ride and cheap price. Though it has a range of just 82 miles, it can be fast-charge to 80 percent in 20 minutes. There are also tax benefits that come from buying the Spark EV and insurance rates are also significantly cheaper.
Ford Focus EV
The Focus EV has been priced in a manner where it can compete with gasoline driven cars on the road today. It has a top speed of 84 mph and a range of 76 miles on a single charge. The Focus EV also comes with regenerative braking which turns 90 percent of the energy generally lost during braking into charge as well. Ford has also made the car in an environmentally friendly manner with seat fabrics being made from recycled material and seat padding being made from sustainable plant seed oils.
Smart ForTwo Electric Drive
Smart cars have always come first in urban practicality and the ForTwo Electric Drive is along the same lines. It weighs around 2000 pounds and has a 28.7 feet turning radius. This makes it very easy to drive around and park. Don't be fooled by its size, for the Smart can hit a top speed of 78 mph and having a range of 76 miles, the Smart makes for a practical solution for urban-dwellers. It is also very cheap and comes with significant tax benefits and incentives.
Walter Mathews is an automotive journalist who has been writing on the electric car and its development for the past decade. Walter was an early supporter of the electric movement and has been vocal in trying to persuade more people to start choosing electric over gas. Ask Walter for anything related to electric cars, whether it be cars with the largest ranges or tax and insurance benefits in Dubai and other cities around the world.