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The best and cheapest electric cars 2021: Fiat 500, Volkswagen ID.3, Nissan Leaf


Low emissions, low price (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

Are you ready to join the electric car revolution?

The RAC estimates that there are already 330,000 zero-emission electric vehicles on UK roads.

But if you’ve been put off by the price so far, we’ve selected some of the cheaper models you can buy.

From city-friendly Fiats and Minis to the longer range Tesla and Volkswagen ID.3, here our top picks of electric motors.

Fiat 500

Perfect for city-cruising (Picture: Fiat)

If you’re ditching diesel and focusing on city-cruising, look to Fiat’s affordable e-edition. On its third generation, there are a few bells and whistles aside from the eco advantage, with rear parking sensors coming as standard.

Fiat’s choice of long range (42kWh) or city range (24kWh) batteries are an indicator of what it had in mind – and the promise of 30 miles’ driving in a five-minute charge, the nippy size and the easy-to-park scale amp up the city choice.

The limited interior size makes it impractical for families but wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto accentuate the metropolitan vibes.

Price from: £22,214
Max Range: Up to 199 miles
Fast Charging (an AC supply at home): Full charge in 4h 15 mins.
Rapid Charging (a DC supply a service station): 80% in 30 mins.

Volkswagen ID.3

Car of the future (Picture: Ingo Baranschee)

Turning heads with curves so tantalising it was enough to make people fall off their pushbikes, the Beetle set a new benchmark in vehicular style.

Decades on, while the ID.3 is priced and designed to grasp hold of the all-electric revolution, it’s the cabin’s smart technology that brings the boom.

Whether it’s the smart lighting that greets your feet as you wander over to it, the in-car assistant that prompts you when your phone is calling or the dash that flashes red when the car’s sensors spot an obstruction ahead, this is the talk of the futuristic town.

Price from: £28,435
Max Range: Up to 340 miles
Fast Charging: Full charge in 6h 15 mins.
Rapid Charging: 80% in 35 mins.

Mini Electric

The iconic car gets an eco makeover (Picture: Mark Fagelson)

The Mini Electric doesn’t run on fuel, it runs on cool. Is there a more iconic car? The Reliant Robin? Not on your The Italian Job racing helmet-wearing nelly.

Decked out with canary-trim across four grades, the full-spec version includes wireless phone charging and automated parking.

The driving range between required battery charges isn’t a selling point but, when coupled with ‘go-kart handling’ and a 7.3-second flash from 0-62mph, for a cult classic it’s the perfect ethical runaround.

Price from: £26,000
Max Range: Up to 145 miles
Fast Charging: Full charge in 3-4 hours.
Rapid Charging: 80% in 20 minutes.

Nissan Leaf

Nissan’s upped its driving range (Picture: Nissan)

This motor from Japan has been around since 2011 but Nissan has refined what works into a showcase of quality charging times and a driving range that will take you from London to Manchester.

Perks include an e-Pedal that allows drivers to ignite, accelerate and slow down in one toe tap, and a monitor that provides a 360-degree picture of direct surroundings.

Price from: £25,995
Max Range: Up to 239 miles
Fast Charging: Full charge in 7h 30 mins.
Rapid Charging: 80% in 1h.

Tesla Model 3

Luxury at a bargain price (Picture: Tesla)

The most expensive car on the list comes with a clear boast in range, marking out this five-seat saloon as the obvious option for those who travel regularly.

The inclusion of all-wheel drive and a panoramic all-glass roof add weight to the family argument, as does the rigid structure, which can resist the same weight as two adult elephants.

The central hub 15in touchscreen will be daunting to many but the overnight software updates add further future feels.

Price from: £41,990
Max Range: Up to 360 miles
Fast Charging: Full charge in 6h.
Rapid Charging: 50% in 15 mins.



Vehicle maintenance tips: Drive right this winter

Switch tyres over seasons

Fitting appropriate tyres for the time of year can help them to stay in good condition. Winter tyres provide better traction than summer tyres when the temperature drops. However, they will wear out faster if they’re used on hot surfaces so swap to summer tyres again when temperatures rise.

Check your tyres are saving you money

Check the tyre label. A tyre with an ‘A’ rating with efficiency has low levels of rolling resistance and can save hundreds of litres of fuel over the tyre’s life. Get your wheels aligned – they could last longer by up to 12,000 miles, with obvious cost benefits.

Sort out chipped windscreens early

It’s much cheaper to get a chip in your windscreen fixed early rather than letting it develop into a crack. Fixing it is often free through your insurer. Letting it develop could lead to a full windscreen replacement – a lot more expensive.

Do a pre-MOT check

For MOTs, the most common failures are tyres, lights, brakes and wipers. Before your MOT’s due, ask for a pre-MOT inspection so you have time to get the rectifications done if work is required, rather than paying a premium at the garage where you may not get the best deal.

Keep the battery topped up

If you don’t use your car for extended periods of time, the battery will go flat. Use a trickle charger to maintain the battery’s power or a battery conditioner if it appears to hold less charge than usual. You should try to drive your car at least once a week if possible – particularly in winter.


MORE :
Porsche Taycan vs Audi E-tron GT: Which electric car is best?


MORE : Best gadgets and apps that can reduce the cost of running your car



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