We no longer support this web browser. Upgrade your browser for a better experience.

Bristol Street Motors

Electric cars, what's all the fuss about?

Electric cars, what's all the fuss about?

Here at Bristol Street Motors, when it comes to cars we are of two minds. On the one hand you cannot beat the feel of sitting behind the wheel of a combustion engine car and feeling the power rise up as you squeeze the accelerator down and lift off the clutch.

If you are talking dream cars, then sometimes we think the more muscle the better, give us an old school Ford Sierra Cosworth or similar car any day of the week!

However, when it comes to every day driving, it has become increasingly difficult to ignore the buzz surrounding the burgeoning electric car market.

Contrary to what some might say, there are now some excellent electric cars available in the UK and the following rundown should help those looking for a new car deal.

So, let's start with the Nissan LEAF. Autumn aside there nothing greener than a leaf and this was probably the Japanese firm's thoughts behind the name of its innovative new model.

Nissan is used to being at the front of cutting edge technology and the LEAF is no different. Indeed the carmaker has successfully spread the message of its new model with its Big Turn On campaign, which has seen one million drivers get behind the week across Europe in the last few weeks.

The LEAF is the first mass produced EV and was named Car of the Year in Europe and Japanese in 2011. More than 32,000 units have been sold so far and the car will soon be used to set a new Guinness World Speed Record in reverse.

This, Nissan says, will underline the car's "simple yet robust technology".
Next up is possibly the UK's finest, with Luton-based manufacturer Vauxhall extremely proud of its Ampera. The car was recently handed the Green Car 2012 award at the Auto Express Awards.

Four Amperas recently finished among the top ten in the Monte Carlo rally alternative propulsion category, proving that the car should appeal to both eco-conscious drivers and diehard motoring enthusiasts.

From Britain to Spain � and the country's leading carmaker -SEAT - has entered the great EV race with the Altea.

While most EVs come in a city car or hatchback guise, SEAT has gone in another direction by bringing a compact MPV to the market.

Autocar recently said of the model that its wide range of driving modes set it apart from other models.

"Besides normal there’s eco, which limits its top speed to 78mph and runs the air conditioner’s compressor more cleanly, and there’s also a range mode, designed to extract the last meter of motion from the battery," the magazine commented.

So these are some of the best electric cars currently on sale, but what else is in the pipeline?

You can't really expect Honda to remain ideal in this market for long. The carmaker prides itself on being among the most innovative in the sector and as expected it will enter the race with the Honda Fit.

The all-new 2013 Honda Fit EV was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show and announced towards the end of last year.

Based on the Honda Jazz, the car is expected to be available to lease in the US this summer and will boast a 123 city-mile per charge range.

A European release date for the car has not yet been confirmed but watch this space as Honda will soon shake up the market on this side of the Atlantic.

Posted by Sebastian TurkenburgADNFCR-3205-ID-801414150-ADNFCR