Alex Robbins is contributing editor at Telegraph Cars where, as well as responding to readers’ queries, he also contributes reviews of new and used cars, together with articles on buying and selling.
His knowledge of the used car market informs his many buying guides relating to the best buys in particular sectors, with an emphasis on value for money. Every week he will answer your questions on buying and selling, as well as solving your car problems, whether consumer or mechanical.
Do you have a motoring dilemma you’d like our expert to solve? For consumer and used car advice, or car faults, email CarsAdvice@telegraph.co.uk and include your subscriber number. This week’s question…
I want my next car to be electric. I do around 6,000 miles a year, mostly local, although I drive to Surrey and back around every six to eight weeks from Yorkshire – a journey of 220 miles each way. I will be buying new. What would you recommend?
A you don’t mention what sort of budget you have, nor whether you want to be able to make that 220-mile journey in one hit without needing to charge along the way.
However, I’m going to infer that the latter from the fact you mention the distance. I reckon to be able to do that trip safely – come rain or shine – you’re going to want an EV with an official range of somewhere approaching the 300-mile mark; and that rather precludes cheaper EVs such as the Peugeot e-208 and Fiat 500.
A Hyundai Kona Electric would probably be my first choice, in your shoes. Choose the 64kWh hour battery, which starts at £34,995 at present, and you get an official range of exactly 300 miles, which should give you enough to get to where you want to go unless the weather’s really cold (remember: cold temperatures tend to have a deleterious effect on battery efficiency).
Not only is the Kona fast and fun to drive, but you get the benefit of an excellent seven-year warranty. And the specification on the Premium model, which is the starting point at this price, is very generous.
Want something a little more upmarket? In that case, I suggest the Polestar 2. The entry-level model is £40,900, and will manage 294 miles on a charge. I’m a big fan of the Polestar 2, mainly for its smart, tactile interior and slick driving dynamics, and I think it looks the part. Best of all, this entry-level model is better to drive than the faster, more expensive version.
There’s also the Skoda Enyaq iV 80. With a 329-mile official range, it should easily get you from Yorkshire to Surrey without a charge with a margin to spare. It isn’t quite as nice to drive as the Polestar, and it suffers a bit from slightly glitchy software on the central touchscreen, but it’s just as nice to sit in, and you get more range for less cash – £40,130, to be precise.
If all of those options are too expensive, there’s always the extremely popular MG ZS EV. The Long Range version in entry-level SE form is priced at £31,495 which, crucially, is below the current threshold for the Government’s plug-in car grant, so you can knock a further £1,500 off that figure to bring it below the £ 30,000 marks.
You get 273 miles of range, which is a little on the low side, but should work for most of the year (and if you need a top-up in winter it’ll be a very quick one). It’s worth keeping in mind that the ZS isn’t very energy efficient, so although it will go the distance it will cost you a little more to do so than in, say, the Hyundai. On the plus side, you get a seven-year warranty, and the ZS EV is pretty well equipped for the money.