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Coming soon: electric cars

  • With more EVs heading for the roads
  • we answer the questions you're asking
  • Coming soon guide, too

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What Car? Staff

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Everyone's talking about electric cars, but how much do you really know about these almost mythical machines? Discover the truth right here with our 'coming soon' guide to all you need to know about the best and the rest of electrical vehicles that are about to hit the market.

We'll tell you when the cars will be in the showroom, how much they'll cost you and, more importantly, what they're like to drive.

We've collected all of our whatcar.com information on each car into one easy place, so you don't have to spend your time searching for all the relevant details.

Electric cars coming soon
The cars listed below are ordered by date of launch.

Mitsubishi i-Miev: Click for online web review
The i-Miev has been around in Japan for a couple of years. It can seat four and has a range of more than 90 miles between charges.

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Launch: January 2011
Range: 93 miles
Price: 29,045 (24,045 after Gov incentive)

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Gallery
i-Miev Euro NCAP crash test results
What electric car?
Manufacturer's website

Nissan Leaf: Click for online web review
What Car?'s Ultra-low-carbon car of the year 2011, the Nissan Leaf is nippy and well equipped. It's a strong contender if you value space and enjoy driving although it is pricey.

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Launch: March 2011
Range: 110 miles
Price: 30,990 (25,990 after Gov incentive)

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Gallery
Nissan Leaf driven
Car of the year awards, 2011
Manufacturer's website
Citroen C-Zero/Peugeot iOn: C-Zero review / iOn review
Citroen and Peugeot versions of the Mitsubishi i-Miev. Both cars also share the i-Miev's shortcomings, which include a high purchase price and a low-rent interior. Overall, the cars are less convincing as an ownership proposition than the Nissan Leaf.

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Launch: March 2011
Range: 93 miles
Price: Lease only, at 415 per month

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C-Zero Gallery
iOn Gallery
C-Zero driven
iOn driven
Citroen's website
Peugeot's website
Volvo C30 Electric: No review available
The C30 Electric is expected to reach showrooms in 2012. A separate bio-ethanol passenger heating system ensures its range wont be compromised when temperatures drop.

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Launch: Expected in 2012
Range: 95 miles
Price: TBC

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Volvo C30 elecrtric driven
Volvo's website
Ford Focus EV: No review available
There's no official data available yet, but the Focus EV's range, performance and price are expected to be on a par with its key rival, the Nissan Leaf's. Ford claims the Focus's shorter charge time of three to four hours will trump rivals'.

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Launch: Expected in 2012
Range: 100 miles
Price: TBC

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Ford downplays electric Focus
Focus EV at Geneva 2011
Ford's website
Vauxhall Ampera: No review available
The Ampera has a 1.4-litre petrol engine that acts as a generator to top-up the battery, so it's not a pure electric vehicle. However, it gives an impressive 360-mile range and still qualifies for the full range of EV benefits, including the Government subsidy of up to 5000.

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Launch: Spring 2012
Range: 360 miles
Price: 33,995 (28,995 after Gov incentive)

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Vauxhall Ampera driven
Chevy Volt selling strongly in US
Vauxhall's website
BMW i3 : No review available
BMW looks like it will be one of the first German manufacturers on the EV scene, with the Golf-sized i3, which is part of its new i sub brand. Its a rear-engined hatchback with a claimed range of up to 130 miles.

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Launch: 2013
Range: 130 miles
Price: 30,000 (est)

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BMW i3 revealed
BMW reveals i sub-brand
BMW's website