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Best and worst electric cars 2017

Electric cars are growing in popularity, and no wonder: they're quiet, cheap to run and smooth to drive. But which are the bright sparks to consider – and which are the loose connections?

Words ByWhat Car? team

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Best electric cars

Electric cars are becoming more mainstream by the day, and this is only going to accelerate as rules are introduced to limit which vehicles are allowed into major cities.

The main thing holding these cars back remains range anxiety – the fear that you won't have enough juice to get to where you’re going. This is because electric cars can typically cover only about 150 miles between charges, and it takes much longer to charge a battery than it does to fill a petrol tank. However, this is slowly becoming less of an issue.

Even now, there are luxury electric cars which can cover more than twice that average distance on a single charge. And even if you can't stretch to one of these, an electric car can still make sense, because they're cheap to run and are ideal for journeys such as the school run, trips to the shops or a short commute.

So, which electric cars should you consider? Here we count down our favourites, tell you which ones to avoid, and look ahead to the models you'll be able to buy soon.

Top 10 electric cars

10. Volkswagen e-Up

The regular Volkswagen Up is one of our favourite city cars, and this electric version is just as practical and good to drive; it feels almost entirely uncompromised by its conversion to electric power. It's just that unfortunately, it costs twice as much as the petrol models.

What Car? rating Rated 3 out of 5

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9. Nissan Leaf

One of the more affordable electric models on sale, the Leaf is about the same size as a Vauxhall Astra and similarly easy to drive. There are two battery options to choose from: a 24kWh that allows a theoretical range between charges of 124 miles, and a 30kWh that extends this to 155 miles. The latter is only available on the more expensive trim levels, though.

What Car? rating Rated 3 out of 5

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8. Toyota Mirai

The Mirai is a hydrogen-fuelled car, which means that you'll need to fill it up with hydrogen at specially chosen filling stations, of which there are currently very few. It's powered by a single 152bhp electric motor and can travel for up to 400 miles between refills. We found it to be quiet and well controlled, but at around Β£66,000 it's certainly pricey, and with limited volumes coming to the UK it's likely to be a very rare sight.

What Car? rating Rated 3 out of 5

Read the full Toyota Mirai review

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