We define an electric car as one that runs purely on battery power and has no tailpipe to puff out nasty chemicals. These cars qualify for the maximum plug-in car grant (PICG) of £4500.
The Renault Zoe is one of the most affordable options and has a surprisingly long range of between 120 and 180 miles (depending on the weather and the road type). However, the Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen e-Golf are more practical and more accomplished to drive, even if the latter doesn't have a particularly long range between charges.
At the other end of the scale, Tesla’s ground-up EV philosophy – and the American brand’s own network of super-fast chargers – makes the Model S a tempting choice. It has seating for up to seven, an classy interior and a long enough real-world range to make inter-city travel a real possibility.