Electric cars coming soon
Electric vehicles still account for a tiny proportion of car sales, but that could soon change, because these upcoming models push the boundaries of performance, range and desirability...
Demand for electrified cars has surged in the last four years, with registrations increasing from around 3500 in 2013 to almost 119,000 in 2017. However, they still represented only 5.6% of the UK car market – and the majority of that was plug-in hybrids rather than fully electric models.
The reason for this is that many of today's fully electric cars have quite a limited range between charges, making them unsuitable for long journeys. But a host of manufacturers are preparing to launch new models that solve this issue, while also offering stylish looks and innovative technology. Here we take a look at what's coming when, starting with the Audi Q3.
In a first for production cars, buyers can opt to replace the conventional door mirrors with cameras that feed rear-view images on to small screens inside; the more compact cameras help to make the E-trom more aerodynamic. Meanwhile, other features designed to help it slip through the air include special 19in wheels and a smooth underside.
The E-tron is powered by two electric motors – one on each axle, making the car four-wheel drive. Those produce a combined 402bhp, allowing it to cover the 0-62mph sprint in less than six seconds and go on to a top speed of 124mph.
The latest WLTP tests give the E-tron a range of 249 miles on a single charge – similar to that of the Mercedes EQC but down on the Jaguar I-Pace’s 292-mile official range. Air suspension comes as standard, promising a comfortable ride. Plus, it allows the car to rise by up to 50mm for extra ground clearance when off-roading.
If you’re recharging the E-tron at home, expect a full charge to take about eight and a half hours, or that can be halved by using an optional high-capacity charger. When using the fastest chargers available (150kW), the E-tron can be charged up to 80% in about half an hour.
The E-tron is expected to cost about £71,000, with the Government’s £4500 electric car grant taking that down to £66,500. That means the E-tron will be slightly more expensive than both the I-Pace (£63,495) and EQC (an estimated £60,000).