Unfortunately, the sale of electric cars still accounts for just a tiny proportion all car sales in the UK. However, things are certainly moving in the right direction. In August last year, sales of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric cars reached a record high, making up 8 percent of the overall market, and in 2019, we expect to see that number continue to rise.
It’s been a long time in coming but 2019 is expected to be the year when electric cars finally become a realistic option for many UK households. Although the government has cut the grant for new electric cars to £3,500, that still provides a useful incentive. There’s also a host of new car releases expected over the course of the year, providing a greater choice of car types, an increasing range between charges and prices that are slowly coming down.
As a company with sustainability issues at its core, we like to keep abreast of the latest electric car news. We were delighted to see that by the end of next year, there will be at least 25 different electric vehicles on sale, with some excellent new releases to add to the roster. These are some of the best that will be coming to a road near you…
1. Mini EV
Release date: 2019 (TBC)
Price: £25,000 (estimated)
BMW hasn’t been present at the EV party since 2013, when it released the BMW i3, so this new offering from such an established manufacturer is particularly exciting. Very few details are currently known about the Mini EV as yet, but the experts believe it could have a range that’s limited to around 150 miles. That could resign it to the realms of city runaround rather than a true allrounder, which seems a bit of a shame when the range of electric cars is on the up. However, if BMW gets the price point right, which it’s believed to be around the £25,000 mark, it could still find its place in the market. And if nothing else, it certainly looks the part!
2. Audi e-tron
Release date: Early 2019
Do you have a spare £70,000 lying around? No? Oh. Okay. Well, if you did, would you want to spend it all on a new electric SUV? No. Nor would we. However, for those who are truly rolling in it, the Audi e-tron has 402 bhp to get you where you want to be in a hurry, as long as it’s within the claimed 248-mile range.
The e-tron is Audi’s creation to rival the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X, and with a maximum speed of 124 mph and quietly humming its way to 62 mph in under six seconds, it’s certainly no slouch. As well as market-leading performance, the e-tron boasts some smart recharging technology. It is able to recover 80 percent of its charge in less than half an hour, so after a quick pitstop it’ll be ready and raring to go.
3. Kia e-Niro
Release date: March 2019
Up until now, if you spent less on an EV then you accepted significantly less range. However, the Kia e-Niro is one of the electric vehicle releases that looks set to reverse that trend. Granted, it might not be quite as flashy as some of the other electric SUVs, but Kia has always been more about substance than style.
Using the same electrical system as Kia’s sister company Hyundai, the e-Niro is able to deliver a range of more than 200 miles between charges. It also comes with plenty of space for four generously proportioned adults and 451 litres of boot space. Then there’s the small matter of Kia’s now famed seven-year warranty that will keep your repair bills to a minimum. All that combines to make the e-Niro this year’s electric vehicle you’re probably most likely to buy.
4. Nissan Leaf 2019
Release date: By the end of the year
The Nissan Leaf is the world’s first mass-market electric car. In 2019, we cannot expect a completely new reiteration of the Leaf, but what we can expect are enough updates to make it well worth a mention. Most significant of those updates is a new 60kHw battery pack that has been talked about for years but is finally expected to hit in 2019. That will bring the range of the Leaf to more than 200 miles, making it a truly affordable and practical long-range electric vehicle.
5. Honda Urban EV
Release date: Early 2020
Price: £25,000 (estimated)
Although it’s not due to launch until early 2020, we thought the Honda Urban EV was one of the new electric car releases that really deserved its place in this guide. A compact four-seater with a cool and minimalist interior design, the Honda EV’s excellent proposed price point of an estimated £25,000 should make it a big among urban drivers.
Although it’s still at concept car stage, the Urban EV received rave reviews at the last Frankfurt Motor Show and the prototype has been confirmed to appear at the forthcoming Geneva Motor Show. The consensus among the experts is that it’s set to become a design hit, with its squat shape and retro design harkening back to the original Honda Civic and the Volkswagen Golf Mk1.
Keep your environmental conscience clear
So there you have it. That’s our guide to the most exciting electric car releases of 2019. And, if you’re already the proud owner of an EV, there’s no better way to boost your already impeccable sustainability credentials than by booking your waterless car wash today.