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Motoring

The five best-value electric cars on sale

Published 5th July 2022Read Time 10 min

Our five best-value EVs are top picks for zero-emissions driving.

Shane O'Donoghue

The electrification of the new car market is continuing apace, and the variety of electric models for sale in Ireland is growing by the month, despite challenges in the supply chain. However, prices can range from the expensive to the astronomical, so here we’ve rounded up five of the best-value electric models for sale in Ireland today.

These electric cars offer good value for money for a number of reasons. While list prices are usually still higher than they are for combustion-engined equivalents, the trade-off is low everyday running costs. Another factor to consider is how big a battery you get for your money. Choose a larger capacity, and it’s like buying a petrol or diesel car with a bigger fuel tank – you’ll be able to travel further between charges, which will eliminate any range anxiety you might have about buying an EV in the first place. Electric cars that are able to take a fast charge offer benefits, too, because you’ll spend less time waiting for the battery to be topped up when using the public network of chargers.

We’ve picked five cars that offer a variety of options in terms of value. Prices include incentives available to private buyers at the time of writing.

Fiat 500

Prices from: €24,995

Range: up to 312km

The retro-inspired Fiat 500 has been reinvented once again for electrification. The car is still a design-led model with plenty of neat details, from the round headlights cut into the bonnet to its stumpy tail, and under the skin Fiat has packed a compact, light battery that delivers more than enough range for an urban driver. The battery can be charged quickly at up to 85kW, too.

There are different settings that are designed to maximise either performance or economy, too, with Sherpa mode limiting engine power and the air conditioning to help save battery charge.

Prices are significantly more than they are for the petrol-powered 500, but then the electric model makes up for this with lots of extra kit – and it’s actually a new car, despite the similar looks.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Prices from: €39,995

Range: up to 507km

The Ioniq 5 is arguably the best family-sized electric car for sale right now. Don’t be confused by pictures, because while the Ioniq 5 looks like a fairly conventional hatchback, in the metal it’s closer in size to a compact SUV, and its dedicated EV platform creates lots of space for the modern interior.

Hyundai offers two battery sizes and either rear- or four-wheel drive for the Ioniq 5, although as with many of its rivals, if you want the longest range, you need to avoid the top-spec models, which will save you cash in the process. A two-wheel-drive model with the larger 77kWh battery offers the best range of 507km, but since the Ioniq 5 has been designed as an EV from the ground up – rather than being adapted from a petrol model – all versions deliver great efficiency. We also think its retro styling looks great.

MG ZS

Prices from: €34,995

Range: up to 440km

SUVs are a popular category for family car buyers, and the MG ZS offers electric drive in a body that will appeal to plenty of customers. While it’s based on the petrol-engined ZS (which is not sold in Ireland), the electric model is a far better machine, because it’s more comfortable, easier to drive and more responsive, courtesy of the 72.6kWh battery under the cabin floor and 156hp electric motor that delivers instant response.

Fast charging helps to top up the battery quickly, with the system able to reach 80 per cent capacity in 42 minutes from a 100kW rapid-charge source, while a 7kW domestic charger can deliver a full charge in 10.5 hours. One attraction of the ZS is that, while it’s priced at the lower end of the EV market, it’s still packed with equipment. There’s all of the latest safety systems, while connectivity options allow everyone on board to be entertained. And it’s spacious for the price, too.

 

Renault Zoe E-Tech

Prices from: €30,295

Range up to 312km

It’s been around for a while now, but the Zoe has been constantly updated to keep it competitive. The latest model has more power than ever and a 52kWh battery that boosts its range to a respectable 395km, while the latest infotainment tech from the Clio can be found on board, too.

There are two power outputs for the electric motor (R110 and R135), but even the lower-powered model is nippy enough for urban driving, which is where the Zoe is in its element. Select ‘B’ mode and you can even do some one-pedal driving, where lifting off the throttle willsee the Zoe come to a halt. Despite the city car looks, the Zoe is actually brilliant to drive on the open road, too.

Tesla Model 3

Prices from €52,990

Range: Up to 491km

Tesla’s Model 3 isn’t cheap in comparison with our other choices here, but it has its attractions in terms of low running costs and the benefits of the time-saving Supercharger network.

The Model 3 is a spacious executive saloon whose main focal point is the large touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard that controls everything from the driving assistance systems to opening the glovebox. It’s feature-packed, with navigation, audio streaming and always-on online connectivity, while pre-loaded games allow you to while away your time when charging.

Not that you’ll be spending long plugged in if you’re using a Supercharger. There are currently seven locations in Ireland, with more due to be added, and their rapid delivery means charge times are faster than for most rivals. Add in a driving range of almost 500km from a full battery, and the Model 3 will spend more of its  time on the road between charges.

Read our full review here 

 

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