Finally: Cheap Electric Cars

Take up of EVs on a substantial scale will only be achieved if prices come down significantly. And that's now happening. Here are three game-changing electric cars.

The Romanian automaker Dacia has just unveiled a new electric car, one that looks very Dacia and that Dacia says will be the “most affordable electric car in Europe.” The car is great progress in the move towards affordability for the average motorist.


Let's not forget that it was only around a year ago that the only EV option was a Tesla, priced comfortably over £50,000 ($65,000). Since then, unlike the US, Europe and China have lead the way in seeking to manufacture lower priced options. After all, the more people who replace their fossil-fuel guzzling cars the better - assuming we all want to breathe cleaner air in cities and reduce global carbon emissions.


The Dacia Spring Electric is Dacia’s first EV. This thing will be available only in continental Europe but happily we’re getting to a point where companies are just rolling out new electric cars and it’s not mindblowing. And the Dacia Spring Electric is as normal as it gets.

Despite saying that it will be the “lowest-priced” car in Europe, Dacia did not reveal its price; if Dacia is counting the Renault Twizy in its ranking, the Spring Electric could have a four-figure price tag. The Renault Twizy is a tiny city run-around and you could pick one up for under £12,000 ($15,400) before incentives.


However, it’s more likely Dacia is making Smart’s electric cars the bar for lowest-priced. In that latter case, the Spring Electric should cost under €19,000 ($22,200) before incentives, which vary by country.


A driving range of 140 miles is similarly small, though the Spring Electric will also have an eco mode, in addition to most other features you would expect on a modern car and even things like automatic emergency braking.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, EV prices are coming down even faster. GM's joint venture is selling its snappily named Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV for the equivalent of $5,400 (£4,000). In August it sold 15,000 of them.


But for that small amount, it must be a stripped out tin can, right? Well, here’s what you get: anti-lock brakes, tire pressure monitoring, and rear parking sensors. Then there is what you would expect. Air conditioning, power windows and a great audio system.


It seats four. It is powered by a 13 kW electric motor which translates into 62 mph with a range of slightly over 100 miles for the top version. Let’s be real. If you live in the city what more would you need? And that’s the secret of the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV. If you live in a city what more would you need? Plus, it costs you almost nothing with zero emissions and virtually zero maintenance. 

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