2022 – year of the electric vehicle?

THIS year my test car list has included numerous electric vehicles, whether self-charging, plug-in hybrid or full electric. It’s not surprising as manufacturers up the pace of their EV production with many announcing fully electric ranges within a couple of years.

One of the main problems with EVs has, and in many cases remains, the higher initial purchase price when compared to equivalent specification models with combustion power. Part of this can be explained by the fact that any new technology, and despite electric vehicles having been around for many more years than people imagine it is new technology, takes time to embed itself.

With the advent of new EVs such as the MG4, the technology is getting ever more affordable and ranges are increasing. Still not enough to match combustion powered equivalents though. The biggest issue is infrastructure, or rather the lack of it. In the UK it is frankly awful with few fast chargers and even the moderately fast 50kw units so few that you invariably end up having an excessive wait.

Although EV charging will never be as quick as fuelling a combustion car, more superfast chargers would reduce the time significantly enough to make it convenient. That, along with pricing, is the main issue because convenience will lead to much greater adoption of EVs. Vehicle manufacturers have got their act together remarkably quickly, government now needs to do the same.

There have been many EVs on my driveway that have appealed, but the two that have personally appealed most come from BMW’s stable.

The MINI electric remains the most fun you can have in a battery powered car. It possesses all the elements of a traditional hot hatch in terms of acceleration and handling. Priced from £29k, it’s only real drawback is the 145-mile range. When you consider the MINI has been around for over 20 years, it’s a credit to BMW that it remains so competitive thanks to their careful evolution of the brand.

The second is at the other end of the scale in all respects; the BMW iX. It’s a real style statement that divides opinion, even the interior is more like a concept model. With prices starting from a shade under £70k it needs to be good and it delivers.

With a more useable, range of 253 miles the larger battery models will in theory take you to nearly 370 miles. If you’re thinking EV then whatever your budget, the options are growing.


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Written by

Mark Slack

If you're a petrol head you're in good hands with Mark Slack, whose expert take on the latest car releases will help you make your next purchase.

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