We’ve heard much about how the tipping point for electric vehicles is imminent, but let’s be realistic.
Across Europe, EVs currently have around a 1% mix of total car sales. In the UK, the situation is even worse - just 0.4% of cars on the road are battery-powered. It seems like that tipping point is still some way off.
Many excuses have been made about why buyers just aren’t enthused by EVs yet. Everything from the lack of a reliable and widespread charging infrastructure to range anxiety has meant many EV buyers who do take the plunge have one as their second car. Another issue is cost - there seems to be a vast chasm between low-end EVs such as the Renault Zoe and the more desirable, larger products like Teslas and the Jaguar I-Pace.
Hyundai and Kia may have just nailed the brief with their two new EVs, the Kona Electric and the Kia e-Niro, which is making its European debut at the Paris motor show. The e-Niro is large and practical, and can function as the sole family car.
Most impressive is the range, particularly of the larger-capacity variant. As with the Kona EV, the e-Niro can exceed 300 miles on a single charge - and that’s not on the old, optimistic NEDC testing regime but the new, more realistic WLTP cycle.