This section covers cars that we have test driven and aims to cover all EVs currently available on the UK market, where possible we will aim to provide a date.
Tesla's latest addition to the collection is the Model 3 which has followed on from the original Model S and Model X.
The Model 3 comes in 3 trims, Standard Plus, Long Range Dual Motor and the Performance.
From the outside the Model 3 looks compact but is deceptively large and has an equally large interior. It will comfortably seat 5 passengers and have plenty of legroom front and back.
The boots (of which there are 2), are also cavernous in size. The front trunk (frunk) will hold an overnight bag but the rear boot provides a practical amount of storage. All in all there is 425l of space.
The drive is slick and quick! Due to the weight of the batteries at the bottom of the car the Model 3 holds the road and feels firm. The car feels safe and sturdy with a 5* EUROCAP rating.
The WLTP mileage is rated at 254 miles, which means in ideal condition the Model 3 will deliver 254miles between charges. This can all depend on a number of factors but during our tests (in the middle of winter) we were able to get around 235 miles. On milder days in optimum driving conditions 250miles was achievable.
The interior is sparse and minimalistic with just the steering wheel and a large iPad looking screen measuring 12", this takes a little getting used to and can be distracting from keeping your eyes on the road, but what with voice control at your finger tips it is easier to turn the windscreen wipers on etc.
Probably the best feature is the AutoDrive feature, whereby the Model 3 will keep the car in the middle of the lane, turn bends and keep you within the speed limit, the only caveat is you must keep your hands on the steering wheel, couple this with the self drive option (an extra £6,000 at time of writing) and you are as close to fully autonomous as is legally possible in the UK.
Starting price for this particular model is £39,500 including the government grant, this comes with Pearl white as the colour and black leather interior and 18" Alloy wheels. Any differences on top of this is extra, colour, interior, tow hitch, self drive etc.
Warranty for the Model 3 is 4 years or 50,000 miles whichever comes sooner, however the batteries carry an 8 year warranty! Go for the Long Range or Performance model and this extends to 12 years.
Verdict - For the money and the drive the Model 3 really has taken the EV to a mass market, bearing in mind the Model S and Model X generally start from around £80k+ the model 3 starts at half the price. Couple this with better build quality than the Model S you have a worthy affordable (ish) EV.
It does come with it's niggles though, customer service is questionable, this is due largely to their success and unable to cope with the demand, if you can cope with the short term pain of the customer service side of things and the odd build quality issue that may crop up (which Tesla will fix) then it's definitely worth taking the plunge if you have the budget.
Tesla's first model S appeared in the UK back in 2014 and changed the way EV's were looked at, with sporty lines and performance speed and acceleration it changed the stigma of electric cars.
This particular model tested is a 2017 version, they have moved on since the release of the Model 3.
From the outside the Model S looks sleek and sporty, it is a huge car that comfortably seats 5 full size passengers and with bags of space it is surprisingly practical.
The drive, similar to the Model 3 is firm and assured, and handles beautifully and is ridiculously quick (at the time of the test drive is covered 0-60 in 4.2s).
Despite criticisms with the build quality of the Model S this particular example felt like it was built to high standard and did not have a 'cheap' feel to it.
The interior has a plush feel to it, again with a minimalistic interior, however this model comes with a dashboard and the screen which is placed in a vertical format, which makes the EV feel a bit more like a 'car'.
The range for this Model S is rated at 280 WLTP, there are more batteries and hence a heavier car overall requiring more energy per mile (more of this in another section), that said all Model S's come with 'Free Tesla Supercharging' which is assigned to the car, which means you can take advantage of Tesla's supercharging network at no additional cost, bear in mind that this is assigned to the car so that if you pick up a second hand Model S then it is likely to have Free Tesla Supercharging.
When the Model S was initially launched there was a big hoo ha when the customer picked up the car (named car plate, uncover ceremony, pictures etc), now it is a more sedate affair.
Since the launch of the Model 3, the Model S has to up its game by offering more features above beyond the older models, this includes longer ranges (up to 379 miles WLTP), faster and more gadgets!