You’ll never need a petrol station again! If you think going green means sacrificing style try these luxury e-wheels – as online searches for electric vehicles explode by 1,500%
- As the nation battles fuel crisis it’s business as usual for owners of electric cars
- Online searches for electric vehicles exploded by an incredible 1,500 per cent
- Here, we look at the options available as the nation makes its journey from A to E
From commuters to cab drivers, from policemen to parents on the school run, it has left road users frustrated and fuming the length and breadth of Britain.
But as the nation continues to battle the fuel crisis, queuing for petrol or stuck on empty at home, there is one group of people who have smugly carried on with their lives — those who rely on battery-power, not fossil fuels, to meet their transport needs.
Because for users of electric cars, motorcycles and bikes it has been business as usual. Unplug and go.
And as they whizzed about their day, it was clearly something that did not go unnoticed by those forced to waste hours of their lives waiting to fill up their vehicles.
As the nation continues to battle the fuel crisis, it’s business as usual for owners of electric cars. Here we look at the options available as the nation makes its journey from A to E…
Online searches for electric vehicles exploded by an incredible 1,500 per cent.
Meanwhile, car sales website Auto Trader reported a ‘huge spike’ in demand for electric cars suggesting that motorists were panic-buying more than just petrol and diesel.
‘Not only did the number of advert views for new and used electric models increase a record 28 per cent and 61 per cent respectively versus the previous weekend, but we also saw a huge uplift in the number of people sending enquiries to retailers, with one sent every two minutes,’ said Ian Plummer, Auto Trader’s commercial director.
‘This suggests that people aren’t simply flirting with the idea of electric but have been encouraged to actively pursue a purchase.’
The same applies to bicycles. Retailer Halfords reported a 106 per cent increase in orders for electric bikes compared with the previous weekend.
Companies taking part in e-scooter trials in cities including Bristol and Birmingham also saw rental bookings rise — up by a third during commuter hours.
So, with the prospect of future disruptions to supply to come, it seems that one consequence of the fuel crisis has been to turbo boost the switch to ‘E’ transport.
And with every day that passes, the range of options increases — earlier this week Rolls-Royce announced the launch of its first all-electric car, Spectre. With an expected price-tag of £300,000 this battery-powered vehicle will doubtless put the ‘E’ into luxureee.
Here, TOM RAWSTORNE looks at the options available as the nation makes its journey from A to E.
A taste of Italy
Range: 50 miles
The Vespa Elettrica (pictured), which costs £6,300, offers top speeds of 30 mph and the battery charges in four hours
If your daily commute is more urban jungle than open road, there’s nothing like a nippy moped to beat the traffic. And now you can do it in style — and silence — on the Vespa Elettrica.
With two versions offering top speeds of either 30 mph or 44 mph it comes with a multi-media system that connects with your smartphone via Bluetooth and allows you to take calls and listen to music safely using your scooter’s screen.
Cheaper alternatives are on the market — this one is all about the badge.
Battery charges in four hours.
Electrifying sports car
Porsche Taycan Turbo S
Cost: From £139,280
Range: 257 miles
The Porsche Taycan Turbo S is viewed by many in the know as the best electric car of all time and the battery can charge from next to nothing to around 80 per cent in 20 minutes
Viewed by many in the know as the best electric car of all time, the Porsche Taycan is eye-poppingly fast — think 0 to 60 in less than three seconds and a top speed of 161 mph — and yet retains the classic looks of the marque.
While the range starts at ‘just’ £73,000, add a turbo and a few other bells and whistles and the price more than doubles. Anyone who can afford to splash that sort of cash probably won’t need to car-share on the commute to work — but if they do, the good news is that unlike some sports cars there’s room in the back for three passengers.
And it’s not a worry if any of them are vegans — a recycled, non-leather interior is also available. A fast charger will charge the battery from next to nothing to around 80 per cent in 20 minutes, or nine hours at home.
Commute like a hollywood star
Cost: From £28,995
Range: 146 miles
Ewan McGregor and his friend Charley Boorman recently travelled the length of South America on their Harley-Davidson LiveWires (pictured)
When it comes to hitting the open road on a motorbike, there’s nothing quite like a Harley-Davidson. But there’s also nothing remotely ‘cool’ about spending six hours dressed in your leathers sat outside your local Morrisons petrol station waiting to fill up your tank.
Fear not — the Harley-Davidson LiveWire is here. With an acceleration of 0 to 60mph in three seconds, it has the same get up and go as fossil-fuel models and can be charged in just an hour, or overnight at home.
Ideal for cutting a dash on the way to work — or travelling the length of South America, as Ewan McGregor and his friend Charley Boorman recently did on their LiveWires for their TV series Long Way Up.
Range: Up to 56 miles
Of course it’s not just workers who have been affected by panic-buying at the pumps — school-run parents have also been hit.
So why not swap four petrol-powered wheels for two electric ones? Cargo bikes are stretched bicycles built with space to fit a front-facing pod for children to sit in as you pedal.
Hard yards on your own, but the battery-powered eBullitt has two electric motors that take the strain and out of any journey. But becoming a pedalling machine isn’t cheap — this model costs as much as a second-hand car. Time to fully charge? Four hours.
Retro pedal power
Coboc One Soho
Range: Up to 65 miles
At a cost of £3,079, the Coboc One Soho (pictured) looks like it will take you back to 1960s swinging London but has an electric motor hidden in the frame
With styling inspired by 1960s swinging London, at first sight the only clue this sleek-looking racing bike runs on anything other than pedal-power comes from a cluster of battery-monitoring LEDs hidden in the frame along with a charging port. But turn the wheels, and the electric motor kicks in.
With a range of up to 65 miles, it means that even if you experienced the 1960s first-hand, your cycling days need not be over. The battery is charged via a magnetic port and takes two hours to top up.
Range: Up to 40 miles
The Gocycle G4 is ideal for commuters using trains and buses and takes fewer than ten seconds to fold
For commuters using trains and buses — or with limited room — the Gocycle is an eye-catching option. This cutting-edge electric bike was designed by former Formula One car designer Richard Thorpe.
Lightweight, it takes fewer than ten seconds to fold, with the wheels staying out so the bike can be pushed.
Charges in three hours.
Not so bumpy ride
Range: 20 miles
The e-scooter AER 557 (pictured) is designed to better cope with potholes with 20-inch wheels, while the standing board is wider than normal
While the use of e-scooters is currently illegal on most public roads — trials run by rental companies are on-going in some cities — many see this mode of transport as the green key to unlocking our gridlocked streets.
So watch this space for changes to the law in the coming years, and keep an eye out for the AER 557, which is designed to not just turn heads, but to protect them.
Its oversized 20-inch wheels are built to better cope with potholes, while the standing board is wider than normal, giving a more comfortable ride and better cornering. The scooter can be folded up and charges in five hours.
Top-tier power with an F1 roar
Cost: £2 million
Range (on a full charge): 250 miles
Thh £2 million hyper-car Lotus Evija (pictured) is expected to hit the roads this year
The Evija means ‘the first in existence’ in Hebrew. And while the first of these hyper-cars is expected to hit the roads this year, the plan is to build just 130 of them — with a top speed of 200 mph, it’s got a battery that is powerful enough to boil 1,600 kettles.
Lotus has enlisted the help of music producer Patrick Patrikios, who has worked with Olly Murs and Britney Spears, to create a Formula One-inspired roar.
Range: 13 miles
One of the cheaper options at £1,299, the Smacircle S1 (pictured) is a scooter that thinks it’s a bike
This one’s an anomaly — a scooter that thinks it’s a bike. Weighing 7 kg, the Smacircle is meant to fit in a backpack and can be unfolded in seconds. Intended for commuters, it’s legally classed as a scooter. Charging time is 3.5 hours.
Razor Pocket Mod Bella
Range: 10 miles
The Razor Pocket Mod Bella (pictured) is a battery-powered mini-moped for children at £369
With all this queuing for petrol, it’s easy to forget about the children. So why not keep them amused with a battery-powered mini-moped. Inspired by ‘mod’ culture, it claims to have a 40-minute ride-time and can hit 15 mph.
Cost: from £11,995
Range: 62 miles
The Renault Twizy (pictured) has a top speed of 28 mph and is a cross between a large moped and a small electric city car
‘Plug into the positive energy,’ goes the slogan for this two-seater, which its manufacturer describes as being ‘unlike anything on the road today’. Which, given its bug-like looks and size — it’s only 7 ft 6 in long — is no exaggeration.
With a top speed of 28 mph it’s only suitable for urban settings, a cross between a large moped and a small electric city car.
Legally, the Twizy is classed as a ‘light quadricycle’ and can be driven at age 16 across most of Europe, and 14 in France. But UK drivers must be 17 and hold a full UK driving licence. While the basic model comes with a lockable glovebox, its ‘scissor’ doors will add £545 to the bill. Charge time 3.5 hours.
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