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Electric dreams

Do tech-minded insurance execs dream of an electric commute? Insider Engage assesses the best buys in hybrid and electric cars

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If you have driven around the UK in recent years, you will have noticed the proliferation of charging points across towns and cities aimed the fast-growing number of owners of electric cars.

Of the 328,041 new cars registered in September 2020, 21,903 were electric vehicles (6.7% of the total) and another 82,610 were hybrids. The electric figure marks a 184% increase on September 2019, while the various types of hybrids have also increased significantly in popularity over the past 12 months.

Improvements in technology have meant more cars going further on a single charge. The question for those considering a purchase is now less about whether electric or hybrid is the right choice, but which of the many options to buy.

Insider Engage has scoured the market and picked some of the best-rated options to suit the eco-conscious executive of today.

Kia e-Niro 4+

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This roomy SUV claimed the What Car? Car of the Year award in 2019, and it’s easy to see why.

It is a perfect size for a family car and will travel as far as 282 miles on a single charge. The car has a good-sized boot, too, making it well-suited to a driving holiday.

Cheaper e-Niro 2 and 3 versions are available, but with shorter ranges and fewer features. There is also a hybrid version available from £24,900, with self-charging technology that converts heat from the brakes into power to recharge the battery.

Price: from £36,145 (e-Niro 4+)

Range: 280 miles

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

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Hyundai’s first foray into all-electric vehicles is designed as a family-friendly offering. It might not have quite as good a range as some other models on this list, but it makes up for this with its practicality – it is spacious for a hatchback with plenty of space in the boot.

You can oversee and adjust the charging process from your smartphone, and even defrost it on chilly mornings – no more running around looking for the de-icer and scrapers. Other features include blind-spot assistance, autonomous emergency braking and smart cruise control.

The Ioniq also comes in hybrid versions: electric and petrol combined, and plug-in hybrid with longer electric range.

Price: from £30,950

Range: 193 miles

Jaguar I-Pace

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Jaguar’s first all-electric car cannot be overlooked. It won an unprecedented three World Car Awards last year, including World Green Car and World Car of the Year. While a little pricier than similar models, the price tag reflects the customary Jaguar luxury interior with more legroom than you might be used to in petrol cars.

Jaguar has also included features such as air purification technology and a “heads-up” display that projects speed and navigation information onto the windscreen so you can keep your eyes on the road.

Price: from £64,495

Range: 290 miles

Nissan LEAF

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The Japanese manufacturer had sold more than 470,000 of its hugely popular LEAF electric car by May this year. It is second only to Tesla’s Model 3 in the all-time EV sales charts.

While it doesn’t have the same range as other EVs, it will still fit the family or comfortably manage the commute. It is designed to be as easy to drive as possible, with an ‘e-pedal’ that acts as both accelerator and brake, and Nissan’s ProPILOT technology that monitors the road ahead and reacts to changes in traffic.

Price: from £26,845

Range: 168 miles (239 for LEAF e+)

Tesla Model 3

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It wouldn’t be an electric vehicle list without Tesla and its bestselling Model 3. It can reach up to 348 miles on a single charge – enough to get from London to Stoke and back. In addition, if you use one of Tesla’s Supercharger power points, you’ll have 172 miles of charge in 15 minutes.

The Model 3 is a technophile’s dream: it features a 15-inch digital display, with software constantly updating to give drivers access to Tesla’s latest functionality. You can even use your smartphone as the key.

Price: from £40,490

Range: 348 miles

Porsche Taycan

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One for the petrolheads out there looking to go green. The Taycan debuted this year for general sale and will reach 60 miles an hour in four seconds – or less than three with the Turbo S model. Its range is punchy, too, and while the rear seats aren’t going to be as roomy as a normal family car, you can still fit adults in the back.

Price: from £83,580

Range: 258 miles

NOTE: All prices sourced from the manufacturer and are inclusive of the current £3,000 UK government grant for new electric vehicles priced under £50,000.

Range is the maximum reported by the manufacturer and will vary by model and journey type.