RAC Cars News


Do Electric Cars Really Work For Families?

By raccars Published

Image Source

Among the many sacrifices necessary for new parents, such as spontaneous city breaks and morning lie ins, flash cars are often one of the first adult luxuries to be superseded, usually by a people carrier. Running costs are one of the primary concerns of any car buyer but particularly families, who tend to have very little to spare after shelling out for nappies, formula milk and the myriad of other infant paraphernalia - which makes it all the more surprising that electric cars are not more popular in the family sector.

Confusion over the real world cost of electric charging when compared to fuel and taxes can be offputting, while earlier electric vehicles had a reputation for being expensive and cramped. However, the new breed of electric vehicles can make excellent, practical family cars, one of the benefits being their zero emissions status, which makes them exempt from road tax, one of the major costs of car ownership for traditional combustion engined transport. While there's no doubt that most electric cars do cost significantly more to buy than their fossil fuelled counterparts, buyers can still benefit from the UK government's Plug-In Car Grant, which provides £5,000 towards the purchase of qualifying new electric vehicles. Even after this, the Nissan Leaf still costs about £20,000, the Ford Focus Electric comes in at about £28,500 and the BMW i3 around £25,700.


The Nissan Leaf is one of the best electric vehicles for families available currently. It's Tardis like in its generous interior space, while retaining a compact exterior which is easy to park. The boot is generously enough proportioned to cope with prams, sports equipment and a large dog, while the back seat can hold three car seats - a rarity even in cars that claim membership of the family car sector.


The Ford Focus Electric is as practical as the standard version Focus, with plenty of interior space and, like the Nissan Leaf, a 100 mile range. This should be enough to cover a couple of school runs without recharging and the odd weekend away.


The BMW i3 is another practical option. Its interior layout makes the most of the electric car's different mechanical arrangements by doing away with a centre tunnel, which makes it easy for passengers to enter and exit by the doors on either side without too much scrambling - ideal when you're pressed for time or huddled into a tight space in the car park.

Looking to Buy?
Search for cars