Should you buy an electric car?

Sitting in an electric car on the start line at Silverstone, about to go head to head with the latest Aston Martin, I quietly wonder what on earth I am doing.

While the guttural rumbling from the Aston’s V8 engine seeps into my right ear, the Tesla S I am in (£130,000 on the road) is totally silent. You would not even know it was switched on. But while the Aston has thunder, the Tesla produces lightning — accelerating from 0 to 60mph in under three seconds with a g-force that puts roller coasters to shame.

As the British supercar shrinks in my wing mirror, I can attest that driving an electric car is undoubtedly fun. But for everyday driving, could you really live with a battery-powered vehicle?

Red Tesla Model S (Image: T. Larkum)

Red Tesla Model S (Image: T. Larkum)

It is a question more car buyers are asking. Electric vehicles have graduated from a niche environmental concern to a serious proposition for mainstream motorists, as the technology comes of age and major manufacturers prepare to flood forecourts with battery-driven alternatives.

However, sales remain tiny. The majority of buyers are daunted by the high prices of electric cars, plus the limited mileage range, not to mention how — and where — they can recharge their vehicles. About 6 per cent of vehicles sold between January and June this year had a plug, while a mere 0.5 per cent were fully electric, meaning they have no traditional engine whatsoever.

As we enter September, traditionally Britain’s second-biggest month for forecourt sales, here are all the financial points you need to consider before buying an electric car.

Read more: FT

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