Why electric car owners are the happiest

When it comes to owner satisfaction, electric car drivers are the happiest of the lot

We road and lab test hundreds of new cars each year, identifying the heroes and villains across the price spectrum. We also survey thousands of car owners, so you can use the results of our annual car survey to find out which models are the most reliable, and which are likely to leave you frustrated at the side of the road. However, when it comes to really knowing a car inside out, nothing beats living with it for a prolonged period of time. That’s why our annual car survey has a specific section on satisfaction – namely how happy you are with your car and how likely you are to recommend it to a friend.

Ultra-low emission registrations up 386% on first quarter of 2014 (Image: OLEV)

Ultra-low emission registrations up 386% on first quarter of 2014 (Image: OLEV)

Each year, we dig into our data and discover which cars that kept their owners most satisfied, across our car classes. This is separate to our reliability ratings, which tell you how reliable a car is. It’s also separate to our overall test scores for each model, which are made up of the results of our independent lab tests, as well as our reliability ratings. Instead, our satisfaction scores focus purely on how happy owners are. We’re seeing electric cars taking the top spot in a number of key car classes. Below are the areas in which they’ve overtaken the established competition to become the most satisfying cars to own.

Which small electric cars make their owners happy?

Buyers expect a lot from the small car class, despite their compact dimensions and (mostly) modest prices. This class is easily the most popular in the UK, with UK bestsellers such as the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa championed for their blend of hatchback practicality and ease of use in congested city centres. However, of all the new small cars we’ve tested, it’s the BMW i3 (in both pure EV and ‘range extender hybrid’ guises) and the zero-emissions Renault Zoe that have taken podium places for owner satisfaction.

Read more: Which?

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