This Fifth Gear review takes a look at three contenders, one of which is still in production. It all starts with the Nissan Leaf, as it should since this model was the most popular EV globally. Today, it's worth about a sixth to an eighth of its original price and is the value kind of the video.
Acceleration is pretty nice, as the Leaf sprints better than most cars that claim to have about 100 horsepower. As a used car, this is a pretty interesting proposition because unlike with something like a Golf or an Astra, you don't need to worry about its oil changes. The battery is what can cost the most.
While you're supposed to have about 70-80% of the original capacity after 10 years, we've already seen cars with 50% capacity. Even on its best day, this proto-EV would give you about 100 miles of range, so it's only good for quick trips into town.
The Vauxhall Ampera is the second car under the magnifying glass. Nowadays, PHEVs are all over the place, but back seven years ago, this was the first to be offered in Britain. Like the Volt, this thing won the European Car of the Year award but is full of flaws. Range isn't one of them since like the sister Chevy Volt model this is has a gasoline motor. This doesn't power the wheels in any way but instead acts as an electric generator.
Problems? Well, if the battery goes bad, it costs as much as two used Leafs (Leaves?) to repair. Finally, there's the BMW i3, also available with a range extender. The German machine feels more like a science experiment on wheels, featuring super-skinning tires and abnormal looks. We think it's really interesting, especially the materials used inside and the CFRP construction.