What is an electric car?

How does a battery electric vehicle work? 

​In simple terms, energy is stored in a large battery, which drives a powerful electric motor. Easy. To charge it, simply plug it into a home chargepoint, or a public charger when you’re out and about, and the car will take care of the rest. Plug it in at home, and you wake up every morning with a ‘full tank’* – in the case of the e-Niro, that’s a potential 282-mile range! The car then drives on battery power alone, there is no need to add petrol or diesel. It can even add charge to the battery while you are driving by recovering energy that would normally be lost – when braking for example. 

What are the benefits of going electric?

There are many substantial benefits to owning a battery-electric car. Here are just few reasons to Stop Wondering. Start Driving.

  • Cheap to run - electricty is much cheaper than petrol or diesel, so your journey may cost less than a third of what it in a combustion-engined car.
  • Zero Emissions - there are no exhaust emissions from the tailpipe, electric vehicles don't even have a tailpipe.
  • Charge at home - Another perk is being able to charge your vehicle at home. You can also get a £500 OLEV grant to help pay for the charger.
  • Relaxing drive - electric cars are quiet, making for a relaxing environment. Acceleration is instant so driving is easy too.

What is it like to drive an electric car?

Rather fun, actually. Electric cars are incredibly responsive. That’s because unlike combustion engines, electric motors produce maximum torque at any rpm. So you can enjoy brisk, instant acceleration at any speed without worrying about gear changes – all that torque means electric cars only need one forward gear! The All-New e-Niro can surge from 0-62mph in just 7.8 seconds.

Handling can be impressive, too. Because the batteries are in the floor, electric cars have a low centre of gravity, which helps minimise body roll while making the car feel planted, providing a fun, dynamic drive. The All-New e-Niro even has a sport mode!

If efficiency is your main concern, there’s an eco mode, too. The All-New Kia e-Niro offers a driving range of 282 miles (WLTP combined cycle) on a full charge – that’s London to Newcastle! For some everyday context, the average UK commute is just 10 miles – so the average person could do more than two weeks of commuting without needing to charge once.

Most charging with an electric car is done at home. But If you want to top up on the go, there are more than 7,000 public charging locations in the UK, and most of them have multiple connectors. Plug an All-New e-Niro into a 100kW fast charger and you’ll have 80% charge in just 54 minutes – that’s enough to travel 225 miles!

Kia's battery-electric cars

All New Kia e-Niro 

Powerful acceleration, a generous equipment list, impressive range - it's no wonder the All-New Kia e-Niro is WhatCar?'s Car of the Year. ​

The All-New Soul EV​

Embracing the iconic design and playful character of its predecessors, the All-New Kia Soul EV is an all-electric car, with a choice of two long-range, zero emissions powertrains. ​