In France, two electric cars have stood out from the rest of the herd since the beginning of 2022. In this case, two models that are all against, since the Tesla Model 3 and Dacia Spring, both sold more than 6,000 copies between January and April, are antagonistic in every way. On the American’s performance / technology package, the Romanian responds with a bottom price and a pragmatism on the border of what is acceptable. However, the electric landscape is already rich enough not to have to hesitate between these two paradoxes and for everyone to find what they are looking for.. For the summer of 2022, the AM points to 6 less prominent models because they are either older or lesser known and that you can count on. Note that all the announced autonomies have been verified under protocol.
The electric Fiat 500: the sexiest
For its 500 electric, Fiat has managed to keep the crisp line that made the Italian successful. But this version has nothing to do with its thermal sister. New platform, dimensions a few centimeters up in all dimensions – also for the purpose of housing the large 42 kWh battery (37.3 kWh useful) -, much more modern interior and better quality, as well as improved comfort make it a great city car. Its 118 hp gives it a nice dynamic, but it remains intended for urban and peri-urban use because its autonomy does not exceed 150 km on the highway. A 95 hp variant with a small 23.8 kWh battery is also available from € 25,400.
Range of the electric Fiat 500
- Self-governing town: 240 km
- Autonomous road: 178 km
- Highway range: 150 km
2. BMW i4 eDrive 40: Tesla Model 3 Eater
The BMW i4 is the 100% electric variant of the 4-Series Gran Coupé, to which BMW has just added a more closed grille and a few touches of blue. On board, the habitability remains identical, but the German receives two large screens. With a single electric motor developing 340 hp and 430 Nm, located on the rear axle, this BMW i4 is already accelerating strongly and showing great acceleration: only 3.1 s left from 80 to 120 km / h. despite a very high mass of 2,155 kg verified! An overweight, which it partly owes to its good manufacturing quality, a rich equipment, but also and above all its very large battery of 80.7 kWh usable, which gives it comfortable autonomy (350 km on the highway and 460 km in the city). Despite all his pounds, this BMW i4 benefits from a really efficient front axle on dry roads and well-controlled traction. Not to mention a generally lightly dosed braking, something rare on electric cars. However, beware of rain or slippery roads.
BMW i4s autonomy
- Self-governing town: 460 km
- Autonomous road: 463 km
- Highway range: 350 km
Compare the real autonomy of the best electric cars according to our standardized measuring cycle. Battery capacity, consumption, autonomy, we tell you everything!
3. Hyundai Kona Electric: the sure bid
If it is no longer particularly young since being born in 2017, the Hyundai Kona remains an excellent choice. Thanks to its usable 64 kWh battery and controlled consumption, it drives up to 480 km in the city and 380 km on the highway (265 km on the highway). In addition to good autonomy, this Hyundai Kona accelerates well: only 4.5 s back from 80 to 120 km / h, to the point that the front axle may have trouble digesting this passion. In the city, this Hyundai shows itself as a pleasure of liveliness, without the slightest jerk, in a good silence and with comfortable suspension. We only regret that the brake pedal is a bit spongy and suffers from a reaction time, is not easy to dose in case of a surprising intervention. Fortunately, it is possible to set the intensity of the engine brake, which makes it possible at the highest level to alleviate this problem.
Autonomy of Hyundai Kona Electric
- Self-governing town: 480 km
- Autonomous road: 380 km
- Highway range: 265 km
The electric Peugeot e-208: the French look
Designed to be thermal, the Peugeot 208 was not easy to electrify. Spread in several elements under the rear seats and in the center console, the useful battery of 46 kWh also required the use of a simplified and less bulky rear axle. Despite this correct capacity, the autonomy of the Peugeot e-208 remains a bit disappointing, with admittedly 252 km in the city, but no more than 211 km on the road and only 160 km on the highway., which really limits its versatility. However, its road qualities and comfort are undeniable and its performance satisfactory: 6.1 s back from 80 to 120 km / h. A little hope: some changes in battery management as well as a new, more efficient engine should soon arrive to improve autonomy.
Autonomy of Peugeot e-208
- Self-governing town: 252 km
- Autonomous road: 211 km
- Highway range: 160 km
5. Renault Zoe: the French car still on the level
Born in 2013, the electric Renault Zoe received a major restyling and a 52 kWh battery in late 2019. With its efficient wound rotor motor, it enjoys very interesting off-road autonomy, especially in its 108 hp variant, which is more sober than 135 hp. With 395 km in the city and 280 km on the road, this Renault Zoe R110 proves to be an excellent second car, provided you avoid distances of 130 km / h, where it stops after 220 km … This integrated, Zoe enchants the city with its silence and its quick start by fire, all enhanced by an efficient chassis and more conciliatory suspension. It is rare that the brake is quite easy to dose. Only downside, the driving position is a bit too upright and the performance of the built-in charger is poor, which increases the price of a full tank and prolongs the recharging time.
Autonomy of Renault Zoe
- Self-governing town: 395 km
- Autonomy road: 280 km
- Highway range: 220 km
6. Volvo XC40 Recharge: the original SUV
Significantly less powerful than the “twin-engine” Volvo XC40 and its 408 hp, the single-engine “traction” Volvo XC40 with its 231 hp significantly lowers the entry price: € 43,940, compared to € 53,300 previously. At the same time, the battery goes from 78 kWh to 69 kWh. This does not prevent Volvo from announcing, thanks to a lower mass of 165 kg, better autonomy on the WLTP homologation cycle. (424 km versus 418 km for Twin Recharge). If you do not have an urgent need for four-wheel drive (assembly area …), this input level is more than enough (330 Nm instantaneous torque). All with a fairly efficient chassis with progressive suspensions. It just lacks, in addition to the idle mode and the slightly harsh “one-pedal” braking, a normal engine brake.
Published on 15/05/2022 Up to date 15/05/2022 François Lemaur and the editorial staff