Thinking of driving green? Or perhaps your kids have been having a go at you about driving around town in a big petrol-powered SUV, belching out emissions, and gulping down vast amounts of the planet’s rare resources? In which case you may be looking to allay their concerns with a switch to an electric car. The question is, which EV should you consider? Don’t worry, we’ve compiled some key contenders in alphabetical order.
A bold and provocative design from BMW, spearheads the company’s dedicated range of electric SUVs with a futuristic cabin that is as tech-heavy as it is bling-tastic. Crystal-cut glass electric door controls mesmerise thanks to light patterns produced as they catch and disperse the sunrays. This design feature is carried through to the centre console and the gear selector knob.
There’s a choice of models, ranging from the xDrive 40 with a 425km range, the xDrive 50 that offers an impressive 630km range and also the performance-orientated M60 that can accelerate from 0-100km/h in a supercar-rivalling 3.8 seconds. Though for families the convenience of a longer range is probably more of a priority. The iX is not cheap though, starting at just over AED400,000.
BYD ATTO 3
The freshest entrant to the market brings party tricks like a rotating centre screen and unique interior design touches including the guitar-string door pockets. Relatively compact in its overall footprint, the BYD ATTO 3 is remarkably spacious and practical inside.
Aside from the smart exterior and appealing cabin, it offers an easy drive that non-EV owners can readily adapt to. There’s decent performance, good handling and ride, plus a genuinely usable range of 420km. Crucially, it’s the most affordable family EV in this line-up with prices starting from just AED150,000.
The EQ range from Mercedes denotes its EV offerings. The letter tacked onto the end of EQ indicates the model’s equivalency to the petrol siblings. As such the EQC is the all-electric alternative to the GLC SUV. It’s fair to think of it as a rival to the BMW iX as there is price-parity, though the driving range appears to be slightly less at 415km.
Still, Mercedes stands for luxury and unimpeachable quality craftsmanship. There’s a certain restrained elegance about it too, contrasting with the BMW’s more showy persona.
The all-electric sub-brand of Volvo has been making waves in the EV sector thanks to its clean, crisp and stylishly functional design ethos, as opposed to its parent company’s clean, crisp and stylishly functional design ethos!
Well, inevitably there is a lot of shared commonality between the brands, and the Polestar 2 is closely related to the Volvo XC40 that appears later in this list. Being a Volvo brand it’s safe too with features including automatic disconnect for the battery pack in the event of a collision, and additional protection for the passenger cabin.
Despite premium quality, pricing is keen, starting from around AED200,000, and it’s offered in a variety of configurations including: single motor rear-wheel drive, a dual-motor option as well as regular or long-range battery set-ups. Go for the single motor with long range and over 540km is claimed.
Tesla Model X
The interloper between the two Scandinavians is an American from the all-star Tesla brand, arguably the marque that’s done the most to make EVs desirable. The Model X brings flair and fun for families. It’s big, and accordingly offers vast space. Plus, there are those extraordinary rear falcon wing doors and a windscreen that goes on forever, adding to the sense of roominess. This is a gadget-packed car, and the doors will even do a little dance for you accompanying music and a light show.
There are too many features to get into, but it starts at around AED400,000 for the Dual Motor version that will accelerate from rest to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds with a claimed range of 576 km. Spend closer to half a million and you’d have the Model X Plaid tri-motor with over 1000bhp. This will rocket to 100km/h in a shocking 2.9 seconds but has slightly less range. We’re not sure your family will entirely appreciate those g-forces on the morning school run though!
Autonomous driving features are optional extras, but are not to be entirely relied upon. The large glass area makes the cabin hotter when parked in the sun, luggage space is a little disappointing for a car of this size and the ride can be a little too firm for a luxury car.
Volvo XC40 Recharge Electric
Finally, we come to the comparatively compact, sensible and solidly-built Volvo XC40, which is a perfect size and conveyance for a small family in any of its guises (as it’s also available as a mild hybrid petrol-electric car). In some markets a plug-in hybrid is offered – also dubbed ‘Recharge’. Make sure it’s the Electric XC40 Recharge you seek out.
The Volvo is the slightly more conventional in appearance and stance for a small SUV, but because of its similarity to the Polestar 2 the rest of this could just be copied over from the entry above. Suffice to say that both vehicles are highly regarded, have received numerous accolades between them, and would be compelling contenders for your family EV shortlist.