(REPOST: Car Buyer)
It's easy to forget that electric cars have been with us for over a century – in fact they were around before petrol engines came about. Only recently, though, have they started to become truly viable for daily use – and that's if you can afford the expensive technology that forces electric car prices beyond their fossil-fuel alternatives.
The Renault ZOE, though, was among the first electric cars with price tag that made it a true electric alternative to the petrol and diesel supermini norm, and with plenty of choice on the secondhand market, moving to electric power has never been more affordable.
The ZOE is a pleasant car to drive, particularly on urban roads where the instant urge of its electric motor puts you at an advantage over conventionally powered traffic. It's very quiet, the seats are comfortable and the ride is generally smooth. Some of the interior trim feels a little insubstantial, but the interior is quite attractive. It's spacious, too, with loads of front and rear headroom, and the boot can swallow 338 litres of luggage – or 1,225 if you lower the rear seatbacks.
The ZOE has done rather well in our annual Driver Power survey, too, which demonstrates that owners have few regrets in their choice, while its excellent Euro NCAP crash-test scores are sure to reassure families. Of course, the ZOE makes even more sense if you can find the right example for your needs; so here's our in-depth guide to what to look for.