By Dan Teodorescu
It’s getting more and more obvious that we are in the transitional phase of an automotive revolution. Sure, electric cars have been around since the 1800s and there have been many attempts to popularize them throughout the 20th century, but now they’re finally ready to take over and make combustion engines a thing of the past.
There are several advantages in owning an electric vehicle. Obviously removing CO2 and other toxic emissions from urban areas is a major one, but they’re also cheaper to run, less likely to break down and, last but not least, incredibly fun to drive. If you live in Romania this is a great time to switch to electric, as the government is offering a special grant of around 10,000 euro to each buyer. Here are the current top choices for electric cars in Romania, with many other models sure to follow in the upcoming few years.
We begin with a car that looks like it’s been specially designed for Bucharest’s crowded roads. The e-up! is ideal for city traffic due to its size and agility, but also because of its range. A full battery will last about 160 kilometers, meaning you could realistically drive it to work every day for a whole week and only charge it on weekends. It will also pay for itself over time, compared to a petrol-powered vehicle, as the electricity cost for 100 kilometers is roughly equivalent to just one liter of petrol.
It’s also equipped with many modern and popular features, such as heated front seats, a 5-inch display, smartphone connectivity, cruise control, or an emergency braking system, among others. It comes with a paired smartphone application which lets you remotely access many of the car’s functions.
The all-electric BMW i3 has the size of a classic sub-compact city car, but its design and technology are futuristic, to say the least. Its 260-kilometer range makes it suitable even for longer drives, especially given the fact that Romania’s electric charger network is constantly growing every day. It’s an incredibly fun car to drive and after only a few minutes of making your way through traffic, you’ll wonder how you’ve survived for so long with clunky, slow, and dirty petrol vehicles.
It only takes 6.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h, which is a good time but only tells half the story. The beauty of electric motors is that they instantly deliver all their available power, as opposed to petrol or diesel engines who only reach their peak at a certain point. This translates into an absolutely explosive acceleration and the ability to ease your way through traffic.
If there’s one car brand which seems made for the age of electric propulsion, it’s certainly the Smart. The tiny but very practical vehicles have been a hit since they first came out, especially in Europe where the compact cities and crowded roads increase the need for a small vehicle that can squeeze through tight spots. So it only makes sense that Smart already provides fully electric alternatives for all its popular vehicles, namely Smart FourTwo, FourTwo Cabrio, and the 4-door FourFour.
Costing only a little over 10.000 Euro, the Smart FourTwo is currently the least expensive option for a new and fully electric car on the Romanian market. If you have many urban trips in your everyday schedule and you don’t need to carry more than one additional person with you, it’s the ideal city car.
The fact that Volkswagen has two entries on our list is no coincidence, as it showcases the German manufacturer’s commitment to offering a wide range of clean vehicles, both now and in the future. The e-Golf takes all the characteristics that made the Golf series insanely popular over the past 45 years and adds electric propulsion to the list, along with many other modern features.
The e-Golf is not only a city car, as its 300-kilometer range means you can easily use it for long road trips. Even with the current infrastructure, you could realistically drive for thousands of miles around Romania and the rest of Europe with a bit of planning beforehand. Over the next few years it will get easier and easier to charge your e-Golf on the go, without getting sidetracked from your original route.
If you’re under the impression that electric cars are nice and clean but also a bit boring, then you couldn’t be further than the truth and the Jag i-Pace is clear proof of that. We mentioned earlier that any electric motor delivers all its power at once, resulting in spectacular acceleration. Imagine, however, the electric equivalent of a 400-horsepower engine. With two electric motors giving 200 horsepower each and a mind-boggling torque of 513 pound-feet (for comparison, the 300.000 Euro Ferrari 812 has about the same), the Jaguar can feel like a roller coaster ride.
It also stays true to the English manufacturer’s reputation of delivering elegant and comfortable cars, while also incorporating the latest infotainment technology. Last but not least, the i-Pace is surprisingly practical, having a huge range of 470 kilometers and only needing 40 minutes to charge up to 80% on a fast charger.
SUVs have significantly grown in popularity over the past decade, mainly due to their great versatility. Car buyers loved the idea of a vehicle that is both comfortable and elegant, one that can be agile in city traffic but also able to perform in an off-road environment. The e-tron is Audi’s first fully electric mass-produced vehicle and is essentially a classic family SUV with an added electric twist.
Audi saw no reason to change something that is working so well, so the e-tron has everything you would expect from any of their popular mid-sized luxury crossover SUVs, including the Quattro all-wheel-drive system. With two motors combining for a total of 355 horsepower, all the infotainment features you would expect from a luxury vehicle, and a range of over 400 km, the Audi e-tron is the ideal family vehicle for those who want to transition from gas-powered to electric.