In 2016, Electric cars are finally being considered a serious alternative to petrol or diesel vehicles. Rapid advancements in range and battery cost have meant EVs are more popular than ever – and with government support available, now might be the best time to buy an electric car.

The Nissan LEAF has shown that electric vehicles don’t have to cost the earth, while others like the Tesla Model S have proven that the best electric cars be luxurious – and fast too. Combine that with an ever improving charging infrastructure, and it’s easy to see why electric cars are becoming so popular.

But how popular? I hear you ask. New figures from the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders say 512 electric cars were sold in January 2015, a 58% rise from the same period in 2014. So what are the best electric cars you should buy? In no particular order, here’s what the team at E-Car Club think:

Renault ZOE

(Starts at £13,945 after government grant)

Renault is known for producing compact, efficient cars, and the Renault ZOE is no exception, repeating the formula in an electric setting. It’s one of our favourite E-Car’s, and makes up around 75% of our fleet.

With its small price the ZOE has a cabin that’s comfortable for longer journeys. And you could potentially spend a while in the ZOE: its range can extend to around 90 miles of mixed driving conditions – plenty for those inner city drives – especially when the car is in Eco mode.

Put the car into normal mode, and its 80hp engine offers surprisingly good acceleration. The ZOE will shoot to 30mph in just under four seconds, its acceleration is more than enough for those urban drives.

ecar Northamptonshire

Nissan LEAF

(Starts at £21,290 after government grant)

The Nissan LEAF is the most popular electric vehicle in the UK. Whilst looking like a large Nissan Micra from the outside, the LEAF is a revolutionary vehicle – and it keeps getting better. The latest 30kWh model costs around £24,000 and comes with an extended range of 125 to 150 miles.

BMW i3

(Starts at £25,860 after government grant)

One of the most sophisticated cars on the market today, the BMW i3 gives you everything you’d want from an electric car in a small, compact package. This head turning EV, is a rear-wheel drive like a traditional BMW, but that’s where the similarities end.

Under the hood – you won’t find much – because the i3 is actually powered by a 168hp electric motor in the car’s boot, which packs a range of around 80 – 100 miles on a single charge.

All of the electric vehicles mentioned in this article are part of the E-Car fleet. If you would like to test drive any of them, why not become a member of E-Car. Simply visit: ecarclub.co.uk/join to begin your application.