While the government's and the ESB's predictions for the number of electric automobiles on Irish roads seem wildly wide of the mark right now, there's undoubtedly more momentum in the sector of late and plenty of new electric models coming on stream. We're also seeing useful gains in range, which is still seen by the buying public as a major hurdle. An electric automobile would suit far more motorists than they realise.
1 - BMW i3
The BMW i3 was launched in 2013 yet it still looks futuristic and while it may be flawed in terms of ride quality, we can't help but love it. The 170hp electric motor gives the rear wheels plenty to think about as it sprints away from a standstill, leaving many bystanders gawping. Beyond such juvenile fun (ahem), the interior of the i3 is spacious and airy and highly original too. A longer range battery launched in 2016 makes it more appealing than ever.
2 - Renault Zoe
We've always liked the looks of the Renault Zoe and its compact shape is arguably better suited to electric propulsion than most, as it's designed for a life in town. Now, it's more attractive thanks to the introduction of a new battery pack in 2017 that enables much longer distance between charges.
3 - Hyundai Ioniq
Hyundai has seriously hit the ground running with its first electric automobile, the unusual looking Ioniq. You can get hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of this automobile, too, but the pure electric one is the star of the range. The high-quality cabin has plenty of space and ultra-modern switchgear so it'll definitely appeal to 'early adopters'.
4 - Volkswagen e-Golf
The e-Golf is a lesson from Volkswagen in how to make an electric automobile not feel like an electric automobile. Honestly, you'll be hard pushed to notice what's different inside or out, and it's very civilised on the move too. Improved considerably in 2017 by a minor facelift that includes a battery with a longer range between charges.
5 - Nissan Leaf
You have to admire Nissan for taking the electric automobile plunge with its Leaf hatchback years before most rivals even considered it. Unsurprisingly, it's the best-selling electric automobile there is. We don't love its looks, but there's no arguing with its peppy performance and how 'normal' it feels in day-to-day driving.
Worth a mention - Tesla Model S
Now that Tesla has a sales outlet in Ireland, its range of exceptional electric automobiles can be considered for this list. The Model X SUV with its fancy doors is cool and the forthcoming Model 3 has real potential, but the Model S stands out as the best all-rounder so far thanks to its combination of sports automobile performance, massive interior space and very long range between charges. Not cheap, but you certainly get a lot for your money.