The last car that was delivered to me to test before the lockdown was a Renault Zoe, which as you probably know is a fully electric car.
The first car to be delivered in the eased lockdown is a Vauxhall Corsa-e, also an electric car.
So for the limited amount of driving that I’ve done during the last two months, which is mainly going back and forth caring for my 94-year-old mum, all of it has been in an EV.
I’m getting pretty used to this electric business. Wouldn’t say I was at the evangelist stage yet, but I’m warming to it.
The Corsa-e is essentially the same car as the Peugeot e-208 but not quite as good looking. Vauxhall was quick out of the box with this car because there is no fully electric Ford hatchback and very few from other rivals.
There’s really only the aforementioned Zoe, the Mini E and Honda E – the latter offering a shorter range and higher price.
The Corsa-e has a 100kW electric motor and a 50kWh battery giving it a range in ideal conditions of 209 miles, which is about 25 miles less than the Renault.
Vauxhall will also give you a wall-mounted fast charger and fit it for free. This is just as well because charging the car from a domestic socket will take up to 24 hours.
Use a public rapid charger and you will be able to bring your Corsa-e’s battery up to 80% charge in 30 minutes.
Slip inside and you’ll see a rather more straightforward interior than the Peugeot’s. No nice piano keys to operate oft-used items like radio and sat nav, no futuristic 3D virtual cockpit and no wacky tiny steering wheel.
But never mind, there’s not much wrong with the Vauxhall’s interior and it’s very well put together.
On the plus side, the Corsa has proper knobs by which you control the temperature inside, unlike the Peugeot in which you have to go via the touchscreen. That, as I’ve banged on about loads of times, is dangerously distracting.
You have three driving modes: Normal, which allows you 107bhp; Eco which gives you 81bhp, and Sport which serves up the full 134bhp.
The car starts in Normal mode and that’s the best one to keep it in unless you really want to run the battery down quickly by regularly using the Corsa-e’s 7.6sec 0-60mph sprinting ability.
Eco is the mode to use if you’re on a long journey and absolutely need to string out the range. The performance definitely feels flatter and the air-conditioning also holds itself back.
The appeal of this electric Corsa to many people will be the fact that it feels remarkably similar to a petrol or diesel version to operate.
You get the same gearshift in the EV as you do in the petrol and diesel versions, interior is exactly the same and the luggage space is the same 309 litres as a regular Corsa because the only intrusion the batteries make is into the spare wheel well.
At 1,455kg this version is considerably heavier than its siblings but stiffer springs hide the extra bulk pretty well.
That means it’s less comfortable over bumps than the petrol Corsa but the ride isn’t too firm.
Our test car is an Elite Nav which costs £30,310 after the Government’s grant has been deducted.
A Renault Zoe will cost you a bit less and another positive point to that car is it offers a slightly better range although it isn’t as spacious inside.
The Mini E, on the other hand, is sportier but has a much reduced range.
Vauxhall’s Corsa-e is the perfect car for those wanting to take the plunge into EV ownership while doing it in something that feels reassuringly familiar.
Vauxhall Corsa-e Elite Nav four-door hatchback
Engine: Single electric motor, 133bhp
Range: 209 miles
MG ZS EV
One of the best priced EVs on the market. MG usually has some good deals, too.
Looks very funky inside and out, but short range makes it a city car only.
Excellent range and well proven tech.