Top 2 Electric Cars For School Runs And Weekend Trips

school children

What Do EVs And Schools Have In Common?

The first time I noticed it, I smiled and remarked ‘nice coincidence’.  However, after several sightings, it became apparent that it is a fast growing trend in the UK.  I am talking EVs parked outside schools with patiently waiting parents, mostly mums.  

In fact, spotting multiple EVs parked outside a school is more the norm than the exception. Though surprising to some, to me its seems rather obvious.  After all, most parents (if not all) would like to have lower air pollution around their children. 


Air Pollution Results In Significant Health Issues To Include Deaths 

The urgency in regards to air pollution becomes rather ‘immediate’ when your children are standing a few feet from the billowing tailpipe of a polluting diesel or petrol car. Inhaling life threatening pollutants like Particulate Matter (PM), Ammonia (NH3) and Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) leads to early deaths.

In fact, child experts in the UK have warned that families and parents are worryingly unaware of the severe detrimental effect to children as a result of increased local air pollution.  This includes, increased cases of asthma and related deaths, negative effects on mental and overall health.   

rear of blue car showing lights and exhaust pipe
Tailpipe Emissions

Road transportation contributes nearly 60% of the total air pollution in the UK.  Parents are doing the right thing by driving zero emission cars for school runs, as it helps reduce the harmful effects of toxic pollutants in the immediate vicinity of the school children.  

In fact, I cannot fathom why parents would use internal combustion engines like polluting petrol and diesel cars, that have such a significant, direct and strong detrimental correlation to children’s health.  

The good news is that electric cars are a real and robust alternative to petrol and diesel cars for school runs and much more.  


Top Reasons For Parents To Own A Pure Electric Car Or Battery Electric Car (BEV)


  • Reduce air pollution in the immediate vicinity of your children: reduce the detrimental and real impact of air pollution on their health
  • Good range: yes, electric cars are capable of much more than just local trips to the school, grocery store, gym or local high street.  The latest electric vehicles have real world ranges between 100 to 200 miles
  •  Lower maintenance and repair cost: yes, EVs cost less to maintain and repair compared to traditional petrol and diesel cars.  The reason is simple.  Electric cars have significantly fewer moving parts compared to internal combustion engines
  • Enjoy the smoother drive:all pure electric cars are automatic, which means you do not need to simultaneously shuffle gears and calm hungry children 
  • Take advantage of the UK government plug-in grant incentive (PiCG): to reduce the cost of buying  a battery electric vehicle.  Honestly, take advantage of this while it lasts! 
  • Last but not the least, image matters: never underestimate the importance of ‘image’ to kids.  Kids nowadays are passionate about the environment. Electric cars are simply considered ‘very cool’.  Internal combustion engine cars are NOT.  If you do not believe me, ask your children

Top 2  EVs For School Runs And More That Will Not Break The Bank 


Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf Hatch Electric
Nissan Leaf Electric Car

Key features


  • The best selling EV globally with a strong track record.  It is also the best selling battery electric car (BEV) in the UK and Europe
  • 40 kWh lithium-ion battery with a NEDC range up to 168 miles
  • 5 doors and 5 seats.  So easy to get adults and kids in and out effortlessly
  • Boot capacity: 400 litres  (enough to fit in all the sports gear and more)
  • Maximum speed: 90 mph
  • Good reviews
    • Top Gear: 8/10
    • What Car?: 4/5
    • Auto Express: 4/5

Renault Zoe

Renault Zoe Hatchback Electric Car
Renault Zoe EV

Key features


  • Another popular EV with a strong track record and certainly cute! 
  • 41 kWh lithium-ion battery with a NEDC range up to 186 miles (very similar to the Nissan Leaf)
  • 5 doors and 5 seats.  Like the Nissan Leaf, easy to get adults and kids in and out effortlessly
  • Boot capacity: 338 litres  (slightly smaller than the Nissan Leaf but still sufficient for school kits and weekend luggage)
  • Maximum speed: 84 mph
  • Good reviews, but the Nissan Leaf is ahead 
    • Top Gear: 7/10
    • What Car?: 4/5
    • Auto Express: 4/5

There are certainly other suitable EVs, like the BMWi3.  However, these models do cost more, but worth considering. In general, I encourage first time EV buyers to start with a smaller budget. Be prudent.  Gain some ‘real world’ experience driving an electric car. You can always upgrade to a Jaguar I-PACE or Tesla Model 3 anytime!  



Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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