Should you buy an electric car? Concerns about range and a lack of charging points have held back sales. The FT’s global motor industry correspondent Peter Campbell drag races a Tesla against an Aston Martin, hits the city streets in a Nissan Leaf and checks out a new Jaguar I-pace.








Read the Financial Times article and watch the video at: Should You Buy An Electric Car?


  • range – the distance that can be covered by a vehicle or aircraft without refuelling
  • pinnacle – the most successful point; the culmination
  • bulky – taking up much space; large and unwieldy
  • to wear downto make something gradually disappear or become thinner by using or rubbing it
  • socket – an electrical device receiving a plug or light bulb to make a connection
  • extension lead/extension cord – a length of electric cable which permits the use of appliances at some distance from a fixed socket
  • to hold off – delay or postpone an action or decision
  • drawback – a feature that renders something less acceptable; a disadvantage or problem

Watch and listen

Answer the questions below.

  • How do electric and combustion engine cars differ in terms of acceleration? (1:10)
  • What are the differences in the interior? (1:50)
  • What is regenerative braking and what are its advantages? (2:55)
  • How is the experience of driving an electric car different? (3:25)
  • What is range anxiety? (6:00)


Practice Makes Perfect


Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the word in [CAPITALS] at the end of the line. Go to Financial Times to find out more.

But for everyday driving, could you really live with a battery-powered vehicle?

Electric vehicles have graduated from a niche environmental concern to a serious 1__________ for mainstream motorists, as the technology comes of age and major manufacturers prepare to flood forecourts with battery-driven alternatives.                                                  [PROPOSE]

No wonder car buyers are 2__________.                                        [CONFUSION]

The battery has to be plugged in to 3__________.                                        [CHARGE]

A product launch 4__________ is coming down the road.                                        [SLAY]

Dealers say an order placed today is 5__________ to arrive in February.                                           [LIKE]

The centre’s manager, Ted Foster, knows of at least 100 sales that directly resulted from a visit to his shop but estimates that the effects of it will ripple far 6__________.                                                  [WIDTH]

Prices are also likely to fall as more options come on to the market, creating 7__________ in each product segment, from family cars to 8__________ SUVs.                                        [CHOOSE]     [SPACE]

But the real advantage lies in the 9__________ costs, with big savings on fuel costs, servicing, and car parking, not to mention the value of free access to toll areas such as London’s Congestion Charge Zone (currently £11.50 per day).                                        [RUN]

But early fears that batteries would degrade were 10__________, and the values of second hand electric vehicles have been quietly climbing.                                        [BLOW]

This means most people charge their cars overnight at home, or at work, and only visit public charging stations very 11__________.                                        [FREQUENCY]

The economics alone, which has tipped in favour of electric cars for some time, will not be enough to spur large numbers of today’s car buyers to 12__________ to battery powered vehicles.                                             [CONVERSION]

Electric cars need a new consumer 13 __________, from being prepared to plug in and charge at a service area, to pulling off silently while checking for un-suspecting pedestrians.                                         [MIND]






1. proposition   2. confused   3. recharge   4. onslaught   5. likely   6. wider   7. choice   8. spacious   9. running   10. overblown   11. infrequently   12. convert   13. mindset


Explore it more – for an opposing view

Go to this Science News article to find out more.