Car Seats and Electric Vehicles (EVs) - Any Issues?

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A recently published report* highlighted that there are now over 260,000 EVs on the UK's roads. While that is nothing compared to the total number of cars in the UK (33 million) it's clearly a very significant number in isolation. More importantly that number is growing fast and the advantages of an EV do often lend themselves to a family car, so you might consider one. 

If you are in the market for an EV then you may be wondering, as a parent, if there is anything that you need to know regarding their compatibility with car seats. 

Thankfully the answer is surprisingly simple and that is that there is nothing to worry about. Firstly since most EVs on the UK's roads have been manufactured within the last 5 years almost without exception they will all have ISOFIX mountings. 

Here's a Nissan Leaf that I test drove a few years ago (but didn't buy). Even a very early example of this model Leaf from 2011 will have ISOFIX. 

 Nissan Leaf EV

 Secondly, the style of current EVs means that they are almost all suitable as a family car with respect to rear cabin space. There are exceptions of course, the Renault Zoe is a small car, so compromises might be required and the Renault Twizy isn't really a car at all, so I'm confident you couldn't carry a child in one of those. Looks like a lot of fun though. (Photo: Car Magazine)

Renault Twizy

 

In the end we purchased this Mercedes B250e, which is a lovely but not very well known EV.

Mercedes B250e Outside

This had all the usual ISOFIX points in exactly the same places as the regular B Class. The only difference was that the floor in the rear was slightly higher than the ICE models, so if you were swapping seats between the different versions you would have to adjust the support leg slightly. That aside it had all the size benefits of a regular B Class, good cabin size, decent boot and so on. Here is it with two Nuna Rebls installed and as you can see, there's still plenty of space.

Mercedes B250e Car Seats

The B Class also had top tether anchorage points, but do check any EV you might be considering if your existing seat needs them. 

So, the case is clear then, if you want an EV there's nothing to consider with respect to carrying your children. Well, not quite. 

Our experience suggests that, because EVs are quite quick off the line, it is much easier to induce car sickness in your children. But in actual fact that's not a particular hardship as I found driving an EV slowly much easier than doing the same in a petrol/diesel car. I also found that, in summer, our EV struggled to keep the car fully cool, presumably because the air-con unit is smaller so that it doesn't draw too much power from the battery. But that might just be an issue with the B Class. 

Finally, we had a number of journeys where our remaining battery range was falling faster than anticipated (and would have meant running out of power) and that does make things rather stressful behind the wheel. If your children are asleep in the back then no problem, but it they are being "children" then it tends to add to the stress. Range anxiety is less of an issue if you have an EV with a big battery, but if you go for an 1st generation Nissan Leaf you are going to experience it sooner or later.

Good luck and if you are considering an EV, let me know how you are getting on. 

Safe travels.

 

 * Electric vehicle market statistics 2021 - How many electric cars in UK ? (nextgreencar.com)


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