THERE haven't been many good things about lockdown, but for me one perk was that my week with the Kia e-Niro turned into quite a few weeks.

Eight, in fact.

That gave me a real insight into what it’s like to live with an electric car.

And it’s really rather good, with the whole Niro family now electrified in either this form or as hybrids.

Electric cars have come a long way in recent years and this is a perfect example.

Time was when the idea was great but range anxiety was a major issue, with many cars capable of little more than 100 miles on a charge in the real world.

But that figure has more than doubled now, making electric cars a properly viable alternative for people who want to do more than potter around town.

That was shown firstly by the fact that this car was delivered to me here in Falmouth by a driver rather than on a trailer, which has not been the case on previous occasions when manufacturers have been faced with the challenge of getting an electric car down to Cornwall.

The e-Niro has an on-paper range of 282 miles, which means long trips are possible with either one stop or none at all.

Fast chargers, which get these cars to around 80 per cent charged in less than an hour, are much more prolific now and can be found in car parks and service stations all over Cornwall.

Charging from a domestic socket is possible, albeit it takes many hours in comparison, but if you’re at work for a day like me (at least when this car first arrived) then plugging it in tops it up nicely while it’s sitting in the car park.

Spec-wise you get 17in alloys, heated front seats, powered driver’s seat, electric windows all round, air con, adaptive cruise control, digital radio, JBL sound system, touch screen with sat nav, smartphone integration, a wireless phone charger and rear parking sensors and lots more.

Being electric it’s a very nippy drive, even in eco mode, which helps to recharge the battery when decelerating.

Once you get used to how to do it you can watch how many miles you’re putting back in on a little dash readout, which is quite satisfying.

In normal and sport mode it’s properly rapid, though sucks more juice, of course.

Indeed, power output is 201bhp and 60mph comes up in just 7.5 seconds – not bad for a five-seat practical crossover.

One thing I noticed is that the range readout was incredibly accurate, so I felt confident that what it was telling me really was how much further I could go.

I managed around 250 miles on a single charge and always had faith in how much I had left.

Other than that it’s all nicely normal, with decent family car space and a good size boot.

This Niro, alongside others coming along now, shows that electric cars can become the norm and are rapidly doing exactly that.

The lockdown meant I had a lot longer than expected with this car and that gave me the chance to confirm its credentials as an excellent bit of kit that’s just as usable as a petrol or diesel alternative.

The only issue now is price – it’s still at a premium – coming in at £32,995 after the £3,500 government grant.

That’s a good chunk more than the entry hybrid Niro, which is £24,855.