I HAVE always thought that electric cars will have truly arrived when you can drive one and forget that it is not powered by fossil fuels.

While not quite there yet the latest offering from Citroen is 95 per cent along the road to success… and the remaining five per cent is nothing to do with the car itself.

The e-C4 X feels reasonably quick (0 to 62 in 10 seconds), comfortable and has a claimed range of up to 300 miles (city driving). It is also reasonably affordable for a decent-sized electric saloon starting at £31,995 (petrol versions begin at £22,500).

It is that range issue (221 for out of town driving) which accounts for the final five per cent – not the car’s fully charged ability but the lack of infrastructure… there are dozens of petrol stations in every large town but nothing like the same number of charging points.

Fitting a rapid charge point at home partly solves the problem but if you have to do a round trip of 200 miles or so then you find yourself (as I did) looking on the web for power points along your route.

Luckily my day out testing Maseratis at a high end North Yorkshire hotel was greatly improved when I arrived to find a bank of vacant chargers.

Four hours later the e-C4 was fully ready to whisk me home, but you cannot guarantee being able to plug in at your destination and until the powers that be get more power to the people range anxiety will remain an issue.

Anyway, back to the e-C4 which was in midrange Shine spec. That meant standard kit included a driver’s head up display, heated front seats in alcantara, heated steering wheel, smart alloy wheels, a 10 inch central infotainment touch screen, digital drivers instrument panel and a whole raft of Citroen safety features.

Extras fitted included leather seats, metallic paint, power driver’s seat with massage function (very nice) and wireless phone charging which took the on the road price up to £36,140.

It’s a good looking car too with that corporate Citroen front end and lots of bodywork details that mean it is stylish from every angle.

Comfort has always been a strong point with Citroen suspension systems but eco, normal and sport driving modes mean things can now be sharpened up at the touch of a button.

As to that battery power an eight-year or 100,000 miles warranty comes alongside the car’s three-year or 60,000 mile standard cover so that helps calm any fears of needing a new power pack and the large cost involved.

Speaking of the battery it can be charged up to 80 per cent in just 30 minutes on a rapid public charge point while home charging (32 amp) will take seven and a half hours to 100 per cent.

So almost there then for electric cars… although true petrolheads like me will continue to bemoan the passing of the symphony produced by a throbbing V8!

For more information see www.citroen.co.uk.

By Motoring Editor Steve Howarth