Electric vehicles (EVs) were once an ambitious concept for the future, but they have become a reality and a common sight on our roads over the last few years. In 2020, EVs gained significant ground, with more motorists than ever joining the EV revolution.
Tesla has been instrumental in this uptake, but now everyone from Nissan to Mercedes has launched their own EVs. Towards the end of 2020, it was reported that 70% of British motorists were now considering an EV with the hopes of reducing their carbon emissions and taking advantage of lower fuel and maintenance costs.
Is it time we all started considering getting an electric vehicle? What are the issues still surrounding EV ownership, and are they really any cheaper than your regular petrol and diesel vehicle? This post explores why 2021 might be the year you should switch to an electric car.
The Common Concerns about EVs
Speak to any person on the street about EV ownership, and you’re likely to hear the same key concerns people have about them. Here’s a quick look at those concerns to see which hold any weight and which need debunking.
‘EV’s Have a Short Mile Range, Making Them Impractical’
The mile range of an EV is dependent on the make and model you choose. Some do have small mile ranges, but this has become almost a non-issue with the latest EV models released onto the market.
Your average electric hatchback, such as the Nissan Leaf or Hyundai Kona, can both achieve 160 to 300 miles on one single charge. A Tesla Model 3 will do 250 to 350 miles, and the Hyundai Ioniq can reach 180 to 200 miles. Electric SUVs, such as the Jaguar I-PACE and Mercedes EQC, are capable of 250 to 300 miles.
The above are the average mile ranges when tested and not what the manufacturers tell us they are, making them quite impressive — and they’re set to get even more impressive as battery technology advances.
‘There Aren’t Enough Charging Points in the UK’
The number of charging points is rapidly increasing in the UK, but there’s still a focus on the south of England, especially London. However, as of January 2021, there are currently 36,788 connectors and 13,374 charging locations in the UK, and this number is growing every day.
The number of connectors available doubled between 2017 and 2019, and there’s an increasing number of rapid and ultra-rapid charging points now being installed all over the country.
How long does it take to charge an electric car? This will depend on the EV and the type of connector you’re using. A rapid charger will charge your typical EV by 80% within an hour. If you’re lucky enough to find an ultra-rapid charger, it will do 100% of the car in the same time or less.
Your average 7kW EV charger in the UK will take three to four hours to fully charge your vehicle. But these chargers will soon be a thing of the past, and they will be replaced with rapid chargers over the next couple of years. As of 2020, it is a legal requirement in the UK for petrol stations and motorway services to provide electric charging points, most of which are rapid chargers.
‘I Have to Install a Charging Point in My House’
Currently, this is true to avoid getting caught out with no juice, but if you live in London, you may not need a home charging point, as there are an abundance of charging stations. However, the cost of installing a charging point at home is decreasing all the time, and the government will give you £300 towards the installation as part of its home-charging scheme.
‘Is an EV Any Cheaper to Run Than My Current Car?’
Research has consistently found that an EV is cheaper to run than your conventional petrol, diesel or hybrid vehicle. You will discover that EVs are more expensive to buy and lease, as they’re a new technology, but over the lifetime of ownership, the savings made on tax, fuel, maintenance and repairs more than make up for the extra expense.
Charging your EV is cheaper than filling it with fossil fuels, and due to fewer moving car parts, an EV is much easier and less expensive to maintain and service.
The Benefits of Owning an Electric Vehicle
Save on Fuel and Lower Your Carbon Emissions
Whether you like to save money or the planet (or both), you can’t go wrong with an EV. Electricity per kWh in the UK is currently just 4p. That means you can travel 100km for around £4. A hybrid car will cost £5 to £6, a petrol car around £10 and a diesel car around £11.50 for the same distance.
Not only will you save money, but you’ll cut your carbon footprint as well. Due to zero to minimal tailpipe emissions, EVs are much better for the planet than cars running on fossil fuels. This means you’ll also pay zero road tax.
Your average passenger vehicle emits four and a half metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, contributing to overall annual transport emissions — a leading cause of climate change. An EV allows you to save money and do your bit for the environment at the same time.
Take Advantage of Local and Government Incentive Schemes
The UK government wants you to buy EVs to help reach the country’s impending carbon targets. To help make the price tag of buying an EV a little more bearable, it’s running several incentives, including:
- Zero road tax for EV’s that cost less than £40,000.
- A £3,000 government plug-in car grant.
- A £350 government home-charging scheme.
- Exemption from vehicle excise duty.
- Exemption from the London congestion charge until 2025.
- Exemption from benefit-in-kind tax for commercial leases of EVs until April 2021.
How Much Does an Electric Vehicle Cost?
Are EVs really that expensive? Compared to their petrol, diesel and hybrid counterparts, EVs are pricier, but this is rapidly changing. You can also now pick up second-hand EVs, which come at much more attractive prices than buying brand new. With so many people still not decided on EVs, there are some bargains to be found.
The £3,000 government grant should help reduce the damage on a brand new EV, and if you’re in it long-term, the lifetime cost of an EV is lower than a regular vehicle.