Is it Time to Embrace the Electric Vehicle?

The UK government have announced they are placing a ban on the sale of new diesel, petrol and hybrid cars from 2035. This is five years earlier than previously planned as the ban is being implemented sooner to help the UK reach its target of ‘carbon zero’ emissions by 2050.

From 2035, people will only be able to purchase vehicles fuelled by electric, although second-hand cars that run on tradition fuels will still be available to buy.

Increasingly, electric vehicles (EVs) are being viewed as a feasible mode of transport for all of us. In the past, EVs were deemed to be suitable only for the environmentally aware and were not considered to be either affordable enough or practical enough to be a viable alternative to the family car that runs on petrol or diesel.

The 2035 deadline is a relatively short time-frame in which to make such a big change to the way motorists fuel their vehicles. But if you are considering getting ahead of the game and making the move to an electric car, we’ve done some fact-finding to help you decide on whether now is the time to swap from fossil fuels to greener energy.

Lower running costs

Aside from the obvious environmental advantages, an EV is much cheaper to run when compared to an equivalent diesel or petrol model. We looked at the GoElectric Tariff where the average EV costs approximately £2 to drive 100 miles. In comparison, the fuel cost for a similar petrol car would cost an average of £11.60.

Another cost saving can be made on road tax. Providing the cost of your EV is less than £40,000 then your car will be exempt from road tax.  This could equate to a saving of over £300 a year depending on the make, model and Co2 emissions of your petrol car.

EVs also have fewer moving parts in the engine than a conventional car, which in turn will bring savings in servicing and maintenance. There is no need for exhaust systems, starter motors or fuel injection systems so parts are less likely to need replacing or repairing. Experts reckon EV owners could save around 23% over the course of three years on their car maintenance costs.

If the cost of replacing your EVs battery is a worry, then there is good news there as well. Drive Green’s research shows that battery performance has massively improved since the introduction of mass-produced EVs, and that the modern battery is capable of up to 200,000 miles before it will need replacing.

You can qualify for a government grant

As well as lower running costs you could save even more by applying for a government grant. The UK’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) gives you access to a range of government grants which help to fund either the purchase of an EV to install at charging point at your home.  For instance, if your home has off-street parking you could get 75% off (up to a maximum of £500) the cost of purchasing and fitting an electric charger at your premises.

There is also a Workplace Charging Scheme in place which supports qualified businesses with funds to install charging points in the workplace. This is a huge benefit to employees, who can charge their EV whilst it is standing stationary in the office car park each day.  Find out if your business is eligible.

Where else can I charge my EV?

Charging points for EVs are popping up everywhere. From garages and service stations to supermarkets and town centre car parks, there are more available options for charging your car than ever before.

Obviously charging your car will take longer than refuelling with conventional fuel, but that doesn’t mean it will necessarily impact your journey.  There have been many developments in rapid charging technologies and if you are charging on the move, rapid chargers can provide anything between 60-200 miles of range in roughly thirty minutes (depending on the size of your battery). Whilst this is still not as quick as trip to the petrol station, there are now over 24,000 chargers in 8,000 UK locations, so should you be on a long journey and need to recharge, you can time your stop to coincide with a short break and a welcome cup of coffee to refuel yourself too!

Which EV should I buy?

If we’ve convinced you that your next car should be an EV, which model should you choose? Here’s three of our favourites to consider:

Nissan Leaf

We had to give the Nissan Leaf a laudable mention. It was the first mass-manufactured electric car to go on the market in the UK and their second-generation Leaf claims to have an impressive range of up to 217 miles on a full charge when driven optimally. Nissan states that the Leaf has a 0-62mph time of just under eight seconds, which whilst not the fastest EV on offer, is perfect for city driving. The price of a new Nissan Leaf starts from £26,345.

Kia e-Niro

If you are in the market for an electric SUV, then the Kia e-Niro is an affordable option. It has a range of 282 miles and if it’s plugged into a rapid charger it takes fifty-four minutes to reach 80% battery capacity. The stylish Kia e-Niro starts from £34,495 and includes smart cruise control and 17” alloy wheels.

Tesla Model 3

This isn’t the cheapest EV around, but Model 3 is the cheapest Tesla on the market, starting at £39,490. We love this car… and so does Auto Express who named the Tesla Model 3 as their Premium Electric Car Of The Year in 2019.

Love or hate Tesla’s founder Elon Musk, it cannot be denied that the performance of the Model 3 is magnificent. Tesla claim a range of 329 miles, and an astonishing 0-60mph time of just 3.2 seconds.

Embracing EVs

With more manufacturers entering the market, the choice of electric cars is getting broader.  UK motorists are embracing the benefits of electric cars – after all they are quiet, better for our planet and inexpensive to run.  Prices of EVs are falling, which is adding to the growing number of drivers making the switch to electric-powered vehicles.