Electric Cars – What is the fuss about?
The Government are encouraging us to reduce our carbon footprint and be eco-friendly with recycling, renewable energy, etc. But what about electric cars and what benefits do they have to us?
As a nation, we have exercised extreme caution with this new technology. Electric cars don’t come with a proven history and, being a ‘high price’ purchase, why would we easily sway from our more traditional form of petrol or diesel engines?
One of our main concerns appears to be over distance traveled on a full charge. The smaller cars will travel approximately 48 miles with the family car reaching 100 miles. Many differing factors affect the mileage you retain such as the weather, driving style and type of roads being used which can all be a drain on your battery.
There are around 1500 public charging points across the UK with 34% of these being in London. However, 85% of electric vehicle owners charge at home and the average person travels 25 miles a day. So, providing you purchase the right size car for your daily needs then this reduces the burden of finding a convenient charging point.
Cost of fuel seems to be quite favourable as well. Electric vehicles are typically charged overnight when the more effective power stations are in use. Typically this costs around £2.50-£3.00 over-night. Compare that to the price of our ‘conventional‘ cars!
The insurance companies give few reasons for Electric Vehicles holding a higher premium: they cost more to purchase new, more is known about traditional engines, and that owners need to find a specialist garage for their maintenance or repair. They are also waiting for the market to stabilise.
The good news is there’s no road tax to pay and no congestion charge. As technology has moved forward, performance is no longer compromised either. The government are so keen for you to own one, they have a 25% grant towards a new car!
But, before you go and purchase, there may be some small hidden charges to be aware of: some manufacturers charge a fee to rent the battery (~£45 a month on an average car), there is an annual £10 fee to use the public charging stations.
For small commutes they appear to be a viable alternative to driving a petrol or diesel car, although a longer trip would need more planning. Perhaps where distance is an issue, a hybrid is a better solution taking the best out of both cars.
Would you consider electric as your next car?