Opening Hours

Should I buy an electric car? - Part 1

Lots of people we speak to are keen to switch to a greener, more environmentally friendly electric car but still have reservations about going “fully electric”.

There are a number of myths surrounding electric vehicles, or EVs, and often these worries and concerns are out of date since there have been vast improvements in EV technology and infrastructure. So, if you’re tempted by an electric car but have been put off by things you’ve heard, have a look at our EV myth buster series for up to date practical information about electric cars and how they might actually be a viable option for most of us.

Myth 1 – Range anxiety

There’s more than enough about electrical vehicle range to fill an entire car manual! When people refer to range they’re talking about how far an electric vehicle can travel on a single charge. Range anxiety is the term coined for consumer worry about this distance (or lack of it) and how, historically it has been far less than a petrol or diesel equivalent. It is usually the main factor people allude to when talking about their reluctance to get an EV. The range of an electric car depends upon the size of the battery (measured in kilowatt hours or kWh) and your driving style - the bigger the battery the more charge it can hold and the faster or more aggressively you drive the quicker the vehicle will run out of charge. Older EVs had a very limited range of 50-80 miles and so was a legitimate concern. Thankfully modern EVs, even the ones with lower capacity batteries, can travel on average between 100 and 200 miles on a single charge.

Data from the Department for Transport showed that in 2017 cars in the UK covered an average of 7,134 miles per year. This means that most of us are travelling less than 20 miles per day! So we can safely assume that unless you have a very long daily commute and cannot charge your car at your workplace, or if you spend a lot of your day in your car driving to different places, you’re unlikely to find the range on current EVs a problem.

For longer trips and days out we’d all usually need to stop at some point, so stopping to charge your car for half an hour would also fit in well, especially with rapid charging points. As we’ve come to expect, official manufacturer figures are not realistic and so it can be hard to judge the real-world range of an EV. The good news is that our partners at What Car? have developed a test to establish real-world ranges for electric cars available in the UK:

1. Hyundai Kona – 259 miles

Hyundai Kona

= 2. Jaguar I-Pace – 253 miles

Jaguar I-Pace

= 2. Kia e-Niro – 253 miles

Kia e-Niro

4. Tesla Model 3 Performance – 239 miles

Tesla Model 3

5. Tesla Model X – 233 miles

Tesla Model X
Admittedly there are two Tesla models in the top 5; this is to be expected as they’ve always historically topped the EV range numbers. With the Hyundai Kona and Kia e-Niro beating both Tesla, we’re starting to see some of the mainstream manufacturers comfortably compete in a field where Tesla has previously dominated in terms of range. It also shows that Tesla’s range capability hasn’t increased in proportion, other manufacturers have simply caught up with, and in this case, overtaken them. A range of over 200 miles does open up the possibility that even those of us who do drive further each day could opt for one of these cars and comfortably use it for a longer commute. Most of us would still not need a range of over 200 miles each day, so even the Seat Mii which comes in 19th with 111 miles, would suit most of our driving requirements. There’s so much information around about the improvements made in the range for electric vehicles – this is just a snapshot but might help some of us realise that EVs are perfectly suitable for much more than a short commute or city driving. Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter! Hyundai Kona Image By Jaguar I-Pace Image By Kia e-Niro Image By Tesla Model 3 Performance Image By Tesla Model X Image By