Opening Hours

Should I buy an electric car? - Part 2

Last week we brought you in-depth information about improvements to electric vehicle range figures.

Part 2 this week continues our electric vehicle myth-buster series, with the historical barriers to buying electric and why you might be able to switch to an EV sooner than you think.

Myth 2 – EVs cost a lot more than petrol or diesel options

EVs are often at a higher price point, which can be off putting when comparing against the seemingly lower cost of a petrol or diesel equivalent of the same model. All EVs currently qualify for a government grant of £3,500 and many manufacturers will provide their own discounts as well. One of the reasons for the higher upfront EV cost is the lithium-ion battery which powers the vehicle – in order to be effective and long lasting the process is complex and makes them costly to produce. Most people will lease the battery which reduces the upfront cost, and also means any issues are covered by the manufacturer. The other reason for the additional cost is simple supply and demand – not as many electric vehicles are made which keeps the price tag high. As more EVs are made to meet (hopefully) increasing demand this will reduce the price point and make them accessible to more people. The higher upfront costs of an EV are also offset by the much lower running costs. For example, an e-Golf with a 35.8kWh battery costs just £4.30 to charge and has a real-world range of around 125 miles. Some electricity companies will also provide special lower tariffs for charging overnight. EVs also have fewer parts that will wear out – namely the battery and the electric motor. Even the brakes won’t need replacing as often as they act as a charger for the battery when they’re being used! All the mechanical components that might need replacing on a standard car such as oil, belts, head gaskets, air filters and so on, none of these will apply when maintaining your EV.

Myth 3 – Too few public charging points

Spread over 9,000 locations, there are over 14,500 public charging points in the UK. Whilst this currently isn’t enough if every motorist owned an electric car, you’ll know from part one that the average driving distance per day is around 20 miles – so very few of us should need to rely on public chargers, unless we’re going on a longer than normal journey. As long as the car is charged full when you leave home there should rarely be an issue and it’s just an adjustment we can all easily make – like charging your phone overnight.

Myth 4 – EVs are not much cleaner because of how they’re manufactured

Electric Vehicles don’t emit CO2 – a major greenhouse gas and cause of global warming – or Nitrogen Oxide. Although there are issues, such as how the metal for the batteries is mined and the fact that most of the world’s electricity is still generated from fossil fuels, the overall impact of an EV on the environment is far lower than that of a petrol or diesel car. From part one we found that as long as you don’t have a long daily commute the current EV range would be more than enough for most of us to do our return commute AND nip to the shops. In terms of cost basically the longer an EV is on the road, the more cost effective it will be – fewer repairs and maintenance costs and much less money at the “pump”. As demand increases so will public charging points and you’re still doing more for the environment by driving an EV than any other type of vehicle – where do we sign up??