The Pros and Cons of Going Electric

According to some in the industry, the UK looks set to be getting ready for an electric vehicle (EV) revolution. Improvements in the battery range of electric cars, lower list prices and the expansion of the charging network mean that 2022 is looking to be the best year so far to buy an EV. It’s not all plain sailing into an electric future though, so lets take a look at some of the pros and cons of going full on electric…

 

PROS

Zero Emissons

An EV is powered by a large battery and is driven by an electric motor. There is no combustion engine of any kind, meaning that there are no exhaust emissions, in fact EVs have done away with exhausts entirely.  So the main attraction of an EV is the fact you are doing miles and miles of emissions free driving. Whist driving, the EV system is a ‘closed loop’, meaning that the battery drives the electric motor and powers all of the on-board electrics, but doesn’t produce any waste material.

It should be remembered, however, that when you charge an EV, you’re using the National Grid, which may not necessarily be as green as the car itself. Of course, some of that electricity is generated from wind farms and solar power, but a large amount is still produced from coal, nuclear, and gas power stations. So while your car may not be producing any emissions, the system isn’t exactly emission free just yet.

Buying Incentives

There’s no escaping the fact that EVs are generally comparatively expensive whn compared to their similar petrol or diesel fuelled counterparts, there are a number of incentives to tempt you into going electric.

The main on of these is the Government’s Plug-In Car Grant For pure EVs, the grant is £3,000 but only cars with a list price of under £50,000 qualify.  In addition to this many car makers also offer good finance rates on EVs to encourage you to purchase. Free wallbox charger installations are often available to help you to plump for the electric driving experience. There is also a grant available to help with the cost of fitting a charging point to your house.

Fuel Savings

With the recent steep increase in petrol and diesel costs, possiblty the biggest appeal of owning an EV is not having to fill up with fuel.  Taking into account the average fuel economy of internal combustion engine vehicles, if you cover 8,000 miles in a year, switching to electricity can save somewhere in excess of £1,000.

Factor in the time saved journeying to the service station to fill up and it can be seen as quite advantageous to make the switch.

 

CONS

Range Anxiety

Perhaps the greatest limiting factor that will stop many people from driving an EV is range anxiety.  This is the fear that you either won’t reach your destination without having to charge up, or that you won’t be able to charge your vehicle when you get there.

Currently a modern EV has a realisitc range of around 150-200 miles.  However, car manufacturers are pinning hopes on the next-generation of EVs being able to cover distances in excess of 300 miles between charges.

Charging Points

Another huge drawback to owning an electric car is having to charge it up. Every EV on sale is available with a domestic plug meaning that you can charge it via the mains.  Many firms also offer a fast charging wallbox for free when you buy an EV. The wallbox will be connected directly to your mains power supply, so it can charge an EV at a higher rate than offered via your home’s electrical circuit.

To do this however, you need somewhere to park your car that’s pretty adjacent to an electrical supply and the majority of domestic garages are now rarely used to park a car. In addition off-street parking is not always included as part of a property, especially in built up areas. This added to the fact that close to 40 per cent of people live in rented accommodation and you can see that there may be a big issue with owning an EV.

Charging Time

Petrol and diesel drivers have become used to the fact that filling up their car is usually (recent petrol shortage accepted) a very quick and hassle free process, which can be done as and when needed. However, the same can’t be said for an EV. If you do, you’ll be suffering from extra-long journeys as you stop to charge your EV up over a prolonged period. New EV owners will need to get into the habit of charging their cars in the same way which we all currently charge our mobile phones to ensure that they have enough fuel to get to their desired location.

 

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