Electric cars are unquestionably part of the future of driving. No emissions, lower running costs and more practicality all make EVs a compelling option in the current car market.
But there are some questions you need to ask yourself before buying one. You need to work out whether an EV is right for you, and here we hope to answer the main questions about ownership of one.
Where can you charge it?
Do you have a space outside your house? Can you charge it at work? Are there charging points on your longer journey? These are all key when you own an electric vehicle.
If you can cope without charging your car at home and plug it in at work instead, then an EV could work as a great commuter car.
And if you need to make longer journeys on a regular basis, make sure you check the routes you use to see if there are fast chargers in place.
Is an EV worth the extra cost?
It’s no secret that EVs are more expensive than fossil fuel cars. That’s down to the high cost of technology development to make batteries more efficient, lighter and have a better range.
At the moment, new EVs can be very pricey, so you’d need to be able to afford the initial outlay.But, because they come withmuch lower running costs – you don’t need to buyfuel or pay for road tax, and you pay less for servicing them– you might be able to balance the costs.
How much range will you need?
Whether you live in the town you work or a little further afield, there are electric models to suit your commute.
If you don’t have far to go, an EV with a lower range should be suitable. But if you’ve got to get to another town, look at models with at least 200 miles of range so you don’t have to charge it every day.
Are you better off with an EV?
If you need to do long journeys more often, you might want to look at hybrid options to cut down on fuel bills. They’re electrified and offer lower emissions, meaning lower tax than comparable fuel-powered cars – all while providing a good range.
But if you don’t do that much driving and you want to cut down on your driving costs, an EV might be best for you. They don’t require road tax unless they cost over £40,000 when new and servicing costs are lower due to limited moving parts.
Public charging is also relatively cheap when you need it and it’s becoming more common. Shops and service stations are offering chargers, but you usually require a subscription to use the faster ones. For example, the Pod Point setup allows 30 minutes of rapid charging for between £6 and £7.
Using a home charger means you get an average electricity rate of 14kWh. With this rate of charge, getting full range on a 60kWh car costs around £8.40 – much cheaper than a full tank on a fossil fuel-powered car.
Wall-mounted home chargers can cost a fair amount of money, but they can offer faster charging than you’re standard 3-pin plug and make EV ownership much easier. A Pod Point unit costs from £299, and depending on the speed of charging it provides, you can replenish your car’s battery in just a few hours.