We all know that electric cars are gaining popularity fast, but the British public’s love for them has accelerated even more quickly over the past year.
In 2021, nearly 12% of the 1.65 million new cars in the UK were pure EVs. In December alone, electric cars accounted for more than a quarter of all new registrations. Here are 10 reasons why more and more people are being persuaded to switch:
Low running costs
Arguably the most significant advantage of owning an EV is the fact that they are significantly cheaper to run.
An electric is three or four times cheaper per mile than a petrol or diesel car, and those with off-street parking at home are eligible for a Government grant of 75% towards the cost of installing a fast charging point at home, up to a limit of £500. Public charging points in car parks and supermarkets are also either free or subsidised.
On top of that, the current exemption from the London congestion charge, ULEZ and other cities’ clean air zones mean that EV drivers can be far better-off financially.
Leasing is better for electric cars
EVs still command a price premium over their piston-engined counterparts, and so the benefits of electric car leasing are particularly clear.
The depreciation rate of petrol versus plug may be roughly equal at the moment but, as the technology is rapidly evolving, buying an electric car outright means that your money could be tied up in a car that may become an outdated piece of tech quickly. Because you can lease an electric car instead, and upgrade to a new model when the term is complete, you can stay with the curve.
Road tax might not be free, unless you lease
Another important point to bear in mind if you’re interested in an electric car with a list price of more than £40,000, before grants, is that it will still be subject to road tax of £320 a year. If you buy, you’ll have to pay the tax yourself. If you lease, you won’t.
The whole point of electric cars is, of course, that they produce no emissions from driving. As the UK’s electricity grid evolves, the emissions from the power generation that feeds them will also become more and more sustainable.
Also steadily improving is the production of the cars’ lithium ion batteries, as the process evolves and becomes more efficient to meet rising demand for EVs
Maintenance and reliability
In the drivetrain of a typical petrol or diesel engined car, there are more than 2,000 moving parts. In an electric car, there are around 20.
This means that EVs are far less likely to encounter mechanical problems, while the only parts that need regular servicing are the brakes and tyres.
The brakes themselves will tend to last much longer, too, because most electric cars use regenerative braking. This is when the motor slows the car to recover energy, so you hardly need to use the brakes at all.
Yes, leasing means that maintenance can be taken care of for you, but it’s still frustrating to be left without your car while it’s in the garage. So reducing the time it spends there can only be a good thing.
A few years ago, the real-world range of an electric car was barely pushing 100 miles. Now, up to 485 miles can be eked out from some EVs. So, unless you travel from Exeter to Edinburgh and back regularly, you’ll probably be fine.
Goodbye to forecourts
Even if you do travel long distances and get caught out with the range, the rapidly expanding and improving network of fast chargers means that some can give an 80% charge in just 30 minutes.
That means you can spend the time having a coffee, happy in the knowledge that you’ll never have to stand on a cold petrol station forecourt again.
Many car parks now are free for electric cars, or have dedicated spaces where you can be sure to get a spot. This might frustrate drivers of petrol and diesel cars, but you can simply cruise straight in.
In addition, many local authorities in the UK are providing free on-street parking solely for EVs.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
There was a time when electric cars were novelties, with the styling of 1960s futuristic film props. This put off many people who simply wanted to get from A to B, without wishing to make a big statement every time they visited the supermarket.
Now, it’s difficult for many people to quickly tell the difference between a car with an engine and one with an electric motor. They just look like normal cars. In fact, the majority are electric versions of established models, ensuring they fit in perfectly.
Unlike an internal combustion engine, an electric motor produces all of its torque, or turning force, from a complete standstill. This means there’s no delay at all between pressing the accelerator and the car surging forward.
Despite being heavier than their conventionally-powered counterparts, EVs also have specific characteristics that help their handling, too. Their heavy batteries are usually mounted low down, under the floor, to keep the centre of gravity low. Plus, unlike petrol or diesel in a fuel tank, batteries can’t slosh around and upset the balance of the car.
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