The electric vehicle (EV) revolution is gathering pace, super-charged by the Government’s recent decision to ban the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.
The ruling is fuelled by the urgent need to reduce global carbon emissions to help prevent runaway climate change. Transport accounts for just over a fifth of all CO2 emissions*.
But what does this mean for today’s drivers? And if you’re thinking of buying an electric vehicle, what are the pros and cons? Here are some of the key considerations to help you decide:
Electric vehicles are still generally more expensive than their petrol-engine equivalents, but prices are dropping quickly and sales are rocketing.
The cheapest, such as the tiny Skoda CITIGOe iV, cost around £15,000, while larger family-size EVs start at about £35,000 for lower-end models, such as the Kia e-Nero.
To help incentivise motorists to make the switch, the Government are currently offering a ‘plug-in’ car grant which reduces the price of any new EV by up to £2,500. For some larger general-use vehicles, such as vans, it’s up to £6,000.
Additionally, drivers can also claim towards the cost of installing a charging point at home, currently capped at £350. For more information relating to these grants, you can visit: https://www.gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants
EVs can be considerably cheaper to run than combustion engine vehicles.
You currently don’t pay road tax on a pure EV, potentially saving hundreds of pounds compared to most conventional cars.
EVs also cost less in terms of servicing and replacements as they have far fewer moving parts, so they should last longer too. Additionally, manufacturers usually offer a warranty for the most expensive part of an EV to replace – the battery – covering it for up to 100,000 miles.
It also costs considerably less to ‘fill up’ an EV than a combustion engine vehicle – experts at Autoexpress say the difference averages around £900 a year for drivers who clock up 9,000 miles**.
EVs can now travel much further on one full charge than they could just a few years ago, with the majority able to cover between 150 to 300 miles depending on the make and model.
That’s still less than most petrol or diesel vehicles, but should be sufficient for daily commuting and everyday use.
The charging network has also grown considerably in recent years, so there is less fear of an EV running out of juice miles from home.
However, refuelling an electric vehicle isn’t yet as quick and convenient as petrol or diesel cars – there may currently be over 35,000 charge point connectors in 13,000 locations in the UK, but it takes several hours to fully recharge the average EV battery.
More expensive EVs usually have ‘fast charging’ capability, but it still takes between 30 and 60 minutes.
The good news is that, according to a recent article published by the UK government, there will be a huge investment to increase the number of charge points available by 2030***.
What happens to existing petrol and diesel cars after 2030?
Don’t worry, if you love your old petrol-engine car, it won’t be taken from you the moment we reach 2030!
You will still be able to buy, drive and trade existing combustion engine vehicles after the Government’s cut-off date for new vehicle sales in 2030.
*** source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-powers-up-electric-vehicle-revolution-with-20-million-chargepoints-boost