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Running an electric car: things to consider

Running an electric car: things to consider

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Thing to consider when running an Electric car

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming an ever-more common sight on UK roads. Developments in battery technology, high-performance models such as Tesla’s Model S P90D, and an increasing number of charge points around the country have all helped them become more widely accepted in recent years. In fact, a new automotive industry forecast by Go Ultra Low predicts EVs will account half of all new car registrations by the year 2027.

This is all well and good, but if you’re considering splashing your hard-earned dosh on a new EV, what sort of things should you be thinking about before taking the plunge?

 

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Availability of charging points

As with anything that runs on a battery – be it your iPhone or your laptop – the question of how to keep it charged will always rear its ugly head. While EV charge points are nowhere near as common as the classic petrol station, more and more are cropping up around the country on an almost daily basis.

Tesla charging at a charging port

According to Zap Map, there are roughly 4,000 public charge points currently operational around the country. In the past month, approximately 330 new connectors have been added to these charge points, bringing the total number of connectors in the UK to just under 11,500.

As EVs become more widely adopted, the infrastructure to keep them up and running will no doubt expand to keep up with growing demand. For now, though, it would pay to keep tabs on where your nearest charge points are to stop you getting caught short.


Availability of off-street parking

This might sound like a strange thing to bear in mind, but you will need to think about the availability of off-street parking around your house. Why? Because when your EV is parked up for the night, chances are you’d want to plug it in to charge.

car infront of city skyscrapers

If you don’t have a garage or driveway to leave your car in overnight, running an extension cable from your front room to the other end of your street will quickly become tiresome.


Government grants and discounts

If you’re in the market for a new car, cost to buy is going to be an important factor. EVs are subject to the government’s Plug-in Vehicle Grant, which can help take up to £4,500 off the price of an EV.

yellow mercedes driving on a road

How much money you get relies on how much carbon dioxide your car produces, and how far it can travel on electric power. Conveniently, pure electric vehicles produce no tail-pipe emissions, so you won’t have to worry about that.


Your daily mileage

According to the Energy Saving Trust, the majority of EVs currently on the market have a range of about 100 miles. This is usually fine for dropping the kids at school or heading to and from work. If you’re in the sort of job that requires you to travel the length and breadth of the country on a daily basis, though, you might find you tire of your electric car’s limited range rather quickly.

car driving on a road


Running costs

While EVs may be a bit pricey to buy or lease, they are significantly cheaper than their petrol-powered contemporaries to run. Firstly, you won’t have to pay any Vehicle Excise Duty due to the fact that EVs emit no CO2. Secondly, according to Go Ultra Low, running certain EVs costs less than 2p per mile, while traditional petrol cars cost 12p per mile – so your money will take you further.

Renault at petrol pump

Finally, as EVs have fewer moving parts than cars with combustion engines, they can last a significant number of road hours longer between compulsory maintenance checks. As there are fewer moving parts, there is also less to go wrong – which could save you money on maintenance. That being said, batteries only have so much life in them, and will need replacing altogether eventually – a process that is likely to cost a pretty penny.