Should I buy an Electrical Vehicle ?

(Yes but consider installing a Home Charging Station for maximum benefits)

Electric vehicles (EVs) sales are very much on the increase in the UK, and rising petrol prices along with proposed plans to abolish new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, are driving the demand.

Before you head to the dealer, here is a look at the market from the perspective of everyday car buyers, with pros and cons of buying an electric vehicle today.

Electric cars, should you buy in 2023, wait, or buy at all ?

We are in the dawning of the electric car era, but in many ways this era is still in its infancy.  Relatively, the percentage of all new vehicles sold featuring battery electric technology is still quite small, and we trail many North European countries by a wide margin. Despite this, car manufacturers are introducing new EVs at a blistering pace.  

Increasing variety of types of vehicles

The variety of EV vehicles model available in the UK is growing. This includes larger vehicles such as pick up trucks and SUVs. Electric compact cars continue to be the best value for most every day users.

Electric cars have great performance.

Electric vehicles offer excellent acceleration, moving away from stoplights with formidable verve. the most powerful of these can rival petrol powered super cars.  According to Tesla, the Tesla Model S Plaid has zero to 60 mph time of just 1.99 seconds. EV vehicles are built with their battery mounted below the cabin, and this low centre of gravity makes for great handling.

Where petrol engines take some time to build up to peak power, EVs produce their peak power the moment you step on the accelerator.

Owning an EV vehicles is not only about saving the environment, they are also fun, zippy, and handle really well.

The Performance Comes with a high initial price

The initial purchase of an Electric Vehicle is still high, although prices are declining from one year to the next.

On his website, Martin Lewis states that currently, manufacturer’s list price on a new Vauxhall Corsa for example, is £17,000, and £31,000 for the EV version of the same car, a Mini £23,000 vs £32,550 for an EV, and a Volvo XC40 £35,800 vs £46,500 for an EV. Prices are lower again when buying second hand cars.

Some studies are expecting prices of electric cars and internal combustion engines to equalise due to further expected drops in battery prices, and this is even without government subsidies such as the environmental bonus.

Research from LV, one of the largest car insurers found that most Electric Cars are cheaper on average than petrol or diesel vehicles over a 7 year period, when considering purchase price, tax, insurance, fuel, and maintenance costs.

Incentives for EV Drivers

As an EV owner, you are completely exempt from paying car tax, or vehicle excise duty, but this in only until April 2025. For plug in Hybrids, it is likely you will pay some car tax, but this will be less than for petrol or diesel vehicles. Hybrids are also liable to pay ‘expensive car tax’, check with Government car tax calculator to find out more about this.

Insurance costs for EVs have come down, as they become more popular. And are now comparable with insurance for petrol or diesel cars. This does depend on the driver, car, and type of insurance you want.

Some UK cities such as London, Birmingham and Bristol operate Low Emissions or Clean Air Zones, or will soon introduce these. This is to help reduce emissions in, and also to encourage people to choose modes of transport which are less harmful to the environment. Both EVs and Hybrids are exempt from Low emission charges in these cities.

These incentives may put money back into your pocket when deciding on buying an EV vehicle.

Electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

At present, there are an estimated 24,000 charging locations across the UK, and this number is increasing. Many public car parks; supermarkets, public and retail parking lots, car dealerships, hotels and B&Bs offer charging points.  Downloadable apps can help you find locations of these.

Most charging points are found in urban areas however, and you may struggle to find them in more suburban and rural areas of the country. This lack of infrastructure leaves drivers with few options if one point is out of service.

In addition, fast charging stations are not always located in safe areas.  Charging may only take 30 minutes or so, but the driver still needs to get out of the car to unplug the charger, and this may be a worry in shady urban areas or at night.

As with anything, public charge points are not always reliable, they may not work on the day, your app might glitch and not want to connect, or not offer sufficient charging speed for various reasons.

Home charging stations

Buying a home charging station is a good investment, and it is much easier and cheaper if you can charge your vehicle at home. You can simply plug the charging station’s cable into your vehicle charge port and charge your EV from empty to full through the night, when charging costs are the lowest.

In many places, tax and utility incentives can pay for much of a charging stations cost.

The benefits of not having to go to petrol stations, queues, handling dirty nozzles, are great, all while saving money on petrol prices, and keeping the planet green.

The mileage range of electric cars is improving.

The earlier EVs only have a range of around one hundred miles on a single charge, but most sold today can go much farther between charges.  200-300 miles on a charge in more common with newer vehicles. This depends on factors such as the weather, both very hot and very cold weather will affect the battery life and range of the vehicle.

Some luxury EVS may have a range of 520 miles on full charge, so it does depend on the vehicle. Furthermore, range estimates will increase with continued improvements in battery technology, and the increase in production and variety of EVs.

The vast majority of UK drivers use their cars for round-trip commutes which are far shorter than the range of most EV vehicles in the marketplace. This is true even with second hand EVs, with severely depleted battery capacity.

With the advantages of a home charging station, you can charge your vehicle overnight and take advantage of your utility’s cheaper time-of-use rates. This can potentially save you a significant amount of money and help to offset the costs of purchasing and driving electric vehicles.

We offer a range of Charging Stations for you to purchase, you can view our range here