Electric cars in the UK
The Government released plans for a ban on selling new petrol diesel and hybrid cars by 2035, however you will be able to buy electric or hydrogen cars once this ban has come into effect. So, is now the time to consider purchasing an electric vehicle in the UK?
Will it cost me anymore?
An electric car will cost an estimated £2 per 100miles, this is cheaper than your daily coffee (based on GoElectric tariff), in comparison, a petrol vehicle would cost £11.60 for the same mileage. An electric car is therefore 83% cheaper than a petrol one, with a saving of £8.60 per 100miles.
The electricity costs to run an electric car, otherwise known as a battery-electric vehicle (BEV), are a third cheaper per kilometre than petrol/diesel cars. In addition to this, some companies and councils offer free or low-cost charging for cars. There are numerous calculators to help work out how much you can save, such as on My Electric Car website, which has a Fuel Cost Savings Calculator.
In addition to this, electric cars are cheaper to maintain due to reduced moving components in comparison to a traditional diesel/petrol car. The main cost of retaining a BEV is the battery, as this will need replacing; however, most manufacturers have a warranty for eight years on these. A BEV does have the advantage of not needing servicing on an exhaust, fuel injection system, radiator or starter motor as it does not have them. There is always an exception to this rule, a version of electric cars, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV). These use a petrol engine in conjunction with an electrical motor. However, due to combined usage, both engines get less daily wear and tear and require less servicing.
Government eco-friendly driving schemes
Purely electric vehicles have no road tax, while PHEVs have a £10 discount per year. This is cheaper than a standard petrol/diesel car. In addition to this, grants of up to £500 are accessible through the Government to aid the installation of a home charging point. Other similar schemes are the Workplace Charging Scheme which give businesses support to install charging ports. In addition to this, business can benefit from no company car tax on electric vehicles from April 2020, then 1% in April 2021, and 2% April 2022.
The Government has also announced a grant which will pay for 35% of the price of a new low-emission vehicle (up to £3500) and is available from February 2020. This means a massive discount on a brand-new electric car. So how do I get this grant? Well, for you (the buyer) it is simple, the car dealership will add the discount, meaning you don’t need to do anything to obtain the reduced price. To ensure you are getting the right car, only vehicles which the Government approves will receive the reduced rate. These cars must have the ability to drive 70miles or more using solely electric energy so will go the distance.
There is also an increase in Clean Air Zones, which charge fees on polluting vehicles; this will not apply to an electric car due to its environmental benefits. This is especially true in London which has Ultra Low Emission Zones, where a petrol/diesel car will cost £12.50 daily unlike an electric car which is free, saving £2875 annually. Many other cities are considering schemes like London, making an electric car a smart choice for not only London but the rest of the UK.
What about the environmental benefits?
Traditional petrol/diesel cars account for almost half of London’s air pollution and produce an estimated 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide yearly. This is where electric cars come in. Electric vehicles have extensive research demonstrating they are better for the environment. This is because even after production and generation of electricity used to fuel them (for their entire lifetime), they produce a significantly smaller amount of greenhouse gasses and air pollutants. So why are electric cars so much better? They produce no carbon dioxide emission due to not having a tailpipe. Annually this could save 1.5 million grams of carbon dioxide. Switching from a petrol/diesel car can improve air quality in towns and cities as a result.
In addition to driving an electric car, to further reduce environmental impact, renewable energy can be used to charge the battery. This could be through a solar PV system, using light from the sun or purchasing GreenPower from your electricity supplier.
There is also a drive towards more eco-friendly materials in the production of BEV, such as the use of recycled materials and bio-based padding used in the Ford Focus Electric, and recycled water bottles. Plastic bags and car parts making up Nissan Leaf’s interior and exterior.
Why should I care about the environment?
The world is heating up due to greenhouses gasses trapping heat within the earth atmosphere. This is causing the ice caps to melt and the loss of habitats for many animals’ habitats.
What about for you? Petrol/diesel cars increase pollution; this is affecting the quality of the air we breathe, more so in cities and highly populated areas. This increases the risk of asthma, bronchitis, heart attacks and premature mortality. In addition to this, water pollution is of concern, and this increases the risk of neurological conditions, gastrointestinal discomfort and reproductive issues. We need to protect the environment, not just for animals but for our health.
Electric cars on the market
Well known companies such as Mercedes-Benz are creating new innovative cars which are electric but still have the reputation deserved by such a company. An excellent example is the Mercedes Benz B class which has 177 horsepower electric motor with a 24-kWh battery.
Another fabulous car mentioned earlier is the Nissan Leaf, with its redesign in 2018 it’s looking better than ever, with new models including a 40-kWh battery as standard.
Another big-name, BMW has released the i3; this is a compact car with two levels i3 or i3s which comes with more stylish additions than its earlier model. This comes with a 42-kWh battery.
Chevrolet joined the electric car market later than most other, but the Chevrolet Bolt EV is not to be underestimated. Like the BMW i3/i3s, it comes with two versions LT and Premier for those who want something a little extra.
Overall, there are many advantages to buying an electric car, from the environmental benefits, money-saving to the many great options available. The cherry on top of the cake is the UK Government willing to pay 35% of the cost up to £3500.