The popularity of electric vehicles in the UK steadily rises each year, and is projected to carry on doing so.
As time goes on, the number of electric car models on the market expands. Everything from large people carriers to nifty hatchbacks like the MG4 electric car is available.
Thinking about making the switch? Here are the pros and cons you might like to consider.
- Emissions: There is some debate about whether EVs really produce lower emissions, as the production of their lithium-ion batteries creates more emissions than the manufacture of a conventional car. However, many consider them to still be greener and the government won’t expect you to pay road tax for your car, either.
- Lower operating costs: there are far fewer parts in an electric vehicle, which means there’s less to maintain. This means lower maintenance costs! And that’s not all. The cost to charge your vehicle will generally be much less than the price of petrol (although using a rapid charger can often be a comparable cost, so you can reserve these for times when you’re in more of a hurry!)
- Convenience of charging: If you live in a house with a driveway, it’s usually convenient and practical to charge your car overnight, by getting an electric charger installed on your drive. If you don’t have a driveway, don’t despair: you can still use public charging points in public places like supermarkets to stay topped up.
- Limited driving range: each electric model has a certain range, and it’s quite important to take this into account when you’re shopping around. Some have a range of 150 miles or less, which is more amenable to local driving. It means that slightly more planning is required when you’re taking longer journeys, as you are likely to need to stop somewhere to charge so that your car gets you all the way to your destination. If you frequently take long trips, look for an EV with a higher range.
- Charging infrastructure: it’s not convenient for everyone to charge at home. While it’s perfectly possible to simply use public chargers, it’s probably fair to say that the infrastructure for EVs isn’t quite there yet. Thankfully, the number of public chargers is increasing all the time, so hopefully this will only be a temporary problem.
- Higher up-front costs: it’s no secret that electric cars typically cost more upfront than their conventional petrol counterparts. For drivers with less finances to play with, this may be a blocker. For those who can afford it though, they may find the lower costs of charging and maintenance counterbalances the price tag.
Other factors to consider
Just as with the battery in your laptop or smartphone, an electric car is subject to battery degradation. If this is a concern for you, you may want to look for one of the newer models and check that the battery comes with a warranty that you’re happy with.
Positive developments may be on the horizon for the future of electric cars. Auto companies and batteries are competing intensely to develop better, more efficient batteries.
There’s no doubt that electric cars are here to stay. The question on most drivers’ minds now is perhaps not so much “Is an electric car right for me?” but “Is now the right time to get an electric car?”