Electric vehicles are rising in usage, slowly but surely. They are not yet mainstream and there are many reasons behind this, which we will attempt to outline for you later on in this guide. The current total of registered plug-in cars in the U.K as of June 2019 is 21,900. There are also 8,500 plug-in vans registered in the U.K. This may seem like a sizeable figure, but it pales in comparison to the total amount of vehicles that are registered in the U.K, which, as of March 2019 stood at a staggering 31.7 million. This means that the number of electric vehicles on British roads is a disappointing 0.7%. The benefits of electric cars can be vast and cover areas such as cost, driveability, the environment and more besides. Read on to learn more about the benefits of electric cars, as well as some negatives that are commonly associated with electric cars.
The Benefits Of Electric Cars
No Petrol, No Oil, No Corrosive Fluids: No Emissions
Electric cars do not use petrol, or diesel. They do not use oil (they use grease which is oil-based to lubricate some of the vehicle’s components, but this is not the same as engine oils etc) and they do not use as many corrosive or harmful fluids or chemicals as a part of their day-to-day running. No petrol and no diesel mean that they have 0 exhaust emissions. This makes electric cars eco-friendly and it also means that an electric car does not contribute to global warming like traditional vehicles do, by way of greenhouse gas production. The creation of the batteries that power electric cars have been found to be harmful to the environment however, and do also make use of damaging chemicals.
With the using of electric cars no harmful gasses are released into the air that we breathe either (air quality in the U.K being cited as a national health crisis that is only getting worse as time passes) as the car itself runs on a closed circuit and utilises clean energy. This also has a very positive effect on your personal carbon footprint – and the noise pollution that your car ultimately produces!
Lastly, coal production is contributing to less and less of our overall energy consumption year after year. This means that the trail of the energy that is put into your electric car gets cleaner and cleaner as the U.K slowly but surely makes the switch to more sustainable and greener energy sources.
Save Money In The Long Term
Purchasing and subsequently using an electric vehicle (EV) can contribute to long-term financial savings. There are multiple reasons behind these potential savings, as follows:
- Not purchasing petrol or diesel for a vehicle could save an individual or family money over the course of a year as generally speaking a years’ worth of petrol is more expensive than a years’ worth of electricity – these savings are enhanced if you use a cheaper charging station. These savings could help build up a financial cushion for other things and prevent people from needing a short term loan in an emergency.
- As EVs are almost always far simpler in terms of composition than a traditional petrol/diesel car, (they do not have complex exhaust systems, fuel systems, radiators, etc) life-time/repair/running costs can be a lot lower. In some instances, an EV can have just three main components! The charger, the inverter and the motor. Further to this, a typical electric motor has around 20 (or less) moving components, whereas your typical internal combustion engine (present in almost all petrol/diesel vehicles) has hundreds of different parts that can fail, facilitating costly repairs. It can be a nightmare when your car breaks down and can be an unexpected cost to get it back on the road, leading many to reach for a quick loan to help them out of a tight spot.
- The British government offer a wide range of different incentives and grants that will bring down the overall cost of your purchase of an EV. You could keep an eye on the government run low-emission vehicles eligible for a plug-in grant page, which can be found You could also keep abreast of the grants section of the GoUltraLow website, which can be found here.
The More Popular Electric Cars Become, They Better They Get
The more popular EVs become then the more the industry will grow. Think of it literally as the snowball effect. As soon as the market starts to become overwhelmingly profitable (perhaps outstripping petrol/diesel car profitability in the future) then the makers of the cars themselves will begin to race each other to market dominance. This will in turn lead to massive investments, increased production rates and improved infrastructure; and this will then lead to the following things:
- A reduction in the overall costs (for consumers) of electric vehicles, inclusive of purchase price and running/maintenance costs. For producers, the costs for parts and pieces needed in the processes of production will reduce.
- More charging locations will appear in the U.K (this number currently stands at 4800, offering 7500 points of charging)
- The increase in investment will lead to advancements in technology, which could easily include improved battery efficiency, speed, driveability and much more besides
- The more popular the electric car itself is, the more choice we will have as car makers scramble to cater to all tastes, driving styles and preferences
Some Of The Negatives
This would not be a fair guide piece if we did not include some of the negatives of electric vehicles. Examples as follows:
- The driving range (the distances that a car can travel before needing a charge) and the limitations that accompany this issue has given birth to the term “range anxiety”. Many EVs can do between 70 and 100 miles with ease, however if your EV does run out of charge during a long distance journey then you will need to find a charging point before you can continue.
- The electricity that is used to power your EV will cost you money and it may preside over a huge spike in your energy bill, but this is unlikely to cost more than your monthly petrol/diesel expenditure.
- The recharge time can be long, which is in stark contrast to the 10 minutes that it takes to refuel your car at a petrol station. Though, most people overcome the length of charging by making sure that they charge their EV overnight. This is also – your tariff and provider depending – when electricity costs are cheapest.
- The batteries themselves can also be a cause for concern. The average lifespan of a battery can be anywhere between 8 and 10 years, after which time they will need replacing at a cost to you (though some companies offer warranties). If disposed of in an unsafe manner, then the battery, as it consists of lithium and other chemicals, can be damaging to the environment.
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