Should I buy an EV?

Many drivers across the UK are considering an Electric Vehicle as their next new car purchase. When it comes to the right car for you, it is essential to understand your driving needs and find the right EV that suits you. Electric vehicles are not going away anytime soon. As of 2035, the UK will be banning new petrol or diesel car sales. That also includes hybrids and plugins.

Things to take into consideration when choosing an Electric Vehicle

There will be a perfect electric vehicle for every driver, but it is crucial to choose the right one for your particular circumstances.

  • What is your expected use? Are you driving local only, driving longer mileage, or driving a bit of both?
  • Battery ranges
  • Can you charge your EV at home? It is not always possible with on-road parking
  • Charging times and charging costs associated
  • Purchase prices
  • Company Car or private driver?

Battery ranges

Electric Vehicles have improved dramatically since they were first introduced. Now, most can give the driver at least 200 miles per charge, making them much more friendly for most journeys.

  • Fully Electric—ideal for localish driving, but it will require easy access to charging, either at home or very close to home. If needed for occasional long trips, it will possibly require routes around charging points on the way, depending on how far you need to drive.
  • Self-Charging Hybrids—These vehicles do not require an electric charge as they use a range of things, including regenerative braking technology from the petrol engine to charge the battery. They are ideal for both local and longer trips without the need to worry about charging points. Less fuel is needed, and they are ideal for regular longer trips.
  • Plug-in Hybrids (PHEVs) are a good compromise between Fully Electric and Self-Charging. They require easy-access charging points and are petrol-fuelled. Local driving can be fully electric, but longer journeys may require fuel backup.

Charging points, charge time and costs

A home charge point is the best option to make the most of having an EV, as you can charge overnight. Although there is an initial outlay for the charging point (up to £1000, but grants are available in certain areas in the UK), overall, charging becomes more cost-effective than using mileage to the drive to charge points – which are more expensive than at home.

Most councils do not require planning permission to have an EV charge point, but you must check to make sure you are not in a conservation area or that the house is listed before committing to purchase.

You can apply for a specific EV charging tariff with your energy provider, which could help with running costs. However, on average, a full charge will cost approximately £8 – £14.

Depending on the vehicle, if it can use a 350kW charge, it can go from 0-75% in around 10/20 minutes. This same charge could take 30-40 minutes using a smaller 150kW charger.

Price of Purchase

The cost of buying a new EV is currently more expensive than a fuelled car of the same size; there is no getting away from that, but overall running costs will be drastically reduced over the car’s lifetime. Before the fuel ban comes into place in 2035, there will be a vast price reduction as the technology becomes more streamlined and cheaper to produce.  No doubt there will be ecological benefits to buying an EV, and with the ULEZ charges cropping up in many large cities, this could be another reason why EV may be an option for you.

Before committing to a purchase, you need to do your maths. What is the long-term offset of using electricity against fuel, and what is the vehicle required to do? If you buy a small, fully electric vehicle as a second car that will only be doing local trips, then apart from the electric charge, there is no additional fuel, and daily costs are very low. If you are up and down the motorways daily, then a Self-Charging Hybrid may be the best option without downtime for charging. The PHEV may be the better option for a family vehicle, short trips through the week and occasional long journeys on weekends and holidays.

Company Car Drivers

The government are incentivising companies to go down the green route with company vehicles, and as a company car buyer, you can save money with low tax rates.  The cost of probably having to install charge points on-site or in drivers’ homes also needs to be taken into consideration. If, as a driver, you only do short trips, then money can definitely be saved, but if you spend all day behind the wheel, the downtime spent charging, as it stands currently, may not be seen as too favourable.

There are no two ways about it. We will all have to consider Electric Vehicles within the coming years. Whether you decide to make the switch with your next car purchase or wait until technology makes it more cost-effective is your choice, but it is important to do your research before committing to buying.

If you are looking at EV driver training we offer UK wide bespoke training for those wanting to gain confidence when driving an EV. Learn more here.