Why Choose an Electric Car?
The popularity of electric cars has increased significantly due to a greater level of choice for drivers and a change in attitude. In fact, in a recent study by the AA half of young people would like an electric car, compared to just 25% for their parents.
Different Types of Electric Car
- Zero Emission 100% Electric– Also known as ‘pure electric’ or ‘battery electric vehicles’ thay are powered by an electric motor and battery that can be plugged into the mains. There is no combustion engine.
- Plug-in Electric Hybrid (PHEV) – The battery is smaller than a 100% electric vehicles and drives the wheels at low speeds or for limited range. After the battery range has been utilised the journey is powered by a conventional engine
- Extended- range Electric Vehicles (E-REV) – These have a plug-in battery pack, electric motor and internal combustion engine. The difference from a pug-in is that the electric motor always drives the wheels and the combustion engine is used as a generator to recharge the battery when it is depleted
- Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCEVs) – Also know as Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, they have a fuel stack which uses hydrogen to produce electricity to power the vehicle. There is no combustion engine. Unlike a battery electric vehicle it does not need to be plugged in but needs a hydrogen supply. They take just 3 – 5 minutes to refuel at a hydrogen filling station in a very similar way to filling up with conventional fuel.
- Ultra Low Emission Vehicles – All the above vehicles fall in this category provided they emit less than 75g/km C02
Benefits of Electric Vehicles
Cheaper to Run
Compared to petrol or diesel, electricity is cheap. When comparing mile to mile with an average cost of 2p per mile for pure electric car is around a third of diesel or petrol costs. Plug-in hybrids combine electric motor with petrol or diesel engine and can also be considerably cheaper.
Cheaper to Maintain
A petrol or diesel engine is complex requiring lots of components to operate correctly but pure electric cars have just 3! Yes with just the on-board charger, inverter and motor they have fewer moving parts, meaning there are less things that require maintenance and money!
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) can also be cheaper to maintain, whilst they still have a traditional petrol engine that needs regular servicing there is likely to be less wear and tear on this
Better for the Environment
Electric cars don’t have any emission, in fact they don’t even have an exhaust. PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles) have lower emission than a traditional petrol or diesel car to. This can help air quality particularly in urban areas.
Even taking into account the impact of generating electricity pure electric cars generate significantly lower greenhouse gasses than petrol or diesel cars. This will be reduced further as the UK switch to more renewable or nuclear generated electricity.
Easy to Charge at Home
Can you imagine never going to the petrol station again? Instead just plug in your car when you arrive home to charge overnight. A dedicated home charging unit rather than a standard home plug is recommended and can be installed inside our outside your home – currently you can benefit from a government grant towards the cost of installation.
Quiet & Quick
Just one journey in an electric car and you’ll admire the smooth and quiet drive.
Tax Savings and Incentives
With the government actively encouraging drivers to switch to electric cars and vans and grants available for eligible vehicles it’s definitely worth thinking about choosing electric or a plug-in hybrid.
There are significant tax incentives for choosing electric and if you’re a company car driver the ‘Benefit in Kind’ tax can represent a large saving.
Click for info on Low-emission vehicles eligible for a plug-in grant
Can the UK cope with producing the electricity?
With the UK set to ban all new diesel and petrol cars from 2040, the question has been asked whether we have the infrastructure to cope with the requirements of electric vehicles. Well National Grid seems to think so and have even gone so far as to say they would support the government bringing forward its 2040 ban on new petrol and diesel car sales by a decade. They also went on to say, there would be would be little need for new power stations, provided the vehicles were charged at off-peak times.
If you are considering an electric car then take a look at some of the main stream manufacturers of electric cars include Audi, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen.
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