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Things to consider when buying an electric car

Things to consider when buying an electric car

Amidst rising fuel and energy prices and a global incentive to reduce carbon emissions, electric vehicles (EVs) have become an increasingly attractive option for many road users. While electric cars are still more expensive to purchase than petrol and diesel-powered vehicles, EV drivers can make significant savings in running costs whilst reducing their negative impact on the environment - but is the UK really ready for the EV switch, and what should you take into account if you’re considering ditching your old motor for an electric car?

Is the UK ready for electric cars?

As part of its new Net Zero strategy, the UK government has pledged to invest £620 million into the EV industry and has even suggested banning all diesel and petrol-powered cars by 2030. How realistic these targets are may depend on where you live in the UK; the South of England has seen the most public charging points installed since 2019 (with Watford taking the top spot), whilst the city with the most charging points per vehicle is Coventry, with 1.4 vehicles for every charging point. Interestingly, Stockport is the city with the highest number of EVs - with a population of 290,000, there are 13,417 EVs currently registered. At present, it seems as though some areas of the UK are more ‘ready’ for the EV influx than others.

Main concerns about electric cars

EVs have always been controversial, and while it’s important to remember that electric cars are still in the early stages of development and fine-tuning, there are some unavoidable concerns that have been raised surrounding their use; the most immediate and potentially dangerous of these is the fact that some EV batteries and engines have been reported to combust or explode. Other concerns include slow charging times, low distance capacity from a single charge, insufficient numbers of public charging points and the fact that more than 8 million Brits may lack access to home charging. It’s also worth noting that EV insurance is generally more expensive than conventional car insurance, however you can reduce costs by opting for a multi-car insurance policy if you already own other vehicles. Despite being touted as the answer to many of the potential problems posed by current EVs (such as slow charging times and the risk of combustion), solid-state batteries remain expensive to produce, which means that EV prices may not fall as quickly as initially forecast.

EV Pros:

  • Significantly cheaper to run than petrol and diesel cars.
  • More environmentally friendly, with zero emissions.
  • It’s possible to purchase an EV using buying incentives including grants and shared ownership schemes.
  • Registered EVs are exempt from the London Congestion Charge and are likely to be declared exempt in all future city congestion schemes by 2030.
  • Many EVs feature sleek, stylish and eye-catching design features.
  • EVs provide a quieter, more comfortable ride than traditional cars.
  • Due to instant torque delivery, EV electric motors often enable quicker acceleration than their petrol counterparts.

EV Cons:

  • Relatively expensive insurance.
  • Some safety risks (such as combustion) have been associated with certain models.
  • More expensive to purchase upfront.
  • You may face a lack of access to charging points, depending on where you live.
  • Many EVs take a relatively long time to charge and feature limited battery life.
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