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25 Oct 2018
Claire Rees Jess Shanahan

Why an electric car could be right for you

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Like the idea of owning an electric car but not sure if you should take the plunge? Here’s why ditching diesel and petrol could be more doable than you think.

electric car being charged

From 2040, you will no longer be able to buy a new diesel or petrol car in the UK. 

Now, this may seem like a way off but it’s got a lot of motorists thinking about what they drive. 

For those looking to buy a new car, electric could make a lot of sense.

Fitting in

A lot of people are still wary of electric vehicles (EVs) because they’re worried that electric won’t fit into a lifestyle built around a petrol- or diesel-powered car.

Range anxiety is one of the reasons so many people are wary of buying electric. 

Consumers wonder whether they’ll be able to do their day-to-day driving in the same way. 

Thankfully, electric cars have come a long way in the past few years and as battery technology improves, so does the range. 

READ MORE: The rise of electric cars

How far can an EV go?

Affordable electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe will do 168 and 179 miles respectively. 

Those in the luxury category, such as the Tesla Model S and Jaguar I-Pace, will do 265 and 292 miles respectively.

And this is a good indication of the kind of range we can expect from future models from other manufacturers.

The infrastructure has improved over the last five years too with more and more service stations installing car charging points, not to mention those that are popping up in city centres, public car parks and workplaces. 

You can, of course, also charge at home.

Nissan leaf

Parking considerations 

To establish whether an electric car is right for you, you need to think about how you drive, the distances you cover and where your car is parked during the day and overnight. 

It’s likely that an electric car could be a viable option.

In 2016, 11% of household vehicles in England were parked in a garage overnight; 60% were parked on private property; 25% were parked on the street and 3% were parked in other places. 

If you park on the street or somewhere else, an EV might not be for you.

READ MORE: Electric cars: How they work, their pros & cons

40 miles per day is average

The average speed for most vehicles is around 34mph and the average car will do around 9,000 miles per year. 

If you break this down by working day, it means that most cars don’t go more than about 40 miles per day. 

If you’re lifestyle fits into this average, then you could be a good candidate for an EV.

Most motorists would agree that their day-to-day driving fits well within the range of the Nissan Leaf or Renault Zoe but it’s the longer trips that still worry people. 

What about longer trips?

Sometimes you drive across the country to see family, fancy a road trip around the Cotswolds or have to drive to the airport for a holiday.

Most of these longer trips, depending on where you live, will exceed the range of the Leaf, Zoe and similar electric vehicles but with a stop at a service station, or in a city, for a spot of lunch and a chance to stretch your legs, your car could be charged again. 

It’s very likely that when you stop to refuel, you also take some time to get a bite to eat, catch up on your emails or do a little shopping. 

Yes, electric cars take some time to charge but it’s a chance for you to take a break, something we can all agree is an important part of a long drive.

READ MORE: A guide to green car insurance

Taking away the fear 

If your driving is limited to going to work and driving your family and friends around then an electric car could be a really affordable option.

It’s important that you’re able to park at home so you can charge overnight or, at the very least, have access to public parking with a built-in charging point.

For motorists just doing short trips on a daily basis and then plugging in at home, you’ll rarely have to visit a public charging station. 

This takes away the fears of range anxiety, finding a charger or having to wait around while your car is charging.

Looking at your lifestyle

If your long journeys are infrequent, perhaps you could explore how much work you could get done, or how many books you could read on public transport. 

Or, just give yourself a little extra time to charge along the way.

Of course, there’s always the option to go with one of the higher-range prestige EVs out there.

As we creep up to a time where we need to think about the planet and the cars we are driving, take a look at your lifestyle and see how an EV might fit in. 

You’ll probably be surprised at how convenient it would actually be. Zero emissions, zero queuing at the pump and, for EVs under £40,000, zero tax too.

 
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