The UK’s EV market is booming - with improvements in range, lower prices, and a rapidly expanding charging network. Not only are electric vehicles cheaper to run, but they’re also eco-friendly, increasingly fun and responsive to drive, and can future-proof your transport for years to come. We look at why now is a good time to buy an EV, benefits, and what to look out for when buying one.
Across the UK, thousands of new drivers every week are discovering the many benefits of EVs over conventional petrol and diesel cars.
An immediate answer would have to include the fact that EV drivers are mostly insulated from the massive fluctuations in petrol and diesel costs – caused largely by continued uncertainty over the invasion of Ukraine – that have made driving so costly.
But then there are other factors. Among them, the introduction of cheaper models; seismic improvements in vehicle range and choice; and, not least, the latest studies showing both the dangers of air pollution and record-levels of CO2, that make zero-emission vehicles such an imperative alternative to ICE (internal combustion engine) models.
Guide for drivers – the benefits of EVs
Transport is the largest CO2-emitting sector in the UK, responsible for 27% of emissions. Even with the production of Lithium-Ion batteries and electricity needed to power them, EVs are significantly better for the environment than ICE vehicles.
Once bought (or leased) the cost of running an EV is generally cheaper than petrol and diesel cars, due to a range of factors such as lower refuel costs, cheaper maintenance, and a raft of grants and exemptions.
Cheaper to refuel – It’s estimated that fully charging an EV at home will cost just a few pounds – significantly less than filling up with petrol and diesel. Although costs vary using public and rapid chargers – and there are reductions for signing up to charging networks like Mer’s – refuel costs are still around a tenth of that for ICE vehicles.
EV exemptions – Electric Vehicles are exempt from the congestion charge in central London and the capital’s Ultra-low Emission Zone charges – a collective saving of £27.50 a day.
Road Tax / Insurance – Pure EVs are exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (Road tax). Although insurance costs are marginally higher for zero-emission cars – due to higher cost prices – this is expected to fall and EV drivers themselves are considered lower risk.
Other tax benefits – Many businesses are now offering their employees to lease an EV via a salary sacrifice scheme (enabling employees to list their vehicle as a business expense and pay less tax). And business users pay zero benefit in kind (BIK) company car tax on pure EVs.
Comfort and driveability – EVs are famously quieter and smoother to run, with most models surprisingly quick in acceleration. The lower centre of gravity allows for improved handling, responsiveness and – due to increased internal passenger space – greater comfort.
Most EVs use Lithium-Ion batteries, which degrade and become less effective over hundreds of charge / use-cycles. However, recent studies show this degradation is small, at around 2.3% a year. And that drivers can expect ten years and more – or 100,000+ miles of use – making the lifespan similar to a conventional petrol or diesel model.
There are also ways to reduce battery degradation – such as keeping charge between 20-80% and avoiding very aggressive acceleration and extreme temperatures. So decline in battery capacity – especially given the rapid evolution of battery innovation – should not now be a major concern for most EV owners.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.