Petrol and diesel have been championing the motor industry for decades. Now time is running out on the classic internal combustion engine. Combined with the imminent 2030 ban of all new petrol and diesel sales and even hybrids getting axed in 2035, the pressure is well and truly on to make the switch!
Despite all the changes, there are no current plans to curb the sale of secondhand vehicles. But with increased taxation at play in a bid to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs), UK roads are about to look very different.
Want to find out more? Here’s why your next car purchase should be an electric vehicle?
Not only has the UK government announced its impressive ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution, but world leaders are all taking action in light of the UN issuing a red alert due to the climate crisis sweeping the globe. Human activity has to change. One of the surefire ways is to reduce the number of emissions polluting the air around us.
So, in short, your driving habits need to follow suit.
Rewind back to April 2019, and London crossed a new frontier. It became the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). Motorists could no longer drive through central London without incurring a fee, with the exception of those vehicles that met the strict emission rules. Currently, that includes all EVs – as they emit zero tailpipe emissions – hybrids, Euro 5 petrol and Euro 6 diesel vehicles.
But, even that’s about to change. ULEZ is expanding to a single larger zone circled by the North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205) from the 25th of October 2021. Then you need to consider the Clean Air Zones (CAZ) popping up across the nation, such as Bath, Birmingham and Portsmouth.
Driving a standard internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle is coming to an end. But it’s up to you when your longstanding relationship with your fuel guzzler ultimately comes to a close. From daily fees to enter low emission zones ranging from £8 a day to £12.50, the costs of driving are adding up.
What about range anxiety?
Surrounded by heavy, fast traffic and not a recovery vehicle in sight, there’s nothing worse than your car coming to a grinding halt on the edge of the road. Throw an EV into the mix that averages 193 miles, and long-distance journeys may have to become a thing of the past.
Except, you have to remember that 2030 deadline. With the expectation that more motorists will make the switch to an EV ahead of that date, the infrastructure needs to be in place. That means more access to rapid charge and standard charge points, and of course, higher-powered batteries.
Fortunately, the innovative minds throughout the automotive industry are putting in the work. To set your mind at ease, here are a few of the best long-range EVs around:
- Tesla Model S: 405 miles
- Ford Mustang Mach-e: 379 miles
- Tesla Model X: 360 miles
- Tesla Model 3: 360 miles
- Volkswagen ID.3: 336 miles
- Polestar 2: 335 miles
- Audi Q4 E-Tron Sportback: 331 miles
- Skoda Enyaq iV 80: 331 miles
- Volkswagen ID.4: 322 miles
- Kia EV6: 316 miles
While the current EV infrastructure is a bit of a stumbling block, there are now more than 42,000 charge point connectors across the UK in over 15,500 locations – which according to EDF, is “more public places to charge than petrol stations.” Though owning an EV may take a bit more planning than your traditional journey by car, keeping up the “juice” is possible.
Take Tesla as a prime example. The built-in monitoring system will tell you vital information, such as how long each charge station en-route will take to power up your battery and how much range you’ll have left once you’ve arrived at your destination. But not all EV systems are as sophisticated. The Fiat 500e, for example, will show you where all the charge points are, but not how long each charge will take.
How can I afford an EV?
With the upfront cost of an EV ranging from £15,000 for the Skoda CITIGOe iV to £59,985 for the Volvo XC40, buying a new car is always going to be a big purchase. But, you don’t have to break the bank to afford a new EV.
Like traditional vehicles, car financing is available to cover the costs of your purchase so that you can pay back affordable monthly instalments that won’t leave you high and dry at the end of each pay packet. Then you need to consider the Plug-in grant. While this is restricted to £2,500 and only covers a range of EVs below £35,000, this can be used alongside your car financing package.
But that’s not your only option. We’re a few years in now since the first (mainstream) fully electric car hit the market, which means the used EV market is now flooded with more options than ever before. While you might not be entitled to use the Plug-in grant, will likely face a higher APR on your monthly repayments and are no longer eligible for some of the original manufacturer perks such as a deposit contribution, there are some worthwhile bargains just waiting to be snapped up.
Growth of EV sales
There are undeniable pain points where EVs are concerned. According to Edmund King, president of the AA, “considerable investment” is needed to lift everything from initial cost and perceived range anxiety to charging infrastructure. But even with these concerns, electric car sales are continuing to accelerate.
- Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) had a 10.9% share of the UK market
- Plug-in hybrids: 7.4% share
- Diesel: 7.5% share – a 65% fall from the previous year
- Petrol: 43.3% share
- Hybrid vehicles, including plug-in and full hybrids: accounted for a combined 38.4% share
Up until August 2021:
- Fully electric vehicles: accounted for 8.4% of new sales in the UK
- Data shows a 106.7% gain from the same period of 2020
Undeniably, electric cars are on a positive trajectory and are showing no signs of slowing down ahead of the 2030 ban.
The commuter’s car
City driving has undoubtedly come a long way since the EV first hit these shores. No longer do you need to spend hours of your working day stuck at the petrol station; instead, you can head straight to the office, plug in and get on with your day before hitting the roads again on your journey home. Simple.
While you might be clocking up the miles, you’ll soon be an EV native as you top up your battery at your local shop, outside your favourite cafe or when you come home each evening. With more and more businesses kitting out their parking areas with charge points, “refuelling” your battery has never been easier. If your EV is primarily for commuting, you’ll be laughing!
How sustainable is home charging?
If you’re a current EV owner, then you know already the benefits of charging your car at the office. But, fast-forward to when everyone in your workspace is an EV driver, and you’re going to have to weigh up your charging options, as the office charge point is suddenly much harder to navigate.
Just for some perspective, according to The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, EV sales grew by 32.2% in August 2021 compared to 2020. Petrol sales fell by 40.4%, and diesel sales plunged down by 64.5%. If that’s an indicator of what’s to come, then you really need to consider an at-home charger.
Yes, home chargers are an additional expense. Yes, they will put you out of pocket from around £300 to £1,000. And yes, like public chargers, they will power up your battery at different speeds. However, there is a £350 government subsidy to balance out the cost and the convenience of getting on with your evening without having to think about queuing at the petrol station.
According to PodPoint, charging an EV can cost from 2p a mile and up to £5 for a car that sports a range of 250 miles. With lower electricity rates at night time, there really isn’t a better time to charge your car and save yourself money in the process.
However, living in an apartment building or without off-street parking is a problem. Currently, private chargers are installed at the side of your property. But, there is good news. Startups such as Urban Electric Networks are developing a 7kW charger that utilises bollard technology. Their charging system will rise up out of the pavement to plug into your battery and then lower back into the ground when not in use. Easy.
Are you ready to make the switch? Electric vehicles are taking the motor industry by storm. With more and more incentives to buy and the government plans to invest £1.2 billion into EV infrastructure. There’s never been a more exciting time to buy an EV. Which model will you choose?