Will an electric car save you money? Some people are still hesitant about buying electric cars. Personal Loans Now collected the facts.
- You could travel 10,000 miles with an electric car for £200
- At present, there are 13,198 charge points at 4,594 locations across the UK
- The advantages of electric cars: savings on fuel; other savings (maintenance, road tax and associated charges); impact on the environment
- Disadvantages of electric cars: sales prices; manufacturers’ help to offset their high price (including leasing batteries); governmental assistance with their purchase
- Charging electric cars: charging options for residents of flats and employees
- The range of electric cars
- Depreciation of electric cars
Does Electric Cars Save you Money?
Personal Loans Now offering low rate personal loans, discusses the pros and cons of an electric car. Although electric cars were the target of jokes when they first appeared on the market, they are becoming increasingly popular. In the first half of 2017, the sales of electric vehicles grew by 15%, so there are now over 90,000 drivers using them on UK’s roads. This consists of a third pure electric vehicles and two-thirds plug-in hybrids. The government predicts that by 2040 the sale of petrol or diesel vehicles will come to an end. Bearing this in mind, isn’t it time you started thinking about the purchase of such a vehicle?
Let’s begin by having a look at their pros and cons. When considering their drawbacks, we ask: is anything being done to solve any initial teething problems they may have?
Electric Cars: The Advantages
Savings on Fuel
There’s no doubt that using electric power is significantly cheaper than using petrol or diesel. The amount you can save would depend on which model you drive and how often you use it. Calculating the price of electricity at 2p per mile means you could travel 10,000 miles for £200. The equivalent diesel vehicle would cost around £670 to go the same distance, a significant difference to an electric car. Personal Loans Now can offer you flexible personal loans for any car you may want to buy. However, monthly fuel bills aren’t the only way you can save with an electric car.
Electric Cars UK Savings
Maintenance, Road Tax & Associated Charges
Apart from savings on fuel, you would also economise on vehicle maintenance. With only one moving part, electric cars are much easier to maintain. They are easier to repair if they break down compared to the complexity of a combustion engine with all its moving parts. Estimates show that it would cost £11 per month for maintenance while petrol-driven car costs on average £30 per month. Electric vehicles costing under £40,000 are also exempt from VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) or road tax. Owners of hybrid vehicles have a £10 reduction on their road tax.
Because such vehicles produce under 75g/km of CO2 emissions, they are also exempt from London’s £11.50 congestion charge. Some city councils also offer free parking for electric cars so if your council has such a scheme; you could also save a fortune on parking fees.
Impact on the Environment
If you wish to reduce your carbon footprint, then an electric car is a good way to start. You can dramatically reduce your impact on the environment.
Cheapest Electric Vehicles
One of the people’s concerns about buying an electric car is that they’re much more expensive to purchase than conventional vehicles. Although you’ll make savings on fuel and maintenance further down the line, some people don’t have the cash to make this initial outlay. Both manufacturers and the government have some measures in place to help these people.
Manufacturers’ Help to Offset the High Price of Electric Cars
To ease matters, many manufacturers have come up with some solutions to help would-be buyers. Many now offer both zero finance rates and a wall box charger installation free of charge to encourage the purchase of such cars. Personal Loans Now offer car finance personal loans to help you pay for any car.
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The main reason why electric vehicles are so pricey is that the lithium-ion battery cells they contain are expensive. To increase the range of the vehicles, they pack in more and so the price of the car remains high. To reduce the price and allay customers’ fears that the battery might fail and need replacing, some car manufacturers are now offering a battery leasing service.
This leads to a decrease in the car’s purchase price by up to a third; the charges for hiring the battery are £49-£110 per month depending on the number of miles you do and whether you opt for a longer-range battery. Also, if the battery’s capacity drops below 75%, the manufacturer will repair or replace it for free.
Government Assistance with the Purchase of Electric Cars
Although the grants available to buy electric cars have been reduced, they can still help towards the acquisition price. The Plug-In Car Grant entitles buyers to a 35% discount off the price of the car. The discount is only up to a maximum of £4,500 or £2,500 depending on the model of the vehicle (but only for vehicles worth less than £60,000).
If the car price does not include the wall charger, there’s a further grant of £500. This need to go towards the purchase of the charger. You wouldn’t need to apply for these grants or wait to receive a refund of the money since they’ll be automatically taken off by the dealer when you buy the car. They only apply to new cars though and not for used ones.
Electric Cars Charging Points
One of the other concerns that people have is how to go about recharging their electric car and whether this would be a hassle. With an estimated 40% of Britons living in rented accommodation and 20% living in flats, there’s an issue with the installation of a domestic charger. Owners are concerned that there are power supplies near where they park at home.
Charging Options for Residents of Flats or Employees
At present, there are 13,198 charge points at 4,594 locations across the UK in motorway service stations and dedicated parking bays on the street as well as in multi-storey car parks. While some are available for anyone, for some you need to be the member of the scheme paying a monthly subscription of around £8 per month.
The OLEV (Office for Low Emission Vehicles) has made funds available for local councils to respond to residents’ requests for on-street charging solutions so you should check to see if your local authority is participating in the scheme. There are also governmental grants available for businesses of up to £300. They provide chargers at off-street parking areas for their employees.
Charging a car is the same as charging a mobile – it just needs forward planning. Therefore, you do it overnight, while you’re at work. Alternatively, you can use one of the rapid chargers which charge the battery up to 80% in under 30 minutes.
Best Electric Cars
One of the people’s other worries about electric cars is that they’ll end up stranded somewhere with a flat battery and no way of charging it. Apart from the increasing network of charging points across the whole country, the range of electric cars has increased over the last decade.
The option of a larger battery has almost doubled the range from around 96 miles on average to 186. Manufacturers believe this could reach 300 miles in the future. Bearing in mind that the average car journey is around 7 miles, you’ll have plenty of battery power to commute or do your errands before worrying about recharging.
Depreciation of Electric Cars
Although some experts believe that electric cars don’t keep their value as much as conventional vehicles, it’s complicated to predict the future market. As these vehicles become more popular, we may find that they’re easier to sell second-hand than conventional vehicles.
Electric Cars Conclusion
From the measures taken already, it’s obvious that both the government and car manufacturers are committed to a future with electric cars. Once you’ve paid out the initial outlay for the vehicle, you can make savings on fuel, maintenance, road tax and parking. There are many grants and car personal loans available to help you pay for it. Although there are some difficulties at present especially with recharging, these will be ironed out as the numbers of electric cars on the roads increase.