Updated Guide to Buying an Electric Car in the UK (2024)
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Updated Guide to Buying an Electric Car in the UK (2024)

Electric vehicles (EVs) are no longer a novelty in the UK. With over 1.1 million electric cars currently on the road (up from 85,000 in 2017) and a significant increase in registrations year-on-year, they’re a compelling choice for eco-conscious British drivers. But before you jump in, here are some key factors to consider when buying an electric car in 2024:

Charging:

  • Convenience: While charging remains a point of difference, the UK’s charging infrastructure has grown significantly though perhaps not fast enough putting people off from buying an electric car. Numerous charging points are more available, making it easier to find a top-up but at times demand can exceed supply. Different charging speeds exist: slow chargers are ideal for overnight charging, while rapid chargers can quickly boost your battery on long journeys.
  • Time: Charging times have improved, but a full charge still takes longer than a petrol or diesel refill. However many EVs now boast ranges exceeding 250 miles, reducing “range anxiety” for most daily commuters who have a long drive into work.

Costs:

  • Fuel Savings: EVs offer significant cost advantages compared to petrol or diesel which can be four times as expensive for the same distance
  • Maintenance: EVs generally require less maintenance than petrol or diesel cars due to fewer moving parts. While specialist training might be needed for complex repairs, servicing costs are typically lower. Battery replacements can be expensive, but warranties often cover them.
  • Insurance: Electric vehicles are becoming more common, but insurance premiums can still vary. Consider comparing quotes from different providers to find the best deal.

Other Considerations:

  • Specialist EV Repairs: As with any vehicle, basic maintenance like topping up fluids or changing bulbs can be done at home. However, due to the complexity of the EV’s battery, advanced repairs should only be attempted by qualified electric car technicians with the right training and equipment. Thankfully, more garages are becoming competent in servicing EVs.

Finding Your Electric Perfect Match:

Do you crave weekend escapes to the rolling hills or yearn for coastal adventures along dramatic shorelines? Prioritise a car with a longer driving range (think 250+ miles) to conquer those extra miles you’ll need in perhaps remoter areas. Consider a spacious electric SUV like the Skoda Enyaq for ample luggage space and performance.

Alternatively, perhaps your daily commute consists primarily of bustling city streets so a small hatchback like the electric Citroen Ami or Kia e-Niro might be perfect, offering great manoeuvrability and potentially lower running costs.

Take Your Charging Needs into Consideration

If you have a charger at home then you’ll unlock the most convenient way to power your EV. Faster charging maximises overnight top-ups ready for the next day

If you don’t have a charger then most likely you will have to rely on public charging stations. Focus on EVs with rapid charging compatibility, allowing you to quickly add range while grabbing a coffee on the go. It’s generally accepted Tesla’s offer a fairly good charging infastructure, that’s also fast and convenient so we say that brand of EV might be best.

Are you Tech Savvy or Simply Savvy?

Are you a gadget enthusiast who craves the latest technology and driver assistance features? When choosing and buying an electric car you may want to explore luxury EVs like the Tesla Model 3 or Polestar 2, boasting innovative displays, advanced safety systems, and even self-driving capabilities.

However, perhaps functionality reigns supreme. If you’re primarily concerned with reliable transportation that gets you from A to B in comfort and style, many affordable EVs offer excellent value. They focus on practicality and essential features, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable driving experience. The MG ZS EV is a good example of a budget-friendly option.

What does the Future look like for EV Cars in the UK?

The future of electric vehicles in the UK looks promising with adoption rates expected to soar globally in the coming years. The UK is experiencing a significant surge in EV adoption though there are people out there resisting. As of February 2024 there are over 1 million fully electric cars on UK roads, with electric vehicles accounting for 15.2% of new car registrations in March 2024. Globally, projections suggest that by 2030 EVs could make up 40% of new car sales worldwide.

The growth is being driven by environmental concerns, government regulations and improving technology. In the UK, there was a 40% year-on-year increase in electric car registrations from 2022 to 2023. The commercial sector is also embracing EVs, with over 60,000 electric vans on UK roads by early 2024. As battery performance increases and costs decrease, EVs are becoming far more practical and affordable for everyday use.

Challenges with EV

EVs cost more upfront but charging infrastructure still needs a boost. The UK’s charging network has grown 45% year-on-year, reaching around 54,000 locations by late 2023. However, further expansion is crucial as we lag behind Germany’s impressive 63,000 chargers. Range anxiety is also a major concern for car buyers though this is less of a worry as batteries improve.

The shift to EVs will have wide-ranging effects on the automotive industry, urban planning and the economy. Traditional car manufacturers are adapting, new EV companies are emerging and cities are rethinking their infrastructure to accommodate more electric cars on their road. While there are hurdles to overcome, the overall trend points to a future where EVs dominate the roads.

Going Electric with Autocare Centre

Autocare Centre is proud to service and repair electric vehicles keeping you on the road to a greener future. Our mechanics have received specialist training and possess the necessary equipment to service and repair your EV. Whether you’re considering buying an electric car or need help maintaining your current one, our expert team is here to assist you. Feel free to contact us on 01921 627 137.

 

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