Electric Vehicles have seen a significant surge in popularity in the recent time – with around 85,000 new registrations of plug-in cars in January 2017, in comparison to just 3,500 in 2013.
The reason for this surge can be put down to the lower maintenance and running costs, reduction of CO2 emissions and various grants Electric Vehicle owners can take advantage of.
But Electric Vehicles aren’t without their drawbacks, in this blog post we will look at the various things to consider before investing in an Electric Vehicle.
Battery Charging Time / Range
Charging is one of biggest drawbacks of electric vehicles, in addition to the hassle of having to locate a charging station on the road – if you run out of charge, it can take up to an hour to fully charge your vehicle, in comparison to just a couple of minutes for a petrol or diesel vehicle.
In addition to this, the battery that powers the vehicle will gradually hold less charge as it ages – meaning a reduction in range. In addition to this, a full charge of an electric vehicle won’t get you nearly as far as a fuel tank of fuel, if you travel long distances frequently, an electric vehicle may be much more problematic.
Cost In Comparison To A Petrol Or Diesel Vehicle
Long term savings of driving an Electrical Vehicle can be very appealing to drivers, with cheaper fuel, no road tax and various grants – see how they compare against conventional petrol or diesel vehicles:
Fuel – According to the Energy Saving Trust, a full battery charge of electricity can cost as little as £3 and will give a range of around 100miles. Dependant on MPG, covering this distance in a petrol or diesel car would cost around £10 – almost 4 times as much!
Insurance – Due to electric vehicles still being a minority on the roads, not all insurers offer cover for electric vehicles – this coupled with the specialist repair work that electric cars require can mean insurance premiums become higher. This is slightly lowered because electric cars tend to have lower top speeds than petrol or diesel cars.
Maintenance – Electric Vehicles do not have as many mechanical components that conventional vehicles require to run, therefore maintenance costs are generally much less. The only aspect of maintenance that may require a large investment is if the battery dies, fortunately, electric car manufacturers usually provide a warranty on the battery.
Do I Need Specialist Repairs and Maintenance?
As previously mentioned, electric vehicles will not require as much regular maintenance as regular petrol and diesel, but due to the complexity of the battery – mechanics will require specialist training and equipment to carry out repairs, this can mean repairs become more expensive. But the price should continue to drop as more and more garages become competent in working on electric vehicles.
Can I Carry Out The Repairs Myself?
As with a regular car, regular repairs and checks can be carried out at home, such as bulb changes, wiper changes and tyre pressure. However, due to the dangerous nature of the battery components, we would never recommend attempting to carry out any advanced repairs yourself on your electric vehicle without the suitable training and equipment available.
Grants For Electric Vehicles
Drivers can get a grant towards the total cost of their electric vehicle as long as it meets certain conditions, this can be up to 35% the cost of the car to a maximum of up to £4,500. In addition to this, there are a number of other financial incentives to take advantage of including:
- Electric vehicles are exempt from the London Congestion Charge
- In some areas, free parking and charging is available for electric vehicles
- All electric vehicles are exempt from road tax
Specialist Electric Vehicle Repair At Autocare Centre
At Autocare, our mechanics have specialist training to work competently on electric vehicles – we also have all the equipment in-house to carry out full servicing of electric powered vehicles. If you are experiencing problems with your electric vehicle – talk to one of our expert team on 01921 627 137