There’s never been a better time to make the switch to an electric vehicle. Battery prices are declining, petrol prices are soaring, and the UK’s charging infrastructure is growing exponentially. But is now the right time to invest in electric cars? Here, we’ll take a look at what you really need to know.
Types of Electric Vehicle
1. Battery Electric Vehicle
A battery electric vehicle, or BEV, is powered entirely by electricity, and doesn’t have an internal combustion engine of any kind. You’ll need to charge these, either at home, or at special charger points.
2. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
Inside a plug-in hybrid you’ll find two separate motors: a traditional internal-combustion engine, and an electric one. The former takes over when you go over a certain speed, or when you run out of charge in the latter. To charge the battery, you plug this kind of vehicle in, just as you might plug a BEV in.
3. Hybrid Electric Vehicle
A non-plug-in hybrid works very differently to the plug-in variety. It generates electricity on its own, by harvesting the energy in the vehicle that would otherwise be wasted.
Things to Consider
For most electric vehicle owners, home charging is where you’ll get most of your energy and the best possible price. This theoretically puts people who live in flats at a disadvantage, especially if you’re reliant on street parking, where you can’t install a charging point.
1. Saving Money
If you’re worried about the upfront cost of installing a charging point, then you might consider the government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, which will be running until April 2022 for homeowners in single-unit houses. (For those of us who live in flats, the scheme is actually around for longer). The scheme will fund up to 75% of the cost of your installation.
You might also consider that the rates of taxation for low-emission vehicles are extremely favourable. If you’re going new, then you might consider investing in GAP insurance to help you absorb the risk of depreciation.
Which vehicles are the best?
There are now electric vehicles at a whole range of price points. What you choose will depend on your personal preference and lifestyle. For city commuters, something compact like the Fiat 500 might be practical. If you prefer something a little more powerful and desirable, then you might look into something like a Tesla or a Porsche. There are SUVs on the market, too, which might appeal to those looking for an outdoor experience.