January 16th, 2020 at 2:13 pm
Uptake of the new fully electric technology is painfully slow and industry pundits are putting forward lots of reasons as to why this may be. Lack of charging points which seem to be mostly found in urban centres is understandably one concern but. if you have a house with a driveway beside it why not stick solar panels on the garage roof, a charging unit on the wall and charge up your own EV for nothing or just pence? If you have the space for off-road parking and can take advantage of another way of generating your electricity then you could end up with a huge reduction in your motoring bills. The focus for EVs has largely been city-based but if you have the room or live in a rural area then you could become totally self-sufficient. We look at some of the common reasons why people are reluctant to embrace the new technology and some ways around these problems.
Electric vehicles are so expensive
New technology always starts at a premium price and eventually becomes cheaper as it becomes more commonplace. A great way to finance the cost of a new EV is to acquire one on Personal Contract Purchase or PCP or Personal Contract Hire – PCH which are already two hugely popular ways to cover the cost of a brand new vehicle. PCH is like renting for a fixed term and then you give the car back, PCP allows you to buy the car with a lump sum payment at the end of the fixed term – anywhere from 12-48 months – or return the vehicle with the dealer often providing a guaranteed buyback value.
These schemes work particularly well for EVs where the technology is rapidly evolving and motorists don’t want to be stuck with a car which quickly becomes overtaken by something better. Some EV sales require that you lease the battery anyway so it’s not such a quantum leap to actually lease the entire vehicle.
Availability of charging points
These are becoming more and more widespread but the other key factor to note is that charging times are increasing rapidly as the technology develops. A concern for many motorists is not just finding a charge point but having to wait to use it because charging times are slow.
Becoming self-sufficient at home is the way to go and the government is going to introduce a requirement that new homes with a driveway or off-road parking are all built with their own charging points. If you can generate your own power through solar panels or wind turbines then you know that you can always charge your vehicle and it will cost you next to nothing. This is certainly the new revolution in 21st-century motoring.
Are there any government initiatives or schemes to help with the cost?
The government is straining at the leash to meet its own self proclaimed pledges to drastically reduce emissions and is, therefore, encouraging drivers to embrace new technology. There are schemes available which will encourage drivers by helping with the cost in several different ways.
Through the dealerships, you can get up to £3,500 off the price of an eligible vehicle and this doesn’t just include cars. The government’s website lists mopeds, motorbikes, taxis, vans including large vans and trucks. Additionally, you can receive up to £500 towards the cost of installing a home charging point. These incentives used to be available for hybrid vehicles in the early days but hybrids are no longer included so the cash is only there for completely electric cars.
What about the used market in electric vehicles?
It is still early days for this as totally electric cars are still relatively new on the road but it does certainly avoid the high cost of a new vehicle. Online forums reveal concerns about the battery life and it is certainly true that brand new EVs already have a range of nearly double the miles before requiring a recharge compared to models which are three or four years old. But if you have a home charging point or you are limited to fairly local driving on short trips then this may not concern you.
Some motorists may favour a hybrid as offering the best of both worlds, with the petrol engine there as a failsafe for the battery and the more limited range on an older car. However, the batteries are quite heavy and impinge on performance and efficiency when they are not being used so this can be something of a false economy.
What is a REx?
A REx is a type of hybrid or PHEV where a petrol generator is utilised to keep the battery fully charged but the car is totally electrically powered. This allows the motorist the reassurance of never having to find a charge point in a hurry and compensates for the lack of hybrid status. Because the generator is lighter than a traditional engine, the REx doesn’t have the same compromise on performance and efficiency. Having said that, there are not many of these types of vehicle around so the pool of choice is limited. As electric technology improves, they will probably fade away just like the hybrid but they are a good first introduction to electric motoring and if you can find one at a good price, a REx could be an excellent option for the first couple of years to help you find your feet. However, they don’t have the green credentials that many drivers are looking for.
Make no mistake about it, EVs are here to stay and if you look at the investment that motor manufacturers are piling into the technology then this is not going to a just a phase or a fad. Electric motoring could say you a lot of money on your car costs as well as helping the planet, it’s one of the most exciting and revolutionary developments in motoring for decades. Those drivers who have already taken the plunge can be quite evangelical about it and so naturally, there are plenty of online forums where information is shared and there is lots of advice and guidance. These can be a good place to air your concerns. Speakev is one of the most popular so what are you waiting for?