At Route Monkey we love electric cars but we also understand that they’re not for everybody. We’ve scratched our heads and come up with all the pros and cons we can think of. Have a read through this lot and make up your own mind.
With fewer moving parts EVs are more refined, quiet and smoother than normal cars. Acceleration is brisk, they’re totally silent and, despite what the doubters say, fun to drive. Even a little Mitsubishi iMiev feels like a go-kart and some Teslas can even out drag Ferraris.
The seconds it takes to plug in your EV has to be a better experience than queuing at a busy petrol station. Plug in at night - when electricity is cheaper - go to bed and in the morning you’re fully charged and ready to go. It’s liberating to power your car from home.
Electricity for EVs costs around 2p a mile so you could save up to £2,000 a year in petrol or diesel. Servicing costs are lower with no oil, spark plugs, timing belts, filters etc. Even the brake pads wear out slower. Road tax is free, parking often is too and if you’re in London, EVs are exempt from the Congestion Charge. If you run an EV as a company car there are business tax benefits as well.
Lots of towns, car parks, rail stations and multi-storeys now have charging stations for EVs in dedicated parking bays. While you charge you can nip to the shops, go to the bank, get a haircut or have a coffee. Some spaces have time limits and some don’t. Parking in cities in an EV is easier than normal cars.
You can literally charge wherever there’s a convenient three-pin plug. We take an extension cord with us and charge while we’re in meetings or at mates houses. As long as your cables won’t trip anybody over some gentle top-up charging during the day is as easy as finding the nearest 13-amp plug. And there are millions of those.
While everybody else gets angry about rising oil prices you won’t. Detaching yourself from the world of petrol and diesel is a wonderful feeling. And what ever the government does about fuel duty you won’t care. You’ll drive past fuel stations and laugh.
The new wave of Rapid Chargers that charge to 80% in 30 mins mean you can double or treble your daily range by charging several times. Rapid Chargers have increased the usable range of EVs dramatically. Find a few in your area and the dreaded feeling of range anxiety will quickly disappear.
EV tailpipe emissions are genuinely zero so you’ll be doing your bit for cleaner air. You may not care about the environment or air quality but you might if the government creates more Low Emission Zones in cities that can only be used by low emission cars and vans. You can also bore people about how clean your EV is at dinner parties.
Most EVs (apart from Teslas) won’t get further than 110 miles on a single charge - some even less. So if you travel more than 100 miles a day and EV might not be for you. Holiday trips or long journeys for work will take some planning. You’ll need a charging map, a Rapid Charging cable and have a couple of charging account cards.
Charging up from a normal plug can take all night, three hours from a Fast Charger and 30 mins with a Rapid Charger. Inevitably there’s always some hanging about involved. If you’re in a hurry, or late, charging can be very frustrating.
Even with the Plug-in Car and Van Grants new EVs still cost more than normal cars. At the moment they also depreciate quickly too. Used prices are much lower and sometimes a secondhand EV costs less than the equivalent petrol or diesel. Secondhand EVs do make sense though.
Compared to normal cars the choice of EVs is still very limited. There are about 20 really good EVs on the market and that’s it. If you want to make a really special automotive statement buy a Maserati or a Mustang.
If you live in a flat or a terraced house you’re a bit stuck. All new developments are supposed to have charging bays and you could ask your local council to put one outside your house, but if you don’t have space where you live to park and charge, our advice is not to buy an EV at all. Sorry…
There still aren’t enough public charging stations. According to Zap-Map.com there are 11,000 public charging connectors across the UK with 2,000 Rapid Chargers available. While analysts predict that in four years the number of UK charging points will outnumber traditional petrol stations, we still need more.
EV emissions may be clean but the power stations that make the electricity aren’t. EV doubters say we’re just shifting pollution from the roads to power stations. But since urban air quality and the reduction of diesel particulates in our cities is so important this argument doesn’t totally stack up.
As more companies join the EV revolution, electricity from public charging points will get more expensive. Public charging used to be free but companies like Charge Master are now asking up to £7.50 for 30 mins on a Rapid Charger. Choose your electricity supplier carefully and charge at home as much as possible.