Economical Running Costs
The monthly cost of running an electric vehicle versus a petrol or diesel alternative is one of the most obvious benefits. Dependent on the conventional model you could spend anything between 12 and 22 pence per mile whereas with an electric vehicle it could be as low as 4p/ mile. Obviously there will be variables that will have an impact, such as your electric provider and when you choose to charge the vehicle, but the bottom line is that an electric car is much lower to run than a fuel alternative.
An electric car is much simpler under the bonnet with basically three main elements – the onboard charger, the inverter, and the motor. As a result, there are fewer components that will wear and tear requiring maintenance work. In addition, the normal wear on tyres and brakes will not be as prominent due to regenerative braking. Basically the car will require fewer trips to the dealership although it is always recommended that you have you car checked for safety elements, such as your tyre tread depth.
Whether you are purchasing an electric car for personal reasons, as a company car or for a business purpose there are reductions on your tax payments. Fully electric cars are zero rated for Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) and the company cat BIK rates are also the lowest for EV. With PHEV the cost benefits are not as high, but there are some savings to be had.
In terms of businesses wishing to operate electric vehicles they will benefit from a tax break. For further information on the emission requirements and the timelines of when this support will be available please visit the UK government's site or speak with you dealership.
Buying an Electric Car
The retail price of an electric car is not necessarily a cheaper option, however there are grants and tax savings which will make the proposition of going green on the road more appealing. There is a low emissions grant which applies to certain models and the maximum grant available is up to £3000. The dealer that you purchase the car from will be able to help you with all the details but if you wish to understand this a little more please visit the UK government's site.
If you are based in Scotland the government is supporting customers who wish to purchase electric vehicles with a loan and a plug in grant. Once again the dealership will help you with the details, but effectively you can receive loans of up to £35,000 on electric and hybrid models when purchasing the vehicle provided it is an eligible vehicle according to OLEV (The office for Low Emission Vehicles).
When buying an electric or hybrid car, you may wish to consider a home charger unit. If so the Electric Vehicle Home Charge Scheme will grant you up to £350, towards your home charger unit and installation. Further information on how to arrange installation and how to apply for this grant can be found here.
Go Green, Feel Good
Needless to say, that when you purchase an electric car – you will undoubtedly have a feel good factor when you are driving around as you are helping the environment to be cleaner. There are no tailpipe emissions, such as carbon monoxide, which basically means that by purchasing electric you are reducing greenhouse gases. So, you are effectively benefitting the global climate and local air pollutants, plus reducing noise pollution due to the quiet drive. Lots of reasons to make you feel smug while you drive around town.
Great Driving Performance
There is a general perception when you speak to people that electric cars are quite slow and those that have not experienced it tend to associate the driving experience with that of a milk float! However, the reality is totally the opposite as electric cars are extremely responsive and swift to drive. In fact, the torque produced from an electric motor at the initial acceleration is more than that produced by most sports cars.
Furthermore, they tend to be more comfortable and, in many ways, less stressful to drive than a conventional vehicle. The regenerative braking means that the car is already braking before your foot even touches the brakes and then the quietness due to no engine noise – can create quite a serene driving experience, which is great for short, but in particular longer journeys.