Thinking of going electric? You can bite the bullet and go fully electric or start with a hybrid. For many people these act as a stepping stone to electric. A hybrid has a conventional petrol or diesel engine, as well as the electric motor/battery and lessens the anxiety that currently exists surrounding the roll out of electric motoring including up-front costs, range issues and charging infrastructure in the main.
There are many factors to consider when going electric including – probably, mainly – will its range be ok for my motoring habits and needs and do I have plenty of access to the charging network? Also - is it the right time for you to go electric? It is not just a case of buy one and plug it in. Read on as we take a look at some of the things you need to think about. For environmental reasons purely then the answer would be YES definitely go electric, but there are other factors to consider……
There is a huge choice of electric vehicles on the market and if you take a look at the Green section of our website you can see for yourself the array of cars and vans on offer, including great bargains to be had at the moment. The best way of purchasing an electric vehicle, also, to avoid the worry of your electric vehicle holding its value, is by switching to personal contract hire (PCH) deals where you don’t need to worry about residual value. Ring now and speak to one of our team on 0116 2599548 to find out more.
But – does an electric vehicle suit your lifestyle? Do you make lots of short journeys across town – if the answer is yes then an electric vehicle will suit you down to the ground providing you can access plenty of public chargers. For longer journeys an element of planning is necessary but it is not as tricky as it may sound as electric cars have charging stations incorporated in their navigation systems to help you manage your journey. Charge times too could be considered limiting as you may need to plug in for 40 minutes at least to top up. But on a long journey however - you may welcome the break after 200 miles! It is all about driving habits and adapting these to protect our environment and embrace the future!
The government has introduced grants of approximately £3k applied to the price of a low-emissions vehicle which is not to be sniffed at but the impetus would be to buy sooner rather than later as this could lower in value even though the government has said it will set aside £582 million for grants to help drivers go electric.
Let’s take a look at the charging network. There are a number of different companies who run the networks in this country. Charge rate, expressed in kilowatts, is the rate at which your car will charge. These range from slow to fast. Also, electric cars come with different plugs (ask one of our account executives for more information on this and other sticking points) and finally there are payment methods to consider; thankfully the networks are now moving towards contactless payments with a debit or credit card as opposed to the initial need to have an account with each network. What about cost finally for charging your vehicle? This can vary. Some (for instance in your local supermarket) are free but may be slow, however if you can leave your car charging while you do the shopping – happy days! Faster chargers might be found at service stations and these may vary in cost. For example you may get charged 40p per kWh or roughly £12 to fill a Mini Electric.
The process is not perfect yet though, queuing for charging stations can occur and chargers can play up. As the number of people going electric increases, so will the need for more chargers. This is where home chargers become important. They can be bought for between £300-£1000 and there are subsidies available from the government to help buy them. You can plug your vehicle in overnight and in the majority of cases your car will have enough juice for your daily commute. Here we’re talking about the UK average annual mileage, around 150 miles a week. Charging overnight takes advantage of lower electricity rates equating to approx. £5 for a car with a range of 250 miles.
You will need off-street parking for a home charger currently but progress is being made with regard to installing chargers elsewhere – for example in lampposts in some UK cities. Suffice to say the government has promised to spend £1.2bn on charger installation so expect to see them installed wherever cars are parked for long periods of time, like supermarkets, shopping centres, restaurants and hotels.
The government is even talking about fitting chargers to new-build homes - so the expansion of the charging network should not limit the uptake and change over to electric motoring.
In summary, even though the up-front cost of buying electric is on the high side changing to electric is going to become more affordable for everyone and more convenient for everyone. If you like the sound of it, please contact us today to find out more or take a look at the dedicated Green pages of our website here at MW Vehicle Contracts. We have a large choice of electric (and hybrid) vehicles and many special offers. Alternatively you can ring us on 0116 2599548 and speak to an Account Executive who can offer you more expertise and guidance – the future is electric……..