What You Should Know Before You Get Your First Electric Car
As with any technology, once people start adopting it, the pace at which it develops rises considerably – it wasn’t that long ago that electric vehicles were the (very) poor relation in modern transport; mileage and battery life were the stumbling blocks when it came to practicality.
Today’s electric vehicles are far removed from the early incarnations, batteries take less time to charge and the range is almost enough for all but the longest journeys – models such as the Tesla will comfortably reach the 200+ miles mark.
Battery technology is improving daily, whether that is performance, longevity or the amount of time taken to reach maximum charge – current tech will be outdated within months.
However, still the biggest drawback at the moment when it comes to electric vehicle ownership is the recharge time.
Fortunately, researchers in America are developing a membraneless battery, which uses fluid electrolytes to provide power, meaning that a recharge could take as little time as it would to fill the petrol tank – you simply drain and replenish the fluids.
Not only will it significantly cut down charge times, but it’s said that the batteries pack more of a punch also, leading to increased range (and power!).
We tend to associate electric vehicles with smart driverless technology – perhaps it’s just that it has come all at the same time – the advent of practical electric vehicles and full autonomous driving modes.
The reality is that a great number of electric vehicles offer some sort of smart technology, from self-park functions through to full autonomy. However, it’s worth noting that the current legislation means that a ‘driver’ must be in full-control (i.e. in the driving seat) at all times, ready to take control in the event of an emergency.
Before You Buy an Electric Auto
There is no doubt that full electric vehicles are becoming a realistic alternative to the fossil-fuelled vehicles that have been part of our lives for so long, but before you rush out to place a deposit on one, you need to weigh-up the pros and cons. Otherwise buying an electric car will turn out to be a poor investment
It’s true that charge times have been reduced, with ranges being extended, but for a regular electric vehicle, you could still be looking at a few hours charge time for a relatively limited range. Understanding how many miles you need each day / charge will dictate whether an electric vehicle is suitable for your needs, or at least which particular electric vehicle will be a good choice for you.
Help to Buy
Prices are still more than a conventionally fuelled vehicle, but there are a number of grants and schemes available to a buyer to help with the cost, currently, you could get £4,500 toward the cost of a new EV.
One final consideration … forgetting the practicalities regarding mileage and charging times, a full EV is really only viable if you have off-road parking – trailing a charging lead hallway around the neighborhood to charge your new electric vehicle isn’t all that practical!
There is absolutely no doubt that the days are numbered for diesel and petrol engined cars – the UK government recently announced that all diesel and petrol cars will be banned from sale (new car sales) by the year 2040.
We also have various local authorities looking to implement clean air zones, meaning that diesel vehicles in particular won’t be welcome – this amounts to nothing more than a further vehicle tax, but the authorities do recognise that and should be offering a diesel scrappage scheme (although how well that will work in the real world remains to be seen).
Whilst electric vehicles are the future, we should consider that our existing transportation needs haven’t really changed in the last few decades, nor has any of the large manufacturers given it much thought, save for recent years.
For many years, electric vehicles were considered to be a somewhat comical alternative to the internal combustion engine; too expensive, too slow, not enough range and charging times that meant anything more than a trip to the shops needed some planning.
However, with technology moving at such a pace, that position is definitely looking outdated, the naysayers have been forced to look again at just what an electric vehicle is capable of and surely it won’t be too long before they’re a real world credible alternative?
While many manufacturers are implementing a model or two in to their range, it seems that people like Elon Musk (Tesla) have fully embraced the change and are quite literally driving development forward for the benefit of the planet, not just the bottom line.
Truthfully, owning a full electric vehicle right now is still somewhat of a compromise when compared to your regular fossil-fuelled cars, but the day is coming when owning a petrol or diesel vehicle will see you on the other side of that analogy.