At Plug&Drive, it’s no surprise that we favour electric vehicles, but for good reason. In honour of National Countdown Day (March 21st), we’re counting down our top five benefits of EVs, from good, to great, to best!
Purchasing and charging an EV can be made cheaper by utilising the available government grants.
Certain vehicles are eligible for a plug-in grant, which reduces the purchase price. You do not need to apply for this grant, approved vehicles will have the discount automatically applied to the price by the seller. You can also save money on the cost of installing a charge point at home or at a business with the OZEV grants. You can apply for these grants through the government website, and they can fund up to 75% of the installation costs. Check your eligibility with our quick online quiz.
More independent fuelling
Covid-19 restrictions in 2020 showed us how heavily we rely on foreign imports for a variety of goods, such as food, medications and oil. As an island, reducing incoming and outgoing exports had a devastating impact on the availability of certain resources, as well as the cost. Even in the aftermath of the pandemic, we’re witnessing how easily the availability of these resources can reduce, with a sharp spike in fuel prices when Russia invaded Ukraine. Unfortunately, these instances are out of our control, yet we still rely very heavily on foreign oil to get by.
EVs run off of electricity, which can be produced domestically and does not need to be shipped in from overseas. This means that the UK can supply itself with electricity, without relying on other countries. The availability of this resource becomes even stronger as we continue the development of our renewable energy farms across the country. Many homeowners are choosing to install solar panels at home which further increases their fuel independence when using a home charge point.
Cheaper to run
One of the main selling points for EVs is that they are cheaper to run than petrol/diesel alternatives. Even with the recent energy price hikes, it remains cheaper to charge an EV. EV owners can choose to have a charge point installed at home, which not only cuts the cost of each charge but is also a lot more convenient – you can’t instal a petrol pump on your driveway! You can also instal solar panels for relatively free recharging.
EVs tend to require less maintenance than their alternatives, mainly due to the fact that they have fewer moving parts, and therefore fewer opportunities to go wrong. Being smacked with an unexpected mechanics bill for a vehicle problem can put a real spanner in your finances, and although EVs aren’t immune to these issues, they are less likely to occur.
For those who regularly drive through London, you’ll likely be familiar with the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emissions Zone) charges of £12.50 per day. EV drivers are not required to pay these fees, so if you regularly drive through the capital, the savings of an EV can add up quickly. From the 29th of August 2023, the ULEZ zone is being expanded to cover all the boroughs of London. This will mean that even just driving around the outskirts of the city can land you with a charge if your vehicle does not meet the ULEZ standards.
EVs were developed in order to find a method of sustainable transportation, with the goal of slowing down the huge negative impact that humans have on the natural environment. The idea of a completely green vehicle has been in the works for years, and any negative environmental impacts that are currently present with EVs are slowly being phased out with consistent research and development.
The lithium-ion batteries found in EVs require large amounts of energy to produce in comparison to the manufacturing of petrol/diesel alternatives. However, EVs produce much fewer emissions in their lifespan, so despite the energy-intensive production process, remain better for the environment overall. Petrol and diesel vehicles produce CO2 emissions whenever the engine is turned on, whereas an EV has produced the vast majority of its total emissions during manufacturing. The production of these batteries is constantly being developed, resulting in a gradually smaller carbon footprint as time goes by.
EVs can be fuelled using entirely sustainable energy sources, and many publicly accessible charge points use renewable energy. However, even if an EV is charged using fossil fuel-produced electricity, it still remains better for the environment than petrol/diesel alternatives.
Performance has taken the number one spot in this list, mainly because it’s what a lot of people favour with a vehicle. Your car should get you from A to B, but many drivers prefer that it does it well.
Every vehicle model will boast a different performance, so it can be difficult to generalise whether EVs or petrol/diesel alternatives are superior. Of course, a petrol-run Lamborghini Aventador will have a better performance than an electric Renault Twizzy, but when you look at EVs as a whole, they generally perform better.
Internal combustion engines, which are what run petrol and diesel vehicles, need to build up fuel to reach maximum power. Electric motors are much simpler and can produce full torque (the force that drives the vehicle forward) instantly from a standstill, resulting in instant and smooth acceleration.
EVs have a low centre of gravity due to the heavy battery mounted in the chassis of the vehicle. This results in the vehicle having increased handling and responsiveness compared to the alternatives, providing both ease and comfort to the driver.
EVs are also very quiet to run. They do not produce much noise, with many manufacturers striving to make the most silent vehicle on the roads. Although petrolheads will argue that the louder the vehicle is the better it is, that simply isn’t the case anymore.
Australian driving instructor, Jurgen Lunsmann, raced in a fully electric Tesla Model 3 against almost 50 petrol vehicles in the Targa West motor rally in Perth. EVs are not built for rallies such as this, and the Tesla was the only EV participating. Despite this, Lunsmann was confident in the performance of the vehicle, and rightly so! He finished in first place in his category in 2021.
These are just our top five benefits of EVs, but there are so many more. If you’re still waiting to make the change to electric, let 2023 be the year you do it. Don’t forget to have your charge point installed too!