While there is no denying that the go-to vehicle types remain to be those fuelled by petrol or diesel, many are surprised at the large percentage of the nation who are now opting to switch to electric vehicles as an environmentally friendly alternative. While the statistics for 2020 have yet to be released, according to research by Next Green Car, there were as many as 265,000 plug-in vehicles on the road in January 2019. With leading car manufacturers such as Hyundai, Renault and of course, Tesla, all continuously advancing their EVs with new innovative features, we can most definitely expect to see this figure rise in the upcoming years.
With the above in mind, if you are becoming increasingly intrigued at the thought of trading in your wheels for an EV, then great news! We have devised a full guide to the many advantages of electric cars, along with the most sought-after features guaranteed to transform your driving experience.
What Are The Advantages Of Electric Cars?
Much like any newly introduced technology, there are a wealth of myths with regards to electric vehicles, which means that the public is still somewhat dubious about making the transition to EV’s. From the idea that electrically-powered cars are slower than those powered by fuel to the worry that you will run out of battery halfway home, there are so many presumptions that are most definitely false. Electric cars, in fact, have been circulating the automotive world for more than 100 years, dating back to as far as the 1800s. During this time, components have evolved, and technology has advanced, which means EV’s are now more reliable, functional and convenient than ever.
To give you an insight into what to expect when investing in an electric vehicle, along with why an EV should be considered when you’re next searching for a new set of wheels, we’re going to answer the following common questions:
Before beginning our guide to the benefits of EV’s, it is imperative first to understand the components of an electric vehicle, how they operate, and what makes them stand out from the crowd.
The concept of an EV is fairly simple – as opposed to a standard car, an electric vehicle is powered solely by a battery pack. The battery pack transports fuel, otherwise known as the battery power, over to an electric motor which operates all other components of the vehicle. The motor is responsible for turning the wheels, powering the headlights, turning on the stereo and everything else that you may need while driving. There are absolutely no differences between the capabilities of an electric vehicle compared to a standard car, which means that you will not have to alter the way that you drive to suit an EV.
The more complicated topic that comes alongside electric vehicles is the different types available on the market. There are three different types of EV’s; these are:
- Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)
- Hybrid-Electric Vehicles (HEVs)
- Plug-in Hybrid-Electric Vehicles (pHEVs)
The only difference between the three types of EV’s is the ratio of electrically powered fuel to standard fuel, such as petrol or diesel:
- BEV: The Battery Electric Vehicle retrieves all of its power through only the battery pack and electric motor. The only way to fuel a BEV is through charging the battery at an EV charging station.
- HEV: The Hybrid-Electric Vehicle uses a combination of electric and conventional fuel. Inside an HEV are the components of both an electric motor and combustion engine. You can choose whether you opt for using battery-powered fuel or traditional fuel.
- pHEV: The Plug-in Hybrid-Electric Vehicles are similar to an HEV, as they include an electric motor and combustion engine. However, conventional fuel will only ever be used when the vehicle runs low on electrical power.
Due to the rising popularity of electric vehicles, when opting to transition, you will never be short for charging points to choose from. Not only can charging points be installed to your home, but they are also available in public locations and for many, at the workplace. To encourage businesses and homeowners to make the ‘green’ transition, the government has also implemented grant schemes, which can be used towards the purchase and installation of charging points.
Domestic charging points continue to remain the most convenient choice for EV drivers as it means that, as long as you remember to place your vehicle on charge overnight, you will never fall short on power. Once installed, home charging points will not incur any additional costs aside from a rise in electricity bills. Domestic charging points are incredibly versatile, meaning they can be fitted, for example, in your garage, or alternatively, mounted on an outside wall of your home to save space. Depending on how quickly you hope to charge your vehicle, there are 3kW and 7kW units available; 7kW being the most powerful of units. As fully accredited specialists in car charging installations in Milton Keynes, Heath Electrical Services is more than happy to schedule a visit to your home to discuss unit options. Here, not only will our electricians be able to determine the most convenient charging point location but also advise you on how to make the most out of your investment. For more information on charging your car from home, take a look at our previous article.
To ensure that you never run low on power during longer journeys, most petrol stations across the nation are now also equipped with charging points. BP Chargemaster, to date, has fitted over 50,000 charging points across the UK and Europe, including both free and rapid chargers. Free charging points take a little extra time to charge your vehicle compared to fast chargers that cost £6.50 an hour. Zap-Map is a straightforward, easy-to-use app that allows you to find your nearest public charging point by searching for your location.
Thanks to the innovative, state of the art technology now incorporated in EV’s, there are a plethora of different benefits that come alongside opting to switch your traditional vehicle to an electrical alternative. Below we have listed the top five advantages of electric vehicles:
1. Environmentally Friendly
Electric vehicles are considerably more environmentally friendly than a standard car, which remains one of the key selling points that attract drivers towards making the transition.
As opposed to a conventional vehicle, EV’s do not have an exhaust pipe, which means that they have zero exhaust emissions. Vehicle exhausts are one of the leading causes of harmful gases such as carbon monoxide or nitrous oxide polluting the earth’s atmosphere; consequently, contributing to global warming.
When opting to charge your EV at home, we strongly recommend utilising renewable energy to your advantage to work towards lowering your greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy includes sources such as wind, hydropower and solar; all of which are designed to reduce your carbon footprint significantly. On the other hand, if you are already with a reputable electricity provider, you may want to consider asking them to purchase renewable energy from EnergyUK on your behalf.
2. Cheaper To Maintain
As a traditional combustion engine is filled with hundreds of internal moving parts – not to mention the several different components required to power the vehicle including starter motors, exhaust systems and many more – it can become potentially fatal if one were to fail. It becomes increasingly expensive to ensure that all components of your vehicle are safe and in good working order.
An electric vehicle, on the other hand, is made up of just three main parts; the on-board charger, inverter and motor, dramatically reducing the need for ongoing maintenance. Fewer components mean that not only will maintenance become simpler, but also your annual MOT and service. All you will need to do is keep a careful eye out for wear and tear on your battery; these usually last around eight years before replacement is required.
3. Encourages Energy Independence
As an electric vehicle owner, you will no longer be reliant on being tied to a gas pump. You can forget the hassle of having to schedule a weekly visit to the petrol station to refuel, and instead, charge your vehicle entirely from the comfort of your home. Opting to switch to an EV is incredibly convenient, allowing you to work towards achieving complete energy independence. You will have sole responsibility and control over the energy used to fuel your vehicle, therefore, promoting a more environmentally friendly household.
4. Enhanced Performance
In the past, electric vehicles did not have the best reputation for performance and aesthetics; however, this has most definitely all changed. Due to high-end manufacturers now showing a growing interest in making their very own version of the EV, drivers are now able to enjoy a high-speed performance even when opting for an electric vehicle.
As electric vehicles are considerably lighter than their conventional alternatives, their ability to accelerate to a high speed in minimal time is impressive. For example, the Tesla Model S is now one of the fastest accelerating vehicles available on the market with the ability to reach 60mph in just 2.5 seconds.
5. More Enjoyable To Drive
The loud noise that occurs when you switch on your vehicle and begin to accelerate is mainly down to the combustion engine. This means that without a combustion engine, your driving experience, as a whole, will be significantly quieter, contributing towards a more enjoyable driving experience. Electric vehicles are known for being virtually silent no matter how much you accelerate, which is all down to the smart electric motor.
Not only are EV’s more enjoyable to drive thanks to the quiet engine, but also down to their enhanced safety features. EV’s, on average, have a lower centre of gravity which means that they are less likely to roll over if involved in a collision. Due to the fewer internal components and durable body, the likelihood of an explosion in the unfortunate event of an accident is also decreased.
Switch To An Electric Car Today!
The British public is known for being a nation of car lovers, which means that, although it means we have the opportunity to enjoy the latest technology, failing to consider electrically powered alternatives is having a dramatic effect on the environment. EV’s, unlike in the past, now not only have a sleek, attractive appearance but are also capable of fulfilling all of the high-speed needs that UK drivers strive for. Why not take a look at Car Magazine for a guide to the very best electric cars of 2020 for inspiration?
If you are considering investing in an EV or have already purchased your new vehicle and require a domestic charging point, then please feel free to contact Heath Electrical Service. Our team have years of experience in a range of electrical services in Milton Keynes, including the installation of car charging points, so can provide invaluable knowledge during your transition.