The motor industry is evolving rapidly. Electric vehicles (EVs) are no longer the minority on the roads. Instead, they are revolutionising and shaping everything from infrastructure to our relationship with their fossil-fuelled counterparts.
And the perks don’t stop there. EVs are a game-changer. They produce lower or zero tailpipe emissions, are cheaper to run and offer some of the best mod cons on the market. Plus, they make you exempt from additional road taxes like London’s ULEZ.
With the UK's 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel sales looming, there is more pressure than ever to consider switching to an EV. But why should you make the switch? Let’s take a look:
London is gearing up for blanket zero emissions
If you’ve driven around the capital recently, all the signage for ULEZ (Ultra Low Emissions Zone) can’t of escaped your notice.
First launched in April 2019, the scheme replaced the original T-zone charge. With a view to significantly reduce harmful tailpipe emissions and improve air quality, ULEZ was a world first. Fast forward to October 2021, and the zone expanded to eighteen times the original size and now covers all areas between the North and South Circular Roads.
The catch? Anyone driving a non-compliant vehicle has to pay a £12 daily fee to travel within the zone. While Euro 5 petrol and Euro 6 petrol is currently exempt, this is all set to change. But, anyone with a pure electric car (and most hybrids) is free to drive within the area.
And the zone isn’t going anywhere. Research such as the Imperial College's world-leading Environmental Research Group’s evidence has shown that ULEZ has had a significant and positive effect on London's air pollution. So if you want to avoid paying all those extra fees, it makes sense to switch to an EV!
Cheaper running costs
London petrol prices are above the UK average. With some stations tipping the scales at an astonishing £2+ a litre (for petrol or diesel), EVs are looking more attractive than ever.
A fully charged EV will give you an average range of 200 miles for between £8-£12. Comparatively, the same range would cost you at least £25-£32 in fuel minimum. Plus, if you charge your EV overnight at home, you can reap all the benefits of lower electricity tariffs before driving away in your fully charged EV in the morning.
But the benefits go far beyond fuel prices. EVs have fewer mechanical components in comparison to conventional vehicles. So you can expect lower servicing and maintenance costs as a result.
Pure EVs are also currently exempt from vehicle excise duty.
EVs are available with finance
According to vehicle financing specialist, Carvine, car finance is the most popular way to buy a car in the UK, with 86% of Brits opting for a loan. Whether that’s a personal loan, personal contract purchase (PCP), hire purchase (HP) or lease, the benefits of a finance deal far outweigh the classic cash deal.
A car loan will help you to afford a brand new EV. If you choose a PCP or HP loan, for instance, you place a 10% deposit followed by small monthly payments until your contract is fulfilled.
Instantly, you get more choice, more of a say over trim, colour, and engine type. Moreover, you get access to the manufacturer's fantastic warranty cover, and servicing is often thrown in for free.
Scrappage scheme and plug-in grant
If you’re a Londoner, the scrappage scheme is well worth a look. First launched in 2009, the project was designed to encourage vehicle owners to scrap their heavy polluting vehicles in exchange for a low or zero emission alternative.
Today, it could save you an extra £1,000 - £5,000 when you part-exchange your current vehicle for a more eco-friendly one. The trade-in deal aims to decrease emissions levels and boost sales for a handful of manufacturers.
Time is running out for the plug-in grant to be viable if you plan on buying an EV car. While vans, mopeds and various other modes of transport still qualify (see the TfL website), your chance to snap up the £1,500 grant has sadly come to an end as of June 2022.
Numerous charging options
London currently has over 500 rapid charge points and over 5,500 at-home charge points throughout the city. This makes charging on the go more accessible, with many public chargers located in supermarket carparks, stations and parking spots. So you can effectively plug in and go!
But that’s not all. Many businesses have set up at-work charging facilities so that you can plug in when you arrive at work and drive your EV home fully charged at the end of the day.
When you venture outside of the capital, thousands of charge points are available up and down the country. You’ll find them on all major roads, service stations, supermarkets, and big brand stores. So no matter how far you travel, the country is more geared up to support your EV than ever before.
Range anxiety is a thing of the past
Ever since Tesla first launched their game-changing Tesla Roadster in 2008, the race has been on to push the boundaries of EV battery tech.
While 160 miles range (approx.) was considered revolutionary all those years ago, many of today’s EVs can reach anywhere between 300 - 450 miles on one single charge.
And with the looming selling bans coming into force in 2030, pretty much every well-known brand of vehicle has upped the ante. Everyone from Audi to VW now offers a series of pure electric and/or hybrid vehicles that are ULEZ compliant in response. With the future of the motor industry now hanging in the balance, owning an EV has become a question of not how but when.
There has never been a more pressing time to switch your vehicle to an EV. With worldwide governments pledging to reduce emissions to zero by 2050 and the motor industry answering the call by 2030, ‘times are a ‘changing.’ Are you ready to make the switch?