Is it time to switch to an electric car in London?

As you may know, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to travel via a conventional car or van around London. The Government has recently introduced new measures to reduce emissions and improve London’s air quality, such as  the London Congestion Charge (LCC) and Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). This unfortunately makes driving a petrol or diesel vehicle much more expensive, so is it time to switch to an electric car in London?

During the first Covid-19 lockdown, the Government suspended all charges in an attempt to support crucial workers to get to work and allow essential deliveries to take place. This meant that those travelling in the congestion zones save more than £20 a day.

However, as the UK returns to a new normal, more drivers are back on the roads. Meaning emissions are on the rise and charges are back and increasing. In June 2020, the LCC fee was increased from £11.50 per day to £15 a day. It also now operates seven days a week between the hours of 07:00 and 22:00 rather than 07:00 till 18:00. 

In October 2021, the Government made further changes to the LCC meaning hybrid vehicles were no longer exempt from these charges. This means that only pure electric and hydrogen vehicles are now excluded.

Likewise, the ULEZ was extended to cover more of London in October 2021 however, it is only older vehicles, which produce higher emissions that have to pay. The ULEZ operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year so as you can imagine, Londoners could rack up quite a fee.

 If your vehicle is affected by the ULEZ, there is a daily charge of £100 for larger vehicles such as lorries and coaches, and a £12.50 fee for smaller cars, vans and motorcycles.

Is public transport the answer?

While the use of public transport is on the rise, many people are still hesitant to use buses and trains due to the risk of Covid-19. This is one reason why city workers are reluctant to return to their London-based offices full time.

The other is due to public transport delays and the cost of commuting. On average, London workers who commute into the city via trains spend roughly £5,114 a year on travel costs! That works out to 18% of the average London post-tax salary – it’s no surprise that London workers are looking at different transport options.

Switching to an electric car in London

One of the easiest alternatives is to switch to an all-electric vehicle (EV). The number of electric cars in London and across the UK is growing month after month. In November 2021 alone there were over 22,000 new pure electric vehicles registered, which is over double the amount sold in November 2020. Pure electric cars actually held 19% of the total market share for November 2021, beating both diesel and hybrid cars.

But how much does it cost to own an electric car in London? Electric vehicles are often more expensive to buy than traditional alternatives, with the average EV price in the UK coming to £44,000. The reality is that the price of an electric car can range from £17,000 up to £138,000, or more. 

Luxury electric cars such as Tesla, Porsche, Audi and Jaguar will set you back £80,000 on average, while non-luxury brands cost roughly £27,000. For those who aren’t ready to splash out insane amounts of cash, then you could save a lot of money by renting an electric vehicle.

Here at EVision, we offer both short and long term rental deals to suit our customers needs. Likewise, we have over 1,000 electric vehicles you can choose from. Let’s take a look at some of our London customer’s favourites!

For city living

If you live in London, or don’t have too far of a commute into London, you probably won’t need an electric car with tonnes of range. Our customers recommend the Renault ZOE, BMW i3 and Vauxhall Corsa-e!

The ZOE has a range of 220 miles, which is a lot of a small, city vehicle. The BMW i3 follows closely behind with 193 miles and the Corsa-e has a slightly larger 209 miles. All three come with modern technology and some brilliant features. 

We love these three smaller EV because they offer a great amount of range and look completely different from each other. That’s the great thing about EV development! As more electric vehicles are designed, there’s now so much choice for customers. 

You could choose the classic Vauxhall Corsa design that we see on the all-electric model – which is nearly exactly the same as the conventional car. The BMW i3 however, offers a completely new and unique look. Even today, you’ll struggle to find an electric vehicle that looks as futuristic as this one. Meanwhile the ZOE is the complete opposite. It’s cool, calm, collected and not too in your face. Taking similarities from the Renault Clio, the ZOE is the perfect understated electric car.

What’s more is these electric vehicles are super affordable to hire! You can take out a long term hire on all of these vehicles where you’ll pay less than £20 a day! In fact, it actually works out less to hire a i3 or ZOE for a year than the average cost of commuting, at just over £5,000 a year. While this doesn’t seem like a lot on paper, when you put into perspective that you’ll have access to the vehicle 24/7 for a year – not just when you’re travelling to work!

For heavy commuters

Commute over 200 miles a day? Then the first three electric vehicles probably won’t suit your lifestyle – unless you’re okay with charging throughout the day. Instead our customers recommend the Kia EV6, Tesla Model 3 Long Range or the Volkswagen ID.4, all of which have over 300 miles of range for you to enjoy!

All of these three electric cars offer something different depending on what you need for your lifestyle. The Volkswagen ID.4 is an all-round fantastic, family electric vehicle. It has a real-world range of 309 miles, plus brilliant safety features such as automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping steering assist.

On the other hand, the Kia EV6 sits between practical and luxurious. With a range of 314 miles, there isn’t a lot the EV6 can’t do. It’s a sporty, modern crossover designed on Kia’s new all-electric platform which makes it extremely impressive to drive. Plus, for those who are keen to keep their credentials squeaky clean, the EV6 is actually built with a tonne of sustainable materials. It’s an ideal EV for those looking for a luxurious vehicle that’s not too out there!

But, if you want out there… The Tesla Model 3 Long Range is certainly the vehicle for you. The stats for this vehicle are out of this world and there aren’t a lot of vehicles that can compete with the Model 3 in terms of range, which on the Long Range model is 360 miles. On top of that, there’s a top speed of 145mph and 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds.

Of course, the Model 3 comes with as much technology as you can dream of, including a 15-inch infotainment display which controls the majority of the car. There’s also cruise control, autopilot and dog mode for all those pet owners! 

I’m not sure I want to rent an electric car…

If you’re set on buying an all-electric vehicle, we’d recommend having a look at our sister-company, EV Sales. They have a range of new and second hand electric vehicles for sale with some brilliant offers. 

At the moment, they have both the BMW i3 and Tesla Model 3 for sale! Both of which have only one previous keeper, low mileage and come with a one month warranty. If you’re looking for a sportier Tesla, EV Sales have a range of used Model S’ available here!

Alternatively, they have some brand new Vauxhall Vivaro-e vans which are perfect for commercial business! Check them out here.

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* All information correct as of 20/12/2021.

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