You’ve probably heard countless people talk about the benefits of buying or hiring an electric vehicle (EV), instead of a conventional petrol or diesel one. It can be easy to get lost among the endless conversations about EVs, especially as the electric vehicle industry in the UK is forever changing.
That being said, leaders across the globe are pushing electric vehicles as the most realistic eco-friendly alternative to fossil fuelled vehicles. Let’s dive straight into our first time EV guide by looking at the different types of electric vehicles available.
What is an electric vehicle?
Put simply, electric vehicles are very similar to conventional vehicles that we all know. The only difference is that electric vehicles run on an electric motor, rather than on petrol or diesel. There are a couple of different types of electric vehicles on the market right now, so let’s go through them.
The first is a battery electric vehicle (BEV). These vehicles are run purely on electricity so there is no need for fossil fuels. Instead of driving to a fuel station to fill up, BEV drivers would simply plug their vehicle into charge, either at home, work or out and about.
While you might not see many pure electric vehicles out on the road, they’re actually the most popular type of electric vehicle. In fact, 11.6% of new vehicles purchased in 2021 were BEVs. This is compared to 7% of new vehicle sales being plug-in hybrids.
Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) are the second most popular type of electric vehicle at the moment. These are vehicles that have an electric motor and an internal combustion engine, meaning you can plug them in to charge and top them up with petrol or diesel.
While plug-in hybrids are much more eco-friendly than fossil fuelled vehicles, all-electric vehicles are far better.
How far can electric vehicles travel?
Just like any vehicle, electric vehicles are limited to how far they can travel before needing to be charged again. This varies from different manufacturers and models, but generally pure electric vehicles can travel much further than hybrid vehicles on just electricity.
PHEVs typically have a pure electric range of 50 miles. Once these miles have been used up, the internal combustion engine will kick and you’ll be back to using petrol or diesel. Whereas a pure electric vehicle could have a range of anywhere from 100 miles to 400 miles or more.
Stats from The Eco Experts show that the UK’s five best-selling electric vehicles can travel 280 miles on average. This means you could travel from London to Manchester, Plymouth or Swansea with some miles left on the clock. Plus, the UK’s best-selling EV, the Tesla Model 3, has a huge range of 374 miles. This would take you from London to Glasgow and back again with only two charges.
It’s important to note that an electric vehicle’s range can be negatively impacted by many factors, including cold temperatures, heavy cargo and under-inflated tyres. Likewise,many EVs will have different driving modes which allow you to prioritise range over performance. While this may not be everyone’s first choice, it could make the difference on a tight journey.
Charging an electric vehicle
Of course, buying or hiring an electric vehicle means you’ll have to plan where and when to charge your EV. Many EV drivers will choose to charge their vehicles at home with an installed wall charger.
However, home charging may be difficult or impossible for some EV drivers. If you don’t have a driveway or off-street parking, don’t worry! This doesn’t impact your ability to own an electric vehicle!
Instead of charging at home, you’ll be relying on the UKs ever growing network of public chargers. As of January 2022, the Department of Transport revealed that there are now over 28,000 public charge points on UK roads. Of this, over 5,000 charge points are capable of rapid charging, which can charge an EV in less than 30 minutes.
The UK Government is working with local authorities to ensure there is an accessible, easy to use network of public charge points available to whoever may need them. In 2021, the public network increased by 37% with 7,600 new charge points being installed.
As time goes on, this will only improve. The UK, and the rest of the world, is keen to maximise all-electric driving, so EVs aren’t going away!
Environmental impacts of electric vehicles
Let’s move onto some of the advantages of driving an electric vehicle! It might be fairly obvious that pure electric vehicles are far, far better for the environment than petrol or diesel one. With no tailpipe emissions, all-electric vehicles are certainly the ‘greenest’ option.
It’s worth noting that plug-in hybrid vehicles do have tailpipe emissions as they still run on fossil fuels. So, if you’re looking for the cleanest vehicles, you’ll be looking at a BEV.
Moving onto some stats! Thanks to The Eco Experts, we now know that electric driving in the UK stopped the Earth from being exposed to 2.8 million tonnes of CO2e. That is a lot! What’s even better is that the uptake of electric vehicles has massively increased since 2019, so that figure is a lot higher today.
This all adds up to an electric driver saving 54.15 tonnes of CO2e over their vehicles lifetime. You can also further reduce your carbon footprint by charging an electric vehicle with 100% renewable energy.
Here at EVision Electric Vehicles, we’re dedicated to curbing climate change wherever we can! All of our vehicles are charged using our own solar panels. EV manufacturers are also developing new ways to produce vehicles in a sustainable way, making them carbon neutral as they leave the factory. That means some EVs on our fleet, such as the Volkswagen ID.4, will remain carbon neutral for its entire lifetime.
So how much CO2e could be saved if everyone in the UK drove an EV? Well, at the moment UK road traffic releases roughly 89.6 tonnes of CO2e a year. This could be completely eradicated, providing EVs were charged with renewable energy.
Save your pennies!
One of the biggest perks of splashing out on an electric vehicle is the financial savings. These savings mainly come from being able to charge an electric vehicle during off-peak tariffs which make it much cheaper than filling up at a fuel station.
After buying and installing a home charger, the costs of charging an EV are relatively low. The average cost of fully charging an electric vehicle is around 4p per mile, so of course it will depend on the electric vehicle you have to work out a total cost.
If you’re driving an electric car with 200 miles of range, like the Vauxhall Corsa-e, it’ll cost a grand total of £8 to fully charge. Depending on your total mileage for the year, you could be ‘filling up’ for a total year for under £300.
That’s a big difference between spending £50 or more a time to fill up a petrol or diesel vehicle. We also can’t imagine fuel getting more affordable. As you’ve probably seen, fuel prices have been on the rise since the UKs 2021 fuel crisis and they aren’t slowing down.
Not only are fuel prices being raised because of current affairs, but there’s also a big movement to move away from fossil fuels. This week, environmentalists Extinction Rebellion have announced their plans to block all major oil refineries in April 2022. We can’t imagine that’s going to help the soaring prices.
On average, electric car drivers spend £6,000 charging their car over its total lifetime. A similar petrol car will cost owners over £11,000 more than that. That’s not including the savings you could make on servicing and maintenance of an electric car, which are significantly less as they have fewer moving parts.
Buying an electric vehicle?
With figures in mind, let’s weigh up whether it’s worth buying or hiring an electric vehicle. Starting with buying an electric car outright, here are the best-selling EVs of 2021:
- Tesla Model 3 – From £43,990
- Kia e-Niro – From £32,845
- Volkswagen ID.3 – From £35,835
- Nissan Leaf – From £26,995
- Audi e-tron – From £72,210
As you can see, electric vehicles are not cheap! Even the most affordable all-electric model on the market, the Smart EQ fortwo coupe, will cost you upwards of £20,000. Of course, you wouldn’t be able to purchase a brand new petrol or diesel Smart car as they went fully electric in 2019! (Took us a while to realise that too!)
But, as a comparison some of the UKs favourite non-electric cars are much more affordable than the Smart EQ fortwo coupe! The Kia Rio, Toyota Aygo and Suzuki swift are all under £15,000 brand new.
While the cost of buying an electric vehicle will definitely drop in the coming years, they are extremely expensive to buy right now. As more and more people decide to make the switch to electric vehicles, they will become more affordable.
Hiring an electric vehicle?
Unfortunately, at the moment EV drivers are almost paying for a premium vehicle, even when choosing the most affordable all-electric vehicles. So, what is hiring an electric vehicle like?
Well, here at EVision we’re lucky enough to stock four out of five of the most popular electric cars in the UK. This means we can give you some direct quotes:
- Tesla Model 3 – From £33.37 per day
- Kia e-Niro – From £19.57 per day
- Volkswagen ID.3 – From £19.57 per day
- Audi e-tron – From £42.68 per day
As you can see, hiring an electric vehicle is much more affordable! Plus, the longer you hire one for, the cheaper it works out for you. You’ll also receive some brilliant benefits when you hire an electric vehicle, including having all of your maintenance, servicing and tyre wear costs covered! We’ll also cover you for breakdown.
As you can see, hiring an electric vehicle could save you a lot of money! But, we know hiring isn’t for everyone! If you’d rather own an electric vehicle, then we’d recommend checking out EV Sales, our sister company. They specialise in stocking all-electric vehicles that are either new or used but in brilliant condition. Plus, all their used electric vehicles have only had one keeper and are quality checked by EV experts!
Ready to hire an electric vehicle?
If you’re ready to take that step to cleaner, greener driving then don’t hesitate to check out our full range of EVs here. You can also contact our friendly team on 01634 914 063 for more information!
* All information correct as of 21/03/2022. Pricing based on a 3 year rental.