Electric Vehicles – When Rather than If?

Climate crisis … fuel crisis … low emission zone and charges … punitive road tax. It all seems to add up to making the move towards electric vehicles (EVs) seem almost inevitable.

Transport makes up 27% of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, and in our crowded cities, we’re told that petrol and diesel powered vehicles are bad news for air quality and the health of citizens. One change we’re all being encouraged to consider is in choice of personal transport. And when it comes to EVs, it’s likely to be a case of when, not if?

A lot of people are probably just waiting for reassurance about the technology (and for prices to fall), says Deacon, Gallagher’s blocks of flats insurance specialist broker, who has taken a look at some of the common “EV myths”.

Low range – you might get stranded

Are you worried that an EV doesn’t have enough battery charge to complete a journey? Then do take a look at the new models on the market. An electric car’s range will be anything from 100 miles all the way up to 300 miles, subject to how many features or electrical gadgets you have drawing on the batteries.

When you consider that the average length of a car trip is 8.4 miles we used 2019 figures here because 2020 was such an exceptional year – most EVs would probably be able to complete a week’s worth of journeys without needing a recharge, depending on how you drive! And, as battery technology improves and the UK’s charging infrastructure grows further, electric vehicle range may become even less of a concern.

There aren’t enough charging points

There are now more than 26,000 public charging devices with nearly 45,000 connectors between them at more than16,000 locations – and the numbers are growing all the time. In fact, there are more public places to charge up your EV than there are petrol stations (there’s only 8,380 of those). So, hopefully, you’ll never get caught short on a longer drive.

Add to that incentives and a very competitive market for installing EV charging points at home – and yes, there are solutions suitable for blocks of flats – and you are less likely to leave home without a enough charge for your journey anyway.

It takes too long to charge a car

While charge rates of 20 minutes or less for everyone are on the cards, the technology is not quite available or affordable for all of us yet. For now, charging points in the UK are categorised as Slow, Fast, Rapid and Ultra-Rapid. Fast chargers currently make up the vast majority of public charging points and yes, it can still take hours for a decent charge. Many people simply slow charge overnight at home and use public points for topping up.

The National Grid won’t be able to support EV charging demand

The National Grid predicts that, even if everyone decided to swap to an electric vehicle overnight, it would only increase demand by around 10%. The National Grid says: ‘There is definitely enough energy and the grid can cope easily.’

EVs aren’t environmentally friendly

While they emit no tailpipe emissions once on the road, it seems that the EV manufacturing process emits 59% more CO2 than that of a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle. The pressure is on manufacturers to improve on this.

It’s just another fad

With the sale of new petrol and diesel cars being banned from 2030, you can expect to see a lot more electric vehicles on the road. Electric vehicles and hybrids are making up an increasing proportion of overall car sales – pure electric sales increased by 185.9% in 2020 versus 2019, and plug-in hybrid sales increased by 91.2%.

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