Electric cars have been around longer than most people realise. The very first examples started to show up around the same time as internal combustion engine (ICE) versions in the early 20th century but lost out at the time because of limitations on battery technology.
It is a very different story today. The advent of lithium ion battery technology has allowed for advances in energy density, in turn making EVs a viable alternative to ICE vehicles, and with many advantages. There are EVs available to buy now with ranges of over 300 miles, and 200 miles is fast becoming the minimum benchmark. That, coupled with a rapidly expanding charging infrastructure, makes EVs suitable for 99% of journeys today*.
There is a significant and growing range of electric vehicles to choose from, and countless more featuring in the plans of almost every automaker in the world, especially when the definition is extended to include hybrids, which use varying forms of technology to include a backup engine or generator to assist when battery range is exhausted. While our focus is on pure electric vehicles, we recognise that for some circumstances, a plug in hybrid is a good option.
It is worth putting some time into considering whether a pure electric version will meet your needs, as there are significant running cost savings to benefit from. The average private UK motorist completes 7,500 miles per year**. This equates to a daily mileage of just 20.5 miles. In this context it is easy to see how an electric car with a range of 200 miles can accommodate the vast majority of a user’s needs. Even in the rare cases that an electric car won’t meet your needs, given the cost savings of running an electric car, it is even worth considering owning one for daily use, and hiring a car on the rare occasions that you need to complete longer journeys, or having an EV as a second family car.
There is government assistance for the cost of purchasing EVs and for the installation of charging equipment - take a look at our Grants page here (link to grants) for more information.
*DfT Road Use Statistics Report, 2016
**RAC Foundation Statistics