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Is Now The Right Time to Get An Electric Car?

2022 Tesla Roadster - Founders Series

In 2023, electric vehicles made up a fifth of the new car market, and early models are starting to be re-sold at a fraction of their original cost. But is now the right time to get an electric car? 

Pros

  • No emissions - The main advantage of an electric car is environmental. Unlike fuel-powered vehicles electric cars have no emissions, reducing day-to-day air pollution and your long-term carbon footprint.
  • Cheaper to run - With a system that requires no oil refills and is more resistant to wear and tear than a combustible engine, electric cars are cheaper to run than traditional models. You also save on the cost of petrol and diesel.
  • Better performance - When originally released, electric car reviewers cited slower and less powerful performance. However, the latest models are said to have better performance than fuel-powered models while being much quieter to boot. 

Cons

  • Charging time - While refuelling takes mere minutes (if that), charging electric vehicles can take up to 12 hours. This depends on the size of the battery and how much you have to top up.
  • Upfront costs - The upfront cost of an electric car is still more than a traditional model, but mass production is pushing down the price difference and making EVs more affordable.
  • Battery replacement - Depending on the model, you have to replace the battery of an electric vehicle every 5-10 years. The money you save on engine maintenance will likely go towards battery replacement costs. 

Things to consider

When you’re deciding how to balance the pros and cons of electric vehicles, prioritise these things to consider. This will help to ensure you choose the right option for your current lifestyle or to best benefit you in the future.

Cost

Electric vehicles are priced higher than traditional models, so there’s no avoiding shelling out more money up-front – especially now that the government grants for plug-ins are at an end. Remember that it’s not just the price of the vehicle – car insurance policies for electric and hybrid models are often fairly high too as these correspond with the value of the vehicle.  Opting for a used electric car is a cost-effective avenue for those looking to make the switch. 

Purpose

Consider the purpose of your car including how often you use it, where you’ll be driving to and the average distance of your journeys.  Many people have range anxiety when it comes to electric cars, but most of the latest models can do 300 miles on one charge and the best can go from London to Glasgow with power to spare. This means that if you use your car for local driving and short journeys, range and charging shouldn’t be an issue. For those who consistently drive long distances for work and go to remote locations where charging ports aren’t as readily available, electric vehicles might be less convenient.

Environment

Are you anxious to do your bit for the environment? There’s no question that electric vehicles are the right option for those committed to living more sustainably.  Although Rishi Sunak delayed the petrol engine ban, global warming is a pressing issue and reducing our carbon emissions is a vital step towards achieving net zero in 2050.  However, while no emissions are an obvious benefit, the creation of batteries for electric vehicles damages the environment. This means the decision is less black and white than it might initially appear, even if going green is your priority.

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Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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