According to the National Grid’s 2017 Future Energy Scenarios document, 90% of the UK’s vehicles are expected to be powered by electricity by the year 2050. However, there’s doubt over whether this will prove accurate when you take a look at current annual electric vehicle registrations. Just 4.2% of new vehicle registrations have been for electric powered models.
So, the question is, why are drivers in the UK, reluctant to invest in the electric car revolution?
Why are buyers put off electrical vehicles?
While the 4.2% new electric vehicle registrations November 2017 is a record, and up from 3.6% in November 2016, it’s still a pretty small overall figure. So, why aren’t more people interested in investing in greener, electric powered vehicles? Well, there’s actually a few things putting drivers off making the switch.
Firstly, there’s the concern over a lack of charging stations. When electrical powered cars were first introduced, it’s true there were very limited charging stations available, making it difficult to top up on the road. However, there’s actually been a lot of work carried out to boost the number of charging points available in the UK.
There’s now a staggering 13,629 charging stations situated within 4,760 locations in the country. More continue to be added, with charging stations set to outnumber petrol stations by 2020 according to top manufacturer Nissan.
Of course, that’s not the only concern UK drivers have. There’s also the cost of buying and running an electric vehicle to take into account. Unlike petrol or diesel models, the cheapest purchase price for a new electric vehicle is approximately £14,000. However, it is possible to take advantage of the UK government’s “Plug-In” scheme, which provides a grant of up to £4,500 against the initial purchase cost, depending upon the model.
The long-term running costs should also be considered. On average, it’s estimated electric vehicles could be up to 4x cheaper to run than more traditional models. They also don’t incur congestion charges in London, and many are exempt from road tax. Therefore, running an electric powered car could work out much cheaper for a lot of drivers.
The pros and cons of electric vehicles
Like anything, electric vehicles come with a range of pros and cons. It is important to be aware of both in order to make the best decision for you. Let’s start with the pros of owning an electric vehicle:
- They’re cheaper to run
- Government backed financial help may be available
- Better for the environment
- They retain a lot more of their original value than petrol or diesel models
- They are fast and quiet to drive
As mentioned earlier, the long-term cost benefits are definitely worth considering. The fact they retain more of their value than standard petrol or diesel models is also a huge selling point. So, what about the cons? The main potential disadvantages include:
- They may be currently unsuitable for long-distance drivers
- They’re more expensive to purchase
- Limited choice of vehicles
- Lengthy charging time
One of the main concerns from the above, is the length of time the battery will last. Averaging at around 100 miles per charge, standard electric vehicles will most suit those who largely drive in and around towns and cities. Though as the number of charging stations continues to increase, long-distance driving in electric cars will become easier and more convenient.
Overall, electric vehicles haven’t taken off the way the UK government would hope. However, as more charging stations are installed across the country and more models are released, it is likely drivers will be more open to the idea of driving a greener, electric vehicle.
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