As the cost of living crisis rages on, we weigh the pros and cons of electric cars – Daily Mail | CarTailz

Given their environmental friendliness and potential for lower running costs, it’s no surprise that electric cars are growing in popularity.

And with the cost-of-living crisis still giving many sleepless nights, switching to an electric car could be a way to save money on household bills.

So are they cheaper than a petrol or diesel car and what driving experience do they offer?

Before you take the plunge and invest in an electric car, read our in-depth guide on the pros and cons so you can decide if an electric car is right for you.

Given their environmental friendliness and potential for lower running costs, it’s no surprise that electric cars are growing in popularity.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Low running costs

Electricity costs may have skyrocketed recently, but electric cars can still be cheaper to run than comparable petrol or diesel models.

Charging your electric car at home is by far the most cost-effective option, especially if you have an energy plan that gives you cheaper electricity during off-peak hours.

If you use a public charger, you need to be aware that the charging fee varies depending on the provider. In most cases, however, it will still be cheaper than filling up at the gas station, measured in terms of cost per kilometer.

And not only charging could become cheaper. Electric cars can also have lower maintenance costs because they have fewer moving parts that need to be repaired or replaced than traditional engines.

You can find out more about the running costs of an electric car HERE.

Most experts agree that electric cars are less harmful to the planet in the long run than petrol and diesel cars

Most experts agree that electric cars are less harmful to the planet in the long run than petrol and diesel cars

Better for the planet

There is some debate about exactly how environmentally friendly electric cars are, but most experts agree that electric cars are less harmful to the planet in the long run than petrol and diesel cars.

While they require more resources to build, unlike gasoline and diesel engines, they do not produce carbon emissions when driven.

This is important as overwhelming scientific evidence indicates that increased levels of CO2 in our atmosphere contribute to global warming.

So if you drive an electric car, you are helping to fight climate change.

Better for air quality

Road traffic is a major source of air pollution and exhaust fumes are not only bad for the environment, they can also be harmful to our health.

In fact, they have been shown to cause or aggravate a number of lung and heart conditions including asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic heart disease (CHD) and stroke.*

Electric cars don’t have tailpipes, so they don’t produce emissions or particulate matter while driving, resulting in less local air pollution.

For this reason, many cities where pollution levels are highest are introducing Clean Air Zones to improve urban air quality by discouraging highly polluting vehicles from entering them.

Many cities where air pollution is most acute are introducing clean air zones to improve urban air quality

Many cities where air pollution is most acute are introducing clean air zones to improve urban air quality

tax savings

As part of its commitment to reducing carbon emissions, the government is encouraging more of us to switch to electric cars sooner rather than later.

And that’s why there are some great financial incentives for early adopters that are definitely worth taking advantage of.

The big news is that you don’t pay annual road tax for an electric car. The average petrol car costs around £220 a year to tax according to official figures, so this could make a useful difference to your monthly expenses.

They will also get free entry to London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone and other clean air zones being set up across the UK.

And as a company car driver, you also benefit from attractive savings, since the tax rates for benefits in kind are significantly lower.

They are great to drive

One of the reasons electric cars are becoming so popular is how comfortable (and fun) they are to drive.

Every electric car is automatic, so there are no gears to change, and while they’re not completely silent, they’re very quiet, offering a smooth and relaxing ride.

And thanks to how electric motors work, they also have strong acceleration, making them feel snappy around town and fast on the highway.

One of the reasons electric cars are becoming so popular is that they are easy to drive

One of the reasons electric cars are becoming so popular is that they are easy to drive

They are practical

It may not come to mind when you’re looking for a new car, but all the components of a conventional car – like the engine, transmission and exhaust – take up quite a bit of space.

In contrast, an electric car’s engine is generally quite compact and its battery pack is usually located under the floor of the vehicle, meaning you often have more interior space than an equivalent petrol or diesel car.

Some even have extra storage space under the hood – often referred to as a “frunk” (trunk) or even “froot” (trunk) – where the engine is usually located.

Check out Cazoo’s range of used electric cars for sale HERE.

THE DISADVANTAGES

They are more expensive to buy

Electric cars are usually more expensive to buy than petrol or diesel engines.

Batteries are expensive to manufacture, so the difference can be thousands of dollars even for budget-friendly models.

Fortunately, however, electric car prices are falling as they become more popular. There are also some great models at the more affordable end of the market, like the MG ZS EV and Vauxhall Corsa-e.

Electric car batteries like this example (pictured) are expensive to produce, so the difference can be thousands of dollars even on budget models

Electric car batteries like this example (pictured) are expensive to produce, so the difference can be thousands of dollars even on budget models

They may cost more to insure

Insuring an electric car is often more expensive because it’s more expensive to buy and the battery that powers it can be expensive to repair and replace if it fails.

Electric cars are also still relatively new and insurance companies have not yet calculated the associated long-term risks and costs.

In this case, the premiums could decrease.

You may need to plan your trips more carefully

Most modern electric cars can travel between 150 and 300 miles on a fully charged battery.

That’s often enough to cover most people’s needs for a week or two between charges.

If you are going to take a long drive, you will need to make stops at public charging stations along the way and allow extra time to recharge the battery. Depending on the charger and how many more miles you need to safely complete your trip, this can take up to an hour and requires a charger to be available.

Helpfully, many electric cars with built-in satnavs can plan a route between the best public charging stations, although it’s always good to have a backup plan in case a charger isn’t available.

The charging network is still under development

While the number of charging points is constantly growing, they are still mainly concentrated in cities and towns, with less coverage in rural areas. The government has pledged to correct this imbalance, but it will undoubtedly take time.

An added complication is that there are a large number of public charger providers, each with their own payment methods. That means you often have to download multiple apps to access the discounted rates, but many allow you to top up as a “guest” with a touch of your debit card.

Although the number of charging points is constantly growing, they are not evenly distributed across the country

Although the number of charging points is constantly growing, they are not evenly distributed across the country

Charging may take a long time

While you can fill up a tank in minutes, charging electric cars takes longer.

This ranges from around 30 minutes to charge the battery to 80% with fast chargers, up to 12 hours with slower chargers.

The time needed to charge an electric car mainly depends on the speed of the charging point and the size of the car battery.

More information about charging an electric car can be found HERE.

The easiest and cheapest way to charge your electric car battery is to plug it in overnight at home

The easiest and cheapest way to charge your electric car battery is to plug it in overnight at home

Charging at home is not possible for everyone

The easiest and cheapest way to charge your electric car battery is to plug it in at home overnight, and an estimated 80 percent of electric car charging takes place at home using wallbox chargers.

However, installing a charger can be difficult if you rent your home or don’t have off-street parking.

The good news is that both battery range and charging infrastructure continue to improve rapidly.

Many cities and towns are also installing public charging points on lamp posts, in supermarkets and in workplaces, meaning there are more places than ever to charge your battery.

Cazoo: The better way to buy a used electric car

If you’re ready to switch to electric, you can browse Cazoo’s range of quality used electric cars HERE.

Just use the search function to find one you like, then buy or finance it online. You can choose to have it delivered to your door, or you can pick it up at your nearest Cazoo Customer Center.

Thinking about getting an electric car but don’t know where to start? Cazoo’s electric car hub offers a roundup of articles, guides and reviews telling you everything you need to know.

*https://www.local.gov.uk/case-electric-vehicles

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