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Electric Vehicles - Do I have to buy one now?

Fri 30 Apr 2021

The quick answer to this is, no.

While the UK Government has brought forward a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035, to 2030 you can still continue to purchase these engine types up to that date and of course used vehicles using those engines, after.^

While there is no need to panic, we thought it would be a good idea to give you a basic guide on alternative vehicles to petrol and diesel.

 

What is an Electric Vehicle (EV)?

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology official description is:

Electric Vehicles use electric motors to drive their wheels. They derive some or all of their power from large, rechargeable batteries. The distance an EV can drive between recharges is known as its range.

  • All-electric EVs - where the battery is the only power source. Most current (non-luxury) models have a quoted range of 80-120 miles. In practice, range varies according to driving style, terrain and the use of auxiliary equipment such as heating/air conditioning.
  • Plug-in Hybrids (PHEVs) - can switch between running on electricity, petrol or diesel. They typically have a smaller battery, and therefore a lower battery powered range of between 10-40 miles. However their maximum range is equivalent to a petrol or diesel car. Both Plug-in Hybrid and all-electric EVs are recharged by plugging them in to the electricity grid.
  • Hybrids (HEVs) - which do not plug in, such as the Toyota Prius, have a much smaller battery which is recharged while driving. HEVs can drive in electric mode for a few miles and then revert to using petrol or diesel.
  • Fuel Cell Vehicles - generate their own electricity on-board from a fuel such as hydrogen, and do not need to plug in to the electricity grid to recharge. Re-fuelling is similar to a petrol or diesel car.

 

Which type of EV is best for me?

This is a personal choice and will be dependent on a number of factors including, affordability, the type and distance of journeys you make and charging infrastructure where you live.

 

How much do EVs cost?

Currently EVs cost more to buy than a comparable petrol or diesel vehicle. While they have less mechanical parts than a conventional vehicle, battery prices are a substantial cost. Many modern EVs use lithium-ion batteries and it takes a lot of time and effort to turn raw lithium into something that can be used. Some manufacturers offer incentives and lease plans for the battery, so include this is your car purchase research.

As EVs become more popular and manufacturers produce more vehicles and models, plus technology improvements, prices are anticipated to reduce.

 

Vehicle range

While vehicle range isn’t an issue with hybrids, as they will run on petrol and diesel, in addition to electric, according to carwow.co.uk most modern electric cars can go for well over 100 miles between charges, with many of the latest cars having a range of around 250 miles and beyond. Of course, some of this will be reflective of the driving conditions, roads and the way you drive, plus use of aircon and technology within the vehicle.

 

Charging points

The term “range anxiety” describes a very real fear of running out of battery and knowing where to charge it up.

While you can have a charger fitted at home, clearly there will be times when you need to recharge when out and about.

The good news is that, the number of charging points is increasing. According to zap map the number of charging points for fast, rapid and ultra-rapid grows by the day and as of the 26th March 2021, there were 39,476 public charging points across 14,656 locations. The number of locations has increased from 11,124 in just over a year, so quickly growing! You can view local ones to you or your journey at zap map live – you might not have even known they were there!

 

What about insuring your EVs

Do I need specialist insurance?

The simple answer is no. Whilst you can buy specialist insurance for your EV, most major insurers now cover electric cars.

 

Does it cost more to insure an EV?

Yes, EVs are currently – in general - more expensive to insure than their directly comparable petrol or diesel counterparts. One of reasons is the current cost of repairs and the availability of garages with qualified mechanics. While electric cars have fewer moving parts than petrol or diesel vehicles, some components like the lithium-ion batteries are very expensive to repair if damaged.

As EVs become more commonplace this may change, but also remember that electric cars may benefit from other savings, such as government grants, zero road tax and in some cases, free parking. It’s also worthwhile noting that the cost of insurance is based on a number of other factors – you can read our article on what affects your car insurance price here.

 

Police Mutual Car Insurance offers policies for a range of EVs. You don’t need to buy a special EV policy and you can get a quote in the usual way.

You can either call us on 0151 242 7640 or go online at policemutual.co.uk/car

Police Mutual Car Insurance is provided by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc.


^Please note that the UK Government is currently consulting on the changes proposed. Between 2030 and 2035, in addition to full electric vehicles, new cars can be sold if they have the capability to drive significant distance with zero emissions – for example, Plug-in Hybrids and Full Hybrids, but after 2035, all vehicles must produce zero emissions at the tailpipe. This would then ban all Hybrid type vehicles.

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Type of article: Articles
Category: Protecting my belongings

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