Why Electric Cars Are Becoming A Valid Alternative
The idea of buying an electric-powered car as opposed to a petrol or diesel-powered model has gathered pace in the past few years with sales rising across the world. However some people are still skeptical about buying one themselves. While they agree with the idea of buying electric cars, there are a couple of reasons at present that could be holding them back. Hopefully in a few years time these issues will will have been solved.
Pro-electric campaigners point to the low maintenance (due to the lack of an engine, which can become riddled with problems) and running costs of electric models compared to fuel-powered models, this is balanced out by the fact that electric models are more expensive to buy than their fuel counterparts. With various government grants contributing towards some of the purchase costs of electric vehicles and the fact that the most effective models are tax-exempt, things are certainly improving for the buyers of electric vehicles. The 2014 Toyota Prius hybrid model is 43% more expensive than the 2015 petrol-fuelled Ford Fiesta, at $25,335 and $17,705 respectively but it is estimated that as electric cars become more mainstream costs will come down.
Range & Charging Points
An electric car generally isn’t able to achieve the sort of mileage on a full charge that a petrol-powered car can on a full tank on a motorway or in a rural area but in urban areas electric cars come into their own and are more fuel-efficient when driven in a cities and towns and for shorter journeys.
There are now a whopping 8,000 charging points located throughout the UK. Not every charging point covers every type of electric car or user need as alternating current and direct current connectors are used in different makes and your model of car might not be covered by a certain point. However for commuters who are driving the same routes and distances every day and know where their charging points are this issue wont affect them.
The government’s Plugged-In Places charging point installation initiative has been very successful, although it is still ongoing and local councils are applying for more points to be created and by 2020 the government will have contributed nearly £1 billion towards integrating electric vehicles into the mainstream.
Long charging times
While it will become the norm to charge your car overnight, long charging times make it difficult to charge electric vehicles during long journeys. However, rapid charging units, which can provide an 80% charge in around thirty minutes don’t work particularly quickly, if planned into a long journey can certainly become a viable option.
The concept of an electric car is now becoming a valid alternative for many drivers, however until a more a higher-performing model is released, consumers might have to wait to buy into it. The industry (especially Toyota, which has made the most significant commitment to the production of electric and hybrid car models) will naturally be aware of these issues and be working to produce higher-performance hybrid cars at a reasonable cost price (see Toyota’s development of chips to increase fuel efficiency in hybrids by 10%), but it’s a growing industry and hopefully the breakthrough will come very soon.