Electric Cars

Electric Cars

Electric Cars are increasing discussed as an environmentally friendly transport option. They sound great but I feel I know very little about them! I decided to learn more and share my findings with the lovely readers of my blog. In particular, I’m interested in the pros and cons of Electric Cars.

My passion for cars started at a very young age fuelled by my mums love for motors and insistence that I join her! By the age of 5 I was able to identify several different makes and models. Since then I’ve gone to many a car show, Goodwood Festival of Speed (soooo much fun) and been lucky enough to drive a wide variety of vehicles. 

I like fast cars and long road trips.  One of my fondest memories is driving solo from San Diego to Los Angeles in a bright red Ford Mustang. The car screamed “Tourist!” but I didn’t care.  I just soaked up every second of being behind the wheel of this gorgeous muscle car on one of the most picturesque freeways on the planet. Did the deep orange sun really need to start setting into the pink sky just as the LA skyline came into view?!? Bliss!

Now I’m settled in sunny Deptford with a young family, my taste in vehicles has changed a lot and I’ve found myself more and more curious about Electric Cars, eager to do my bit for the planet on the occasions when we drive rather than cycle. Do they save money? Have less of an impact on the environment? Are electric cars easy to re-charge? Why are people so crazy about Teslas?!

Electric cars don’t need any petrol or diesel to run, they don’t have a tailpipe and don’t produce any exhaust emissions. Great for those concerned about air quality and pollution.

To run the vehicle you need to recharge the battery either via plugging in to a regular socket or dedicated charging station. As electricity is mainly produced using fossil fuel – electric cars are not entirely exempt from having an impact on the environment, however it’s considerably less than for liquid fuelled cars. 

It’s common to be able to charge from flat in 2.5-3 hours and the cost is as low as 87p. A full charge can last at least 80 miles! What a huge cost saving – considering a full tank of petrol costs around £70. 

Ideally electric car owners should charge their car overnight when tariffs are cheaper. This is a great option if you’re able to charge from home. However there’s a bit of a challenge for us flat dwellers or those without a nearby charging point.

For those using public charging points, the advised strategy is to travel less than 200 miles a week/10,400 a year and charge every few days at a local point. Electric cars currently are not best suited for those making frequent long car journeys as you have to be quite strategic about when and where to charge. 

There’s an interactive map to view where the nearest charging points called Zap Map. It provides details on the type of charging point available – as not all cars use the same – and whether each point is currently in use.

More and more car manufacturers are releasing electric options and there are some envy inducing models to choose from. The gorgeous Jaguar i-Pace has a range of 257 miles and the Tesla S Model can keep going for 335 miles. More affordable option, the Nissan Leaf, has a range of 107 miles –  and is most suited to urban drivers.

Electric cars save money on fuel but the initial cost can be more than a petrol car. The Nissan Leaf (Electric) starts from £29,635 however a Nissan Micra (Petrol) £12,695. Many electric cars are eligible for a government grant up to £3,500 – which is a nice little saving off the purchase price. 

There’s loads more to learn about electric cars, but I hope this has given you some food for thought. To summarise:

Pros: Less impact on the environment, cheap to run, convenient if charged overnight at home, government grant available

Cons: Public charging points can be sparse, for long journeys or if travelling to new area need to know where next charging point is, initial purchase costs can be high compared to petrol cars

I do hope accessibility to and convenience to run electric cars grows; as it’s definitely a transport option I continue to be attracted to. 

And if you want to see why people love Teslas so much – check out this driving experience video. Some of the technology is quite impressive and really sets the bar very high for cars of the future: 

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