24 January 2023

BUYING AN ELECTRIC CAR GUIDE – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

What are the benefits of choosing an electric car, the costs and what to look out for.

How much does an electric car cost to run?

Historically many potential owners looking to switch to electric vehicles have been put off by a higher barrier to entry versus conventional cars running on petrol or diesel. However, increased competition, improved and dedicated production line processes are now seeing the divide narrow.

With the majority of manufacturers now offering electric powered options, there’s an entry point for everyone. Mini, Citroen, Fiat, Nissan and Mazda all offer entry points for new vehicles of around £20,000. At the other end of the scale, the likes of Porsche, Land Rover and McLaren, are now delivering premium and luxury offerings ranging from £70,000 upwards.

An additional benefit of owning an electric vehicle is lower servicing and maintenance costs. With fewer moving parts and digital over-the-air updates that unlock new capabilities and improvements, not only will your service be an estimated 25% less than a standard combustion engine, but the range of features your car offers could also expand dramatically over the lifetime of the vehicle, making it more efficient and helping lower running costs.

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How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

The cost of charging an EV will be very specific to the individuals energy provider and rate. Currently the UK Government has capped energy prices, and at the time of writing electricity costs are capped at 34p/kWh. Based on this, an estimated full-charge cost for an entry-level EV would be £11 for a rage of around 130 miles, when using a charging point at home.

What incentives are there for Electric Vehicles?

Currently the following schemes are in place to benefit UK private and business EV drivers:

  • London Congestion Charge – Avoidance of £15 per day congestion charge for vehicles meeting Euro 6 Standards emitting no more than 75kg/km of CO2 and minimum 20 miles zero emission range are eligible.
  • Ultra Low Emission Zone – EVs can enter the London Ultra Low Emission Zone, avoiding the £12.50 non-compliance fee. Which could save you up to £3500 for a daily work commute over a single year.
  • Vehicle Excise Duty – Zero emission vehicles are currently exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty as well as an exemption for luxury car surcharge until 2025.
  • 100% First Year Allowance (FYA) – Claimable by business customers for up to the entire cost of your electric vehicle for one year. The scheme is available to new vehicles and will currently run until March 2025. 
  • Company Car Tax (Benefit in Kind) – New and used EVs can be eligible for a 2% BiK rate, running until 2025.

Reasons to change to an electric vehicle

A number of cites have existing or planned daily congestion charges with enforced low or zero emission zones.

By 2024 its expected a a number of cities will have enforced low or zero emission zones or fully operational Clean Air Zones similar to London’s existing Ultra Low Emissions Zones (ULEZ), which itself is expect to expand into Greater London by late 2023. 

Fines of up to £180 are expected to be handed out to non-compliant vehicles entering zero emissions zones, with personal and commercial vehicles including Buses, Coaches, taxis, PHVs HGVs and LGVs receiving daily costs of £7-£50 dependant on vehicle classification.

To see how these restrictions apply to your specific vehicle visit the UK Government Low Emission Zone information page.

List of UK cities enforcing Low Emission Zones

·      Aberdeen

·      Bath

·      Birmingham

·      Bradford

·      Bristol

·      Dundee

·      Edinburgh

·      Glasgow

·      Greater Manchester

·      Liverpool

·      London

·      Oxford

·      Portsmouth

·      Sheffield

·      Newcastle

Planning a journey with an Electric Vehicle

With just over 22,000 public charging locations in the UK, offering over 60,000 connections and an estimated 500,000 installed in workplace locations, drivers can feel more comfortable when planning their EV journey.

With popular apps such as Google Maps, Apple Maps and Waze introducing ‘search along route’ options that highlight electric vehicle charging stations, along with built-in tech such as Teslas Trip Planner that automatically calculates your route via Tesla Superchargers.

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What is the range of an electric car?

The increasing charging network density, improved battery technology and features such as regenerative brakes, should all go a long way to help ease EV range anxiety.

New fully electric motor vehicles now offer on average a range of 150-300 miles. Models from Tesla, Mercedes and BMW, now lead the pack, frequently breaking the 400 mile capability. 

For more information about financing your own electric car, be sure to visit out Electric Car Finance Page, and for a deep dive on the latest on offerings from Tesla check out our ‘Brands We Love’ Tesla segment.

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