Should I Buy An Electric Car

dessert and electric cars

Conversations About Electric Cars And Desserts Have Become The Norm At Social Gatherings  

I find myself discussing electric cars in all sorts of gatherings, social and work.  In social gatherings, the conversation is never instigated by me, but invariably the topic comes up for discussion.  The first question posed is, ‘should I buy an electric car?’  Followed by a rather animated debate and irresistible dessert. 

I am always hugely encouraged by these conversations.  This only means one thing.  The transition of electric cars from a niche emission free solution to mainstream transportation is firmly underway.  Many of those seeking answers, are looking to either change their current vehicle or buy a new one.  

Volumes have been written on the ‘top reasons’ to buy an EV.  I will certainly get to it.  But let me commence with, why you should not buy an EV.

Jaguar IPACE SUV Electric
Jaguar All Electric I-PACE SUV

Two Reasons To Avoid Buying An EV


1). You travel well over 200 miles on a regular basis and do not have access to public charging or workplace charging 

Most of us certainly do not travel such distances on a regular basis. The average owner of an internal combustion engine or EV, will travel significantly less distances.  The average annual mileage in the UK is 8,000 miles i.e. just over 20 miles a day! Moreover, the average commute distance is 12 miles.  This does not surprise me at all.  The drive to your local school, grocery store, gym, high street etc., is at best a couple of miles.  

Most recent EV models can travel between 150 to 300 miles on a single charge.  EVs therefore can easily meet the requirements of most drivers, even the most demanding ones.  Now if you happen to be that individual that travels over 200 miles regularly without access to public charging or workplace charging , I would encourage a move to a lower emission vehicle like a conventional hybrid. This way you can travel long distances with a reduced carbon footprint. 


2). You do not feel the need for clean air

Again, if you are like me and most other people I know, you crave clean air, just like a child hungers for an ice cream.  Many of us travel significant distances to isolated corners of the world for just a breather. I get this.  I do the same.  I was in Darjeeling in the Himalayas a month ago for the very same reason. 

But honestly, we do not need to travel across continents to breathe clean air.  The solution is at our door step, right under our noses.  It is called zero emission transportation, more commonly referred to as EV driving.  It is a staggering and shocking statistic.  Nearly, 60% of emissions in the UK are a result of emissions from road transportation.  This significant increase in health problems and deaths as a result of increased emission, further amplify the urgency of the problem.  

And honestly, one does not have to be an environmental activist to achieve this very basic epiphany.  It does reassure me that many everyday people like myself, have come to the realisation that road transportation can be clean and economical.  

So, bottom-line, there really are very few valid and robust arguments for not getting behind the steering wheel of an emission free, smoother and more economical driving experience.  


Three Reasons To Buy An Electric Car


1).  Lower maintenance costs

It may surprise you at first, but electric cars are much easier to maintain compared to polluting petrol and diesel cars.  The reason for this is simple.  Electric cars have very few moving parts compared to internal combustion engines. Therefore, less can go wrong or breakdown, resulting in lower costs.  Now you do not have to commence another long weekend forking out hard earned money for the repair of your petrol guzzler.  You can instead use the money saved from driving an EV to get to a nice destination and treat the family to a well deserved holiday! 

2). Lower cost to fill up (recharge)! 

Yes, you have read this correctly.  How many times have you driven around looking for the cheapest petrol station, in the hope to save yourself a few pennies when filling fuel.  Well, with a pure electric vehicle, which by the way, does not even have a fuel tank, you don’t need to do that anymore. Instead, just before bedtime, after your last cup of tea, plug the EV to charge overnight.  Now that is what I call a good night’s sleep.  Awake the next morning to find a fully charged EV costing between £3 to £8 for a full charge versus £50 to £85 for a full tank of fuel.  

3). Lower taxes and incentives: take advantage while it lasts! 

No, you do not need to emigrate to some desolate island to lower your vehicle tax burden or cost of vehicle ownership.  You can achieve that, living and driving right here in the United Kingdom.  I encourage individuals to take advantage of the generous UK government plug-in grant towards the cost of purchase of a pure electric car.  Also take advantage of lower to zero vehicle excise duty (VED), congestion charge, parking, and the grant towards home charging. 

There are many more valid and exciting reasons to start your individual emission free journey. But the above is a good start to get you into gear!  You can save by buying your first, second or third electric car by letting us help you.  Just follow this link.  

Nissan Leaf Hatch Electric
Nissan Leaf EV

Two Practical Tips for Buying an EV


1).  Rent before you buy 

Please do no get carried away by the sales pitch of an over enthusiastic car salesperson. Of course, listen to all he or she has to say, but before you buy your EV, rent one.  

By renting an EV will you truly understand if an electric car is right for you.  By this I mean, answering at least some of the following questions if not more:

The list of questions you can assess are endless.  But they all have one theme in common. ‘practicality’.   

2).  Do not buy the most expensive EV

If you are new to EVs, I would suggest to start with a smaller budget for your first electric car.  It is better to upgrade overtime, instead of finding yourself stranded with an expensive car you can hardly afford.  Of course, cheapest is not always the best and I would suggest looking at the mid range. Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe and Kia e-Niro are certainly worth considering.  

Renault Zoe Hatchback Electric Car
Renault Zoe Electric Car

Conclusion

The desserts and the conversation on EVs will no doubt continue.  In time, the discussions will evolve to comparing driving experiences of EV drivers as the adoption of electric cars matures.  

I am certainly looking forward to the future.  Much cleaner air and more tempting desserts!    


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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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