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7 considerations before buying an Electric Vehicle after COP26

 

There are only 2968 days left before the 2030 UK government ban on the sale of new cars and vans that are completely powered by petrol and diesel. In the light of the recent COP26 conference In Glasgow, SERE Motors want to make sure that our customers are prepared, organised and most importantly… READY for the new road ahead! It’s a big and exciting change for most, moving from a combustible engine to an alternative, more sustainable fuel.

There are numerous types of alternative fuelled vehicles that the delegate mentioned at COP26 for consumers to research and explore approaching the deadline, these include:

  • Electric vehicle (EV)
  • Hydrogen vehicle (FCEV)
  • Battery electric vehicle (BEV)
  • Hybrid (HEV)
  • Plug-in hybrid (PHEV)
  • Mild electric vehicle (MHEV)
  • Range-extended electric vehicle (RE-EV)

 

              

 

 

1. More affordable EV options are coming

 

According to AutoTrader, the number of electric vehicles on their platform quadrupled from 2019 to 2021, but… (there’s always a but in a revolutionary change like this one!) AutoTrader state that, currently there is “six times as many petrol and diesel cars” on their website than electric vehicles.

Currently, electric vehicles have a much higher purchase cost compared to their petrol or diesel equivalents. Reduced maintenance, tax and fuel costs of EV’s make the overall running much cheaper for consumers in the long run. The Guardian suggests that in 2021, the average price for a pre-tax medium-sized petrol car in the UK is around £15,894. For the electric equivalent, a consumer will have to spend close to £29,000. Researchers have provided the mass population with hope moving forward as they predict that by 2026 both electric and petrol or diesel cars will cost £16,236. Further reductions are forecasted for 2030, with an electric vehicle expected to be cheaper at £13,928 compared to the petrol and diesel cars which will cost £16,997.

 

Some of the new and used electric vehicles SERE Motors has to offer:

 

Electric vehicle:

Price: Specification:

Video/image:

MG5 EV (EXCITE & EXCLUSIVE)

EXCITE from: £20,940.36

 

EXCULSIVE from: £22,761.67
  • Combined WLTP range (214-250 miles)
  • Can charge 80% in just 40 minutes (100kW charging point)
  • 7kW home charger gives 100% charge in 8 hours
  • 52.5kWh battery with 214-mile rang
  • 61.1kWh battery with 250-mile range.

MG ZS EV (EXCITE & EXCLUSIVE)

EXCITE from: £21,787.86

 

EXCULSIVE from: £23,599.19
  • Combined WLTP range of 163-miles
  • Ability to charge from zero to 80% in 40 minutes (50kWh station)
  • Addictive performance and low running costs.

MG HS PHEV

EXCITE from: £25,559.12

 

EXCULSIVE from: £27,335.43
  • Pairs a 1.5 turbocharged petrol engine with a 90-kW electric motor to produce 254bhp
  • EV mode (100% electric) can drive up to 32 miles and then enter hybrid mode to extend range and maximise performance.

 

 

2. Charging networks will expand

AutoTrader reported in their ‘consumer survey’ that, 46% of customers interested in buying an electric vehicle expressed that infrastructure would be a massive barrier that the government and the automotive industry would have to overcome before 2030.

The SMMT (The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) highlights that the UK will need “1.9 million on-street charging points to be installed by 2030 at a cost of around £17.6 billion.” Most electric vehicles are being fitted with the latest battery technology which means they are bigger, better and users will not have to charge their car every day. Eco-friendly organisations are investing in the possibility of inserting sockets into lampposts, kerbs and old telephone boxes to ensure costs are low, sight pollution and potential trip hazards for pedestrians are kept to a minimum.  

The largest EV charging companies are looking into the prospect of making rapid chargers more like petrol stations, having them scattered along motorways and ensuring charging times are as quick as possible. Moving towards 2030, competitors are challenging one another to gain rapid DC chargers at shopping centres, business outlets, restaurants and other entertainment facilities.

Most owners of Electric vehicles opt to charge their cars at home or work due to the convenience, opportunity to save money and it being better for the car. NI Direct states that, Northern Ireland alone currently has 337 public charging points across the country with the majority of them operated by the Electricity Supply Board. Below is a map by ESB showing where the public charging points are disturbed and how many in the different cities and towns throughout Northern Ireland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Solving the range anxiety amongst the mass market

Let’s ask ourselves a question here. Before you bought your current combustible engine vehicle did you debate, how many miles will I get out of a full tank of petrol or diesel before I have to fill it up again?

Robin Van Den Berg, the product marketing manager at Automotive World explains what is meant by the term ‘range anxiety.’ He states that, “EV range anxiety is the fear of running out of power on a journey and not being able to find a charging point. It has more to do with psychology than the actual range of EVs or the availability of charging points.” He highlights that the range of new EVs has increased by nearly 20% in the last couple of years, as has the placement of charging points. Car brands, manufacturers and the government are all trying to implement the ‘Three I’s’ (incentives, investment and information) to encourage the mass market to purchase electric vehicles, but we believe that the range anxiety is still having an affect on consumers mindsets.

The RAC state the three main elements that will effect the range of an EV are:

  • The age of the battery – Recent studies suggest that an EV vehicles battery life will diminish by 2.3% every year, but the rate of decline slows down the older the battery gets.
  • Size of the battery – In pretty simple terms, the larger the battery in your car (kWh) the further you will be able to travel.
  • Driving style and outside factors – The faster and more aggressive a user drives an EV will affect the distance it is able to travel. The other factors include things like weather conditions, if the individual is using the heating, radio, etc and the size of the wheels on the car. By the time the petrol and diesel ban comes in 2030, manufacturers believe that technology improvements will allow the ‘range anxiety’ to be a thing of the past.

 

4. Residential off-street parking

According to Electric Brighton, a third of the UK’s population don’t have access to off-street parking or a driveway to be able to use a home charger point. Therefore, EV drivers with only access to on-street parking need to use facilities like public charging networks, charging at work, family, friends and charger sharing apps. All these methods of charging an EV will cost a small amount of money (between £6-£7 for a rapid charger) and time (30 minutes for a full charge at a rapid charger). Basically, a Starbucks trip for most people!

In the lead up to the 2030 ban of new petrol and diesel cars, emerging technology will change the way on-street charging happens. Some of the innovative ideas being thrown around by entrepreneurial companies within the UK are as follows; lamppost chargers, wireless kerbside chargers, pop-up chargers, cable gulley’s, overhead charging, portable batteries and electricity being delivered to your car by another vehicle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently the infrastructure in the UK is not up to standard for on-street and public charging points and that is why brands and manufacturers keep encouraging that EV owners purchase and install home charges. As technology enhances and the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars starts to develop the government will need to start investing capital into improving these areas. During 2021-22, £20million has been set aside for improvement in public charging points.

It’s exciting to see existing infrastructure such as lampposts and wireless kerbside chargers being trialled in cities and towns across mainland England to see how effective they can be used as charging point. Pop-up chargers, cable gulley’s and overhead chargers are future ideas that hope to reduce sight pollution on our streets and prevent slips, trips and falls on cables extending from homes to EVs. Two organisations called Change Fairy and ZipCharge are testing portable batteries and electricity being delivered to EV owners to keep their vehicles charged and moving.

 

      

 

5. The future for hybrids

Were hybrids not supposed to make the transaction from ICE (Internal combustible engine) vehicles to zero emissions, fully electric vehicles smoother and easier? Then why have the UK government announced that as well as the 2030 ban of new petrol and diesel cars, that in 2035 new hybrid vehicles will also be banned.

In 2020, Chris Hall from Pocket-Lint highlights two main reasons why the UK government has decided to ban the sale of new hybrid cars by 2035. The first is the outstanding technology that allowed drivers not to waste energy when breaking because it was regenerated and reused to charge the battery component of the vehicle. Therefore, completely reducing the amount of air pollution being produced by the combustible engine. The downfall for this technology was when cars would be on motorways/carriageways and not braking as often the hybrid section of the car would be useless, add weight to the vehicle and make it less efficient compared to a normal petrol or diesel car.

The second reason is plug-in hybrids have minimal electric range with the average being around 30 miles. Hybrids are very good and efficient for suburban journeys but unfortunately if drivers need to travel longer distances the plug-in functionality runs out of energy and often leads to the car emitting as much or more than a combustible engine.

 

6. Battery recycling

Next Green Car state that currently there is 345,000 fully electric cars and 675,000 plug-in hybrids on the roads in the UK and this is expected to rise to 18 million by the time the new petrol and diesel car sale ban comes in 2030. The environmental positives of EVs far out-way the negatives, but there is one massive question mark that the automotive industry needs to solve if they are to go fully 0 emissions and that is what happens to the batteries once they are deemed unusable for an electric vehicle. XiaoZhi Lim, a reporter from The Guardian newspaper highlights that, “more than 12 million tons of lithium-ion batteries are expected to be retired between now and 2030.”

So, what is the eco-friendly solution to this problem? Well, it’s quite simply to… recycle the batteries.

EDF Energy explains the current process that manufacturers use to recycle EV batteries. It involves separating important renewable materials like cobalt, lithium, aluminium, plastic and stainless steel by melting or manually taking the batteries apart and reusing them in different parts of society. When a battery is in an electric vehicle it is normally deemed at the start of its ‘useful life.’ Once the battery has been removed from the EV it is still fit for purpose in numerous situations such as, powering electricity in homes or energy storage in the electricity network.

 

7. Size and longevity of government grants

Currently the UK government has four grants in place that owners of and businesses that distribute electric vehicles can take advantage of. These include:

  • The Plug-In Car Grant (Available for cars that produce less that 50g/km of CO2 emissions for every 112km the vehicle travels. Maximum of £2,500 already taken off the vehicle price by the dealer.)
  • The Electric Vehicle Home Charger Scheme (This scheme is aimed to aid people who want to charge their electric vehicle at home with off-street parking. The government will provide a 75% contribution to the cost of one charge point and the scheme is capped at £350.)
  • The Workplace Charging Scheme (A voucher-based scheme has been brought in by the government to support businesses with the upfront costs of purchasing and installing EV charge points. Contribution of 75%, maximum of £350 for each socket, up to maximum of 40 across various sites and valid for 180 days from date of issue.)
  • The On-Street Residential Charge Point Scheme (Gives local authorities and councils the opportunity to gain funding that can be used to purchase and install on-street charger points for their communities.)
  • Electric Car tax savings (On average throughout 1 full year, an EV owner will save £1,008 by reducing their vehicle tax by £150 and fuel consumption/costs by £858.)

The government has put a time limit on some of the grants/schemes. We understand that the Plug-In Car Grant is due to finish at the end of the financial year 2022-23. The Electric Vehicle Home Charger Scheme will end on 21st March 2022 and there currently is no timeframe for the Workplace Charging Scheme other than you need to use the voucher within the 180 days. These time restraints are not set-in-stone and are likely to be extended as the 2030 deadline approaches.

 

In light of COP26, we hope you found this information insightful and perhaps it has steered your thoughts on owning your own electric vehicle. Electric cars are at the cutting edge of technology and through MG’s fantastic model variety, going electric is not just cheaper to run, but affordable to buy. Book your test drive at SERE Motors today, call us on 02890205100.

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