The benefits of electric cars
Electric cars have many benefits for both their drivers and the whole of society, more than you might think in fact.
Driving an EV can mean cheaper running costs, a smoother and more enjoyable every day driving experience and, of course, much reduced emissions. But do the benefits outweigh any pitfalls? Is now the right time to go electric? Let us explain it all for you.
What are the advantages of electric cars?
Here’s a quick summary of what we’ll cover below:
Lower running and maintenance costs
– Electric cars are cheaper to charge than ICE cars are to fuel
– EVs are vehicle excise duty exempt until 1st April 2025
– Electric motors have just one moving part – over a hundred less than a petrol or diesel engine
– Some car parks let you charge/stay for free in an EV
A unique driving experience
– Electric cars make use of the latest driving tech (like regenerative braking) to make driving as easy and enjoyable as possible
– Instant power from the electric motor makes them great for town driving in and out of traffic
– They’re much quieter than their ICE equivalents meaning you’re more relaxed at the wheel
– EVs are usually filled with advanced safety equipment to keep your passengers and pedestrians safe
People and planet-friendly
– EVs reduce noice pollution dramatically (because they’re silent!)
– There are zero tailpipe emissions meaning the impact on our planet is far less than ICE cars…
– …meaning much improve air quality in cities
Some things to look out for...
– Electric cars are still quite new in terms of technology, so they’re expensive to buy
– And if your lifestyle doesn’t suit an EV right now, they might be complicated to live with
Cheap charging options for savvy drivers
One of the most obviously benefits to going electric are the reduce running costs. But the cost of charging an electric car depends on when and where you’re charging and the size of the battery of the EV you choose. The good news is, regardless of how you charge, it’s still usually cheaper than putting fuel in an internal combustion engine (ICE) car.
For example, charging an all-electric FIAT 500e from 10-80% at home (on an average UK tariff) would cost approximately £10. That’s 115 miles for a tenner!
1. Electricity usage when charging at home
Charging a car at home doesn’t use as much electricity as you might think. The average household uses 9kW of energy per day, which is about the same as most EVs would take to drive 35-40 miles.
Plus, if you have solar panels, you could get those 35 miles worth of driving for free throughout the brighter months. That’s your daily commute, for free, for months!
2. Charging for free…
Although it’s few and far between nowadays, it’s still possible to get free parking or charging for your EV. Some council car parks or supermarkets won’t charge you to use their EV spaces so long as you’re plugged in (great if you’re often popping into town or to the shops!), though it’s worth checking the ones in your area first.
Plus, if you’re lucky enough to have a charge point at work, many companies will allow their employees to plug in for free (or an allowance of free charging) while they’re busy at their desk. Think about it, if you’re not using the car for 7+ hours per day, it may as well be charging!
3. Public charging stations
Can’t charge at home? Or maybe you’re always on the go and will rely on the public charging network to get around.
The good news is there are now over 43,500 public chargers and counting. The cost of charging an electric car at a public station in the UK does vary though depending on the speed of the charger and the operator.
Generally speaking, on average a rapid public charger (50kW) costs 70 per kWh, meaning charging a Peugeot e-2008 from 10-80% (or adding 115 miles) would cost around £22. That’s approximately £3-5 less than it would cost to fuel the petrol version the same distance. Doesn’t sound like much but, over time, that could save you serious money.
And, let’s not forget, if you can charge at home you’ll save even more! It’s a win win.
Confused by public charging? Our subscribers get access to elmoCharge for simple charging on the go.
If you want to see which public charge points would work for you on your regular routes, check out ZapMap.
How else do electric cars help save money?
1. No vehicle excise duty
Road tax, or Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), is calculated based on a car’s tailpipe fumes. Pure electric cars are zero-emission so one of the major advantages of electric cars is you don’t pay any road tax until 2025, regardless of the original listing price.
The other tax advantage is that there is no duty to pay on fuel, unlike with petrol and diesel, which the government tax heavily.
2. No ultra-low-emission-zone or congestion charges
Pure electric cars are exempt from the daily £15 London congestion charge, as well as the £12.50 daily ULEZ charge until at least October 2025.
3. Lower maintenance costs
Electric cars have fewer moving parts which means less can go wrong. No valves, cylinders and gaskets to worry about: just brakes, wheels and a battery.
You don’t need to check oil levels and your chances of a breakdown are considerably lower than in a petrol/diesel. That means fewer surprise costs, better reliability and less stress!
4. Free or cheaper parking
To encourage EV adoption some local councils allow electric car drivers to park at a discounted rate or even for free in some areas. York offers a 50% discount on resident contract permits, season tickets, and most priority parking scheme (ResPark) permits. Q-park also offers 10% off season tickets for electric vehicle owners.
Electric cars are a joy to drive
1. EVs technology is awesome
Everyone loves a new toy or the latest gadget, right? One of the biggest advantages of electric cars is that they come fully equipped to make your journeys safer and more comfortable.
Manufacturers know that electric cars will soon simply be ‘cars’ to us. Their focus is increasingly shifting towards designing and developing electric cars equipped with the latest technology to make driving as hassle free and enjoyable as possible. From driving advancements like Tesla Autopilot and regenerative braking to the some of the best interior tech going even on the more affordable models, there’s sure to be something to satisfy even the most adept of tech-hunters.
2. More useable performance
0-60mph in how long? That’s great if you’re always pulling away from the lights immediately onto a motorway… but how often do you really do that sprint at full throttle?
Car geeks (like our Josh!) will talk about power, torque and acceleration. They will refer to drag races and other tests performed on tracks which highlight the amazing performance of the fastest cars on the road.
But, for us, the everyday car user, that’s not really the point.
What’s important for most people is the instant power you get from an electric car. Basically, because there is no inefficient combustion process, when you put your foot on the accelerator you get instant power (without any hesitation). That means even the humblest of EVs like the adorable Renault ZOE can take off at a T-junction much faster than similarly powered petrol models. Genuinely, useable performance.
They’re nippy, fun and give you much more confidence to pull into a busy lane or overtake than existing ICE cars. Yes, electric cars aren’t known for their top speed – the Vauxhall Corsa-e for example tops out at 93mph – but that’s breaking the speed limit anyway… (we see you).
3. Electric cars are far more relaxing
That instant power combined with all EVs being automatic means they’re much more relaxing to drive than most ICE cars. Traffic doesn’t have to be stressful in an EV, let it do the hard work for you!
Plus, and it may not seem a big deal at first, they’re much quieter. Why is that important? Well, in a world full of noise, electric cars reimagine how sound is important in cars (or rather, the lack of).
We previously delivered an electric vehicle to elmo customers who live on a farm in Dorset. It was the evening when the car was delivered, and we were told in advance that the dogs would make a racket as soon as a car pulled into the driveway.
So, there were some surprised and embarrassed doggos when our delivery driver knocked on the door of the house having silently pulled up outside! Cute story, but so what?
We don’t have to listen to the roar of engines as we try to sleep at night or focus during the day. Instead, you hear the calmer, natural sounds of the world. Bliss.
4. Electric car safety
EVs are subjected to the same rigorous safety tests as any other car on the road. And, because batteries store a lot of energy, manufacturers ensure their models are fitted with far-advanced safety features that keep you, your passengers, and the public safe even in the worst of accidents. Polestar, for example, coined their battery protection with a system that automatically disconnects the high-voltage battery in an accident.
Driving can be safer, too, since the heavier battery of an electric vehicle is placed lower in the car than the fuel tank of most ICE cars. The weight is distributed more evenly causing better handling and a lower chance of rollover in fast corners.
5. They’re more convenient (just play it smart!)
You may think standing by the petrol pump is easy enough, but remember cars are not in use 95% of the time. Electric cars can ‘fuel’ themselves in this down time, totally unsupervised!
EVs are good for people and the planet
1. Better for the environment
We’ve mentioned the reduction in noise pollution, but let’s not forget the significant impact switching to electric could have on global CO2 emissions – one of the primary drivers of climate change.
Transport produced 24% of the UK’s total emissions in 2020 and remains the largest emitting sector in the UK. But what about if you include the manufacture process? Well, relative to an old combustion engine, an EV will start benefitting the planet after just four years of driving. And with new battery tech meaning electric cars are being seen easily exceeding 300,000 miles on a single battery, there are plenty of reasons as to why EVs are really good for our planet.
2. You could reap great health benefits
Reducing CO2 emissions is one thing, but illness and death as a result of air pollution in cities has increased dramatically in recent years as our urban environments become increasingly congested.
Electric cars don’t produce any of the particulate matter or fumes which lead to polluted and dangerous air.
Are there any disadvantages to EVs?
Here at elmo we are huge advocates of the electric car, and we’re on a mission to make going electric smart, seamless and sustainable for everybody.
But we also think it’s important to be realistic and transparent about the fact that EVs might not be for everyone right now. Like everything, there are disadvantages to electric cars too.
1. They’re expensive to buy
The average EV model is about £5,000 to £10,000 more expensive as an upfront purchase than their equivalent petrol/diesel models (which is a bit cheeky, really, but we’re expecting that difference to decrease as we get closer to the 2030 cut off).
For most people, that is too much of a premium to pay. And while the running cost savings are good, it will take time to recuperate that extra £10,000 you potentially shelled out.
2. They don’t quite fit everyone’s lifestyle
You may have heard of range anxiety. It’s the soul-sapping fear you get when you realise you may not have enough charge to get to your destination; and you don’t know where or if there is a charge point en-route. And it’s getting dark. And you’re probably hungry…
Range anxiety is an overstated issue, especially as the number of public charge points are increasing rapidly, as is the range on new EVs. More electric cars on the road has also led to a rise in EV friendly holiday destinations too.
But it’s still so important that people understand how and if an EV could work for them. Because, though it pains us to say, most EVs on the market (especially the affordable ones) will not work for everyone right now. If you regularly commute 200-300 miles a day, you could be adding at least 30 minutes to your travel time (which sounds like not a big deal, but over a week that’s a lot of time).
That said, there are ways to pass the time while charging your EV.
Where can I find out more about getting an electric car?
So, you’re keen to go ‘green’. How do you do it? What’s the easiest and most accessible way?
We can help. Getting an electric car on subscription means you can benefit from the day-to-day cost savings in running a car from the first day of driving and try an EV long-term in your life.
- There’s no upfront cost
- There are no lengthy contracts
- And you can swap or stop your subscription after just 30 days’ notice*
*after your minimum term.
The elmo team also write up their own experiences of driving electric on our blog, along with other helpful tips and tricks to enjoy your new electric car.
Here are a few of the most common questions people ask about electric cars:
Why are electric cars better at driving?
They’re smoother, have more useable power, are more relaxing, are cheaper to run, better for the planet in the long-run and easy to live with. And the best bit is they’re now accessible on subscription, too.
Do electric cars need a service and MOT?
Yes, you still need to ensure your electric vehicle is serviced, is up to date on MOTs and is road legal.
Do electric cars cause pollution or give out emissions?
No, electric cars don’t have an exhaust, so don’t create emissions like petrol or diesel cars.
Do electric cars need oil?
No, electric cars don’t require oil like petrol or diesel cars.
How long does it take to charge an electric car?
Depending on how long and how far you need to drive, the time varies – but it can take between half an hour and half a day.
Are all electric cars automatic?
Yes, electric cars don’t use a gearbox, so all are classed as automatic.
Can you charge an electric car from a three-pin plug?
Yes, however you will need a cable specific to an electric vehicle. That means it’s simple to charge an electric car at home.
What are the benefits of electric cars in Europe?
Much of the same benefits as in the UK! It’s more than possible to do cross-country road trips in a modern day EV, too.