Electric cars have become more and more popular in recent years; the combination of highly-publicised energy efficiency and a gadget-loving community of drivers has given the new technology a sterling head start.
There’s still some way to go, however, before we see electric cars completely take over from those using petrol or diesel – and with recent news reports suggesting that their depreciation level is shockingly high, it may not be the rose-tinted future of driving we’ve come to expect. So is now the right time to buy one? We’ve taken a look at the pros and cons to give you all the information you need if you’re considering a change.
Electric cars were built for energy efficiency; that’s their main selling point, and quite rightly so. An EV (electric vehicle) uses no petrol, no diesel and indeed no internal combustion system of any kind – just a rechargeable battery. This makes it far cheaper to run, and means you’ll spend less time in petrol stations trying to work out the fluctuating cost of unleaded.
Gadget-lovers will of course be looking forward to trying out an EV, but it’s not just the bragging rights that makes this technology worth owning. An electrically-operated machine like this doesn’t have any moving parts, meaning that not only is it silent to run, but the maintenance and upkeep is a fraction of what you might expect to spend on a petrol-run car or even a hybrid.
There is a certain aspect of bragging rights involved in the electric car; it’s already been found that the environmentally-friendly aspect of the EVs do have a psychological effect on the drive. The cars emit no pollutants – the don’t even have tailpipes – and they generally reduce greenhouse emissions, although this does depend on the way electricity in your area is produced.
Charging your car
A frequent problem at the moment is that not every petrol station has electric charging stations. While most electric cars only need a half-hour charge to get up to full power, it’s not ideal if you’re travelling long distances. While this may change as EVs become more common on the road, it seems that the moment these are best suited to city living.
As previously mentioned, EVs are seeing drastic depreciation compared to other types of vehicle – recent statistics suggest that the cars are worth just 20 per cent after three years. In comparison, hybrid cars have enjoyed the highest depreciation of any car with a 45 per cent worth after the same amount of time. This doesn’t take into account the many government-funded policies connected to EVs, but it does give a brief snapshot of the used EV marketplace, and is worth bearing in mind when looking to buy.
Electric cars might be cheaper to run, but their overall price upon purchase is generally higher than their diesel counterparts. This is primarily due to the battery inside the car, which is expensive to produce and fit – but advances in technology are sure to make this process cheaper in the coming years, as with any new technology. If you’re wary about making a purchase, it may be worth watching to see how the market moves over the next 12-24 months.